The number of coronavirus infections in the world has surpassed 20 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The US, India and Brazil together account for nearly two-thirds of all cases.
Health experts believe the actual number of infections is much higher, given as many as 40% of all those who contract COVID-19 have no symptoms and testing capacity is limited.
“Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering … But I want to be clear: There are green shoots of hope,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“It’s never too late to turn the outbreak around,” he said.
South Korea’s Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said it received Indian regulatory approval to test its anti-parasitic niclosamide drug to treat COVID-19 patients in an early-stage human trial.
The first trial, approved by India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), will involve around 30 healthy participants and begin this month. Daewoong is testing the drug in partnership with New Delhi-based Mankind Pharma Ltd, which will continue the second and third phases of trials in India on mild and severe COVID-19 patients.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Germany increased by 966 to 217,293, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose by four to 9,201.
On Sunday, German Economy Minister Altmaier said the country is seeing an “alarming” rise in infections after Germany registered more than 1,000 cases per day for three days in a row earlier last week.
As the school summer holidays come to an end, the number of new COVID-19 infections is on the rise again in Germany, as in many European countries.
Despite the surge, kindergartens, schools and educational institutions are being reopened. Schools in the capital of Berlin and the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia returned full-time on Monday.
A retirement village in New Zealand has gone into lockdown after residents showed symptoms of respiratory illness, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The Village Palms retirement home in the South Island city of Christchurch informed of the lockdown in a letter to relatives, the newspaper said.
The news comes as New Zealand recently announced it had gone more than 100 days without community transmission of the coronavirus.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said that the two-week lockdown in the capital of Port Moresby would be lifted from Wednesday, despite reported cases of the coronavirus doubling over the past week.
“Whilst the spread is there, we have to adapt to living with COVID-19 this year, instead of taking on drastic measures,” Marape told a news conference.
Papua New Guinea had a total of 214 cases and three deaths as of Sunday, the WHO reported, adding that it was likely the real infection numbers were much higher given testing “remains critically low.”
mvb/dr (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)