Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry reporting from Kuala Lumpur.
- Global cases of coronavirus now exceed 10 million, and more than half a million people have died from respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
- United States Health Secretary Alex Azar warned that “the window is closing” to take decisive steps to curb the virus as cases increase.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday June 29
02:45 GMT – Post-COVID UK school building boom
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set plans for a 10-year rebuilding program for schools in England, a December election promise derailed by the coronavirus.
“As we recover from the pandemic, it is important to lay the foundation for a country where everyone has a chance to succeed, with our younger generations at the forefront and center of this mission,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson’s Conservatives returned to power with a large majority in December, holding many seats that traditionally vote for Labor, but his handling of the pandemic has affected his support.
UK schools have suffered greatly under the severe cost cuts introduced after the 2009 financial crisis. More about spending plans here.
02:30 GMT – ‘Absolutely worrying’: peak in cases in the Australian state of Victoria
The state of Victoria in South Australia has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, something its medical director, Brett Sutton, has described as “absolutely troubling.”
The state has already embarked on a test blitz, but Sutton says social distancing measures could also be reintroduced in the form of localized blockades.
“We have to do whatever it takes to change this,” he told reporters.
Daily cases on Monday are the highest in two months.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said the 75 new cases of Victoria COVID-19 are “absolutely troubling” and that the state’s coronavirus situation “would worsen before it improved.” Read more: https://t.co/ACsASb1uY7 pic.twitter.com/jiik92KuxX
– The Age (@theage) June 29, 2020
02:00 GMT – China adds 12 new cases, compared to 17 on Sunday
China has reported 12 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, including five imported cases.
The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing.
About a third of the city’s 20 million people have been screened for the virus since an outbreak occurred in the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.
The first two #Foton vehicles to facilitate # COVID19 nucleic acid tests have been put into operation in Beijing’s # Chaoyang and Xicheng districts. Each vehicle has four sampling points and each point is capable of evaluating 100 people in one hour. pic.twitter.com/B02hDKSmLs
– Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 29, 2020
01:45 GMT – Korea reports 42 new cases, concern for groups
The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) have just announced 42 new cases of coronavirus, 30 of them local.
That is lower than the numbers reported over the weekend, but the Yonhap news agency says South Korean authorities are concerned about continued infection groups, particularly in churches.
On Sunday, South Korea announced a three-tier social distancing program. The country is currently at Level 1, the lowest level. It will increase to level 2 if the number of cases exceeds 50 for 14 days.
00:30 GMT: USA accounts for a quarter of deaths as global figure exceeds half a million
The latest Johns Hopkins figures show that the death toll is now 501,206 since the first cases emerged in China late last year.
The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths. The five countries that registered the worst deaths are detailed below:
- United States – 125,768
- Brazil – 57,622
- United Kingdom – 43,634
- Italy – 34,738
- France – 29,781
More than 10.1 million people have been diagnosed with the disease.
23:30 GMT (Sunday) – Los Angeles bars must close again after cases increase
Bars in Los Angeles and six other California counties, which together house about 13.5 million people, have been ordered to close again after a surge in coronavirus cases.
The bars reopened on June 19.
NEW: Due to the increasing spread of # COVID19, CA is ordering the closure of bars in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare, while recommending that they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura.
– Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 28, 2020
Read yesterday’s updates (June 28) here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies