Friday, November 6, 2020
France posts record 60,486 new cases
France registered a record 60,486 new confirmed cases on Friday, after posting a record 58,046 on Thursday, health ministry data showed.
The new cases took the total number of confirmed cases to 1.66 million, close behind Russia, which, with 1.73 million cases has the world’s fourth-largest number after the US, India and Brazil.
The ministry also reported 828 new deaths from coronavirus, including 398 deaths in hospitals over the past 24 hours, and 430 deaths in retirement homes over three days.
On Thursday, the ministry reported 363 deaths in hospitals.
The seven-day moving average of the combined death toll rose by 40 to 471, compared to a high of 975 on April 9. The highest number of Covid-19 deaths reported in one day in France was 1,438 on April 15.
A week after the government imposed a new nationwide lockdown, the number of people in hospital with the virus rose by 553 to 28,979, the smallest one-day increase in nearly three weeks.
The number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 rose by 101 to 4,331, the smallest increase in six days.
More than 12 million virus cases detected in Europe
More than 12 million cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded in Europe, according to a tally compiled by AFP from health authority figures at 1600 GMT Friday.
The region of 52 countries is the hardest-hit zone in the world in terms of infections, ahead of Latin American and the Caribbean with 11.5 million cases and Asia with 10.9 million.
Almost half of the 12 million cases in Europe are in four countries: Russia with 1,733,440, followed by France (1,601,367), Spain (1,306,316) and the United Kingdom (1,123,197).
UK reports 23,287 new cases, 355 deaths
Britain reported 23,287 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday and 355 deaths from the virus, down on figures from the day before, government data showed.
The cumulative toll for those who died within 28 days of a first positive Covid-19 test in the United Kingdom now stands at 48,475 while the number of people who have tested positive is 1,146,484 according to the data.
Germany declares Italy, most of Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Portugal as virus risk regions
Germany has classified Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and most of Sweden as coronavirus risk areas, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Friday, warning against unnecessary travel to those countries.
The warning for Denmark excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland, while that for Lithuania excludes the city of Utena in the north-east, said RKI. The warning for Portugal excludes Madeira and Azores and that for Sweden excludes the northern county of Vaesternorrland, it added.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini catches virus
Italy coach Roberto Mancini has tested positive for the coronavirus days before the international break.
The Italian Football Federation says Mancini shows no symptoms and is self-isolating at his home in Rome.
The Italy squad will meet up on Sunday. It plays an international friendly against Estonia on Wednesday, and hosts Poland in the Nations League four days later.
Kosovo orders weekend lockdown after virus surge
Kosovo authorities ordered a weekend lockdown following a spike in daily coronavirus cases.
There were a record 728 new coronavirus cases on Friday, 12 times more than a month ago, and 12 deaths. The Health Ministry ordered the stoppage of most activities and businesses from Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 5 a.m.
Only bakeries, pharmacies, small retail shops, fuel stations, health clinics and other supply lines can operate. People and private cars will be prohibited from traveling in seven communes, including the capital, Pristina.
Kosovo reached up to 266 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks compared to 50 cases a month ago, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The National Institute of Public Health reports Kosovo has a total of 22,934 confirmed cases and 732 deaths.
UK’s first city-wide coronavirus testing kicks off
Liverpool on Friday began England’s first city-wide trial of coronavirus testing in an attempt to prevent hospitals becoming overwhelmed during the country’s second wave of the pandemic.
All of the northwestern city’s 500,000 residents as well as people working there will be offered repeat tests, even if asymptomatic, under the pilot, which will initially run for two weeks.
Hundreds of soldiers took over a local holiday park, some of the 2,000 armed forces personnel called in to support the testing drive.
Jurgen Klopp, manager of the legendary Liverpool football team, urged people to get tested.
“Do it for yourself, your family, your colleagues and your city. Let’s do it together, let’s do it for Liverpool,” he said in a video message posted on the club’s Twitter account.
Liverpool last month became the first English city to enter the most severe tier of regional lockdown as it battled a spike in cases, followed by nearby Manchester.
A month-long nationwide lockdown then came into force on Thursday after cases began to spiral in all parts of England.
North Denmark in lockdown over mutated virus in mink farms
More than a quarter million Danes went into lockdown Friday in a northern region of the country where a mutated variation of the coronavirus has infected minks being farmed for their fur, leading to an order to kill millions of the animals.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the move was meant to contain the virus, and it came two days after the government ordered the cull of all 15 million minks bred at Denmark’s 1,139 mink farms.
The coronavirus evolves constantly and, to date, there is no evidence that any of the mutations pose an increased danger to people.
But Danish authorities were not taking any chances.
Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod on Friday called it “a unique mutation” and said it was “a very concerning development.” He added that Denmark had informed the World Health Organization and other international health bodies.
Oslo to shut down social life to fight virus spread in Norway
Norway’s capital Oslo will shut down theatres, cinemas, training centres and swimming pools to contain the spread of the coronavirus, city authorities said on Friday, with bars and restaurants no longer able to serve alcohol.
“We are doing a social lockdown of Oslo,” the governing mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, told a news conference. “The numbers are clear. The number of infected cases is rising.”
The rules take effect on Monday at 2300 GMT. They will end in three weeks if the authorities see a fall in new infections.
The announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced a fresh round of recommendations and restrictions, including telling Norwegians to avoid travelling domestically and to stay at home as much as possible.
Norway’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants was 105.3 as of Friday, the third-lowest in Europe behind Finland and Estonia, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Worst-hit Belgium hopes virus second wave has peaked
The second wave of the coronavirus in Belgium, the hardest-hit country in the world in terms of its proportion of fatalities, may have peaked, health authorities said on Friday.
“For the past few days now… we can finally see the peak of this second wave,” Yves Van Laethem, a spokesman for the country’s virus crisis centre, told reporters.
However, “just because these results are better does not mean they are good,” Van Laethem warned.
“Together with the Czech Republic, we remain the European champions in terms of the number of new infections,” he said.
If the trend continues, the Belgian authorities hope that the peak will have been reached on October 27 when 22,171 new infections were recorded.
The latest infection data on Friday showed half that level with 11,128 new cases over 24 hours, down from 15,672 on Thursday.
On Friday, 7,282 patients were in hospital with 1,428 in intensive care.
Belgium, a country of 11.5 million, has the highest number of deaths compared to its population in the world, not counting micro-states.
It has 106 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Peru with 105 and Spain at 82.
The country, which is split between Dutch- and French-speaking populations, has imposed a lockdown since the end of October, although restaurants and bars have been closed longer.
Some experts have called for a total lockdown, but restrictions have so far left shops and schools open, although half-term holidays were extended by a week to November 16.
7 charged with selling virus test documents at Paris airport
Officials in France said Friday that seven people have been arrested for selling false certificates of negative coronavirus tests to travelers at Paris’s largest airport, Charles de Gaulle.
The six men and one woman ages 29 to 52 were charged with forgery, use of forgery and complicity in fraud.
The Bobigny prosecutor’s office said the faked certificates were being sold to travelers for 150 to 300 euros ($180 to $360).
The arrests came as part of an investigation that started with the discovery of a passenger who checked in for a September flight to Addis Ababa with a phony document that certified receiving negative test results.
The seven suspects face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of 375,000 euros ($445,000), if they are convicted.
Italy shuts down 4 regions as EU tries lighter lockdowns
Luxury fashion boutiques, jewelry shops and most of Milan’s flagship department were shuttered Friday, as the center of Italy’s vibrant financial capital fell into a gray quiet on the first day of a partial lockdown in four regions aimed at stopping the virus’s resurgence.
The new restrictions — which led to closures of a patchwork of nonessential businesses — allow a great deal more freedom than Italy’s near-total 10-week lockdown that started in March, but nonetheless brought recriminations from regional governments that feel unfairly targeted. The south, in particular, which was largely spared the pandemic in the first surge, chafed the most, despite concerns that its weaker health care system was especially vulnerable.
Italy’s move echoes those in many parts of Europe, where infections are surging again, but governments have been reluctant to impose the kind of nationwide shutdowns they did in the spring because of the terrible economic damage they did. For instance, many European countries have opted to keep schools open, while shutting bars and restaurants and many shops.
Even the lighter restrictions this time around, however, are drawing stiff criticism — especially in countries like Britain and Italy where they have exacerbated regional tensions.
Under Italy’s complicated 21-point formula, the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta and the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, faced increased restrictions for the next 15 days, including the closure of all nonessential stores, take-out only for bars and restaurants, distance learning for students 12 and over and a ban on leaving hometowns except for work, health or other serious reasons.
Sicily and Puglia, two other southern regions, fell into a second tier of restrictions, while the rest of the country maintained more freedom of movement but with a 2100 GMT curfew and restaurants closings at 1900 GMT.
Poland support firms with at least $2.5 billion
Fresh Polish support to help the economy survive the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic will amount to 9-10 billion zlotys ($2.4 billion-$2.6 billion), or more if a total lockdown is introduced, the prime minister said on Friday.
Mateusz Morawiecki’s promise of more support for businesses came after he introduced new restrictions on public life on Wednesday, warning that if COVID-19 cases keep growing sharply a blanket lockdown will be necessary.
“The total minimal cost will be around 9-10 bil lion zlotys, however we already know that if a national lockdown is required this cost will be higher by 5-10 billion zlotys,” Morawiecki told a news conference, adding that the government’s borrowing needs were already secured.
Sweden registers highest number of cases since start of pandemic
Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 4,697 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, Health Agency statistics showed.
The increase compares with a high of 4,034 new daily cases recorded on Thursday. The Health Agency has said the peak during the spring probably ran many times higher but went unrecorded due to less testing at the time.
Sweden on Friday registered 20 new deaths from Covid-19, taking the total to 6,022 deaths. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than Nordic neighbours’ but lower than some larger European countries’, such as Spain and Britain.
Malaysian glove companies commit $97M to fight Covid-19
Malaysia’s glove giants will contribute 400 million ringgit ($97 million) towards government efforts to purchase Covid-19 vaccines and health equipment, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said on Friday.
The minister in his 2021 budget announcement said the four major glove manufacturers – Top Glove, Hartalega , Supermax and Kossan – had indicated their commitment to help fight Covid-19.
The funds would be used to partially cover the cost of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as expenses for health equipment, he said.
Russia reports record 20,582 daily cases
Russia has reported a record high of 20,582 new coronavirus cases, including 6,253 infections in Moscow, bringing the national tally to 1,733,440.
Authorities also reported 378 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 29,887.
The Philippines reports 2,092 new cases, 52 deaths
The Philippine health ministry has recorded 2,092 new coronavirus infections and 52 more deaths.
The ministry said the total number of confirmed cases has increased to 391,809 while deaths reached 7,461, a fifth of those in the past month.
Indonesia reports 3,778 new infections, 94 more deaths
Indonesia has reported 3,778 new coronavirus infections and 94 deaths, data from the country’s health ministry showed.
Indonesia’s totals of 429,574 cases and 14,442 deaths from the coronavirus are the highest in Southeast Asia.
Denmark finds 214 people infected with mink-related coronavirus
Denmark’s State SerumInstitute, which deals with infectious diseases, has found mink-related versions of coronavirus in 214 people since June, according to a report on its website updated on November 5.
One strain of the mutated coronavirus, which has prompted Denmark to cull its entire herd of mink, has however only been found in 12 people and on five mink farms so far.
Poland reports record rise in daily deaths
Poland has reported a record 445 new coronavirus-related deaths, the health ministry said, as the healthcare system is facing shortages in hospital beds, equipment and medics.
The country also reported 27,086 new Covid-19 cases, close to the Thursday’s record of 27,143.
The health ministry said that, as of Friday, Covid-19 patients occupied 19,479 hospital beds and were using 1,703 ventilators, out of an available 29,407 and 2,238 respectively.
US daily cases hit new record, topping 120,000
More than 120,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US in the past 24 hours, smashing a daily record set the day before, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The country reported 123,085 new infections between 8:30 pm Wednesday and 0130GMT (8:30 pm Thursday), and 1,226 more deaths, the tally by the Baltimore-based school showed.
On Wednesday, 99,660 new cases of the virus were reported. Thursday’s tally shatters that record by 23,425 cases.
While deaths remain lower than their worst levels in the spring, Thursday was also the third day in a row that fatalities were above 1,000.
The last time people were dying at that rate of Covid-19 in the US was early September.
Ukraine reports record daily high of 201 deaths
Ukraine has registered a record 201 new Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the health minister said, up from a high of 199 reported on November 4.
Maksym Stepanov also said 9,721 new Covid-19 cases had been registered.
Total infections stood at 440,188 with 8,125 deaths by Friday, he said.
Czech Republic reports 13,231 new cases, deaths rise by 197
The Czech Republic has reported 13,231 new coronavirus cases for November 5, bringing the total tally in the country since the pandemic started to 391,945, Health Ministry data showed.
The ministry also recorded 197 new deaths, including 97 on Thursday along with revisions from previous days. The country is showing the most deaths per capita in Europe in the past two weeks and one of the continent’s highest infection rates.
In total, 4,330 people have died of causes related to Covid-19 in the country of 10.7 million.
Germany’s cases rise by 21,506 – RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 21,506 to 619,089, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
The reported death toll rose by 166 to 11,096, the tally showed.
Hungary to reschedule some operations to help hospitals as pandemic spreads
Hungary will try to avoid closing schools as long as possible but some medical operations will have to be rescheduled as hospital beds are filling up with coronavirus patients, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio.
Orban said that based on current predictions, Hungary will need 2,240 intensive beds with ventilators for patients by November 21, and 4,480 beds by December 10, which he said would be around the limit of current hospital capacities.
Mexico’s health ministry confirms 544 new deaths
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Thursday 5,567 additional coronavirus cases and 544 more deaths, bringing the official number of cases to 949,197 and the death toll to 93,772.
Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
British police arrest 104 Londoners for breach of lockdown restrictions
British police said they had arrested 104 Londoners on Thursday for breach of coronavirus regulations.
“More than 100 of these people have now been arrested and will have to face the consequences of their actions,” the Metropolitan Police said. “We expect the number of arrests to increase as our policing operation continues into the night.”
Brazil’s cases pass 5.6 million, death toll at 161,736 – ministry
Brazil reported 22,294 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 630 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry said on Thursday.
The South American country has now registered 5,612,319 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 161,736, according to ministry data, in the world’s most fatal outbreak outside the United States.
Seventeen US states report record increase in cases
Seventeen out of 50 US states reported record one-day increases in cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, a day after the country set a record with nearly 105,000 new infections reported on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally.
The outbreak is spreading in every region but is hitting the Midwest the hardest, based on new cases per capita. Previously, the most states that reported records for new cases in a single day was 16 on October 30, according to Reuters data.
Illinois reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Thursday and along with Texas is leading the United States in the most cases reported in the last seven days.
Other Midwestern states with record increases in cases on Thursday were Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Arkansas, Maine, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia also set records for rises in new infections.
Some cities and states have announced new measures such as curfews or reduced gathering sizes to combat the spread of the virus, but the United States has taken no action at the federal level.
Seventeen out of 50 states do not require masks.
In addition to rising cases, US hospitalisations of Covid-19 patients rose to over 52,500 on Thursday, up for an 11th consecutive day and getting closer to the record of 58,370 set in July.
North Dakota reported only eight free intensive care unit beds in the entire state on Thursday.
UK reports 24,141 new cases, 378 deaths
Britain reported 24,141 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday and 378 deaths from the virus, slightly down on figures from the day before, government data showed.
The cumulative toll for those who died within 28 days of a first positive Covid-19 test in the United Kingdom now stands at 48,120 while the number of people who have tested positive is 1,123,197 according to the data.