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August 29 coronavirus news

India struggles to contain its growing Covid-19 cases
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What you need to know

  • The US might have its first documented case of coronavirus reinfection after a 25-year-old Nevada man was diagnosed for a second time.
  • Roughly 3,000 police officers are on the streets of Berlin with 20,000 people expected to rally against Germany’s handling of the pandemic.
  • The delayed Tour de France starts today in a designated “red zone” — but no one is sure whether the race can even reach Paris.
  • A CDC forecast projects more than 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by September 19, as the country approaches 6 million confirmed Covid-19 cases.
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The New York Philharmonic is bringing music to the streets

The New York Philharmonic was stuck in traffic.

It was late afternoon on a Friday, and the red, white and black Ford F-250 pickup truck at the heart of the Philharmonic’s new “pull-up” concert series was traveling at speeds familiar to anyone who has ever tried to cross a few miles worth of Brooklyn during rush hour.

It has been more than five months since the New York Philharmonic, the nation’s oldest symphony orchestra, closed the doors to its famous Lincoln Center concert hall in early March, as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold of the city. In that time, over 23,000 New Yorkers are suspected to have died from Covid-19. Told to close their doors in the spring, many city stores, restaurants and museums remain shuttered.

“We like to think of the Philharmonic as New York’s orchestra,” said orchestra president Deborah Borda, a violinist. “Our musicians, their life is making music. They have been completely cut off from being able to give their gift to people.”

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US venue tied to a Covid-19 outbreak says it made "an error" in interpreting social distancing rules

Big Moose Inn

A venue in Millinocket, Maine, that is tied to a Covid-19 large outbreak says it made an error when interpreting the US state’s rules on social distancing.

At least 87 people who attend a wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn have since tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“We understood that there could be no more than 50 persons in our largest room. We did make an error in the interpretation of that rule. Our interpretation was that we could take a wedding party of more than 50 persons, and split them between two rooms as long as it didn’t exceed our total capacity or a specific room’s capacity,” the venue said in a statement. “The state – perhaps, rightfully so – assumes that individuals from a larger group would ignore the room restrictions, and take the opportunity to co-mingle. Our interpretation of the rule put the Big Moose Inn in violation of the gathering of people over the maximum number allowed by Maine DECD guidelines.”

The Big Moose in said that it screened all wedding guests prior to entering. Once it was made aware of the outbreak, the venue began taking precautions to protect its staff, requiring them to be tested or undergo self-quarantine. None of the servers working that evening have tested positive.

“While we cannot be sure the virus was fully spread at our facility, we know that there are things that we can be doing better,” the statement read.

This great-grandmother beat coronavirus after 5 months of care

Marie Delus had not touched her mother since she took her to a New York City emergency room in March.

But after more than five months in hospital and a nursing home, Delus’ mother, Marie Jean-Pierre, was released on Saturday, her family told CNN.

Jean-Pierre, 73, was admitted to Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn on March 21 with a low-grade fever and difficulty breathing. After testing positive for coronavirus, she was intubated and later placed on a ventilator, according to her daughter. At some point, she received a tracheotomy.

“She was fighting every step of the way. She was fighting the doctors, she was fighting the nurses,” Marie Delus said. “She didn’t want to be on the ventilator.”

Jean-Pierre, Delus and other family members had traveled to Spain in early March on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, returning on March 11. Multiple people who went on the trip became ill, with five becoming “very sick,” Delus said.

Jean-Pierre was “out of it,” remembering little of almost three months in the hospital, she told CNN. She was transferred to Brooklyn’s Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehab Center, where she had to relearn how to walk and talk, and was unable to see her family, except from behind glass, Jean-Pierre said.

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Costa Rica's government requests $1.75 billion in financing from International Monetary Fund

In a letter dated Saturday to the International Monetary Fund, Costa Rica’s government formally requested financial assistance for roughly $1.75 billion to “support our ongoing efforts to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“We are writing to request, on behalf of the Republic of Costa Rica, follow-up financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund in the form of a three-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, with access at 335 percent of quota (about USD 1.75 billion),” wrote Rodrigo Cubero, the president of the country’s central bank, and Elian Villegas, minister of finance.

The letter cites the “combined impact of the global shock and domestic containment measures” as factors in their decision to request the funding, and goes on to state that the country’s “Central Bank now projects GDP to decline by 5 percent this year.”

