9.00pm BST


Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

The WHO reported the greatest single-day increase in global cases yet seen, with the total rising by 284,196 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.
Spain have warned that a “second wave” of coronavirus may already be happening in the country. The health ministry is tracking more than 280 active outbreaks across the country. On Friday, it logged 922 new Covid-19 cases – slightly down from 971 over the previous 24 hours. María José Sierra, the deputy head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies, said “It could already be a second wave”.
France is advising citizens not to travel to Catalonia amid rising coronavirus cases. Jean Castex, the French prime minister, also said the government would strengthen controls at the country’s borders to better control the pandemic. Nearly half of the 16,410 cases detected in Spain in the past fortnight were diagnosed in the northeastern region.
Norway will re-impose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving on Spain. As part of the new measures, effective from tomorrow, the government will also ease restrictions on people entering the country from Sweden.
Schools in South Africa have been closed for a month in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement came a day after researchers revealed that excess mortality data suggested South Africa’s Covid outbreak had contributed to substantially more deaths over a 10-week period from early May than official figures suggested.
A 103-year-old man has recovered from Covid-19 in a makeshift hospital in Pakistan. Aziz Abdul Alim, a resident of a village in the mountainous northern district of Chitral, was released last week from an emergency response centre after testing positive in early July.
Portugal has said the UK’s decision to persist with a quarantine regime for travellers from the country is not “backed by the facts”. Augusto Santos Silva, the foreign minister, made the comments after it was left off an updated list of countries exempt from the measures by the UK foreign office on Friday.

8.22pm BST

The mayor of Mexico City has warned of a possible resurgence of cases in the sprawling capital in the coming months, noting that hospitalisations have been on the rise in recent days.

Reuters reports that Mexico City and its surrounding areas, home to more than 20 million people, have been the epicentre of the country’s epidemic after infections were first detected in late February. Cases began to level off in mid-June, but authorities now fear that downward trend could reverse.

The mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said hospitalisations have increased in the last five days. At this rate, she cautioned, hospitalisation levels by October could exceed those registered in June, at the height of the pandemic. “It is important to recognise that, if we do not change the trend, there could be exponential growth” in cases, she said.

Mexico City’s government began relaxing lockdown measures on 15 June, leading to the reopening of the dense and bustling historical centre, along with shopping centres and restaurants. In addition, thousands of factory workers have returned to their jobs.

Mexico reported 8,438 new cases on Thursday, its greatest single-day increase, bringing the total number of infections to 370,712. The country, which has the fourth highest death toll of any country, has registered 41,908 fatalities.

7.55pm BST

Here are some more details on the latest WHO figures:

The organisation reported 69,641 new cases in the United States, 67,860 in Brazil, 49,310 in India and 13,104 in South Africa. The largest increases in new deaths were 3,876 in Peru, 1,284 in Brazil, 1,074 in the United States, 790 in Mexico and 740 in India.
Peru recently reviewed its Covid-19 data and in one day increased its total death toll by 3,000 to a total of over 17,000 fatalities.

On 17 July, India became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million cases, behind only the United States and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.

Cases in Brazil crossed the 2 million mark on 16 July, doubling in less than a month as the country adds nearly 40,000 new cases a day. A patchwork of state and city responses has held up poorly in Brazil, in the absence of a tightly coordinated policy from the federal government.

The United States, which is the world’s worst-hit country with more than 4 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local level, with only limited success.

7.38pm BST

Largest increase in global cases yet – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported the greatest single-day increase in global cases yet seen, with the total rising by 284,196 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. Deaths rose by 9,753, the biggest one-day increase since a record high of 9,797 deaths on 30 April.

Previously, the greatest increase recorded by the WHO was 259,848 on 18 July. Deaths have been averaging 5,000 a day in July, up from an average of 4,600 a day in June.

7.10pm BST

The lockdown imposed upon Chile’s capital is to be gradually lifted from Tuesday 28 July, the country’s health minister Enrique Paris has announced.

He said people living in the less populous and wealthier eastern suburbs of the capital will be allowed to gather in small groups and leave their homes without the police permissions previously required during weekdays and outside night-time curfew hours.

