Brazil, Argentina join coronavirus vaccine alliance: Live news

Australia reports lowest coronavirus cases in three months: Live

  • Australia reported 14 new cases on Sunday – the lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months as strict lockdown in Melbourne reduces infections sharply.
  • Brazil and Argentina have announced that they are joining a global alliance seeking to pool the purchase and distribution of future COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Despite threats of heavy fines up to almost $1,300, more than a thousand people gathered in central London to protest, defying lockdown measures aimed at slowing the resurgence of COVID-19.
  • More than 30.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and almost 95,400 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 20.8 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, September 20

03:38 GMT – Australia reports lowest COVID-19 cases in three months

Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months on Sunday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country's virus epicentre down sharply.

The second-most populous state Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported 14 new infections in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, down from 21 new cases the day prior and its lowest since June 19, according to Reuters news agency.

That put Victoria, which has spent months under lockdown to slow a second wave of infections, on track to meet a target of keeping average daily increases below 50 by September 28 when the authorities have said they may lift restrictions.

03:20 GMT – Germany's reports 1,345 new coronavirus cases

Germany's agency for infectious diseases has reported at least 1,345 new coronavirus cases, raising the country's total to 271,415.

The Robert Koch Institute also reported two new deaths, with a total death toll of 9,386.

02:29 GMT – Brazil reports 33,057 new COVID-19 cases, 739 deaths

Brazil's health ministry has recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to more than 4.5 million.

Brazil also reported 739 additional deaths for a total death toll of more than 136,000 – the second highest in the world next only to the US.

02:18 GMT – China reports 10 new COVID-19 cases

China's National Health Commission has eported 10 new coronavirus cases, brining the total number of cases to almost 85,300.

All new cases were imported. At least 21 cases were also reported as "asymptomatic".

No new deaths were reported keeping the death toll at 4,634.

Coronavirus cases - China
All new cases reported in China on Sunday were imported, although the origin of the other 21 asymptomatic cases was unclear [Alex Plavevski/EPA]

01:40 GMT – Mexico reports 5,167 new coronavirus cases, 455 new deaths

Mexico's health ministry has reported at least 5,167 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 694,121 cases.

At least 455 new deaths were also reported pushing the death toll to 73,258. Earlier, the government has reported an estimated 120,000 "excess deaths".

01:10 GMT – South Korea reports lowest daily infections in almost 40 days

South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 82 new coronavirus cases – the lowest daily infections since mid August.

Of the new cases reported, at least 72 were local transmission. The country has a total of 22,975 infections with 383 deaths.

00:35 GMT – Brazil, Argentina join COVID-19 vaccine alliance

Brazil and Argentina have announced that they are joining a global alliance seeking to pool COVID-19 vaccines, after missing an earlier deadline.

Peru said it signed a deal giving the country access to 12 million doses of coronavirus vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), a scheme for pooled purchase and distribution of future vaccines.

Argentina asked for more time to prepare the required paperwork, but it expects on Wednesday to sign its commitment to the vaccine mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), a health ministry official told Reuters news agency.

The Brazilian government said in a statement late on Friday that it will sign up for COVAX after negotiations with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is the COVAX secretariat.

00:05 GMT – Italy to allow fans at football games from Sunday

Beginning on Sunday, Italian football arenas will open their doors to a limited number of spectators, as the country managed to avoid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced that up to a thousand supporters will be able to attend Serie A soccer matches nationwide, after the regional governments, the sports departments and football clubs reached an agreement.

00:01 GMT – France's economy minister tests positive of COVID-19

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that he has contracted the coronavirus – this as the country's number of infections is surging anew with nearly 13,500 new infections in 24 hours.

Le Maire said that he has so far not shown any symptoms but is under quarantine due to the disease. He is the fourth French minister to test positive of COVID-19.

France has over 467,000 cases and more than 31,200 deaths.

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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.

For all the key developments from yesterday, September 19, go here.