More than 700,000 positive coronavirus cases identified in California 

Hairdressers work on customers outdoors in Los Angeles on Friday, August 28.

More than 700,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state of California as of 6:45 p.m. Saturday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 tracker.

A total of 701,399 people have tested positive and 12,865 people have died in California, according to JHU. 

The state identified 4,014 new cases on Saturday.

Brazil tops 120,000 deaths as it reports more than 40,000 new cases in a 24-hour period

Soldiers from the 4th Military Region of the Brazilian Armed Forces are seen cleaning the outside as they take part in the cleaning and disinfection of the Municipal Market in the Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil on August 18.

Brazil has confirmed 41,350 new Covid-19 cases and 758 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry reported Saturday. 

At least 120,262 people have died in Brazil from coronavirus, according to the ministry’s data. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases now stands at 3.84 million.

São Paulo state reported 250 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 29,944 deaths, nearly a quarter of Brazil’s coronavirus-related deaths.

Brazil trails only the United States in terms of the highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

17 students disciplined for violating Covid-19 policies at Rhode Island college

Providence College has placed 17 students on “interim suspension” for violations of the school’s Covid-19 policies, college spokesman Steven Maurano told CNN Saturday. Maurano said he did not know the specifics of what the students did to merit the discipline.

“‘Interim suspension’ means that these students are not allowed on campus until their disciplinary hearing,” Maurano said, adding that most hearings take place within 72 hours. “During their suspension, they cannot attend classes in person or participate in any campus activities.”

Classes at the college in Providence, Rhode Island, are scheduled to begin Monday.

Violations of the school’s pandemic measures “will not be tolerated,” the Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, the college’s president, said in an open letter to the college community on Friday.

“While I find no joy in having to endorse such strong sanctions, I know they are necessary if we are going to have a successful fall semester,” he wrote.  

President Trump's staff tried to keep roundtable participants at a distance during a briefing

President Donald Trump's staff attempt to keep roundtable participants at a distance as a precaution at the end of a briefing on Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Saturday, August 29.

President Donald Trump’s staff attempted to keep roundtable participants at a distance as a precaution at the end of a briefing on Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

After the event wrapped, Trump called some of the participants up to him so he could sign something for them.

While some people were masked, others were not. John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, along with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and the President’s Secret Service detail jumped in to make sure that everyone was keeping their distance from Trump.

As the roundtable attendees approached Trump, McEntee got in the middle and said, “We got to just keep a little…” with his hand outstretched to keep a buffer between the attendees and the President. Meadows was then heard saying, “Guys, if you will, try to just keep your distance.”

A third, unidentified voice could be heard asking someone to put their mask on.

While Trump seemed to be fine with inviting these people up to be close to him, his staff were clearly uncomfortable with having the President too close to anyone else, whether they were wearing a mask or not.

CNN has asked the pool traveling with the President to inquire as to whether the roundtable attendees were tested before Trump arrived.

Illinois has recorded more than 8,000 total coronavirus-related deaths

There are more than 8,000 people who have died from Covid-19 in the state of Illinois as of Saturday, according to a tweet from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“Today is a solemn day in Illinois as we’ve now lost 8,000 lives to Covid-19,” the governor tweeted. “As we mourn the family, friends and neighbors who have been taken too soon, let’s do our part to prevent more senseless tragedy. Wear a mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. Every action counts.” 

A total of 231,363 people have tested positive in the state and 8,008 people have died from Covid-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

More than 100 new coronavirus deaths reported in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Public Health on Saturday reported 106 new coronavirus-related deaths statewide.

Georgia last reported more than 100 deaths on Tuesday, when the state also reported 106 total deaths.

Georgia’s health department reported another 2,428 Covid-19 cases on Saturday.

Overall, the state has 267,758 confirmed cases and 5,576 reported deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

South Carolina reports more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases

South Carolina health officials have reported 1,250 new Covid-19 cases and 42 additional confirmed deaths, according to tweets from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

This marks the first day since Aug. 14 that state officials reported more than 1,000 cases in a single day, according to SCDHEC. There were 1,015 cases reported on Aug. 14, state health data showed. 

SCDHEC reported a 16.7% positivity rate for tests conducted from Aug. 22 to Aug. 29.

The total number of cases in the state stands at 115,661 and total deaths to 2,563, the department said. 

More than 1,200 students have tested positive for Covid-19 at the University of Alabama

A statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama on September 22, 2018.

More than 1,200 students have tested positive for Covid-19 at the University of Alabama since the start of the pandemic, according to the University of Alabama System case dashboard.

Since August 25, the university has added 481 cases. So far, 1,201 Covid-19 cases have been reported at the school in total, according to its case dashboard.

Classes started on August 19, according to the school’s academic calendar.

The US has recorded more than 182,000 coronavirus-related deaths

There are at least 5,931,511 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 182,069 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

As of this afternoon, 17,570 new cases and 269 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.   

Iraq records more than 3,800 new coronavirus cases

Iraq’s health ministry on Saturday reported 3,834 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. The increase brings the total number to 227,446 in the country.

The health ministry also reported 77 coronavirus-related deaths. That brings the total number of deaths in Iraq to 6,891.

This news comes as the country prepares for a major religious commemoration this weekend known as Ashura.

The peak gathering for Ashura will be Saturday afternoon and will continue until Sunday afternoon local time. It’s considered the holiest day on the Shia Muslim calendar. 

Iraqi officials and religious figures have been warning citizens to avoid all gatherings during the event. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on Karbala, about 62 miles south of Baghdad, to visit the Imam Hussein holy shrine. Ashura is the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. 

Florida's Covid-19 death toll surpasses 11,000

Florida health officials reported 3,197 new Covid-19 cases and 148 additional resident deaths on Saturday, according to the state’s health department

This is the fifth day in a row that the number of deaths related to Covid-19 have declined from 183 reported on Monday, CNN’s tally showed.  

The state has reported 612,206 positive cases among Florida residents and 619,003 total cases across the state, according to data from the department.      

The Covid-19 death toll in the state stands at 11,105 Florida residents, according to the data.

Note: These numbers were released by Florida’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Projec

Berlin police halt march protesting against government's Covid-19 response

Roughly 20,000 people were expected at the protest in Berlin against the German government's handling of the pandemic.

Berlin police have ordered a halt to a march protesting the German government’s Covid-19 response due to non-compliance with social distancing guidelines.

“Unfortunately, we have no other option: We approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his meeting would be dissolved by the police,” Berlin police tweeted.

Around 3,000 police officers have been deployed to monitor the march that is headed to Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg gate where up to 20,000 people are expected to gather. 

“All previous measures have not led to compliance with the requirements,” police added, specifically “non-compliance with the distance regulations according to the Infection Protection Act, despite constant requests by the meeting management & our colleagues.”

Coronavirus outbreaks identified among several hundred students at Kansas State University

Coronavirus outbreaks have been identified among several hundred students at Kansas State University. 

The students at four sororities have been told to quarantine for 14 days from the day the outbreak was declared. Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Xi Delta have six cases each, while Chi Omega and Kappa Delta have five cases apiece, the Riley County Health Department said Friday. 

More than 60 US universities and colleges in at least 36 states have reported positive cases of Covid-19, and some have returned to remote learning to try to stem the spread. More than 8,700 infections among American college students and staff were reported through Friday, as the nation approaches 6 million confirmed cases.

At Kansas State, event permits associated with fraternity and sorority organizations through September 10 have been canceled or revoked.

At the university’s main campus, 364 students are in quarantine, and 167 students are in isolation, the school said in a news release, noting an increase of 149 in quarantine and 49 in isolation since last week. The entire student population reports a 3.82% positivity rate, the release states.

Read the full story here:

In Brazil's Javari Valley, isolated communities fear Covid-19 "catastrophe"

Brazilian indigenous people of the Marubo ethnic group wait to see doctors from the Brazilian Armed Forces' medical team at a health post in Amazonas state.

Remote indigenous communities in Brazil, who have little or no contact with the outside world, are facing a grave threat from Covid-19 – and advocates accuse the government of failing to protect these vulnerable groups. 

The virus has already killed a member of the Marubo and a member of the Tikuna indigenous people living in the remote Javari Valley, and more than 450 people have been infected, according to the Brazilian government. 

“The situation in the Javari Valley is critical,” said Douglas Rodrigues, a physician who has worked with recently contacted indigenous groups over the past 40 years. “We are preparing for a catastrophe,” he told CNN. 

Overall, some 800,000 indigenous people live in villages throughout Brazil. The largest concentration of isolated communities is based in the Javari Valley, a region the size of Austria, located in southwest Amazonas state, near the border with Peru.

In March, when the coronavirus was first reported in Brazil, a government agency overseeing indigenous affairs said it would bar entry to the Valley so that outsiders couldn’t spread the virus. 

But that didn’t happen, advocates say.

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Ukraine reports record daily rise in coronavirus cases as lockdown is extended to end of October

Ukraine registered a record 2,481 cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, its government announced on Saturday citing the country’s Center for Public Health Statistics. 

The increase comes as a temporary ban on foreign visitors to Ukraine came into effect on Saturday. It will last until midnight on September 28. Some travelers are exempt from the ban, including foreign nationals residing in Ukraine, those in transit and diplomats.

Earlier this week, the government extended the flexible lockdown measures currently in place until the end of October. 

The numbers: The country has so far reported a total of 116,978 infections and 2,492 deaths from the virus. The highest case numbers have been recorded in Lviv region and the capital Kiev.

Pakistan's ministry of health says country recorded lowest death toll since March

People wait in line to take a Covid-19 test in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 23.

Pakistan recorded just one death from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to numbers released by its Ministry of Health. This is Pakistan’s lowest death toll since March. 

The country recorded 319 infections in the past day. The total number of confirmed cases currently stands at 295,372. Pakistan’s total recorded death toll from Covid-19 is 6,284.

Reopening the nation: Pakistan’s government earlier this month announced it was reopening tourist hotspots, restaurants, salons, and cinemas after a continued drop in coronavirus infections in the country.

Asad Umar, Pakistan’s planning minister said at the time that the outbreak had been controlled “due to the effective strategy of government institutions.”

Umar also confirmed that educational institutions and marriage halls would be opened on September 15 and restrictions on already operational trains and airlines would be lifted in October.

3,000 police on Berlin's streets for mass protest against German response to coronavirus

Protesters in Berlin hold up placards featuring pictures of German lawmakers and the word "Guilty."

About 3,000 police officers have been deployed on the streets of Berlin ahead of a mass protest against the German government’s response to the coronavirus that is expected to attract 20,000 people.

Berlin police tweeted on their official account:

“We currently have 3,000 colleagues deployed because of various events. We are getting a lot of support from other states and the federal police. Please maintain distance and stay safe.”

Earlier this week, Berlin’s state government announced that it would prohibit the demonstration from taking place, citing potential violations of the government’s coronavirus regulations.

But the ban was lifted on Friday following an urgent ruling by the Berlin Administrative Court on Friday. 

“The assembly against the coronavirus policy of the federal and state governments planned for August 29, 2020 by the initiative Lateral Thinking 711 can take place after an urgent ruling,” the court said in a statement. 

According to the court’s statement, police anticipate more than 20,000 people will attend on Saturday.

Tour de France: Staging the world's toughest bike race in a pandemic

Fans cheer Italy's Vincenzo Nibali in the last kilometer before the finish line of the 20th stage of the Tour de France in Val Thorens in 2019. 

It’s set to be a Tour de France like no other.

Watched on television by millions across the world, the annual race is deeply embedded in French culture as it weaves its way across stunning countryside and vertiginous mountains, as well as through picturesque towns and cities before concluding on Paris’ Champs-Elysées.

The Tour is normally held during July, but the global pandemic put paid to that idea, hence the August 29 start. The pandemic and a recent spike in new infections in France has also left organizers with a real logistical challenge in how best to stage the 23-day race.

Adding to organizers’ worries, the Alpes-Maritimes region – the site of the opening stages of the race – has been declared a red zone because of a recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

In red zones, the authorities are able to make masks compulsory outdoors. But with the French government ready for worst-case scenarios with plans for local or national lockdown in place, questions are being asked as to whether the Tour will even reach Paris.

Teams will be expelled from the 2020 event if two riders or members of staff show strong symptoms or test positive for Covid-19.

Read the full story here:

Born out of racial tensions, Notting Hill Carnival has a rich history. But what can we expect this year?

The Notting Hill Carnival sees about 1 million people descend on the streets of west London.

Vibrant parades, feathered dancers, infectious live music, and the aroma of delectable Afro-Caribbean cuisine – these are the things many people look forward to when they descend on the streets of west London during the UK’s August holiday weekend.

But, for the first time in its 54-year history, Notting Hill Carnival will be an entirely virtual affair after falling victim to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The annual street party, which was originally scheduled for August 30 and 31 and normally draws more than a million people to the city’s Notting Hill, Westbourne Park, and Kensington districts, was canceled in May in response to restrictions on mass events.

Instead, one of Britain’s biggest cultural events will be live streamed online so disappointed revelers can still celebrate the carnival culture and arts at home. 

Announcing “Notting Hill Carnival 2020: Access All Areas,” organizers have promised a three-day celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture like no other.

The virtual incarnation of the event “founded to bring people together during trying times” kicks off on Saturday.

Read the full story here:

Planet-friendly healthy activities that are possible during the pandemic

What’s the perfect pandemic hobby? As people across the globe have adjusted their lives to Covid-19, activities as varied as bread baking and gaming have trended.

But while carbs and screen time can bring a satisfying rush of endorphins, the ideal Covid pastime should offer more sustaining thrills. That means an activity that’s good for your body, mind and the planet.

For some, it’s a first-time foray into gardening, a low-impact physical activity that has been shown to reduce stress levels. Another option is the UK-led trend of “wild swimming,” seeking out the nearest open water for a mind-clearing dip. (Want to double down on the benefits? Try ice swimming.)

If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, explore your neighborhood by running. All you need is a pair of shoes: or not

Whatever you choose, remember that even in the most trying moments, it’s worth taking the time to care for yourself. Your body — and the planet — will thank you.

Read the full story here:

US Open 2020: A tennis grand slam like you've never seen before

Serena Williams has chosen private accommodation over the US Open hotel provided for players after past health scares including pulmonary embolisms.

When Wimbledon was canceled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it became the first of tennis’ grand slams to be scrapped since World War II in 1945. 

There was uncertainty, too, surrounding the next major, the US Open, but the event is going ahead in New York with no fans, no mixed doubles and limited fields in men’s and women’s doubles. This despite tournament revenue – which hit $399.6 million in 2019 – being expected to drop by as much as 80%.

Be it in the NBA, NHL or Champions League, bubbles are the new norm in sports, accompanied by coronavirus tests and temperature checks. 

The US Open is also operating a bubble, with players and their limited entourages being shuttled to and from the tournament’s hotels to the tennis site in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Instead of the usual accommodation in swanky, high-rent Manhattan, all but a few are staying in Long Island at the Long Island Marriott and Garden City hotel. 

Players got used to the new setup this week – since a warm-up tournament normally held in Cincinnati, Ohio, is being staged at the US Open site – with few complaints so far.

“It’s nice,” 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray told reporters. “They’ve done a really good job at the hotel. They’ve got games and arcades and things like that.

“They’re putting on different food in the evenings for the players. We can get delivery. Room is absolutely fine. You have a gym there. So, yeah, it’s absolutely fine.”

Private housing was an option given to players but Murray declined because he said costs were “astronomical.” 

But Serena Williams – making a ninth attempt at landing a record 24th grand slam title – and Novak Djokovic preferred their own digs. 

For Williams, past health scares including pulmonary embolisms swayed her decision. 

“I didn’t want to be in the hotel because I have lung issues, so I felt like it was actually a big risk for me personally,” the American told reporters. “At my house, I can control more. There is no housekeeping, there is none of that type of stuff.” 

Djokovic, who tested positive for the coronavirus after his ill fated Adria Tour was cut short, is based at a home described by the New York Times as “nestled amid trees.”

Read the full story here:

Kids can carry coronavirus in their respiratory tract for weeks, study suggests

Children can carry coronavirus in their noses and throats for weeks even if they don’t show any symptoms, which might explain how the virus can spread silently, researchers in South Korea reported Friday.

“In this case series study, inapparent infections in children may have been associated with silent COVID-19 transmission in the community,” the researchers wrote.

“Interestingly, this study aligns with adult data in which up to 40% of adults may remain asymptomatic in the face of infection,” Dr. Roberta DeBiasi and Dr. Meghan Delaney, both of Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, wrote in an accompanying editorial. Neither was involved in the research.

