What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
CURRENT

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

News Service Reuters

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Florida passes New York

Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the U.S. novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Reuters tally.

Total COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. New York is in third place with 415,827 cases.

Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any U.S. state at more than 32,000 with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths.

The surge in Florida has continued as the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said he will not make mask-wearing mandatory and that schools must reopen in August.

Republicans to unveil aid plan

U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday are expected to unveil a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package hammered out with the White House, a starting point for negotiations with Democrats as unemployment benefits that have kept millions of Americans afloat are set to expire.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Sunday that the plan just needed a few clarifications before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could unveil it on Monday afternoon.

Meadows and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said their agreement in principle with Senate Republicans would include an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits that aims to replace 70% of laid-off workers' lost wages.

On Friday, an extra $600 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits is due to expire, severing a financial lifeline for laid-off workers and a key support for consumer spending.

Germany and France next for a UK quarantine?

Britain is watching coronavirus cases in Germany and France closely and continuously reviewing the situation in popular holiday destinations, a junior health minister said on Monday when asked about widening a quarantine for Spain.

Britain slapped a 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain on Sunday after a surge of cases in Catalonia and Murcia, heralding a summer of COVID-19 chaos for Europe's holiday season.

The decision upset the plans of hundreds of thousands of British tourists sunning themselves on the shores of the Mediterranean and raised the spectre of limits on more countries. A total of 9,835 flights are scheduled to leave the UK for Spain between July 26 and Aug. 31.

Meanwhile, Bavaria called on Germany's federal government to clarify how to quickly make coronavirus testing mandatory at airports to ensure returning holidaymakers do not further drive up case numbers in Europe's largest economy.

Second lockdown may be extended in Australian state Victoria

Australia's Victoria state on Monday reported the country's highest daily increase in coronavirus infections at 532 new cases, prompting the authorities to warn a six-week lockdown may last longer if people continue to go to work while feeling unwell.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the high number of new cases in Victoria showed how transmission of the illness among younger people, who were considered lower risk, could spread to aged care facilities through family members. Five of the latest deaths were people in aged care facilities, the authorities said.

Mass evacuation in Vietnam

Vietnam is evacuating 80,000 people, mostly local tourists, from the central city of Danang after three residents tested positive for the coronavirus at the weekend, the government said on Monday. The evacuation will take at least four days with domestic airlines operating approximately 100 flights daily from Danang to 11 Vietnamese cities, the government said in a statement.

The Southeast Asian country was back on high alert after the government on Saturday confirmed its first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in the tourism hotspot of Danang.

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