Here are some more of the details on the EU deal. The €750bn package will fund a recovery programme and long0term spending plans. It follows acrimonious debate at what was the bloc’s longest summit in two decades. Talks went late into the night and then resumed at around 5am on Tuesday to seal the deal.
The euro rose against the dollar on the news to stand at $1.145 on the news of the deal.
You can read our full coverage of the deal below:
EU agrees coronavirus recovery plan
Some breaking news … the EU has agreed the deal to implement its coronavirus recovery plan. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, tweeted “deal” a few moments ago.
The Reuters news agency is reporting that the US recorded 61,671 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, taking the total cases to 3.85m. I’m still waiting for the CDC to update their Monday figures, but on Sunday it said the US recorded 63,201 new cases
It’s worth noting that the the CDC’s seven-day rolling average for new cases is is 66,022.
Los Angeles county – the most populous county in the US – still has the highest number of confirmed cases, at 155,917. Cook county in Chicago – the second most populous US country – is second, with 98,670 cases. Maricopa country in Arizona, has the third most infections with 95,471 and Miami Dade in Florida is fourth, with 84,238 cases.
EU leaders have resumed meeting to try to seal their €750bn Covid-19 recovery plan. A new “spirit of compromise” had been found, Emmanuel Macron said, despite the French president thumping the negotiating table at the Brussels event in frustration the previous evening and likening those thwarting his spending plans to the ill-fated British in previous budget negotiations.
Japan cases rise
Tokyo is expected to report 230 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, according to Japanese media. Tokyo’s governor, Koike Yuriko, told reporters the figure was still being checked, but she expects it will surpass 200 and reach about 230. It would be the first time in three days cases have exceeded 200.
Scaled-down hajj to start on 29 July
This year’s hajj, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims, will begin on 29 July, Saudi authorities said Monday.
Some 2.5 million people usually participate in the ritual of several days, centred on the holy city of Mecca.
“The stand of pilgrims on Mount Arafat, the peak of the hajj ritual, falls on Thursday,” the official Saudi Press Agency cited the supreme court as saying.
The timing of the hajj is determined by the position of the moon, in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Last month, Saudi Arabia announced it would hold a “very limited” hajj, a decision fraught with political and economic peril as it battles a surge in coronavirus infections with some 253,349 cases so far including 2,523 deaths – the highest in the Gulf.
The hajj and the lesser umrah pilgrimage together usually rake in some $12 billion per year.
Although hajj officials said the pilgrimage would be restricted to 1,000 people already present in the kingdom, 70% of them foreigners, some press reports have said that 10,000 people may take part.
Saudi citizens will make up the remaining 30% of the pilgrims, with the ritual restricted to medical professionals and security personnel who have recovered from the virus, the hajj ministry said.
The decision to exclude pilgrims arriving from outside Saudi Arabia is a first in the kingdom’s modern history.
Brazil to test Chinese coronavirus vaccine
Brazil will begin advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against the new coronavirus Tuesday, issuing the first doses to around 900 volunteers, Agence France-Presse reports.
The coronavirus vaccine, developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, is the third in the world to enter Phase 3 trials, or large-scale testing on humans – the last step before regulatory approval.
It will be administered to doctors and other health workers who volunteer for the program across six states in Brazil, one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Trials of CoronaVac, one of the vaccines that has advanced furthest in testing in the world, will begin at the Clinical Hospital of Sao Paulo,” the state’s governor, Joao Doria, told a news conference.
He said initial results were expected within 90 days.
Just while I’m on Australia, Bauer Media in the country has axed eight magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Men’s Health, in the latest hit to the media industry. German-owned publisher cited a catastrophic drop in revenue due to impact of Covid-19 as reason for closures.
InStyle, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and OK! magazines will also be axed. Bauer said the economic impact of a full month of Covid-19 lockdowns was a 38.8% month-on-month drop in media advertising expenditure.
Seven of the titles had already been suspended by Bauer in May.
You can read our full coverage below from our media correspondent, Amanda Meade.
Australia reduces economic support for those affected by pandemic
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, is now giving a press conference which is expected to address the economic support measures put in place during the pandemic.
