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Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Jan 2021

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U.S. military base in Seoul reports multiple COVID-19 cases

A large U.S. military base in central Seoul is reporting multiple COVID-19 cases as South Korea struggles to keep up with the novel coronavirus. U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday seven USFK-affiliated people at Yongsan Garrison tested positive for the novel coronavirus Wednesday. Five out of the seven people, who were not identified by name, work for the U.S. Department of Defense. "All five have been in self-quarantine at their separate off-installation residences since Jan. 8 following their direct contact with an individual who recently tested positive for COVID-19," USFK said.
14th Jan 2021 - UPI.com

Another 4,000 in U.S. die of COVID-19; 40K deaths so far this month

Another 4,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19, according to updated data Thursday from Johns Hopkins University -- not too far off the record toll seen one day earlier. There were about 3,960 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 4,500 died, a single-day record, according to the research university's updated tracking data -- making the total over the past two days roughly 8,500. About 40,000 patients in the United States have died of COVID-19 since the start of 2021, the data shows. Meanwhile, another 230,000 coronavirus cases were added nationwide on Wednesday, a slight increase from the day before.
14th Jan 2021 - UPI.com

COVID-19: Ban on all arrivals from 15 South American countries and Portugal over Brazil variant

Travel to the UK from every country in South America, as well as Portugal, has been banned due to fears over the coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil. The government's COVID-19 operations committee met at lunchtime to discuss the issue - and the ban will come into effect from 4am on Friday.
14th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Number of London transport staff dying with Covid-19 increases to 60

The number of London transport staff dying with Covid has increased to 60, including 46 bus workers, it was revealed today. The figure, up three from earlier this week, came as Sadiq Khan and his Tory mayoral rival Shaun Bailey said London key workers most at risk of contracting Covid should be the next to be prioritised for vaccination. In separate interventions, the Mayor and Mr Bailey said the second phase of the rollout should focus on higher-risk essential workers such as police, teachers and transport staff once vulnerable elderly Londoners and health and care staff were inoculated. The total figure, up three from 57 revealed earlier this week, includes staff working for the private bus firms contracted by Transport for London to run the capital's buses, plus Tube and rail staff and TfL head office workers. The death toll includes 37 bus drivers and nine other bus workers, such as bus station staff.
14th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid: Infections levelling off in some areas - scientist

The coronavirus growth rate is slowing in the UK and the number of infections is starting to level off in some areas, a top scientist has said. Prof Neil Ferguson told the BBC that in some NHS regions there is a "sign of plateauing" in cases and hospital admissions. But he warned the overall death toll would exceed 100,000. On Wednesday, the UK saw its biggest daily death figure since the start of the pandemic, with 1,564 deaths. It has taken the total number of deaths by that measure to 84,767. There were also 47,525 new cases. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the national lockdown measures were "starting to show signs of some effect", but it was early days and urged people to abide by the rules.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Brazil travel ban to be discussed over new variant

Travel from Brazil to the UK could be banned in response to the discovery of a new coronavirus variant. Ministers have met to discuss possible measures and a block on flights could also be extended to other South American countries in a bid to stop its spread. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "concerned" about the new variant and "extra measures" were being taken. Arrivals from Brazil are currently required to self-isolate for 10 days. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove chaired a meeting earlier to discuss whether measures should be put in place.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Surge leaves key hospital services 'in crisis'

The surge in Covid hospital cases has left key hospital services in England in crisis, doctors are warning. NHS data showed A&Es were facing rising delays admitting extremely sick patients on to wards. Meanwhile, the total number of people facing year-long waits for routine treatments is now more than 100 times higher than it was before the pandemic. Cancer experts are also warning the disruption to their services was "terrifying" and would cost lives. Reports have emerged of hospitals cancelling urgent operations - London's King's College Hospital has stopped priority two treatments, which are those that need to be done within 28 days. And Birmingham's major hospital trust has temporarily suspended most liver transplants.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Record daily German COVID deaths spark Merkel 'mega-lockdown' plan - Bild

Germany recorded a new record number of deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting calls for an even tighter lockdown after the country emerged relatively unscathed in 2020. Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted a "mega-lockdown",
14th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

UK suffers record number of Covid deaths as Scotland tightens lockdown

The UK reported a daily record 1,564 deaths within 28 days of testing positive with coronavirus on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson warned that intensive care units in some hospitals could soon be overwhelmed. The prime minister told the liaison committee of MPs there was a “very substantial” risk of the NHS running out of ICU beds and no guarantee that schools would be allowed to reopen after the half term break in mid-February. But Mr Johnson said the numbers of people testing positive for the virus were falling, indicating that existing restrictions should be given a chance to work before tighter curbs are brought in.
14th Jan 2021 - Financial Times

German lockdown loopholes criticized as deaths hit new high

Germany has too many loopholes in its coronavirus lockdown rules, the head of the country’s disease control agency said as figures published Thursday showed the highest number of daily deaths since the start of the pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute said 1,244 deaths from COVID-19 were confirmed in one day up to Thursday, taking the total number to 43,881. There were also 25,164 newly confirmed cases, putting Germany’s total known infections close to 2 million. Lothar Wieler, president of the institute, said data indicated people in Germany are traveling more than during the first phase of the pandemic in spring, contributing to the virus’ spread.
14th Jan 2021 - The Associated Press

Spain extends travel ban for Scots amid fears over mutant coronavirus strain

Scots have been banned from entering Spain for a further period of time amid concerns over the mutant strain of coronavirus. No one will be allowed to enter the country from Scotland via air or sea until 6pm on February 2 under the new restrictions.
14th Jan 2021 - Daily Record on MSN.com

Coronavirus variant from UK 'must not get out of hand' warns EU

The EU has warned that the highly contagious coronavirus variant first found in Britain is now having “a significant impact” in other European countries, and said its spread “must be stopped at all costs”. “We cannot be complacent,” Stella Kyriakides, the bloc’s health commissioner, said on Wednesday. “We cannot let it get out of hand. So we are ready to help member states in the area of genomic sequencing of samples. There is no way around this.” Concerns were also shared during the virtual meeting of EU health ministers of a “significant under-reporting” of the new variant by member states, with the commission urging health ministries to make detection of the mutation a priority.
14th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Spain extends travel ban for Brits due to mutant Covid strain in UK

Spain has extended its travel ban for Brits because of the mutant coronavirus strain currently found in the UK. The Spanish government has extended the restrictions until February 2, at 5pm UK time. The rules apply to anyone arriving to Spain from the UK by air or sea, with exceptions being made only for Spanish nationals or residents of Spain returning to the country. The travel ban was first introduced back in December 2020 when the mutant strain was detected, and originally was planned to last until January 9. It had already been extended once until January 19. This goes alongside existing restrictions and rules in Spain during the pandemic, such as travellers arriving in the country being required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before their departure
14th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

France braces for new Covid curbs but set to avoid lockdown

The French government is expected Thursday to announce new restrictions to stave off a rise in coronavirus cases but unlike some of its neighbours a full lockdown appears off the agenda for now. Among the measures floated to try to avert a much-feared third wave of infections include expanding a 6:00 pm curfew in place in parts of the east to the whole country. Most of France is still subject to an 8:00 pm curfew imposed in mid-December when a second national lockdown was lifted.
14th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Japan widens virus emergency to 7 more areas as cases surge

Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures Wednesday, affecting more than half the population amid a surge in infections across the country. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also said Japan will suspend fast-track entry exceptions for business visitors or others with residency permits, fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place. Suga's announcement comes less than a week after he declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby prefectures. The new declaration, which adds seven other prefectures in western and central Japan, takes effect Thursday and lasts until Feb. 7.
14th Jan 2021 - ABC News

China records its first coronavirus death since MAY and the most new cases in more than 10 months

The patient, a woman from northern China's Hebei, died yesterday afternoon Apart from suffering the virus, she also had a serious heart disease, officials said Hebei, the new epicentre, has locked down several cities amid the fresh crisis The latest coronavirus death is the first one reported in China since May 16 China also reported its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 cases in around 10 months National Health Commission said 138 infections noted, up from 115 a day earlier
14th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

'At 6 pm, life stops': Europe uses curfews to fight virus

As the wan winter sun sets over France’s Champagne region, the countdown clock kicks in. Laborers stop pruning the vines as the light fades at about 4:30 p.m., leaving them 90 minutes to come in from the cold, change out of their work clothes, hop in their cars and zoom home before a 6 p.m. coronavirus curfew. Forget about any after-work socializing with friends, after-school clubs for children or doing any evening shopping beyond quick trips for essentials. Police on patrol demand valid reasons from people seen out and about. For those without them, the threat of mounting fines for curfew-breakers is increasingly making life outside of the weekends all work and no play.
14th Jan 2021 - Associated Press

Swedish COVID-19 cases cross 500,000 mark as hospitals near limit

Sweden has registered 17,395 new coronavirus cases since Friday, taking the total above 500,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, as hospitals struggled to cope with a rampant second wave of the virus, Health Agency statistics showed on Tuesday. The statistics showed that Dec. 17 was the deadliest day since the start of the pandemic with 116 deaths, surpassing a previous peak of 115 daily deaths set in April. More people are being treated for COVID-19 at hospitals in Sweden now than at any time during the pandemic. While Sweden still has around 20% spare capacity at intensive care units, there are worries the spread will accelerate again as people return to work and schools after the holidays.
14th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Global COVID rise continues; 50 nations report B117 variant

In its weekly snapshot of global COVID-19 trends, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that after lower reporting over the 2-week holiday period, cases and deaths are on the rise again in all but one of its regions and that 50 countries have now detected the more transmissible B117 variant first detected in the United Kingdom. In a separate announcement today, the WHO said its COVID-19 emergency committee will meet tomorrow for the sixth time to discuss the latest developments and tweak their recommendations.
13th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 14th Jan 2021

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CNN reporter breaks down in tears live on air as she ‘grieves’ for families affected by Covid-19

Journalist Sara Sidner could barely speak during Tuesday’s segment where she spoke about the Covid-19 crisis in California. Sara broke down in tears following a news package about how the virus has disproportionately affected Black and Latino families. A clip that was shown on the programme, centered around a family that had to hold a funeral for their mother in a parking lot. ‘This is the 10th hospital that I have been…,’ Sara began as she choked back the tears. ‘I’m sorry,’ she added. ‘I apologise, I’m going to try to get through this.’
13th Jan 2021 - Metro

Ontario reports 2,961 new COVID-19 cases as province set to give update on vaccine distribution efforts

Ontario’s premier is defending his government’s new stay-at-home order against criticism that the latest measure to fight COVID-19 is not clear. Doug Ford stressed that the measure means people should “use their best judgment” to determine if they need to leave their home as virus rates surge. Under the order that takes effect Thursday, Ontario residents will be required to stay at home except for essential activities such as accessing health care, shopping for groceries, or outdoor exercise. The government has also restricted hours of operation for non-essential retailers currently offering delivery and curbside pick up to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and a five-person cap on outdoor social gatherings.
13th Jan 2021 - The Globe and Mail

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec reports 2,071 new cases, 35 deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise

Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Quebec reports 2,071 new cases, 35 deaths as hospitalizations rise Quebec is recording more cases,
13th Jan 2021 - The Gazette on MSN.com

British tourist is blamed for Covid-19 outbreak in Switzerland that has caused officials to scrap Ski World Cup races

91st Luberhorn classic in Wengen, Switzerland, was cancelled earlier this week Covid outbreak infected 60 at resort - half of the cases blamed on a single Briton World Cup races moved to Kitzbuehel but Austrian officials have since moved the races again - now to Flachau - after British mutant strain discovered in Tyrol
13th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Mental health of NHS staff placed under further strain as Covid hospitalisations continue to rise

Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients in overstretched hospitals are increasingly suffering from mental health issues, figures show – as health chiefs warn staff will be pushed to their limit over the next few weeks of the pandemic. The number of doctors seeking psychiatric help through the British Medical Association has doubled since the pandemic began, The Independent can reveal, while new research shows that nearly half of all NHS staff in intensive care units (ICUs) are likely to meet the threshold for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression. And in a letter sent to doctors on Tuesday, the UK’s chief medical officers said that the weeks ahead “are likely to be among the most challenging of all our professional lives” and will push staff “to the limits of [their] physical and mental endurance”.
13th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Bodies pile up at crematorium in Germany's virus hot spot

The caskets are stacked three high in the Meissen crematorium’s somber memorial hall, piled up in empty offices and stored in hallways. Many are sealed with plastic wrapping, others are labeled “infection risk,” “urgent” or simply “COVID.” A surge of coronavirus deaths in this corner of eastern Germany has boosted business for crematorium manager Joerg Schaldach and his staff, but nobody is celebrating. “The situation is a little bit tense for us at the moment,” Schaldach said as another undertaker’s van pulled up outside. The crematorium would typically have 70 to 100 caskets on site at this time of year, when the flu season takes its toll on the elderly
13th Jan 2021 - The Associated Press

Soaring COVID-19 cases in Spain prompt more regions to toughen response

The Spanish regions of Galicia, La Rioja and Cantabria became the latest to tighten coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday amid a spiralling national infection rate that officials have blamed on lax adherence to the rules over Christmas. After a lull in contagion in late November, cases skyrocketed through December and into early January, doubling the incidence of the virus as measured over the past 14 days in just three weeks, to 454 cases per 100,000 people. Unlike European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands, which have extended national lockdowns, the Spanish authorities have repeatedly said a return to confinement is not necessary. Instead it has delegated regional authorities to deploy a mixture of curfews, caps on group meetings and restrictions on business opening hours.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Spanish regions ramp up coronavirus restrictions as third wave takes hold

The feared third wave of the coronavirus after Christmas is getting worse in Spain, and is forcing the country’s regional governments to take action. After relaxing restrictions for the holiday season, which saw a spike in social interaction, and given the rise in daily infections and increased pressure on hospitals, coronavirus measures are once again being revised. On Tuesday, the central Health Ministry reported 25,438 new cases and added 408 fatalities to the official death toll. What’s more, the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 454, well about the 250-limit that the ministry considers to be extreme risk. The effect of last week’s Kings’ Day celebrations is yet to be seen in the figures.
13th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Third coronavirus wave gains pace in Spain, with 25,500 new infections and 408 Covid-related fatalities

Spain is being plunged into a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and the country’s hospitals are beginning to suffer as a result. There are currently more than 17,600 Covid-19 patients being treated, 64% up on the figure before Christmas, and the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) has risen 39% since December 24. Epidemiologists are warning that the curve of infections will continue to rise, while some experts are calling for a home lockdown in order to stop the transmission of the virus and avoid hospitals becoming overwhelmed. The relaxation of restrictions in December and the rise of social interaction over the Christmas period are behind this third wave, which comes hot on the heels of the second one, which was seen in the autumn. The Health Ministry reported 25,438 new infections and added 408 victims to the overall death toll on Tuesday, while the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is currently at 454 for the whole of Spain.
13th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

