Vietnam records first coronavirus death amid resurgence

  • Vietnam recorded its first coronavirus death as the country battles a new outbreak of the virus, which emerged in the city of Danang.

  • Spain reported a second day of 1,000-plus coronavirus infections, the highest since the nation lifted its lockdown in June.

  • Libya’s United Nations-recognised government in Tripoli announced it will impose a full lockdown in areas of the country it controls, after a rise in COVID-19 cases.

  • More than 17.2 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. More than 10 million patients have recovered, and at least 673,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Friday, July 31

14:10 GMT – Italy travel linked to 1 in 4 first virus cases outside China

People who had visited Italy accounted for more than a quarter of the first reported cases of the new coronavirus outside China, according to a new study that found most initial infections were linked to just three countries.

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used publicly-available data to trace the early spread of COVID-19 to dozens of affected countries in the 11 weeks before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic.

They found that 27 percent of all the first reported cases were people with travel links to Italy, while 22 percent had been to China and 11 percent had travelled from Iran.

The study, which was published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases this week, found that overall three quarters of the first cases in affected countries were linked to recent travel.

13:45 GMT – Philips says it did not profiteer on ventilators amid coronavirus

Dutch healthcare equipment company Philips saidit had not sought to profit by raising the price of the ventilators it manufactures during the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said the company was responding to a report issued by the US Congress’s House Subcommitte on Economic and Consumer policy.

“I would like to make clear that at no occasion, Philips has raised prices to benefit from the crisis situation,” he said.

13:35 GMT – Fauci testifies before coronavirus panel

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, will testfy before a coronavirus subcommittee in Congress, weeks after President Donald Trump’s administration first refused to let him address the panel.

Fauci’s testimony comes at the end of a week when the pandemic’s tragic toll on the country has become far clearer.

They found that 27 percent of all the first reported cases were people with travel links to Italy, while 22 percent had been to China and 11 percent had travelled from Iran.

The study, which was published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases this week, found that overall three quarters of the first cases in affected countries were linked to recent travel.

13:45 GMT – Philips says it did not profiteer on ventilators amid coronavirus

Dutch healthcare equipment company Philips saidit had not sought to profit by raising the price of the ventilators it manufactures during the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said the company was responding to a report issued by the US Congress’s House Subcommitte on Economic and Consumer policy.

“I would like to make clear that at no occasion, Philips has raised prices to benefit from the crisis situation,” he said.

13:35 GMT – Fauci testifies before coronavirus panel

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, will testfy before a coronavirus subcommittee in Congress, weeks after President Donald Trump’s administration first refused to let him address the panel.

Fauci’s testimony comes at the end of a week when the pandemic’s tragic toll on the country has become far clearer.

The United States on Wednesday experienced its 150,000th death from the disease – more than any other country – and data on Thursday showing a deep economic plunge.

Democrats said the Trump administration initially prevented Fauci from testifying to the panel by saying he was unavailable for the entire month of July and relented only after House Majority Whip James Clyburn wrote to Vice President Mike Pence.

12:32 GMT – Germany adds three virus-hit Spanish regions to quarantine list

Germany has added three northern Spanish regions to its list of high-risk destinations, meaning anyone arriving from those areas will have to produce a negative coronavirus test or go into quarantine for 14 days.

Germany’s foreign ministry said it had issued a travel warning for the regions of Catalonia, Navarre and Aragon following a spike in COVID-19 cases there.

The move comes after Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control added the three regions to its high-risk list.

11:55 GMT – England to require face coverings in cinema and worship places

People in England will be required to wear face masks or other face coverings in cinemas, places of worship, museums and art galleries from August 8, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you’re likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship,” Johnson said.

Face coverings are already required on public transport and, more recently, in shops.

11:32 GMT – UK’s Johnson postpones next stage of lockdown lifting as infections rise

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will postpone the next stage of lockdown easing for at least two weeks due to a pick-up in COVID-19 infection rates.

“On Saturday 1 August we had hoped to reopen in England a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed … Today I am afraid we are postponing those changes for at least a fortnight,” Johnson said at a news conference.

“I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people … I am really, really sorry about that but we simply cannot take the risk.”

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