Tue, 11 Aug 2020

Coronavirus watch updates, July 31

Xinhua
31 Jul 2020, 12:18 GMT+10

A medical worker wearing a protective suit treats COVID-19 patients at an isolation ward in a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, July 10, 2020. (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua)

- Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 890,000-mark: Africa CDC

- Ethiopia records highest daily increase as 805 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

- UK car production hits weakest 1st half since 1954 amid COVID-19 hit

- Kuwait reports 626 new COVID-19 cases, 66,529 in total

BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ADDIS ABABA -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 891,199 on Thursday, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the 55-member African Union (AU) Commission in its latest situation update issued on Thursday, said that the number of deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 18, 884 as of Thursday, up from 18,507 on Wednesday.

An official (L), sprays hand sanitizer to passengers before boarding a train in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, March 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

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ADDIS ABABA -- Ethiopia's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 16,615 after 805 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Thursday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.

This is so far the highest daily increase in the Horn of Africa country.

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli researchers have found that a viral infection in a pregnant woman's body can harm the fetal brain cells, even if the fetus is not infected with the virus, Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) said Thursday.

This may be caused by the mother's immune system response to a virus, affecting the fetal brain cells, according to a WIS research, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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COPENHAGEN -- Denmark can expect to be hit by a second COVID-19 wave this September, according to findings presented in a press release by the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) on Thursday.

Based on simulations using a scientific method of calculation rooted in the methods of particle physics and developed in association with colleagues from the University of Lyons in France, the SDU projected that around the 35th to 37th weeks of this year, Denmark risks being hit by a new wave of COVID-19 infections as strong as the first that hit the country in the spring.

A worker cleans Land Rover cars at a Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Reading Britain on June 24, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

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LONDON -- British car production plunged by 42.8 percent in the first half (H1) of 2020 year on year, recording the weakest six months since 1954, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Thursday.

Data revealed that British car production was 381,357 units in H1 amid the hard hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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VIENTIANE -- Lao Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday has released a notice urging everyone to continue to take precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic, even as many lockdown measures were lifted.

Under the notice, which will be in effect from Saturday to August 31, authorities and people countrywide must remain vigilant and continue to abide by measures determined by the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

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NEW DELHI -- Federal health ministry Thursday said India cannot count on herd immunity to stop the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic given its demography and scale, instead, it will have to rely on a vaccine.

"In a country with the size of the population like India, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option. It can only be an outcome, and that too at a very high cost as it means millions of people would have to be infected, get hospitalised and many would die in the process," said Rajesh Bhushan, secretary in the ministry of health at a press briefing.

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BEIJING -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday called on China and Indonesia to focus on cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic and promoting development.

During a video meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Wang said currently COVID-19 was spreading globally, which endangered human health, impacted the world economy and threatened global stability.

Photo taken on July 26, 2020 shows health instructions at the entrance of a store in Farwaniya area of Farwaniya Governorate, Kuwait. (Photo by Asad/Xinhua)

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KUWAIT CITY -- Kuwait on Thursday reported 626 new COVID-19 cases and one more death, raising the tally of infections to 66,529 and the death toll to 445, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Currently, 8,754 patients are receiving treatment, including 134 in ICU, the statement added.

The ministry also announced the recovery of 863 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 57,330.

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BEIJING -- Beijing has been inspecting storehouses of refrigerated meat and aquatic products as part of its efforts to guard against COVID-19 "importation" through cold-chain foods.

At a press conference on COVID-19 prevention and control on Thursday, the city's market regulation administration said authorities had inspected 4,719 such storehouses. Seafood products from three companies were removed from the shelves during the inspection.

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WARSAW -- The Polish Health Ministry announced on Thursday that 615 COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, which is a new daily record in the country since the start of the pandemic.

The country officially had a total of 45,013 confirmed cases, with 1,709 deaths since March, when the first patient was diagnosed. ■

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