International Update: US believed to have 20 million Covid-19 infections – consecutive day rise of 5,000 cases in Florida – threat to close UK beaches

26 June 2020 (Last Updated June 26th, 2020 09:49)

26 June

Global: Cases worldwide were nearing 9.6 million on Friday, with the World Health Organisation saying it expected global infections to pass ten million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,586,769. At least 488,740 people have died so far.

US: Government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning as cases rise in 27 states.

For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.

The number of US coronavirus infections rose by at least 39,818 cases at the end of Thursday, according to a Reuters news agency tally, marking the biggest daily increase in the country since the start of the pandemic.

Europe: A Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’. Fewer than one in 100 children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.

Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, the World Health Organization regional director for Europe, expressed concern over a resurgence of coronavirus infections on the continent, saying that last week that Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.

China: China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases. There were 11 in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control.

South Korea: South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19. After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

Mexico: Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is working from home under quarantine, according to a tweet. Herrera said he has “light symptoms” of the coronavirus.

Lockdown updates

UK: Health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast.

Ireland: Ireland moves to the third stage of reopening on Monday, with domestic travel resuming, most businesses able to operate and sports restarting, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Dublin. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Some restrictions on international travel will ease 9 July, he said.

Economic updates

Vietnam: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as South-East Asian leaders met online to discuss a regional emergency fund to tackle the crisis.

US: Bain Capital LP agreed to buy collapsed Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. in one of the biggest single bets on the airline industry since it was shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.