COVID-19 | Top 10 global developments this Thursday morning

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Nearly 13.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 582,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the top 10 global developments this morning:

1. Tokyo is expecting to confirm a record daily number of coronavirus cases in Thursday, putting a multi-billion dollar domestic tourism campaign in doubt.

2. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is again touting the supposed benefits of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, as he tests positive for the virus again.

3. China’s economy has returned to growth, according to offiical figures.

GDP rose by 3.2 percent in the three months ended June compared with the same period a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

4. Bangladesh has arrested a hospital owner accused of faking thousands of coronavirus test results.

AFP news agency says 42-year-old Mohammad Shahed was found after nine days on the run.

5. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike says daily cases in the capital are likely to top 280 on Thursday. That would be the highest since the start of the outbreak.

“It’s still incomplete, but I’m hearing the number will be above 280,” she told reporters. More than 4,000 tests are being conducted, she added.

6. China has given the green light to phase I clinical trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine using BioNtech’s technology.

Fosun Pharma says it plans to start the trial of BNT162b1 “as soon as possible once it is ready”.

7. Offiicals in Japan are questioning the government’s plans to boost domestic tourism amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the capital.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike questioned the wisdom of the plan on Wednesday and rural officials have also weighed in. A panel of experts is due to discuss the multi-billion dollar ‘Go To” promotion on Thursday.

8. The Australian state of Victoria has just given its daily update on coronavirus, reporting 317 new cases – a record for Australia. Two men in their 80s were also confirmed to have died from the disease.

9. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro continues to tout hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus even though there is little evidence that it works.

Bolsonaro, who tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time on Wednesday, shared a video on social media extolling the benefits of the controversial malaria drug.

10. Authorities on the Spanish island of Majorca have ordered bars on popular party streets in Magaluf and Palma to close, for fear that hard-drinking tourists will trigger a surge in coronavirus cases.

The island is popular with German and British holidaymakers and the regional government had already introduced heavy fines for anyone organising illegal parties or flouting rules on social distancing and face masks.

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