The Latest: Pacific nation Fiji declares itself virus-free
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Fiji has declared itself free of the coronavirus – at least for now – after all 18 people who tested positive have recovered.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said Friday that the South Pacific island nation had just cleared the last of its active patients.
He wrote on Twitter: “And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%”
He added: “Answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science!”
Fiji, which has a population of 900,000, imposed a lockdown in certain areas in April and put in place ongoing border restrictions.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— UK vaccine summit calls for freely available virus vaccine
— Spain study confirms few have developed antibodies to virus
— Study on safety of malaria drugs for coronavirus retracted
— In Nevada, the casino coronavirus closure has ended. Cards are being dealt, dice are rolling and slot machines flash and jingle for the customers who started gambling again early Thursday in Las Vegas and throughout the state. Hotel-casinos in suburban areas were first to open, followed later by a restart of the iconic Bellagio fountain and reopenings of several resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.
— The USS Theodore Roosevelt has returned to sea and is conducting military operations in the Pacific region, 10 weeks after a massive coronavirus outbreak sidelined the aircraft carrier.
Go to https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates throughout the day.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:
NEW DELHI: India on Friday registered more than 9,800 new cases of the coronavirus in another biggest single-day spike.
The Health Ministry said the total number of confirmed cases touched 226,770 with 6,348 deaths, 273 of them in the past 24 hours. The overall rate of recovery is around 48%.
There has been a surge in infections in rural areas following the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities after the lockdown in late March.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced India’s contribution of $15 million to the international vaccine alliance during his address to the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday.
Modi said the COVID19 pandemic has exposed the limitations of global cooperation and that for the first time in recent history, the world faces a clear common enemy.
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says that he is glad “Filipinos are really law-abiding” and that the Philippines is not going through unrest like America, which would make the coronavirus quarantine enforcement formidable.
Duterte made the remarks during a televised meeting Thursday night with key Cabinet officials, where he used expletives to express disgust over a range of quarantine problems.
He particularly fumed over the delay in the delivery of promised financial help to the families of 32 health workers who died after getting infected with the virus.
Duterte renewed his threat to jail any officials who steal cash aid meant for the poor amid the pandemic. Officials say the Philippines’ unemployment rate has soared to a record 17.7%.
The Philippines has reported 20,382 coronavirus infections, including nearly 1,000 deaths.
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has compounded “the dire humanitarian and security situations” in Mali and Africa’s Sahel region.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says in a report to the Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press that the deteriorating security situation “remains of grave concern with terrorist groups allied with al-Qaida and Islamic State competing for control over areas of influence.”
He says terrorist attacks on civilians, Malian and international forces are continuing in northern and central Mali, posing the most significant security threat in the north. He adds that clashes between al-Qaida and Islamic State have also been reported.
Guterres says that “the impact of COVID-19 is exacerbating the humanitarian crises” in Mali, where 3.5 million people are suffering from “food insecurity” and 757,000 are “severely food insecure.”
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil has reported 1,473 more COVID-19 deaths, the biggest 24-hour increase in the country’s death toll since the outbreak began. That’s equal to more than one death per minute, and means the country now has the world’s third highest death toll.
For the second straight night, the health ministry delayed release of Thursday’s data until 10 p.m. local time, after Brazil’s widely watched evening news program ended. Thursday was the third straight day with a new daily high for Brazil’s coronavirus deaths.
Brazil has reported more than 34,000 deaths from the virus so far, meaning it surpassed the amount in Italy and trails only the U.K. and U.S. Experts consider the tally a significant undercount due to insufficient testing.
SEOUL, South Korea __ South Korea has reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus over a 24-hour period, a continuation of an upward trend in new infections in the Asian country.
The additional figures released Friday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the country’s total to 11,668 cases, with 273 deaths.
The agency says 34 of the additional cases were reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live.
South Korea has seen a rise in the number of new cases after easing much of its rigid social distancing rules in early May. But the caseload hasn’t exploded, unlike when the country reported hundreds of new cases every day in late February and early March.
BEIJING — China is reporting five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country.
No new deaths were reported Friday, continuing a trend stretching back weeks.
Chinese officials say just 66 people remain in treatment and 299 more are under isolation and being monitoring as suspected cases.
China has reported 4,634 deaths among 83,027 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
China has drawn criticism of its initial handling of the outbreak and allegations it withheld crucial information, but it has repeatedly defended its record. On Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Beijing is committed to the “development of global public health.”
Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak