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Brazil registered 17,078 additional cases of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours and 565 deaths, the nation’s health ministry said on Monday.
The country has now recorded 115,309 coronavirus deaths and 3,622,861 confirmed cases.
Hi, Helen Sullivan joining you now.
I’ll be bringing you the latest coronavirus news from around the world for the next few hours. Get in touch:
If you’re just joining us, here are the latest coronavirus developments from the last few hours:
- Gaza reports first Covid-19 cases outside quarantine areas and declares lockdown. The first cases of coronavirus have been detected outside of quarantine facilities within the Gaza Strip, a potentially disastrous development given the enclave’s fragile health system.
- Hong Kong man re-infected by Covid-19 after four-and-a-half months leading to immunity concerns. A Hong Kong man who recovered from Covid-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later in the first documented instance of human re-infection, researchers at the University of Hong Kong said on Monday.
- Sweden not expecting big second wave: chief epidemiologist. Sweden is likely to see local outbreaks but no big second wave of Covid-19 cases in the autumn, such as inundated hospitals a few months ago, Sweden’s top epidemiologist and architect of its unorthodox pandemic strategy said.
- Usain Bolt in quarantine after taking Covid-19 test following birthday party. The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt is in quarantine after taking a Covid-19 test just days after a party for his 34th birthday, which was attended by England footballer Raheem Sterling and several other sports stars.
- Brazil’s Bolsonaro says journalist ‘wimps’ more likely to die of Covid-19. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro continued his attack on journalists during a public event on Monday, describing reporters as “wimps” and saying they have a heightened chance of dying of Covid-19 because they are not athletic.
- KFC drops Finger Lickin’ Good slogan as ‘doesn’t quite fit’ in age of Covid-19. KFC has admitted its famous Finger Lickin’ Good slogan is not quite right for the era of face masks and official hand-washing advice, as it launches a new advertising campaign with a change of focus.
- Zoom apologises after partial global outage. Zoom, the video-conferencing app that has proved popular with people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, suffered a partial failure that left thousands of people in the US, UK and across the world unable to connect to work meetings or classes.
That’s it from me today, I’m now handing over to my colleague Helen Sullivan.
Americans who regularly cross the border from Mexico reported long wait times to re-enter the US on Monday after US officials imposed new Covid-19-related restrictions on cross-border travel by US citizens and permanent residents.
The US government closed lanes at select ports of entry on the border and began conducting more secondary checks to limit non-essential travel and slow the spread of the coronavirus, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on Friday.
According to CBP data, wait times at some border crossings have since doubled or tripled. Many crossing points now have only one or two lanes of traffic open. On Monday, border-crossers reported up to 5-6 hour wait times.
Jess Herr, 30, a US citizen who lives in the Mexican border city of Tijuana and works at a restaurant in San Diego in southern California, said she usually wakes up at 4 am and crosses by car in about an hour to make her shift.
When she saw the long line of cars on Monday, she decided to cross by foot, although she still had to wait five hours to cross the border.
At the Cordoba bridge joining the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez with El Paso in Texas, only two lanes were open to motorists. Border-crossers who usually waited about 45 minutes told Reuters they had waited more than three hours to cross, and some were late for work.
Melissa Reyes, general manager for a nonprofit organisation, said she had waited 4 and a half hours to cross the border back into the United States over the weekend after going to Puerto Palomas in Mexico to do some shopping. Normally the wait time would be 15-20 minutes.
The new restrictions announced last week would prove challenging for people who live lives that span both sides of the border, she said. “It’s gonna be pretty devastating,” she added.
The US-Mexican border is the world’s busiest land border.
Before coronavirus restrictions at the border began in March, over 950,000 people entered the US from Mexico on foot or in cars on a typical day.
US president Donald Trump has implemented a series of sweeping policies to curb legal and illegal immigration in recent months, saying the moves are necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus or preserve jobs for American workers.
In March, the US, Mexico and Canada agreed to bar non-essential travel across their shared borders, but the restrictions still allowed US citizens and permanent residents to return to the United States.
Delta Air Lines is set to furlough 1,941 pilots in October, the carrier said in a memo seen by Reuters that noted the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and plunging air travel demand.
In a memo to pilots, Delta’s head of flight operations John Laughter said there were roughly 11,200 active pilots still on Delta’s roster after a voluntary early departure program.
“We are simply overstaffed, and we are faced with an incredibly difficult decision,” Laughter said.
Based on network projections, Laughter said Delta would need some 9,450 active pilots for the summer 2021 schedule, which the carrier expects would be the peak flying for the next 12-18 months.
Delta had sent warnings of potential furloughs to 2,258 pilots, according to its pilot union.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro continued his attack on journalists during a public event on Monday, describing reporters as “wimps” and saying they have a heightened chance of dying of Covid-19 because they are not athletic.
The right-wing former army captain has long had a fractious relationship with the media, frequently singling out specific newspapers and journalists for his ire. His followers have also attacked journalists at rallies and other public events.
On Sunday, Bolsonaro told a reporter, “I want to punch you in the face,” after the reporter asked about thousands of dollars that were transferred into a bank account of the president’s wife by a former aide who is now the target of a corruption probe.
During the Monday event, titled Defeating Covid-19, Bolsonaro described his own experience battling the virus in July, crediting his use of unproven drug hydroxychloroquine and his self-described history as an athlete for his mild symptoms. He has previously said he believed his athletic past made him immune to the worst of the coronavirus.
“That history of an athlete, the press feasted on it, but when (Covid-19) gets one of you wimps, your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower,” Bolsonaro told reporters, using the Portuguese colloquial word bundao. He added:
You only know how to do evil, to use a pen largely for evil. Your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower.
Earlier this month, local media reported that the aide, Fabricio Queiroz, deposited 72,000 reais ($12,900) in checks into Michelle Bolsonaro’s account between 2011 and 2018.
Queiroz was an aide to now Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son, when he was a Rio de Janeiro state legislator. The former aide has been arrested in an investigation into bank deposits made at the time, amounting to 1.2m reais.
The first cases of coronavirus have been detected outside of quarantine facilities within the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials have announced, a potentially disastrous development given the enclave’s fragile health system.
Four people from the same family have so far tested positive for coronavirus, Gaza’s interior ministry said as authorities imposed a 48-hour lockdown.
“As soon as the virus cases were detected, the leadership of the interior ministry and the crisis unit held intensive meetings. It is currently in session and closely following all the details,” said interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bazam.
Hamas authorities urged Gazans to abide by the immediate shutdown, which includes the closure of workplaces, schools and mosques.
Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007 and access to the enclave was further restricted following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Those granted permission to enter the strip have been held in special quarantine centres for three weeks.
There have been 109 coronavirus infections registered among those quarantined, with one death, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.
The arrival of coronavirus among the broader population in Gaza, a densely-populated area home to two million Palestinians, has been feared for months.
Suhair Zakkout, a spokeswoman for the ICRC in Gaza, said a coronavirus outbreak would be “catastrophic”.
“The health system is already weakened by the restriction of movement, lack of financial resources, and the Palestinian internal differences,” she told the Guardian.
Gaza is currently facing severe power shortages after Israel cut off fuel supplies in response to incendiary balloons being flown across the frontier, which have set farmland ablaze.
Rockets have also been fired from the enclave this month and the Israeli army has repeatedly struck Hamas targets, sparking concerns of a military escalation.
Uganda has recalled its ambassador to Denmark and her deputy, after the pair were recorded apparently plotting in a Zoom meeting to steal funds meant to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
During the meeting, a video of which circulated on social media, the ambassador Nimisha Madhvani, her deputy and other staff members are heard devising a plot to share out money which was meant to aid stranded citizens.
They appear to suggest that instead of registering the money for Covid-19 use, it should be apportioned as an allowance over eight days for the diplomats.
“Give yourselves $4,000…” deputy ambassador Elly Kamahungye is heard to say, admitting there would be “jumbled accounts” while recalling how diplomats were able to bribe auditors to shelve a previous probe into embassy accounts.
Nimisha herself suggests that staff members “find a way” to use the money.
Uganda’s foreign ministry’s permanent secretary Patrick Mugoya pledged a full investigation in a statement on Monday, saying “the ministry wishes to express grave concern about the allegations … and takes this matter seriously”.
“In the meantime, the officers implicated have been recalled to the ministry headquarters to pave way for the investigations.”
A Florida judge temporarily blocked governor Ron DeSantis and top education officials from forcing public schools to reopen brick-and-mortar classrooms amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ruling that the states order arbitrarily disregards safety.
