Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on July 28

The latest:

  • Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to outbreak.
  • International Monetary Fund approves $4.3 billion US emergency loan to South Africa.
  • UN releases $100 million US from emergency fund for 10 countries’ pandemic relief.
  • More than 100,000 COVID-19 cases have been resolved across Canada.
  • COVID-19 treatment drug approved for use in Canada. 
  • Head of Chinese CDC is injected with experimental vaccine.
  • Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 more child deaths each month.
  • Britain, Germany advise citizens against travel to Spain due to infection spike.
  • Madrid makes face coverings mandatory in public places.
  • Four U.S. states report one-day records for coronavirus deaths.
  • Negotiations over U.S. coronavirus aid package expose gulf between Democrats, Republicans.
  • Twitter temporarily restricts Donald Trump Jr. for post about controversial drug hydroxychloroquine.
  • Fauci says Marlins’ virus outbreak could endanger MLB season.

As countries throughout the world begin to report COVID-19 spikes, recently opened borders are once again being closed.

In Vietnam, travel into and out of the resort city of Danang was shut down early Tuesday, while in Europe, Britain and Germany recommended their citizens avoid the islands and beaches of Spain due to an increase in cases. 

At the same time, the U.K. government’s recommendation means that all travellers arriving in Britain from that country will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. That move fanned uncertainty within Europe’s tourism industry over how to plan ahead amid authorities’ responses to new coronavirus outbreaks. 

“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe amongst some of our European friends. I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said early Tuesday. He noted that there could be further changes to travel advice down the line affecting all of Europe. 

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he talks to members of a local cycling club in Beeston, central England, on Tuesday. (Rui Vieira/AFP/Getty Images)

Four U.S. states reported one-day records for coronavirus deaths on Tuesday and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark, stoking fears the United States was losing control of the outbreak.

Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Oregon each reported record spikes in fatalities and California recorded 133 deaths by mid-afternoon, shy of its one-day peak of 159 with hours to go.

In Washington, negotiations over the next coronavirus aid package are exposing a vast gulf between the Democrats’ $3 trillion proposal and a $1 trillion counter-offer from the Republicans, with millions of Americans’ jobless benefits, school reopenings and eviction protections at stake.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said on Tuesday no coronavirus relief bill will be brought to the Senate floor without legal liability protections included in the legislation.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said based on what she heard from McConnell in his press briefing she did not believe he was ready to reach an agreement on coronavirus relief legislation.

It’s unclear whether any agreement can be reached between Congress and U.S. President Donald Trump before Friday’s deadline for expiring aid.

The outcome will be a defining one for the president and the parties heading into the November election as an uneasy nation is watching and waiting for Washington to bring some end to the health crisis and devastating economic fallout.

WATCH | Hydroxychloroquine trials halted, researchers focus on other treatments:

The WHO has suspended trials of hydroxychloroquine, the once touted COVID-19 treatment, because it doesn’t work and researchers are turning their focus to other promising treatments and the ongoing race for a vaccine. 1:56

“We cannot afford to fail,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said as the chamber opened.

At the White House, Trump reiterated unproven claims that an anti-malaria drug is an effective treatment and challenged the credibility of the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

Numerous studies have shown that the drug, hydroxychloroquine, is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use as an emergency treatment for COVID-19. 

Yet overnight, after returning from a trip to North Carolina where he promoted efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, Trump retweeted a series of tweets advocating for hydroxychloroquine.

One of those tweets included a link to a video that called the drug a “cure” and discounted the need for face masks amid the pandemic. It was later hidden by Twitter as part of their policy to remove misleading information about COVID-19.

Twitter also limited access to Donald Trump Jr.’s account for 12 hours for breaking the same rule. 

Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, pushed back against Trump during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“I go along with the FDA,” said Fauci. “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”

During the same interview, Fauci noted that the Miami Marlins’ recent coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season altogether, though he doesn’t believe they need to stop entirely just yet.

With four more positive results on Tuesday, 17 of the team’s players and staff members are now confirmed to have the coronavirus.

The Marlins were due to play Baltimore on Monday and Tuesday, but Major League Baseball had postponed all Marlins games through Sunday. 

“Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their Baseball Operations for a resumption early next week,” the league said in a statement.

At the same time, the Yankees’ series against Philadelphia, scheduled for those same days, was also postponed.

Elsewhere in sports, the NBA and NHL plan to resume their seasons in bubble environments, with basketball at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and hockey at Edmonton and Toronto. The NFL has opted not to create a bubble environment as training camps open for the coming season.

What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada

As of 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 114,994 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 100,134 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting indicates that 8,946 Canadians have died.

On Tuesday, Health Canada approved the drug remdesivir as a treatment for patients with severe COVID-19, though Canada’s top doctor says the supply is limited.

The drug will go by the brand name Veklury and is manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada.

It is now authorized for use in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older with a body weight of at least 40 kilograms. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province has no plans to pull any regions back a step in the province’s economic reopening process despite new outbreaks in some areas that have moved into Stage 3.

Speaking on Tuesday at a news conference in Ajax, Ont., Ford said the new cases don’t amount to a serious surge, adding he will rely on the advice of the province’s health-care command table in making any decisions related to the COVID-19 recovery plan.

“Right now we have to look at every single region … but I don’t think it’s anything that spiked too badly,” he said.

Two cities in Stage 3 — Ottawa and Sudbury — have reported fresh cases of the coronavirus in recent days.

