The United Kingdom says all arrivals from France and the Netherlands will be subject to a 14-day quarantine starting on Saturday, prompting Paris to warn of a “reciprocal measure”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says “people should not fear food, or food packaging” as there was “no evidence” of coronavirus spreading via the food chain.
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpass 20.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 12.9 million people have recovered, and more than 752,000 have died.
Here are the latest updates:
Friday, August 14
06:45 GMT – UK says it has no choice over quarantine for French arrivals
Britain had no choice but to impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France from Saturday in order to protect public health domestically, transport minister Grant Shapps said.
“It’s a dynamic situation, and I don’t think that anybody… would want us to do anything other than protect public health and public safety,” Shapps told Sky News.
“That does mean where we see countries breach a certain level of cases … then we have no real choice but to act,” he added.
06:35 GMT – New Zealand extends Auckland virus lockdown by 12 days
New Zealand extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland by at least 12 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced, as authorities struggled with a growing new coronavirus outbreak.”Cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total,” Ardern said.Since four people tested positive on Tuesday – the first cases in community transmission in 102 days – New Zealand has detected a cluster of 30 virus cases.Most of those cases have been found around Auckland, a city of 1.5 million people who have been asked to stay at home.Authorities are still struggling to find out how the virus came to return to New Zealand, which had earned global praise for its handling of the crisis.
06:15 GMT – Vietnam to buy Russian COVID-19 vaccine
Vietnam’s health ministry has registered to buy a Russian COVID-19 vaccine as the Southeast Asian country fights a new outbreak of the coronavirus following months of no local cases.
Russia said the first batch of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out within two weeks, rejecting as “groundless” the safety concerns aired by some experts over Moscow’s rapid approval of the drug.
“In the meantime, Vietnam will still continue developing the country’s own COVID-19 vaccine,” state broadcaster Vietnam Television said, citing Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.
The ministry did not say how many doses of the Russian vaccine it had ordered, or when it expected to receive them. Vietnam’s own home-grown vaccine will be available by the end of 2021, the ministry said last month.
04:54 GMT – India’s death toll now world’s fourth highest
India’s coronavirus death toll overtook the United Kingdom’s to become the fourth-highest in the world as authorities reported another single-day record increase in confirmed infections.
According to the Health Ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths in the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.
India’s confirmed cases reached 2,461,190 with a one-day spike of 64,553 cases reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry said. The South Asian country reported 66, 999 cases on Thursday.
Millions of children missing school in India COVID outbreak (2:43)
03:53 GMT – New Zealand virus outbreak spreads beyond Auckland
New Zealand’s Health Minister Chris Hipkins said two of the 13 new infections reported on Friday were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210km (130 miles) south of Auckland, the site of the country’s latest outbreak.
But Hipkins played down fears the virus could now be rampant elsewhere.
“All of the cases so far are connected, they are all part of one Auckland-based cluster, that’s good news,” he said, adding that the Tokoroa cases were identified quickly.
“We’ve seen no evidence of a COVID-19 case outside of Auckland that is unrelated to the cluster we are dealing with.”
Police and military personnel check vehicles leaving Auckland at a COVID-19 check point outside the city [David Rowland/ AFP]
03:19 GMT – New Zealand reports 13 new cases
Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s Director General of Health, said the country recorded 12 new confirmed cases and another “probable” case of the coronavirus.
All but one of the cases had been linked to an existing cluster of cases in Auckland whilst the thirteenth was still under investigation.
“We are now asking that all positive cases and, where relevant, their family members or household members, transfer to the quarantine Auckland facility in Auckland for those Auckland based cases,” Bloomfield said.
02:40 GMT – S Korea logs biggest one-day jump in local cases since March end
South Korea reported 103 new coronavirus cases, of which 85 were locally transmitted cases.
The figure marks the highest one-day jump in domestic cases since the end of March, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said authorities will be forced to consider elevating social distancing measures in the Seoul metropolitan area – something policymakers had been reluctant to do over economic concerns – if transmissions continue to rise. Eighty-three of the new cases were logged in the capital.
