Health and Healthcare Systems

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 25 August

A man walks past a mural outside a closed music venue, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester, Britain, August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble - RC2LBI9WI4X4

Music venues around the globe remain shuttered. Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
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COVID-19

  • This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: A Wuhan university reopens; Spain passes 400,000 cases; possible reinfection case in Hong Kong.
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1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now reached more than 23.6 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 813,000.

India has reported more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases for the seventh straight day. The increase brings total cases to 3.17 million, according to federal health ministry data.

Mexico is planning to use a wider definition to identify possible COVID-19 cases. A new definition of 'suspected' cases will come into use today - and will include loss of smell, taste and diarrhoea as possible symptoms.

A major university in Wuhan has opened for face-to-face classes for the first time in eight months. It comes as China reported a ninth consecutive day with no locally transmitted cases.

Daily confirmed cases COVID-19 coronavirus
New daily confirmed cases over time. Image: Our World in Data

New confirmed COVID-19 cases fell 17% in the US last week - the fifth straight week of declines, according to Reuters monitoring. 6,700 people died last week from the virus, down 9% from the previous seven days.

Total confirmed cases in Spain have passed 400,000, after an increase in infections last week - the worst week for infections since March.

Authorities in Ireland are monitoring case increases in Dublin, Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said. Ireland reported more than 100 COVID-19 cases for the fifth time in 10 days, with almost half of the 147 new infections in the capital.

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2. 172 countries engaging with COVAX Global Vaccines Facility

The facility pools resources, procurement and risk across multiple vaccines. It ensures all countries within it can access them and will "enable a globally coordinated rollout", said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"Through the allocation framework, COVAX will ensure that low-, middle- and high-income countries all receive the vaccine in a timely way as soon as there is supply of a safe and effective vaccine," he said.

"Our only way out of this pandemic is together."

3. Reinfection case?

Scientists in Hong Kong are reporting a case of a man in his 30s who has become reinfected with coronavirus - four and half months after he first became ill with it.

He previously spent 14 days in hospital with the disease, but despite showing no symptoms tested positive a second time during an airport screening.

Experts are urging caution though. "Given the number of global infections to date, seeing one case of reinfection is not that surprising even if it is a very rare occurrence," Jeffrey Barrett, senior scientific consultant for the COVID-19 genome project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, told the BBC.

"It may be that second infections, when they do occur, are not serious - though we don't know whether this person was infectious during their second episode."

The WHO has also said it is important not to jump to conclusions on the basis of just one patient.

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