Coronavirus live news: US cases top 4m as WHO chief chides Pompeo for ‘untrue’ claims

10.10pm EDT22:10

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is addressing the media now following a cabinet meeting, and has announced that Australia has ‘reaffirmed’ its suppression strategy.

This has become a major ideological issue over the past few weeks – should Australia have adopted an elimination strategy instead of a suppression strategy on controlling the coronavirus?

Morrison said national cabinet today moved an “affirmation of the suppression strategy”.

The goal of that is obviously, and has always been no community transmission. There will always be cases that come because Australia has not completely shut itself off from the world. To do so would be reckless, but that no community transmission, when the vast majority of states and territories have been at now effectively for some time. And that’s certainly where we want to get back to in Victoria and New South Wales, and that’s where our efforts are focused.

10.05pm EDT22:05

9.56pm EDT21:56

9.51pm EDT21:51

at 9.55pm EDT

9.47pm EDT21:47

Australian state of Victoria records 300 new cases

The Australian state of Victoria has reported 300 new coronavirus cases and six deaths.

All of the people who died were connected to aged care. Three were aged in their 90s, three were in their 80s. Twenty-two people have died in the past seven days.

Yesterday’s numbers were 484 new cases and five deaths, three of which were connected to aged care clusters.

There have been 2,240 cases of coronavirus recorded in Victoria since last Friday, 17 July.

There are now 206 people in hospital, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said, and 41 are in intensive care.

A flare-up of infections in Melbourne, the state’s largest city, prompted the government to enforce a six-week partial lockdown and make face masks mandatory for its residents or risk a AU$200 ($143) fine.

at 9.52pm EDT

9.22pm EDT21:22

Coronavirus crisis could spark ‘massive’ new migration: Red Cross

at 9.22pm EDT

9.12pm EDT21:12

8.49pm EDT20:49

Still in the UK, longstanding under-investment in the NHS will hamper its ability to tackle the backlog of tests and required treatments that built up during the Covid-19 pandemic, research shows.

A new 31-country study found patients in the UK will face long waits for care and the rationing of treatment because the health service has so few staff and beds:

8.40pm EDT20:40

Coronavirus will not be eliminated, warns Tony Blair

8.27pm EDT20:27

8.12pm EDT20:12

Here is the full story on Trump cancelling Republican national convention events in Jacksonville, Florida:

Donald Trump has cancelled the part of the Republican national convention that had been due to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, his biggest public retreat yet from the ferocity of the coronavirus pandemic.

The US president’s insistence on a packed crowd had forced the Republican National Committee to announce in June that it would move most of its agenda – including Trump’s acceptance speech as nominee – to Jacksonville from Charlotte, North Carolina, where health guidelines are stricter.

But since then, virus infections have soared in Florida, including a record 173 deaths on Thursday, forcing Trump to reluctantly pull the plug.

The move is the latest and starkest example of Trump bowing to the scientific reality of the pandemic, which has now infected 4m Americans and killed more than 144,000. A campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month suffered a poor turnout, presumably in part because of fears that the virus would spread in the indoor arena. Another recent plan for an outdoor rally in New Hampshire was cancelled, ostensibly because of the weather.

8.00pm EDT20:00

Bolsonaro criticised for lack of distancing, despite positive test

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is again coming under fire after being caught on camera chatting with cleaners on the grounds of his official residence without a mask – despite testing positive for the coronavirus only yesterday.

The far-right populist, whose dismissive response to the pandemic has been globally condemned, first announced he had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in early July, when Brazil had suffered more than 65,000 deaths and 1.6m confirmed cases.

Since then Brazil’s death toll has risen to nearly 83,000 – the second highest in the world – and the number of cases to 2.2m, a record 67,860 of which were recorded yesterday.

Brazil’s president again tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday and has supposedly been in isolation since 6 July.

Despite that Bolsonaro – who has undermined social distancing efforts and repeatedly downplayed the illness as a “bit of a cold” – was on Thursday spotted by a Reuters photographer roaming the estate around Brasília’s Palácio da Alvorada on a motorbike and talking to cleaners without gear to protect them.

7.50pm EDT19:50

7.43pm EDT19:43

US cases pass 4 million

The US surpassed 4m coronavirus cases on Thursday, after more than 1,100 new Covid-19-related deaths were reported in a single day on Wednesday for the first time since late May.

As states continue to dial back reopening efforts, nearly every metric for tracking the outbreak has shown a worsening spread. The US politicians volunteering other people’s lives to fight Covid-19Read more

“I don’t see this disappearing,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told tuberculosis researchers during a live stream on Wednesday. “It is so efficient in its ability to transmit from human to human that I think we ultimately will get control of it. I don’t really see us eradicating it.”

More than 915,000 new cases have been confirmed in just the past two weeks, totaling more than the entire month of June. The US has now exceeded 140,000 deaths, with Texas alone reporting a state record 197 new fatalities on Wednesday.

Hospitalizations have also increased and, the Associated Press reports, testing facilities have been overwhelmed by the surge, creating processing delays.

7.39pm EDT19:39

WHO chief chides Pompeo for ‘untrue’ claims

7.37pm EDT19:37

Trump cancels the Jacksonville Republican National Convention

US President Donald Trump cancelled the Jacksonville, Florida Republican National Convention on Thursday.

Trump said that it is “not the right time” for a big convention in Jacksonville. Jacksonville, Florida residents filed a lawsuit against the city, the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign earlier this month to stop the convention in August, concerned that a crowded event would accelerate the spread of disease in a state that is already a coronavirus hotspot.

The Republican National Committee had recently announced it would restrict attendance at its Jacksonville convention as Florida’s coronavirus cases and deaths spiked, limiting the number of guests that delegates are able to bring and spreading the event across two venues.

Florida reported its largest number of deaths in a single day from the coronavirus today, and more than 10,000 Floridians have tested positive for Covid-19 so far.

The convention was originally meant to be held in Charlotte, but the RNC moved the location after North Carolina’s governor Roy Cooper was reluctant about hosting large, crowded events amid the pandemic without distancing and safety measures.

“When we made these changes, we had hoped to be able to plan a traditional convention celebration to which we are all accustomed,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel wrote in a letter to committee members at the time. “However, adjustments must be made to comply with state and local health guidelines.”

at 7.38pm EDT

7.30pm EDT19:30