Today’s coronavirus news: India’s cases cross 1.75M; Australia declares disaster in Victoria, imposes curfew; Philippines virus cases top 100,000 in ‘losing battle’

KEY FACTS

  • 7:02 a.m.: Philippines virus cases top 100,000 in ‘losing battle’

  • 6:57 a.m.: India’s cases cross 1.75M

  • 6:50 a.m.: Australia declares disaster in Victoria, imposes curfew

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

7:15 a.m.: Coronavirus outbreaks at mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have scientists digging into how the animals got infected and if they can spread it to people.

In the meantime, authorities have killed more than 1 million minks at breeding farms in both countries as a precaution.

The virus that first infected people in China late last year came from an animal source, probably bats, and later spread from person to person, as other coronaviruses had done in the past. Some animals, including cats, tigers and dogs, have picked up the new coronavirus from people, but there hasn’t been a documented case of animals spreading it back to humans.

The outbreaks among the minks on the farms in the Netherlands and Spain likely started with infected workers, although officials aren’t certain. But it also is “plausible” that some workers later caught the virus back from the minks, the Dutch government and a researcher said, and scientists are exploring whether that was the case and how much of a threat such a spread might be.

7:10 a.m.: Confirmed coronavirus cases are hovering at near record levels in Japan, raising worries the pandemic may be growing more difficult to control.

The Tokyo government reported 292 new cases Sunday, about half in their 20s. Japan in total reported 1,540 cases on Saturday— the second straight day the number was above 1,500.

Nationwide cases for Sunday will be tallied at midnight. Numbers are usually fewer over the weekend because of fewer tests. Japan has avoided a total lockdown, encouraging business activity while urging people to wear masks, social distance and work from home.

7:02 a.m.: Coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000 Sunday after medical groups declared that the country was waging “a losing battle” against the virus and asked the president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.

The Department of Health reported a record-high daily tally of 5,032, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 103,185, including more than 2,000 deaths.

The Philippines has the second-most cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. President Rodrigo Duterte eased a tough virus lockdown in the capital, Manila, on June 1.

6:57 a.m.: India’s coronavirus caseload crossed 1.75 million with another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours. The new cases are down from 57,118 on Saturday.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364. Randeep Guleria, a top government expert, said that New Delhi and Mumbai may have crossed their peak levels with declining trends.

The month of July alone has accounted for more than 1.1 million cases in India. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the case fatality rate is progressively reducing and currently stands at 2.18%, one of the lowest globally.

6:50 a.m.: The premier of Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state has declared a disaster among sweeping new coronavirus restrictions across Melbourne and elsewhere from Sunday night.

An evening curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Premier Daniel Andrews says the state of disaster proclamation gave police greater power.

He says 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since Saturday, including seven deaths. It comes among a steadily increasing toll in both deaths and infections over the past six weeks in Victoria.

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“If we don’t make these changes, we’re not going to get through this,” Andrews said. “We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about.”

He said there would be more announcements about workplaces on Monday, including the closure of certain industries.

Melbourne residents will only be allowed to shop and exercise within 5 kilometres (3 miles) of their homes. All students across the state will return to home-based learning and child care centres will be closed.

5:15 a.m.: Early bands of heavy rain from Isaias lashed Florida’s east coast before dawn Sunday as authorities warily eyed the approaching storm, which threatened to snarl efforts to quell surging cases of the coronavirus across the region.

Isaias weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm late Saturday afternoon, but was still expected to bring heavy rain and flooding as it barrels toward Florida.

“Don’t be fooled by the downgrade,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned during a news conference on Saturday after the storm — pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs — spent hours roughing up the Bahamas.

Florida authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn’t blow away. The governor said the state is anticipating power outages and asked residents to have a week’s supply of water, food and medicine on hand. Officials wrestled with how to prepare shelters where people can seek refuge from the storm if necessary, while safely social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Saturday 7:30 p.m.: South Africa surpassed 500,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, representing more than 50 per cent of all reported coronavirus infections in Africa’s 54 countries.

Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize announced 10,107 new cases Saturday night, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 503,290, including 8,153 deaths.

South Africa, with a population of about 58 million, has the fifth-highest number of reported cases in the world, behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India.

Saturday 6:40 p.m.: The head of Mexico’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has sidestepped calls to resign after Mexico’s death count rose to overtake the United Kingdom as the third-highest in the world.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said that “I express my respect” to the nine of Mexico’s 32 state governors who called for his resignation, adding “I hope we can continue to work together.”

On Saturday, Mexico reported yet another new daily high for confirmed cases — 9,556, which raised the total cases to almost 425,000. The country also posted 784 more confirmed COVID-19 deaths, raising its total to 47,472.

Click here to read more coverage from Saturday.