A doctor checks the temperature of a women at her residence as part of a mobile fever camp on containment zones during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 in Chennai on June 29, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)
SYDNEY / TOKYO / NEW DHLHI / DUBAI / CAIRO - India’s prime minister on Tuesday warned citizens against flouting rules to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, as he extended a vast social security scheme until November.
Several Indian cities prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the infection on Tuesday, with daily new cases in the country remaining close to 20,000.
“Ever since (easing of restrictions) started in the country, negligence in personal and social behaviour has been increasing,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address, adding citizens were ignoring guidelines on social distancing and hand washing.
Under pressure for leaving the poor to fend for themselves early in a stringent lockdown that began in March, Modi also announced the extension of a scheme providing free food grains to 800 million Indians, at a cost of around US$12 billion.
India reported 18,522 new cases over the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906.
With more than 550,000 total infections, India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases.
More than 16,000 people have died in India - a low figure when compared with countries with similar numbers of cases - though experts fear its hospitals will be unable to cope with a steep rise in infections.
Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for human trials, making it India's first domestic candidate to get the green light from the government's drug regulator as cases surge in a country with more than 1.3 billion people.
A man runs for his train during rush hour at Melbourne's Southern Cross station on June 30, 2020. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)
The Australian state of Victoria introduced the country’s first lockdown measures specifically targeted at local suburban areas after a spike in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, the nation’s second largest city.
South Australia, one of several states in the country to close domestic borders, on Tuesday cancelled its scheduled reopening to other parts of the nation, citing a spike in coronavirus infections in neighbouring Victoria.
Australia’s Queensland state will reopen its borders from July 10 but restrict entrance to people from Victoria due to a surge in coronavirus cases there.
Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,800 cases and 104 deaths, but the recent surge has stoked fears of a second wave. After reporting 75 new cases on Monday, Victoria has not given a daily update of case numbers on Tuesday.
Indonesia reported on Tuesday its biggest rise in coronavirus deaths with 71 new fatalities, taking the total to 2,876, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto. Yurianto also announced 1,293 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to 56,385.
Iran reported 2,457 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total confirmed novel coronavirus cases to 227,622 on Tuesday, according to official IRNA news agency.
Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said during her daily update on Tuesday that 147 people died overnight, taking the total fatalities over the virus to 10,817.
So far, 188,758 have recovered and 3,049 remain in critical condition, said Lari.
According to the health spokeswoman, 1,666,587 lab tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in Iran as of Tuesday.
The Iraqi Health Ministry on Tuesday recorded 1,958 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 49,109.
The new cases included 539 in the capital Baghdad, 340 in Dhi Qar, 248 in Basra, 146 in Sulaimaniyah, 119 in Karbala and 102 in Maysan, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also confirmed 104 more deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 1,943 in the country, while 1,786 more patients recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 24,760.
The new cases were recorded after 12,425 testing kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 544,545 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the statement.
Local officials in protective gear wait at a hotel in Adelaide for the arrival of Australian residents who will go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine on April 21, 2020. (BRENTON EDWARDS / AFP)
Israel reported 686 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since April 2, bringing the tally of coronavirus infections to 24,441.
The deaths from the virus in Israel increased by one to 319 while the recoveries rose to 17,218.
It is worth noting that the number of active cases in Israel rose to 6,904, the highest since April 30.
On the same day, Israel's Corona Cabinet ministers unanimously voted on reimposing restrictions to limit gatherings following the recent high morbidity figures.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz also announced an aid package worth 2 billion new shekels (US$580 million) to help the businesses affected by the coronavirus.
The Japanese government said existing border restrictions would remain in place except in cases involving humanitarian reasons.
The country said it would add 18 countries to its entry ban from July 1, according to a June 29 posting on the foreign ministry website. That brings the total number of countries subject to Japan's entry ban to 129.
Tokyo is set to revise how it monitors the state of coronavirus infections in the city, as daily new infections in the Japanese capital rise after a state of emergency was lifted and businesses resumed operations.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will not reimpose restrictions on businesses based solely on numerical guidelines, according to domestic media reports citing the government.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Japan’s capital had a caseload in the “mid-50s” Tuesday, broadcaster NTV reported.
The total number of infections, not including those related to the cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, now totals 18,769 across Japan, with 138 new infections confirmed on Tuesday nationwide, climbing from 110 cases recorded a day earlier, official figures showed.
The death toll from the virus now stands at a total of 985 people, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities Tuesday evening.
Jordan registered seven more infections, raising the total coronavirus cases to 1,128, including nine deaths and 867 recoveries.
Kuwait reported 582 new cases, increasing the country's total number of infections to 45,524, of whom 350 have died and 36,313 recovered.
The country will resume commercial flights at Kuwait International Airport from Aug. 1 under a three-stage plan, the first of which will be at a maximum of 30 percent capacity.
Kyrgyzstan announced on Tuesday 279 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 5,296.
Of the new cases, two are imported, and the rest 277 are contacts of confirmed patients, said Deputy Health Minister Mademin Karataev at a daily news briefing, adding that 47 of the new infections are medical workers, which raised the total number of contracted medical employees to 830.
Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased on Tuesday by 33 cases to 1,778 while the death toll remained unchanged at 34, the National News Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the health ministry issued a statement detailing procedures to be taken with the reopening of the airport on July 1.
According to the statement, all arrivals must register on the health ministry's website before taking a PCR test for COVID-19 at the airport and spending several days in quarantine.
Oman's Ministry of Health announced 910 new cases of infections, raising the tally in the country to 39,060, including 169 deaths and 22,422 recoveries.
Palestine reported 195 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Palestinian territories to 2,443, including 621 recoveries and eight deaths.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, walk along a street in the Iranian capital Tehran on June 28, 2020. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)
In Qatar, 693 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, bringing the total number to 95,106, of whom 113 have died and 80,170 recovered.
Saudi Arabia announced 3,943 new cases and 48 more deaths, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 186,436 and the death toll to 1,599.
The kingdom also reported 2,363 more recovered patients, taking the total recoveries to 127,118.
South Korea confirmed 43 more cases over the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 12,800. The daily caseload moved roughly between 30 and 60 in recent weeks due to the continued small cluster infections and imported cases. Of the new cases, 20 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,582.
Syria reported 13 new COVID-19 infections, taking the tally of confirmed cases to 269 in the country including 102 recoveries and nine deaths.
Thailand on Tuesday extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus, an official said, as the country was poised to reopen bars and allow some foreigners into the country.
Thailand on Tuesday confirmed two new coronavirus cases imported from abroad, marking 36 days without local transmission. The new cases were Thai nationals returning from Qatar who were in state quarantine, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, a spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 Administration Centre.
The coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand among its 3,171 infections.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey climbed to 198,613 after 1,374 new infections were reported, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.
The death toll from the coronavirus in the country rose to 5,115 after 18 new fatalities were added in the past 24 hours, he said, adding that 1,214 more patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 171,809.
Turkish president announced that the country will extend a wage support system covering workers whose working hours are reduced by their employers, and a financial aid program for low-income families for one more month to ease the impact of the pandemic.
Workers assemble metal cots outside the Koramangala indoor stadium, which is being converted into a temporary COVID-19 coronavirus care centre with over 250 beds, in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, in Bangalore on June 29, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 449 new COVID-19 cases and one more death, raising the tally of infections to 48,246 and the death toll to 314.
The total number of recoveries from the virus in the UAE increased to 37,076 after 665 more fully recovered.
Uzbekistan has imposed an overnight curfew in some parts of the country, including the capital Tashkent, as it seeks to curb a fresh rise in COVID-19 infections following the gradual lifting of a two-month lockdown.
The Central Asian nation had been cautiously lifting a nationwide lockdown that had been in place in April and May. However, after a decline in COVID-19 cases between mid-April and mid-May, it has once again seen a steady rise.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Yemen's government-controlled provinces increased to 1,128 after 10 new cases were added.
The number of recoveries in the government-controlled areas, including the southern port city of Aden, increased to 432 and the death toll climbed to 304.
As the Maldives prepares to re-open its borders to tourism in July amid an easing COVID-19 outbreak situation in the country, the Tourism Ministry has issued a 28-page guideline for restarting tourism outlining minimum standards to be followed by stakeholders including central government agencies, local governments, resorts, hotels, guest houses, tourist vessels and supporting businesses.
The guidelines, based on research, international best practice, case studies, and industry consultation, contain a host of recommendations and envisage a phased reopening of tourist facilities, with a tentative timeline of July 15 for re-opening facilities on uninhabited islands, and Aug 1 for re-opening facilities on inhabited islands.
Bangladesh recorded 64 new COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday, the highest increase in a single day since the pandemic broke out in the country on March 8.
Nasima Sultana, a senior health ministry official, said in a briefing in Dhaka "64 COVID-19 deaths were confirmed in a 24-hour period, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country since March 18 to 1,847."
Bangladesh reported the highest daily death toll of 53 patients on June 16.
According to the official, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country increased to 145,483 with the daily rise of 3,682 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
A total of 18,426 samples were tested in the last 24 hours in labs across Bangladesh.
The official said the total number of recovered patients in the country now stands at 59,624, including 1,844 new recoveries.
HONG KONG NEWS