The Latest: Pope reassures those struggling with virus
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is assuring his closeness to all those grappling with COVID-19 and its “economic and social consequences.”
Speaking on Sunday from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Francis said that “the pandemic is showing no sign of stopping.”
He said he was thinking in particular about all those whose suffering in the pandemic is worsened by conflicts.
Citing a recent U.N. Security Council resolution, he renewed his appeal for a worldwide, immediate cease-fire that he said “will permit the peace and security indispensable to supplying the necessary humanitarian assistance.”
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— As virus surges in some US states, emergency rooms swamped
— Doctor who survived COVID-19 bewildered by public disregard
— ‘We really need help’: Coronavirus overwhelms rural Oregon
— The Blue Jays won’t play their home games in Toronto this year because Canada’s government doesn’t think it’s safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— Police in Barcelona have closed access to a large area of the city’s beaches due to the excess of sunbathers who ignored the urging of authorities to stay at home amid a resurgence of the coronavirus.
— New York City has been cleared to take the next step in reopening next week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the city can begin a limited version of the fourth phase of the statewide reopening process starting Monday.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ health minister says there’s concern that coronavirus-infected migrants could be seeping through the ethnically divided island nation’s porous cease-fire line.
Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Sunday pointed to “a problem” after a number of migrants who recently crossed from the breakaway north to seek asylum in the internationally recognized south have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Ioannou said the government had ordered two months ago that all migrants undergo testing for the virus before they enter reception centers for processing.
Reportedly at least eight Syrian migrants who crossed southward in the last week tested positive for the virus.
HONG KONG — Hong Kong is tightening anti-coronavirus measures following a recent surge in cases. The wearing of masks will be mandatory in all public places and nonessential civil servants will again work from home.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam introduced the measures on Sunday, saying the situation in the Asian financial hub is “really critical” and that she sees “no sign” that it’s under control.
Travelers flying to Hong Kong from areas where the risk of infection is considered particularly severe will have to show a negative coronavirus test before boarding their flight, undergo another test upon arrival and undergo a 14-day quarantine in a hotel. Previously, those arriving could quarantine themselves at home. The nations included in the new regulation were given as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa.
Hong Kong had appeared to have largely contained the coronavirus, but new cases reported last week have brought the city’s total to 1,777, including 12 deaths.
China, which runs Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous region, has ordered all arrivals from Hong Kong to be quarantined for two weeks, sharply reducing the volume of cross-border traffic.
NEW DELHI — A record 24-hour surge of 38,902 new cases has taken India’s coronavirus total to 1,077,618.
The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 543 additional deaths for a total of 26,816.
The number of people who have recovered continues to grow. The Health Ministry data shows 677,422 patients have been cured so far across the country, putting the recovery rate at 62.82%.
Experts say India is likely to witness a series of peaks as the infection spread in rural areas.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities reported 1,579 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest number in more than a month, as health officials plan to resume a much-awaited nationwide anti-polio campaign next week.
Authorities conducted 22,559 tests in the past 24 hours. The additional cases bring to 263,500 the total number of confirmed infections, out of which 53,652 are active. Pakistan has reported 5,568 deaths.
The improvement in infections coincides with Monday’s three-day anti-polio drive that aims to reach 800,000 children.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries where polio — a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the polio virus — is still endemic.
Johns Hopkins University says the global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 600,000.
The university’s tally as of Saturday night says the United States tops the list with 140,103 deaths. It is followed by 78,772 fatalities in Brazil and 45,358 in the United Kingdom.
The number of confirmed infections worldwide has passed 14.2 million, out of which 3.7 million are in the United States. There are over 2 million in Brazil and more than 1 million in India.
The World Health Organization again reported a single-day record of new infections with 259,848.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported less than 40 additional cases of the coronavirus for a second straight day, as authorities struggle to suppress an uptick in local infections.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it has reported 34 additional cases, raising the country’s total to 13,745 with 295 deaths.
The agency says 21 of the newly confirmed cases were domestically infected patients, all of them found in the densely populated Seoul area or two central cities. It says the rest 13 cases were from overseas.
Health authorities have said imported case of COVID-19 are less threatening than local transmissions because South Korea is mandating testing and enforcing two-week quarantines on all people arriving from abroad.
South Korea on Saturday recorded 39 new cases.
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico continues to register near-record levels of confirmed coronavirus infections, frustrating plans to reopen the economy.
The Health Department reported 7,615 more cases Saturday and 578 more deaths. That brings Mexico to a total of 38,888 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began and 338, 913 cases. Those numbers are widely considered significant undercounts because Mexico has done so little testing. Government labs have administered slightly more than 800,000 tests so far, or about one out of every 150 people in the country with a population of nearly 130 million.
Mexico had hoped to begin a gradual reopening starting in June, but several states have had to reverse course, closing beaches and hotels again.
