Iran reports more than 100 deaths for third day in a row; UK death toll rises by 43; Chile deaths rise to more than 7,000. This blog is now closed. Follow our new blog below

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Coronavirus live news: WHO reports record daily global case increase; New York shops and bars reopen

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That’s all from me for today – I’ll hand over to my colleague Helen Sullivan to guide you all through the next bit. As always, thanks for following along.



WHO registers record rise in global cases

The World Health Organization has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, rising by 183,020 in 24 hours, according to Reuters.

The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to a daily report. Total global cases have passed 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on 18 June.FacebookTwitter


AFP has this amazing story about an Argentine man who sailed across the Atlantic to see his ageing parents

“Mission accomplished!” That joyful declaration came from Juan Manuel Ballestero, an Argentine sailor who, unable to fly home from Portugal due to the pandemic, crossed the ocean alone in his modest sailboat to see his ageing parents.

“I did it! I did it! I did it!” Ballestero exclaimed at dockside last week when he reached his hometown of Mar del Plata.

The 47-year-old had completed an exhausting 85-day odyssey in his small boat, the nine-meter “Skua.”

After testing negative for Covid-19 on arrival, Ballestero was cleared to set foot on dry land to see his mother 82-year-old Nilda and father Carlos, aged 90.

“I’ve achieved what I’ve been fighting for these last three months,” he told AFP. “It came down to this: to be with the family. That’s why I came.”

He had hoped to arrive in Argentina by May 15, for his father’s 90th birthday. He missed that date, but instead was able to celebrate Father’s Day with his family.

Ballestero, who works in Spain, hatched his ambitious plan for a single-handed sea passage after flights back to Argentina were canceled because of the pandemic.

He learned during the long trip home that “people were dying every day, by the thousands,” a jarring realization at a time when he was “in the middle of nature, seeing how the world goes on.

“There were dolphins and whales… even as humanity was passing through this difficult moment.”

For 54 long days, his family had no word from him.

“But we knew he was going to come,” said a smiling Carlos. “We had no doubt. He was coming to Mar del Plata to be with his parents.”

The coronavirus has claimed 1,000 lives in Argentina, many of them elderly people like Carlos and his wife.

The younger Ballestero’s first stop on the 12,000-kilometer trip was at Vitoria, Brazil; the last one before arrival was in La Paloma, Uruguay.

The Skua now sits docked at the Mar del Plata nautical club, and probably won’t be leaving soon. Ballestero has no immediate travel plans.

Juan Manuel Ballestero stands on his boat in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Thursday, June 18, 2020. Ballestero crossed the Atlantic on a small sailboat, setting off from the port of Porto Santo in Portugal on March 24 and finally reaching Mar del Plata on Wednesday to be reunited with his parents after flights to Argentina were cut due to the COVID-19 lockdown. (AP Photo/Vicente Robles)
 Juan Manuel Ballestero stands on his boat in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Thursday, June 18, 2020. Ballestero crossed the Atlantic on a small sailboat, setting off from the port of Porto Santo in Portugal on March 24 and finally reaching Mar del Plata on Wednesday to be reunited with his parents after flights to Argentina were cut due to the COVID-19 lockdown. (AP Photo/Vicente Robles) Photograph: Vicente Robles/AP

Updated at 11.26pm BSTFacebookTwitter


UK prime minister Boris Johnson will on Tuesday reveal his plan to reopen the hospitality sector from 4 July, and announce the result of the review of the two-metre social-distancing rule.

After consulting his cabinet on Monday and Tuesday, Johnson will outline the plans to parliament for pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers. Guidance will be published for each sector on how businesses can reduce the spread of Covid-19 when they reopen.

The public are expected to be warned that the latest easing of rules will be the first to be reversed if there are widespread breaches that cause the number of infections to peak, with a No 10 spokesman adding: “We will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control.”

Updated at 11.11pm BSTFacebookTwitterAdvertisement


Mexico will resume sending temporary farmworkers to Canada after the two countries reached an agreement on improved safety protections for labourers on Canadian farms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government has said.

Mexico said last Tuesday it would pause sending workers to farms with coronavirus infections after at least two of its nationals died from Covid-19 after outbreaks on 17 Canadian farms, according to Reuters.

Canadian farmers rely on 60,000 short-term foreign workers, predominantly from Latin America and the Caribbean, to plant and harvest crops. Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the Temporary Agricultural Workers Program had “entered into operation once again after a temporary pause.”

The two nations “reached an agreement to improve the sanitary conditions of the nationals who work on farms,” the statement added.

Updated at 11.00pm BSTFacebookTwitter


A further 83 coronavirus cases have been confirmed at a chicken processing plant in North Wales, health authorities said, bringing the total to 158.

Production was stopped at the 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, on Thursday after the Covid-19 outbreak was declared and staff told to self-isolate for two weeks, according to the Press Association.

The latest group of cases were confirmed over the 24 hours to 3pm on Sunday. Public Health Wales had previously recorded 75 infections.

Dr Christopher Johnson, consultant in health protection at Public Health Wales, said: “Since we commenced targeted testing last Thursday, over 400 members of staff have provided samples so far. Testing of employees continues, and it is likely that some additional cases will be identified in the coming days.”

It comes amid concerns over how coronavirus outbreaks are announced, with another cluster at the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, confirmed by owner Asda on Friday.

On Thursday, the 2 Sisters Food Group announced it was “doing the right thing” and would cease work on site for 14 days with immediate effect.

The company said the first reported positive case at the plant was on 28 May, and a full “safe ways of working” action plan had been in place since early March. Production at the factory, where 560 people are employed, will be transferred to other company locations until 2 July.

Also on Thursday, in Wrexham, North Wales, 38 employees at the Rowan Foods factory tested positive for the coronavirus, though bosses said the cases were due to a local increase in the area rather than a spread within the site.

2 Sisters Food Group is one of the largest food producers in the UK.FacebookTwitter


Spot a story you think I’ve missed? You can reach me on Twitter @cleaskopeliti or by email.FacebookTwitterAdvertisement


We’ve had an update on the anti-lockdown protest in The Hague, where Dutch police have now said some 400 people were arrested after they refused to disperse, AFP reports.

“We have arrested some 400 people today. A large number of them have been since let go,” the police said on Twitter.

Reuters had previously reported that around 100 people had been arrested, based on media reports and witness accounts, as the police had not announced a figure.

Dutch police arrested dozens of people on June 21, 2020, after skirmishes broke out at an coronavirus protest in The Hague, with law officers carrying out horseback charges and using a water cannon. (Photo by ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
 Dutch police arrested dozens of people on June 21, 2020, after skirmishes broke out at an coronavirus protest in The Hague, with law officers carrying out horseback charges and using a water cannon. (Photo by ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images) Photograph: Robin van Lonkhuijsen/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The Hague Mayor Johan Remkes said the demonstration was banned because authorities had information that “troublemakers” from all over the Netherlands, including groups of known football hooligans, were planning to descend on The Hague.

“This has nothing to do with protesting or the right to freedom of speech. This group was deliberately trying to disturb public order,” Remkes said in a statement.

Updated at 9.52pm BSTFacebookTwitter


The coronavirus has been spreading faster in the last 10 days in French Guyana and the French government is not ruling out imposing a new lockdown on the French overseas territory, the prime minister’s office has said in a statement.

Prime minister Edouard Philippe’s office also said in the statement that the government would be increasing its resources to tackle the outbreak in the region, Reuters reports.FacebookTwitter



For those of you just joining the blog, here’s a round up of the key developments from the last few hours.

Updated at 10.56pm BSTFacebookTwitterAdvertisement


The number of coronavirus deaths in France has risen by seven from the previous day to 29,640, the country’s national health service has said.

The number of confirmed cases rose by 284 to 160,377.

France has the fifth-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, although the rate of casualties has dropped sharply over the last two months, allowing the country to gradually reopen its economy.FacebookTwitter


Morocco will resume domestic flights from 25 June, the state news agency has announced.

The government had said earlier today that it would further relax lockdown measures for the services sector and domestic transport starting 24 June, adding domestic travel would resume including flights and railways.FacebookTwitterAdvertisement


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a further 32,411 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 2,248,029.

The number of deaths has risen by 560 to 119,615.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.FacebookTwitter


Dubai has said it will allow foreign visitors to enter from 7 July, while those with residency visas can enter the country from Monday.

Citizens and residents would be allowed to travel abroad from 23 June.

Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus or would undergo tests on arrival at Dubai airports, the Dubai media office has said in a statement.

“The new announcement will allow thousands of people affected by the worldwide restrictions in passenger air traffic since the start of the pandemic to resume their travel plans,” it added.FacebookTwitter

19:04Alex Hern

Alex Hern

Apple has responded to UK health secretary Matt Hancock’s earlier attacks on the company’s “intransigence”, which earned a rare rebuke from the typically taciturn technology corporation.

Blaming Apple for the delay to the government’s contact tracing app, which was supposed to launch at the end of May and has now been delayed until at least September, Hancock said: “Of course I wish we had brought it in sooner, I wish that Apple had made the change for it to work in Apple phones in the same way that the original works on Android phones, but we will get there.”

In response, an Apple spokesperson told the Guardian: “Apple is committed to working with the UK government to help tackle Covid-19. We’ve been constant collaborators with NHSX and will continue working with them on ways to further optimise the technology while protecting our customers’ privacy. Many countries have successfully launched Exposure Notification apps and we look forward to helping the UK government do the same.”

On Friday, the Guardian reported that Apple and Google had been taken by surprise by Hancock’s live public claim that the two companies would work with the government on a “hybrid” contact tracing app, which would apparently incorporate elements from both systems into one new app.

Updated at 7.06pm BSTFacebookTwitter


Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate spikes

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said.

This increase brings infections over the level needed to contain the rate over the long term, Reuters reports.

A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease.

The number represents a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, and is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago.

RKI said outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes and hospitals, institutions for asylum seekers and refugees, in meat processing plants and logistics companies, among seasonal harvest workers and in connection with religious events and family gatherings.

Here’s an explainer on the R number:

What does the ‘R’ number of coronavirus mean? – video explainer

What does the ‘R’ number of coronavirus mean? – video explainer

Updated at 6.27pm BSTFacebookTwitterAdvertisement





Police in The Hague arrested some 100 people on Sunday after they refused to leave a protest against the Dutch government’s social distancing measures, Reuters reports.

About a thousand protesters had gathered in the Malieveld area in The Hague, despite though the demonstration have been banned by the municipality.

“The remaining demonstrators on the Malieveld who refused to leave have all been arrested,” the police tweeted.

Dutch media said about 100 people were arrested. A witness gave a similar estimate.

The authorities had allowed a brief protest to proceed before asking demonstrators to disperse. Police made the arrests when a group

Article Source: TheGuardian


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