In his ruling, Leon County judge Charles Dodson said the mandate to reopen schools usurped local control from school districts in deciding for themselves whether it was safe for students, teachers and staffers to return.
The Florida Education Association had sued the state after education commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an order earlier this summer mandating that schools reopen classrooms by 31 August or risk losing funding.
The districts have no meaningful alternative, the judge wrote in his opinion.
If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do so for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every student is being taught, he ruled.
As the outbreak began spreading across the state last spring, officials shuttered schools and teachers began providing instruction virtually to the states 2.9 million public school students.
The Florida Education Association, which includes unions representing teachers and other school employees, expressed concerns about the ability of schools to keep children and teachers healthy.
The ruling came as Florida’s coronavirus spread appeared to be waning, although it still outpaces the ability of contact tracers to contain outbreaks.
With several key metrics on the decline, the governor says Dolphins and Hurricanes fans can attend football games again, under careful conditions.
State-provided statistics showed 4,655 people being treated for Covid-19 in Florida hospitals on Monday, less than half of the peaks above 9,500 a month ago.
A total of 72 new deaths were reported, bringing the seven day average down to 123, the lowest rate in a month. Average daily increases in cases over the past week have declined to a level not seen since late June.
Apple plans to start reopening US retail stores that have been closed over the past several weeks due a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, Bloomberg News has reported.
The company will open a small number of stores as soon as the end of August with most stores operating on an appointment-only basis for the immediate future, the report said.
An Amman summit between Jordan, Iraq and Egypt will go ahead on Tuesday with extra precautions, officials said, after Iraq’s telecommunications minister tested positive for Covid-19.
Minister Arkan al-Shaybani and fellow Iraqi officials were tested upon landing in Amman on Friday and the entire delegation was placed in confinement after the minister tested positive, according to a statement by Jordan’s information minister Amjad al-Adayla.
“This required implementing medical procedures put in place to protect the health of our guest while he is in the kingdom,” Adayla said in comments reported by Jordan’s official Petra news agency.
Shaybani was travelling to Amman for a tripartite summit on Tuesday between the leaders of Iraq, Jordan and Egypt to discuss trade, telecommunications and oil.
The one-day meeting will bring King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi together with Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi for the first time.
The gathering comes just days after Kadhemi’s return from Washington, which has long urged its allies in the region to band together against Iranian influence.
Jordan, Egypt and Iraq have held similar meetings in the past two years, mostly focused on infrastructure and coordinating the fight against jihadists.
“The summit will still take place on Tuesday but the size of the delegations and the meeting times will be limited as a precautionary measure,” Kadhemi’s spokesman, Ahmad Mullal Talal, told AFP.
Iraq’s coronavirus caseload neared 208,000, with deaths at nearly 6,500 – making it one of the hardest-hit countries in the Middle East.
On Monday, the deputy speaker of Iraq’s parliament Hassan al-Kaabi also announced he had tested positive. Between lawmakers and their staff, there are more than 60 cases in parliament.
The virus claimed the life of one Iraqi parliamentarian last month and a presidential adviser last week.
The World Health Organization has warned that Iraq’s cases are “exponentially rising to an alarming and worrying level, suggesting a major health crisis soon”.
Brussels is one of the European regions recording the fastest-growing surge of new coronavirus cases in recent weeks, state virologist Marc Van Ranst has said.
Brussels registered 997 new infections from 7-14 August, one of the fastest weekly spikes across Europe, according to data shared by Van Ranst on Twitter.
“Brussels, together with large parts of Spain and Moldova, is in the top 10 regions with the largest Covid19 increase this week,” Van Ranst said. “The politicians of the Brussels-Capital Region should consider how they can either better enforce or tighten up the corona measures.”
Authorities have been focusing on clusters in Antwerp, The Brussels Times reports, but Van Ranst suggested that measures adopted by local authorities have helped slow down the spread there.
The latest protective measures in Brussels mean it is now mandatory to wear a face mask in public, but officials have stopped short of stricter measures.
Germany has issued a travel warning for Paris and the French Cote d’Azur region due to rising coronavirus infections there, the foreign ministry in Berlin has said.
The foreign ministry said it was warning against unnecessary tourist trips to the Île-de-France region, which includes the French capital, and the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which includes Marseille and Nice, due to the high number of infections.
Read the original article at The Guardian