The Australian state of Victoria has confirmed 134 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as its borders were closed and it moved to impose a six-week lockdown in Melbourne.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus as a “little flu”.
- The United States has officially notified the United Nations secretary-general of the country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization even as it grapples with nearly three million cases of coronavirus.
- A group of opposition supporters stormed the Serbian parliament on Tuesday night in a protest against plans to impose a lockdown on the capital this weekend.
Nearly 11.8 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly 544,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The US and Brazil have reported the most cases and the highest death tolls.
Wednesday, July 8
9:40 GMT – Israel’s Gantz self-isolating due to suspected exposure to coronavirus
Israel’s defence minister said he was self-isolating due to suspected exposure to a person infected with the coronavirus.
Gantz’s spokesman said: “Due to suspicion of being exposed to a coronavirus patient last Sunday evening, out of the desire and responsibility to avoid risk of infection and after consulting with medical officials, Defence Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz decided to go into isolation, pending a corona examination and epidemiologic investigation.”
9:15 GMT – How to stay safe when dining out
Restaurants, pubs and cafes have reopened in parts of the United Kingdom as life gradually turns back to normal.
Doctor Amir Khan explains how you can stay safe when going out for dinner or drinks.
8:45 GMT – Hong Kong reports a surge in local coronavirus infections
Hong Kong reported 24 new coronavirus cases, with 19 of them being local infections, stoking worries of a renewed community spread in the city after it reported mostly imported cases for months.
The total number of cases in the global financial hub since late January now stands at 1,324. Seven people have died.
8:15 GMT – Austria issues travel warnings for Bulgaria, Romania
Austria is issuing travel warnings for Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova because of the worsening coronavirus situation in those countries and clusters in Austria involving people arriving from the region, the government said.
Anyone arriving from those countries must go into two weeks’ quarantine or show a negative test, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told a news conference. Checks at the Hungarian and Slovenian borders will also be increased, they added.
7:50 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus case tally passes 700,000
The total number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Russia passed 700,000 , as the country reported 6,562 new infections in the past 24 hours.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 173 people had died from the virus overnight, taking the official death toll to 10,667.
6:45 GMT – Norway’s economy rebounded in May as lockdown lifted
The Norwegian economy rebounded in May after two months of steep decline as a gradual reopening of businesses from coronavirus lockdowns helped turn activity around, Statistics Norway (SSB) said.
Although the mainland economy, which excludes volatile offshore oil and gas production, grew by 2.4 percent in May from April, it has still contracted 8.9 percent since February, the agency said.
On March 12, Norway became one of the first nations in Europe to close down social interactions in its battle on the virus, but has lifted many curbs since, with a bounce in retail sales as the pandemic was reined in.
05:30 GMT – Fireflies of Tatsuno dance free as coronavirus curbs visitors
The coronavirus forced the cancellation of Tatsuno’s annual firefly festival leaving the area’s thousands of fireflies to mate in peace – away from crowds of people.
The spectacle lasts just 10 days in early summer and, when the conditions are right, the fireflies take to the night skies to find a mate and lay eggs for the next year. The insects glow to communicate with each other.
Festival organiser Tatsuki Komatsu told the AFP news agency he felt the fireflies were “looking for a partner more freely with no humans around” but hoped the event would be able to return in 2021.