- Hopes are growing in Australia that a second wave outbreak in Victoria may finally be easing after the state reported the lowest number of daily cases in a month.
- New Zealand has ruled out frozden food and freight as the origin of the coronavirus outbreak that pushed Auckland back into lockdown.
- The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world now exceeds 21.8 million, and more than 772,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 13.8 million people have recovered from the disease.
Here are the latest updates.
Tuesday, August 18
03:20 GMT – Shenzhen steps up procedures to check frozen goods
While New Zealand may have ruled out frozen food imports as the source of its latest outbreak of coronavirus, Chinese state media reports the southern city of Shenzhen is setting up a warehouse specifically to handle such imports.
All imported frozen foods will have to go through the facility, where they will be disinfected, before they can be processed, stored or sold in Shenzhen. Samples will also be taken for nucleic acid testing.
Shenzhen will set up a warehouse for the supervision of #ImportedFrozenFoods starting from Tue as concerns rise over the risk of cold-chain supplies carrying #COVID19. A worker said it will take 5-8 hours for containers to finish the process. https://t.co/2MzrgWvXyj pic.twitter.com/hJ9naKbvvb
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 18, 2020
02:50 GMT – New Zealand rules out link to frozen food and freight in recent outbreak
New Zealand has ruled out frozen food and freight as the cause of the recent coronavirus outbreak in Auckland.
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told the media that investigations showed the virus did not come through chilled foods or materials arriving from overseas at a cold storage facility where one of the people diagnosed with the virus worked.
Auckland is in lockdown until August 26 and investigations into the origin of the outbreak are continuing.
02:20 GMT – Coronavirus on agenda as Democrats open convention in US
The Democrats in the US have begun the convention that will officially nominate Joe Biden as the party’s candidate in November’s presidential elections.
Actress Eva Longoria opened the event – held virtually because of COVID-19 – by saying that the pandemic had “affected us all”.
Later, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the convention saying that the administration of incumbent President Donald Trump was “dysfunctional and incompetent” and had failed to tackle the coronavirus.
‘Our current federal government is dysfunctional and incompetent. It couldn’t fight off the virus. In fact, it didn’t even see it coming,’ says @NYGovCuomo. Live #DemConvention updates: https://t.co/8mtXh0wSov pic.twitter.com/Eb9Ig45ReV
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 18, 2020
You can follow our live updates on the convention here.
02:00 GMT – Rio mayor scraps beach app reservation plan
Rio de Janeiro’s mayor has scrapped plans to launch an app for people to reserve their space on the beach after public ridicule.
Marcelo Crivella was inundated with criticism and a flood of memes on social media after announcing the proposal last week.
The mayor’s office now says the app will be scrapped and sitting on the beach will remain banned.
People have been allowed to swim in the ocean since the end of last month.
01:30 GMT – New Zealand reports 13 new cases
New Zealand’s reported 13 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
12 of the cases are linked to an existing cluster that forced the lockdown of Auckland – the country’s biggest city.
00:30 GMT – Protests in Argentina against extension of coronavirus restrictions
Thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across Argentina to show their opposition to President Alberto Fernandez and his plans to extend coronavirus restrictions in the region around Buenos Aires.
Demonstrators gathered in the centre of the city shouting “freedom, freedom”, waving flags and chanting anti-government slogans.
Argentina has recorded nearly 300,000 cases of the disease and 5,750 deaths. About 90 percent of the cases have been in Buenos Aires where the coronavirus curbs have been extended until August 30.
00:10 GMT – Hopes rise in Victoria that outbreak easing after lowest cases in a month
The Australian state of Victoria has reported its lowest number of coronavirus cases in a month, raising hopes that the second wave outbreak in the state is slowing.
Victoria reported 222 cases of the disease in the last 24 hours.
It also reported a further 17 deaths.
00:00 GMT – Museum of Modern Art in New York to reopen on August 27
New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will reopen – with fewer visitors allowed, timed ticketing and mandatory face masks – on August 27.
MoMA has been closed for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is due to open on August 29, while the Whitney Museum of American Art will reopen on September 3.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (August 17) here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies