GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS CASES:
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS BY REGION:
* France’s health minister urged the country not to drop its guard against the novel coronavirus, saying it faced a long battle and that observing social distancing rules was vital to avoiding a new national lockdown.
* Sixty-five migrants who were in a group of 94 people rescued at sea and brought to Malta on Monday have tested positive for COVID-19, Malta’s health ministry said on Tuesday.
* US deaths from COVID-19 are approaching 150,000, the highest level in the world and rising by 10,000 in 11 days, according to a Reuters tally.
* This is the fastest increase in fatalities since the United States went from 100,000 cases to 110,000 cases in 11 days in early June.
* Top Trump administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders will try to narrow their stark differences over a coronavirus aid bill, with no guarantees they can craft a compromise before some jobless benefits expire at the end of this week.
* A half-dozen US states in the South and West reported one-day records for coronavirus deaths on Tuesday and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark.
* Colombia’s national lockdown will be extended by one month until the end of August, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday.
* Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has warned the city is on the brink of a large-scale outbreak and urged people to stay indoors as much as possible as strict new measures take effect.
* Australia has sent defence and emergency medical teams, usually deployed to disaster zones, to aged care homes in the city of Melbourne to help contain the country’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus.
* Kazakhstan has extended its lockdown for two more weeks until mid-August and the restrictions will then be eased gradually, the president said.
* Coronavirus cases have been detected in Vietnam’s two biggest cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and in the country’s central highlands coffee belt, due largely to increased domestic travel.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The Namibian government has approached the International Monetary Fund for a 4.5 billion Namibian dollars ($274 million) emergency loan to help fight the pandemic.
* Iran registered a record 235 deaths from the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, according to official health ministry figures released on Tuesday.
* Germany awarded three biotech companies grants to help them speed up the development of vaccine candidates, but the research minister said any vaccine was unlikely to be widely available before the middle of next year.
* Britain has signed a deal for up to 60 million doses of a possible COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, its fourth such arrangement.
* Roche’s attempt to retool its rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra/RoActemra to treat patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19-related pneumonia has failed in a late-stage trial.
* European shares edged up slightly on Wednesday after mixed earnings reports, but a resurgence of COVID-19 cases kept investors cautious while they waited to hear from the US Federal Reserve.
* Euro zone governments borrowing from their bailout fund would now have to pay back less than they received, and the most affected southern countries would benefit the most.
* Spain’s Santander reported a record net loss of 11.1 billion euros in the second quarter, taking the biggest hit yet for a European bank dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
* The German economy is likely growing by 3 per cent in the current quarter, partly recovering from the slump caused by the pandemic, economic institute DIW said.
* The Bank of Japan will not rule out deepening negative interest rates as part of efforts to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic.