Iran says not possible to shut economy: Coronavirus live updates

Iran says not possible to shut economy: Coronavirus live updates

  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said it was not possible to shut down the country’s economy despite the surge in coronavirus cases.

  • India’s coronavirus cases surged past 800,000 with the biggest single-day spike of 27,114 cases, causing multiple states to impose lockdowns in high-risk areas.

  • More than 12.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 559,000 have died, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.8 million patients have recovered.

Here are the latest updates.

Saturday, July 11

11:20 GMT – Vietnam’s most critical patient leaves hospital

A British pilot, known as “Patient 91″, who was Vietnam’s most critical COVID-19 patient was on Saturday discharged from hospital after being declared virus free.

Accompanied by a group of doctors, the Scottish man left Cho Ray Hospital for Ho Chi Minh city airport, where he is set to fly back to Britain via Hanoi and Frankfurt.

“I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the Vietnamese people, the dedication and professionalism of the doctors and nurses,” the man said Saturday morning in a video released by the hospital, where he was last treated.

11:55 GMT – Serbia arrests 71 over virus protest violence, including Briton

Serbian police said they have arrested 71 people, including a Briton and a Tunisian, after violence broke out during a protest in Belgrade against the government’s management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of people demonstrated in several Serbian cities on Friday for a fourth day in row, with protesters hurling stones at police in front of parliament in the capital.

Fourteen police officers were injured in Friday’s clashes, and 130 since the protests began on Tuesday, the police chief said. No figures have been given for the number of injured protesters.

Anti-government protests in SerbiaThousands of demonstrators gather near The National Assembly to stage an anti-government protest in Belgrade, Serbia [Anadolu]

11:32 GMT – Iran’s president calls for ban on weddings, wakes to halt virus spread

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for big gatherings such as weddings and wakes to be banned to stem a rise in coronavirus infections, but insisted the country’s economy had to stay open.

Shortly after Rouhani’s televised speech, a police official in Tehran announced the closure of all wedding and mourning venues in the capital until further notice.

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11:10 GMT – FC Zurich football club finds several positive tests for COVID-19

Swiss top-flight football club FC Zurich found a number of COVID-19 cases among their squad and staff after defender Mirlind Kryeziu tested positive, the club said, raising questions about whether they will be able to complete the season.

The club had said on Friday that the 23-year-old defender had tested positive and that, after discussions with the local health authority, the squad had been quarantined until July 17.

The team’s next two games have been called off.

10:30 GMT – More infections in Syria’s overcrowded rebel enclave emerge

At least two doctors in Syria’s opposition-held northwest have been infected with the coronavirus, according to a monitoring group, raising the total number of cases in the overcrowded rebel enclave to three.

The Syrian opposition and rebel groups control the Idlib area, which is home to more than three million people, most of them displaced by the war and living in camps and overcrowded facilities.

09:55 GMT – Iran says cannot shut down economy despite worsening virus outbreak

Iran said it cannot afford to shut down its sanctions-hit economy, even as the Middle East’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak worsens with record-high death tolls and rising infections.

Iran must continue “economic, social and cultural activities while observing health protocols”, President Hassan Rouhani said during a televised virus taskforce meeting.

“The simplest solution is to close down all activities, [but] the next day, people would come out to protest the [resulting] chaos, hunger, hardship and pressure,” he added.

Iran ATMIran has been struggling since late February to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, which has killed more than 12,400 people and infected nearly 252,000 [File: Mohamadreza Nadimi/Wana/Reuters]

09:20 GMT – Philippines confirms 12 new coronavirus deaths, 1,387 more cases

The Philippines’ health ministry reported 12 new coronavirus deaths and 1,387 additional infections, taking the total to 54,222 cases.

The Southeast Asian nation has reported record daily high infection numbers on three of the past eight days.

08:57 GMT – Bill Gates calls for COVID-19 medicines to go to people who need them

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates called for COVID-19 drugs and an eventual vaccine to be made available to countries and people that need them most, not to the “highest bidder”, saying relying on market forces would prolong the deadly pandemic.

“If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, instead of to the people and the places where they are most needed, we’ll have a longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic,” Gates, a founder of Microsoft, said in a video released during a virtual COVID-19 conference organised by the International AIDS Society.

Bill Gates

Gates said efforts 20 years ago to battle the global HIV/AIDS crisis can serve as a model for making COVID-19 medicines widely accessible [File: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg]

08:32 GMT – Bulgaria postpones league season start amid increase of COVID-19 cases

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) postponed the start of next season’s domestic top flight by two weeks after the Balkan country saw the biggest increase of COVID-19 cases in a week.

The BFU’s Medical Commission submitted a proposal on Friday to the BFU’s management to postpone the championship’s kick-off “in view of the complicated epidemiological situation”.

08:08 GMT – Emirates to cut up to 9,000 jobs: Report

Emirates has cut a 10th of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic in layoffs that could rise to 15 percent, or 9,000 jobs, its president said, according to a report.

The Middle East’s largest carrier, which operates a fleet of 270 wide-bodied aircraft, halted operations in late March as part of global shutdowns to stem the spread of the virus.

A handout image provided by Emirates airlines on March 8, 2020 in Dubai shows a member of the cleaning staff disinfecting seat screens aboard an Emirates Airbus A380-800 aircraft for sterilisation eff

The International Air Transport Association has said airlines are in line to make a combined net loss of more than $84bn this year in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the biggest in the industry’s history [File: Emirates Airlines /AFP]

07:45 GMT – Russia reports 6,611 new coronavirus infections

Russia reported 6,611 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 720,547.

