Coronavirus latest: New Zealand to host ‘virtual’ APEC in 2021

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 10,278,458, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 504,936.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:


(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Tuesday, June 30

13:53 p.m. India reports 18,522 new cases in the past 24 hours, down from the 19,459 recorded the previous day, bringing the country’s total to 566,840. The country’s 16,893 deaths are up 418 since Monday morning.

12:30 p.m. Thailand’s economy is expected to shrink at least 5% this year due to the pandemic and take more than two years to return to pre-outbreak GDP output levels, the World Bank says. In the baseline scenario, the economy is projected to grow by 4.1% in 2021 and by 3.6% in 2022.

11:31 a.m. South Korea confirms 43 new cases, up from 42 a day ago, as total infections reach 12,800 with 282 deaths.

11:20 a.m. China’s factory activity expanded at a stronger pace in June as the economy recovers after the government lifted strict lockdowns and ramped up investment, government data shows. China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index hits 50.9 for June, compared with May’s 50.6.

10:30 a.m. Japan’s industrial output for May fell 8.4% from the previous year to the lowest level since comparable data became available in 2013, government data shows. The decline is another sign of how the pandemic has sapped overseas and domestic demand and disrupted supply chains.

10:10 a.m. China reports 19 new coronavirus cases, up from 12 a day earlier. Of the new infections, seven were in Beijing, which has been battling a fresh outbreak. China also reported four new asymptomatic patients, who tested positive for COVID-19 but showed no symptoms.

9:40 a.m. New Zealand will use virtual digital platforms to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group summit next year, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says. The decision was made in response to global disruption caused by COVID-19, including border closures.

9:23 a.m. Japan’s gauge of job availability marked its biggest fall in 46 years in May, indicating a rapid deterioration in the employment market that had until only recently been in a severe state of labor shortage. The ratio of job openings to applicants, a key measure of how plentiful positions are in the labor market, dropped 0.12 point to 1.20.

8:30 a.m. Michael Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies program urges Brazil to link efforts to contain the virus at federal and state levels « in a much more systematic way. » The country is suffering the second worst outbreak behind the U.S. and on Monday reported 24,052 new cases and 692 additional deaths, taking total overall fatalities to 58,314.

3:46 a.m. COVAXIN, India’s first vaccine candidate for COVID-19 developed by Bharat Biotech, has received national approval for human clinical trials.

3:30 a.m. Gilead Sciences prices its COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations and agrees to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the U.S. over the next three months. The price tag is slightly below the range of $2,520 to $2,800 suggested last week by U.S. drug pricing research group the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).

2:00 a.m. Amazon will pay more than $500 million in special bonuses to employees at distribution centers and other workplaces in appreciation of their efforts during the pandemic.


A person walks by the closed St. James Theater in New York, where Disney’s Broadway production of Frozen the Musical was being shown.

  © Reuters

1:30 a.m. New York’s Broadway theaters will remain closed through Jan. 3, 2021, industry group the Broadway League says, extending their coronavirus-related shutdown for another four months.

The theaters, which went dark in mid-March, had previously set a tentative reopening date of Sept. 6, but social-distancing requirements for audiences, actors and production staff have made it impossible for plays and musicals to resume.

Monday, June 29

8:07 p.m. India’s western state of Maharashtra — the worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with 164,626 confirmed cases and 7,429 deaths — extends until July 31 the lockdown that has been in place since late March.

The national capital territory of Delhi says a plasma bank will be set up to treat COVID-19 patients.The region has suffered the country’s second-worst pandemic impact, with 83,077 cases and 2,623 deaths.

7:02 p.m. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and other investors are injecting around $250 million into German biotech company, BioNTech, via a private placement, Reuters reported. The investment reflects investor appetite for companies developing vaccines for the novel coronavirus. BioNTech has said it expects first clinical data on its COVID-19 vaccine development program, known as BNT162, this month or next.

The company, which listed on the Nasdaq in October, said the investors would buy about $139 million worth of ordinary shares and $112 million of four-year mandatory convertible notes.

5:50 p.m. Indonesia reports 1,082 new cases, down from 1,198 a day earlier, taking the total number of infections to 55,092. The country also saw another 51 deaths, taking total fatalities to 2,805, the highest in East Asia excluding China.

3:20 p.m. ANA Holdings chief Shinya Katanozaka tells shareholders that the Japanese airline group has « no problems with financing for the time being » as it has « prepared a total of 1 trillion yen ($9.34 billion) in borrowings and credit lines. »

2:50 p.m. China’s military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics after clinical trials proved it was safe and somewhat effective, Reuters reports. The vaccine, Ad5-nCoV, is one of eight candidates being developed by Chinese companies and researchers that have been approved to advance to human trials.


Biotech companies across the world are in a race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

  © Reuters

2:30 p.m. Thailand reports seven new cases, all imported, marking 35 days with no community transmission. Yet, the government wants to extend the emergency decree beyond Tuesday, when it is set to expire.

2:15 p.m. Toyota Motor says its grobal production in May tumbled 54.4% from a year earlier to 366,000 units due to the pandemic’s impact, registering the largest fall since 2004 when comparable data became available. Meanwhile, its global sales fell 31.8% in May, showing improvement from the record-low 46.3% drop in April, as global demand has been recovering led by the U.S. and Chinese markets.

