July 16, 2020 / 6:27 AM / Updated 12 hours ago

Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) - Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt became the first U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19, while the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases said he was confident the United States would meet its goal of a vaccine by the year end.

A paramedic dressed in personal protective equipment exits an ambulance at St. Petersburg General Hospital, where coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases are being treated, in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S. July 15, 2020. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.

* Eikon users, see MacroVitals (cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098) for a case tracker and a summary of developments.

EUROPE

* Barcelona may bring back some restrictions on daily life after the number of cases tripled in a week.

* Belgium postponed a further easing of rules on social gatherings after an uptick in the number of infections.

* Ireland has delayed the planned opening of bars and nightclubs by three weeks to Aug. 10.

AMERICAS

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro extolled the supposed virtues of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, as he said that he again tested positive for the coronavirus, a week after he first announced he had become infected.

* Argentina has suspended exports to China from six meat packing plants after COVID-19 cases were found among their employees.

* Leftist guerrillas and criminal organizations have attacked and killed civilians while enforcing curfews and quarantines across Colombia.

* Canada is on the cusp of zero deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March, but officials see worrying signs of a new spike as provinces lift restrictions.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* A multi-billion dollar Japanese campaign to boost domestic tourism faced scrutiny, with the economy minister due to meet experts as critics worried that encouraging people to travel out of Tokyo risks spreading the coronavirus.

* Australia is injecting a further A$1.5 billion into a wage subsidy programme to counter rising unemployment as the country posted the biggest rise in coronavirus cases since early April.

* Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan for government grants for all Israelis amid growing public anger over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa’s cases of COVID-19 crossed 300,000, the most in Africa and among the 10 highest in the world.

* COVID-19 has killed four Kenyan health workers and infected 450, the health ministry said, as word emerged of a slew of cases in Kenya’s biggest maternity hospital.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Novartis’s Sandoz division will not make a profit on 15 generic drugs it is making available to developing countries to treat symptoms of COVID-19, the Swiss drugmaker said.

* China has approved an early-stage trial in humans of German firm BioNTech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, its local partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical said.

* The U.S. government will buy Becton Dickinson and Co’s COVID-19 testing devices and kits, the company said.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* Global economic activity is picking up after an unprecedented decline this year due to the pandemic, but a second major wave of infections could trigger more disruptions, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said.

* China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter after a deep slump at the start of the year, but domestic consumption and investment remained weak.

* The pandemic will swell the ranks of the poor and unemployed in Latin America and the Caribbean and drag the region’s economic output down by 9.1%, a United Nations agency said.

Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Ramakrishnan M; Edited by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta

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