France likely to have to take tougher measures due to virus variants

France will likely have to consider more restrictions on people’s movements soon to limit the spread of the UK and South African variants of the coronavirus, Jean-François Defraissy, head of the scientific council advising the government on the epidemic said on Tuesday. “There will probably be — and these are political decisions — a certain number of tougher measures to take,” Defraissy told TF1 television. The government is currently pondering whether to impose a third national lockdown
13th Jan 2021 - Metro US

Tokyo's Covid outbreak adds to doubts over hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open in the city in just over six months’ time. Japan widened its coronavirus state of emergency to cover more than half the population on Wednesday as surging infections sparked warnings of intense pressure on hospitals. The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, said anti-virus measures introduced in the greater Tokyo region – at the centre of the latest wave of cases – would be expanded to include seven other prefectures. Suga said he would “take every measure” to protect lives, adding that all non-resident foreign nationals would be banned from entering Japan until the emergency measures were lifted. Japan had previously permitted business travellers from 11 Asian countries where case numbers appeared to be under control.
13th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Japan expands state of emergency over coronavirus as infections climb

Japan will expand its state of emergency to seven more prefectures, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday. The country reported 4,527 new cases and 51 deaths Tuesday, bringing the national total to almost 300,000, with a death toll of 4,158. More than 61,500 patients are in hospitals across the country, which have been struggling to deal with a spike in cases brought on in part by freezing winter temperatures. Tokyo, previously among the worst hit areas, reported 970 new cases Tuesday, the first time the Japanese capital's daily tally has dropped below 1,000 in over a week. The total number of confirmed cases in Tokyo now stands at 77,133.
13th Jan 2021 - CNN

Australian paramedic in UK's 'chaotic' COVID-19 surge says most colleagues have caught the virus

Every morning, Declan Gregg covers himself from head to toe in PPE — mask, goggles, gloves and a full gown — before climbing into an ambulance and heading to the first call of the day. An Australian paramedic based in Crawley, south of London, he knows the first job will inevitably be a coronavirus patient. As will the next job, and the one after that. Hospitals across the United Kingdom are overflowing as case numbers and deaths soar to new records every day, with the mutant, more transmissible strain of the virus spreading rapidly.
13th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Swiss boost coronavirus restrictions, shy away from full lockdown

Switzerland on Wednesday tightened measures to tackle new variants of the COVID-19 virus spreading across the country while stopping short of the full lockdown neighbouring countries have adopted to choke off the pandemic. The wealthy Alpine country also eased rules for pandemic-hit businesses to apply for state aid, which will force the government to ask parliament to top up the latest 2.5 billion Swiss franc ($2.82 billion) pot of money for hardship cases. Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns over fears about a fast-spreading variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not expected to help much for another two to three months.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK's Second Wave Covid Deaths Surpass First Wave Total

More people have now died during the second wave of coronavirus in the UK than the first, the latest government figures reveal. From the beginning of the pandemic up to September 1, when three people died of Covid – the lowest number since the pandemic began – 41,565 people died within 28 days of a positive test. Since then, at least 43,196 more people have died, Wednesday’s figures show. Meanwhile, analysis by the PA news agency of separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate – together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days – suggest there have now been 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus in the UK
13th Jan 2021 - HuffPost UK

Italian medics may be permitted to ration life-saving care under new pandemic plan

The Italian health ministry has been criticised after a draft of the country’s new pandemic plan revealed medics would be permitted to choose which patients receive life-saving care. This is the first time Italy has updated its pandemic plan since 2006. The absence of an adequate plan is thought to have contributed to Italy’s coronavirus death toll of more than 79,000. The draft copy of the pandemic plan for 2021-23, seen by the Guardian, stipulates that while health workers are obliged to provide the best and most appropriate care to patients, there are circumstances that may make it necessary to prioritise who to try to save.
12th Jan 2021 - The Guardian


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 13th Jan 2021

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Covid-19 cases ‘unlikely to peak for weeks’

Pressure on the NHS is unlikely to peak until next month as cases surge far beyond London, a health service chief has claimed.The comments by Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, came as
12th Jan 2021 - The Times

UK Covid-19 death toll rises by 1,243 in second deadliest day of pandemic so far

The UK has recorded its second deadliest day since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a further 1,243 lives lost to the virus. The Department of Health also confirmed that 45,533 people had tested positive for the virus in 24 hours. Only once, last Friday, has the daily death toll been higher, when 1,325 fatalities were announced. It brings the UK's official coronavirus death toll to 83,203. There have been 6,898 Covid deaths in the past seven days - a 45 per cent rise compared to the previous week. It comes as NHS staff struggle to cope with the surge in Covid-19 hospital admissions and Home Secretary Priti Patel backs police forces taking a tough stance on rule breakers.
12th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

3rd House lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 after lockdown during Capitol attack

A third House lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus while in lockdown with some Republican members who refused to wear masks during the attack on the Capitol last week, bringing the total number who have so far tested positive to three. The announcements from Democratic Representatives Brad Schneider, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Pramila Jayapal come days after the attending physician for the Capitol warned members they may have been "exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection." Congressman Brad Schneider announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a statement on Tuesday, and blamed Republicans for spreading the virus.
12th Jan 2021 - CBS News

Third Democrat tests positive for COVID after riot lockdown

Democrats have proposed a $1,000 a day fine on lawmakers who refuse to wear masks while in the Capitol complex. Rep. Debbie Dingell is leading the charge on the issue and blasted Republicans for 'laughing off' requests to wear one. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider became the third lawmaker to test positive for COVID after being in lockdown with lawmakers last week. About 100 lawmakers were huddled in a poorly-ventilated room together during the MAGA riot on the Capitol with many Republicans refusing to wearing masks. He slammed Republicans: 'I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,' he said. 'Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask' He is isolating at home in Illinois and not yet showing symptoms. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, 55, also tested positive for COVID-19. And Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, 75, announced earlier on Monday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus and was suffering mild symptoms. Both Jayapal and Coleman blame their infections on being trapped with Republicans who refused to wear face masks Jayapal says she believes it will turn out to be a 'superspreader event'
12th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

S.Korea daily virus cases under 500 for first time since record highs in Dec -KDCA

South Korea reported fewer than 500 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the first time since record high daily case numbers over the Christmas holiday period. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 451 new cases as of midnight on Sunday, driven by a lull in testing as well as an apparent easing in infections. The country reported a record 1,241 cases in one day during the Christmas holiday, the peak of the country's largest wave of infections yet. South Korea stopped short of a complete lockdown or stay-at-home order, but has imposed unprecedented restrictions for weeks, including banning private gatherings of more than four people. In the capital Seoul and surrounding areas a number of high-risk businesses such as bars and gyms were ordered to close and coffee shops can only offer takeaway service.
12th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

3 new Covid-19 strains that are leading to fresh lockdowns

Japan’s health ministry has declared a new coronavirus variant in the country. The new strain features 12 mutations, including one that was found in England and South Africa. Both the UK variant — which is significantly more transmissible — and a second strain in South Africa have raised concerns about whether a vaccine-resistant version could eventually develop.
12th Jan 2021 - Khaleej Times

WA coronavirus cases will likely end in snap lockdown, Chief Health Officer warns

The "hard and fast" snap lockdown used to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in other states is the "likely outcome" if WA were to also experience an outbreak, the state's Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson says. Dr Robertson said there appeared to be a "very good rationale" for cities to impose hard, snap lockdowns in the event of a coronavirus outbreak. "It would depend … on the circumstances," Dr Robertson told ABC Radio Perth. "How many cases we had, how much community spread, whether it's one outbreak.
12th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Australia records handful of new coronavirus cases as national frictions grow

Australia recorded a handful of new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with frictions increasing between state leaders over the best approach to manage and contain the outbreaks. The northern state of Queensland recorded one new case, in the quarantined partner of a cleaner who was found to have the highly infectious UK strain last week, which triggered a three-day lockdown over the weekend to Monday. The country’s most populous state of New South Wales logged five new locally acquired infections, including two mystery cases that caused the emergency department at Sydney’s Mount Druitt hospital to close for deep cleaning on Monday.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters Australia

French new COVID cases at seven-week high

France’s new COVID-19 infections are on average increasing by more than 18,000 a day, a seven-week high, and the number of people hospitalised is rising again as the country grapples with the more infectious variant of the virus first found in Britain. These latest trends, published on Monday, will be discussed in the coming days by the government which is pondering whether to impose a third national lockdown and extend a 6 pm curfew, now enforced in some areas, to all of France.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

New Austrian COVID cluster: mainly British group on ski teacher course

Austria said on Tuesday it has identified a new cluster of 17 COVID-19 cases, a mainly British group on a ski teacher training course, despite the country being on lockdown and having banned flights from Britain over fears of a new coronavirus variant. The Alpine province of Tyrol, which suffered Austria’s worst outbreak to date at the ski resort of Ischgl, said the cluster in the town of Jochberg was suspected to be of the new, more infectious variant first pinpointed in Britain in September that has spread to dozens of countries including Austria. The fact such a training course was allowed to happen despite lockdown restrictions, which include closing schools to all but daycare, stunned many Austrians.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Lebanon tightens lockdown, imposes 24-hour curfew, as hospitals buckle

Lebanon announced a tightening of its lockdown on Monday, introducing a 24-hour curfew from Thursday as COVID-19 infections overwhelm its medical system. The new all-day curfew starts at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Thursday and ends at 5 a.m. on Jan. 25, a statement by the Supreme Defense Council said. Lebanon last week ordered a three-week lockdown until Feb. 2 that included a nighttime curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. But tighter measures were now necessary as hospitals run out of capacity to treat critically ill patients, President Michel Aoun said in the statement.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

As Canada battles rising COVID-19 cases, lack of sick leave fuels transmission

As Canadian provinces struggle to contain rising COVID-19 infections, a lack of adequate paid sick leave for front-line workers is fuelling transmission, doctors and advocates say. While political leaders and health officials advise sick people to stay home, many people can’t afford to. Some 58% of workers in Canada lack enough paid sick leave, according to the Decent Work and Health Network, and that percentage rises as wages drop. One morning last spring, 67-year-old part-time support worker Susan woke up feeling “a hurt in my heart like a knife.” She went to work at a Toronto rehabilitation home anyway -- she said it was the only way to pay the bills. Susan, who is using an pseudonym for fear of professional repercussions, had no sick days and couldn’t afford to miss even a day’s pay.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID surges press health systems in several nations

Fresh surges in COVID-19 activity triggered strengthened measures in several parts of the world, as soaring death levels in part of England led to the use of a temporary morgue. Health officials expected a surge of cases from holiday gatherings, but the emergence of at least two more transmissible variants is amplifying new surges in part of Europe and South Africa, as more countries brace for their potential impact. Daily cases in the United Kingdom are down bit from record highs reported last week, but hospitals in the hardest-hit areas are struggling, and deaths—which typically lag cases—are up 45.6% over the last 7 days, according to the latest government data.
12th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 12th Jan 2021

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China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over five months

Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in over five months, the country’s health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. A county in northeastern Heilongjiang province on Monday moved into lockdown after reporting new coronavirus infections, state television also reported separately. Hebei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on Jan. 10, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas. The total number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 103, the highest since 127 cases were reported on July 30.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Coronavirus: UK to face ‘worst weeks of pandemic’, Whitty warns as cases surge

England’s chief medical officer has warned the coming weeks are going “to be the worst weeks” of the coronavirus pandemic for the NHS, as he urged the public to minimise unnecessary contacts in order to reduce transmissions. Highlighting the pressure on the health service, professor Chris Whitty said that while 18,000 people were in hospital with Covid-19 during the April peak last year, on Sunday there were over 30,000 beds occupied by patients with the disease. “This is going to be a significant crisis for the NHS unless we take evasive action,” he warned on BBC Breakfast several days after the government imposed the third nationwide lockdown in England to curb the spread of the virus.
11th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Over half a million under lockdown as Beijing outbreak spreads

More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of Covid-19 cases. China has largely brought the virus under control, but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing. Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak in the capital -- home to over 20 million people -- particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.
11th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Japan finds new mutant Covid strain as infectious as variant in UK

Japan has detected a third mutant strain of coronavirus that is similar to the highly infectious variants spreading across the UK and South Africa. The strain was found in four passengers arriving from Brazil who were quarantined at Haneda Airport in Tokyo when they tested positive, Nikkei Asia reports. Three of the group developed symptoms including struggling to breath, a fever and a sore throat, while one man in his 40s arrived on January 2 without any symptoms. But he was later rushed to hospital with difficulties breathing, Bloomberg reports.
11th Jan 2021 - Metro

Global COVID-19 cases surpass 90 million as battle against new variant continues

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants. The new COVID-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally. The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last 48 days, according to a Reuters tally.
11th Jan 2021 - CTV News

China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over 5 months

Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in over five months, the country’s health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. A county in northeastern Heilongjiang province on Monday moved into lockdown after reporting new coronavirus infections, state television also reported separately. Heibei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on Jan. 10, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas. The total number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 103, the highest since 127 cases were reported on July 30.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Sweden passes lockdown law to allow closures amid high death toll

Sweden has introduced a law that would allow the government to close restaurants, shops, and public transport to combat the spread of COVID-19. The new legislation signals a major shift away from the country's initial no-lockdown approach to the pandemic. A severe second wave of COVID-19 infections has prompted Sweden gradually to abandon the unique approach it first adopted towards the pandemic, when it relied on voluntary social distancing measures. Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden's initial no-lockdown response, said last week that the COVID-19 situation showed no signs of improvement in Sweden.
11th Jan 2021 - Business Insider

Over half a million under lockdown as Beijing outbreak spreads

More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of COVID-19 cases. China has largely brought the virus under control, but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing. Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak in the capital -- home to over 20 million people -- particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.
11th Jan 2021 - CTV News

UK steps vaccinations as COVID surges, worst weeks still to come

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday Britain was in “a race against time” to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic’s worst weeks were imminent. A new, more transmissible variant of the disease is now surging through the population, with one in 20 people in parts of London now infected, threatening to overwhelm the National Health Service (NHS) as hospitals fill up with patients. The death toll in the United Kingdom has been soaring and now stands in excess of 81,000 - the world’s fifth-highest official toll - while more than three million people have tested positive.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Global coronavirus cases surpass 90 million in battle on new variant

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants. The new COVID-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally. The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last 48 days, according to a Reuters tally. Europe, which became the first region to report 25 million cases last week, remains the worst-affected area in the world, followed by Latin America with 22.4 million and 16.3 million cases respectively.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters


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UPDATE 1-French city of Marseille gets tougher curfew as new COVID-19 variant discovered

France has imposed a stricter evening curfew in Marseille after authorities said the new variant of the COVID-19 virus initially found in the UK had been discovered in the Mediterranean city. Marseille joined other French cities such as Strasbourg and Dijon in having its curfew moved forward to 6 p.m. from 8 p.m., and running through to 6 a.m. the following morning. The stricter Marseille measures will start on Sunday evening. The move came as COVID-19 related deaths and cases increased in France, which has the world's seventh-highest death toll from the coronavirus. There were 20,177 new, confirmed COVID cases in the last 24 hours and roughly 170 more deaths.
9th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

Nine further Covid-19 deaths in Northern Ireland

A further nine people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours. The latest figures from the Department of Health also show 1,442 more positive cases for coronavirus here out of 4,777 tested. The hospitals are operating at 97% bed occupancy, with 674 Covid inpatients, 47 in ICU and 33 on ventilators. There are 137 active outbreaks across Northern Ireland’s care homes. It comes as Northern Ireland entered into the second day of tough new restrictions to help stem the spread of rising Covid-19 cases.
9th Jan 2021 - ITV News

Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes double in a fortnight as care sector is biggest source of infection clusters

The number of apparent Covid-19 outbreaks inside care homes has more than doubled in a fortnight with the care sector now the largest source of multi-infection incidents once again, according to official data. Public Health England figures show that in the week to 3 January, there were 749 “acute respiratory infection incidents” in care homes across the UK, up from 480 the week before and 364 in the week before that. The incidents are defined as two or more confirmed or suspected cases of a respiratory illness such as Covid-19 or flu, and a large majority were confirmed to involve Covid-19 through virus testing.
9th Jan 2021 - iNews

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann says peak of Covid-19 surge "expected in third week of January"

As Northern Ireland entered a new range of restrictions at midnight on Thursday, the Department of Health reported 20 further coronavirus related deaths. Friday's dashboard update also reported a further 1,500 positive cases of the virus in the last 24 hour period, bringing the total number of positive cases to 86,146 since the start of the pandemic. In a statement to the Assembly this evening, Minister Swann said that "it is essential that the current lockdown successfully and significantly reduces the R number". He also said that it is estimated that in some parts of NI, where transmission is particularly high, as many as 1 in 40 people currently have Covid-19 and for Northern Ireland as a whole, the estimated figure is in the region of 1 in 60. In his statement to the Assembly, Mr Swann said: "This week, a number of our Health and Social Care Trusts have confirmed a downturn of elective surgery. This reflects the unprecedented pressures that the Covid-19 pandemic is creating in our hospitals.
9th Jan 2021 - Belfast Live

U.S. breaks record for daily COVID-19 cases with 310k new infections

The United States on Saturday surpassed 370,000 coronavirus deaths a day after the nation broke a record for the highest new cases of COVID-19 in one day as California and New Jersey experienced a massive one-day surge. A total of 370,119 people have died since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Additionally, there were 310,080 new cases reported on Friday 50,000 of which were in California and 20,000 in New Jersey, according to the COVID Tracking Project. It comes as there were 23,083 COVID-19 deaths already recorded in the first eight days of the year and 16 states reported their highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations this week, in yet more troubling signs for the post-holiday surge
9th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: NHS at breaking point and public 'not listening' to lockdown, warns top doctor

The NHS is "breaking in front of us" as people fail to obey lockdown rules, and hospitals may soon be too short of staff to keep their patients safe, a leading doctor has warned. Dr Zudin Puthucheary, council member of the Intensive Care Society and a critical care consultant, told Sky News he was "scared and angry" as the COVID-19 crisis takes its toll on hospitals - notably in London. A major incident was declared in the capital on Friday due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases threatening to overrun its already stretched hospitals.
9th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Covid-19: Act like you've got the virus, government urges

People in England are being told to act like they have got Covid as part of a government advertising campaign aimed at tackling the rise in infections. Boris Johnson said the public should "stay at home" and not get complacent. On Friday 1,325 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test were recorded in the UK - the highest daily figure yet - along with 68,053 new cases. Government sources say there is likely to be more focus from police on enforcing rather than explaining rules. "With over 1,000 people dying yesterday it's more important than ever everyone sticks to rules," a source told the BBC.
9th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Australia scrambles to block coronavirus variant; travellers must show negative test

Travellers to Australia will have to show a negative Covid-19 test before they can get on their plane, the prime minister said on Friday (Jan 8), as the city of Brisbane went into lockdown after the discovery of a case of a virulent new coronavirus variant. The more than 2 million residents of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, will be barred from leaving their homes for anything but essential business for three days from Friday evening after a worker at a quarantine hotel tested positive for the new variant, which was first detected in Britain. Australia has detected several cases of the variant but this was the first one to appear outside the quarantine system.
9th Jan 2021 - The Straits Times

False Reports of a New ‘U.S. Variant’ Came from White House Task Force

Reports of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant in the United States, published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials. The erroneous report originated at a recent meeting where Dr. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, presented graphs of the escalating cases in the country. She suggested to other members of the task force that a new, more transmissible variant originating in the United States might explain the surge, as another variant did in Britain.
9th Jan 2021 - The New York Times

Coronavirus latest updates: India reports 18,222 new cases; mutant strain patients spike to 90

India on Saturday reported 18,222 new COVID-19 cases, 19,253 discharges, and 228 deaths. As India gears up for the corona vaccination program, a dry run has been conducted in the country to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for immunisation drive. In Maharashtra, dry run was conducted across 32 of the total 36 districts. Maharashtra Minister also asserted that the central government should bear the entire cost of vaccination. Meanwhile, the state's coronavirus tally has increased to 19.61 lakh with the addition of 3,693 cases. As the virus claimed the lives of 73 patients during the day, the fatality count mounted to 49,970.
9th Jan 2021 - Mumbai Mirror

Coronavirus Vaccine Demand Has Health Officials Turning to Eventbrite

In the early stages of a global push to distribute the coronavirus vaccine to those who need it most — a process that has, so far, managed to be both hectic and slow — some health officials have turned to an unexpected tool: the ticketing website Eventbrite. Before the pandemic, the platform was a place to book tickets to performances, art shows or pub crawls. Now, public health officials are using it to schedule vaccination appointments. Mai Miller, 48, of Merritt Island, Fla., scoured Eventbrite last week in search of a slot for her mother. She scrolled through pages of dates and times, repeatedly refreshing the site and hunting for booking buttons that were blue, signaling availability. She found a few, but she couldn’t seem to click on them quickly enough. “It was just a scramble,” she said. “Like musical chairs with 20 chairs and 4,000 people.”
9th Jan 2021 - The New York Times

Doctors raise alarm as Covid strikes down NHS workforce

In England, the number of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are falling ill with Covid-19 has reached crisis levels and is seriously hampering the fight against the rapidly escalating pandemic, senior figures in the NHS have warned. The problem of staff absence, because of illness or the need to self-isolate when family members test positive, is also beginning to hamper the vaccination programme – just as the government throws maximum resources into efforts to vaccinate 15 million high priority people by the middle of February.
9th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

US sees most single-day deaths in pandemic: 4,000+

Yesterday 4,085 Americans died of COVID-19, a bleak record in the year-long pandemic. In total, the US reported 274,403 new cases, an uptick from the 200,000 daily average seen through the beginning of the month, and one that likely represents a holiday-related increase. According to the dashboard maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the country has 21,776,072 cases and 367,635 deaths, by far the most in the world. Several states are setting daily records in both cases and deaths. New York state reported a single-day record of 17,609 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and has set case records 5 of the past 9 days,
8th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


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Exclusive: London will be overwhelmed by covid in a fortnight says leaked NHS England briefing

London’s hospitals are less than two weeks from being overwhelmed by covid even under the ‘best’ case scenario, according to an official briefing given to the capital’s most senior doctors this afternoon. NHS England London medical director Vin Diwakar set out the stark analysis to the medical directors of London’s hospital trusts on a Zoom call. The NHS England presentation, seen by HSJ (see slides below story), showed that even if the number of covid patients grew at the lowest rate considered likely, and measures to manage demand and increase capacity, including open the capital’s Nightingale hospital, were successful, the NHS in London would be short of nearly 2,000 general and acute and intensive care beds by 19 January.
7th Jan 2021 - Health Service Journal

France reports 22 cases of new COVID-19 variants, ministry says

French Health ministry said on Thursday that 22 cases of new variants of the coronavirus have been detected in France. The ministry also said in a statement that two high-risk clusters that could feature the new British variant of COVID-19 have been found in the Brittany and the Paris regions.
7th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Return to home lockdowns ruled out as Spain’s COVID-19 cases soar in ‘third wave’

Spain's Health Minister has ruled out any home confinements to combat the 'third wave' of the coronavirus pandemic. Salvador Illa said today (January 7) that the Madrid government is not considering a new State of Alarm decree to supersede the one imposed on October 25th to stop the fresh onslaught of Covid-19. Regional governments have the flexibility under the current State of Alarm to impose measures to reduce the spread of new infections, but they cannot bring in home confiements.
7th Jan 2021 - Olive Press

Covid-19: Virus Hammers California as Deaths and Hospitalizations Surge

California’s daily coronavirus case tallies remain around four times what they were during the state’s summer surge, and officials predict that the aftereffects of a December surge linked to holiday gatherings will worsen as the winter drags on. After new infections — driven by Thanksgiving travel and gatherings, then Christmas festivities — resulted in a surge unlike any the state had yet seen, the trajectory of its new cases has leveled off somewhat in the early days of 2021. But there are more than twice as many Covid-19 patients in California hospitals now as there were a month ago, and many intensive care units in the state have been overflowing. At least six people in the state have also been found to be infected with the new, more transmissible variant of the virus first identified in Britain.
7th Jan 2021 - The New York Times

Spain tightens virus curbs but rules out lockdown

Spain's regions stepped up virus restrictions this week but the government remained adamant it would not impose a lockdown despite an expected post-Christmas surge in infections, a minister said Thursday. Outgoing Health Minister Salvador Illa said the situation was causing "a great deal of concern", warning there were "complicated weeks ahead and people must remain on high alert".
7th Jan 2021 - Medical Xpress

The UK can't even keep track of its spiralling Covid-19 case numbers

Ten months after the first one, the UK is back where it started: stuck a national lockdown. Since England came out of a national lockdown on December 2, the trajectory of daily confirmed cases across the UK has morphed into a near-vertical climb. Confirmed cases topped 60,000 for the first time on January 5, and a day later the daily death toll surpassed 1,000 for the first time since April. It’s obvious that the virus is spreading across the UK, but the testing numbers reveal something else worrying going on. The country is reporting a higher share of positive Covid-19 tests than at any point since April, when testing was extremely limited. This suggests that the real number of people with the virus is much higher than testing currently conveys.
7th Jan 2021 - Wired.co.uk

Japan Emergency May Last Months as Critics Say Steps Too Narrow

Restrictions set to be imposed under Japan’s state of emergency could last months, with both government advisers and critics of its strategy calling for broader steps than current proposals. Japan is set to declare an emergency as early as Thursday in Tokyo and three surrounding areas, with relatively narrow restrictions focused on reducing infections at bars and restaurants. But as in spring, the declaration may drag on if those moves fail to change people’s behavior, experts contend.
7th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

Malaysia reports record jump in COVID-19 cases amid fears of new lockdown

Malaysia reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases on Thursday as the government considered imposing restrictions in some areas, while businesses warned that another nationwide lockdown would further batter the economy. A jump in infections has spooked investors, with the Kuala Lumpur stock index falling as much as 1.2% on Thursday, a day after authorities said the rise in cases was straining the health system. The government was considering targeted lockdowns in parts of the country in response, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah had said on Wednesday. The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers said that it supported a partial lockdown but that wider restrictions could cripple businesses already impacted by the pandemic
7th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

China COVID cases at highest in five months amid Hebei outbreak

The number of new COVID-19 cases in China nearly doubled on Wednesday as more patients were confirmed with the virus in Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing, which began mass testing of the entire provincial capital and restricted travel after detecting 20 cases earlier this week. Hebei, which entered “wartime mode” on Tuesday, accounted for 51 of the 52 new locally transmitted cases reported by the National Health Commission on Thursday. State media reported that 50 of those cases were in the provincial capital, Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people about 300 kilometres (200 miles) south of Beijing.
7th Jan 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Arizona deemed ‘hot spot of the world’ amid virus surge

Five months after President Donald Trump hailed Arizona as a model for how it dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts warned Wednesday that the state has become “the hot spot of the world” and that health restrictions the governor has been hesitant to impose could have tamped down the crisis. “It’s way worse than July already, and it’s going to continue to get worse. We’re probably two weeks behind LA in terms of our situation,” Will Humble, head of the Arizona Public Health Association, said referring to Los Angeles County, where a COVID-19 surge has created a shortage of oxygen and led ambulance crews to stop transporting patients they can’t revive in the field.
7th Jan 2021 - AP News

Europe coronavirus cases surpass 25 million - Reuters tally

Coronavirus cases in Europe surpassed 25 million on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with several countries reinstating or extending lockdowns as a resurgence in the pandemic threatens to overwhelm health services.
7th Jan 2021 - Reuters


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More infectious COVID-19 variant in at least five U.S. states - NIH Director

A more contagious variant of COVID-19 that has swept through the United Kingdom has been reported in at least five states in the U.S., National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said in an interview to the Washington Post on Wednesday. “We have now seen that same UK virus in the U.S. in at least five states and I would be surprised if that doesn’t grow pretty rapidly,” Collins said, adding that it doesn’t however seem to be more severe. Last week, Reuters reported that Florida became the third known U.S. state to identify such a case, with two other cases identified in Colorado and California. Scientists have said newly developed vaccines should be equally effective against both variants.
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations strain southwestern Ontario health-care system

A southwestern Ontario hospital grappling with record-high COVID-19 admissions was cancelling surgeries and transferring patients to other facilities this week while another scrapped procedures to free up staff who could care for the gravely ill. The capacity crunch due to rising cases of the novel coronavirus had the head of a group representing Ontario’s hospitals warning that the acute-care system is more stretched than ever and the situation could get worse. The Windsor Regional Hospital cancelled all non-urgent, elective surgeries indefinitely and is preparing to send patients to hospitals near and far, hospital CEO David Musyj said Wednesday. Some acute-care patients are being transferred to the hospital in nearby Chatham-Kent, Ont., he said, while those with higher needs are being transferred to London, Ont.
6th Jan 2021 - The Star

COVID-19: Benjamin Netanyahu blames Israel's spike in coronavirus cases on 'British mutation'

Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed the "British mutation" of COVID-19 for a big spike in coronavirus cases in Israel. The Israeli prime minister said the pandemic was "spreading at top speed with the British mutation" as his government placed the country under stricter lockdown measures for the third time. "It [the British mutation] has reached Israel and is claiming many lives. We need to impose a full lockdown immediately," said Mr Netanyahu.
6th Jan 2021 - Sky News

U.S. sets COVID-19 hospitalization record as states work to ramp up vaccination efforts

More Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday than at any time since the pandemic began, as total coronavirus infections crossed the 21 million mark, deaths soared across much of the United States and a historic vaccination effort lagged. U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record 130,834 late on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, while 3,684 reported fatalities was the second-highest single-day death toll of the pandemic. That appalling toll meant that on Tuesday someone died from COVID-19 every 24 seconds in the United States. With total deaths surpassing 357,000, one in every 914 U.S. residents has died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters analysis.
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Covid-19: UK records more than 1,000 daily virus deaths

The UK has reported a further 1,041 people have died with coronavirus, the highest daily death toll since April. It came as 62,322 new cases were recorded, the highest daily rise since mass testing began, and as MPs supported England's lockdown. Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier said doctors could be forced to ration treatment without the new curbs. There are 30,074 Covid patients in UK hospitals, he said, as an ambulance trust told of severe pressure. Current patient numbers are 39% higher than the previous peak on 12 April last year, when 21,684 were in hospital. The number of those who died within 28 days of a positive test in the past week is 37% higher than the previous seven days.
6th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Swamped Hospitals Expose Depth of Britain’s Unfolding Crisis

If the British government’s goal throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been to protect the health service, the next few weeks will be the biggest challenge yet. After overtaking Italy again as the country with Europe’s highest death toll, the U.K. is at the epicenter of the continent’s struggle to contain Covid-19. Daily infections are at a record—one in 50 people in England now have the disease—while Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week shut schools and ordered the population to stay at home. Medical staff say they may be forced to turn people away from hospitals if the latest lockdown fails to curb quickly enough a new strain of the virus that emerged in southeast England last month.
6th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

New strain of coronavirus has been circulating in Spain for two weeks, experts conclude

The mutation of SARS-CoV-2 first identified in the United Kingdom has been detected by a research foundation in Valencia in two patients with no epidemiological connection to the country. The new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom is already circulating in Spain between people who have no epidemiological connection with that country. That’s according to a preliminary genetic analysis carried out by the Fisabio Foundation research institute in Valencia, which has found the same mutations of SARS-CoV-2 that were detected in the UK in samples taken two weeks ago from two patients who had not traveled to the country, nor come into contact with someone who had.
6th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Health Secretary Says Spain Can Avoid New Lockdown

Silvia Cazon, Spain's Secretary of State for Health, has claimed that Spain can avoid a full national lockdown despite fears of a third wave alongside the new British mutant strain. Speaking to Hoy por Hoy, Silivia Cazon said that Spain can implement "immediate measures" using "current instruments" to curb the rise in Covid cases without restorting to another national lockdown.
6th Jan 2021 - Euro Weekly News

Spain’s regions tighten restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge

Valencian authorities are confining 26 municipalities, Extremadura is closing bars and restaurants in its main cities, and La Rioja will limit all social gatherings to four people. After partially loosening restrictions during the Christmas holidays, Spanish regional governments are tightening their coronavirus measures again as cases continue to soar amid what experts are already describing as a third wave of the pandemic. The decisions come as Health Ministry data on Tuesday showed a 25% rise in reported cases over the last seven days. Nine Spanish territories now have an incidence rate categorized as “extreme risk” by health authorities.
6th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

COVID-19: UK records 1,041 COVID deaths and highest daily increase in cases

The UK has recorded its highest number of COVID-related deaths since 21 April, and the highest daily increase in cases. The government figures reported on Wednesday afternoon showed another 1,041 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. This is the 10th time since the pandemic began that the daily number of deaths has been above 1,000. The figure was a significant increase from the 830 deaths reported on Tuesday, with both days likely to contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.
6th Jan 2021 - Sky News

A third lockdown should not be ruled out in France, says health expert

A third national lockdown to rein in the COVID-19 pandemic should not be ruled out in France, where new daily cases are picking up, but it is still too early to make that decision, a senior medical expert said on Wednesday. "A new lockdown should not be ruled out," Eric Caumes, head of infectious diseases expert at Paris' Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, told BFM TV.
6th Jan 2021 - swissinfo.ch

3rd Lockdown In France? Bars Restaurants Fear The Worst Amid Vaccination Controversy

With Covid-19 cases hitting a plateau in France, it appears bars and restaurants will remain closed beyond the target date of January 20. The news comes as the government tries to reboot a vaccination strategy that has been widely criticized as too slow. Back in late November, President Emmanuel Macron spelled out 3 stages for re-opening the country after its second lockdown when daily cases peaked at 86,852 on November 7. But following the first stage that allowed many local businesses to re-open, France’s case stopped falling and eventually settled into a more or less steady pace of 15,000 per day.
6th Jan 2021 - Forbes

Covid variant behind latest UK lockdown now spreading in France, officials say

French health officials say a potentially more contagious strain of the virus causing Covid-19 has caused a handful of cases in the country, including the Paris region. The variant, identified in Britain last month, has been linked to a surge in cases that has forced the UK government to impose the most restrictive lockdown since early last summer. As France scrambles to catch up with its neighbours in vaccinating against Covid-19, top officials said they were closely watching for signs of the potentially highly contagious new variant, which has been identified in a small number of cases. “At this stage, we have about 10 suspected or confirmed cases” of the variant, which “is not spreading widely in France” for the moment, Health Minister Olivier Véran told RTL radio.
6th Jan 2021 - RFI English

Tokyo daily coronavirus cases exceed 1,500, renewing record - media

Rising infections have driven Tokyo and surrounding areas to the highest level of a four-stage alert, prompting regional governors to call for a declaration of emergency that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce on Thursday. The health ministry held a meeting of infectious disease experts on Wednesday, the second in as many days. They have called for stricter and longer countermeasures, while Suga has sought a more limited response to avoid damaging the economy. “Even if we take strong measures immediately, it will be difficult to bring the Tokyo metropolitan area down to stage 3 by the end of January,” Takaji Wakita, chief of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told reporters after the meeting
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Legal revisions would add weight to Japan's COVID-19 response

With numbers of new COVID-19 cases across the Tokyo region surging to record levels, the government is expected to announce a state of emergency this week for the capital and three adjacent prefectures. But Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government already has doubts about its effectiveness, and wants the Diet to approve a bill by the start of next month that would revise the 2020 special measures law on infectious diseases. The revision could strengthen the existing law by levying fines against businesses that ignore government demands to shorten their hours or shut to prevent the spread of infection.
6th Jan 2021 - The Japan Times

China hits city of 11 million with tight restrictions as more than 100 COVID cases discovered

Travel has been restricted to a northern Chinese city of 11 million people and schools closed as authorities moved on Wednesday to snuff out a cluster of COVID-19 cases after more than 100 infections were confirmed. Ten major highways leading into the city of Shijiazhuang, around 200 miles south of Beijing, have been closed and a bus terminus was closed in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading beyond the city in Hebei province. China's state-run Global Times newspaper said all train ticket sales from neighboring Hebei province into the capital were halted and Shijiazhuang's long-distance bus station closed as officials declared Hebei in "wartime mode" against the virus.
6th Jan 2021 - CBS News

Virus Has Recently Infected 1 in 50 in England

As England re-entered lockdown on Tuesday, new figures showed that one in 50 people had recently been infected with the virus, and officials warned that some restrictions on daily life could still be needed next winter. Speaking at a news conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to focus government efforts on rolling out its strained mass vaccination program intended to prevent a surge in infections of a highly transmissible variant of the virus from overwhelming the health service.
6th Jan 2021 - The New York Times

NSW tightening protocols on hotel quarantine drivers to stop COVID-19 spread

New South Wales health authorities will ramp up testing on workers transporting Australians returning from overseas, after an infected driver unwittingly put thousands of people in Greater Sydney at risk of contracting COVID-19. Drivers had been getting weekly throat and nose swabs for the virus, but from January 21, all people transporting passengers coming back from overseas will have a daily saliva test. The test involves taking a small amount of saliva to detect fragments of the virus and is about 85 per cent accurate at picking up COVID-19.
6th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Australian nurses in the frontline fight to save lives as coronavirus overwhelms UK hospitals

The coronavirus health crisis facing the United Kingdom is dire, this week forcing the country back into lockdown until at least mid February as authorities brace for the potential of hospitals being completely overwhelmed. There are routinely more than 50,000 new cases being recorded each day as an aggressive new strain of the virus takes hold. Health workers are stretched to the limit, and among them are many Australian professionals. Here, three Australian nurses tell first-hand of their experiences
6th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Indonesia to impose more targeted restrictions to fight COVID-19

Indonesia will impose two weeks of increased coronavirus restrictions in parts of its most populous island of Java from Jan. 11 and in the resort island of Bali, to support hospitals and reduce fatality rates, a minister said on Wednesday. The chief economic minister, Airlangga Hartarto, said some of the measures include changes to opening hours for malls and limited capacity at restaurants and places of worship.
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters


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Covid-19: UK daily coronavirus cases top 60,000 for first time

The number of new daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has topped 60,000 for the first time since the pandemic started. According to government figures on Tuesday, the number of people who tested positive was 60,916. One in 50 people in private households in England had Covid last week - and one in 30 in London, according to estimates based on the latest data. A further 830 people have also died within 28 days of a positive test. It comes as England and Scotland announced new strict lockdowns, with people told to stay at home.
5th Jan 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: More than a million have coronavirus in England, says PM - as variant is 'taking off' around UK

More than a million people in England are currently infected with coronavirus, the prime minister has said. Boris Johnson was speaking at a Downing Street news conference on the first full day of the nation's third lockdown, as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said one in 50 people in England have COVID-19. Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said it was "really quite a large number indeed" and warned the new variant is "taking off" in areas outside London and the South East.
5th Jan 2021 - Sky News

New York reports first case of new coronavirus variant as U.K. orders third national lockdown

New York on Monday reported its first case of a U.K. variant of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious and has been reported in more than 30 countries. The news came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a third national lockdown for England amid a surging outbreak driven by the variant.
5th Jan 2021 - The Washington Post

New coronavirus infections increase by 25% in a week in Spain

Compared with the data seen on December 28, the ministry’s latest report is showing a very similar situation – both of these reports were released after a four-day period of celebrations, the former Christmas, the latter New Year. The number of new cases notified has risen 25% in the last report from a week ago, from 24,462 to 30,579, bringing the overall total of official cases in Spain to 1,958,844 since the health crisis began. In terms of the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the figure has risen from 246.19 to 272.22 over this seven-day period, a figure that is far from the 188.72 on December 10, as Minister Darias pointed out while speaking after a meeting of the country’s regional health chiefs and the central Health Ministry
5th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

South Korea's COVID-19 death toll passes 1000, gyms protest distancing rules

The number of deaths linked to the coronavirus in South Korea passed 1,000 on Tuesday (Jan 5), while an increasing number of gym owners said they would reopen in protest against strict social distancing rules. After using aggressive testing and tracing to blunt several earlier waves of the coronavirus without widespread lockdowns, South Korea has imposed increasingly strident social distancing rules as it struggles to stop its largest wave yet. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 28 new deaths and 715 new cases, for a total of 1,007 deaths and 64,979 cases overall.
5th Jan 2021 - CNA

Japan weighs state of emergency in Tokyo area as COVID cases surge

Public health experts advising Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called on Tuesday for the swift imposition of a state of emergency in the Tokyo area as daily COVID-19 cases hit a record and some citizens accused the government of dragging its feet. The government’s top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, said a decision would likely come on Thursday on whether to impose the second state of emergency since the start of the pandemic. Japanese media said it would take effect by Friday and last about a month. The government is anxious about the economic impact of another state of emergency as it prepares to host the Olympics in the summer.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Level 5 restrictions: 10 other lockdown measures that could be considered as Covid cases skyrocket

Ireland is in Level 5 lockdown as countries across Europe implement tough measures in an attempt to slow the rapid spread of Covid-19. As the number of Covid cases in this country hit record levels, we take a look at further restrictions which could be brought in to contain the virus.
5th Jan 2021 - Independent.ie


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Covid-19 rates falling in most parts of Wales except in the north

Covid-19 case rates have dropped in a majority of areas in Wales, with the biggest falls in Neath Port Talbot, Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent. Rates have risen in parts of North Wales, however, with the biggest jump in Flintshire where the rate is up from 349.8 to 559.9. The figures, for the seven days to December 31, are based on tests carried out in NHS Wales laboratories and those conducted on Welsh residents processed in commercial laboratories. They show that the number of new cases per 100,000 people in Neath Port Talbot has dropped sharply week-on-week from 724.3 to 478.7, while in Merthyr Tydfil the rate has decreased from 901.8 to 669.7. In Blaenau Gwent, the rate is down from 740.0 to 543.9.
4th Jan 2021 - ITV News

Covid-19: The areas in England seeing a surge in cases and hospital patient numbers

Covid-19 case rates are increasing in all parts of England and the prime minister has warned there is "no question" tougher measures are needed to control the virus. NHS hospitals are under increasing pressure with a rising number of coronavirus patients requiring care. Most areas around the country are reporting a record number of Covid-19 patients in hospital, beyond the peaks seen in April. Here's a rundown of the case rate in your area and the number of Covid patients in your local hospitals.
4th Jan 2021 - ITV News

Boris Johnson warns of tougher Covid-19 restrictions for England

Boris Johnson has put England on alert for tougher Covid-19 restrictions and possible further school closures as ministers raced to deploy a vaccine ahead of a chaotic return to the classroom. The UK prime minister’s plan to reopen most primary schools in England on Monday morning was in disarray, with unions and some councils calling for them to remain closed and some schools shutting their doors unilaterally. In an attempt to regain control of the pandemic response, ministers have now deployed more than 5,000 armed forces personnel to the UK-wide pandemic effort — Britain’s biggest ever homeland operation in peacetime.
4th Jan 2021 - Financial Times

US daily COVID-19 hospitalizations have topped 100,000 for a month

Saturday marked one month of more than 100,000 consecutive, daily coronavirus hospitalizations in the US. Those numbers likely reflect people who were infected before the Christmas holiday. Experts anticipate that hospitalizations will continue to climb, meaning the pandemic's worst days may still be ahead.
4th Jan 2021 - Business Insider

Mexico COVID-19 cases surge after influx of American tourists

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have flocked to Mexico to vacation or to settle, according to multiple reports. In November, more than half a million Americans traveled to Mexico, The New York Times reported. The influx of Americans has been partly due to relaxed restrictions at the Mexican border: While many countries require proof of a negative coronavirus test or a quarantine upon arrival, Mexico does not ask for either. But the influx has contributed to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Mexico has recently reported new highs in daily cases.
4th Jan 2021 - Business Insider

Spain’s Andalucia detects 1,077 COVID-19 cases Monday as it convenes expert committee to decide future of current restrictions

Andalucia has detected 1,077 new coronavirus cases on Monday. While it is 1,143 fewer than the number reported on Sunday, the figure represents a significant increase from last Monday, when 567 cases were detected. However deaths have decreased, with 10 people losing their livess to the virus in the past 24 hours, four fewer than the day before.
4th Jan 2021 - Olive Press

Japan PM says government will consider state of emergency for Tokyo area

Japan said on Monday it would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb, casting fresh doubt over whether it can push ahead with the Olympics and keep economic damage to a minimum.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK's Johnson to outline new restrictions to slow COVID-19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday a new national lockdown for England until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus, even as Britain ramped up its vaccination program by becoming the first nation to start using the shot developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca. Johnson said people must stay at home again, as they were ordered to do so in the first wave of the pandemic in March, this time because the new virus variant was spreading in a “frustrating and alarming” way. “As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” he said in a televised address.
4th Jan 2021 - The Associated Press

A year since Covid first emerged in China, the world battles its deadliest surge yet

It’s been a year since the coronavirus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, China. The coronavirus is still surging, but not so much in those early countries that were forced into lockdowns at the beginning of 2020 to contain the disease. The initial vaccines, which were produced and authorized in record time, have been slow to roll out as the U.S. misses its year-end goal.
4th Jan 2021 - CNBC

Boris Johnson to decide today on nationwide lockdown ‘lasting until April’

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to decide today whether to implement tougher Covid-19 restrictions lasting for months, as he faces urgent calls to introduce a national lockdown. The Government’s key ‘Covid-O’ committee, which oversees coronavirus restrictions, is reportedly set to meet today to decide changes to the tier system. According to the Daily Mail, a Government source last night said ministers are considering putting yet more areas of England under the strictest tier four measures. Currently, 44 million people – about three-quarters of the country – are living under the restrictions which include a strict ‘stay at home’ message, with only essential retail permitted to open.
4th Jan 2021 - Metro

Will there be a national lockdown? Why Boris Johnson has warned of new Covid rules as cases soar in England

The Prime Minister has hinted tougher new restrictions could be implemented in England following a surge in Covid-19 cases, while the Health Secretary has said the Government will not rule out a new lockdown to bring the virus under control.
4th Jan 2021 - iNews

US COVID deaths top 350,000 as vaccine rollout continues

Over the New Year weekend, the United States reported that 350,000 Americans had died from the novel coronavirus—a grim milestone as state leaders and officials from Operation Warp Speed continue to try to roll out millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Though it's too soon to tell how or if New Year’s celebrations will affect daily case totals, in the last week the US reported an average of 213,437 new daily COVID-19 cases and 2,637 virus-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
4th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


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Australia's COVID-19 cases on the rise as masks made compulsory

Australia’s most-populous state of New South Wales (NSW) reported eight new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, while neighbouring Victoria’s tally increased by three, as new measures to combat the disease kicked in. The NSW outbreak started around mid-December in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area, where a quarter of a million people are in strict lockdown until Jan. 9. Cases associated with the cluster now total 148. A smaller cluster in the west of the city, linked to a different genome sequence, has 13 confirmed cases. But the state’s chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said authorities are worried as recent transmission at a liquor store occurred with “fleeting” exposure.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters Australia

Norway imposes new restrictions to prevent new wave, says PM

Norway will impose fresh restrictions to prevent a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday, including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars and not inviting guests home. The Nordic country has seen a rise in cases over the past month and now estimates its R number - which represents the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to - stands at 1.3. “We see more signs of a new wave of infections,” Solberg told a news conference, citing Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations and the emergence of the more contagious variant of the virus first identified in Britain among the reasons.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Thailand mulls more restrictions amid second wave of coronavirus

Thailand’s government held off from ordering new nationwide business shutdowns on Sunday amid a wave of coronavirus cases but empowered some provincial governors to set their own restrictions and pleaded with the public not to travel. Thailand, which had largely controlled the virus by mid-2020, saw a second wave of outbreaks beginning in December. On Sunday, it confirmed 315 new coronavirus cases, the majority of which are local transmission, bringing its total to 7,694 cases and 64 deaths since its first case last January.
3rd Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Tokyo to request new emergency declaration as COVID-19 cases climb - media

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will ask the central government later on Saturday to declare a state of emergency following a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, local media reported. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike will make the request in a meeting with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who coordinates government measures to fight the pandemic, the Nikkei newspaper said, citing multiple sources. Calls by Reuters to the governor’s office were not answered.
2nd Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Kent hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ as ICU bed occupancy hits 137%

More critically ill patients are being transferred to hospitals across England as NHS trusts in Kent reported bed occupancy levels in intensive care reaching 137 per cent on New Year’s Day. Eleven hospitals across the Kent and Surrey regions are failing to meet nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in intensive care, raising concerns for patient safety. Thresholds for admitting patients to intensive care are being revised, and clinicians in the region say some patients who should be in intensive care are instead being looked after on other wards because there is simply not enough space available.
1st Jan 2021 - The Independent

Suddenly overwhelmed, Ireland says thousands of COVID-19 cases yet to be added to tally

Ireland said on Friday it had under-reported coronavirus cases in recent days by thousands more than previously known as its system came under strain, suggesting the EU’s fastest growing outbreak is worsening even more rapidly than figures showed. More than 9,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have yet to been added to the official tally of confirmed cases, the National Public Health Emergency Team said. A day earlier it had estimated the number of positive tests still pending registration at just 4,000. Ireland has gone from having the lowest infection rate in the European Union just two weeks ago to having the fastest rate of deterioration, after shops and large parts of the hospitality sector were allowed to reopen for most of December.
1st Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

UK records 53,285 new COVID-19 cases, 613 deaths

The United Kingdom recorded a further 53,285 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the fourth day running that it has topped 50,000, and 613 deaths, official data showed. The rise in cases compares with the 55,892 that were reported on Thursday, while the death tally marks a fall from the 964 reported the day before.
1st Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Americans Urged to Keep Guard Up as New Virus Strain Spreads

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Wednesday to step up social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, a day after confirming a more contagious strain of the virus had reached the United States. The CDC also confirmed another variant of the coronavirus originating from South Africa is turning up in other countries and may soon appear in the U.S. “Both of these variants appear to infect people more easily,” said Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, in a press call. “There is no evidence that either of these variants causes more severe disease or increases the risk of death.”
31st Dec 2020 - Courthouse News Service

Doctors can't get a Covid vaccine in Wales and say the health service is in danger of collapse

Frontline doctors and other healthcare professionals are still struggling to access the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Wales, it is claimed. Dr David Bailey, chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) Welsh Council, said the Welsh NHS was "in danger of collapse" due to soaring staff absence levels. He said it was "unacceptable" that frontline clinicians were still being exposed to the virus day in, day out without proper protection. His comments come following the announcement that the Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use by the MHRA and will be rolled out in Wales from next week.
31st Dec 2020 - Wales Online


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Covid-19 in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon tells Hogmanay revellers to stay at home and halt coronavirus spread

Nicola Sturgeon has warned revellers to stay at home on Hogmanay as Scotland recorded the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began. The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has doubled in 24 hours from 967 reported yesterday to 1,895 today. There has also been a 12 per cent rise in hospital cases from 973 on Christmas Day to 1,092 today — the highest figure since November 27 when there were signs that the second wave was abating. Epidemiologists fear household mixing at Christmas coupled with a new and more infectious strain is fuelling the second wave.
29th Dec 2020 - The Times

Covid-19: Health workers 'back in eye of storm', says NHS chief

Health workers are "back in the eye of the storm" as coronavirus cases continue to rise, NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens has said. It has been the "toughest year" for the NHS, which has treated 200,000 severely ill Covid-19 patients, he added. Hospitals in England are currently treating more Covid patients than at the peak of the first wave in April. A government scientific adviser has warned national restrictions are needed to prevent a "catastrophe". On Monday, a record 41,385 new Covid cases were reported in the UK, though it is thought the infection rate was higher during spring when testing was much more limited.
29th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Covid patient numbers exceed April peak as Nightingale hospitals stand empty

There are now more coronavirus patients in England’s hospitals than there were during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, new figures show. As of 8am on Monday, there were 20,426 patients in the country’s NHS hospitals compared to the 18,974 patients recorded on April 12, NHS England revealed. The sobering update comes after the UK recorded its highest daily number of Covid-19 cases to date, with 41,385 infections confirmed as of 9am on Monday, according to the Department of Health. Meanwhile, London’s Nightingale hospital has been stripped of its beds as medics warn there are not enough staff to run the facility, the Telegraph reported.
29th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Renewed COVID lockdowns likely in Southern California as ICUs stay filled

The United States topped 19 million COVID cases on Monday as hospital intensive care units were full to overflowing across much of California, a major U.S. virus hot spot, portending an extension of strict stay-at-home orders imposed this month. California Governor Gavin Newsom said mandatory constraints on social gatherings and business activities would almost certainly be renewed for at least three more weeks in Southern California - encompassing the state’s biggest metropolitan areas - and its agricultural heartland, the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom said a formal decision on continuing the stay-at-home orders, among the most stringent in the United States, would be announced on Tuesday, based on trends projected by health authorities for the coming weeks.
29th Dec 2020 - Reuters

UK coronavirus cases rise by record 53,000 amid calls for tougher lockdown

The UK has recorded 53,135 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours in the biggest daily rise since the pandemic began. It is the first time daily cases have surpassed 50,000 and is over 10,000 more than yesterday’s record high of 41,385. The figures from the Department of Health show another 414 people have died within 28 days of testing positive, compared to 357 on Monday. It brings the total death toll to 71,567 – one of the highest in the world.
29th Dec 2020 - Metro

Dr Fauci says ‘worst is yet to come’ from coronavirus as December becomes deadliest month of pandemic

Dr Anthony Fauci has warned that he believes the worst of the coronavirus pandemic “is yet to come” as December becomes America’s most deadly month for Covid-19. Speaking to anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, Dr Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and part of the White House coronavirus task force, warned US residents to brace for a surge of cases in the new year. “We very well might see a post-seasonal – in the sense of Christmas, New Years – surge or as I’ve described it, a surge upon a surge,” Dr Fauci said on Sunday.
29th Dec 2020 - The Independent

Spain’s Virus Deaths Surpass 50,000 Amid Holiday Restrictions

Spain became the fourth European country to record more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths as nations across the region start to roll out a vaccine. Fatalities from the disease rose to 50,122 on Monday, according to Health Ministry figures. Some 408 people have died from the virus in the past week. Cases diagnosed over the last 24 hours amounted to 2,822, bringing the total to 1.88 million. Spain is one of the countries in Europe to be hit hardest by the pandemic, forcing the government to impose a state of emergency in March. When it emerged from a strict national lockdown three months later, management of the pandemic was placed in the hands of regional governments.
29th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Covid: UK surge in cases an 'extreme concern'

A surge in coronavirus cases in the UK is of "extreme concern", a health boss says, as a record number of cases was reported for the second day running. On Tuesday, 53,135 new Covid cases were recorded as well as 414 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test. Not all data was reported in full over the Christmas period, leading to a lag in some data, but Public Health England said there had been a "real increase". The health secretary said the NHS was facing "unprecedented pressures". Ahead of an announcement on any changes to England's tier restrictions on Wednesday, Matt Hancock added in a tweet: "We must suppress this virus to protect our NHS & save lives until the vaccine can keep us safe."
29th Dec 2020 - BBC News

New Year lockdown fears grow as health task force decide fate of France's Covid-hit regions

Despite the positive news of the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the French are ending 2020 with the threat of a possible 3rd lockdown, which could be implemented on a regional or local basis. Covid-19 infection rates coming out of France’s Grand Est region have been troubling Macron administration, triggering an emergency meeting of a health defense council this Tuesday. It is not yet known whether new lockdown measures will be decided at today’s gathering, but regional politicians already have their own idea of what the outcome may be.
29th Dec 2020 - RFI English

France considers third national lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise

President Emmanuel Macron meets with France’s health council on Tuesday to consider whether to reimpose lockdown restrictions for a third time amid concern over a rise in Covid-19 cases. France eased restrictions imposed during a second lockdown on December 15 but the average number of daily coronavirus cases has not fallen below a key 5,000 threshold set by the government. Although the number of new infections appeared to have fallen over the Christmas holidays – only 2,960 new coronavirus infections were reported on Monday, down from 8,822 on Sunday and 3,093 on Saturday – officials fear the figures are misleading. Many of the country’s testing facilities closed over the holidays and the drop could simply be due to fewer people getting tested.
29th Dec 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

U.K. Virus Surge Surpasses Spring Peak as Lockdown Choices Loom

Facing record case and hospital numbers and a threatening variant strain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to shut schools and reimpose national restrictions, measures he once decried.
29th Dec 2020 - New York Times

South Africa Imposes New Virus Measures As Vaccines Roll Out

South Africa banned alcohol sales and made masks mandatory in public from Tuesday, tightening restrictions after a surge in coronavirus cases as more countries joined in mass vaccination campaigns to beat the pandemic.
29th Dec 2020 - International Business Times

Coronavirus: South Korea reports highest daily deaths amid third wave

Filipino workers returning from the countries, which include the UK, China and Singapore, are exempted from the ban, the Philippine labour chief says Meanwhile, Indonesia is finalising deals to secure 50 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from drugmakers Pfizer and AstraZeneca
29th Dec 2020 - South China Morning Post

Russia's Covid-19 death toll could be 3 times higher than reported

Russia's death toll from Covid-19 could be three times higher than previously thought, according to one of the country's leading politicians. New data released by Russian statistics agency Rosstat Monday showed that the number of deaths from all causes between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared to the same period last year. After the figures were released, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova was quoted by Russia’s Interfax agency as saying that more than 81 percent of this increase in mortality over this period is due to Covid-19 and consequences of the disease.
29th Dec 2020 - NBC News

New lockdowns likely in Southern California as COVID cases top 19 mil in U.S.

