As at 9 am, July 18, 2020:
World count: 14,037,021 cases; 7,818,409 recoveries; 600,665 deaths
There are now 14,037,021 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. The United States has the highest number with 3,677,453, followed by Brazil (2,064,328) and India (1,003,832).
There have been 600,665 deaths from Covid-19 all over the globe since the pandemic began. The US has the highest number of deaths (140,888), followed by Brazil (77,861) and the United Kingdom (45,318).
7,818,409 people worldwide have recovered from the disease.
Singapore: 327 additional cases, 321 more discharged, 9 community cases
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (July 17) that there are 327 new Covid-19 cases in the country, of which 9 are community cases and 3 are imported cases. The other 315 cases are of Work Permit holders living in dormitories. Singapore now has 47,453 confirmed cases, with an additional 321 discharged from hospital. A total of 43,577 individuals have recovered.
Of the active cases, 165 are in hospital and 3,684 are in community facilities. Twenty-seven people in Singapore have died of complications due to Covid-19 infection. Several others who were also confirmed positive for the coronavirus have died, but their deaths are not counted in the national tally as the primary or underlying cause of death was not due to a Covid-19 infection.
Singapore should prepare for a second wave: Gan Kim Yong
While community cases have stayed low, averaging 12 per day since the start of the month, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on July 17 that the country must prepared for a second wave of infections. He warned against complacency, saying: “We are not out of the woods yet.” Noting that other countries have seen an uptick of infections after restrictions are lifted, he added: “We must be prepared for a second wave too. But we must do our best to avoid it, if we can.”
India: Infections surpass 1 million
India has joined the US and Brazil as countries with more than one million Covid-19 cases. From Thursday to Friday, the country saw its biggest daily jump, and now has 1,003,832 confirmed infections. Hospitals are at maximum capacity, and even critically ill patients have been turned away. Income inequality has been a determining factor in the spread of infections, with India’s 74 million people living in poverty unable to observe social distancing and good hygiene practices.
India: Despite surging cases, international flights resume
India’s Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said on July 16 that travel corridors will open between India and the US, France and Germany in spite of surging numbers of infections and hundreds of millions under lockdown in the country. He said: “Until international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-Covid situation in terms of numbers, the answer lies through these bilateral air bubbles, which will carry as many people as possible but under defined conditions. Because many countries are still imposing entry restrictions, as are we, it’s not that anyone can travel from anywhere to anywhere. You need permission.”
WHO: Largest 24-hour jump in cases reported on July 17
The World Health Organization said in a July 17 situation report that 237,743 new Covid-19 cases were reported over a 24-hour period, a record high since the pandemic started. The previous high had been on July 12, when 230,370 new cases were reported.
WHO: Scientists study possible coronavirus reinfections
The WHO’s technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, said scientists are conducting research to determine the possibility that someone who had already come down with the coronavirus may be reinfected.
She said: “What we understand from people who are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes Covid-19, is that they will develop an immune response. They will develop antibodies, neutralising antibodies, and an immune response that will provide some protection against reinfection. What we don’t know right is how strong that protection is and for how long that protection will last. And we need answers to those questions to be able to determine if someone can be reinfected after that immunity wears off. So this is an area of active, active research for the specific SARS-CoV-2.”
Hong Kong: 58 new cases reported
As the city faces a third wave of infections, the Department of Health in Hong Kong reported 58 new cases on July 17, including 50 locally-transmitted cases and 8 yet unlinked ones. According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection: “There are a lot of cases with unknown sources. We need to pay attention on the situation and there may be a bigger outbreak.” /TISG