ICU of the Sant Pau Hospital where they care for patients with Covid19at the Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

COVID-19 cases pass 10 million; deaths approach 500,000: Global virus update

ICU of the Sant Pau Hospital where they care for patients with Covid19at the Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Second Sinopharm Vaccine Deemed Safe

The second vaccine developed by Sinopharm has been found to be safe and able to generate high titers of antibodies among participants in phase I and II clinical trials, according to a Weibo posting by Sinopharm Group on Sunday. Participants get two shots at either three- or four-week intervals have generated neutralising antibodies, a measurement of the vaccine’s ability to stimulate specific immune response to the coronavirus. The vaccine is jointly developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing research institute and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Iran to Mandate Face Masks in Public

Fatalities in Iran crossed 10,500 on Sunday as the country recorded 144 deaths from the virus overnight, its highest number of deaths in a single day since April 5. Known infections rose to 222,669 with 2,489 new cases in the past 24 hours, up slightly from 2,456 the day before.

The surge in the number of deaths came as Iran plans to make wearing face masks mandatory in indoor and crowded spots for two weeks starting July 5, President Hassan Rouhani said earlier Monday without elaborating on the punishment for violating the rule.

Singapore to Reopen Casinos, Tourism

Singapore will allow several tourist attractions including the city’s two casinos to restart operations from July 1. Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Zoo can also reopen, according to a statement from the tourism board.

Most attractions will be restricted to no more than 25% of their operating capacity at any one time for now, while access to the casinos will be limited to existing members and annual levy holders. The country reported 213 infections on Sunday.

South Korean Spectator Sports to Resume: Yonhap

South Korea will allow sports to resume with limited numbers of fans, Yonhap reported. Baseball, soccer and golf have been played without spectators during the pandemic. Some baseball clubs, which started their season on May 5, have said they might have to take out loans to pay player salaries, Yonhap said.

German Infection Rate Rises

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate rose after five consecutive days of declines, while the number of new deaths from the pandemic rose by three, the smallest increase since Monday. The reproduction factor — or R value — rose to 0.62 on Saturday from 0.57 the previous day, according to the latest estimate. There were 422 new cases in the 24 hours through Sunday morning, down from 665 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Sweden’s COVID Expert Says the World Still Doesn’t Understand

Sweden’s top epidemiologist Anders Tegnell is unlikely to stray far for his vacation after much of the European Union excluded Sweden from safe travel lists. His decision to advise against a Swedish lockdown has coincided with one of the world’s highest Covid-19 mortality rates. But Tegnell insists Sweden’s strategy remains widely misunderstood.

Australia Hot Spot Considers Lockdowns

Returning travelers to Victoria in Australia who refuse to comply with testing will be required to remain in quarantine for a further 10 days, taking their total period of isolation to 24 days to ensure they pose no risk of introducing the virus to the community, the Victorian state government said Sunday. Premier Daniel Andrews said some hot-spot suburbs could also be put back into lockdown if necessary to contain the outbreak.

South Africa Cases Rise by Record

South Africa reported a record 7,210 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 131,800, while the number of people who’ve died rose by 73 to 2,413.

Infections have surged since the government eased lockdown rules at the start of the month to allow millions of people back to work, with more than 4,000 cases reported in the past eight days, data from the heath ministry shows. About half of those who have fallen ill have recovered.

Brazil Cases Rise 3%

Brazil, which has the world’s second-most cases, reported a 3% increase in new infections and a 2% rise in deaths in the past 24 hours. The increase in cases was less than the 3.8% reported Friday.

The nation had 38,693 new cases, lifting the national total to 1.31 million, and 1,109 new fatalities, for a total of 57,070.

US Cases Rise the Most Since May 15

Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 45,450 from the same time Friday, to 2.49 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. It was the biggest percentage jump since May 15. The 1.9% increase also was above the average daily rise of 1.5% over the past week.