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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 20th Oct 2020

News Highlights

Indian scientists say pandemic is past its peak and can be controlled by February

According to a mathemetical model created by a group of top Indian scientists, the country passed its peak of Covid-19 infections in September and the pandemic can be controlled by February 2021. India has almost a fifth of the world's 40 million coronavirus cases and more than 114,000 deaths, but the country only accounts for 10% of the global deaths because of the virus and has one of the lowest case fatality rates of only 2 percent.

China's economy sees major revival after pandemic hit

Economists at the International Monetary Fund are predicting that China may end 2020 with an even bigger economy than it had at the start, with annual growth expected at 1.9%, far ahead of the U.S. and other countries in Europe whose economies are expected to shrink between four and 10 percent. The growth in China has been powered by state-backed infrastructure projects, including roads and high-speed train lines, which has fuelled a 6.9% growth in industrial production.

Doctors researching link between coronavirus and diabetes

A global team of researchers is collecting worldwide patient case data to investigate the possibility that Covid-19 may be causing diabetes from scratch. People with diabetes face a much higher risk of illness or death due to Covid-19, with U.S. health officials finding out in July that over 40% of people who died of the virus in the U.S. had diabetes. However, scientists are now checking if the connection between the two diseases runs both ways.

Fuelled by second wave, global coronavirus cases cross 40 million

The global count of total coronavirus cases crossed 40 million, even as Europe continues to grapple with a second wave of infections and winter sets over the northern hemisphere. Cases have been rising exponentially, with it taking only about a month for cases to rise from 30 million to 40 million, as compared to the three months it took for the first 10 million cases to be registered from the start of the pandemic in early January.

Lockdown Exit
Covid-19: First UK airport coronavirus testing begins
The test will cost £80 and a result can take a mere 20 minutes. The aim is to help people travelling to destinations where proof of a negative result is required on arrival. A growing number of countries have classified the UK as being "at risk", meaning travellers from the UK face more restrictions. The authorities in Hong Kong now require people to show they have a negative test result, taken within 72 hours of a flight from London. The rapid saliva swab, which is now available at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5, is known as a Lamp (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) test.
China’s economy on way back up after heavy hit from Covid-19 pandemic
There are questions over the veracity of official data but China is likely to end the year with an even bigger economy than it had at the start. Economists at the International Monetary Fund are pencilling in annual growth of 1.9 per cent, which puts the country miles ahead of its rivals. The US, Germany and the UK are expected to shrink by 4.3 per cent, 6 per cent and 9.8 per cent, respectively. After relaxing their lockdowns over the summer, western rivals are struggling to protect their economies from a second wave of the virus. However, China deployed a severe lockdown and a robust testing regime to contain the virus the first time round. Although its economy shrank at a record pace at the beginning of the year, the subsequent recovery has not yet come under threat. At the same time growth has powered ahead thanks to a state-backed boom in new infrastructure projects, including roads and high-speed train lines. This has fuelled the strong rebound in industrial production, which beat economists’ forecasts to grow by 6.9 per cent in the year to September. This was up from 5.6 per cent in August.
China's economy is the envy of the world
China's economy expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, according to government data published Monday, showing the rest of the world what's possible when Covid-19 is brought under control. The pace of growth was a tad slower than economists had expected. But there were plenty of signs of strength, with the services and construction sectors performing especially well. China's economy has now recovered from its historically bad first quarter, when the coronavirus forced the country to shut down. GDP grew a cumulative 0.7% through the first nine months of 2020, the data show. "China's economy continued its rapid rebound last quarter, with the recovery broadening out and becoming less reliant on investment-led stimulus," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist for Capital Economics.
China's Economy Bounces Back As Pandemic Is Brought Under Control
China posted 4.9% economic growth in its third quarter compared to the same period last year, keeping it on track to be the only major global economy to record an economic expansion this year in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Economists estimate China's yearly GDP growth could be north of 2.5% this year — even as the rest of the world economy is expected to shrink by at least 4%. That differential will give Chinese companies in sectors ranging from electronics to steel more global market share and greater economic influence. "What you're seeing now is basically China's stability premium kicking back in, in the sense that companies now are dealing with a global pandemic, and many of the places that they would move production to aren't looking so rosy right now," says Michael Hirson, China and Northeast Asia practice head at the consultancy Eurasia Group.
China's economic recovery quickens in Q3 but misses forecasts
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9% in July-September from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, slower than the median 5.2% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and following 3.2% growth in the second quarter.
Surf lifeguards 'expecting huge crowds' at beaches during post-lockdown summer
Ahead of the patrol season starting this long weekend, there are concerns resources will be tested more than ever with many beachgoers eager to hit the water. “The fact that we're not travelling overseas, we are expecting huge crowds on the beaches,” Surf Lifesaving New Zealand’s search and rescue manager Allan Mundy told 1 NEWS. Complicating things further, international lifeguards who often bring experience to patrols on the country’s busiest coastlines won’t be allowed in due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, officials have been working with their international counterparts in Britain, the United States and Australia to learn how they’re keeping beaches under control during the pandemic. “Their public were choosing to swim on beaches that people had never swum on before and that was a real risk because they didn't have any lifeguard cover,” Mundy said.
