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Monday, August 03, 2020, 23:07
State TV: One person dies of virus every seven minutes in Iran
By Agencies
Monday, August 03, 2020, 23:07 By Agencies

Iranian women read the Koran at the Tehran University Campus mosque, on July 30, 2020. (STR / AFP)

MANILA / MELBOURNE / HANOI / BANGKOK / DUBAI / JERUSALEM - One person is dying from COVID-19 every seven minutes in Iran, state television said on Monday, as the Health Ministry reported 215 new deaths from the disease and state media warned of a lack of proper social distancing.

Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted by the state TV as saying the 215 deaths in the past 24 hours took the combined death toll to 17,405 in Iran, and the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035

Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted by the state TV as saying the 215 deaths in the past 24 hours took the combined death toll to 17,405 in Iran, and the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035.

State television showed several Iranians in a busy Tehran street without wearing face masks or social distancing.

Some experts have doubted the accuracy of Iran’s official coronavirus tolls. A report by the Iranian parliament’s research centre in April suggested that the coronavirus tolls might be almost twice as many as those announced by the health ministry.

The report said that Iran’s official coronavirus figures were based only on the number of deaths in hospitals and those who had already tested positive for the coronavirus.

British broadcaster BBC reported on Monday that, based on data from an anonymous source, the number of deaths in Iran might be three times higher than officially reported. Iranian health authorities denied the report and said there had been no cover-up.

With COVID-19 deaths surging since restrictions were eased in mid-April, Iranian authorities have said measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be reimposed if health regulations are not observed. Since last month, wearing face masks in public places and covered spaces has been mandatory.

Iran’s National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce was expected to announce later on Monday whether nationwide university entrance examinations, with over 1 million participants, will take place in August. Many Iranians have called on social media for the examinations to be postponed.


Director generals of Israel's governmental hospitals have warned Monday that they would have to lay off many workers due to severe budget shortages amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter sent to the Organization of State Employees Physicians, a copy of which was seen by Xinhua, the General Directors Forum of Government Hospitals claims that "the current conduct endangers the hospitals' capabilities to deal with the pandemic."

"This is the largest social, economic and health challenge in Israel's history, however, the state has not yet provided proper solutions to the hospitals' daily operation with an adequate budget," it added.

They noted that in recent weeks they have contacted all relevant bodies to avoid reaching this crisis, but to no avail.If immediate steps are not taken, they warned that they would reduce personnel in all sectors.

The loads in Israeli hospitals has increased in recent weeks due to a significant rise in morbidity, from few dozens of daily new coronavirus cases to more than 2,000

Israel's Ministry of Health reported 597 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 72,815.

This is the lowest daily number of coronavirus cases since June 28 when 334 cases were registered.

The number of death cases rose from 526 to 536, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 328 to 342, out of 772 patients currently hospitalized.

The number of recoveries rose to 45,677, with 575 new recoveries, while the number of active cases rose to 26,602. 


India’s interior minister and the chiefs of two big states have been hospitalized with COVID-19 as the country’s daily cases topped 50,000 for a fifth straight day on Monday.

The country reported 52,972 new confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1.8 million - the third highest in the world after the United States and Brazil - data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed on Monday.

With 771 new deaths, the COVID-19 disease has now killed 38,135 people in India, including that of a minister on Sunday in the most-populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

On Sunday, federal interior minister Amit Shah, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closest aides, as well as the chief minister of the southern state of Karnataka, were hospitalised. The chief of the central state of Madhya Pradesh is also recovering in hospital.

It was not immediately clear whether Shah’s cabinet colleagues, including the finance minister, had isolated themselves.

As infections continue to surge in the country, having registered a record of 57,118 on Saturday, India has also stepped up efforts to test more people and search for a vaccine.

The health ministry said on Twitter that the country’s drugs authorities had allowed Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, to conduct clinical trials of a vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc.

A man wearing a face mask to waits enter a supermarket to buy supplies one day before the country goes on lockdown to stop any progress of the COVID-19, in Wellington on March 24, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)

New Zealand

New Zealand will not be proceeding with a quarantine-free travel zone with Australia any time soon as a coronavirus outbreak spreads in the state of Victoria, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“It will be on the back burner for several months,” she told Newshub’s AM Show on Monday. “One of our criteria is anywhere where we have quarantine-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time, 28 days. It is going to take a long time for Australia to get back to that place.”

Officials from both nations have been working toward a “trans-Tasman bubble” to stimulate tourism and help their economies recover from the pandemic. While New Zealand has no community transmission of the virus, and has so far caught and quarantined anyone infected as they arrive at the border, Victoria has gone into a second lockdown as the outbreak there shows no signs of abating.

Ardern wants to see evidence that transmission has been halted in Australia before her government signs off on the safe-travel zone. She said it is very hard to predict when that will happen, noting Australia’s numbers remain “very high at the moment.”

New Zealand reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with the number of active cases in the country being 27, all in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, according to the Ministry of Health.

Philippine overseas workers who were quarantined for weeks after returning home wait for flights back to their home cities around the country, at Manila's international airport on May 28, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)

The Philippines

The Philippine capital will be back on a stricter lockdown starting Tuesday as coronavirus cases surged more than fivefold after curbs were eased in June.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved his Cabinet’s proposal to tighten restrictions in metro Manila and nearby provinces for 15 days, following doctors’ recommendation to reimpose the lockdown as a spike in infections overwhelmed the health-care system.

The lockdown will start midnight of Aug 4 and last until Aug 18.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 106,330 after the country's Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,226 new cases on Monday.

The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 65,821 after it reported that 275 more patients have survived the disease.

The death toll also increased to 2,104 after 46 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.


Australia’s second-biggest city, Melbourne, already under night curfew, announced fresh restrictions on industries including retail and construction on Monday in a bid to contain a resurgence of the coronavirus.

From Wednesday night, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, will close retail, some manufacturing and administrative businesses as part of a six-week lockdown.

The new measures are expected to double the number of jobs affected by coronavirus restrictions to around 500,000 and along with those working from home will keep 1 million people from moving around for work, Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said.

Having already imposed the strictest restrictions on movement, Victoria declared a “state of disaster” on Sunday.

Australia has fared better than many countries, with 18,361 coronavirus cases and 221 deaths from a population of 25 million, but the surge in community transmissions in Victoria raised fears that the infection rate could blow out of control.

The latest moves in Victoria meant production at meatworks would be cut by one-third, construction activities and staffing at distribution centres would also be scaled back and all schools would return to remote learning.

Supermarkets will remain open along with restaurant takeaway and delivery, but many other retail outlets will shut.

The outbreak in Victoria, which makes up a quarter of the national economy, has scuppered hopes for a quick rebound from Australia’s first recession in nearly three decades.

ALSO READ: Minister of Indian state Uttar Pradesh dies of COVID-19


Vietnam reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Monday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 642 with six deaths from the disease. 

The coronavirus outbreak that began in the central city of Danang more than a week ago has spread to at least four factories in the city with a combined workforce of around 3,700, state media reported on Monday.

Four cases were found at the plants located at different industrial parks in the central city which collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said.

All but one of the four cases that media reported at the factories have yet to be included in the health ministry’s tally.

Authorities said on Sunday that the strain of virus detected in Danang is a more contagious one, and that each infected person can infect 5-6 others, compared to 1.8-2.2 in the previous period.

Vietnamese authorities said on Sunday they were finding it hard to track the origin of a fresh coronavirus outbreak that began in the central city of Danang and has infected around 200 people in recent weeks.


The number of COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 1,330 to reach 39,255 on Sunday amid a resurgence of infections across the country, according to Japan's health ministry and local governments.

The total number of cases excludes 712 from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama earlier in the year.


Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the US military after nine Thai soldiers tested positive for coronavirus upon returning from Hawaii, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

The Thai Army said the infected soldiers were among 151 Thai officers who had returned from Lightning Forge 2020 training with US soldiers in Hawaii for the first three weeks of July.

“The army has suspended all plans to bring forces abroad until the situation improves,” said defence ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantawanich. Thailand had no plans for joint training with other countries but the United States, he said.

Nattapon Srisawat, the head of the Thai Army’s anti-Covid-19 unit, told Reuters the army had to exercise caution. “It will be difficult to travel at the moment as we have to be careful,” he said.

Thailand has reported 3,317 cases and 58 deaths. Recent infections were imported from abroad, marking 69 successive days without of any domestic transmission.


Palestine on Sunday announced that 255 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the West Bank, bringing the total cases to 15,780.

Palestinian Health Ministry said that a 58-year-old woman, from the refugee camp of Qalandiya, died of the virus, which brings the total fatalities resulting from the novel coronavirus to 87.

According to official data, 66 patients have recovered in Palestine during the past 24 hours.


The Kazakh Health Ministry for the first time reported daily pneumonia cases with COVID-19 clinical symptoms on Sunday.

The ministry said on Aug. 1, Kazakhstan logged 1,226 new COVID-19 cases and 5,181 pneumonia cases showing COVID-19 symptoms but with unspecified etiology. 

Meanwhile, 36 lethal cases from the coronavirus and 30 deaths from pneumonia were registered over the past 24 hours.


Turkey's number of serious ill COVID-19 patients seems to be under control, Turkish health minister said on Sunday.

The COVID-19 cases increased by 987 in Turkey, raising the total diagnosed cases to 232,856, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients is 8.5 percent, the number of seriously ill patients is 582, he stated.

Meanwhile, 18 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,728, Koca said, adding that a total of 978 patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 216,494 in Turkey since the outbreak.


Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased on Sunday by 155 cases to 4,885 while the death toll went up by one to 62, the Health Ministry reported.

Lebanon is currently in general mobilization mode while the country continues to conduct PCR tests for citizens in different areas of the country in an attempt to curb the daily increase in infections.


Armenia on Sunday reported 209 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, bringing its total to 39,050, according to the National Center for Disease Control.

Data from the center showed that 193 more patients have recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 29,750.

Meanwhile, five people died in the period, raising the death toll to 754.

READ MORE: Lawsuit launched in Australia over cruise ship COVID-19 handling


The Qatari Health Ministry on Sunday announced 196 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 111,107, official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

Meanwhile, 201 more recovered from the virus, bringing the total recoveries to 107,779, while the death toll increased by three to 177, according to a ministry statement quoted by QNA.

The ministry attributed the increase in coronavirus infections to gatherings and visits as well as ignoring the preventive measures such as staying at home and social distancing.

A total of 500,536 people in Qatar have taken lab tests for COVID-19 so far.


Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 313 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 52,825.

Of the new cases, five are imported cases, one is community cases and the rest are linked with the dormitories of foreign workers.

The new cases are linked to known clusters.

Singapore will require some incoming travelers who are serving their 14-day stay-home notices outside of dedicated facilities to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance, the government says in a press release.

The rule will come into effect Aug 10 and will apply to Singapore citizens, permanent residents, long-term pass holders and work pass holders, the government said.

Those 12 years old and below will be exempted from this requirement.

Upon arrival in the country, travelers will be issued the device after immigration clearance, according to the statement.

Authorities will follow up with travelers if device is not activated upon reaching their place of residence.

The devices use GPS and 4G/bluetooth signals to determine if individuals are within the range of their place of residence.

Earlier, the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Education and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority have been monitoring compliance via a combination of manual and automated text messages along with phone and video calls.


The number of COVID-19 cases in Maldives has crossed 4,000 after recording the highest daily rise in cases amid a resurgence of the virus, local media reported here Monday.

As many as 215 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Sunday, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said, raising the country's total case count to 4,164.

An 89-year-old Maldivian national died of COVID-19 at the Hulhumale Medical facility on Sunday, marking the second virus-related death within 24 hours and raising the country's virus death toll to 18.

According to the HPA, 22 establishments, including nine shops, seven cafes and restaurants, four salons, a market, and a spa were closed down by authorities on Sunday for failing to comply with official health guidelines.

South Korea

South Korea reported 23 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the country's total number of infections to 14,389.

The daily caseload fell below 30 due to a sharp drop in local infections, but it continued to grow in double digits owing to imported cases.

Of the new cases, 20 were imported, lifting the combined figure to 2,461. The imported cases grew in double figures for 39 straight days since June 26.

The number of domestic infections was three, marking the lowest in 87 days since May 8.

No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 301. The total fatality rate stood at 2.09 percent.


Malaysia reported two new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national total to 9,001, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press briefing that both cases are local transmissions.

Another four cases have been released, bringing the total cured and discharged to 8,668 or 96.3 percent of all cases.

Of the remaining 208 active cases, one is being held in intensive care and none of those are in need of assisted breathing.


Bangladesh reported 1,356 new COVID-19 cases Monday, taking the total to 242,102.

Senior Health Ministry official Nasima Sultana told a media briefing that 30 more deaths were reported in the last 24 hours across the country, bringing the death toll to 3,184.

According to the official, 4,249 samples were tested in the last 24 hours in labs nationwide.


The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 1,679 within one day to 113,134, with the death toll adding by 66 to 5,302, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry also said 1,262 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 70,237.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.

Specifically, within the past 24 hours, East Java recorded 478 new cases, Jakarta 472, South Sulawesi 97, Central Java 95 and North Sulawesi 78.


The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has risen to 355, with two more confirmed cases on Monday, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

According to the release, the newly confirmed cases are returnees who were under quarantine after their recent arrivals from Qatar.


Uzbekistan has extended visas for all stranded foreign nationals until Nov. 1, the Uzbek state tourism committee said Monday.

All air and rail links in and out of Uzbekistan have been canceled since March 16 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the country has since extended visas for foreigners several times.


Kuwait on Monday reported 388 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 68,299 and the death toll to 461, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Currently, 8,099 patients are receiving treatment, including 126 in ICU, the statement added.

The ministry also announced the recovery of 526 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 59,739.


The Iraqi Health Ministry recorded on Monday 2,735 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 131,886.

It also reported 66 fatalities during the day, a figure that has been gradually decreasing over the past days, raising the death toll from the virus to 4,934.

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