- Iraqi football legend Ahmad Radhi has died at a hospital in Baghdad as a result of complications from the new coronavirus.
- India has recorded 15,413 more cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, its highest single-day hike so far, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 410,461, according to the ministry of health.
- Worldwide, at least 8.75 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus, more than 4.3 million have recovered, and more than 464,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, June 20
10:39 GMT – Morocco opens field hospital after spike in virus cases
A new field hospital in eastern Morocco will receive around 700 COVID-19 patients following a sharp spike in infections in the kingdom, the government said.
Morocco reported a record single-day rise in novel coronavirus cases on Friday after an outbreak was detected in fruit packing plants in eastern Kenitra province, prompting Rabat to tighten restrictions in the region.
The North African kingdom reported more than 500 cases on Friday, mainly in Kenitra, having recorded on average fewer than 100 new COVID-19 infections daily since confirming its first cases in early March.
09:56 GMT – India records highest daily hike in coronavirus cases
India registered 15,413 more cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, its highest single-day hike so far, with total confirmed cases now at 410,461, according to the Ministry of Health.
Data from the health ministry showed that 306 deaths had been confirmed, raising the overall toll to 13,254.
Some 128,205 cases have been confirmed so far in the western state of Maharashtra, which remains the worst-affected state in the country, followed by the southern Tamil Nadu and capital Delhi.
Data from the health ministry showed that 306 deaths had been confirmed in the past 24 hours [File: Harish Tyafi/EPA]
09:49 GMT – UK to unveil lockdown easing plans this week
Britain will outline its plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown this week, health minister Matt Hancock said, potentially relaxing the two-metre rule on social distancing, allowing many businesses to reopen in early July.
“We’re about to see another step in the plan,” Hancock told BBC TV.
“This week we will announce further details of the measures we can take to relieve some of the national lockdown measures at the start of July, including on July 4.”
Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock says government will potentially relax the two-metre rule on social distancing [File: Andrew Parsons/Reuters]
09:28 GMT – Saudi Arabia to launch $4bn tourism development fund
Saudi Arabia plans to start a tourism development fund with an initial $4 billion investment, the ministry of tourism said, as part of plans to diversify the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.
The Tourism Development Fund will launch equity and debt investment vehicles to develop the tourism sector in collaboration with private and investment banks, the ministry said in a statement.
“The launch of the fund at this time, as the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, is testament to investor and private-sector confidence in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said in the statement.
09:11 GMT – Indonesia reports 862 new coronavirus infections, 36 new deaths
Indonesia reported 862 new coronavirus infections, taking its total number of cases to 45,891.
Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said there were 36 more deaths reported, with total fatalities now at 2,465, the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside of China.
08:24 GMT – Chinese researchers launch phase-2 human test for possible coronavirus vaccine
Chinese researchers have started a second phase human trial of a possible coronavirus vaccine, the Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) said, in efforts to further assess effectiveness and safety.
IMBCAMS began on Saturday a phase 2 human test for its experimental shot, following an on-going phase-1 study that has recruited about 200 participants since May, the institute in its social media channel.
The phase-2 trial will determine the shot’s dose and continue to evaluate whether the potential vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people.
Chinese scientists are testing six possible vaccines in humans for the new coronvirus [File: Andreas Gebert/Reuters]
07:56 GMT – Russia reports fewer than 8,000 new coronavirus cases
Russia reported 7,728 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its nationwide case tally to 584,680 since the crisis began.
The national coronavirus response centre said that 109 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 8,111.
07:20 GMT – Iraqi football legend Ahmad Radhi dies due to coronavirus
Iraqi football legend Ahmad Radhi has died at a hospital in Baghdad as a result of complications from the new coronavirus, Iraqi media reported.
The 56-year-old was considered a national star, known for scoring one World Cup goal in Mexico in 1986, when Iraq’s national football team, the Lions of Mesopotamia, qualified for the games.
Radhi spent most of his career in the Iraqi league, representing Al-Zawra’a and Al-Rasheed, winning five league titles and topping the scoring charts twice.
Iraqi football legendary star Ahmad Radhi died this morning(7:30 AM Local Baghdad time) at Al-Numan hospital in #Baghdad due to complications from #COVID__19. RIP Captain Ahmad. He played and scored during the Mexico 1986 World Cup. pic.twitter.com/LbmY2OgDfZ
— Steven Nabil (@thestevennabil) June 21, 2020
06:57 GMT – Tokyo confirms 35 new coronavirus cases
Thirty-five novel coronavirus infection cases were confirmed in Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, metropolitan government officials said.
The daily number exceeded 30 for the fourth straight day. Nine of the 35 were found positive in group testing conducted by the government of Shinjuku Ward, which has a popular nightlife district.
06:12 GMT – British Finance Minister Sunak plans emergency cut in value-added tax
British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is ready to cut the value-added tax (VAT) as part of the government’s latest efforts to tackle economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.
Sunak has ordered officials to prepare options for reducing the sales tax, including a cut in the headline rate, and zero rating more products for a fixed period, the newspaper reported.
The finance minister may announce lowering the VAT and business rates in a speech in early July, the report added.
Hello, I’m Arwa Ibrahim in Doha, Qatar, taking over the live blog from my colleague, Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
05:10 GMT – China reports 25 new cases as millions tested
Chinese authorities reported on Sunday at least 25 new confirmed cases – 22 in Beijing and three in neighbouring Hebei province.
China’s National Health Commission also said 2.3 million people had been tested in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital that led to the closure of its biggest wholesale food market.
China recorded at least 84,553 cases with 4,639 confirmed fatalities.
03:48 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 687 to 189,822, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
The Institute also reported the death toll to be 8,882, one lower than Saturday’s, which was 8,883. No explanation was given why the number decreased by one, according to Reuters news agency.
03:24 GMT – South Korea reports 48 new cases
South Korea reported 48 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, down 19 from a day earlier, Yonhap news agency reported.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said imported cases have dropped, but local infections rose amid a continuing spread of the virus in the Seoul metropolitan area and the central city of Daejeon.
Of the new cases, 40 are local infections, and eight are imported, raising the total caseload to 12,421. There were no additional deaths, keeping the total death toll at 280.
03:12 GMT – Australian state extends state of emergency in Victoria
Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, on Sunday extended its state of emergency for four more weeks to July 19, as it battles a spike in coronavirus infections, Reuters reported. This came one day after the state announced it would reimpose restrictions capping visitors to households to five people and outdoor gatherings to 10, starting Monday. The limits had been relaxed on June 1.
Victoria reported 19 new infections on Sunday, the fifth day of double digit-rises. The state has now had 1,836 total confirmed cases, a quarter of Australia’s cases.
State health minister Jenny Mikakos said 210 of the cases are believed tied to community transmission, partly blaming families who have had big parties, lunches and dinners attended by people with mild symptoms.
02:48 GMT – Spain: No 14-day quarantine requirement for UK visitors
Spain is dropping the country’s 14-day quarantine requirement for British visitors starting Sunday, when citizens of Europe’s Schengen zone countries will be allowed to freely enter the country.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told the BBC: “We are doing this out of the respect for the 400,000 British citizens who have a second residence in Spain.”
Gonzalez Laya says she hopes the British government will likewise drop the quarantine requirement for Spanish citizens travelling to the UK. Some 250,000 Spaniards have homes in the UK, she said.
02:30 GMT – North Macedonia reports 11 deaths, Greece reports one
Greece has reported one more death from the coronavirus while the small neighbouring country of North Macedonia reached a new daily record with 11 virus-related fatalities, according to the Associated Press.
North Macedonia’s death toll to date is 233, with 5,005 confirmed cases as of Saturday. Infections began to climb early this month after authorities lifted restrictions and ended a curfew. In a TV interview, health minister Venko Filipce said cases are increasing because residents ignored recommendations to avoid gatherings, wear masks and maintain social distance.
In Greece, authorities announced 19 new confirmed cases. The country’s total number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,254, with 190 deaths.
02:00 GMT – Trump urges slowdown in COVID-19 testing
US President Donald Trump told thousands of his supporters that he had asked US officials to slow down testing for the novel coronavirus, calling it a “double-edged sword” that led to more cases being discovered. Trump said the US had now tested 25 million people, far more than other countries.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please,” Trump told a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where many supporters were not wearing face masks.
A White House official said Trump was joking about his call for a slowdown in testing.
01:30 GMT – Mexico reports 4,717 new coronavirus infections, 387 deaths
Mexico reported 4,717 new infections and 387 additional coronavirus deaths, Reuters news agency said quoting the health ministry. The total number is now 175,202 cases and 20,781 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Protesters chant against Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanding he keep promises made, as he visits a public hospital in Cuernavaca, Mexico on Friday [Fernando Llano/AP]
01:18 GMT – Rio mayor suspends games to give teams more time to prepare
The resumption of Brazilian football was dealt a setback when the city’s mayor suspended matches involving Botafogo and Fluminense in order to give the clubs more time to prepare.
The Rio de Janeiro state championship became the first Brazilian football tournament to restart on Thursday when reigning champions Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0. However, Fluminense and Botafogo threatened not to play games scheduled for June 22, Fluminense players saying they needed more time to train, and Botafogo declaring they would only be ready to play in July.
With courts refusing their appeal to postpone the games and the two clubs worried they would lose points by a WO, Mayor Marcelo Crivella with an initial decree to suspend all games in the Rio state championship until June 25 that he reversed hours later to halt only Botafogo’s match against Cabofriense and Fluminense’s encounter with Volta Redonda.
00:01 GMT – Montenegro restores some lockdown measures after new cases emerge
Montenegrin health authorities have restored some lockdown measures in a northeastern border town to contain a cluster of coronavirus cases, AP news agency reported.
Authorities have confirmed new cases after there had been none in Montenegro for several weeks, saying that out of the country’s 31 active cases, 26 were imported from neighbouring Serbia.
Those infected include some who went to a football game in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade and some citizens of the northeastern Montenegrin town of Rozaje who travelled to a town across the border.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, June 20, here.