Ottawa reported 25 cases on Tuesday, and Sudbury reported eight on Monday, seven of them in people under 19.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford removes his mask as he steps to the microphone during an announcement in Ajax, Ont., on Tuesday. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

The province also announced the construction of a new long-term care home at the Ajax Pickering Hospital, a project it said would add 320 long-term care beds and be completed sometime next year.

The project is part of the province’s recently announced Accelerated Build Pilot Program, aimed at increasing long-term care capacity, and will be carried out in partnership with Lakeridge Health and Infrastructure Ontario.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 38,910, which includes 2,768 deaths and 34,567 resolved cases.

For the first time since a public health emergency was declared in B.C. on March 17, fewer than 10 people are in hospital with coronavirus

Nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including three in intensive care. There are currently 253 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

So far 3,523 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in B.C. and 3,076 people have recovered.

WATCH | Epidemiologist on evolving risks as we learn to live with coronavirus:

Dr. Christopher Labos says the revelation that 11 players and coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19 shows the challenge of holding safe sporting events.   6:18

What’s happening in the rest of the world

The United Nations’ humanitarian aid co-ordinator has unlocked another $100 million US from its emergency fund to help 10 under-resourced countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas meet pressing needs made worse by the pandemic.

The injection from the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs brings the total to $225 million US released to help 20 countries this year, a record allocation from its Central Emergency Response Fund. Yemen, which the agency says is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is to receive $35 million, the most of any country.

Other top beneficiaries include Afghanistan, Colombia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the UN shared with The Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal. 

Further, more than 550,000 additional children each month are being struck by what is called wasting, according to the UN — malnutrition that manifests in spindly limbs and distended bellies. Over a year, that’s up 6.7 million from last year’s total of 47 million. Wasting and stunting can permanently damage children physically and mentally, transforming individual tragedies into a generational catastrophe.

People walk on the Rambla de Mar in Barcelona, Spain. (Cesc Maymo/Getty Images)

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $4.3 billion emergency loan to South Africa as it reels under the coronavirus pandemic with the world’s fifth-largest virus caseload, and confirmed cases approaching half a million.

The fact that Africa’s most developed country for the first time approached the IMF for a loan is the latest sign of its pain. Unemployment is above 30 per cent and rising, and major state-owned enterprises were already in poor shape.

The Madrid regional government in Spain is making the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public areas, limiting how many people can gather in one place and targeting young people in a drive to stamp out new outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Regional government head Isabel Diaz Ayuso said an information campaign will focus on young people, who are largely blamed for spreading the coronavirus through their social lives. She said young people “have it in their hands to reverse the trend.”

Madrid, along with Catalonia, is one of Spain’s worst-hit regions. It has recorded more than 74,000 cases, with almost 1,900 new infections in the past two weeks.

Tourists wear protective masks as they wait to check in for departure at Danang Airport on Sunday. Three residents there tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend. (Tran Le Lam/VNA/Reuters)

Vietnam has locked down its third-largest city for two weeks after new cases of coronavirus were found in a hospital. 

Vietnam’s health ministry reported eight new locally transmitted coronavirus cases linked to three hospitals in the central city of Danang, taking the outbreak to 30 infections since the virus resurfaced.

Public transport in and out of Danang was cancelled. Over the weekend, thousands of mostly Vietnamese tourists had to end their summer holidays in the popular beach destination. 

Authorities estimated several thousand people would be stranded by the transportation shutdown and asked hotels to shelter them. 

The government on Sunday had ordered physical distancing and the closure of nonessential businesses in the city of 1.1 million people. 

The head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, says he has been injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to persuade the public to follow suit when one is approved.

China has positioned itself to be a strong contender in the race for a vaccine. Eight of the nearly two-dozen potential vaccines in various stages of human testing worldwide are from China, the most of any country.

A health worker carries out a coronavirus test on a child at a makeshift testing centre in Dalian, in China’s northeast Liaoning province, on Tuesday. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that a state-owned Chinese company injected employees with experimental shots in March, even before the government-approved testing in people — a move that raised ethical concerns among some experts.

The capital Beijing also reported its first case of domestic transmission in more than two weeks, while the northeastern province of Liaoning added another six cases in its local outbreak.

Another four cases were found among Chinese travellers arriving from outside the country, bringing the daily total over the past 24 hours to 68.

In the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, authorities are deploying new sanitary mobile centres to ramp up testing and ease pressure on a health system that is being challenged again by a rapid rise in cases. 

Quito has become the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, amassing 12,747 cases, which pushed Ecuador’s total case count over 82,000, according to figures released by the Health Ministry on Tuesday.

Ambulance personnel wearing protection suits wait for a patient with COVID-19 symptoms to be admitted to the Instituto de Seguridad Social hospital in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday. (Dolores Ochoa/The Associated Press)

The government said Quito is experiencing a “critical situation” as intensive care units have reached full capacity. 

Authorities have set up tents in schools across Quito to conduct rapid tests and are providing diagnoses at cultural 
centres and a basketball stadium.

Medical brigades are also being dispatched by the Health Ministry to patrol neighbourhoods with high rates of infection and conduct spot tests.

Australian officials have sent an emergency medical team, usually deployed to disaster zones, to aged care homes in Melbourne to try help contain a rapidly spreading outbreak.

Another hotspot, in inner-city Sydney, has forced a senior adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison into self-isolation.

Australia has so far reported relatively fewer coronavirus cases than many other countries, but a spike in community transmission in the southeast states of Victoria and New South Wales has alarmed health officials.

Australia has recorded just over 15,300 cases and 167 deaths as of Tuesday.