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World Roundup: Virus cases rise globally in July

The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 565,000 people out of nearly 13 million registered cases worldwide, has been accelerating sharply since the start of July, according to a count carried out by AFP from official sources.

The three biggest daily worldwide increases in new cases were seen on Saturday (more than 230,000), Friday (more than 225,000) and Thursday (nearly 220,000).

Since July 1, nearly 2.5 million new cases have been officially declared, a record level since the outbreak was first reported in China in December.

The United States (3,247,782 cases), Brazil (1,839,850), India (849,553), Russia (727,162) and Peru (322,710) account for more than half of the global total. Worldwide, a total of at least 12,736,737 infections, including 565,151 deaths, have been recorded.

READ: US records 63,643 new virus cases in 24 hours

Back clean energy post-pandemic—UN

Governments should exit coal, stop subsidizing other fossil fuels, and pressure polluting industries to clean up their act in exchange for bailing them out, the UN Secretary-General told an International Energy Agency conference by video link.

"Today I would like to urge all leaders to choose the clean energy route for three vital reasons – health, science and economics. We need to stop wasting money on fossil fuel subsidies and place a price on carbon," Guterres said, adding that "coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans."

"Bailout support to sectors such as industry, aviation, and shipping should be conditioned on alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement," he said, referring to the 2015 treaty that commits signatories to capping global warming at 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Governments across the world have pledged unprecedented sums to support their economies to cope with the fallout from COVID-19, with many politicians and NGOs calling for green policies to become an integral part of the spending plans.

The European Parliament, for example, has urged EU governments to put "the green deal at the core" of their proposed 750-billion-euro recovery plan.

Virus hits Indonesian military academy

Nearly 1,300 people at a military academy in Indonesia have tested positive for the coronavirus, an official said, as the country struggles to contain the epidemic.

The Indonesian Army Officer Candidate School in the country's most populated province of West Java has been quarantined and 30 people were initially hospitalized with mild symptoms, the army's chief of staff, General Andika Perkasa, said late Saturday. 

Of the 1,280 confirmed infections, 991 were cadets and the rest were staff and their family members, he said. Most had no symptoms. Seventeen were still in hospital on Saturday.

The outbreak was first detected when two cadets went to a medical facility after complaining of fever and back pain.

Both tested positive for COVID-19, sparking mass swab testing at the academy, which has 2,000 staff and cadets. 

READ: World Roundup: HK closes all schools in wake of sharp rise in virus infections

READ: World Roundup: Experts to WHO: Virus airborne

Topics: coronavirus pandemic , cases , worldwide , death toll , International Energy Agency
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