The French health ministry has reported 4,711 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, a new post-lockdown record and a level last seen during the height of the epidemic in France.
Germany confirmed 1,707 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, official figures showed.
Brazil has expressed cautious optimism that the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be about to slow down, with cases and deaths on a weekly basis falling from their late July peaks.
South Korea has reported a seventh day of triple-digit cases with infections growing outside Seoul.
More than 22 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14 million have recovered. More than 787,600 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Thursday, August 20
23:41 GMT – Ireland’s EU commissioner, minister under fire for attending golf event
An Irish Cabinet minister apologised “unreservedly” for attending a social event with more than 80 people – reported to have included European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan – which may have breached COVID-19 regulations.
Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary and Cabinet colleagues significantly tightened nationwide coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, including limiting indoor gatherings to just six people. The next night, 81 people, including current and former politicians, attended a dinner hosted by the Irish parliament’s golf society in a hotel, according to the Irish Examiner.
Calleary said in a statement that in light of the updated public health guidance, he should not have attended the event.
“I wish to apologise unreservedly to everyone. We are asking quite a lot from everyone at this difficult time. I also offer this apology and my sincere regret to my government colleagues,” he said.
20:50 GMT – Trump calls on Pennsylvania governor to reopen state amid pandemic
President Donald Trump has called on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to reopen the state, telling a rally of supporters the Democrat would wait until the day after the November 3 election to do so.
“He’s got to open this state up,” Trump said during a speech in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. “What is he doing? What is he doing? So the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we’re going to get it open. And I know when he’s going to do it. You know when it is? November 4.”