Coronavirus live news: England rocked by easing U-turn as Australia cases mount

By Aamna Mohdin (now) with Matilda Boseley and Luke Henriques-Gomes (earlier)




The Afghan doctor who identified the first coronavirus case in the country has lost his life to the disease, as a US watchdog warns that Afghanistan is “headed for a humanitarian disaster”.Dr Ibrahim Basim, 64, the head of the infectious diseases department of Herat regional hospital, has died from the virus. Basim identified and treated the first Covid-19 patient in Afghanistan and raised awareness in the country about the pandemic. Officials in Herat province have already warned of a second wave of the pandemic. They said the flow of Afghan refugees from Iran, and the failure of the people to follow health guidelines, have increased the possibility of a new wave of the virus.The health ministry reported the total death toll stands at 1,283. In its latest update, the health ministry said the number of people who had tested positive for the virus had reached 36,710, an increase of 35 on the day before. There have been 25,509 recoveries, including 189 over the past 24 hours.A report by a US watchdog released on Thursday said the coronavirus pandemic was pushing millions more Afghans into poverty, overwhelming the country’s basic healthcare system and causing food shortages.The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) indicated that only 300 ventilators are currently available across the war-ravaged country. The watchdog said the country was “headed for a humanitarian disaster” as the virus continued to spread.

“The economic shock of the pandemic, including increased unemployment, food-supply disruptions due to border closures, and rising food prices, has exacerbated Afghans’ food insecurity, already impacted by the ongoing conflict and high poverty levels,” said SIGAR. It added that about one-third of the country’s estimated 32.2 million people were either in a crisis or an emergency state of food insecurity.

The report says that testing remains limited, but nearly 43% of samples test positive, one of the highest rates in the world.











Russia’s coronavirus death toll exceeds 14,000









France's Covid-19 cases spike

For the third consecutive day, new cases of Covid-19 cases topped 1,300 in France.

Friday evening’s figures showed an increase of 1,346 confirmed new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours and 15 new clusters, taking the total number of clusters currently under investigation to 157.

The number of new cases, which had dropped to several hundred every day at the beginning of July, rose suddenly to top 1,000 a day a week ago, prompting health officials to warn of a resurgence of the virus. Although new cases dropped to just over 500 at the beginning of last week, they subsequently shot up again.

A spike in cases in areas popular with tourists, including coastal resorts, has been labelled the “holiday effect”, by the French press.

Health experts say 21% of the identified clusters have been sparked by families getting together for the summer after the strict two-month confinement, which ended on 11 May, and “temporary public or private gatherings”, including marriages. This figure was 14.5% at the beginning of July.

Officials blame the increase in cases on people becoming less vigilant and abandoning social distancing and protection measures and say too many of those showing known coronavirus symptoms are failing to get themselves tested.

There will be no updated figures over the weekend.



Tokyo reports 472 new Covid-19 cases





Aged care cases jump in Victoria