July 28 coronavirus news

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12:07 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Australia’s Victoria state confirms 295 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Isaac Yee

Ambulances are seen lined up at the Epping Gardens Aged Care Home on July 29 in Melbourne, Australia.
Ambulances are seen lined up at the Epping Gardens Aged Care Home on July 29 in Melbourne, Australia. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 295 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday.

Victoria also recorded nine new coronavirus deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 92. The 295 new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 9,304.

“If you are sick, you must get tested,” said Premier Andrews, who also urged people who are showing symptoms to stay home and get tested. He added that “this is largely a second wave fueled by outbreaks in workplaces.”

Andrews also announced that 18,077 people were tested on Tuesday, bringing the total number of tests conducted in Victoria to 1,554,705.

Victoria police said they fined 103 individuals who breached the chief health officer's directions over the past 24 hours, including three people fined for gathering to celebrate a birthday. 

Victoria’s new numbers come as the state of Queensland announced it would close its borders to Greater Sydney starting on Saturday in order to curb the spread of the virus. New South Wales, the state Sydney is located in, reported 19 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

12:07 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Vietnam reports 8 more Covid-19 cases in Da Nang

From CNN's Isaac Yee 

A security officer sets up barricades in Da Nang, Vietnam, early on Tuesday, July 28.
A security officer sets up barricades in Da Nang, Vietnam, early on Tuesday, July 28. Trinh Quoc Dung/VNA via AP

Vietnam has confirmed eight new Covid-19 infections in the resort city of Da Nang, according to Chinhphu, the official government newspaper.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Vietnam to 446, while the death toll remains at zero. Da Nang has recorded 29 new infections over the past five days.

Over 16,000 people who are either close contacts of confirmed cases in Da Nang or have entered “pandemic hit areas” have been placed under medical surveillance. Among them, 12,996 people have been placed in centralized quarantine camps, Chinhphu reported. 

On Monday, 80,000 tourists were ordered to leave Da Nang, after a new outbreak hit the city following around 100 days of no local transmissions. 

12:07 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Bolivia surpasses 72,000 coronavirus cases as government declares "state of public calamity"

A health worker wearing a face mask and a suit walks in a difficult access road during an operation to identify Covid-19 cases on July 7 in La Paz.
A health worker wearing a face mask and a suit walks in a difficult access road during an operation to identify Covid-19 cases on July 7 in La Paz. Gaston Brito/Getty Images

Bolivia's Health Ministry reported 1,146 newly confirmed coronavirus cases for Tuesday, bringing the country's total cases to 72,327.

The ministry also reported 73 new fatalities from the virus, raising the total death toll to 2,720.

This comes as the government announced late Monday a "state of public calamity" due to the economic impact of Covid-19, according to a statement released by the Presidency Ministry.

"We declare a public calamity across the territory of Bolivia in order to attend the urgent economic needs caused by the negative effects of the coronavirus (pandemic),” the decree read.

Meanwhile, another government official tested positive for the virus. The Mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla Herrero, announced Tuesday that he and his wife Maricruz tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the 16th government official in Bolivia to have contracted the virus.

10:41 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Half of Brazilian doctors felt pressured to prescribe unproven medicine to treat Covid-19, survey says

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

Hydroxychloroquine sulfate medication.
Hydroxychloroquine sulfate medication. John Phillips/Getty Images

Nearly 50% of Brazilian doctors said they felt pressured by patients or their families to prescribe medicines for Covid-19 treatment, despite not having scientific evidence showing the drugs are effective, according to a survey released Sunday by the Medical Association of Sao Paulo State (APM).

The APM surveyed 1,984 doctors across the country online and by phone between June 25 and July 2. 

According to the survey, misinformation about the effectiveness of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, both promoted by President Jair Bolsonaro, has interfered in coronavirus treatment.

What are the findings: The survey shows that 49.8% of doctors said they have felt pressure from patients or family members to prescribe drugs without proof of its effectiveness; 50.4% of them said information about the drugs being shared on social media conflicts with scientific findings, leading to some patients questioning decisions made by health professionals. 

It also found that 69.2% of the doctors say encouraging the use of medicines without scientific support leads patients to treat the disease lightly, refuse to follow self- isolation rules and hygiene measures, and not to seek treatment by the appropriate health services.

The Sao Paulo state-based APM is the biggest regional association of doctors of Brazil with 72,500 members, according to its website. The organization is an affiliate of the Brazilian Medical Association, which represents 350,000 physicians around the country. 

12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

China reports more than 100 new coronavirus cases for first time since April

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A Uyghur man is tested at a temperature checkpoint on June 29, in Kuqa, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
A Uyghur man is tested at a temperature checkpoint on June 29, in Kuqa, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. David Liu/Getty Images

China recorded 101 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day increase since early April, according to numbers released by the National Health Commission on Wednesday.

Among the new cases, 98 were locally transmitted, including 89 in the far western region of Xinjiang where a fresh outbreak has emerged this month. One local infection was also found in Beijing, and the remaining local cases were found in Liaoning.

On Tuesday, China also recorded a further 27 asymptomatic infections, which are not included in the tally of confirmed cases. 

This is the first time China has reported more than 100 new infections in a single day since April 12, when the country reported 108 new cases -- most of which were imported.

It is the third consecutive day China has reported the highest daily spike in local infections since early March.

9:34 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Colombia extends lockdown as mayor says eradicating the virus is "impossible" in the country

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota Mayor Claudia López Hernández.
Bogota Mayor Claudia López Hernández. CNN

Colombia will extend social distancing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus through August 30, President Ivan Duque said Tuesday. It comes on the day the country reported its highest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

"The lockdown is extended through August 30, but in those cities with low Covid rates we are going to continue to partially reopen various economic sectors," Duque said in his daily coronavirus briefing in Bogota, the country's capital.

This comes as the mayor of Bogota Claudia López Hernández told CNN Tuesday that eradicating the virus in Colombia "is impossible." 

"Countries like ours, in Latin America, we must learn to mitigate the virus rather than suppress it," Hernández told CNN. "In our situation, aiming to eradicate the virus is impossible."

The lockdown has been implemented nationwide in Colombia since March 25 to various degrees. Local administrators can apply specific lockdown measures in each city, as Colombia has pushed for a localized approach that sees only the most affected areas under strict quarantine, while large parts of the nation can operate freely. 

Colombia's borders are currently shut until September 1. Colombia saw a highest daily spike of 10,284 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 267,385, according to the health ministry. At least 9,074 have died from the coronavirus in the country.

8:46 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

The Trump administration was slow to recognize coronavirus threat from Europe, CDC director admits

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield prepares to testify at a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing a Coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill on July 2, in Washington.
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield prepares to testify at a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing a Coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill on July 2, in Washington. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

The United States was slow in recognizing the coronavirus threat from Europe, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted for the first time Tuesday in an interview with ABC News.

“The introduction from Europe happened before we realized what was happening,” Redfield said. “By the time we realized (the) Europe threat and shut down travel to Europe, there was probably already two or three weeks of 60,000 people coming back every day from Europe,” he added.

“That’s where the large seeding came in the United States.”

Redfield also admitted that there have been problems with the federal response.

“Yes, there’s been mistakes,” he said. “And, yes, we fail. We’re in it doing the best we can and we’re trying to make the best judgments we can.”

He also said he’s optimistic that the country can get the upper hand in the battle against coronavirus.

“I wish now we would come together and recognize and see the possibility that we can beat this pandemic,” he said. 

“We're not powerless. We don't have to wait for a vaccine, although I think we're going to be successful sooner than many people think. We have the most powerful weapon in our hands right now, I mean it's an enormously powerful weapon. It's just a simple, flimsy mask,” Redfield said.

“This virus can be defeated if people just wear a mask.”

8:23 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Mexico surpasses 400,000 coronavirus cases

From Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Pharmaceutical biochemists process Covd-19 tests at a laboratory at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) Research Center in Health Sciences and Biomedicine in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on Friday, July 24. 
Pharmaceutical biochemists process Covd-19 tests at a laboratory at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) Research Center in Health Sciences and Biomedicine in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on Friday, July 24.  Mauricio Palos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mexico surpassed 400,000 coronavirus cases Tuesday after its health ministry recorded 7,208 new cases.  

The country now has a total of 402,697 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The ministry also added 854 new fatalities from coronavirus Tuesday, bringing Mexico's death toll to 44,876.

7:43 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Brazilian health ministry says it expects coronavirus vaccine distribution by end of December 

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

Brazil's health ministry said it expects to start the distribution of 15.2 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca experimental vaccine against Covid-19 at the end of December if trials prove the vaccine is safe. 

According to Secretary of Health Surveillance Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros, the first batch of the vaccine should arrive in Brazil in the second week of December. The secretary did not specify where the vaccine would be coming from.

"If the studies are successful, we will start the vaccination campaign in December," Medeiros told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil Tuesday. 

Another 15.2 million doses are expected to arrive in the country in January and another 70 million doses of the vaccine should come between March and April. The secretary also said the elderly would be the first group to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine purchase agreement with Oxford/AstraZeneca has not yet been signed by the Brazilian government. The health ministry informed CNN that negotiations of technical items regarding production and the technology transfer are still in discussion. However, it doesn't change the secretary's proposed timeline. 

Brazil has been the site of testing for the vaccine. At least 5,000 Brazilians are volunteering for the Phase 3 efficacy trials.