Fauci warns US on coronavirus as cases surge: Live updates

Fauci warning comes as Arizona, Texas and Nevada each report record number of daily cases.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • The top medical expert in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci is warning that the country, which has been “hit badly” by the coronavirus, is facing a dangerous surge in new cases. The warning came as Arizona, Texas and Nevada each reported a record number of daily cases.
  • European Union countries are considering banning entry to Americans as the US has failed in controlling the spread of the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.
  • Worldwide, nearly 9.2 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus. More than 4.6 million have recovered, while more than 474,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, June 24

03:00 GMT – Washington state makes face masks mandatory

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state in the US, ordered residents to wear face masks in public after the region saw its positive tests rise by 35 percent last week.

“This is about saving lives. It’s about reopening our businesses. And it’s about showing respect and care for one another,” Inslee said.

The move as the states of Arizona, California, Mississippi and Nevada reported record numbers of new cases of COVID-19. Texas set a record on Monday. About a dozen other US states and some major cities have face-covering rules.

02:42 GMT – Mexico records another record rise in cases

Mexico posted another record one-day increase in coronavirus cases, logging 6,288 confirmed infections on Tuesday. The Health Department also reported 793 more deaths.

That brought Mexico’s total case-load to 191,410 and death toll to 23,377.

Officials acknowledge both are undercounts due to extremely low testing rates. Mexico has performed only about half a million tests, or about one for every 250 inhabitants.

Mexico has also had an extremely high rate of infections among health care professionals. About 39,000 of the country’s confirmed cases are health care workers, about 20 percent of the total. There have been 584 deaths among doctors, nurses, technicians and hospital workers.

02:00 GMT – MSF calls on GAVI to get drugs companies to sell vaccine at cost

Medecins Sans Frontieres, and 40 civil society groups, are calling on GAVI to reviews its pricing mechanism for future coronavirus vaccines, ahead of a Gavi board meeting due to start in Geneva later on Wednesday.

At issue is the COVAX Facility, a new mechanism Gavi has developed to pay pharmaceutical companies up front for potential future COVID-19 vaccines.

MSF is concerned about the lack of transparency on pricing that’s being required of the drugs firms as well as the two-tier system of access to future COVID-19 vaccines (bought through the COVAX Facility) based on countries’ economic standing. Gavi only requires that countries financed through donor assistance adhere to the forthcoming WHO-developed global equitable allocation framework, which ensures that the most vulnerable populations are prioritised, MSF said.

“Some pharmaceutical corporations are pledging to sell future COVID-19 vaccines at a ‘not-for-profit’ price, but with pharma’s track record, why would we believe that when there’s no transparency to prove it?” Kate Elder, the senior vaccines policy adviser at MSF Access Campaign said in a statement. “With governments professing left and right that future COVID-19 vaccines will be global public goods, we need to see some strong actions taken to actually make these proclamations a reality. COVID-19 vaccines must be sold at cost – now is not the time to try and turn a profit on the back of a global pandemic.”

23:00 GMT (Tuesday) – ‘We’ve been hit badly’: Fauci warns US on coronavirus surge

Dr Anthony Fauci has warned that the next few weeks will be critical to stamping out coronavirus hotspots around the United States.

“We’ve been hit badly,” Fauci told a House committee. He said he was “really quite concerned” about rising community spread in some states, including Arizona, where US President Donald Trump was holding a rally on Tuesday and viewing the construction of a border wall.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges,” Fauci said.

Fauci, who also stressed that testing would be stepped up, was speaking at the committee along with the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Find out more about what they had to say here.

Read all the updates from yesterday (June 23) here.

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