The United States topped 19 million COVID cases on Monday as hospital intensive care units remained filled to overflowing across much of California, a major U.S. coronavirus hot spot, portending an extension of strict stay-at-home orders imposed this month. California Gov Gavin Newsom said mandatory constraints on gatherings and business activities would almost certainly be renewed for at least three more weeks in Southern California - encompassing the state's biggest metropolitan areas - and its agricultural heartland, the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom said a formal decision on continuing stay-at-home orders, among the most stringent in the United States, would be announced on Tuesday, based on trends projected by health authorities for the coming weeks.
29th Dec 2020 - Japan Today

Coronavirus variant from South Africa found in Japan

Japan on Monday detected a coronavirus variant found in South Africa, the government said, the first such discovery in a nation that has already identified more than a dozen cases of another variant that is spreading rapidly in Britain
29th Dec 2020 - News24

Australia could deport hundreds of Brits after ‘super-spreader’ party

Hundreds of backpackers risk being stripped of their visas and deported from Australia after a huge party was thrown on a beach on Christmas Day. Shocking footage from Sydney shows around 300 people, many believed to be British travellers, chanting next to Bronte Beach wearing Santa hats and what appear to be England football shirts. Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke said he was ‘shocked’ and would be ‘very happy’ to deport those caught disobeying public health orders in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Absolutely, under the migration act, if someone is threatening public safety or health, their visa can be cancelled and revoked,’ Mr Hawke said on 2GB this morning.
29th Dec 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus death toll triples in Russia after government admits to downplaying COVID-19 outbreak

The new figures show more than 186,000 Russians have died from COVID-19 This is up from the 55,265 the country had officially reported. The country's health authorities previously only counted COVID-19 deaths confirmed by autopsy
29th Dec 2020 - ABC News

Moscow extends school holiday amid rise in coronavirus infections in Russia

Moscow will extend the school holiday by one week until Jan. 17 in hopes of stabilising the situation regarding new coronavirus infections and avoid new COVID-19-related restrictions, the Russian capital’s mayor said on Tuesday. Russia, which launched a voluntary vaccination programme with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month, has resisted imposing a strict lockdown as it did early this year, relying on targeted measures instead.
29th Dec 2020 - Reuters India

COVID-19 hospitalisations continue to rise in France

Hospitalisations for COVID-19 continued to rise on Monday in France as President Emmanuel Macron and some senior cabinet ministers are to review the health situation on Tuesday amid another surge in cases that has spurred fears of a third lockdown in the country. The French Health Ministry reported that the number of people admitted to hospital for COVID-19 rose by 25 on Monday to 24,678 while patients in intensive care - the most important measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the pandemic - went up by 44 to 2,703.
28th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Variant virus gains bigger foothold in UK as cases surge

Developments with variant SARS-CoV-2 continued to dominate global COVID-19 news today, with the United Kingdom reporting more record-high case numbers and new reports revealing more about the prevalence and risk. Meanwhile, a new risk assessment from European health officials said the UK variant may have emerged in September and is expected to push hospitalizations and deaths higher, and more countries reported the detection of the South African variant virus.
28th Dec 2020 - CIDRAP


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Covid-19: UK records 30,000 new cases and 316 deaths

A further 30,501 positive tests for coronavirus were reported on Sunday, as hospitals in parts of the UK warn they are at risk of being overwhelmed. Another 316 people died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total to 70,752. The true numbers are likely to be higher as some parts of the UK are not reporting data over Christmas. It comes as doctors in Scotland warned that the health system was "severely stretched" and a Welsh hospital made an urgent appeal for help with Covid-19 patients on Saturday night.
28th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Covid: South Africa passes one million infections as cases surge

South Africa has become the first country on the continent to register more than one million Covid-19 cases. It comes just days after authorities confirmed that a new, faster-spreading, coronavirus variant had been detected. Some hospitals and medical centres have reported a huge rise in admissions, putting a heavy strain on resources. President Cyril Ramaphosa is widely expected to announce tougher restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading further.
28th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Covid-19: Hospitals under pressure as coronavirus cases rise

England's "very high" Covid infection level is a "growing concern" as the NHS struggles to cope with rising patient numbers, a health official has said. On Monday, a record 41,385 Covid cases and 357 deaths were reported in the UK. NHS England said the number of people being treated for the virus in hospital is now 20,426, which is higher than the previous peak of about 19,000 in April. BBC health editor Hugh Pym said Monday's figure included some infections where reporting was delayed, but that officials did not deny there had been a significant increase in infections.
28th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Ukrainians flock to local ski resort, with many European resorts shut to curb coronavirus spread

Ukraine’s biggest ski resort Bukovel in the Carpathian mountains is fully booked until the end of year as Ukrainians have sped to it instead of other foreign resorts that have been shut due to coronavirus-linked restrictions across Europe. Bukovel’s management said the resort had already been booked at 80% capacity through January. Unlike some European countries, Ukraine did not tighten restrictions on the movement of its residents within the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus over the Christmas and New Year season.
28th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

South Africa's total COVID-19 cases cross 1 million mark

South Africa’s total coronavirus infections since the first case in March crossed a million on Sunday, its Health Ministry said, just days after a new faster spreading variant was confirmed to be present in the country. The grim milestone comes nine days after the country, the worst hit in Africa, reported 900,000 cases. The country had taken two weeks to reach 900,000 from the 800,000 seen early in December.
28th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Sydney told to watch its famous New Year's Eve fireworks from home

Sydney, one of the world’s first major cities to welcome each New Year with a public countdown featuring a fireworks display over its well-known Opera House, has banned large gatherings that night amid an outbreak of the coronavirus. A mid-December resurgence of COVID-19 in the city’s northern beach suburbs has grown to 125 cases after five new infections were recorded on Monday. About a quarter of million of people there must stay in strict lockdown until Jan. 9. That has led to further restrictions of the already toned-down plans for the New Year’s Eve. New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian banned most people from coming to Sydney’s downtown that night and limited outdoor gatherings to 50 people.
28th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

A Growing Number of Countries Find Cases of the New Virus Variant

Japan, Spain, France, Sweden and Canada have found small numbers of infections involving a new, potentially more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, most linked to travel from Britain, where it was first detected. The rapid spread of the variant led to the lockdown of London and southern England this week, prompted a temporary French blockade of the English Channel and resulted in countries around the world barring travelers from Britain. Because few countries have the level of genomic surveillance that Britain does, there is concern that the variant may have been traveling across the world undetected for weeks.
27th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

Beijing tightens COVID-19 curbs as cases detected across capital

Beijing has tightened COVID-19 curbs over concerns that China's mass travel during the holiday period could cause cases to spike in the capital, as it reported locally transmitted cases for a fourth straight day on Sunday. A meeting led by the capital's Communist party boss, Cai Qi, urged all districts in Beijing to enter an "emergency" mode, sealing off residential compounds and villages where infections are found. Shunyi district, where all the recent coronavirus cases have been reported, has declared a wartime mode and testing for all its 800,000 people. All the cases reported on Saturday were close contacts of previous cases.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

One in 1,000 Americans have died from Covid-19

Within 10 months since the onset of a public health crisis that has upended the lives of millions of Americans, the nation’s death toll has surpassed 330,000, during what has become the year’s deadliest month, with nearly 60,000 lives lost within the final weeks of 2020. The overwhelming scale of death means that one in 1,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. Nearly 19 million confirmed infections have been reported in 2020, with an average number of daily new cases remaining above 200,000 within the year’s final days, according to Johns Hopkins University – more than three times higher than the outbreak’s summer peak in July.
27th Dec 2020 - The Independent

COVID-19: South Korea braced for 'third wave' as daily cases hit new highs

South Korean officials have warned of a third wave of coronavirus, as a resurgence in cases continues over the Christmas period. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) recorded 1,132 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which was the country's second-highest daily increase after 1,241 on Christmas Day. South Korea has been seen as one of the countries to have responded best to the pandemic since it began, but has seen significant coronavirus outbreaks in prisons, nursing homes and churches recently - leading to officials asking people to stop end-of-year gatherings.
27th Dec 2020 - Sky News

COVID-19: Canada among latest countries to confirm first cases of new COVID variant

The new variant of coronavirus that is spreading through Britain has been detected in Norway and on the Portuguese island of Madeira. It follows several countries in reporting cases of the mutation, listed as VUI-202012/01, first spotted in the UK and thought to be up to 70% more transmissible - meaning it can spread much faster. Authorities in Madeira have not said how many people are infected, but confirmed it had been "detected in travellers who arrived there from the United Kingdom". Norway also discovered the mutation in two people who had arrived there from the UK.
27th Dec 2020 - Sky News

South Korea to decide on tougher distancing as COVID-19 count hits another high

South Korea plans to discuss whether it needs to further tighten distancing rules this weekend as the current curbs failed to reverse a resurgence in outbreaks, with the daily coronavirus count hitting another high on Friday, officials said. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 1,241 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Thursday, the highest daily count recorded. Daily numbers have been hovering at record levels over the past few weeks, around 1,000, but the government resisted calls for imposing the toughest Level 3 at least for the greater Seoul area due to economic concerns, calling it a last resort.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Canada's Ontario finds two cases of virus variant first seen in UK

Health officials in Ontario said on Saturday that two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom have appeared in the Canadian province. Scientists say the variant is about 40%-70% more transmissible than the original strain. Several other countries, including Australia, Italy and the Netherlands say they detected cases of the new strain. The Canadian cases, identified in a couple in southern Ontario with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contact, came as the province went into a lockdown on Saturday.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Sydney awaits verdict on New Year's Eve festivities as COVID-19 outbreak grows

Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak continued on Sunday with more than a quarter million people in lockdown as Australia’s largest city awaited word on whether any public New Year’s Eve celebrations will be allowed. Seven cases of the new coronavirus were reported in New South Wales state, six linked directly to the outbreak in Sydney’s northern beach suburbs, which are under a stay-at-home order until Wednesday. Infections stand at 122. “I appreciate frustration levels are increasing as we get closer to New Year’s Eve and days we stay at home increase,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a news conference.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters Australia

Philippines eyes more COVID curbs to halt new variants

The Philippines approved measures on Saturday to slow the spread of new, more infectious coronavirus variants, as President Rodrigo Duterte warned of a second lockdown should cases spike before the country gets its first vaccines in May. Countries around the world have in recent days closed their borders to flights from Britain and South Africa, where more infectious variants have been detected. Duterte extended an existing a ban on flights from Britain by two weeks to mid-January, and said the Philippines would impose travel curbs on countries with local community transmission of the UK variant.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

German daily COVID death toll nears 1,000 a week into lockdown

Germany reported a record daily coronavirus death toll of 962 on Wednesday, a week after the start of a hard lockdown that has forced most stores as well as hair salons and other services to close. The total death toll now stands at 27,968, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. The previous daily death toll record was 952, reported on Dec. 16, the day the lockdown came into effect.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Health officials brace for a surge in US Covid-19 cases after the holidays

With Christmas in the rear view mirror, public health experts are bracing for yet another surge in Covid-19 cases, similar to those seen after other US holidays in recent months. "We've just seen these amplification events, and that's what's happened at the end of this year in the US," said Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. "We had Thanksgiving, we had Labor Day, we had Halloween, and each one of these events brought lots of people together and just gave the virus more fuel to move through the population," Bromage said. "Christmas is going to do a similar thing."
26th Dec 2020 - CNN

UK records 210 more COVID-19 deaths, cases rise to 34,693

The United Kingdom recorded 210 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, down from 570 the day before, while cases rose 1,968 to 34,693, the government said, citing partial data. The latest R number is estimated at 1.1 to 1.3, the government said. The United Kingdom has recorded a death toll of 70,405, defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. Under that measure, it has the world’s sixth largest toll, after the United States, Brazil, India, Mexico and Italy.
26th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid-19: NI concern at spread of new coronavirus variant

Health officials in Northern Ireland are concerned that the spread of a variant form of coronavirus could have "substantial consequences", according to NI's chief scientific adviser. Prof Ian Young said the reproduction rate of the virus could rise by between 0.4 and 0.6 as a result. On Wednesday, the health minister confirmed a positive case of the new strain had been detected in NI. However, Prof Young said detecting new variants "is not unexpected".
25th Dec 2020 - BBC News

First case of new COVID variant found in France as cases rise

France recorded its first case of the new variant of coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 mounted in the country, increasing concerns of a new wave of the virus hitting the euro zone’s second-biggest economy. The French health ministry said a Frenchman who recently arrived back in France from London had tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus. The ministry said the case - the first in France - had been found in the city of Tours. The man in question arrived from London on Dec. 19. He was currently self-isolating and felt alright, the ministry added.
25th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19: Fears new variant could prevent schools returning in January

One of the biggest potential casualties of the new variant of COVID-19 may be the possibility of a normal return to school in England in January. Scientists are currently studying the evidence that children might be more affected. It could mean a return to home schooling for thousands of children. Secondary schools across England are already staggering their start of term, to allow a testing programme to get under way. Recent figures show there's been a sharp rise in cases of COVID among school-aged children. This might be driven by the new variant of the virus, which could spread more easily in young people.
22nd Dec 2020 - Sky News


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California hospitals struggle to cope with Covid-19 surge double July peak

Hospitals in California are scrambling to handle an explosion of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm the state’s emergency care system, with some facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles county even drawing up emergency plans for rationing care. As of Sunday, more than 16,840 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 infections, more than double the previous peak reached in July. That number could reach 75,000 by mid-January, according to one state model.
21st Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Latin America nations suspend flights with the U.K. due to 'Super COVID-19 strain' fears

Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and El Salvador are among the first nations in Latin America to ban flights from the United Kingdom. The decision comes after the U.K. announced a new COVID-19 strain that is 70% more transmissible than existing strains appeared to be driving the rapid spread. U.K. flights are still being allowed into Mexico, where 118,602 people have died of coronavirus Brazil, the epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America, has not announced any measures
21st Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: More than 40 countries ban UK arrivals

More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus. Flights from the UK are being suspended to countries across the world including Spain, India and Hong Kong. France shut its border with the UK for 48 hours, meaning no lorries or ferries can leave from the port of Dover. Boris Johnson said he spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and both sides wanted to resolve "these problems as fast as possible". The prime minister told a Downing Street press conference: "We had a very good call and we both understand each other's positions."
21st Dec 2020 - BBC News

Covid-19: Thailand tests thousands after virus outbreak in seafood market

Thailand hit by worst Covid surge yet. After months of avoiding the surge in cases seen by its neighbours, Thailand has been hit by its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet. Tens of thousands of people are being tested after hundreds of cases linked to its biggest seafood market. It has locked down Samut Sakhon, the coastal province near the capital Bangkok, home to the market which employs mostly migrant workers from neighbouring Myanmar. Workers have been ordered to stay home.
21st Dec 2020 - BBC News

France says mutated Covid strain may already be in the country

France’s health minister has said it is "entirely possible" the mutated Covid-19 strain identified in parts of England is already spreading in France. "It is entirely possible that the virus is circulating in France," Olivier Véran told Europe 1 radio, adding that the strain had not yet been identified in the country. Fears over the mutant strain have led France and many other countries to ban passengers arriving on flights, trains and ferries from the UK. Mr Véran, who is a neurologist as well as serving in Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet, also said that the current vaccines were likely to work against the new strain of the virus.
21st Dec 2020 - The Independent

India suspends flights from UK due to ‘prevailing situation’ with new Covid strain

India announced a temporary ban on flights from the UK until 31 December effective from midnight on Tuesday, spooked by a new and more transmissible strain of the coronavirus. The decision was taken after a meeting of health ministry officials earlier on Monday. “Considering the prevailing situation in (the) UK, the government of India has decided to suspend all flights originating from the UK to India," India’s civil aviation ministry said. “Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended... as a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from (the) UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22 December at 23:59 hours) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned,” according to a tweet posted by the official Twitter account of India’s civil aviation ministry.
21st Dec 2020 - The Independent

Italy worries about high death toll among coronavirus patients

For every 100 Italians infected, more than 3 people die (3.5 percent). Among the 20 most-affected countries in the world, only Mexico and Iran have higher fatality rates among infected patients (9 percent and 4.7 percent respectively), according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Italy’s numbers are high in comparison to others in Europe too: In France, the case-fatality rate is 2.4 percent; in Germany it’s 1.6 percent; and hard-hit Spain has a rate of 2.7 percent. Only the United Kingdom, with 3.4 percent, has similarly worrying figures. There is no easy explanation for the high mortality among infected Italians, according to Enrico Bucci, a biochemist and adjunct professor at Temple University of Philadelphia. Most likely, it is the result of a combination of known factors: the age of Italy’s population, the quality of its health care system, and the choices made by politicians — though it is unclear how much weight each carries, said Bucci. According to Eurostat data, the median age in Italy is 46.7, compared with an EU average of 43.1, making it one of the oldest in Europe — and that trend is only accelerating. Between 2009 and 2019, the percentage of Italians over 80 went from 5.6 percent to 7.2 percent. By comparison, that figure is 6.5 percent in Germany and 6.4 percent in Portugal.
21st Dec 2020 - POLITICO.eu

France has imposed a travel ban from the UK

France has imposed a travel ban on UK passengers for 48 hours, due to concerns about the new strain of Covid. This has resulted in the port of Dover closing to outbound traffic - with warnings about “serious disruption” in place - which has caused fears that imported food products will be affected. Boris Johnson is holding an emergency Cobra meeting on Monday 21 December in an attempt to resolve the situation.
21st Dec 2020 - The Scotsman

Cautious optimism over latest Sydney Covid-19 outbreak

Australia's most populous state has reported its lowest one-day rise in new Covid-19 cases in three days, stoking cautious optimism that authorities have contained an outbreak in Sydney's northern beachside suburbs. New South Wales said 15 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, down from the 36 infections detected a day earlier and bringing the total cases in the northern beaches outbreak to 83. It confirmed it had detected cases of the fast-spreading new coronavirus strain that has forced Britain to reverse plans to ease curbs over Christmas.
21st Dec 2020 - RTE.ie

S.Korea's capital to ban gatherings larger than four as coronavirus deaths rise

South Korea’s capital Seoul and surrounding areas banned gatherings of more than four people over the Christmas and New Year holidays as the country recorded its highest daily death toll from the coronavirus on Monday. The national government has resisted calls to impose a strict national lockdown but the governments of Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon city ordered unprecedented restrictions on gatherings from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3. “We cannot overcome the current crisis without reducing cluster infections that are spreading through private gatherings with families, friends and colleagues,” Seoul acting mayor Seo Jung-hyup said at a briefing.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

EU states begin suspending all flight travel from UK over new Covid strain

EU states have started suspending all incoming air travel from the UK amid mounting concern over a new strain of Covid-19. The new variant of coronavirus apparently native to Britain is up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the original. Germany, France and Ireland are the latest to have suspended travel, announcing the moves shortly after Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium made similar decisions. Bulgaria has also suspended travel from Britain, Reuters reported on Sunday evening. A spokesperson for the German government said on Sunday afternoon that the country was working on a regulation to restrict travel from Britain to protect the country from the new coronavirus variant. It wasn't immediately clear when or for how long the restrictions would last
21st Dec 2020 - The Independent

Hong Kong May Consider Unprecedented Virus Curbs, Including Curfews

Unprecedented virus control measures including curfews and shutdowns of non-essential businesses may be considered in Hong Kong, according to a government health adviser, as the city continues to see a high number of locally-transmitted cases and the holiday season looms. Limiting the number of people per household allowed to shop for groceries, shuttering all businesses deemed non-essential and shortening mall operating hours are among the curbs that may have to be imposed to prevent another Covid-19 wave, David Hui, a respiratory disease expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who advises the government on the virus response, told TVB on Sunday, according to various local media reports.
21st Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Australia detects new UK strain; Hong Kong, India cancel Britain flights

Australia said on Monday it had detected cases of the new fast-spreading coronavirus strain identified in the United Kingdom, while Hong Kong and India said they would suspend flights from Britain. Two travellers from the United Kingdom to Australia’s New South Wales state were found carrying the mutated variant of the virus that Britain has said could be up to 70% more infectious. Both are in hotel quarantine, and the recent spike in infections in Sydney is not linked to this, authorities said. The new strain has prompted Britain’s European neighbours and several others including Canada and Iran to close their doors to travellers from the country.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19: New strain found in Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and Gibraltar

Cases of the new coronavirus strain spreading rapidly in the UK have been confirmed in Denmark, Italy, Gibraltar, the Netherlands and Australia. France and South Africa also believe they have cases of the mutation - known as VUI-202012/01 - but these have not been confirmed. French health minister Olivier Veran said it is "entirely possible" the new variant is already circulating in France, but no cases have been officially identified yet.
21st Dec 2020 - Sky News

Hard lockdown needed to prevent Sydney Christmas Covid surge, health experts warn

A hard lockdown across Sydney for the next three days is needed to reduce the risk of Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve becoming super spreader events, some health experts have warned. The dual celebrations could lead to thousands of new cases in the first weeks of 2021 without drastic action, warned Prof Raina MacIntyre, the head of the biosecurity program at the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute. But other epidemiologists have suggested the current localised lockdown and limit on gatherings is the way to go. They argue the state’s “very skilled’” public health team has previously gotten on top of outbreaks and it should be trusted to do so again.
21st Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Northern beaches coronavirus outbreak unlikely to lead to Melbourne-style lockdown, expert says

Greater Sydney lockdown fears as Gladys Berejiklian warns coronavirus cases to worsenThe GuardianCoronavirus: Sydney isolated from rest of Australia as outbreak growsThe Irish TimesSydney imposes lockdown on beach suburbs as Covid cluster growsCNBCState by state: Australia shuts borders with Sydney as Northern Beaches outbreak escalates9NewsView Full coverage on Google News
21st Dec 2020 - ABC News

A Fresh Virus Wave Is Testing South Korea’s No-Lockdown Strategy

Time after time this year, South Korea prevented the coronavirus from spreading uncontrollably, applying its elite testing-and-tracing practices that have become a global model for managing the pandemic without draconian, economy-sapping lockdowns. Now, this “living with the virus” strategy -- as the nation of 51 million calls it -- is being tested like never before. While case numbers are still small compared to the U.S. and parts of Europe, Korea saw new infections top 1,000 for five consecutive days through Sunday, a staggering jump from an average of about 100 in previous months. The fierce winter wave has alarmed a country that’s drawn pride from being globally lauded for its Covid-19 response.
21st Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Thai PM urges calm as new coronavirus outbreak sees cases surge

Thailand’s prime minister called for calm on Monday and said there were no immediate plans for a wider lockdown after 382 new coronavirus infections were confirmed, the majority linked to the country’s worst outbreak yet. Of the new cases, 360 were migrant workers connected to a seafood centre outbreak in Samut Sakhon, a province near the capital Bangkok, where a lockdown has been imposed and thousands of tests were being conducted to contain and track the spread. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government would monitor the situation for a week before taking further action.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters

UK gives dark glimpse of pandemic’s next act

Despite the initial shock of Britain’s not-so-splendid isolation, the new strain could have some helpful domestic effects. The UK is now spared a five-day period over Christmas that could have exacerbated an already dangerous viral spread. It also acts as a handy stress test of how prepared Britons really are for tangible shortages of goods. Every day 5,000 trucks enter Britain from the continent via the Dover-Calais crossing. In the winter, they carry nearly all Britain’s fresh fruit and vegetables. Retailer J Sainsbury predicted shortages of items like lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower within days. If they happen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson may see the logic of agreeing a post-Brexit trade deal before his Dec. 31 deadline.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters

Britain faces isolation as world tightens borders to keep out new coronavirus strain

Countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain on Monday due to fears about a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, causing travel chaos and raising the prospect of food shortages days before Britain is set to leave the European Union. India, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Jordan and Hong Kong suspended travel for Britons after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a mutated variant of the virus had been identified in the country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman closed their borders completely. Several other nations blocked travel from Britain over the weekend, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Belgium and Canada - although experts said the strain may already be circulating in countries with less advanced detection methods than the United Kingdom.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

India hits 10m Covid cases as tough measures fail to halt spread

India has recorded 10m Covid-19 cases, the second country after the US to reach the grim landmark, underscoring how strict containment measures have failed to stop the virus rampaging across its population of 1.4bn. The world’s second most populous nation achieved the unwanted record on Saturday after notching 25,000 cases daily over the past week, down from a peak of almost 100,000 new infections per day in September. India largely avoided the worst of the early waves of the virus that spread through Asia and Europe in March, before emerging as a global coronavirus hotspot.
20th Dec 2020 - Financial Times


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Emmanuel Macron’s health condition is stable ‘compared to Friday,’ according to his doctor.

As President Emmanuel Macron of France entered his third day in isolation after being infected with the coronavirus, his doctor said on Saturday that he was in “stable health condition compared to Friday.” “He is still presenting the same symptoms of the Covid-19 illness (fatigue, coughing, aches) which do not prevent him from performing his duties,” Dr. Jean-Christophe Perrochon said in a statement, adding that regular clinical examinations “have proved to be reassuring.”
19th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

Christmas comfort over COVID vaccines collides with new curbs

Coronavirus vaccine approvals have brought comfort and joy for many this Christmas but failed to halt new curbs on travel and gatherings as COVID-19 cases rise worldwide and deaths in the United States surpassed 3,000 for a third straight day. Scientists and government leaders have hailed the vaccines as a huge success in attacking the pandemic, but only once they are administered, a process likely to take months, even in the world’s richest countries. More than 73.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,655,424 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States leading the way in the number of deaths and infections.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters

UK discusses action after confirmation new COVID strain spreads more quickly

Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed an effective lockdown on over 16 million people in England and reversed plans to ease curbs over Christmas, saying Britain was dealing with a new coronavirus strain up to 70% more transmissible than the original.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Sydney virus cluster grows, border restrictions isolate city

The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has warned residents of greater Sydney to prepare for an increase in restrictions if the outbreak of Covid-19 expands beyond the northern beaches. Meanwhile travellers from NSW to Queensland will needed a border pass declaration from 1am Sunday and Western Australia announced it was reinstating its hard border with NSW. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race was cancelled after Tasmania also introduced border restrictions with Sydney.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out another lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is refusing to rule out the possibility of imposing a third national lockdown after Christmas. Since the second lockdown finished there has been a significant rise in coronavirus infections, with almost 29,000 thousand confirmed cases in the last 24 hours and 489 deaths. “The reality is that the rates of infection have increased very much in the last few weeks,” Mr Johnson said. Meanwhile Northern Ireland has followed Wales in imposing a six-week lockdown on Christmas day.
18th Dec 2020 - Sky News Australia

Sweden bumps up COVID-19 measures, but stops short of lockdown as cases soar

Sweden has introduced its toughest measures yet in the face of soaring COVID-19 infections, including a recommendation to wear masks at peak hours on public transport. But the Government stopped short of ordering a general lockdown of society. Unlike many other European countries, Sweden has resisted imposing lockdowns, relying on voluntary measures focused on social distancing and good hygiene. It has left most schools, businesses and restaurants open throughout the pandemic. However, a severe second wave of infections, with record numbers of new cases almost every week for the past two months, has prompted the Government to do more.
18th Dec 2020 - ABC News

WA brings back hard border with NSW

Western Australia is reinstating its hard border with NSW as of midnight tonight in response to the growing COVID-19 cluster on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Premier Mark McGowan said NSW had moved to a "medium risk" state. After midnight tonight, arrivals from NSW without a legitimate exemption could well be turned back at the border or the airport, Mr McGowan said.
18th Dec 2020 - 9News

Covid Swamps Los Angeles as Residents Spurn Fear and Lockdowns

For weeks, Los Angeles officials have warned residents of a surge in Covid-19 cases tied to the holidays. To make the point, they shut all dining at restaurants and even suggested people wear masks in their own homes when family visits. “Assume everyone you would see is infectious,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said three days before Thanksgiving.
18th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

India becomes second country to cross 10 million Covid cases amid chronic ‘mask fatigue’ and fears for 2021

India has become only the second country in the world to cross 10 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, with the last million recorded in about one month despite a significant drop in new infections in recent days. Health experts say that while daily infections are considerably down on a peak of almost 100,000 a day, India must be on its guard for a rebound in the new year as fatigue with public-safety measures spreads through the population.
18th Dec 2020 - The Independent

Scotland Yard urges Londoners not to attend Christmas parties tonight

Scotland Yard has issued an open letter urging people not to attend large gatherings over the last weekend before Christmas, amid fears of further anti-lockdown protests in the capital. The force said extra officers will be on London's streets to encourage compliance with strict Tier 3 Covid-19 regulations and to "swiftly clamp down on those wilfully and dangerously ignoring them". An anti-lockdown demonstration is expected in Parliament Square on Saturday, with others planned around the country.
18th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Sweden's second wave offers hard reality check

The U.K.’s misguided flirtation with a hands-off “herd immunity” strategy in March led quickly to a U-turn and tough restrictions. France and Spain promised they’d never repeat the draconian lockdowns they imposed early on — only to break their vow when test-and-trace systems failed to keep pace with summer vacation contagion. Israelis, who after a first lockdown were told to enjoy life and “have a beer,” are now facing a third one. Donald Trump recently claimed he’d ended the pandemic (he hadn’t). Now, it’s Sweden’s turn. After a summer lull, the country famous for its voluntary “trust-based” approach to social distancing is getting battered by a winter wave of the coronavirus. Its 7-day average of daily cases and deaths per capita is currently outpacing the U.K., France and Spain, and isn’t far off the tally in the United States. While Sweden’s total deaths of 7,514 are on a per-capita basis lower than those countries, they far outstrip its neighbors at five times Denmark’s rate, nine times Finland’s and 10 times Norway’s.
18th Dec 2020 - The Japan Times

Emmanuel Macron blames Covid infection on negligence and bad luck

Emmanuel Macron has blamed his coronavirus infection on a combination of negligence and bad luck and urged his compatriots to stay safe, as critics pointed out slip-ups in his behaviour to prevent infection ranging from a handshake to repeated large-group meals over the past week. In what looked like a self-shot video from the presidential retreat in Versailles where he was isolating with symptoms that included headaches, fatigue and a dry cough, Macron promised to be “totally transparent” about the evolution of his illness. “I am doing well,” he said, speaking softly and dressed casually in a turtleneck top. “Normally, there is no reason for it to evolve in a bad way.”
18th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

COVID-19 Is Now A Top Cause Of Death In 5 Latin American Nations : Goats and Soda

COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death in five Latin American nations and the second most common cause in six others. The World Health Organization's "Americas Region," which stretches from the Canadian Arctic to Cape Horn in Chile, has been hit harder by the pandemic than any other part of the globe. The region currently accounts for 48% of the 1.65 million COVID-19 deaths reported to WHO so far worldwide. While the United States is a major contributor to that trend with more than 300,000 deaths, Peru's death rate from the disease is actually higher than the U.S. COVID-19 now surpasses coronary heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Panama.
18th Dec 2020 - NPR

London Put in Emergency Lockdown as U.K. Fights New Strain

More than 16 million Britons are now required to stay at home as a lockdown came into force Sunday in London and southeast England, part of Boris Johnson’s attempt to control a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus. The measures ban household mixing in the capital and the southeast, and restrict socializing to just Christmas Day across the rest of England. Residents across the country were told to keep to their local areas. Johnson had originally planned to ease pandemic rules for five days during the holiday, but made an abrupt change of tack after emergency talks on the virus mutation with his top officials. Emerging scientific evidence suggests the new variant -- which currently appears virtually unique to the U.K. -- can spread significantly more quickly than previous strains in circulation and is behind a huge surge in infections in recent days.
18th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Global COVID-19 cases surpass 75 million

