COVID-19 | Top 10 global developments this Saturday morning

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More than 14 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while more than 7.8 million have recovered and more than 600,000 have died, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the top 10 global developments this morning:

1. The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 237,743 in 24 hours.

2. India’s coronavirus caseload topped one million, with the United States and Brazil the only other nations with more infections.

3. Australia’s Victoria state saw a marked drop in new COVID-19 infections – from Friday’s record high of 428 to 217 – a total that Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says was “a relief after yesterday’s numbers”.

4. China’s National Health Commission reported 11 new cases in the far western region of Xinjiang, taking the total number of cases in the capital, Urumqi, to 17.

5. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison cancelled the next two-week sitting of the country’s parliament be canceled, citing “significant risks” of COVID-19 spread as cases rise in the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

6. The US marked a record number of coronavirus cases on Friday for the third consecutive day, notching 77,638 new infections in 24 hours, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.

7. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the US economy would shrink 6.6 percent this year, pounded by the coronavirus and the lockdowns meant to contain it.

The forecast is actually an upgrade from one the IMF made last month when it foresaw the American economy contracting 8 percent in 2020. But the lending organisation warned that the US economy faces downside risks from a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

8. Azerbaijan has extended coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including the closure of its borders, until August 31 after a further rise in the number of infections.

9. US President Donald Trump ruled out a national mandate requiring people to wear face masks despite record rises in new coronavirus infections across the United States.

In an interview with Fox News that will air on Sunday, Trump said: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that. No, and I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask, everything; suddenly, it all disappears.”

10. EU leaders failed to make headway in negotiations over a massive stimulus plan to breathe life into economies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, returning to their hotels in Brussels shortly before midnight to rest and try again in the morning.

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