“Australia is a country that just doesn’t look to survive these things. We don’t go through challenges with our heads looking down. Overwhelmed by the circumstances, that is not who we are. Who we are is innovative adaptive people, supporting each other, reaching out to each other, drawing us all through, not for survival, but to be on the other side in the position where we can emerge strongly,” Morrison says.
He is explaining changes to the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker allowances that have helped to support those who have lost their jobs, and to help businesses keep their workers on during the crisis.
The Jobkeeper payment will be reduced he says and there will be a lower payment for people working less than 20 hours per week.
There will also be reductions to the Jobseeker or unemployment allowance – you can see all the details on our Australian live blog below.
Two Australian states fighting to contain outbreaks
We are hearing the day’s figures from Australia, where a serious outbreak in the southern state of Victoria has prompted a six-week lockdown in the capital of Melbourne and the adjacent Mitchell Shire.
The state premiere, Daniel Andrews reported another 374 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, and three deaths. Sixty-two of the new cases were connected to known and contained outbreaks, and 312 were under investigation. The deaths were of a woman in her 100s, a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 80s.
Residents in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to the city’s north will be required to wear face masks or coverings from 11.59pm on Wednesday night. Both areas were returned to a six-week lockdown after the current outbreak grew significantly.
The neighbouring state of New South Wales, which is the most populous state in the country, reported 13 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. All cases were related to known clusters and one was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
New Zealand reports one new case of Covid-19 in a returned traveller
New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19 in its managed isolation facilities. Newshub says the case is a woman in her 30s who arrived in the country on 16 July. She had flown from London via Doha and Sydney. She has been transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility. New Zealand continues to have no known cases of local transmission of Covid-19, with 81 days since a case of coronavirus was acquired locally from an unknown source.
WHO warns over Covid-19’s spread in Africa
The WHO has warned of its concerns over the spread of Covid-19 in Africa and that South Africa’s growing numbers could be a “precursor” for outbreaks elsewhere on the continent. South Africa has 373,000 cases – around half the continent’s cases.
“I am very concerned right now that we are beginning to see an acceleration of disease in Africa,” said the WHO’s emergencies chief Michael Ryan.
“While South Africa is experiencing a very, very severe event, I think it is really a marker of what the continent could face if urgent action is not taken to provide further support,” he said.
“South Africa may unfortunately be a precursor, it may be a warning for what will happen in the rest of Africa.”
With more than 15,000 deaths and close to 725,000 cases, the continent remains the world’s second least affected after Oceania.
While South Africa’s numbers were by far the largest, they had “only” increased by 30% in the past week, Ryan said.
By comparison, numbers in Kenya had increased by 31%, in Madagascar by 50%, in Zambia by 57% and in Namibia by 69%, he pointed out.
“I think what we are starting to see is a continued acceleration of transmission in a number of countries,” he said.
Markets rise on vaccine news and hope of EU Covid-19 recovery deal
Stock markets in Asia Pacific have opened in positive territory this morning after a strong showing from tech stocks on Wall Street pushed the Nasdaq 2.5% higher to a record 10,767.09 points at the close on Monday night. The driving force was positive data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines and hopes that the European Union would finalise a recovery fund.
And while we’re at it, how about this for a stat: the value of America’s four big tech companies is now greater than that of the entire Japanese market.
Mexico’s health ministry on Monday reported 5,172 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 301 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 349,396 cases and 39,485 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Brazil passes 80,000 deaths
Brazil’s health ministry has reported the country’s death toll has passed 80,000 and the number of cases is now 2.1m. It comes as two more Brazilian government ministers said on Monday they had tested positive for Covid-19.
The citizenship minister, Onyx Lorenzoni, and newly appointed education minister, Milton Ribeiro, both announced their diagnoses and new quarantine measures on social media.
Reuters reports that Lorenzoni, a close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, credited relatively mild symptoms to an anti-malarial drug touted by the president on social media and at public rallies.
Bolsonaro, who is quarantined after he also tested positive for the virus, has said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug used mainly to treat malaria, which Donald Trump also strongly backed, despite criticism from the medical community. In June, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote: “Based on ongoing analysis and emerging scientific data, FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible,” it said on its website.
