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Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world

Florida governor downplays virus as cases spike
02:07

What you need to know

  • At least 33 US states experienced an increase in new coronavirus cases compared to last week.
  • Meanwhile, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert warned Americans that the nation is still “knee deep” in the first wave.
  • Infections in Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 3 million this week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
  • Authorities in Hong Kong are warning of potential “exponential growth” in new cases after a surge in local transmissions.

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has ended for the evening.

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New York's Katz's Deli offers outdoor dining for first time in 132-year history

Opened in 1888, Katz's Deli is located on Houston Street in New York's Lower East Side.

For the first time in its 132-year history, Katz’s Delicatessen is adding outdoor seating in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A New York City staple famous for its pastrami sandwiches, Katz’s is known for its aisles of seats indoors. The deli had to innovate to comply or continue serving guests solely through take-out and delivery.

Jake Dell, the fifth-generation owner of Katz’s, told CNN Saturday his business has been among the lucky ones throughout the pandemic, keeping all of its staff and their standard hours of work despite schedule changes.

“For some of our customers, doing take out isn’t enough,” Dell said. “For many, take-out or delivery isn’t what they’re used to; they grab it on the way home from work or take it home for lunch, eat in the car. Unfortunately for others, that isn’t the case. I think being able to provide a service, sitting down to eat, is an amazing opportunity to have and we’re immediately thankful for.”

Katz’s is adding seating capacity for between 50 and 70 people at a time on the sidewalk and street around the restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Dell said. The restaurant went through a trial period last week and is now operating with its outside seating until further notice.

Operating since 1888, non-New Yorkers may know the deli as the location of the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in the 1989 romantic comedy, “When Harry Met Sally.”

Read the full story here.

President Trump wears a mask while visiting Walter Reed Medical Center

President Trump wears a mask during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday.

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the White House press corps got a glimpse of President Donald Trump wearing a mask.

Trump was seen briefly in a mask while walking with staff at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He did not make any remarks while wearing the mask.

The President said that wearing a mask while he is in the hospital is “a very appropriate thing.”

Over the course of the pandemic, Trump has refused to wear a mask in public, ridiculed those who have and done little to encourage his supporters to embrace the common sense public health measure.

CNN has previously reported that some of the President’s aides practically begged him to agree to Saturday’s mask photo op and hope it will encourage skeptical Trump supporters to do the same.

Brazil reports more than 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths

The Brazilian health ministry reported 1,071 new Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, bringing the country’s death toll to 71,469. 

The ministry reported 39,023 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the nationwide total to 1,839,850.

Brazil has routinely reported tens of thousands of new cases and more than 1,000 deaths each day since late May.

Miami-Dade County mayor says allowing indoor dining "would be irresponsible" 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez stressed that he has never blamed restaurants for the current spike in Covid-19 case, following protests for restaurants to remain open as reopening is rolled back, he said in a statement Saturday.  

Protesters gathered outside the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Friday, saying there was no data to prove that Covid-19 cases in the area were rising due to people dining at restaurants, according to CNN affiliate WPLG. 

People protest outside American Airlines Arena in Miami on Friday, July 10.

Gimenez says the spike was caused by various factors “involving social gatherings without masks and little to no social distancing whether at private parties at people’s homes, graduation parties, Memorial Day weekend parties and street protests, as well as at restaurants that turned into bars with people not practicing social distancing during the month of June,” the statement said. 

Gimenez said the rising Covid-19 positivity rate “will overwhelm hospitals unless everyone does their part.” 

“I am pained that people’s livelihoods are being impacted. That is not my goal,” Gimenez said.  

“I will not put our community’s health and our hospitals’ ability to save Covid-19 patients in peril to score political points. This is too serious, and people’s lives are at stake,” the mayor said.  

Texas Medical Center says ICU occupancy on pace to reach Phase 3 by July 23

Houston-based Texas Medical Center said on Saturday that its ICU occupancy could reach Phase 3 levels by July 23, based on their current growth rate across the system’s intensive care units. 

Within the Texas Medical Center system, Phase 1 is the current ICU configuration under non-pandemic conditions, Phase 2 adds an additional 1,703 ICU beds and Phase 3 plans temporary ICU surge capacity through an additional 2,207 beds. 

Currently, TMC are 24% into their Phase 2 plans for intensive care, according to the latest information posted on its website, with 1,420 total ICU beds occupied throughout the system. 

The hospitals in the TMC system have 2,331 positive Covid-19 patients, with 651 of those in ICU as of Friday, according to the latest data published. TMC says that between July 4 and 10, they saw a 3% growth of ICU Covid-19 patients. 

The Houston area has averaged 1,360 new cases per day, three times higher than peak in April, with a 11.3% positivity rate over the past week, TMC said.

Kentucky sees "one of the highest days that we have had in terms of Covid-19 cases," governor says

Kentucky added 453 Covid-19 cases, “one of the highest days that we have had,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday.

The new cases brings the total to up 19,121. The governor said the state reported two additional deaths bringing the total count to 622 lives lost.

“This is another day where it shows that we are no longer in a plateau the cases are increasing which means we must act now,” Beshear said in a video posted to his verified Facebook page. “We’ve got to wear facial coverings, we’ve got to stay 6 feet apart, now’s the time to make sure we don’t turn into an Arizona or a Texas or a Florida … I know that I can count on you.”

Kentucky has seen better compliance and more people wearing facial coverings “than ever before,” Beshear said. Wearing a mask is “not a political statement, it’s a statement that you care about other people,” he said.

Beshear signed an executive order Friday that mandates Kentuckians to wear a facial covering or mask in public in certain situations. The mandate began at 5 p.m. Friday and will last for 30 days.

University of Maryland suspends football voluntary workouts after nine test positive for coronavirus

The University of Maryland has temporarily suspended its voluntary, individual training for the football program after nine individuals tested positive for Covid-19.

The University of Maryland announced Saturday that the school has temporarily suspended its voluntary, individual training for the football program after nine individuals tested positive for Covid-19.

“On July 7-8, the University Health Center conducted on-campus screening of 185 student-athletes and staff; nine individuals tested positive for Covid-19. These nine student-athletes and staff have been notified and are currently in self-isolation, monitored by university health officials.” Maryland Athletics said in the press release.

In previous testing of 105 individuals in June, no individual tested positive for Covid-19.

The largest number of new cases in Louisiana are those between 18 and 29

The largest grouping of new Covid-19 cases in Louisiana are adults between 18 and 29 years old, state health officer Dr. Joseph Kanter said during a press conference Saturday afternoon. 

State officials did not expect the virus to stay contained within that age bracket and Kanter said that there were concerns for anyone more vulnerable who comes in contact with a positive person in this age group.

The data is “showing that the virus is now spreading from the younger adults to the older individuals,” Kanter said. 

He also discussed the peak during the first wave, which was focused mostly in the Greater New Orleans area. 

If Louisiana doesn’t turn the numbers around, Kanter said the state is on pace to reach Texas and Arizona levels.

Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman tests positive for Covid-19

New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws during a spring training game in March.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday that the team’s star closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for Covid-19 and has left the team facilities for the foreseeable future. 

Boone said Chapman is experiencing “mild symptoms but overall is doing well.”

Chapman is a six-time MLB All-Star including 2018 and 2019 with the Yankees. Chapman also won the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year award in 2019.

Louisiana will require masks due to increase of Covid-19 cases

Louisiana will implement a statewide mask order for everyone 8 and older, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a press conference Saturday.

Edwards also announced that bars throughout the state will closed for on-site consumption.

The Executive Order announcing these new changes will be signed Saturday, Edwards said, and all changes go into effect at 12:01 a.m. CST Monday morning. 

Parishes in the state can opt out of the mask mandate if they don’t have a high positivity rate, but Edwards said only three would qualify to do so right now. 

Edwards said he is closing the bars to on-site consumption, but allowing curbside pickup, because of the uptick in cases traced to the bars. At least 36 outbreaks have been traced to bars, with more than 400 people testing positive who were in those bars.

