Germany and France want to give more money and power to the World Health Organisation after the COVID-19 pandemic underscored long-standing financial and legal weaknesses at the U.N. agency, according to Reuters.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* The British government is set to drop Croatia from its quarantine-free list on Thursday, The Telegraph reported.
* France registered 3,776 new infections on Wednesday but President Emmanuel Macron again ruled out imposing another national lockdown.
* Norway said it will impose a 10-day quarantine on all people arriving from Britain, Austria, Greece and Ireland from Aug. 22.
* U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday touted the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 and suggested a reported decision by regulators to put on hold an emergency authorization for its use could be politically motivated.
* The White House pushed for Congress to take up a narrow coronavirus economic relief bill that Democrats have long rejected.
* New York City teachers threatened to strike or bring legal action unless the largest U.S. school district implements a more rigorous COVID-19 testing plan and other safety measures before reopening schools next month.
* Brazil reported more than 49,200 new cases and 1,212 additional deaths and its health ministry said the virus’ spread in the country could be about to slow.
* Cases in Colombia surpassed 500,000 on Wednesday.
* Infections have spread nationwide from a church in Seoul, raising fears that one of the world’s virus mitigation success stories might yet suffer a disastrous outbreak, a top health official said.
* India reported a record daily jump of 69,652 infections on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 2.84 million, and deaths rose by 977 to 53,866.
* Australian state of Victoria, the country’s COVID-19 hot spot, reported a small daily increase in new infections with 240 cases.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Iran’s official death toll topped 20,000, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours.
* Egypt will require all people entering the country to present Polymerase Chain Reaction test results for COVID-19 on arrival from Sept. 1.
* Regeneron and Roche are teaming up on an investigational antibody cocktail against COVID-19.
* Abu Dhabi’s G42 Healthcare has signed a preliminary agreement with Israel’s NanoScent to develop, distribute, and manufacture a test that detects COVID-19 from exhaled air, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
* Cuba kicks off clinical trials next week of a potential coronavirus vaccine called “Soberana 01” (“Sovereign 01”) developed by its state-run Finlay Institute, with results due in February, state-run media said.
* South Korea’s Green Cross Corp has received regulatory approval for phase II human clinical trials of its experimental coronavirus plasma treatment drug.
* Asian equities and U.S. futures fell, hurt by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s cautious view of the economy, tensions with China and new clusters of coronavirus infections.
* The World Trade Organization said its goods trade barometer hit a record low, suggesting global merchandise trade registered a historic fall in the second quarter.
* Britain’s economy will not fully recover from its current historic downturn for at least two years, a Reuters poll of economists found.
At the same time, a Reuters tally shows that more than 22.42 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 785,306 have died.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.