Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing in the Brooklyn, New York City. File/AFP
The coronavirus may never go away and populations will have to learn to live with it just as they have HIV, the World Health Organization has warned, as the global death toll from the disease nears 300,000.
There were also gloomy forecasts from the US Federal Reserve, which said prolonged shutdowns to stem the spread of the virus could cause lasting economic damage in America.
Washington ratcheted up tensions over the pandemic by accusing China of trying to steal research into a vaccine, while US President Donald Trump upped the rhetoric, with a colourful phrase that could anger Beijing.
"We just made a great Trade Deal, the ink was barely dry, and the World was hit by the Plague from China. 100 Trade Deals wouldn't make up the difference -- and all those innocent lives lost!" Trump tweeted.
The United States logged more than 1,800 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the nation's total to 84,059.
The president has increasingly looked to pin the blame on China, where the virus first emerged late last year.
Two US security agencies piled further pressure on Beijing Wednesday by saying Chinese hackers were attempting to steal intellectual property related to treatments.
"China's efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation's response to COVID-19," the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said.
Neither agency offered evidence to support the allegation.
'May never go away'
A vaccine could allow countries and economies to fully re-open from lockdowns and potentially earn millions of dollars for its creators.
But the WHO said the virus may never be wiped out entirely.
"This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away," said Michael Ryan, the global health body's emergencies director in Geneva.
"HIV has not gone away -- but we have come to terms with the virus."
The prospect of the disease hanging around leaves governments across the world facing a delicate balancing act between suppressing the pathogen and getting economies up and running.
Trump has been pushing for a swift resumption of economic activity in the US, often against the advice of health officials, as he tries to jumpstart the world's largest economy before a November election.
Top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has said re-opening too soon risks triggering uncontrollable outbreaks, but the president Wednesday dismissed that call for caution as "not acceptable".
In an excerpt of an interview with Fox Business to air in full on Thursday, Trump said: "I totally disagree with him on schools".
The tensions between health and the economy were thrown into sharp relief Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chief Jay Powell warned of a potential "wave of bankruptcies" that could cause lasting harm to the world's largest economy.
Powell, who has launched a host of key programs to support credit markets and provide funds directly to companies, said there are limits to how far the Fed can go.
"We can make loans to solvent businesses," Powell said, but cautioned that "The passage of time is all that is needed for a liquidity problem to turn into a solvency problem."Agence France-Presse
A record surge of 55,079 new cases in the past 24 hours took India’s coronavirus caseload past 1.6 million, as the government decided to lift a nighttime curfew that has been in force since late March.
The steepest spike of 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours recorded, taking its coronavirus caseload close to 1.7 million, with July alone accounting for nearly 1.1 million infections.
At least 683,767 have died, according to a Reuters tally published on Sunday, August 2nd. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
The 2021 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, will lead the list of international literary luminaries from 13 countries who will participate in the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2021), which takes place from November 3 – 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah. A host of 15 literary greats from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be joining this group of global participants.
The Court of Appeal in Dubai upheld a ruling issued by the Court of First Instance sentencing a gang of three Asians to one year to be followed by deportation and fining them Dhs1,700 after being convicted of assaulting a grocer and stealing a sun of money equal to the fine.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) issued a decision administratively shutting down “Al Madad Refreshments” on Al Salam Street in Abu Dhabi, which holds trade license number CN-1030302, for violating Law No 2 of 2008 regarding food safety in Abu Dhabi.
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.