“In this study, the authors estimate that 85 infected children (93%) would have been missed using a testing strategy focused on testing of symptomatic patients alone,” they wrote.

The study comes out at a time when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been criticized for changing its guidelines on asymptomatic testing, which the American Academy of Pediatrics called “a dangerous step backward” in a statement on Friday

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Nearly 20% of recent coronavirus infections in South Korea are untraceable, KCDC says

A worker disinfects an alley in in Seoul, South Korea, to prevent the spread of coronavirus on Saturday, August 29.

There were 323 new coronavirus infections recorded in South Korea on Friday – 308 of which were local transmissions, according to the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

It comes as health authorities announced they have been unable to trace 19.4% of the country’s total confirmed cases over the past two weeks, with epidemiological investigators still working to figure out the infection routes, KCDC Vice Director Kwon Joon-wook said.

So far, 1,018 confirmed cases have been linked to Seoul’s Sarang-jeil Church infection cluster, while another 307 are linked to anti-government rallies in Seoul on August 15, according to the KCDC.

The national tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 19,400. South Korea’s coronavirus death toll is 321.

US records more than 46,000 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours

According to Johns Hopkins University, 46,156 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been diagnosed in the United States in the past 24 hours – taking the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 5,913,941.

There were 976 new coronavirus-related deaths recorded on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins, with the US death toll now 181,800 overall.

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

For regular updates on the Covid-19 situation in the US, follow CNN’s map, which refreshes every 15 mins: 

Member of India's Parliament dies after testing positive for Covid-19

A member of the Indian Parliament died at a hospital in the southern state of Tamil Nadu Friday evening, after contracting Covid-19.

H. Vasanthakumar was a member of India’s main opposition Congress party and represented Tamil Nadu in Parliament. 

“We are deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Shri H. Vasanthakumar. A staunch Congressman, true leader of the people & beloved MP. He will be sorely missed by all members of the Congress party & his followers. Our prayers are with his family in this time of grief,” the Congress party said on its official Twitter account Friday.

Vasanthakumar is the latest Indian politician to die of Covid-19. Earlier in August, former state cabinet minister and international cricketer Chetan Chauhan died after testing positive. 

“Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP Shri H. Vasanthakumar Ji. His strides in business and social service efforts were noteworthy. During my interactions with him, I always saw his passion towards Tamil Nadu’s progress. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

India is among the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, with the third-highest number of infections and fourth-highest death toll. As of Saturday, it had 3,463,972 confirmed coronavirus cases and 62,550 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally.

Paradise islands reopen only to visitors who've had Covid-19

Turquoise waters, beaches of golden sand, dolphins swimming offshore. The Fernando de Noronha archipelago off the coast of Brazil is one of the most beautiful destinations anywhere in the world

And now it’s open to travelers again – but with an unexpected catch. You can go only if you show you have had Covid-19.

Fernando de Noronha, home to Baia do Sancho, named the world’s best beach by Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards this year, will reopen next week, according to authorities in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

“To land on the archipelago, the tourist will need to present the result of a positive PCR test that is at least 20 days old, or the result of the serological test showing the presence of antibodies against Covid,” its administrator, Guilherme Rocha, told a news conference on Thursday.

Read more here:

Europe's fight against Covid-19 shifts from hospitals to the streets

At first, the front line of Europe’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic was fought in hospitals by overstretched health care workers. Now, as European countries seek to avoid the long-dreaded second wave, that line has shifted to the streets – and is being manned by police forces.

In the last week, several European countries have seen record infection rates. Not since the spring have countries like FranceGermanyItaly and Spain seen such a surge in the number of new cases. Countries like Greece and Croatia, largely spared by the first wave, have also seen fast rises in August as tourists, taking advantage of the reopening of Europe’s internal borders in June, headed to the beach for their summer holidays.

With authorities determined to avoid a second wave of lockdowns, legislation has been introduced to try and stop the spread of the virus. Nightclubs have been closed in Italy and in Greece, curfews introduced in Spain, Italy and Greece, and face masks made mandatory in an ever-growing number of public, outdoor spaces, in most EU countries: a gradual tightening of regulations that now have to be enforced.

The fight against Covid-19 has become, in these last couple of weeks in Europe, a matter of law and order.

Read more here: