Coronavirus live news: Global cases pass 18m as Melbourne braces for further lockdown measures

By Helen Sullivan

00:09

Vietnam is rushing to build a 700-bed makeshift hospital to cope with a coronavirus outbreak in the central city of Da Nang, as the country’s health minister warned the current strain of the virus is more contagious than those previously seen in the country.

Nguyen Thanh Long said each person carrying the new strain may infect about 5-6 people, compared to 1.8-2.2 people during the country’s previous outbreak.

Over recent months, the country has been praised for its success in preventing a major outbreak, thanks to its aggressive contact tracing and quarantine measures. It was on the brink of reaching 100 days without any community transmission, before cases were detected in Da Nang, a busy tourist hub. Last week, Vietnam recorded its first ever coronavirus-related fatality, linked to the outbreak in Da Nang. Since then, five more people have died.

Motorbike riders with protective face masks travel during the afternoon peak hour on 31 July 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Motorbike riders with protective face masks travel during the afternoon peak hour on 31 July 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photograph: Linh Pham/Getty Images

About 200 people in six cities, including Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, have tested positive over recent weeks. More than 100,000 people, mostly domestic tourists returning from Da Nang, have been asked to isolate.In total, the country has recorded 621 infections since January.

23:38

More on China’s cases now:

An outbreak of the coronavirus continues to spread in Xinjiang, home to China’s controversial internment camps and government programme of mass surveillance targeting Muslim minorities. As of Sunday, the far northwestern territory added 28 new cases, bringing the total number of infections in the region to 590 - as officials continue lockdown measures.

Of the cases, five are considered “critically ill” and 21 have been diagnosed as “severely ill”. The majority of cases, 586, are in the region’s capital Urumqi, with other cases in Kashgar and Changji prefecture. Almost 15,000 people are currently under medical observation.

As most Chinese cities return to normal, lifting restrictions and sending people back to work, authorities are still struggling to deal with imported infections from returning Chinese nationals. In Wuhan, which was hardest hit by the virus after it first emerged there late last year, officials confirmed three new cases of the virus - all Chinese students who had been studying in Russia and took a chartered flight from Moscow to Wuhan on July 30.

The flight, CA602, carried 198 passengers and 20 crew - who have been placed under medical observation, according to officials.

22:58

Global infections pass 18m

22:47

In the UK, people who have recovered from Covid-19 are being urged to donate their blood plasma as part of an urgent appeal to help the NHS treat those who fall ill during a potential second wave.

The call follows news that the number of appointments booked each week as part of the ongoing NHS Blood and Transplant convalescent plasma collection has dropped by almost half in the past month. There are fewer eligible donors due to the fall in new infections during lockdown:

22:27

China reports 43 new cases including 28 in Xinjiang

22:10

Here is the latest on the Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne.

Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said the restrictions have been brought in to get community transmission – cases where the source of the transmission cannot be determined – under control. Andrews said government modelling showed that without these measures, stage three restrictions would need to last six months.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce further restrictions to businesses this afternoon:

21:48

Two cruise ships hit by coronavirus weeks after industry restarts

Covid-19 has been detected on at least two cruise ships – one in the Arctic and one in the Pacific – just weeks after cruising holidays restarted.

At least 40 passengers and crew from the MS Roald Amundsen have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and authorities are trying to contact trace hundreds of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages the ship took.

Four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalised on Friday when the ship arrived at the Norwegian port of Tromsø, and later diagnosed with the respiratory illness. Tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected:

21:36

New Zealand reports two new cases, both returned travellers in quarantine

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20:59

20:30

New Zealand PM says trans-Tasman bubble 'some time away now'

Updated

20:06

US cases in July were double any other month

19:44

The British love affair with home crafting shows no sign of abating, according to Hobbycraft, which has reported a 200% boom in online sales since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Hobbycraft, whose bestsellers include a giant set of 1,000 craft pieces for £6 and soap-making kits for £15, said there had been “exceptional levels of customer demand” during lockdown as customers confined to their homes looked to find their inner craftsperson.

It is moving its popular craft demonstrations and workshops online as part of its adjustment to the post-coronavirus world.

The company, which has 99 stores on high streets and retail parks including five that opened last year, said total revenue increased by 8.9% to £193.6m for the year ending 16 February – before the Covid-19 crisis. Online sales grew by 19% over the same period:

19:31

China sends Covid-19 testing team to Hong Kong, prompting surveillance fears

19:21

Greater Manchester declares major incident after rise in Covid-19 cases

A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester in response to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities”.

The decision to up the readiness of emergency and public services to react to the escalating Covid-19 transmission rate in the region comes after the government announced new lockdown restrictions for parts of north-west England on Thursday.

Gold command meetings of senior figures from the police, local authorities and other agencies to discuss the pandemic have been taking place over the weekend.

Major incidents are often declared as a result of a terror attack or natural disaster and mean a region can access extra national resources if necessary, with the police able to draft in the army if they need support:

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Summary