New Jersey adopted a stringent coronavirus face-mask order on Wednesday, and New York City unveiled a plan to allow public school students back into classrooms for just two or three days a week, as newly confirmed US Covid-19 cases soared to a daily global record.
* The European Commission has struck deals with drugmakers Roche and Merck KGaA to secure supplies of experimental treatments for Covid-19, a Commission source told Reuters.
* Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called on demonstrators to stop attending anti-government protests in order to halt the further spread of infections.
* Residents of Moscow will be permitted to visit the theatre again from Aug. 1 for the first time in more than four months, even as cases in Russia edged past the 700,000 mark.
* Mexico posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections, overtaking Spain to register the world’s eighth highest case count, according to a Reuters tally.
* Argentina reported a daily record of 3,604 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as the South American country grapples with rising infections that are threatening its early success in stalling the spread of the virus.
* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to issue new guidelines for reopening schools, Vice President Mike Pence said, after President Donald Trump criticized the agency’s recommendations as too expensive and impractical.
* Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian nations are struggling with a surge in Covid-19 cases, which is now testing their healthcare systems to the breaking point after they relaxed tough lockdown restrictions in May.
* Thailand expects to delay plans for so-called travel bubbles given a resurgence in infections in countries that had managed to contain the initial outbreak, a senior official told Reuters.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* In Africa, lack of coronavirus data raised fears of a “silent epidemic”.
* Nigeria’s confirmed cases passed 30,000 on Wednesday, the country’s disease control centre said.
* US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson aims to begin clinical testing of its Covid-19 vaccine in the coming weeks and produce billions of doses in 2021, Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky said, but cautioned it would take more than one vaccine to rein in the virus.
* Smiths Group will help produce a blood-based Covid-19 antibody test approved by Britain’s healthcare regulator.
* Gilead Sciences Inc said it has started an early-stage study of its antiviral Covid-19 treatment remdesivir that can be inhaled, for use outside of hospitals.
* Federal Reserve officials raised fresh doubts about the durability of the US recovery, while new business surveys highlighted developing risks from the relentless pandemic.
* Canada’s budget deficit is expected to hit C$343.2 billion, the largest shortfall since the Second World War, the finance department said.
* China’s factory gate prices fell for a fifth straight month in June, although signs of a pickup in some parts of the sector suggest a slow economic recovery remains intact.