The global coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, with Thursday’s 150,000 new cases the highest in a single day, World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The United Kingdom’s chief medical officers have agreed to lower the country’s coronavirus alert level from four to three.
German biopharmaceutical company CureVac has started a clinical trial for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
More than 454,000 people have died as a result of the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 8.4 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus around the world and more than four million have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, June 20
00:23 GMT – Brazil surpasses one million coronavirus cases
Brazil passed one million coronavirus cases and approached 50,000 deaths, a new nadir for the world’s second worst-hit country as it struggles with a tense political climate and worsening economic outlook.
The country’s health ministry reported 1,032,913 confirmed cases on Friday, with 1,206 new deaths that took the total official fatalities to 48,954.
Friday also saw a new record daily number of cases, with 54,771 infections, a jump the health ministry said was largely due to “instability” in its reporting system, which meant some states were reporting figures from multiple days.
Brazil is likely to surpass 50,000 deaths on Saturday, although weekend reporting can be lower.
Read more here.
Brazilians rally against government response to outbreak (2:22)
00:16 GMT – Zimbabwe health minister arrested over coronavirus supplies scandal
Zimbabwe’s health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested on Friday for alleged corruption related to the supply of medical materials to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s anti-graft agency said.
He was being held at a Harare police station and is likely to appear in court on Saturday.
“I can confirm that the minister of health and child welfare has been arrested and is being detained at Rhodesville police station,” John Makamure, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, told AFP news agency.
“It’s to do with the procurement of COVID-19 materials,” he added.
The government did not immediately comment on the arrest, which came a day after the country’s main opposition condemned alleged corruption following suspicions over a $2m payment to a medical company contracted to provide anti-coronavirus equipment.
Harare has come under fire for granting two-month-old company Drax Consult SAGL a contract to supply $20m worth of drugs, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits.
The deal was allegedly signed without the consent of Zimbabwe’s procurement registration authority.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, June 19, here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies