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US coronavirus deaths near 130,000 amid July 4 fete: Live updates

President Trump hosts Fourth of July event at the White House while WHO stops trials of malaria, HIV drugs for COVID-19.

  • The number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States has hit almost 130,000 as the country wraps up its July 4 Independence Day celebrations. More than 2.8 million people have been infected in the US with the states of Florida and Texas posting a combined record of almost 20,000 cases in just one day.
  • The World Health Organization said that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after the medications failed to reduce mortality. 
  • Brazil passed 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases with almost 65,000 deaths, according to the health ministry, as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms, sparking fears infections will keep rising.

  • Worldwide cases have reached 11.18 million while 6.03 million patients have recovered, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally. The number of deaths worldwide hit more than 528,000.

Here are the latest updates.

Sunday, July 5

00:29 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 30,000

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 523 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 30,366, and 6,014 new infections, bringing the total to 252,165.

The government has previously said the actual number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases.

Citing unpublished figures from the country’s civil registry, broadcaster Milenio reported that as of June 19, nearly twice as many people had died from the coronavirus than were reported by Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell. Reuters news agency was unable to verify the information.

00:05 GMT – Ghana’s president self-isolates after close contact with infected person

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for the coronavirus, Reuters news agency reported, quoting a government statement.

“He has, as at today, tested negative, but has elected to take this measure out of the abundance of caution,” the statement said, adding that the president will continue to work during the period, in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.

The statement did not say if the close person was a staff or family member.

Ghana has recorded 19,388 coronavirus cases, one of the highest number of cases in sub-Saharan Africa, with 117 deaths.

The West African nation’s deputy trade and industry minister, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, resigned on Friday after violating coronavirus self-isolation measures following a positive test for the virus.

00:01 GMT – Brazil registers 37,923 new cases of coronavirus, 1,091 deaths

Brazil has recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths, Reuters news agency reported, quoting the country’s health ministry.

Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64,265, according to the ministry.

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

You can find all the latest developments from yesterday, July 4, here.

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Wildfire near Byers forces residents to evacuate as 100-acre fire grows

More than 100 people in Byers who were evacuated from their homes Tuesday due to a 100-acre wildfire have been allowed to return, an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

The wildfire closed I-70 in both direction at U.S. 36, but the freeway reopened around 2 p.m., according to a tweet from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The brush fire near County Road 173 and Interstate 70 burned 96 acres and did not reach any structures, said Ginger Delgado, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

“At this point we’re working towards containment,” she said, adding that gusty conditions could spark another flareup.

Fire officials believe the flames may have started from an electrical source and do not believe they were intentional, Delgado said.

The wildfire, roughly 40 miles east of Denver, briefly forced the evacuation of residents in the Royal Mobile Home Park and on Cheyenne and Arapahoe streets.

An evacuation center was set up at the Byers American Legion Hall, 278 West Front St.

The fire comes a day after residents near Chatfield State Park were evacuated due to a 461-acre fire in Douglas County. That fire was fully contained by day’s end.

— Arapahoe Sheriff (@ArapahoeSO) June 30, 2020

Approximate location of wildfire

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Assault near Wisconsin protests investigated as hate crime – The Denver Post

MADISON, Wis. — An assault on a biracial woman in Madison was being investigated Thursday as a hate crime after the woman told police she was burned by lighter fluid thrown at her and ignited by a white man, just a few blocks from violent protests at the state Capitol.

Althea Bernstein told police she was driving near the Capitol about 1 a.m. Wednesday and had stopped at a red light with her driver’s side window down. Bernstein, 18, told police she heard someone yell out a racial epithet, looked around and saw four white men.

One sprayed liquid on her face and neck and threw a flaming lighter at her, she told police. Bernstein said she pulled forward, put out the flames and drove home where her mother encouraged her to go to the hospital. She was treated for burns. Hospital staff believe the liquid was lighter fluid, police said.

A call by The Associated Press to Bernstein’s home was referred to Michael Johnson, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County. Johnson released a statement from Bernstein’s family that they were “saddened at what happened to Althea and the unprovoked attack on her body. At this time, our family is asking everyone to respect our privacy as Althea is recovering from the burns on her face and neck.”

The assault came amid a night of violence Tuesday that included the toppling of two statues outside the Capitol and an attack on a state senator. A group of 200 to 300 people protested the arrest of a Black man after he shouted at restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat.

Someone also threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building and attempted to break into the Capitol, only to be repelled by pepper spray from police stationed inside. The violence prompted Gov. Tony Evers to activate the National Guard to protect state properties.

On Wednesday night, about 40 people gathered peacefully outside the county jail where the man was being held, calling for his release. A crowd of about 100 people congregated outside the Capitol.

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