India’s coronavirus death toll rose to 48,040 on Friday, currently the fourth-highest in the world.
The country has overtaken the UK whose death tally stands at 46,791, according to the data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
India’s confirmed cases reached 2,461,190 with a single-day spike of 64,553 in the past 24 hours, reports AP. The country reported 1,007 new deaths during this time.
More than 70 percent of the patients have recovered.
Read Also: India’s Covid-19 cases reach 2.4 million
The daily increase in newly reported infections was around 15,000 in the first week of July but jumped to more than 50,000 in the first week of August. The ministry cited its testing efforts, with more than 800,000 tests in a single day, taking cumulative tests to more than 26 million.
Health experts say it needs to be higher, given India’s population of 1.4 billion.
India’s two-month nationwide lockdown in late March kept infections low. But it has eased and is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas.
The new cases spiked after India reopened shops and manufacturing and allowed hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to return to their homes from coronavirus-hit regions.
Subways, schools and movie theaters remain closed.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday welcomed an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hoping that it will create an opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to establish diplomatic ties.
In a statement, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said the joint statement by US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan suspends Israeli annexation plans over parts of the occupied West Bank, reports Xinhua.
"The secretary-general welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realize a two-state solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements," it said.
Annexation would effectively close the door for a renewal of negotiations and destroy prospect of a viable Palestinian state and the two-state solution, the statement noted.
Peace in the Middle East is more important than ever as the region confronts the grave threats of Covid-19 and radicalisation.
The secretary-general will continue to work with all sides to open further possibilities for dialogue, peace and stability, said the statement.
Trump and Netanyahu announced separately on Thursday that Israel and the UAE have agreed to establish diplomatic ties. The agreement is in return for Israel's suspension of its annexation plans indefinitely.
The agreement would make the UAE the first Gulf state to normalise relations with Israel.
Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp said Thursday that it expects to finish clinical tests of anti-flu drug Avigan, a potential candidate to treat Covid-19, within the next month.
Avigan, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings, is believed to be of benefit to those diagnosed with milder cases of Covid-19, or those newly infected with the virus, as a treatment for the symptoms, reports Xinhua.
The clinical tests first started in March to see if the drug is effective in treating patients with Covid-19 and the company had hoped to finish them by June. However, the number of confirmed cases in the country was low at that time, making it difficult to meet the enrollment target of 96.
Recently, Covid-19 resurgence continues to spread in urban areas including Tokyo and its surrounding areas after a nationwide state of emergency was fully lifted in late May.
"Although we've taken more time than planned, we’ll complete clinical tests as soon as possible and seek approval," said President and Chief Operating Officer Kenji Sukeno.
The last patient will take part in the clinical study on Sunday and all necessary data will have been collected next month, according to the company.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had expressed hopes that the drug could receive approval in May. However, an interim report released in mid-May by a Japanese university did not indicate clear efficacy.
Some 6,789 living in four Ethiopian regional states have been infected by cholera between January and August this year, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said Thursday.
In a Humanitarian Bulletin report, it said 4,819 cholera cases were reported in Southern regional state, 1,319 in Somali regional states and 651 in Oromia regional state, reports Xinhua.
The drastic lack of safe water supply and sanitation services across most of Ethiopia is forcing populations to resort to the use of unprotected water sources which caused the cholera outbreak, it said.
The twin threats of the rainy season and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increases the risk of cholera in various parts of Ethiopia, it added.
The report called on the Ethiopian authorities and humanitarian partners to implement some early action measures in very high-risk areas before the cholera outbreak expands to the rest of the country and gets out of control.
Ethiopia has been suffering from recurrent outbreaks of cholera in recent years, leaving hundreds dead and thousands sick.
In recent years, Ethiopian federal and regional health institutions have also been combating cholera outbreaks by treating unhygienic conditions in factories, medical facilities, agricultural areas and restaurants.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historic deal to normalise bilateral relations, with the help of the United States.
US President Donald Trump, Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a joint statement in this regard and hoped that the deal would advance peace in the Middle East, reports BBC.
It is the third treaty to be signed between Israel and an Arab nation since 1948 when Israel declared its independence.
The joint statement said: "This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region."
In a tweet, Trump described the agreement as a huge breakthrough.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!” he tweeted.
According to the deal, Israel will rescind its plan to annex Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank.
Although there was no diplomatic relations between the two countries, they had unofficial contacts at different times over Iran’s regional influence.
Earlier, Israel signed a deal with Egypt in 1979 and another with Jordan in 1994.