More than 26.75 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 875,419 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
At the same time, the coronavirus is still making its mark on sporting events: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has dampened hopes that spectators would be allowed to attend football matches from the start of the new season, saying it would be inappropriate at the present time.
And the professional riders’ association (CPA) called on cycling fans to wear face masks along the route of the Tour de France.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in a stable condition two days after being hospitalised with the coronavirus, his doctor said on Sunday.
* Pope Francis will next month visit the Italian town of Assisi, his first trip out of Rome since the pandemic hit the country in February, and will sign a new encyclical, a spokesman for the Assisi Basilica said late on Saturday.
* Brussels honoured health workers battling the pandemic on Saturday by dressing up the Belgian capital’s famed bronze statue of the Manneken Pis as a doctor in a white gown and wearing a protective face mask.
* India’s total coronavirus cases surged beyond 4 million with a rise of 86,432 infections on Saturday, making it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil. The number of deaths rose by more than 1,000 to 69,561.
* Protesters against a COVID-19 lockdown defied police in Australia’s hotspot on Saturday, prompting 15 arrests, even as the state of Victoria continued its gradual improvement in stemming new cases due to the nearly five weeks of restrictions.
* Democratic U.S. vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said she would not take President Donald Trump’s word alone on any potential coronavirus vaccine.
* U.S. deaths from the virus will reach 410,000 by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, and deaths could soar to 3,000 per day in December, the University of Washington’s health institute forecast.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Schools in Iran re-opened to 15 million students on Saturday after a seven-month closure despite concerns over increased spread of the coronavirus in the country.
* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani castigated Iran’s friends on Saturday for not standing up to the United States and ignoring U.S. sanctions during the pandemic.
* Sanofi’s chief in France, Olivier Bogillot, said on Saturday that its future COVID-19 vaccine was likely to be priced below 10 euros per shot.
* Several COVID-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc , Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, plan to issue a public pledge not to seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe and effective, the Wall Street Journal reported.