Coronavirus live news: Victoria faces stage 4 lockdown as South Africa cases pass 500,000

By Helen Sullivan

20:36

Donald Trump claims Anthony Fauci 'wrong' about cause of Covid-19 surge

Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on his own top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, arguing against the doctor’s claim that high rates of infection in the US stem from a less aggressive reaction to the virus in terms of economic shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

“Wrong!” countered the president as he retweeted a video of Fauci making the point in recent congressional testimony.

Fauci had explained that differentiations between surging US infections and a sharp decrease seen across Europe could be explained by the different reactions to the virus. Fauci said most European countries shut their economies down by 95%, while the US only shut down its economy by half.

Trump countered: “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!”

But Fauci’s point accurately describes the US situation. While some states followed Centers for Disease Control guidelines when they started to re-open, many did not, leading to a surge in infections in many southern and western states, Fauci explained:

20:25

20:08

19:56

WHO anticipates “lengthy” pandemic

19:47

South Africa’s confirmed infections top 500,000

19:43

Nick Kyrgios withdraws from US open

19:35

The Victorian government is set to announce the details of tougher lockdown measures on Sunday afternoon.

Guardian Australia understands the premier, Daniel Andrews, will spell out the details shortly after lunchtime on Sunday, but they are not expected to include a shutdown of public transport that has been mooted in some media reports.

The ABC’s Insiders program reported that the stage 4 lockdown was likely to include further restrictions affecting retail outlets, abattoirs and call centres, while restaurants and cafes would be allowed to offer takeaway if they abide by “strict contactless service provisions”. The ABC reported that there could be some restrictions on the operation of Uber and taxi services – and that the tougher restrictions would apply beyond metropolitan Melbourne.

Mounted police in Melbourne, Australia, 31 July 2020.

Mounted police in Melbourne, Australia, 31 July 2020. Photograph: Speed Media/REX/Shutterstock

The federal education minister, Dan Tehan, signalled on Sunday that the federal government would be supportive of additional measures aimed at reducing community transmission in Victoria.