Exit Strategies
With state of alarm set to end in Madrid, government looks for new ways to control coronavirus spread
The Spanish government is rushing to reach a new agreement with the country’s regions on coronavirus measures before the state of alarm it implemented in Madrid ends on Saturday. Under the emergency measure, which was declared in the region on October 9, nine cities in the central region – including the Spanish capital – were placed under perimetral lockdowns and subject to other restrictions on social gatherings in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Victoria is right to be cautious in exiting stage four
“Stuff the silver, we came for gold.” This famous line from swimming coach Laurie Lawrence was straight after one of the most star-studded races of all time. Underdog Duncan Armstrong had just caused a boilover, defeating two of the sport’s all-time greats to win the 200m freestyle at the 1988 Olympics. It was an extraordinary, unexpected victory. And so it is with Victoria’s remarkable COVID-19 response, crushing a substantial second wave like no other of the 73 countries that have experienced a second wave. It is a monumental success. From a peak of almost 8000 active cases in early August there are only 137 in the state today.
What can we learn from nations that got it right? Victoria Allen analyses UK's Covid testing farce
Why has Test and Trace fallen apart in England while other countries have managed to make the system work? The principle is simple – test people with symptoms, trace their contacts and ask them to self-isolate – but the execution has varied dramatically. England has lagged behind countries such as South Korea, which rapidly grasped the importance of testing people and tracking their contacts. And where Germany invested in local contact tracers, the English system relied on poorly performing call centres.
'I had 60 texts straight away': hair salons booked out as Melbourne lockdown gets a trim
On Sunday the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced a partial reopening of Melbourne as case numbers continue to drop. As the city didn’t quite reach the required benchmark of less than five average daily cases, the majority of hospitality and retail restrictions stayed in place. But hairdressers were the exception and were allowed to open their doors from midnight. “My manager said that after the announcement was made we had 250 bookings within an hour and today we have just been running around like crazy,” Covelli says.
Australia Market rises on Victoria easing coronavirus lockdown
The Australian share market finished session higher on Monday, 19 October 2020, as risk sentiments lifted up on Victoria state easing lockdown after declining coronavirus cases and U. S. officials statement that a new stimulus package could be passed before elections.
Daniel Andrews says the 25km rule will be subject to change.
Under new lockdown rules, Melbourne residents will be allowed to travel 25 kilometres from their homes.
Canada's Economy Needs Tougher Shutdowns To Reopen: CIBC
If Canadians want to get back to eating in indoor restaurants and drinking in bars ― as others in some places in the world can do today ― the country will need tougher lockdowns in the short term first. That’s the prognosis from CIBC’s chief economist, Avery Shenfeld, in a report issued Friday that explored what lessons the pandemic-stricken parts of Canada can learn from places such as Japan, South Korea and Newfoundland, where authorities have been able to reopen the economy to a large extent without a major new outbreak. In Shenfeld’s analysis, the problem is pandemic-stricken areas are reopening bars, restaurants and similar establishments too soon, allowing caseloads to rise back up again.
Israel takes first steps out of second virus lockdown
Israel started cautiously emerging from a second coronavirus lockdown Sunday after a month of tight restrictions, re-opening preschools, kindergartens, beaches and national parks, with numbers of new infections falling. Public radio said about a million young children would return to kindergartens and other facilities Sunday. Businesses not involving face-to-face contact with the public were allowed back to work, and a contentious ban on individuals moving more than one kilometre from their homes was lifted.
Partisan Exits
Fauci says he is 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got Covid-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is "absolutely not" surprised President Donald Trump contracted Covid-19 after seeing him surrounded by people not wearing face masks and flouting best public health practices. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said during an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, "I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded -- no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask." "When I saw that on TV, I said, 'Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come out of that, that's got to be a problem,'" he continued. "And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event."
Anti-lockdown advocate appears on radio show that has featured Holocaust deniers
Dr Martin Kulldorff of Harvard medical school appeared on the Richie Allen Show on 6 October to discuss the letter, described as the Great Barrington declaration, after the Massachusetts town where it was drawn up. Kulldorff said he agreed to go on the programme because it was important to reach all segments of the population with public health messages. The show was described as an “online platform for antisemitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers” by Hope not Hate, an organisation that monitors extremist groups. The controversial proposal was published by a right-leaning American thinktank, the American Institute for Economic Research. It was drawn up by three researchers – Dr Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, Dr Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Kulldorff – and has garnered thousands of signatures from health professionals. However, on 9 October, Sky News revealed that many of the “medical” signatories of the open letter were homeopaths, therapists or used obviously fake names, such as Dr Johnny Bananas and Dr Person Fakename, leading to accusations that the total number exaggerated the scale of scientific support.
Leeds anti-lockdown protest sees hundreds demonstrate against Covid restrictions
More than 200 people gathered in Millennium Square to protest against what they perceive to be unfair coronavirus regulations. Leeds now sits in Tier 2 of the government's lockdown strategy as cases continue to rise and the UK death toll from Covid-19 approaches 45,000 since March. Despite repeated warnings from government scientists about the necessity to maintain social distancing and wear masks, spectators in Leeds packed tightly together in crowds from midday on Sunday, October 18. Activists urged those assembled to "say no to the new normal", while spectators hung cardboard signs around their necks saying "no masks, no vaccine, no lockdown" during the demonstration.
Bar owners in Holland become the latest to go to court to fight covid laws
Dutch caterers say the closures will cause 'incalculable' damage to their industry At least 30 businesses have launched a lawsuit to get two-week closure blocked Berlin bar curfews were blocked while Madrid region has battled Spanish leaders
Vince Cable: Circuit-breaker idea is crude, lazy and defies common sense
Until last week, I had thought Sir Keir Starmer was doing a great job pulling Labour out of the swamp into which Jeremy Corbyn had sunk it. But I fear that he may live to regret his recent call for a new national lockdown. To be sure, the Opposition has much to criticise in the Government’s shambolic handling of the pandemic and in ministers’ contradictory messaging. Siding with the scientists calling for a full national lockdown, when the Government was ignoring their advice, must have seemed like an open goal for the Labour leader. But a ‘circuit-breaker’, which would see almost the whole country once again confined to our homes, a measure the Prime Minister has yet to rule out, would defy common sense.
Andrews 'terrorised people' with draconian lockdown and 'deserves to go'
Sky News host Peter Gleeson says Daniel Andrews is a terrible leader who “failed miserably” and deserves to go, while Gladys Berejiklian simply made a bad choice of partner but has handled COVID superbly and deserves to stay. “What as a nation have we become when the politician in this country under the most pressure is a woman who made a bad decision on who she jumped into bed with?” Mr Gleeson said. “Show me the criminality in what Berejiklian did? Show me the corruption in what Gladys Berejiklian is? Show me the smoking gun that gives her no choice but to resign?
Victoria's lockdown is 'holding back the national economy'
The Australian’s Political Editor Dennis Shanahan says the continual shutdown of small businesses in Victoria is “holding back the national economy”. “Business (in Victoria) is saying we need to get out, we’re losing too many jobs,” Mr Shanahan said. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday accused Daniel Andrews of a callous disregard for jobs and people keeping their jobs. “It’s really entering a hard political area,” Mr Shanahan told Sky News host Peta Credlin.
New Zealand journalist feted for brutal takedown of minor party politician
A New Zealand journalist is being praised around the world for her determined effort to shut down the spread of Covid-19 conspiracy theories during an interview with a minor party politician. Newshub’s political editor, Tova O’Brien, interviewed the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, Jami-Lee Ross. The party failed to secure enough votes in Saturday’s general election to enter parliament, after peddling rumours and misinformation on social media about the coronavirus. At one stage during the interview O’Brien held up her hand as Ross was talking about the mortality rate of Covid-19 compared to the flu, telling him she would not allow him to spread lies on her programme.
Brit anti-maskers celebrate as they board plane without face coverings
A group of anti-lockdown protestors refused to wear masks while flying back from a meeting with fellow sceptics in Germany. The group celebrated their ‘victory’ over airport staff by sharing pictures of themselves grinning with their faces uncovered on the plane. One member of the group said they all had ‘medical exemptions’ but didn’t provide any more information. Other passengers said they were ‘fake coughing’ and ‘acting like spoilt brats’ during the altercation.
Anti-lockdown protester who refused to wear a mask on flight 'surprised' by social media backlash
An anti-lockdown protester who refused to wear a mask on a flight today said she was “surprised” by the barrage of online criticism she has suffered after her “cheeky” maskless selfie went viral. Charisse Burchett was among a group of ten Britons who claimed to be medically exempt from mask wearing while flying back to Heathrow following a meeting of Covid-19 deniers in Berlin, Germany. Sharing the photograph of three women beaming into the camera on Twitter, Ms Burchett wrote: “We had a 10 Brit maskless stand-off at Berlin airport.....police and authorities could not make us wear masks.
Continued Lockdown
Migrant Workers Restricted to Farms Under One Grower’s Virus Lockdown
This year, there is a new and even more difficult working condition: To keep the coronavirus from spreading and jeopardizing the harvest, Lipman has put its crews on lockdown. With few exceptions, they have been ordered to remain either in the camps, where they are housed, or the fields, where they toil. The restrictions have allowed Lipman’s tomato operations to run smoothly, with a substantially lower caseload than many farms and processing facilities across the country that have wrestled to contain large outbreaks. But they have caused some workers to complain that their worksite has become like a prison.
Record 11,000 UK shops closed this year due to pandemic
The coronavirus lockdown has pushed more stores off the high street with an unprecedented number of shops closing in the first half of 2020. Between January and August just over 11,000 shops were forced to shut their doors to the public as people turned to online shopping during the pandemic. Around 5,000 shops stayed open leaving 6,001 net closures. This is almost double the closures in the same period last year, according to Local Data Company and Accountancy firm PwC. Even with these staggering figures, analysts predict the reality is much direr as they were not able to include outlets that were temporarily closed during analyst visits that may not have been able to reopen.
Restrictions stay after ship records 24 new COVID-19 infections in WA
An operation to remove crew from a COVID-19 infected livestock ship is due to get underway this morning at Fremantle Port in Western Australia. It comes as a number of passengers who arrived in Perth overnight from Sydney on board a plane have now been put onto buses and taken to hotel quarantine. The 45 travellers are believed to have come from New Zealand via the newly-opened travel bubble.
Toddler behaviour hardest hit during Covid-19 lockdowns, survey finds
Charlotte Gurnell’s three-year-old daughter regressed in her potty training and invented an imaginary friend. The tantrums of Olivia Rysenbry’s normally sweet-natured, 3-year-old daughter intensified. Victoria Gray’s 3-year-old son switched to a short attention span and didn’t play as well with his little brother. If you noticed a drastic and negative change in your toddler's behaviour during a Covid-19 lockdown, you’re not alone.
Scientific Viewpoint
Doctors probe whether COVID-19 is causing diabetes
It’s already been well-documented that people with diabetes face much higher risks of severe illness or death if they contract COVID-19. In July, U.S. health officials found that nearly 40% of people who have died with COVID-19 had diabetes. Now, cases like Buelna’s suggest the connection between the diseases runs both ways. “COVID could be causing diabetes from scratch,” said Dr. Francesco Rubino, a diabetes researcher and chair of metabolic and bariatric surgery at King’s College London. Rubino is leading an international team that is collecting patient cases globally to unravel one of the biggest mysteries of the pandemic. Initially, he said, more than 300 doctors have applied to share cases for review, a number he expects to grow as infections flare up again.
Over 60% of Covid-19 patients report fatigue and breathlessness 3 months after onset
From a dry cough to a fever, coronavirus is known to be associated with a range of unpleasant symptoms. Now, a new study has warned that several symptoms can persist for months. Researchers the University of Oxford have found that a large proportion of Covid-19 patients still experience breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety and depression up to 3 months after contracting the virus. In the study, the researchers analysed 58 coronavirus patients with moderate to severe Covid-18, as well as 30 uninfected controls from the community. The participants underwent MRI scans of their brain, lungs, heart, liver and key, as well as lung function tests, and assessments of their quality of live, cognitive and mental health.
People who have Covid-19 vaccine could still contract virus, warns doctor
A doctor has warned that people who have the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available could still contract the virus. Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on Monday’s This Morning, Dr Sara explained that the vaccine won’t work for everyone – and that we still need to be cautious. ‘In addition to Pfizer, we know that Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer has been reported as saying that he doesn’t think it’s unrealistic that we’ll be able to have the vaccine from the Oxford trial during December time,’ she began.
Blanket Covid-19 restrictions across Scotland would be easier to communicate, argues public health expert
Professor Linda Bauld said introducing nationwide measures for up two or three weeks would be a “more straightforward” way of dealing with the crisis and having different rules for different areas risked division. Her remarks came after Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland would be introducing a “tiered” system of restrictions similar to that in operation south of the border when she unveils a new strategic framework for dealing with the virus later this month. In England, the tiered system has been designed to enable more severe measures to be imposed on the worst affected areas.
‘Super antigens’ tied to mysterious COVID-19 syndrome in children
Thanks to months of urgent research, what began as a mysterious spectrum of symptoms has coalesced into a definable illness, with early signs that include fever, rashes, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Though MIS-C is rare—with 1,027 confirmed cases in the U.S. so far—it can develop into severe inflammation in a matter of hours, often requires intensive care, and is sometimes fatal. A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed coronavirus fatalities in people under 21 and found that the majority were from MIS-C. “It happens so rapidly, and the kids are so ill, that 70 percent will require admission into an ICU,” says Alvaro Moreira, a physician scientist at the University of Texas in San Antonio who recently published an analysis of results from multiple scientific papers in EClinicalMedicine based on 662 cases of MIS-C.
Study led by Penn professor finds 206000 excess deaths across 21 countries due to COVID-19
An international team of researchers including a Penn professor found that excess deaths occurred at a rate of 18% across 21 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Penn sociology professor Michel Guillot and the team looked at data from 19 European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The team found that 206,000 more people died between mid-February and the end of May in comparison to a baseline simulation as if the pandemic had not occurred, Penn Today reported. The team did not look at the United States because data with enough details has yet to be released. The research accounted for not only deaths due to COVID-19 but also deaths that stemmed from compromised economic, social, and healthcare circumstances during the pandemic, Penn Today reported.
Vaccine hopes drive stocks higher on 'Black Monday' anniversary
Global equities treaded water and the dollar slipped on Monday with Wall Street investors staying on the sidelines ahead of company earnings season while record daily coronavirus infections in Europe caused concern.
Global coronavirus cases surpass the 40 million milestone
Worldwide coronavirus cases crossed 40 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere fuelled a resurgence in the spread of the disease. The Reuters tally is based on official reporting by individual countries. Experts believe the true numbers of both cases and deaths are likely much higher, given deficiencies in testing and potential under-reporting by some countries. The Reuters data shows the pace of the pandemic continues to pick up. It took just 32 days to go from 30 million global cases to 40 million, compared with the 38 days it took to get from 20 to 30 million, the 44 days between 10 and 20 million, and the three months it took to reach 10 million cases from when the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China, in early January.
Covid vaccine will not be available in UK until spring, says Vallance
A vaccine against coronavirus will not eradicate the disease or be widely available before the spring, the government’s chief scientific adviser has cautioned, following reports that a jab could be available as early as the new year. Giving evidence to the joint Commons and Lords national security strategy committee, Sir Patrick Vallance said that before Covid, it had never taken less than about five years to develop a vaccine from scratch, with an average time of 10 years, but that new vaccine technologies had helped to shrink that timeframe. However, Vallance stressed that, while a number of vaccines had been shown to trigger antibodies, there was still a long way to go before a jab was widely available.
California says it will independently review coronavirus vaccine
A California panel of experts will independently review the safety of new coronavirus vaccines and initial plans for distribution, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday. The 11-person panel specializing in topics such as epidemiology, biostatistics, and infectious disease will review any vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration before it is distributed to state residents, Newsom told a news conference. “These are top health experts that will independently review any FDA-approved vaccines,” he said. “We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts that just happen to live here in the state of California.”
France's Ose to enrol up to 400 for 'T-cell' coronavirus vaccine trials
France’s Ose Immunotherapeutics will enrol up to 400 patients for the first two stages of clinical trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it hopes will provide an extra weapon in battle against the global pandemic. Chief executive Alexis Peyroles told Reuters Ose hoped to roll out its vaccine in Europe and the United States in 2022, potentially at least a year after the most advanced projects. However, he said the different modus operandi of Ose’s candidate meant it could still play an important role. More than 40 drugmakers and research groups are conducting human trials into vaccines against a virus that has led to more than 1 million deaths and roiled economies.
Indonesia's president says COVID vaccine must be halal
Indonesian President Joko Widodo warned his ministers Monday not to rush the launching of a novel coronavirus vaccine amid public concerns about whether it would be certified halal, or permissible under Islamic law. “We should consider public perception regarding the halal status of potential COVID-19 vaccines,” he said during a meeting. Controversy over whether vaccines adhere to Islamic principles has stymied public health responses before in Indonesia, including in 2018, when the Indonesian Ulema Council issued a fatwa or ruling declaring that a measles vaccine was haram, or forbidden under Islam. “Public communication regarding the halal status, price, quality and distribution must be well-prepared,” he added. Widodo said the next critical point is administering the vaccines to the public.
Placebo doses to be slashed in one of coronavirus vaccine trials in Russia
On Monday, the clinical trials of the inactivated whole-virion coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products began in the regional center. According to Ishmukhametov, it is common practice that some participants get a placebo in the trials to determine a vaccine’s efficiency. "The trials include 300 people. Usually, if a new medicine is used, then the [vaccine-placebo ratio] is one to one, or 50% each. However, the moment comes in the pandemic when we need to reduce the number of people getting placebo, therefore, [it will be] one to two," he noted.
Serum Institute has begun manufacturing intranasal Covid vaccine: Harsh Vardhan
While there are three vaccine candidates against Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) being tested on humans in India, there is no intranasal vaccine candidate under trial currently, said Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday. However, he also said that Serum Institute of India was manufacturing an intranasal vaccine candidate. The minister also said that Bharat Biotech has also entered in an agreement with Washington University School of Medicine to conduct trials to produce and market an intranasal vaccine
Spain: Cases surge over weekend, Navarra to lock down
As Spain saw its highest-ever weekend surge of new coronavirus infections on Monday, officials in one northern region announced they will enforce Spain’s first region-wide semi-lockdown. As of Thursday, Navarra will limit all non-essential movement in and out of the entire region, close bars and restaurants, and make all other businesses close their doors to customers by 9 p.m. These are the toughest measures taken by a regional government in Spain to curb the pandemic since its first wave. All other restrictions on movement so far have been limited to particular cities, not regions. With nearly 950 contagions per 100,000 people in the last two weeks, Navarra has Spain’s highest rate of contagion – nearly double that of Madrid. Its capital city Pamplona is especially hard-hit.
India may see 2.6m COVID-19 cases a month if rules relaxed: Panel
An Indian scientific panel has said the onset of winter and upcoming festivals could lead to a significant rise of up to 2.6 million coronavirus cases a month if the rules in place to check the spread of the disease are relaxed. The government-appointed COVID-19 India National Supermodel Committee on Sunday said the country has crossed the coronavirus peak and forecast that the pandemic could be brought under control by early next year, provided all safety measures are followed.
Coronavirus: 'More than one vaccine' will be available early in 2021, SAGE scientist says
More than one coronavirus vaccine will be available in the next three to six months, a government scientific adviser has told Sky News. Sir Jeremy Farrar, who sits on the SAGE committee, said: "I think in the first quarter of next year we will have vaccines - will have more than one vaccine." It is unlikely the jabs will be administered before Christmas, which Sir Jeremy thinks "will be tough this year" and "not like a normal Christmas for almost everybody".
UK needs three-week lockdown for COVID reset - govt adviser
Britain needs to impose a three-week period of national lockdown restrictions immediately to stop cases of COVID-19 spiralling, government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said, adding that current regional measures would not be effective. “The current tiered restrictions will not bring the transmission rates down sufficiently or prevent the continued spread of the virus,” he said. “A three-week period of nationally increased restrictions, with the right levels of financial support, will allow us to reset before winter, stop transmission spiralling, protect and prepare health services, give time to get the test-trace-isolate systems fully functional, and save lives,” he said.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Latin America and Caribbean reports dangerous surge
Colombia - Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 10.4 million cases and 380,000 deaths Monday from the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 40 million people worldwide. Despite a second wave emerging in Europe, Latin America is still the hardest hit region by the pandemic. Argentina has become the fifth country in the world to exceed one million cases after infections accelerated in recent weeks. The country follows in the footsteps of the US, India, Brazil and Russia, all with far larger populations than Argentina's roughly 45 million people. After having imposed a strict quarantine since March 20, the government has eased restrictions to help revive economic growth, leading to a rise in infections. The country has 1,002,662 cases and 26,716 deaths.
Coronavirus: New Covid-19 cases rising rapidly across US
New coronavirus infections are growing rapidly across the US, experts say, with new hospital admissions also increasing around the country. Nearly 70,000 new cases were recorded on Friday - the highest number of new infections seen in one day since July. Cases have been trending upward for 48 states over the past week. Only two states, Missouri and Vermont, are recording numbers that are improving. Dealing with the pandemic has continued to be a central issue in the US election. Despite the uptick in infections - and recovering from Covid himself earlier this month - President Donald Trump is still traveling the country for large in-person campaign rallies.
Covid cases rise by almost 19,000 in the UK as 80 more deaths are announced
A further 18,804 cases of coronavirus cases and 80 deaths have been announced in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 741,212 and confirmed deaths to 43,726. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 58,500 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The number of cases remains high as the government pushes for more areas of England to be put under Tier 3 lockdown while Wales has announced it is entering a 'circuit break' lockdown. The two-week lockdown in Wales will see many hospitality venues closed, secondary schools will only be open to years seven and eight and, people will be told to stay at home as much as possible.
Analysis: Will Scotland follow Wales into 'firebreaker' lockdown?
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford briefed Nicola Sturgeon by phone this morning before he went public with a tranche of new restrictions. People have been ordered to stay at home, while pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops will shut down.
Will Germany's effective Covid strategy work again as it enters a second wave?
I believe that we benefited greatly from three factors in the first wave. The first was sheer luck, which enabled people to act early. With the disturbing and tragic images of outbreaks in northern Italy and in countries that were a few weeks ahead of us, the German population was already very alarmed by the time we registered a first significant increase in cases. The mood meant that the mobility of the population had already severely decreased before we even decided on and announced the initial political measures. Evaluations of mobility using phone data clearly prove this.
Italy, Austria tighten coronavirus restrictions
Italy and Austria have introduced stricter measures to curb the rise in new coronavirus cases. Late Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new restrictions on public life, including midnight closing times for bars and restaurants from Monday. Venues could also be forced to close at 9 p.m. in case of large crowds. Conte insisted that "the strategy is not and cannot be the same as in the spring," when Italy had one of Europe's highest death rates from COVID-19 while at the same time paying a high economic price due to the lockdown.
Italy orders bars to shut from 6pm and 'public spaces' to close after 9pm amid rising covid cases
Italy reported 11,705 cases on Sunday, eclipsing Saturday's highest ever toll Bars and restaurants have to close at 6pm unless they can offer table service Festivals, fairs and amateur sport have all been closed but gyms remain open Lombardy, the former epicentre of the virus, is experiencing another surge Across Europe, many countries are imposing harsh new measures to curb virus
Coronavirus: Italy and Belgium toughen restrictions fearing a 'tsunami' of COVID-19 infections
Italy and Belgium have introduced new socialising rules amid fears there could be a "tsunami" in coronavirus cases. The new restrictions in Belgium came into force as a government minister admitted the country can "no longer control" the current rate of COVID-19 transmission. Bars and restaurants have been closed with only takeaways allowed up until 10pm, while groups of people are limited to four when together in public spaces. Close contact with just one person is allowed outside a household while the same four guests, changeable every two weeks, may visit a home if they follow social distancing rules. There is also a nightly curfew from midnight to 5am.
Ireland Set for Tough Curbs as Europe Seeks to Control Virus
Ireland is poised to introduce some of Europe’s toughest measures to curb the coronavirus as countries across the region battle to overcome the pandemic. The Irish cabinet is due to meet on Monday to finalize the restrictions after health authorities recommended a move to the tightest lockdown tier. While the government may stop short of imposing a total shutdown, it has indicated that all non-essential stores, restaurants and bars could close. “There is a big hit to the economy, and that has to be paid for,” Europe Minister Thomas Byrne said in an interview with broadcaster RTE on Monday. “It is incumbent on the government to consider every single ramification of this.” Countries across Europe are toughening restrictions to fight the pandemic. Still, governments are grappling with the challenge of controlling the outbreak without inflicting lasting damage on their economies, prompting some to take different approaches.
Europe second wave: Belgium is facing a 'tsunami' of coronavirus infections
Belgium has shut bars and restaurants while hospitals are delaying surgeries Country's infection rate is the second-worst in Europe after the Czech Republic Italy is imposing new restrictions while Dutch bar owners are fighting closures
As Covid-19 Roars Back in Europe, Governments Get Tougher on Rule Breakers
Now a second wave is surging across the Continent but civil obedience has waned. In response, governments are flexing enforcement muscles more forcefully than at any time since March. Fines for public-health violations that had declined over the summer are rising in most countries and punishments for breaking curfews, local lockdowns and quarantines are also increasing. “We won’t be issuing warnings any more,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in a television interview Sunday. “Those who don’t follow the rules get a €250 fine [$294], to be collected immediately.” In Italy, the first European country the virus battered, officials began tightening anti-Covid regulations earlier this month as the number of confirmed infections jumped. New rules make face masks obligatory outdoors in almost all cases, with fines for not wearing one ranging from €400 to €1,000. Masks have been obligatory indoors in most settings throughout the pandemic.
Spain's regions tighten COVID-19 measures as one million case milestone looms
Several Spanish regions toughened their coronavirus restrictions on Monday, seeking to curb a second wave of contagion that looks set to drive the country with Western Europe’s highest case load above one million infections this week. Authorities in the northern region of Castile and Leon announced they would seal off the city of Burgos and nearby Aranda de Duero to all but essential travel from Tuesday night after infection rates in the area surpassed 500 cases per 100,000 people. “We are in circumstances similar to those of March or April,” Burgos Mayor Daniel de la Rosa told state broadcaster TVE, recalling the beginning of the pandemic, when many Spaniards were confined to their homes to stop the spread.
French coronavirus curfew produces eerie quiet on streets of Paris
The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is scheduled to last for at least four weeks. The measure was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb the resurgent coronavirus as new infections peaked to over 30,000 a day. Macron said the curfews were needed to stop local hospitals from becoming overrun. In France, nearly 20 million people are covered by the curfew and eerily deserted scenes were observed in Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse as well. The curfew runs until 6 a.m. daily. The country is deploying 12,000 extra police officers to enforce the new rules.
India has reached coronavirus peak, says government panel
An Indian government panel of experts says the country’s rampant coronavirus pandemic may have peaked and could be under control by February. But independent analysts are sceptical that the worst is over in a country that has reported more new coronavirus infections than any other nation since the middle of August. The virus has had a devastating effect on the Indian economy, which is forecast to contract by about 10 per cent while most schools have been shut since March. Daily new cases, however, have fallen by about 33 per cent since mid-September, tumbling from a peak of an average of 93,000 a day to last week’s average of 63,025.
Coronavirus: Has the pandemic really peaked in India?
A group of India's top scientists believe so. Their latest mathematical model suggests India passed its peak of reported infections in September and the pandemic can be controlled by February next year. All such models assume the obvious: people will wear masks, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distancing and wash hands. India has recorded some 7.5 million Covid-19 cases and more than 114,000 deaths so far. It has a sixth of the world's population and a sixth of reported cases. However, India accounts for only 10% of the world's deaths from the virus. Its case fatality rate or CFR, which measures deaths among Covid-19 patients, is less than 2% - among the lowest in the world.
Global coronavirus cases hit 40 million as second wave gathers pace
The number of coronavirus cases around the world has hit 40 million on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The grim milestone reached on Monday comes as various parts of Europe and the U.S. struggle to deal with an alarming surge in cases.
Covid: How other countries are tackling the second wave differently from the UK | ITV News
After entire nations were shut down during the first surge of the coronavirus earlier this year, some countries are trying more targeted measures as cases rise again, especially in Europe and the Americas. Here's a look at lockdown restrictions around the world:
No lockdown needed in Bulgaria to contain new wave of pandemic - IMF
Bulgaria will not need to impose a full lockdown to contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic if it follows protective measures like mask-wearing and social distancing, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. “Bulgaria risks, like every other country, a shock from a second wave,” Bulgarian-born Georgieva told a briefing for Bulgarian media on Sunday by videoconference. “It does not mean a full lockdown when you follow protective measures, like wearing masks, social distancing and testing. This is what we should do now in the face of a second wave.”
ECB's De Guindos says European countries want to avoid strict lockdowns
European Central Bank Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Monday that Europe was being hit by second wave of coronavirus, but countries were not keen to impose strict lockdown measures as seen at the end of March.
New Lockdown
Prague holding off on lockdown decision until early November
The Czech Republic, which has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Europe, will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic, deputy prime minister Karel Havlicek said on Sunday. Italy, the first country in Europe to be hit hard by Covid-19, is also experiencing a sharp rise in cases and is preparing new measures to combat the spread of the virus. In the Czech Republic, bars and restaurants in the country of 10.7 million have been ordered in the past week to close except for takeout orders, and schools have moved to distance learning. Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already shut, but shops have remained open.
Corona Kingdom: UK Lockdown Rules as Seen by an Italian
But you have a mask, right? In my car I don’t want anyone without one,” I was told outside Manchester airport by the taxi driver. Who had no mask. Apparently it is mandatory; but only for passengers. I soon realised that my time in the UK was going to be tricky. I am Italian and, in Italy, we have basically just one rule on COVID-19: masks, always. Masks, no matter what. This is because the virus spreads mainly through droplets, experts say, with surfaces accounting for only a-tenth of infections. In Italy, we spent months navigating the difference between an FFP2, an FFP3, a N95 – not to be mistaken with a KN95. Months weighing cotton filters against carbon filters, discerning an incoming virus from an outgoing one. In the UK, however, a scarf is fine. “Don’t worry, I have the helmet,” said a Deliveroo rider when I kept my distance. He had a helmet, true. But with its visor up.
Wales implementing two-week national lockdown to slow virus spread
Wales will impose a two-week national lockdown beginning Friday, officials announced Monday. Restaurants, pubs and nonessential businesses will be closed, and non-household members will be banned from both indoor and outdoor gatherings, according to the BBC. Houses of worship will reportedly only be open for funerals and weddings, and Halloween gatherings will also be barred. Observances will, however, be permitted for Remembrance Sunday, when Britain honors those who fought in the two world wars. Wales has a seven-day average of 130 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. The country recorded 4,127 total cases between Oct. 9-15.
Wales announces two-week lockdown to stop virus surge
Wales will impose a full "firebreak" lockdown for two weeks from Friday to try to reduce a soaring number of new coronavirus cases, First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday. Under the new rules, people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes, such as for exercise, and work from home wherever possible. Households are forbidden from mixing, while non-food retailers, cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels and services such as hairdressers and beauticians must all close.
‘Firebreak’ lockdown in Wales could see all non-essential shops shut again
His letter said he expects non-essential shops to close along with all pubs, bars and restaurants. People would be advised to only make essential journeys. One of the weeks being considered for the lockdown would fall over half term. Some primary schools would be allowed to reopen in the second week while a decision is yet to be made on secondary schools, according to the letter. If introduced, the measures would be some of the strictest seen in any part of the UK since the national lockdown was eased in May.
UK offers Manchester money to impose tougher lockdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government hopes to reach an agreement shortly with local leaders in Manchester to impose a stricter COVID-19 lockdown, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Monday. Jenrick said the government had offered Manchester more money. “This does now need to be brought to a conclusion,” he said. The devolved Welsh government is due on Monday to announce a possible ‘fire break’ set of additional measures to control the virus. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is due to make a statement
UK lockdowns: Wales and Manchester head towards tougher restrictions
Wales will impose a two-week “fire-break” lockdown from Friday in which everybody apart from essential workers must stay at home to combat an accelerating second wave of COVID-19. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he understood that people were tired of coronavirus restrictions but tougher rules were essential as critical care units were already full. “It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need,” Drakeford told reporters. “Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home.” “If we do not act now, it will continue to accelerate.”
Czechs to wait two weeks before considering full lockdown
The Czech Republic, which has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Europe, will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlicek said on Sunday. In the past week, bars and restaurants in the country of 10.7 million have been ordered to close except for takeout orders, and schools have moved to distance learning. Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already shut, but shops have remained open. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it had registered 828 cases per 100,000 population in the last two weeks, more than 10 times the rate in neighbouring Germany. Since schools reopened in September, the cumulative number of cases has risen almost seven times.