6.43pm BST

France’s health ministry has recorded 1,130 new cases in the past 24 hours; signalling that the rate of infection is accelerating again after the government eased lockdown restrictions. It was the second consecutive day that the daily number of new cases exceeded 1,000.

The ministry said the figures showed the need for people to show discipline by limiting unnecessary exposure and respecting hygiene rules.

at 6.44pm BST

6.23pm BST

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 4,024,492 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 72,219 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,113 to 143,868.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of Covid-19 as of 4pm ET on 23 July versus its previous report a day earlier.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states

5.55pm BST

Hundreds of Nicaraguans are stuck in limbo between Costa Rica and Nicaragua after their homeland refused to allow them back without proof that they are not infected with the coronavirus, authorities said on Friday.

Nicaraguans have been exiting Costa Rica since Wednesday through the border post of Penas Blancas but about 300 are now stranded, having been barred from entering Nicaragua by its government, Costa Rica’s immigration department said.

Managua is demanding that the Nicaraguans, who are waiting for the impasse to end by the side of a road, show proof that they have taken a coronavirus test in the last 72 hours.

“They are stranded at the Penas Blancas border post, on the Nicaraguan side,” Costa Rica’s Migration Directorate said in a statement.

One Nicaraguan human rights organisation put the number of Nicaraguans caught between countries at about 500. Nicaragua’s government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Those trapped were not using an official agreement between Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica to repatriate Nicaraguan citizens through Costa Rica in isolation on buses, according to Raquel Vargas, Costa Rica’s migration chief.

So far some 800 Nicaraguans have been repatriated this way in July.

5.33pm BST

France advises citizens not to travel to Catalonia; Norway reimposes quarantine on people arriving from Spain

France is advising its citizens not to travel to the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia in order to help contain the spread of Covid-19, Reuters reports.

The country’s prime minister, Jean Castex said on Friday that the government would strengthen controls at France’s borders in the hope of better containing the pandemic, with people arriving from some countries being subject to compulsory testing.

Nearly 8,000 cases have been diagnosed in Catalonia over the past 14 days – accounting for almost half of the 16,410 detected across Spain.

Catalonia’s public health secretary, Josep Maria Argimon, said the situation in and around Barcelona was “at a critical moment” and called on people to heed the regional government’s request not to leave their homes unless strictly necessary.

Meanwhile, Norway has said it will reimpose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain from Saturday after a surge in coronavirus cases there.

However, the government also said it would ease restrictions on people coming from more counties of Sweden, according to Reuters.

Residents of the European Union, European Economic Area or Schengen countries with fewer than 20 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks are able to enter Norway without being required to go into self-quarantine.

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5.01pm BST

103-year-old recovers from Covid-19 in Pakistan

A 103-year-old man has recovered from coronavirus in Pakistan to become one of the oldest survivors of the disease in the world, beating the odds in a country with a weak healthcare system, his relatives and doctors said.

Aziz Abdul Alim, a resident of a village in the mountainous northern district of Chitral, was released last week from an emergency response centre after testing positive in early July.

“We were worried for him given his age, but he wasn’t worried at all,” Alim’s son Sohail Ahmed told Reuters on the phone from his village, close to Pakistan’s border with China and Afghanistan.

A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nasal swab of 103 year-old Abdul Alim, to be tested for Covid-19, at the Aga Khan Health Services Emergency Response Centre in Booni, Chitral, Pakistan. Photograph: Suhail Aziz/Reuters

Ahmed quoted his father as saying that he had been through a lot in life and the coronavirus did not scare him. He did however, not like being in isolation.

A carpenter until his 70s, Alim has outlived three wives and nine sons and daughters, said Ahmed, who is himself in his 50s.

Alim also had to be provided with moral and psychological support during his isolation and treatment, Dr Sardar Nawaz, a senior medical officer at the Aga Khan Health Service emergency centre told Reuters on Friday.

The makeshift centre was set up in a girls’ hostel just weeks before Alim was brought in and is the only one equipped to deal with Covid-19 patients for miles.

Pakistan has registered more than 270,000 cases of the disease and 5,763 deaths. Though the number of people testing positive has dropped over the last month, government officials fear there could be another rise during the Muslim religious festival of Eid al-Adha, which falls on 1 August.

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