Coronavirus update: Worldwide COVID-19 cases cross 28.55 million as global death toll rises past 900,000

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More than 28.55 million people have been reported to be infected by coronavirus globally and 916,237 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Thousands protest the New Zealand Government’s latest lockdown and social distancing laws, which were brought back last month after a small outbreak.

This story will be regularly updated throughout Sunday.

Sunday’s key moments:

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 28.55 million, death toll at 916,237

More than 28.55 million people have been reported to be infected by coronavirus globally and 916,237 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

The United States has recorded the highest number of cases at 6.45 million and deaths at 193,028, followed shortly by Brazil with 130,396 deaths.

India has recorded the second highest number of cases at 4.65 million, rising for second straight day, while the death toll has reached 77,472.

Crowds rally in New Zealand against coronavirus lockdown

Thousands of people in Auckland have protested the New Zealand Government’s latest lockdown and social distancing laws, which were brought back last month after a small outbreak of the coronavirus.

Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people.

“We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights,” the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organisers of the protest, as saying.  

Leader of the Advance New Zealand party, who co-organised the rally, said it was time “to stand up for our rights”.

No arrests were reported.

New Zealand confirmed a further two cases of the virus on Friday (local time), taking its total number of infections to 1,795.

Taiwan says plans to sign up for ‘COVAX’ vaccine allocation scheme

Taiwan will sign up to the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan to ensure it will be able to access a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, the island’s health minister said.

Chen Shih-chung told reporters in Taipei that the Government had engaged lawyers to enter discussions about signing onto the scheme.

Taiwan is also researching its own vaccine, a process Mr Chen said was going smoothly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and fairly distribute vaccination shots against the novel coronavirus around the world.

But some countries which have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join COVAX.

Taiwan has reported fewer than 500 coronavirus cases, including seven deaths, thanks to early and effective prevention steps such as entry bans for most foreign visitors and tough quarantine requirements for those who do come to the island.

Restrictions placed on Tour de France climbs as race heads to COVID-19 ‘red zones’

Authorities will reinforce restrictions on spectators on Tour de France climbs situated in coronavirus ‘red zones’ to avoid mass gatherings, organisers said

Organisers had announced on Friday (local time) that fans would not be allowed at staged finishes in zones where the virus’ circulation was high.

The list of red zones is updated on a regular basis, forcing authorities and organisers to adapt daily.

French administrative regions, known as departments, are classified as red zones when the spread of COVID-19 infections are high, with more than 50 new cases recorded per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days.

The number of new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in France rose by 9,406 on Friday to stand at a total of 363,350.

ABC/wires

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