Edwards said that any social gathering will be limited to 50 people indoors and outdoors. Many of the new cases are being traced to gatherings such as informal backyard gatherings, he said. 

Louisiana has seen Covid-19 cases rise in the recent weeks, with positivity rates hovering above 10% a majority of the past week. As CNN previously reported, Friday saw the highest day of new cases since the pandemic began. 

Patients hospitalized due to the virus have steadily increased over the past two weeks.

“We cannot risk losing our capacity to deliver lifesaving care,” Edwards said.

He said the steps announced today are not the steps he wanted to take, but that they are essential. 

Phase 2 for Louisiana is set to expire on July 24. Edwards said that officials will look at the data and decide what happens after that date.

Covid-19 cases within a Florida fire department doubled in less than a week

The number of positive coronavirus cases in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue in southern Florida went from 17 Monday to 34 Friday, according to Jason Smith, president of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF).

Smith said he sent a letter on Thursday to Fire Chief Joseph Fernandez and Sheriff Gregory Tony, who ultimately oversees the fire department. The letter listed concerns and the need for help with contact tracing, mass testing every two weeks and decontamination stations for fire fighters and paramedics, according to the letter obtained by CNN’s Rosa Flores. 

The sheriff and fire chief have “been silent,” Smith said.

“We’re spreading it amongst ourselves and people are significantly sick, very sick,” Smith said.  

In a statement, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said the letter “has been received and is being reviewed.” 

“We appreciate the suggestions from the union as we all work together on solutions to keep our employees and the public safe. Sheriff Gregory Tony has directed our fire rescue chief to provide him with a comprehensive plan to address the concerns of our firefighter/paramedics,” Coleman-Wright said.

Smith says one in 24 fire department employees are currently positive, but the IAFF-completed testing on July 5 and 6 “will show that number will be more like one in 15 are positive,” Smith’s letter says.  

Broward County is currently second in the state for coronavirus cases with 28,253 as of Saturday, state health officials report. Broward County is Florida’s second-most populous county with 1.9 million people and home to the city of Fort Lauderdale.

A spokesperson for Broward County deferred to the Department of Fire Rescue for comment; BSOFR did not comment beyond BSO’s statement. 

CNN has reached out the Florida Department of Health for data on infected first responders.  

US coronavirus cases now total 3.2 million

A nurse prepares to administer a coronavirus test in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 10.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 3,225,721 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.

For comparison, the 3.2 million cases would make it the third-largest city in the United States – second only to New York with 8.3 million people and Los Angeles with 3.9 million, according to population estimates from the US Census Bureau.

Wisconsin reports highest single-day Covid-19 increase

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 926 new cases of Covid-19 Saturday, the highest increase in new positive cases to date, according to a tweet from the agency. 

Yesterday was the previous highest single day case increase, the tweet said, with 845 new positive cases reported Friday, the tweet said. 

A total of 35,679 positive cases have been reported statewide. There are currently 3,797 people hospitalized in the state, with 31 new hospitalizations reported Saturday.

Augusta mayor issues executive order mandating face coverings in public places

Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. issued an executive order Friday mandating the use of face coverings in public places in Augusta, Georgia.

The executive order specifically requires the use of facial coverings or masks in all public places and government buildings in Augusta-Richmond county, a summary of the order posted to the mayor’s Twitter account said.

“All persons entering a commercial establishment as a consumer, and all employees working in a commercial establishment (including but not limited to, restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies) in Augusta-Richmond County are required to wear a face covering while having face-to-face- interaction with each party,” the order said.

The order does not apply to religious establishments, although they are encouraged to use face coverings and masks when engaging in religious activity, the order said. 

If a person does not have a mask when entering a government building they will be provided one but if they refuse to wear it they will be denied entry to the building, according to the order.

More details: Face coverings are not required in certain situations, including during outdoor physical activity provided that all individuals at all times maintain a minimum of six feet between others they do not live with.

They are also not required while eating, drinking or smoking, or if a person is 10 years of age or younger.

There are currently 1,563 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Richmond County, according to the Georgia Department of Health website. Sixty people have died in the county and there are 256 people hospitalized, the website said.

Colombia reports record number of daily Covid-19 deaths and cases

Funeral workers prepare to cremate a coronavirus victim at Serafin cemetary near Bogota, Colombia, on July 4.

Colombia’s Ministry of Health reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths yesterday.

The ministry reported 6,803 new cases and 211 deaths on Friday. The new numbers bring the country’s total number of Covid-19 cases to 140,776 and 4,925 deaths, according to health data.

Due to the recent surge in cases, authorities announced on Friday the implementation of new lockdown measures, based on geographic zones, for the capital city, Bogota, where most of the cases are reported.

Additionally, the national government announced the extension of the nationwide quarantine through August 1.

“Absolutely everything will be shut-down. We will suspend authorizations on all private construction happening in those locations – on any industries there, of trade and non-essential goods. In those locations, a 15-day quarantine will be imposed as we did at the beginning of the quarantine. Everyone will stay at home,” Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said during a news conference on Friday.

Colombia is the fifth hardest hit country by the virus in Latin America following Mexico.

CDC now estimates that 40% of people infected with Covid-19 don't have any symptoms

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated guidance meant for public health officials and mathematical modelers, which now estimates that 40% of people infected with Covid-19 show no symptoms. 

Back in May, the CDC created five “Covid-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios,” using data to provide a range of possible situations for Covid-19 in the US. The updated scenarios are based on new data the agency received through June 29. The agency also underscores these estimates are subject to change as more information becomes available, and exact numbers are uncertain. 

Under the CDC’s “current best estimate,” 40% of people with Covid-19 are asymptomatic. This number is up from the 35% the agency estimated on May 20. The percent of asymptomatic cases remains uncertain, the CDC emphasized.

The CDC is now including an infection fatality ratio, which takes into account both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases (in the estimates published in May, the agency only included fatality ratio for symptomatic cases). Under the “best estimate” scenario, the infection fatality ratio is 0.65%, meaning that 0.65% of people infected with Covid-19 are thought to die.

More insight: About half of Covid-19 transmissions happen before people get sick; this is up from the 40% estimate in May.

Under the CDC’s current “best estimate,” the transmissibility of the virus from asymptomatic people – in comparison to people with no symptoms – is now 75%, down from 100%. However, the agency said this “remains highly uncertain as asymptomatic cases are difficult to identify and transmission is difficult to observe and quantify.”

The agency warns this information is “intended to support public health preparedness and planning.”

Vermont reports its lowest 7-day positivity average

The state of Vermont has a seven day positivity average of 0.5%, the lowest in the country, Gov. Phil Scott said in a tweet Saturday.

Scott encouraged Vermonters to “remain vigilant” and continue to wear a mask when it’s not possible to physically distance. 

Vermont Department of Health has reported a total of 1,283 cases and 56 deaths, according to its website.

Only six new cases were reported Saturday and two people are currently hospitalized, the department said. 

A total of 75,032 people have been tested in the state, according to the department’s website.

Coronavirus deaths in the US surpass 134,000

There are at least 3,210,955 cases of coronavirus in the US; at least 134,349 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases in the country.

As of 2 p.m. ET Saturday, 26,382 new cases and 257 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan hospitalized for coronavirus

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan speaks during a promotional event for his television show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" in Mumbai, India, in 2017.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the actor’s official Twitter account.

“I have tested CoviD positive .. shifted to Hospital .. hospital informing authorities .. family and staff undergone tests, results awaited ..All that have been in close proximity to me in the last 10 days are requested to please get themselves tested!” the actor wrote on Twitter.

A living legend in Hindi-language cinema, Bachchan has made more than 180 films in a career spanning five decades.

Hailed by many as India’s greatest living actor, he is revered in his home nation.

Read the tweet:

New Jersey announces 49 new coronavirus-related deaths

New Jersey announced 438 new cases of Covid-19 and 49 additional deaths, according to a tweet from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

The state has a total of 174,959 cases of Covid-19 and 13,578 deaths from the virus, Murphy said in a tweet.

To note: The figures listed were released by the New Jersey Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

Read the governor’s tweet:

South Carolina sets new daily Covid-19 infection record

The South Carolina Department of Health announced the highest number of reported positive cases of Covid-19 in one day.

On Saturday, the state reported 2,239 cases, breaking the previous high number by 300 cases, according to the state’s department of health.

The health department also announced a 22.2% positivity rate, also a new high.

South Carolina reported its first pediatric death associated with Covid-19 today.

“Today, we mourn the loss of one of our children to this virus. It is heart-wrenching to lose a child under any circumstances, and especially so during a time when we have all lost so much already,” Public Health Director Dr. Joan Duwve said. “Our state is in a dire situation and we will continue to mourn the loss of parents, grandparents, children, friends and neighbors until each and every one of us steps up to do what is right, not just for ourselves but for others. No one is immune to this deadly disease, but we each have the power to impact the path this pandemic takes in South Carolina.”

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter pose in face masks and call on the public to save lives

Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter on Saturday urged the American people to “please wear a mask and save lives” as the country continues to battle the deadly coronavirus.

The couple’s Atlanta-based charity, the Carter Center, posted a photo on Twitter Saturday of the pair wearing white masks printed with the center’s logo. The picture was paired with the straightforward plea.

Some context: Masks have become a political flash point as some Americans argue the requirement infringes upon their civil liberties.

But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to wear a “cloth face cover when they have to go out in public,” noting that masks are critical “in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.”

Pennsylvania reports 813 new Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths

Pennsylvania has reported 813 new Covid-19 cases and 17 additional deaths from the virus, according to a news release from the state’s health department.

The state has a total of 94, 689 cases of Covid-19 and 6,8897 total deaths, the release says.

To note: The figures listed were released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

Florida reports 95 new coronavirus deaths

The Florida Department of Health have acknowledged a miscalculation in their daily Covid-19 death increase and issued a correction on Saturday, a Florida Department of Health spokesperson told CNN. 

Florida is now reporting 95 additional deaths reported on Saturday. A state summary released Saturday morning erroneously listed 188 additional deaths, the DOH spokesperson said. 

“The previous report calculated the change in the deaths over the last two days (93 on 7/10 and 95 on 7/11), instead of the change from yesterday to today. It has now been corrected to only reflect the change in deaths from yesterday to today,” the spokesperson said in an email.

There have been a total of 4,197 deaths reported, the DOH said. Daily case count data does not appear to be effected by the error. 

New York state reports its lowest 3-day Covid-19 death toll average since mid-March

New York state recorded its lowest Covid-19 three-day death toll average — which is seven – since March 16, the governor said in a new release Saturday.

New York reported six Covid-19 related deaths yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Hospitalizations dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18, Cuomo said.

Of the 69,203 tests conducted in New York yesterday, 730 were positive, according to the release.

New York City hovered over a 1% positivity rate for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

“I urge residents to stay New York tough and not give up the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain together, particularly in the face of rising cases throughout the country and compliance issues here at home,” Cuomo said.

MLB team cancels workout due to potential Covid-19 exposure to staff member

The Houston Astros play a simulated baseball game inside Minute Maid Park in Houston on July 9.

The Houston Astros have canceled Saturday’s team workout at Minute Maid Park as a “precautionary measure” after a staff member was potentially exposed to Covid-19 outside of the organization. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have cancelled today’s workout. We are working closely with MLB and our team physicians to follow the established testing and cleaning protocols so that we can safely bring our players and staff back to the field as soon as possible,” general manager James Click said in a statement,

Some context: This news comes a day after Major League Baseball’s announcement that 1.8% of team personnel had tested positive for the coronavirus in the final intake screening through July 9.

Houston opens the 2020 season at home against the Seattle Mariners on July 24 at Minute Maid Park.

More than 40 Miami-Dade bus drivers have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past few weeks

A Miami-Dade County bus operator, who was last on the job in late June, has died after testing positive for Covid-19, according to a news release from Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW).

