The United States of America on Tuesday officially submitted its exit notification from the World Health Organization (WHO) to the United Nations secretary-general in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States will leave the WHO on July 6, 2021, and currently it owes the organization more than USD 200mn in assessed contributions, according to the WHO website.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly threatened to cut ties with the organization. Trump also announced in mid-April that his administration would halt U.S. funding to the WHO.
Meanwhile, experts and Democrats criticized that the Trump administration was trying to shift the blame of its mishandling of COVID-19 response and would be counterproductive to addressing the public health crisis.
After the U.S. notification, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on Tuesday tweeted that "To call Trump's response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests - it leaves Americans sick & America alone."
The country has reported more than 2.99 million COVID-19 cases with over 131,000 deaths, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally. Both figures are far higher than those in any other country or region.
After lockdown measures were eased in some states, the United States is struggling to respond to the devastation inflicted by COVID-19 even harder.
"We had been in a situation (where) we were averaging about 20,000 new cases a day," Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a livestream with Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health on Monday.
A series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up in a bid to get back to some form of normality, has led to a situation where the country now has "record-breaking cases," Fauci said.
California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily record highs for new cases, according to the latest tally.
India's federal health ministry on Monday morning announced 425 new deaths with fresh 24,248 positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 19,693 and total cases to 697,413.
With the detection of the new cases, the country has overtaken Russia to become the world's third worst affected nation by the pandemic in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases.
In Russia, the total confirmed coronavirus cases have been reached 680,283 with 10,145 fatalities.
According to ministry officials in India, so far 424,433 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.
"The number of active cases in the country right now is 253,287," reads the information.
Presently, the country has entered the "Unlock 2.0" phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 containment zones.
On Friday the country's civil aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced commercial international flights to and from India shall remain suspended until July 31.
The total number of Covid-19 cases surpassed 240,000 in Iran on Sunday.
Iran, the hardest-hit country by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Middle East region, reported 2,560 new cases, raising the total number of infections to 240,438.
The country also reported 163 new deaths from the virus, raising the death toll to 11,571. A total of 201,330 coronavirus patients have recovered, with 3,168 still in critical condition.
Meanwhile, Saudi Health Ministry announced on Sunday the registration of 3,580 new coronavirus infections, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 209,509.
The recoveries rose to 145,236 with 1,980 new recovered cases, and the death toll reached 1,916 after 58 fatalities in the last 24 hours were added in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday additional facilities for foreigners who were affected by the Covid-19 lockdown, aiming to minimize the economic impacts of the coronavirus.
Turkey's Covid-19 cases increased by 1,148 on Sunday, raising the total number in the country to 205,758, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
Meanwhile, 19 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,225, while 1,188 more patients recovered, raising the total recoveries to 180,680, the minister tweeted.
Qatar's Health Ministry on Sunday announced 616 new infections of Covid-19, increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 99,799.
Meanwhile, 1,897 people recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 92,284, while five others died, raising the fatalities to 128.
Egypt witnessed a record 623 daily recoveries from Covid-19 on Sunday, raising the total number of the recovered cases in the country to 20,726.
Meanwhile, the country reported 1,218 new Covid-19 infections, the lowest since June 19, raising the total cases registered since mid-February to 75,253, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.
The North African country also saw 63 fatalities from coronavirus on Sunday, the least since June 14, increasing the death toll to 3,343, according to the statement.
Iraqi Health Ministry said on Sunday that 2,125 new Covid-19 cases were reported, bringing the total infection cases in the country to 60,479.
The ministry also reported 105 more deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 2,473.
The Israeli health ministry reported 788 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the total number in the country to 29,958.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 683 new Covid-19 cases and two more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 51,540 and the death toll to 323.
The total number of recoveries from the virus in the UAE increased to 40,297 after 440 more fully recovered.
Kuwait reported 638 new Covid-19 cases and three more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 49,941 and the death toll to 368, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also announced the recovery of 520 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 40,463.
Oman reported 1,072 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number in the country to 46,178.
Meanwhile, 10 new fatalities from the virus were reported, bringing the death toll to 213, while 949 more patients recovered, raising the total recovered cases to 27,917, the health ministry said in a statement.
In a separate statement on Sunday, the ministry announced that it was preparing for a survey of antibodies to help determine the extent of the Covid-19 infection across the country.
Syria reported 20 new Covid-19 cases as part of a daily escalation in the number of infections in the war-torn country.
With the new infections, Syria has so far recorded 358 cases since March, including 126 recoveries and 13 deaths.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in Yemen's government-controlled provinces increased to 1,265 on Sunday, after 17 new ones were confirmed.
The ministry also announced that the death toll from the respiratory disease climbed to 338 in different areas under its control, including the southern port city of Aden.
India on Sunday registered a record daily number of coronavirus cases since the first case was confirmed on January 30.
India's health ministry reported 24,912 cases and 613 deaths in 24 hours, the biggest daily spike in a day.
Sunday’s fresh cases crossed record highs on each of the past four days, starting with 22,045 infections reported on July 2.
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The total confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 673,165 in the country with 19,628 fatalities, according to data provided by John Hopkins University (JHU).
Besides, 409,083 people have so far recovered in the country from the virus.
According to the JHU tally, India has come up to fourth position in term of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trials of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir to treat COVID-19 patients.
The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients, WHO said in a media release.
The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation.
These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.
For each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality.
There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity trial.
These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.
This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity trial in hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.
The interim Solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication.