Several US states report record daily infections; New Zealand eases restrictions, makes masks compulsory.

  • The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States is nearing six million, with states including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reporting daily records. More than 183,000 people have died from the disease in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The number of cases globally has gone past 25 million, with deaths exceeding 844,000. More than 16.5 million people have recovered
  • New Zealand has made face masks compulsory as it eases coronavirus restrictions in Auckland that were imposed after a sudden spike in cases.

How the US approached 6 million coronavirus cases?

Cumulative count of confirmed cases across 50 states

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, August 31

07:40 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases approach 1 million

Russia has reported 4,993 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its nationwide tally to 995,319 – the fourth largest caseload in the world.

Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 83 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 17,176.

07:10 GMT – Pakistan reports lowest daily COVID-19 cases

Pakistan’s daily number of COVID-19 infections continued to drop as authorities reported 213 additional cases, the lowest daily figure since May.

The total number of infections to date reached 295,849, with 603 patients in critical condition, according to the health ministry data.

The data also shows a gradual decline in the number of fatalities, with six more deaths from the disease across the country, raising the death toll to 6,294.

06:50 GMT – Paris to make free COVID tests available in the capital

The Paris local municipality said it would look to make free COVID-19 testing available in all of the capital’s 20 districts (arrondissements), as authorities battle against signs of a re-emergence of the virus in France.

The Paris mayor’s office added in a statement that from Monday onwards, there would be three permanent laboratories set up to conduct free COVID-19 tests, as well as two other mobile laboratories that would go around the capital. 

05:24 GMT – Malaysia marks independence day amid COVID-19 pandemic

Malaysia marked the country’s 63rd independence day celebration on Monday amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the government keeping some movement restrictions including international tourism until the end of 2020.

On the eve of the celebration on Sunday night, thousands gathered in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, but celebrations were muted with the government cancelling the usual major fireworks display.

Malaysia has seen a significant decline in the number of virus cases, with 17 new cases reported on Sunday.

On Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said “it will be a long time before our country is free from the dangers of COVID-19.”

05:00 GMT – Thailand reports single imported coronavirus case, no new fatalities

Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported on Monday that a British woman has tested positive of COVID-19 raising the country’s total infections to 3,412.

The agency said that the 29-year-old language teacher arrived in Bangkok on August 15, alongsider her husband and their child. All were placed under quarantine following their arrival. 

No new deaths were reported on Monday, keeping the death toll at 58.

Thailand has reported more than 3,400 cases and 58 deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic [Diego Azubel/EPA]

04:36 GMT – India coronavirus cases surge to 3.62 million

India reported 78,512 new novel coronavirus infections on Monday, just less than 200 compared to the record number of daily cases the country set the previous day.

India now has a total of 3.62 million cases just behind the United States and Brazil. It has the third highest fatalities at 64,400, according to Johns Hopkins University.

04:10 GMT – Thousands arrested in China for pandemic-related offences

China’s state prosecutor’s office has reported that nearly 5,800 people have been arrested during the pandemic for committing crimes ranging from killing health workers, selling defective medical equipment and lying about their travel history.

One case involved a shopper that beat to death another customer who reminded him to wear a mask in a supermarket, according to AFP news agency.

“From January to July, 5,797 people were arrested and 6,755 were prosecuted,” the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said.

Other cases involved alleged embezzlment of and stabbing of of a health inspector. 

03:42 GMT – Germany reports 610 new COVID-19 cases

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, which monitors infectious diseases in the country, has reported 610 new cases, bringing the total to over 242,000 as of Monday.

The death toll has reached 9,298 up three fatalities from the previous day.

03:25 GMT – US eyes giving COVID-19 vaccine emergency approval

Stephen Hahn, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration, has raised the possibility of giving an emergency approval on coronavirus vaccines being developed in the country, even before trials are concluded.

“If they do that before the end of Phase Three,” which involves large-scale human testing, “we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination,” Hahn told the Financial Times.

But the move has drawn criticism that he is giving in to pressure by the Trump administration to step up the production of a vaccine ahead of the November 3 elections.

“This is going to be a science, medicine, data decision. This is not going to be a political decision,” he said.

The US has reported almost six million cases and 183,000 deaths, raising criticism and questions against the Trump administration’s handling of the deadly pandemic.

03:01 GMT – Greece’s coronavirus cases surpass 10,000

Greece’s health authorities reported that the coronavirus cases in the country have exceeded 10,000, half of which were reported just in August.

At least 157 new cases were reported on Sunday, including 41 from overseas.

Greece also reported two more deaths bringing the country’s total to 262.

02:45 GMT – Almost half a million sign up for free COVID-19 test in Hong Kong

Despite calls for a boycott, more than 420,000 Hong Kong residents have registered fro free universal coronavirus testing, which is set to begin on Tuesday, according to Hong Kong authorities.

According to the Gov.HK website, that since the online booking system started, at least 80 community testing centres have been fully booked.

The Hong Kong government has initially set a seven-day testing period, although it has not set a target number of testings among its 7.5 million residents.

02:10 GMT – China reports 17 new coronavirus cases

All 17 coronavirus cases reported on Monday were imported and there were no additional deaths recorded [Ng Han Guan/AP]

China’s National Health Commission reported on Monday at least 17 new coronavirus cases – all imported – as of the end of Sunday.

That brings the total number of imported cases to 2,499, according to Xinhua news agency.

There were no new reported deaths in the mainland keeping the total at 4,634. Most of China’s 85,048 COVID-19 patients have recovered.

01:45 GMT – South Korea reports decline in new cases

The number of daily new coronavirus cases in South Korea has stayed below 300 for the second consecutive day on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported quoting Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The country reported 248 new COVID-19 cases, including 238 local infections, raising the total caseload to 19,947, KCDC said. That’s down from the 299 cases reported on Sunday. 

One more patient died from the novel coronavirus, raising the death toll to 324. Almost 15,000 of the cases have fully recovered.

01:30 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports lowest infections since July 3

Australia’s state of Victoria has recorded 73 new coronavirus cases on Monday – its lowest total since July 3.

The state’s death toll also increased by 41, including 22 cases at an elder care facility that were reported belatedly.

Meanwhile, New South Wales raised its health alerts in some areas after a cluster of infections. It reported seven new cases on Sunday.

Australia has reported more than 24,000 cases, at least 3,100 of them active. It has recorded at least 652 deaths.

01:05 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 64,000

Mexico has confirmed 4,129 new coronavirus infections and 339 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of cases to 595,841 and 64,158 deaths.

The number of cases and deaths, however, continues to be on a downward trend, according to data from the ministry of health, although the government has long acknowledged that the real number of infections could be higher than the numbers being reported.

Despite the threat of the spread of coronavirus, anti-government protesters gathered in Mexico City on Sunday to demand the resignation of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [Eduardo Verdugo/AP]

00:30 GMT – New Zealand eases restrictions for Auckland residents

New Zealand has eased coronavirus restrictions in the city of Auckland, and made the use of face masks compulsory.

The New Zealand Herald reported many of the city’s residents “swarming to the city’s airport” to take advantage of the travel opportunity.

New Zealand has reported more than 1,700 cases and 22 deaths from coronavirus.

00:15 GMT – Several US states report daily record of COVID-19 cases

The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States is nearing six million, with states including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reporting daily records.

More than 183,000 people have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, the US states of Montana and Idaho have reported record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalisations, according to reports.

In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Dr Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the trend was worrisome.

00:01 GMT – Brazil reports 566 new deaths and over 16,000 new cases

Brazil’s health ministry has reported 566 additional coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours and 16,158 new cases, bringing the country’s death toll to 120,828 deaths, with 3,862,311 total infections.

The numbers of deaths and new cases as of the end of Sunday were significantly lower than those on the previous day, which could either be attributed to delays in reporting by state government, or an overall continuing downward trend.

The country has the second-highest number of deaths and infections. It leads in the highest number of recoveries at 3.2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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