“DTPW mourns the loss of one of our very own front-line workers,” the release said. 

The bus operator “was working in June before testing positive” for Covid-19, said communications director Ileen Delgado in a correction to the initial release.

“A total of 44 bus operators have tested positive for Covid-19 from June 21 through July 9. All of them are quarantined on paid leave,” DTPW spokesperson Luis Espinoza told CNN. 

It is not clear if the bus operator was symptomatic or what route this person drove.

More than 7,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in Florida

There are a total of 7,063 patients hospitalized in Florida with coronavirus, according to new data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration on Saturday. 

Miami-Dade County currently has 1,601 patients hospitalized; the most hospitalized patients of any county in the state.

In Orange County, where Disney World reopens on Saturday, 475 patients are hospitalized.

"Please help us, we are abandoned here." Thousands of Moroccan seasonal workers are stranded in Spain

More than seven thousand Moroccans, most of them women, are stranded in Spain after their country closed its borders to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

They arrived in Spain to pick fruit in March, sending their earnings back home to families, and were trapped when the season ended in May. Now, 7,200 people are in limbo in Spain’s southern Huelva province with almost no money, according to a statement released earlier this week by a group of Spanish and Moroccan non-governmental human rights organizations, including local Andalusian group Mujeres 24h.

On Thursday, a group of 15 women staged a protest in in Cartaya, Huelva. The women, who work on one of the farms involved marched with banners demanding to be allowed to go back home.

“We are here without a job, we have nothing, the money we had we sent it to our family. We are out of money to eat, we need to go back. We ask [King] Mohammed VI to send someone to help us so that we can return,” Fátima, one of the protesters, said, in a video of the protest obtained by CNN.

“Our children are alone in Morocco, they have nobody to take care of them, we need to go back,” she said. A video of the protesters discussing their situation was obtained by CNN from an activist group.

Read the full story here.

UN Secretary General says Covid-19 crisis is a "wake-up call"

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said “the Covid-19 crisis is a wake-up call,” and that “economies and societies must be reshaped to be fairer and more inclusive” in the future. 

During his speech at the closing of a virtual Covid-19 conference put on by the International AIDS Society on Saturday, Guterres focused on the parallel lessons learned from the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current coronavirus pandemic:

“Gender inequalities, gender-based violence and the criminalization and marginalization of vulnerable groups continue to drive HIV forward. The HIV movement teaches us that successful pandemic responses require a respect for human rights and gender equality. A commitment to leave no one behind, community-led service delivery, and innovation.” 

Guterres went on to talk about the importance of accessibility to viable vaccines as they become available. “Effective treatment to the future vaccine against the coronavirus must be available to everyone everywhere as a global public good – a people’s vaccine.”

Bill Gates warns the pandemic could slow the fight against other diseases

The Covid-19 pandemic is starting to cause disruptions to global health care supply chains, slowing down the fight against all other diseases, including AIDS, Bill Gates has warned.

Gates, speaking at the International Aids Conference on Saturday, cited projections by the both the United Nations and the Global Fund that these disruptions could prevent hundreds of thousands of people from getting the treatments they need in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. 

The Microsoft co-founder said that because of the advances made by researchers to help identify those infected, along with improved diagnostic tools and progress with vaccinations, he remains optimistic that we will defeat Covid-19 and continue making strides with HIV/AIDS.

The philanthropist cautioned that if drugs and vaccines go out to the highest bidder instead of to the people and places who really need them, we will have a “longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic.”

“We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity not just on market-driven factors” Gates said. 

Tokyo hits record daily number of infections as cases mount in Japan

Pedestrians wear protective face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus while walking on Friday, July 10, in Tokyo.

Japan recorded 430 new coronavirus cases Friday, its health ministry said – the first time the country has registered more than 400 daily new infections since April 24, when it was still under a state of emergency over the pandemic. 

The nationwide total includes Tokyo’s 243 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, the highest daily jump in new cases in the capital since the outbreak began. 

The total number of people infected by the virus in the country so far stands at 21,841 with 995 deaths.