EU set to reach coronavirus recovery plan deal
EU leaders shifted their positions on Monday evening towards reaching a historic agreement on the bloc’s long-term spending plans and a €750bn pandemic recovery fund following days of acrimonious debate at the longest leaders’ summit in two decades, write the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin.
A new “spirit of compromise” had been found, Emmanuel Macron said, despite the French president thumping the negotiating table at the Brussels event in frustration the previous evening and likening those thwarting his spending plans to the ill-fated British in previous budget negotiations.
Shortly after 1am local time the commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that it was “time to move”, in a sign that agreement was imminent.
As Macron had arrived ahead of a fourth evening of negotiations with his fellow leaders on Monday he spoke of cautious optimism. Within hours senior EU diplomats spoke of an impending breakthrough.
The renewed confidence followed a new proposal from the European council president, Charles Michel, for the EU to pay out €390bn in non-repayable grants for the worst-hit countries and €360bn in loans. The money would be raised through jointly issued debt.
The “frugal” states of the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria have been pushing for the original proposal by the European commission for €500bn in grants for stricken countries to be reduced to €350bn, to the evident frustration of Macron and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, had warned his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, who has led the way on reducing the level of grants, that he faced being blamed for a lack of EU response to the deep economic recession facing the continent.
You can read our full coverage below:
Trump backs face masks where social distancing is not possible
Donald Trump’s tweet about it being “patriotic” to wear face masks, comes the week after he appointed a new head to his election campaign team.
The president has been well-known for not wearing face mask. He wore one for the first time in front of TV cameras when he visited the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington about 10 days ago.
His tweet came more than three months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first urged Americans to wear face coverings to help limit their risk of contracting the virus.
Another change out of Washington is that the president’s daily coronavirus briefings look set to resume. They are expected to start on Tuesday. The president abruptly stopped the briefings after he was widely ridiculed for suggesting injecting bleach may be an option to treat the virus.
“Well, we had very successful briefings,” Trump told reporters at the Oval office on Monday.
“I was doing them and we had a lot of people watching, record numbers watching in the history of cable television – television, there’s never been anything like it. And we were doing very well, and I thought it would be sort of, automatic and a lot of positive things were happening and frankly, a lot of the country is doing well,” he said.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Alison Rourke.
President Trump has tweeted a photo of himself wearing a face mask, with the caption: “Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” he said. “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favourite President!”
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention first first urged Americans to wear face coverings in April, but Trump was only seen publicly wearing a mask for the first time earlier this month.
- President Trump to resume daily coronavirus briefings. The White House briefings stopped abruptly after the president (wrongly) suggested injecting disinfectant may be a way of treating Covid-19. The announcement comes as the president’s approval and polling numbers continue to decline.
- EU set to agree on €750bn Covid-19 recovery plans. Leaders shifted their positions on Monday evening towards reaching a historic agreement on the bloc’s long-term spending plans and a €750bn pandemic recovery fund following days of acrimonious debate at the longest leaders’ summit in two decades.
- Brazil death toll passes 80,000. Health ministry figures showed cases in the country had grown to more than 2.1m, with deaths now standing at 80,120. Two more Brazilian ministers also tested positive for Covid-19, with one, the citizenship minister, Onyx Lorenzoni, who is a close ally of President Bolsonaro crediting relatively mild symptoms to an anti-malarial drug touted.
- The World Health Organziation voiced alarm Monday at the spread in Africa. It warned that South Africa’s surging numbers could be a “precursor” for outbreaks across the continent.
- The hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia will begin on 29 July. The drastically scaled back event will include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims due to the pandemic.
- A coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University appears to be safe and prompts an immune response, raising hopes about the distribution of a vaccine in the coming months. The Oxford team published the results of its vaccine trials in the medical journal the Lancet today.
- France reports up to 500 virus clusters. Despite the clusters, authorities say there are no signs of an imminent “second wave”, according to the health minister Olivier Veran. Many of the clusters involve abattoirs or other contained professional settings such as old age homes, he said. Nationwide the R number indicating the viral transmission rate is 1.2.