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Latest on pandemic: Over 10.4 million affected globally, death toll over 511k

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A member of the medical staff wearing full PPE treats a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas, US. (Photo by AFP)

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus has now surpassed 10.4 million around the world, while more than 511,000 people have so far lost their lives due to the infection, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

According to the latest figures, the global caseload stands at 10,485,763 and the world’s death toll at 511,543.

The new virus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and quickly spread to the rest of the world.  

The United States, with 127,425 fatalities, accounts for a quarter of the deaths. It also has reported some 2,636,538 confirmed cases of the viral infection. Both figures are the world’s highest.

The following is the latest on the pandemic from around the globe:

Russia reports 6,556 new coronavirus cases

Russia has reported 6,556 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its nationwide tally to 654,405.

The country’s coronavirus response center announced on Wednesday that 216 people had also died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 9,536.

A woman wearing a face mask and gloves casts her ballot in a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms, at a polling station in Moscow, Russia, on July 1, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Australia to lock down 300,000 in Melbourne suburbs

Australia has decided to lock down more than 300,000 people in Melbourne’s northern suburbs after a rise in coronavirus cases there.

The lockdown will last at least a month starting late Wednesday. The decision came after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in the country’s second-most populous state, Victoria, where Melbourne is located.

From midnight, residents in more than 30 suburbs in Melbourne will be confined to their homes except for grocery shopping, health appointments, work, caregiving, and exercise.

Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,920 cases, 104 deaths, and fewer than 400 active cases, but the recent jump has stoked fears of a second wave of the outbreak, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.

Tokyo confirms 67 new coronavirus cases

Tokyo has confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus infection on Wednesday, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May.

It was also the sixth straight day in which Tokyo had confirmed more than 50 cases, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported.

A visitor wearing a face mask sits on a grid for social distancing at the entrance of one section of Tokyo Disneyland during the reopening day of the park, in Urayasu, near Tokyo, on July 1, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, Tokyo Disneyland has reopened after being closed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The resort, which also includes Tokyo DisneySea, has adopted social distancing measures, including restricting the number of visitors, regularly taking visitors’ body temperatures, and suspending parades and shows.

Thailand eases restrictions, opens schools

Thailand has allowed the reopening of schools after months of distant learning due to coronavirus restrictions.

The country will also further ease COVID-19 restrictions by allowing entertainment venues such as restaurants and massage parlors that had been shut since mid-March to reopen.

Burundi president declares COVID-19 ‘biggest enemy’

Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye has declared the coronavirus the country’s “biggest enemy,” in a major about-turn for a nation which has largely ignored the dangers of the virus.

Former president Pierre Nkurunziza, who died suddenly last month, and even Ndayishimiye himself, had until now downplayed the gravity of the pandemic, saying God had spared Burundi from its ravages.

High-ranking personnel of the Burundian Army carry the coffin of late Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza, who died at the age of 55, during a national funeral at a public park next to the Ingoma Stadium in Gitega, Burundi, on June 26, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Burundi has taken few measures to combat the spread of the virus.

The country has reported only 170 cases and one death in two months.

Greece reopens islands to flights in bid to save tourism

Greece has prepared to welcome tourist flights to its island destinations for the first time in months, in a bid to save a tourism season shredded by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100 flights from other EU nations and a select group of non-EU countries are expected at 14 regional airports.

Flights from Britain, one of its most lucrative travel markets, are not due to restart until July 15 at the earliest, in line with EU recommendations. The same applies to the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Sweden.

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