Below is a summary of the latest global developments.
- India has became the third in the world to record more than one million coronavirus cases, while the list of US states requiring face coverings in public grew as the country reported at least 70,000 new cases, a record daily jump for the seventh time this month.
- The European Union is negotiating advance purchase deals of potential Covid-19 vaccines with drugmakers Moderna, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson and biotech firms BioNtech and CureVac, two EU sources told Reuters.
- Russia will unveil a deal with AstraZeneca to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the pharmaceuticals giant and Oxford University, its wealth fund head said.
- The reproduction rate of the novel coronavirus in the Brittany region has risen sharply in less than a week, the latest indication that the virus is again gaining momentum in France.
- Authorities urged some four million people in Spain’s Catalonia to stay home, as the region battles a growing number of new coronavirus clusters.
- In the US, public health specialists who have for months warned the government that shuffling detainees among immigration detention centers would help spread Covid-19 were right, according to a Reuters review of court records and ICE data.
- The Japanese government is facing a blowback after excluding Tokyo residents from a multibillion dollar campaign aimed at reviving domestic tourism, even as the capital on Friday reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases.
- Hong Kong authorities reported 50 locally transmitted cases on Friday, stoking further concern about an escalating third wave of infections in the global financial hub.
- The steepest dive in cocoa demand in a decade has thrown into jeopardy a plan by top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana to guarantee some two million farmers a living wage, sources within the countries’ regulators said.
- Israel imposed a new weekend shutdown on Friday and tightened a series of curbs to lower infection rates.
- South Korea approved an early stage clinical trial of Celltrion Inc’s experimental Covid-19 treatment drug, making it the country’s first such antibody drug to be tested on humans.
- Global equity benchmarks treaded water on Friday and government bond yields edged lower as investors waited on the European Union to iron out the details of an expected 750bn euro recovery fund.
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Following the earlier reports of partial and voluntary lockdown in Barcelona, Guardian journalist Stephen Burgen reports on the response in the city.
Meritxell Budó, the Catalan government spokeswoman, urged people not to travel to their second homes for the weekend. The measures mirror those recently introduced in L’Hospitalet, a a large satellite town on the southern edge of Barcelona, as well as in Lleida and the surrounding rural area in north-west Catalonia.
Budó said “the pandemic is advancing without cease” and said people “have to follow all the measures taken by the regional government”. She called for “personal and collective commitment”.
Strictly speaking the lockdown can only be advisory in the absence of a state of emergency, which can only be imposed by central government. The state of emergency was lifted on June 21.
Furthermore, the recommendations are confusing and apparently contradictory. People are being asked to stay at home but bars and restaurants remain open, albeit with a limited capacity. Children’s summer schools are also allowed to stay open.
The only absolute prohibition imposed is on meetings of more than 10 people in the street, but even this will have to be ratified by a judge.
The measures have been introduced after the regional health department said that 1,293 new cases had been recorded in Catalonia in the past 24 hours, a figure similar to that recorded in March at the height of the pandemic. In the course of a week the number of cases in Barcelona has tripled.