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Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Belgium will tighten COVID-19 containment measures on July 25 after a rise in infections REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

The United States on Thursday recorded more than 1,100 deaths US coronavirus cases pass 4 million, deaths top 1,100 for third day in a row from COVID-19 for a third day in a row, while the head of the World Health Organization said that comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo questioning his independence were untrue.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE
* Britain said it was guaranteeing 3.7 billion pounds ($4.72 billion) of additional funding this year to be split between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to allow the devolved governments there to plan their coronavirus response.

* Belgium will tighten COVID-19 containment measures on July 25 after a rise in infections.

AMERICAS

* U.S. President Donald Trump said states that are currently coronavirus hot spots may need to delay reopening schools by a few weeks, but otherwise pushed for students to be able to return to classrooms en masse in the fall.

* Trump said he would no longer hold part of the Republican Party’s nominating convention in Florida in August because of a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

* Bolivia’s general election will be pushed back until Oct. 18 as the pandemic grips the South American nation.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he had lost some relatives to the novel coronavirus.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Tokyo marked one year to go until the Olympics for the second time in a subdued 15-minute ceremony at an empty and dark National Stadium.

* Australia’s Victoria state will send in the army to question people who have tested positive for COVID-19 as it battles to control an outbreak that claimed a record number of lives on Friday.

* Kuwait will shorten its nightly curfew and reopen hotels and mosques next week in the latest relaxation of its coronavirus restrictions.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Uganda recorded its first death from the new coronavirus, making it one of the last nations in Africa to report a fatality since the pandemic reached it.

* Baghdad International Airport reopened for scheduled commercial flights after months of closure, as Iraq’s total number of infections passed 100,000.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Quest Diagnostics Inc said it expects to cut week-long turnaround times for COVID-19 tests by more than half to get to “acceptable” levels by September.

* Fitbit and other wearable devices typically linked to exercise are being studied as ways to identify people who are potentially infected with COVID-19 before symptoms appear.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

* Brazil’s real led Latin American currencies lower on Thursday after record daily increases in coronavirus cases and Argentina left investors scurrying for safety.

* Ireland will hand firms hit by the COVID-19 crisis more generous grants, extend a wage-subsidy scheme and aim to boost domestic tourism with “staycation vouchers”.

* A divided South African central bank cut interest rates for a fifth time this year on Thursday, trimming them to a record low.

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