BEIJING — China on Sunday said another 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the northwestern city of Urumqi, raising the total in the country’s most recent local outbreak to at least 30.
An additional three cases were brought into the country from overseas, increasing China’s total number of confirmed cases to 83,660 with 4,634 reported deaths.
Despite the Urumqi outbreak, China has just 251 people remaining in treatment for COVID-19, according to the National Health Commission.
Another 151 people were being monitored in isolation for showing signs of having the virus or for testing positive without showing symptoms. At least 23 of those asymptomatic cases were in Urumqi, although China does not include those in the numbers of confirmed cases.
Urumqi has responded by reducing subway, bus and taxi service, closed off some residential communities and is now conducting tests on people city-wide, beginning with those in communities where cases had been reported, according to state media. Some restrictions on people leaving the city have also been imposed, with the number of flights from the city reduced.
The Urumqi outbreak is the latest to pop up since China largely contained the domestic spread of the virus in March. The largest was a recent outbreak in Beijing that infected more than 330 people, but local authorities on Saturday said commercial operations in the city have largely recovered. The Chinese capital has gone 13 days without a domestically transmitted case, although business at many restaurants and shops remains poor.
Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang region, where China has been accused of human rights abuses among its native Muslim minority groups. China has deployed a massive security presence in the region, which it says is needed to prevent terrorist activity.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Authorities in Amsterdam are urging people not to visit the city’s famous red light district and have closed off some of the historic district’s narrow streets because they are too busy.
After months of coronavirus lockdown measures, sex workers in the Netherlands were allowed to resume work on July 1 and as other restrictions also have eased, the red light district has gotten busier again.
Late Saturday night, amid fears that visitors could not maintain social distancing, Amsterdam Municipality took action, closing roads in the area and tweeting in Dutch and English: “Don’t come to the red light district. It is too busy.”
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa now ranks fifth in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases caseload as the African continent faces the pandemic’s first wave head-on.
South Africa on Saturday reported 13,285 new confirmed cases for a total of 350,879. That puts the country ahead of Peru and makes up roughly half the cases in Africa. The only four countries with more confirmed cases — the U.S., Brazil, India, and Russia — all have far more people than South Africa’s 57 million.
The virus arrived on the continent a little later than elsewhere, giving officials more time to prepare, but Africa has fewer health care resources than any other region and South Africa’s public hospitals struggle to handle the growing number of patients.
Gauteng province, home to Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, is now Africa’s epicenter for the virus. It has one-quarter of the country’s population and many of the poor are crowded in township areas with inadequate access to clean water and sanitation.
South Africa has seen 4,948 reported virus deaths, but the South African Medical Research Council in its most recent report shows the country had 10,944 “excess deaths” between May 6 and July 7.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- No employee or resident has tested positive at Yosemite National Park’s health clinic, and no visitors have reported being sick since the park began reopening last month, but tests of the park’s raw sewage have confirmed the presence of the virus.
Dozens of people are believed to have been infected.
The public health officer for Mariposa County, who is overseeing coronavirus testing in the Yosemite area, said the emergence of the coronavirus will not likely lead to policy changes because the park is already following local and state restrictions. Eric Sergienko said he believes the confirmed presence of the virus in Yosemite will make people more vigilant.
Yosemite, which typically attracts more than 4 million visitors each year, is cutting the number of vehicle passes to the park by half. Visitor centers remain closed, while campgrounds, gift shops and hotels are limiting services to allow for physical distancing.
The World Health Organization is again posting a single-day record of new confirmed coronavirus cases. It announced 259,848 new cases on Saturday.
The WHO on Friday posted more than 237,000 confirmed cases around the world. The back-to-back records come as many nations struggle with new waves of infections after loosening lockdown restrictions.
Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show more than 14 million cases worldwide since the start of the pandemic.
PHOENIX — Arizona health officials reported a daily record of 147 deaths from the coronavirus and 2,742 new confirmed cases.
The Department of Health Services say the additional deaths included 106 newly attributed to COVID-19 after health officials’ latest periodic reviews of death certificates. It says the additional cases didn’t include figures from a laboratory that missed the reporting cutoff. The department says the missing cases will be reported Sunday.
The additional deaths and cases reported Saturday increased the statewide confirmed totals to 2,730 deaths and 141,265 infections.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s lifted stay-home orders and other restrictions in May. Last month, he reversed course and authorized local governments to impose masking requirements. Ducey’s recent messaging has promoted use of masks, social distancing and hand washing.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri has set another record for daily increases of coronavirus cases with 958.
The addition brought the state total to 32,248 confirmed cases and exceeded Missouri’s previous one-day high of 936 on Tuesday.
As of Saturday, the seven-day average of new cases reported by the state is 731, up from 560 a week ago.
The number of deaths also increased by nine to 1,130, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.