Coronavirus digest: ‘Success story’ Vietnam records first deaths

Vietnam’s Health Ministry has reported the country’s first two coronavirus deaths amid an outbreak in Da Nang. Catch up with that story and everything else you need to know from around the world with DW’s overview.

New and noteworthy

Vietnam reported its first-ever deaths  from COVID-19, as it grapples with a renewed outbreak in the tourist city of Da Nang.

The country’s Health Ministry said a 70-year-old man had died after he caught the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in Da Nang. Later on Friday, it said a 61-year-old man had also died.

More than 100 new cases were confirmed in the past week.

Da Nang is Vietnam’s most popular beach destination, with thousands of visitors spending their summer vacations there. Authorities across Vietnam are now scrambling to test people who have returned home from the city.

Vietnam had been seen as a global success story in tackling the coronavirus, with no officially recorded deaths and no apparent local transmission for more than three months.

Here’s a roundup of the other major stories regarding coronavirus around the world:

North America

The top US infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, testified before Congress on Friday. A statement released ahead of the hearing said he would tell lawmakers that it was still “unclear how long the pandemic will last.”

During his testimony, Fauci refused to recommend that protests taking place in Portland and other US cities be limited because of the risk posed by the Coronavirus, foiling efforts by Trump ally and Republican Representative Jim Jordan.

“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody” but people “should stay away from crowds, no matter what the crowds are,” Fauci said. 

The expert was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a vaccine being available by the end of the year, although access would likely be assigned on a needs basis. “Ultimately, within a reasonable time, the plans allow for any American who needs the vaccine to get it,” he said.


The pandemic prompted an unprecedented slump in the eurozone, the group of 19 EU states that use the euro currency. The area’s GDP dropped by over 12 percent during the second quarter of 2020.  Read our full story here. 

Poland is mulling new anti-pandemic steps after reporting record high numbers of new cases for two consecutive days.

Read more: Germany plans mandatory coronavirus tests for travelers from Luxembourg

Middle East

Muslim pilgrims in Mecca started the ritual stoning of the devil, one of the final rites of the hajj pilgrimage, throwing sterilized pebbles at a pillar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Just 10,000 people, all of them Saudi-based, have been allowed to attend the religious event rather than the 2.5 million people from around the world who normally make the pilgrimage. All pilgrims had been tested for the virus, and were required to wear masks and observe social distancing.


Hong Kong authorities postponed elections for the local legislature by one year, initially scheduled for September, citing coronavirus concerns. Pro-democracy activists accuse the government of using the pandemic as an excuse to stop the opposition from taking over the chamber. Read our full story here. 

Media in Vietnam reported the country’s first ever coronavirus death. The country has been held up as a global role model over its successful anti-pandemic strategy, and enjoyed a period of nearly 100 days without any new cases.

China rejected the charges of backing hackers who targeted US vaccine developer Moderna Inc. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the accusations were baseless and without evidence, and that Beijing had no need to engage in technology theft.


As the continent approaches 1 million confirmed infections, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that Africa still has a “very good chance of beating back this virus” with a comprehensive strategy that includes testing assertively. 

Meanwhile, the country with nearly half of Africa’s virus caseload, South Africa, has eased its 9 p.m. curfew by an hour.

And The UN food agency has warned that nearly 60% of Zimbabwe’s population could become “food-insecure” by December without a further $250 million (€210 million) aid package.

Read more: Africa’s Muslims woeful over scaled-down hajj

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While many countries are easing their lockdowns, others are reporting more and more new COVID-19 cases every day. DW has taken a look at what the data tell us about a potential second wave.

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In Germany, every second person surveyed feels psychologically burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. What are the social consequences of the higher stress levels? Are people becoming more aggressive? Watch here to find out: 

dr,see/rt (AFP, Reuters, AP)


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