The United States has recorded more than 65,000 new cases in a day. Trump rival Joe Biden has pledged a $700 billion recovery plan if he wins the White House in November.
- The US, India, South Africa and Mexico have set new daily infection records
- India is preparing to put 230 million people into a new weekend lockdown
- More Latin American political leaders have tested positive for COVID-19
- More than 12.2 million recorded cases and nearly 555,000 deaths worldwide
All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
13:45 Australia has given the green light to use the anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat coronavirus after similar approval was given by the European Commission a week ago.
It is the first drug authorized by Australian authorities to treat COVID-19. Remdesivir can help reduce the time spent in hospital, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA) said in a statement.
“By reducing recovery times, patients will be able to leave hospital earlier, freeing beds for those in need,” the TGA said.
The drug was given provisional approval for use by adults and adolescent patients. It would only be prescribed for those severely unwell from the virus, needing help to breathe and in hospital care, the TGA noted. Trials have indicated that the drug only helps with the most severe cases.
“While this is a major milestone in Australia’s struggle against the pandemic, it is important to emphasize that the product has not been shown to prevent coronavirus infection or relieve milder cases of infection.”
12:45 A localized lockdown for a Mennonite community in the town of Euskirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, has been lifted after widespread testing revealed only a limited number of cases.
The entire community was put in quarantine pending testing this week. In the mean time, around 900 have been tested with only 25 positive results.
“This is a most pleasing result,” said local politician Günther Rosencke. “With [numbers like] this, we are far away from [needing to] impose limitations on people’s movements.”
The community plans to hold church services and use their school once more.
1:42 The Spanish region of Extremadura is following in the footsteps of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands by implementing a face mask rule.
Spain’s strict lockdown ended in the middle of June, but the number of daily coronavirus infections has been increasing recently in some parts of the country.
Authorities in Extremadura, an autonomous region that borders Portugal, have taken the precautionary measure meaning everyone over the age of six must, from Saturday, must wear face masks when outside or when in enclosed public spaces.
10:28 Italy will likely extend a state of emergency beyond its current deadline of July 31 due to the health emergency, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday.
“The possible extension simply means that we are in a position to continue taking the necessary measures” to face the epidemic, Conte said, speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony in Venice.
Italy declared a six-month state of emergency at the end of January, allowing the government to cut through red tape quickly if needed, after two Chinese tourists tested positive for the new coronavirus in the first cases detected in the country.