18 June

Global: The global death toll from coronavirus is nearing 450,000, with more than 8.2 million confirmed cases of the disease worldwide. The Johns Hopkins University tracker is recording more than 448,959 deaths from Covid-19 across the world, as of Wednesday evening UK time.

A new study conducted by Chinese and American scientists said that humans may never develop immunity against the coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported.

The World Health Organization has halted the trial test of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.

France: Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in a Les Echos interview that three types of vaccines are currently in the works globally and Sanofi’s version could be ready in April-May 2021. Vaccines should “be affordable and anyone who needs should be able to access it,” Hudson said.

Brazil: Brazil recorded 1,269 additional Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing its official death toll from Covid-19 to 46,510, the most in the world outside the United States.

India: India has reported its highest number of cases in the pandemic so far, with 12,881 confirmed in the last 24 hours, for a total of 366,946 cases. There have been 334 additional deaths, bringing the toll to 12,237.

UK: The number of coronavirus infections in the UK has passed 300,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with the current total standing at 300,717. At least 42,238 people have died in the UK so far.

Argentina: Argentina’s president Alberto Fernández has gone into voluntary isolation, amid growing concerns over a surge of coronavirus infections, including several cases among the country’s political elite.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 59 Covid-19 cases as infections steadily rise in the capital area where half the country’s 51 million people live, according to the Associated Press.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 580 to 187,764, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

China: Beijing confirmed 21 new Covid-19 cases as of 17 June, China’s health authority said on Thursday, down from 31 a day earlier.

Japan: Tokyo found 41 cases of coronavirus on Thursday and will continue to ask people in the capital to take preventative measures, NHK reports in a flash headline.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: More reports have emerged in New Zealand of people leaving isolation without being tested and going on to meet friends, placing government officials under increasing scrutiny over the rigour of their Covid-19 quarantine rules. Police revealed that six people absconded from managed isolation after being granted compassionate leave from Covid-19 quarantine to attend a funeral in Hamilton.

Japan: The Japanese government will lift all domestic travel restrictions on Friday as it looks to move into the next phase of reopening, including a restart of events and nightlife.

Pakistan: Pakistan has announced plans to repatriate all of its those citizens stranded around the globe, including in the Middle East, as a result of the pandemic, AP news agency reported.

Economic updates

US: President Donald Trump has said the United States would not close businesses again as several states reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections.

Australia: Australia’s unemployment rate has jumped to 7.1% after another 227,700 people lost their jobs thanks to Covid-19.

Jordan: Many people in Jordan are struggling to meet basic needs after a more than two-month lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a UN Development Programme (UNDP) study said, with reports of unemployment expected to rise to 19 percent.

China: China will exempt some African countries from repaying zero-interest rate loans due at the end of 2020, Reuters news agency reported quoting President Xi Jinping.

India: India’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Fitch Ratings Ltd., citing the economy’s weakening growth outlook and increased challenges with public debt levels.