Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is surging in the United States to record levels just as government economic support programmes are due to expire. In Europe, EU leaders appear closer to a deal on a recovery fund for the bloc’s pandemic-ravaged economy. Here’s what you need to know about the novel coronavirus on Monday:

EUROPE

Signs emerged that leaders of northern EU countries were willing to compromise on a $2 trillion stimulus plan as talks in Brussels extended to the fourth day.

  • An outbreak in Germany is forcing meatpacking plants to review infection risks posed by their cooling systems, placing the industry at the sharp end of growing global concerns.
  • Britain has signed deals to secure 90 million doses of two possible COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech alliance and French group Valneva.

  • Russia reported 5,940 new cases, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world.

AMERICAS

  • With some key states such as Texas and California now reimposing restrictions, analysts have noted a possible plateau to the US  recovery with the country still 13.3 million jobs shy of the number in February.

  • Cuba for the first time in 130 days on Sunday said there were no new domestic cases as most of the country moved into the final phase of resuming normal activities.

  • Mexico on Sunday reported 5,311 new cases and 296 additional fatalities.

  • El Salvador’s president said he would postpone the second phase of economic reopening, while Chilean officials presented a plan to gradually relax restrictions.

ASIA-PACIFIC

  • Hong Kong reported 73 new cases, mostly local transmissions, as new restrictions took effect and authorities warned there was no indication that the situation was coming under control.

  • Indonesia reported its second-highest daily increase in deaths, as Malaysia considers making face masks compulsory in public.

  • Bangladesh has approved the third-phase trial of a potential vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • COVID-19 has caused a spike in poaching, threatening the habitat of more than half the world’s mountain gorillas, Congo’s Virunga National Park authorities said, just as rangers are forced to reduce their presence.

  • An Afghan all-girls robotics team has designed a low-cost ventilator to treat coronavirus patients.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

  • The euro and eurozone bond markets held out hope European Union leaders would strike a deal on a recovery fund for the bloc’s pandemic-ravaged economy on Monday, but the region’s stock markets took a cautious turn lower as talks paused. [MKTS/GLOB]

  • New Zealand’s economy is doing better than predicted, thanks to an early economic and health response, the finance minister said.

  • Japan’s exports plunged at a double-digit pace for the fourth month in a row in June, raising the spectre of a longer and more painful global downturn.

  • Nearly half of Britain’s biggest companies think it will take until the second half of 2021 before business recovers, according to Deloitte.

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