FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirusReuters | Updated: 16-07-2020 18:27 IST | Created: 16-07-2020 18:17 IST
A multi-billion dollar Japanese campaign to boost domestic tourism faced uncertainty on Thursday as coronavirus cases grew in Tokyo, with government ministers and experts looking at ways to stop the virus from being spread from the capital.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* France accelerated plans to make it compulsory to wear protective face masks in enclosed public spaces because of concerns about COVID-19, and the Mayenne region made it obligatory immediately in several places.
* The proportion of the contacts of positive COVID-19 cases reached by England's test and trace system was broadly steady in its fifth week of operation, figures from the health ministry showed.
* Malta marked a week without new cases on Thursday, the first since the virus was detected there for the first time on March 7.
* Americans who received enhanced unemployment benefits due to the pandemic spent more than when they were working, a study released on Thursday said, adding to concerns about a steep fall in spending when the emergency benefits expire.
* 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.
* China will allow most cinemas to reopen from July 20, the film administration said on Thursday, six months after they were forced to close as part of draconian measures to contain the coronavirus.
* Monsoon floods have swamped large parts of India's densely populated eastern states, forcing more than a million people into makeshift shelters despite the risk of coronavirus, senior officials said on Thursday.
* Indonesia reported 1,574 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 81,668 its health ministry said.
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.
* Russia plans to produce 30 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine domestically this year, with the potential to manufacture a further 170 million abroad, the head of the country's sovereign wealth fund told Reuters.
* 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.
* European shares opened lower on Thursday after Asian stocks faltered overnight, with risk appetite hit by deteriorating U.S.-China relations and worse-than-expected Chinese domestic consumption data.
* Taking a pause after a series of extraordinary moves, the European Central Bank is all but certain to keep policy on hold on Thursday, scrutinising instead the effectiveness and any unwanted side-effects of its crisis-fighting measures.
* China's state assets regulator said it will guide centrally-owned firms to prevent risks of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting domestic and foreign investment.