The vast majority of Friday’s cases were reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area [Kim Hong-Ji/ Reuters]
He pleaded for citizen vigilance during a three-day holiday that continues through Monday and criticised plans by some activist groups to hold rallies in Seoul on the weekend despite the city’s ban.
02:00 GMT – North Korea lifts virus lockdown at border town
Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has lifted a lockdown in a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, according to state media.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim made the decision at a ruling party meeting 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 lockdown.
Kim also insisted the North will keep its borders shut and rejected any outside help as Pyongyang carries out an aggressive anti-virus campaign and rebuilds thousands of houses, roads and bridges damaged by heavy rain and floods in recent weeks.
01:45 GMT – Peru surpasses 500,000 cases
Peru surpassed half a million coronavirus cases on Thursday and now has Latin America’s highest rate of death, according to health ministry data.
The Andean country has 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related fatalities. Peru’s death rate stands at 78.6 per 100,000 people, according to a Reuters tally, a number higher than hard-hit regional neighbors Chile and Brazil.
President Martin Vizcarra blamed the recent spike in infections on an uptick in social and sporting events and a lax attitude by the public.
“There has been too much confidence on the part of the population,” Vizcarra said. “Let’s learn from history, correct mistakes and now we are united despite the discrepancies in some of the decisions that are made.”
Vizcarra on Wednesday banned family gatherings, reinstated a blanket Sunday curfew and extended lockdowns to five more regions of the country as figures revealed a 75 percent surge in infections among children and adolescents.
Images of the 125 doctors who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru are displayed outside Peru’s Medical College (CMP) in Lima on August 13, 2020 [Ernesto Benavides/ AFP]
Funerary employees in protective suits prepare to lower the coffin into the ground during the burial of a COVID-19 victim at the local cemetery in the remote Aymara highland village of Acora, close to the border with Bolivia, on August 9, 2020 [Carlos Mamani/ AFP]
01:37 GMT – Mexico’s case-load tops 500,000
Mexico’s health ministry reported 7,371 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 627 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 505,751 cases and 55,293 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
01:10 GMT – Governor of Venezuela’s capital district dies of COVID-19
Dario Vivas, the governor of Venezuela’s Caracas capital district and strong ally of President Nicolas Maduro, died on Thursday of COVID-19 at 70 years old, officials said.
Vivas, a senior member of the ruling socialist party, had said on Twitter on July 19 that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was going into self-isolation.
“He died in combat … taking care of his health and all of us in this difficult battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.
Vivas is the first top-level Venezuelan government official to die of the virus, though several have tested positive.
Dario Viva (right) died on August 13, 2020 almost a month after testing positive for COVID-19, according to officials [Federico Parra/ AFP]
00:48 GMT – France warns of ‘reciprocal measure’ over UK quarantine move
Clement Beaune, French junior minister for European affairs, said the United Kingdom’s decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France was one that “we regret and which will lead to a reciprocal measure”.
France “hoped for a return to normal as soon as possible,” Beaune said on Twitter.
On Thursday, France recorded 2,669 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily number since May.
00:32 GMT – France, Netherlands added to UK quarantine list
The United Kingdom will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France, the Netherlands, Malta and three other countries, transport minister Grant Shapps said.
“Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN,” Shapps said on Twitter.
“If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”
Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 13, 2020
00:18 GMT – Trump attacks Biden on call for mask mandate
United States President Donald Trump attacked his rival, Joe Biden, for calling on governors to mandate face coverings in public for the next three months.
“We do not need to bring the full weight of the federal government down on law-abiding Americans to accomplish this goal. Americans must have their freedoms,” said Trump.
“I trust the American people and their governors very much. I trust the American people. And the governors want to do the right thing to make the smart decisions. And Joe doesn’t.”
Earlier on Thursday, Biden, the presumptive presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, called for a nationwide mask mandate, citing health experts’ predictions that this could save 40,000 lives over the next three months.
Meltdowns over masks amid coronavirus outbreak go viral (1:27)
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
For all the key developments from yesterday, August 13, go here.