1:58 p.m. India reports 19,459 new cases for the past 24 hours, down from the 19,906 recorded the previous day, bringing the country’s total to 548,318. The country’s 16,475 deaths are up 380 since Sunday morning.

12:20 p.m. Thailand’s manufacturing production index for May dropped 23.19% from a year earlier, dragged down by lower production of cars, petroleum and air conditioners due to the pandemic, the industry ministry says.

11:50 a.m. Vietnam’s gross domestic product for the April-June period grew 0.36% from a year earlier, government data shows, against an expansion of 6.73% for the same period last year.

11:30 a.m. Australia’s second most populous state is considering reimposing social distancing restrictions now that 75 cases have been detected in Victoria in the past 24 hours — enough to make it Australia’s biggest daily outbreak since April 11.

10:48 a.m. South Korea will allow some spectators into stadiums to watch professional baseball and football games, with numbers and start dates to be confirmed later this week. Games have been held since May with no spectators. The news comes as the country confirms 42 new infections on Monday, down from 62 a day ago.

10:10 a.m. China reports 12 new cases as of the end of Sunday, down from 17 a day earlier. Five of the new cases were so-called imported ones involving travelers from overseas. The seven local infections were all in Beijing, as the capital tries to rein in a recent outbreak.

9:20 a.m. Retail sales in Japan tumbled 12.3% in May, marking a double-digit drop for the second straight month, as the pandemic and lockdown measures delivered a heavy blow to consumer confidence. Spending on big ticket items such as cars slumped, as well as clothing and general merchandise.

7:25 a.m. The death toll from COVID-19 reaches half a million people on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.


A priest wearing personal protective equipment prays over the coffin of a person who died from COVID-19 during a funeral at a cemetery in Mumbai, India on June 27. 

  © Reuters

7:20 a.m. Brazil reports 30,476 new cases in the past 24 hours and 552 additional deaths. The nation has now registered 1,344,143 total confirmed cases of the virus and 57,622 deaths.

Sunday, June 28

10:00 p.m. Beijing has tested about a third of the Chinese capital’s population so far as authorities seek to control a mid-June coronavirus outbreak stemming from a wholesale market. As of noon Sunday, China’s capital had collected 8.29 million patient samples and completed 7.69 million tests, a city official says.

7:00 p.m. Tokyo records 60 new infections on Sunday, hitting the highest daily total since May 4.

11:55 a.m. The global coronavirus pandemic threatens to send capital fleeing from emerging economies, as falling exports and a dearth of tourists cause foreign reserves to dry up. Weaker local currencies also make servicing external debts harder.

10:14 a.m. Mainland China on Sunday reports 17 new coronavirus cases, mostly in Beijing, taking the cumulative number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 83,500. The death toll stands at 4,634, unchanged since mid-May.

6:07 a.m. American Airlines Group expects to have between 10% and 20% more workers than needed in July 2021, Chief Executive Doug Parker tells employees and says that avoiding furloughs will be difficult.

2:18 a.m. A pledging summit on Saturday raises 6.15 billion euros ($6.9 billion) to tackle COVID-19. The event was part of a joint initiative by the European Commission and the advocacy group Global Citizen and included a star-studded globally televised and streamed concert, Reuters reports.

Saturday, June 27

9:21 p.m. Delta Air Lines says late on Friday it will soon send warning notices to about 2,500 pilots regarding possible furloughs at the airline, as the industry takes a huge blow after the coronavirus pandemic slashed air travel demand, Reuters reports.

5:53 p.m. Indonesia reports its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections with 1,385 new cases, taking the total to 52,812. The country’s health ministry also says there have been 37 more coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 2,720.

4:38 p.m. Indonesia’s central bank is ready to further finance the government’s budget deficit and « share the burden » of fighting the coronavirus outbreak, the bank’s chief told an online seminar on Saturday, Reuters reports.

2:50 p.m. Australia’s state of Victoria records 41 new cases on Saturday, double the daily rate seen a week ago, struggling to gain control over the pandemic while the rest of the country continues easing social distancing restrictions.

1:30 p.m. India reports over 17,000 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s total above 500,000, federal health ministry data shows, with infections surging in major cities including the capital New Delhi.

1:15 p.m. Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona says.

7:00 a.m. Brazil reports 46,860 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 990 additional deaths. The country has logged 1,274,974 total confirmed cases of the virus and 55,961 deaths.

4:07 a.m. United Airlines will restart twice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Shanghai on July 8, according to the company.

3:02 a.m. Japanese materials group Teijin has ramped up production of carbon fiber in Germany in response to growing demand for the strong yet lightweight material for use in medical devices.

2:31 a.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says new coronavirus cases are flattening in 34 states but urges people to still adhere to social distancing rules.

1:00 a.m. AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, says Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist. Moderna’s vaccine candidate was « not far behind. » The two are among more than 200 candidate vaccines, 15 of which have entered clinical trials, she said.

12:24 a.m. Low-cost international carrier NokScoot has become the second Thai airline to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic after the company’s board of directors voted for its liquidation.

12:22 a.m. Texas Gov. Abbott orders bars to close down again and restaurants to reduce occupancy by 50% as the number of coronavirus infections in the state rises. U.S. share prices fall in the morning, dragging down the Dow Jones Industrial Average around 600 points at the start of trading.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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