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Rabu, 22 Juli 2020

Coronavirus update: 15 million cases worldwide as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive again - ABC News

There are now over 15 million confirmed cases of coronavirus globally as the pandemic rages on, with the United States, Brazil and India all recording numbers in the millions.

Meanwhile Brazilian authorities say Sao Paulo state, the nation's most populous has topped 20,000 deaths from COVID-19 and that President Jair Bolsonaro has recorded another positive test to COVID-19.

This story was last updated at 3:00am on Thursday.

Thursday's key moments:

Global cases rise above 15 million

Global coronavirus infections surged past 15 million, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University, with the pandemic gathering pace even as countries remain divided in their response to the crisis.

The top five countries with the most cases is rounded out by Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa.

In the United States, which has the highest number of cases in the world with 3.91 million infections, President Donald Trump warned: "It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better."

Figures by Johns Hopkins show the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas, which account for more than half the world's infections and half its deaths.

Health experts stress that official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.

The number of coronavirus cases as of approximately 2:30am (AEST) stood at 15,000,424 — at least triple the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.

The death toll of more than 617,000 in seven months since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan is close to the upper range of yearly influenza deaths.

Brazil's most populous state tops 20,000 deaths

People lie on hospital beds on a wooden floor surrounded by medical staff wearing masks
Brazil has recorded more than 80,000 fatalities.(AP: Andre Penner)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has returned a third positive test for COVID-19, after initially falling ill on July 7, a secretariat of the Communications Ministry said on Wednesday (local time).

"The test carried out on the President yesterday, on the 21st, showed a positive result," a statement said.

"President Bolsonaro is still in good condition, accompanied by the presidency's medical team."

The positive came on the same day Brazilian authorities said the country's Sao Paulo state has topped 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, while the nation as a whole has recorded more than 80,000 fatalities.

Jair Bolsonaro wears a black mask
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro is one of 15 million people worldwide confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.(AP: Eraldo Peres)

Sao Paulo is Brazil's most populous state with 46 million people, and is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the South American country.

It has been enforcing social distancing measures since mid-March, but has never applied a full lockdown.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria replaced his health secretary this week, though he said the official left the post for medical reasons unrelated to the coronavirus.

500 women at US federal prison tests positive

More than 500 women at a medical prison in Texas have tested positive for coronavirus, in one of the largest confirmed outbreaks at a federal prison.

The Bureau of Prisons said the number of confirmed cases at the Federal Medical Center-Carswell in Fort Worth jumped to 510 on Tuesday, just two days after the Bureau of Prisons reported that 200 women there had tested positive for COVID-19.

Only the federal prison in Seagoville, also located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, had more infected inmates, with 1,156 cases as of Tuesday.

Three weeks ago, the prison had reported only three confirmed cases of the virus among inmates.

One prisoner, Andrea Circle Bear, died in April. On July 12, 69-year-old Sandra Kincaid became the second woman to die there from the virus, the third, 51-year-old Teresa Ely, died on Monday (local time).

Iran records 138 healthcare worker deaths

An Iranian woman, clad in an abaya and a protective face mask, walk with her son, who is also wearing a mask,  in the street.
Iran has the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.(Reuters)

Iran says 138 health care professionals have died so far while battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The ISNA news agency on Wednesday (local time) quoted Hossein Kermanpour, spokesman for the regulatory body for Iranian health care professionals, as saying that the death toll includes 90 doctors and 28 nurses.

Iran announced earlier this week that 12,000 health care workers have been infected across the country — Tuesday marked the country's single-day highest death toll of 229.

Iran is grappling with the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East. It has so far reported more than 278,000 confirmed cases and 14,634 deaths.

US Government reaches agreement with vaccine companies for 100 million doses

President Donald Trump wears a black face mask as he walks down a hallway.
US President Donald Trump now wears masks at times and his Government are dealing with the world's largest outbreak of coronavirus.(AP: Patrick Semansky)

Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech SE will get $US1.95 billion ($2.72 billion) from the US Government to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The agreement allows the US Government to acquire an additional 500 million doses, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense said.

The Trump administration has agreed to spend billions of dollars for the development and procurement of a potential vaccine.

Pfizer and BioNTech currently expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses globally by the end of 2020, and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021, subject to final dose selection from their clinical trial.

This comes after the two companies announced they would supply the UK with 30 million doses on Monday.

Tokyo Olympics will not be held if virus is as bad as it is now

Two women in surgical masks walking in front of a sculpture of the Olympic rings
The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until July, 2021.(Reuters: Athit Perawongmetha)

The delayed Tokyo Olympics could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue as they are, the president of the organising committee said.

In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Yoshiro Mori said he was hopeful the situation would improve and suggested a vaccine was the key.

"If this kind of situation (with COVID-19) continues, is it possible to hold the games?" Mr Mori was asked.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021 — a year from today.

The IOC and organisers have also said the Olympics will not be postponed again and would be cancelled.

ABC/Wires

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2020-07-22 16:44:00Z
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