The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 188 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,205.

07:17 GMT – 4,000 volunteers to help test vaccine in Germany

Some 4,000 volunteers have registered as subjects for a coronavirus vaccination study at the University
Hospital in Tuebingen.

“It’s a real luxury situation, unlike usual clinical trials,” study director Peter Kremsner told DPA news agency on Friday.

“Normally we have trouble coming up with enough test subjects.”

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in TuebingenA clinical study began at the university clinic in mid-June to test the tolerability of a vaccine developed by the Tuebingen biopharmaceutical company CureVac [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

06:45 GMT – Bangladeshi coronavirus sufferers shun hospitals

Thousands of beds for coronavirus patients in Bangladesh are lying empty despite the country struggling with a rising caseload as people are too scared to enter hospitals, officials and sufferers say.

Some patients have bluntly told health workers they would “rather die at home than die in a hospital”, an official for a medical charity told AFP news agency.

Bangladesh has registered about 180,000 COVID-19 infections, and about 3,000 new cases are being added each day, while the death toll stood at 2,275 by Friday.

06:15 GMT – NHL, players approve plan to resume season, extend CBA

Hockey became the latest sport to finalise a return during a global pandemic after NHL owners and players approved an agreement on Friday to resume the season – and with it an assurance of labour peace through September 2026.

Games are scheduled to begin on August 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, with coronavirus cases in the US pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October.

nhl game in marchThe league has also agreed to a four-year extension to the current collective bargaining agreement [File: David Zalubowski/AP]

05:45 GMT – Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge

Hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse as coronavirus cases spike in the Central American country worst hit by the pandemic, where doctors are already exhausted.

With a population of four million, Panama has gone from 200 cases a day to 1,100 over the last few weeks.

“Our daily number of infected patients has been increasing in a sustained way to the point of passing 1,000 cases,” David Villalobos, head of the intensive care unit at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital in Panama City, told AFP news agency.


Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.


04:57 GMT – India’s case-load surpasses 800,000

India’s coronavirus cases passed 800,000 with the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.

The new confirmed cases took the national total to 820,916. The Ministry of Health also reported another 519 more deaths, taking the total to 22,123. A surge in infections saw the cases jumping from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days.

Eight of India’s 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, account for nearly 90 percent of all infections.

India coronavirus

Health workers arrive to screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, India [Rafiq Maqbool/AP]

04:32 GMT – Poll shows broad disapproval of Trump’s coronavirus response 

Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of US President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new ABC/Ipsos poll.

Some 67 percent of those surveyed said they disapproved of Trump’s efforts – the highest level of dissatisfaction with his response since the pandemic began. The drop was driven by plunging support among independents and even waning support among Republicans, ABC News said.

Meltdowns over masks amid coronavirus outbreak go viral (1:27)

03:39 GMT – French bus driver dies after attack over mask-wearing rules

A French bus driver who was badly beaten by passengers for asking them to wear face masks in line with coronavirus rules has died, his family said.

Philippe Monguillot, 59, was left brain dead by the attack in the southwestern town of Bayonne last weekend and died in hospital on Friday after his family decided to switch off his life-support system. 

Two men have been charged with attempted murder over the attack and prosecutor Jerome Bourrier told AFP news agency that he would ask for the charges to be upgraded following Monguillot’s death.

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex led tributes to Monguillot, calling him “an exemplary citizen”. 

02:51 GMT – Australia’s Victoria records another day of high cases

Australia’s second-most populous state reported one of its highest daily increases in new coronavirus infections as it began its first weekend under a six-week lockdown.

Victoria state recorded 216 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, down from a record 288 cases the previous day. 

“It will get worse before it gets better,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised news conference. “We will see more and more additional cases. This is going to be with us for months and months.”

There were 100 separate outbreaks in Victoria, the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, told the news conference.

01:43 GMT – Unexplained pneumonia in Kazakhstan ‘likely to be COVID-19’

Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief, said the agency believes an unexplained pneumonia outbreak in Kazakhstan is likely due to the coronavirus.

“We’re looking at the actual testing and the quality of testing to make sure that there haven’t been false negative tests for some of those other pneumonias that are provisionally tested negative,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the WHO was working with local authorities to review X-rays and look at the pattern of pneumonia cases to see if they were consistent with COVID-19.

“While we believe that many of these cases will be diagnosed as COVID-19, we keep an open mind,” he said.

00:37 GMT – US welcomes WHO inquiry into virus origins in China

Andrew Bromberg, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington welcomes the WHO’s probe into the origins of the novel coronavirus in China.

“We view the scientific investigation as a necessary step to having a complete and transparent understanding of how this virus has spread throughout the world,” he told reporters.

The United States, the WHO’s largest donor, this week notified the agency that it was withdrawing in a year’s time after accusing it of being too close to China and not doing enough to question Beijing’s actions at the start of the crisis.

00:20 GMT – Brazil’s death toll surpasses 70,000

Brazil exceeded 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilizing.

The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths.

Brazil is the second-worst affected country in the world after the United States.

00:02 GMT – California to release 8,000 prisoners to slow pandemic

The US state of California will release up to 8,000 inmates early from state prisons to slow the spread of COVID-19 inside facilities, state authorities said.

Prisoners with a year or less left to serve will be eligible for release. Among prisoners excluded from early release are those convicted of violent felonies and sex crimes, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that nearly 2,400 people in California’s 35 prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus, including 1,314 at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 10, here.

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