Coronavirus food disruption raises risk to children: Live updates

UN warns of stunting risk, WHO cautions on travel bans, world’s biggest coronavirus vaccine trial gets under way.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

A quick summary of developments:

  • The United Nations says disruptions to food supplies as a result of the pandemic put millions more children at risk of stunting.
  • The World Health Organization says travel bans cannot be kept up indefinitely, and are also only useful when combined with a wide range of other measures to detect and break chains of transmission.
  • The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine trial got under way on Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the United States government along with pharmaceutical company Moderna.

  • Nearly 16.4 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and nearly 652,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Some 9.5 million patients have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, July 28

02:50 GMT – Australia’s Morrison cuts short interstate tour because of coronavirus

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cut short an interstate tour because of what he says is a “very complex” outbreak of coronavirus in nursing homes in the southern city of Melbourne.

Morrison said community transmission in Australia’s second biggest city was finding its way into homes for the elderly, who are more at risk from coronavirus, through the people working in the facilities.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has said 769 cases have been linked to nursing homes.

“I cannot stand here and tell you that I have confidence that staff and management across a number of private sector aged care facilities are able to provide the care that is approporate to keep their residents safe,” Andrews told reporters. 

02:30 GMT – Vietnam suspends Danang flights

Vietnam has suspended all flights in and out of the central city of Danang after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases there.

Flights will be suspended for 15 days, and train services have also been halted.

The Danang cases are the first community infections since April.

An evacuation plan for local visitors to the popular tourist destination was announced yesterday.

02:15 GMT – China reports 68 new cases, all bar four locally transmitted

Mainland China has reported 68 new cases of coroavirus, with 64 of them locally transmitted.

57 of the local cases were diagnosed in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to state media.

No deaths from COVID-19 were reported anywhere in the country. 

Chinese mainland reported 68 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday, including four imported cases and 64 locally-transmitted ones https://t.co/nDvUWWbLkb pic.twitter.com/tfARS8Ott7

02:05 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports 384 new cases

The Australian state of Victoria has reported 384 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths in the past 24 hours.

On Monday, the state reported a record 532 cases.

00:30 GMT – Peru says more than 900 women, girls feared dead 

Peru says more than 900 girls and women are feared to have died as a result of domestic violence during the country’s extended coronavirus lockdown.

“During the quarantine from March 16 to June 30, 915 women in Peru were reported missing,” and feared dead, Elionar Revollar, the head of the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman was quoted as saying by AFP.

Some 70 percent of those missing were under the age of 18, she added.

The number of women reported missing each day has risen to eight compared with five before the pandemic.

00:15 GMT – UN warns on wasting, stunting 

The United Nations says nearly seven million more children will suffer stunting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting food supplies.

Writing in The Lancet, a team of experts modelled the impact on 118 poor and middle-income countries. They found the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under five would increase by 14.3 percent, which works out to an extra 6.7 million cases.

“The profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early life nutrition could have intergenerational consequences for child growth and development, and life-long impacts on education, chronic disease risks …” the researchers wrote.

Wasting occurs when the body is so malnourished that muscles and fat begin to disappear.

Read all the updates from yesterday (July 27) here.

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