The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico and Peru rose to 500,000, with Lima reporting the highest death rates in Latin America.
- The UK said all arrivals from France and the Netherlands would be subject to a 14-day quarantine starting on Saturday, prompting Paris to warn of a “reciprocal measure”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said “people should not be afraid of food, or food packaging” as there was “no evidence” of the coronavirus spreading through food or the food chain.
Coronavirus cases worldwide have exceeded 20.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 12.9 million people have been cured, and more than 752,000 have died.
Here are the latest updates:
Friday, August 14th
02:40 GMT – S Korea records biggest one-day jump in local affairs since end of March
South Korea reported 103 new cases of coronavirus, of which 85 were cases transmitted in the country.
The figure marks the highest overnight jump in household affairs since the end of March, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said authorities would be forced to consider raising measures for social distancing in Seoul’s metropolitan area – something policymakers were reluctant to do for economic concerns – if broadcasts continued to rise. Eighty-three of the new cases were registered in the capital.
He prayed for the vigilance of citizens during a three-day celebration that continues Monday and criticized the plans of some activist groups to hold rallies in Seoul over the weekend, despite the city ban.
02:00 GMT – North Korea lifts virus blockade on border town
Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s supreme leader, has lifted a blockade in a major city near the border with South Korea, where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus concerns, according to state media.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim made the decision at a meeting of the ruling party on Thursday. The North Korean leader said it was clear after three weeks that the virus situation in Kaesong was stable and expressed gratitude to residents for cooperating with the blockade.
Kim also insisted the North would keep its borders closed and refused any outside aid as Pyongyang launched an aggressive anti-virus campaign and rebuilt thousands of homes, roads and bridges damaged by heavy rain and floods in recent weeks.
01:45 GMT – Peru exceeds 500,000 cases
Peru exceeded half a million cases of coronavirus on Thursday and now has the highest death rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data.
The Andean country has 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related victims. Peru’s death rate stands at 78.6 per 100,000 people, according to a Reuters report, a number higher than the regional neighbors hit by Chile and Brazil.
President Martin Vizcarra blamed the recent spread of infections on a mess at social and sporting events and a poor public attitude.
“There has been a lot of trust from the population,” Vizcarra said. “Let’s learn from history, correct mistakes and now we are united despite inconsistencies in some of the decisions that have been made.”
Vizcarra on Wednesday halted family reunions, reinstated a curfew on Sunday evening and expanded blockades to five other regions of the country as figures revealed a 75 per cent increase in infections among children and teens.
01:37 GMT – Mexico’s cargo case reaches 500,000
The Mexican Ministry of Health reported 7,371 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 627 additional deaths, bringing the total to the country to 505,751 cases and 55,293 deaths.
The government has said the actual number of infected is likely to be considered higher than the confirmed cases.
01:10 GMT – Venezuelan capital’s governor dies of COVID-19
Dario Vivas, the governor of Venezuela’s capital Caracas and a strong ally of President Nicolas Maduro, died Thursday of COVID-19 at the age of 70, officials said.
Vivas, a senior member of the ruling socialist party, said on Twitter on July 19 that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was heading into isolation.
“He died in the fighting … taking care of his health and all of us in this tough battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.
Vivas is the first high-ranking Venezuelan government official to die from the virus, though some have tested positive.
00:48 GMT – France warns of ‘reciprocal measure’ over UK quarantine measure
Clement Beaune, the new French Minister for European Affairs, said the UK’s decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France was one that “we regret and that will lead to a reciprocal measure”.
France “hoped for a return to normal as soon as possible,” Beaune said on Twitter.
On Thursday, France registered 2,669 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily number since May.
00:32 GMT – France, the Netherlands added to the UK quarantine list
The UK will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France, the Netherlands, Malta and three other countries, said Transport Minister Grant Shapps.
“The data show that we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, the Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to maintain DUAR infection rates,” Shapps said on Twitter.
“If you arrive in the UK after 0400 on Saturday from these destinations, you will have to be isolated for 14 days.”
The data show that we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, the Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of # Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates MUST. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 on Saturday from these destinations, you will need to be isolated for 14 days.
– MP Rt Hon Grant Shapps (@grantshapps) 13 August 2020
00:18 GMT – Trump attacks Biden on call for masked mandate
US President Donald Trump attacked his rival, Joe Biden, for calling on governors to mandate face masks in public for the next three months.
“We do not need to lower the federal government’s full burden on law-abiding Americans to achieve that goal. Americans need to have their freedoms,” Trump said.
“I trust the American people and their governments very much. I trust the American people. And the governments want to do the right thing to make smart decisions. And Joe does not.”
Earlier Thursday, Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, called for a massive nationwide mandate, citing health experts’ predictions that it could save 40,000 lives over the next three months.
Melting on masks amidst coronavirus outbreak goes viral (1:27)
Greetings and welcome for Al Jazeera’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
For all the major developments from yesterday, August 13, go here.