July 25 coronavirus news

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7:13 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

North Korea reports first suspected case of Covid-19

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey in Atlanta

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency meeting after the country's first suspected case of Covid-19 was reported, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Sunday morning local time.

KCNA reported that the infected individual illegally entered North Korea through Kaesong City on July 19 after defecting to South Korea three years ago. The patient has received medical checkups and has been quarantined, along with everyone the individual has been in contact with recently, KCNA reported.  

Kim Jong Un put isolation measures in place for regions around Kaesong and declared a state of emergency in one "relevant area," KCNA reported.

The country’s Central Military Commission will investigate the unit responsible for the illegal entry of the patient and "administer a severe punishment," KCNA reported.

7:17 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Brazil reports more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases for fourth day in a row

From journalists Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Márcia Reverdosa in São Paulo and CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta.

Brazil's health ministry reported 51,147 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the nationwide total to 2.39 million.

Saturday marks the fourth day in a row that Brazil has reported more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases and this week marks a weekly record of 321,623 new cases, according to date from the state Ministry of Health.

The ministry reported 1,211 new Covid-19 deaths, raising the national death toll to 86,449.

6:08 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Jordan to gradually reopen airports to certain countries

From Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut

Jordan will gradually reopen airports for international flights on August 5 after months of closure due to COVID-19 crisis, government official says. 

"The Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority informed airline operators in the world that Jordanian airports are ready to receive international flights from some selected countries based on a methodology prepared by the Ministry of Health previously dependent on the epidemiological situation," Haitham Misto, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority, told Jordanian TV channel Al-Mamlaka Saturday. 

Amjad Al-Adayleh, Jordan’s Minister of State for Information Affairs, announced Tuesday that airports in the kingdom will gradually open under comprehensive health preventive measures and requirements and only to flights from a specific group of countries depending on the epidemiological situation therein. 

On Tuesday, the government set a list of 22 “green countries” that will be allowed to travel to and from Jordan. They include:

  • Austria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Misto said that travelers “coming from green countries will not need a 14-day quarantine, but there are procedures, including a PCR test, before traveling.” He added that "the list set by the government for green countries may change every two weeks."

6:08 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Texas reports 8,112 new cases and 168 new deaths

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Texas is reporting 8,112 new cases of coronavirus and 168 new deaths Saturday, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

A total of 375,846 cases and 4,885 deaths have been reported in total statewide.

Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District began separating confirmed and probable cases, removing 2,092 probable cases from the county and statewide totals, according to a message on the state health department's website.

5:31 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Rio de Janeiro cancels traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations on Copacabana beach

From journalist Fernanda Witzel in Porto Alegre and CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

The Rio de Janeiro city government announced on Saturday that the city's popular New Year’s Eve celebration will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the city government said that the event, which draws millions of people to the iconic Copacabana beach each year, "is not viable in the pandemic scenario, without the existence of a vaccine."

The statement said the city's tourism bureau will soon present alternative event proposals to Mayor Marcelo Crivella that are "without in-person attendance, in a virtual format" and that take into account "an atmosphere of reflection and hope in the face of so many losses."

The future of Rio de Janeiro's pre-Lenten Carnival samba performances and street parties, which normally take place in February, is still uncertain.

The city government's statement says that the local tourism bureau is awaiting an official position from the Independent League of Samba Schools, the body which represents the thousands-strong samba schools that compete in elaborate performances during Carnival. The statement said there is no official decision yet regarding whether block parties in the street will be canceled during Carnival.

To make decisions, we need an analysis of the whole situation, including the number of cases, the evolution of treatment for the disease, prevention measures, and the creation of a vaccine," the statement said.

Rio de Janeiro's announcement follows neighboring São Paulo’s decision to postpone its Carnival celebration to May or June next year, despite the fact that Carnival's date is pegged to the religious holiday of Easter and Lent. 

Earlier in July, the city of São Paulo announced that its New Year celebrations would be canceled this year.

5:24 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Infectious disease expert says Brazil's President sets a "bad example" after unmasked interactions

From journalist Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Brazil

The head of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases says President Jair Bolsonaro set a "bad example" by socializing and not wearing a mask right after his negative Covid-19 test announcement.

Saturday’s announcement by Bolsonaro that he’d tested negative comes after numerous positive tests since announcing on July 7 that he was infected with Covid-19. On Saturday morning Bolsonaro greeted supporters, at times without a mask, and rode his motorcycle after he announced his negative test result.

Dr. Estevão Urbano, president of the infectious diseases society, told CNN that he believes Boslonaro’s behavior sets a "bad example" as more than 1,000 deaths from coronavirus are being reported daily in Brazil.

"With one negative test, you can't be sure you won't contaminate another person. We also don't know for sure if this virus brings immunity, or for how long this immunity lasts," Urbano says.
5:19 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

New Jersey judge rules that state can forcibly close gym that stayed open against Covid-19 orders

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty

A New Jersey judge ruled Friday that the state government may forcibly close Atilis Gym, which had stayed open despite state orders to close due to Covid-19 concerns, according to court documents.

The gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, was shut down by the state health department, but a co-owner of the gym previously told CNN they planned to reopen.

The Department of Health "is authorized to place locks on the doors to Atilis Gym of Bellmawr or otherwise construct or place barriers on or around the premises to ensure compliance" with state closure orders, Judge Robert Lougy wrote.

The gym has also been ordered to "not obstruct [state health authorities] in any way from carrying out the terms of this order," according to Lougy’s ruling.

James Mermigis, an attorney for Atilis Gym, told CNN in a statement that his clients were disappointed in the judge’s order and that they intend to explore their legal options and determine what their next step is.

It is absurd that Governor Murphy continues to unconstitutionally shutdown gyms while other indoor exercise continues including gymnastics, dancing and Kickboxing. This attests to the randomness of the Governor's orders," Mermigis said.

When reached for comment on Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office deferred comment to the state attorney general’s office.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released the following statement regarding Friday’s order:

"Friday’s ruling underscores that companies cannot disregard the Governor’s Executive Orders, which are designed to protect us all in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. While I wish it had not come to this, I am grateful that the Court recognized the need for compliance. The vast majority of businesses and residents are following these rules and doing their part to keep their friends and neighbors safe, and those few companies who flout our Executive Orders are once again on notice that we will hold them accountable, and that there will be serious consequences for their actions."
5:14 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Florida to discuss reopening bars, despite staggering positivity rate 

From Rosa Flores and Denise Royal

Halsey Beshears, the head of Florida's business regulation department, said in a tweet that he is setting up meetings throughout the state with breweries and bars to discuss how to reopen. 

The tweet comes as the positivity rate for the state of Florida has ranged from 13% to 18% in the past two weeks. Beshears is secretary of the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

4:49 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Norway joins UK in imposing quarantine for travelers returning from Spain

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

Norway will impose a mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers returning from Spain, due to a spike in coronavirus cases, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday.

Norway advises against all non-essential travel for several countries within Europe including Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain and some regions of Sweden, the ministry said in a statement. The restrictions will apply until August 20.

The UK also announced Saturday a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Spain.