Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world - Monday, August 3

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now passed 18 million, with at least 691,000 of them dead. Both figures are widely considered to be underestimates, with a lack of testing facilities in hard-hit countries like Mexico and Brazil.

Here are the latest developments from around the world overnight.

Americas

United States

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 4,601,526 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 58,947 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1132 to 154,002.

The White House and Donald Trump's campaign on Sunday sought to shut down the Republican President's musings on delaying the 2020 vote due to the pandemic, saying there will be an election on November 3 as usual.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she does not have confidence in White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr Deborah Birx, linking her to disinformation about the virus spread by President Donald Trump.

"I think the President has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don't have confidence there, no," Speaker Pelosi told ABC's This Week when asked if she has confidence in Birx.

Europe

Norway

At least 40 passengers and crew from a luxury cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19 and the authorities are still trying to trace a number of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages, public health officials in Norway said on Sunday.

Four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalised on Friday when the ship arrived at the port of Tromsoe, and later diagnosed with the respiratory illness. Tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected.

So far, four of the combined 387 passengers travelling on the ship on two separate cruises since July 17 have been found to carry the virus.

Russia

More than 9500 runners competing in Moscow's annual half-marathon on Sunday wore masks and gloves in the starting area, had their temperature checked and were told to observe social distancing rules because of the pandemic.

Russia reported 5427 new cases on Sunday, bringing its nationwide tally to 850,870, the fourth largest caseload in the world.

Switzerland

Switzerland should tighten restrictions to curb the coronavirus again following a recent spike in cases, in order to prevent the need for much harsher lockdown measures in future, the new head of the country's coronavirus taskforce said. Switzerland has seen the number of new cases of COVID-19 surge to more than 200 a day recently after an average of 35 per day in June.

Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong

Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread COVID-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt a third wave of illness.

The initiative marks the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the epidemic.

The city has reported around 3500 coronavirus cases and 34 deaths since January, far lower than many other global metropolitan centres. But the daily number of new infections has been in three digits for the past 12 days.

Australia

The Australian state of Victoria declared a state of disaster after 671 new cases of coronavirus and seven deaths were reported on Sunday. 

Premier Daniel Andrews says stage four restrictions on movement and businesses in Melbourne are necessary to contain the spread of the deadly virus, which is overwhelming the state.

Melbourne shoppers rushed to supermarkets. Snaking lines were seen around supermarkets around the city on Sunday shortly after the new movement restrictions were announced. 

The Philippines

Authorities in the Philippines said they would impose fresh restrictions in Manila this week, reflecting worries around the world about getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. There are now more than 100,000 cases.

India

Indian Interior Minister Amit Shah has been admitted to hospital after catching the coronavirus, he said on Sunday, becoming the most senior politician in the country to test positive for the disease.

Thailand

Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the US military after nine Thai soldiers tested positive for coronavirus upon returning from Hawaii, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

The Thai Army said the infected soldiers were among 151 Thai officers who had returned from Lightning Forge 2020 training with US soldiers in Hawaii for the first three weeks of July.

Vietnam

Vietnamese authorities said on Sunday they were finding it hard to track the origin of a fresh coronavirus outbreak that began in the central city of Danang and has infected around 200 people in recent weeks.

"In Danang, there are many sources of virus, and there are still many infections out there in the community," a government statement said of the city, a popular tourist hotspot with a population of 1.1 million.

The country reported 34 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 620. The death toll rose by two to five, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the strain of the virus detected in the new outbreak is a more contagious one.

Reuters / Newshub.

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