Global coronavirus infections surpassed the 75 million mark on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, as several nations around the world begin vaccinating against the virus.
18th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Spanish Health Ministry confirms evolution of pandemic worsening

Spain’s coronavirus incidence rate rose again on Thursday, indicating that there is no longer any doubt that the trend has changed. In 10 regions, the rate is rising and in the remaining nine territories, including the North African exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, it has stabilized. In the coming days, the situation may worsen as a result of contagions from last week’s public holidays, which according to Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), have not yet been reflected in the data. Compounding the situation is the expected rise in cases over the Christmas holiday period, when more travel and gatherings are expected to take place.
18th Dec 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Toughest COVID-19 measures yet for Sweden as cases soar

Unlike many other European countries, Sweden has resisted imposing lockdowns, relying on voluntary measures focused on social distancing and good hygiene. It has left most schools, businesses and restaurants open throughout the pandemic. However, a severe second wave of infections, with record numbers of new cases almost every week for the past two months, has prompted the government to do more. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday non-essential public workplaces, such as municipality gyms, pools and libraries, would close until Jan. 24. He also said the government now recommended wearing masks on public transport during peak hours, when it is harder for passengers to keep apart.
18th Dec 2020 - Reuters

South Africa's coronavirus cases cross 900,000: health ministry

South Africa’s total reported coronavirus cases surpassed 900,000 on Friday, just a fortnight after it reported crossing 800,000, signaling a rapid rise in infections in the country battling a second wave. South Africa, hardest hit on the continent, reported its first case in March and saw peak infections in July when daily cases almost touched 14,000. The rise in daily infections, which had eased in the last few months with reports of daily new cases between 1,000 and 2,000 till mid-November, reached 8,725 with 274 deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.
18th Dec 2020 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Dec 2020

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US surpasses 17 million official Covid-19 cases as FDA panel considers Moderna's vaccine candidate

As the United States on Thursday surpassed 17 million official Covid-19 cases, a US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended a second coronavirus vaccine for the country. The developments come as the US, after starting distribution of its first authorized vaccine this week, is dealing with record rates of daily cases, daily deaths and numbers of Covid-19 patients in hospitals. The FDA is widely expected to grant emergency use authorization for Moderna's vaccine candidate -- as it did for Pfizer's vaccine last week -- after its vaccine advisory panel voted to recommend it.
17th Dec 2020 - CNN

Covid-19: 'Nightmare six weeks' ahead for NI health service

Paramedics from the Republic of Ireland's National Ambulance Service (NAS) will be working in Northern Ireland this weekend. It comes amid severe Covid-19 related pressures on the health service in NI. Hospitals have faced severe pressures over the past few days, with ambulances queuing outside hospitals. It is not the first time NAS ambulances have helped out in NI, they assisted during the first wave of the pandemic and also in 2019. Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said ambulance crews from the Republic of Ireland will "provide support" to the Northern Ireland Ambulance service (NIAS) over the weekend "due to the pressures being experienced".
17th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Swinney refuses to rule out post-Christmas lockdown

Tougher restrictions - including a potential lockdown - after the festive period cannot be ruled out, the deputy first minister has warned. John Swinney said the Scottish government would review Covid levels next Tuesday as part of an unplanned "decision-making moment". He said the move reflected the "deteriorating situation" across Scotland and the UK. Ministers have however ruled out a law change around the five-day festivities. The current Covid rules will be relaxed between 23 and 27 December to allow people to travel within the UK and spend Christmas together.
17th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Downing Street refuses to rule out third lockdown in England as London covid cases soar

Downing Street today declined to rule out a third national lockdown in England as Covid-19 cases soar in London and other parts of the country. With 25,161 confirmed new cases in the UK announced yesterday and 18,038 coronavirus patients in hospitals, No10 said the latest trends would be kept “under review”. Health Secretary Matt Hancock today put a swathe of the South East into Tier 3, with more than 38 million people, or 68 per cent, in England now in the strictest of restrictions. However, the virus is continuing to spread in some areas already in Tier 3 and cases were growing in London even before lockdown ended on December 2.
17th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Germany’s Winning Covid Strategy Has Stopped Working

When Covid-19 swept across Europe this spring, Germany gained plaudits for its handling of the pandemic. Now authorities fear they are losing control of the virus. Germany registered one of the lowest death rates from the disease in the world in the first half of the year. It had fewer infections than most of its large neighbors and its hospitals never ran out of emergency care beds, factors that led to the government enacting one of the mildest lockdowns in Europe.
17th Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Madrid rules out stricter Christmas restrictions despite coronavirus fears

The premier of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced on Thursday that the region is not considering stricter restrictions for the Christmas period, despite concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases there. The news comes after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called on Wednesday for tougher rules to be introduced in regions where the coronavirus incidence rate is on an upward trend, which includes Madrid. But Díaz Ayuso has ruled out such a move, indicating that the Madrid government will only follow the current restrictions set by the Spanish Health Ministry two weeks ago. Under the Health Ministry’s national Christmas plan, which was approved by a council made up of central and regional health officials, all regions in mainland Spain must seal their borders between December 23 and January 6
17th Dec 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain ready to implement tougher measures as 'Christmas clock' is ticking

With the virus not going away ahead of the Christmas season, the Spanish government is ready to implement tougher measures, Spain’s socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told parliament on Wednesday, EFE reports. The epidemiologic situation in Spain was kept relatively under control for a few weeks, but the latest reports are no bearers of good news: the incidence rate of the COVID-19 pandemic has risen for the fourth day in a row. There is a “worrying increase in infections,” Sánchez said in a speech before parliament (Congreso de los Diputados), where he informed MPs about the current health situation. “We cannot relax. We cannot lower our guard… We have fought hard this year, united, and we are facing the last effort”, Sánchez stressed.
17th Dec 2020 - EURACTIV

French President Macron Tests Positive for Covid-19

French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Thursday, delivering a blow to a country that has been among Europe’s hardest hit by the pandemic. The 42-year-old was tested after showing symptoms of Covid-19, the Élysée Palace said, adding that he would isolate for seven days while continuing to work. Mr. Macron has a fever, a cough and is tired, a spokesman for the Elysée Palace said. Mr. Macron’s test result immediately rippled across Europe, affecting the activities of a number of leaders who have recently been in contact with him. The Élysée Palace said he received his test results on Thursday, but didn’t specify when the test was administered
17th Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

How coronavirus has rocked India's economy

As well as having the second highest number of cases and third highest number of deaths, India has suffered a huge economic hit from Covid-19. The FT's Mumbai correspondent Benjamin Parkin explains why India's economy has been hit especially hard by the virus.
17th Dec 2020 - The Financial Times

Sweden and Japan are paying the price for COVID exceptionalism

One of the most striking things about the COVID-19 pandemic is just how dramatically different the responses have been from country to country. In early 2020, when little was known about the virus, this difference was unsurprising. Today, with tens of thousands of research articles and cases of best practice to learn from, one would expect to see more convergence. And yet some countries continue to resist popular strategies, such as lockdowns, and insist on going their own way – with varying degrees of success. Two such countries are Sweden and Japan, which in 2020 have forged a different path to their neighbours on coronavirus and attributed their early successes to the assumed advantages of an inherent national character. But today, both seem to be paying the price.
17th Dec 2020 - The Conversation

Japanese leader appears to flout virus guidelines as country grapples with record cases

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed "remorse" for attending a group dinner with celebrity friends in apparent breach of his own government's coronavirus guidelines, as infection rates in the country continue to surge. For weeks, Japanese health officials have urged citizens to reduce their daily activities, remain vigilant and only dine out in small numbers to curb a resurgent winter Covid-19 wave that has seen daily case numbers climb to their highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic. But on Monday, Suga appeared to disregard those guidelines by attending a gathering with seven guests, who were all over the age of 70, at a high-end steak restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district.
17th Dec 2020 - CNN

More than HALF of schools in England had coronavirus cases in November, report finds

Infection rates were highest among secondary school pupils, the survey found They were lowest in primary school staff, with primary pupils also lower Teenagers have high rates of coronavirus but officials refuse to close schools ONS survey is the first of its kind to look at asymptomatic cases in education
17th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf says coronavirus approach 'has failed'

Sweden's king has said his country "failed" to save lives with its relatively relaxed approach to the coronavirus pandemic. King Carl XVI Gustaf made the remarks as part of an annual TV review of the year with the royal family. Sweden, which has never imposed a full lockdown, has seen nearly 350,000 cases and more than 7,800 deaths - a lot more than its Scandinavian neighbours. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he agreed with the king's remarks. "Of course the fact that so many have died can't be considered as anything other than a failure," Mr Lofven told reporters.
17th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Why Sweden’s anti-lockdown strategy hasn’t worked as Covid-19 cases spike

Sweden’s anti-lockdown strategy had been heralded as a victory for common sense by sceptics, with bars and restaurants open for business and people going about their normal lives, social distancing permitting.
17th Dec 2020 - iNews

Macron tests positive for COVID-19, forcing leaders to self isolate

President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting a track-and-trace effort across Europe following numerous meetings between the French leader and EU heads of government in recent days. Macron, who will turn 43 on Monday, is running France remotely and has gone into quarantine at the presidential retreat of La Lanterne close to the Palace of Versailles, the presidency said. A presidential official described Macron as tired and having a cough. His wife Brigitte tested negative but was also self-isolating, staying at the Elysee palace in central Paris.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Sweden's king says 'we have failed' over COVID-19, as deaths mount

Sweden’s king said his country had failed in its handling of COVID-19, in a sharp criticism of a pandemic policy partly blamed for a high death toll among the elderly. Carl XVI Gustaf, whose son and daughter-in-law tested positive last month, used an annual royal Christmas TV special to highlight the growing impact of the virus, in a rare intervention from a monarch whose duties are largely ceremonial. Sweden has stood out from most countries by shunning lockdowns and face masks, leaving schools, restaurants and businesses largely open and relying mainly on voluntary social distancing and hygiene recommendations to slow the spread. An official commission said on Tuesday systemic shortcomings in elderly care coupled with inadequate measures from the government and agencies contributed to Sweden’s particularly high death toll in nursing homes.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Netherlands hits new daily COVID-19 infection record as lockdown imposed

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands jumped by more than 11,000 in 24 hours, hitting a new record, data released by the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) on Wednesday showed. The steep increase came just a day after a tough, 5-week lockdown was imposed in the Netherlands, where more than 10,000 people have died during the COVID-19 pandemic.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

S.Korea reports record coronavirus deaths as lockdown fears spark panic buying

South Korea reported a record number of coronavirus deaths on Thursday as the country’s biggest wave of infections since the start of the pandemic strained hospital resources and sparked panic buying in anticipation of a harsh new lockdown. The novel coronavirus had claimed another 22 lives as of midnight on Wednesday, sharply up from a previous high of 13 deaths in a single day earlier in the week, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported. Deaths were expected to rise after infections had spiked in Seoul and surrounding areas, with another 1,014 cases reported on Thursday including a daily record of 423 in the densely populated capital city.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19 surges stretch health systems in US, elsewhere

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States continue to climb, with some declines seen in some Upper Midwest states, but surging activity in states such as California. In Europe, some countries are struggling with slowing their activity in the final days leading up to Christmas, and several Americas countries are experiencing steady rises.
16th Dec 2020 - CIDRAP


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New York's COVID-19 hospitalizations rise by 23% in a week

There were 128 deaths reported on Monday across New York, which is the highest daily death toll since May 16 when 132 fatalities were reported. Hospitalizations have surged 23 percent in the last week with 5,982 patients currently being treated for COVID-19 across the state. There are now 1,065 patients being treated in intensive care - a 17 percent increase from a week earlier. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to close all nonessential businesses in regions where hospitalizations reach 90 percent. Currently, 77 percent of hospital beds are full in New York state and 67 percent of ICU beds are occupied. New York City's hospital beds are now 80 percent full. Cuomo is warning that hospitals in parts of the state could become overwhelmed by January based on the current 'unsustainable trajectory.' He said the state may be headed for a second lockdown, like the one seen in the spring, if the trajectory of hospitalizations, cases and deaths doesn't change
16th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Family festivities or safe, solo celebrations. Here's how Europe is handling a Covid-19 Christmas

Europe is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year. Countries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in some nations. Here's what European nations are planning this festive season
16th Dec 2020 - CNN

Germany reports record Covid deaths as country enters Christmas lockdown

Germany has recorded a daily record 952 coronavirus-related deaths, as shops, schools and nurseries across the country close for an emergency Christmas lockdown. After experiencing relatively low numbers of infections and fatalities compared with other European countries in the spring, Germany’s disease control agency has recorded more than 400 deaths for 11 days in a row. Wednesday’s figure of 952 deaths was artificially inflated by the fact that Saxony, one of the federal states most affected by the second wave, also supplied numbers its health authorities had failed to report for Monday.
16th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

'Lock down,' says Italy adviser, as deaths head for wartime levels

An adviser to Italy’s health ministry has called for coronavirus restrictions to be drastically tightened to avoid a “national tragedy” after the national statistics bureau ISTAT said deaths this year would be the highest since World War Two. “We are in a war situation, people don’t realise it but the last time we had this many deaths, bombs were dropping on our cities during the war,” public health professor Walter Ricciardi told the television channel la7 on Tuesday evening. Ricciardi, the adviser to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, said the government, which is considering tightening restrictions over the Christmas and New Year holidays, should lock down the main cities completely.
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Germany sees record death toll on first day of new lockdown

German streets were quiet "like Sunday" on the first day of a new partial lockdown to try to halt surging infections, as the country reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths. A total of 952 people died in the previous 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) disease control centre Wednesday, a figure that could rise as the hard-hit Saxony region was not included in Tuesday's numbers. The RKI said 27,728 new coronavirus cases were registered, a figure close to the daily record of nearly 30,000 infections reported on Friday.
16th Dec 2020 - FRANCE 24

South Korea reports record coronavirus cases as Seoul runs out of critical care beds

South Korea reported a record daily rise in novel coronavirus cases on Wednesday and the prime minister issued an urgent call for more hospital beds to cope with the country’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. Hospitals were at breaking point with only three critical care beds available in greater Seoul, an area with a population of almost 26 million people, officials said. “The top priority is securing more hospital beds,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting, according to a transcript. “Full administrative power should be mobilised so that no patient would wait for more than a day before being assigned to her bed.”
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Honeymoon over for Japan's new PM amid Covid third wave

Yoshihide Suga’s honeymoon period as Japan’s prime minister had barely begun when coronavirus intervened. Now, two months into his leadership, he finds himself battling a resurgent outbreak and disillusionment among voters. Enthusiasm for the farmer’s son who worked part-time to pay his way through university has all but evaporated since he took office in late September. As Japan prepares for a holiday period that experts fear could be overshadowed by a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, an anxious public has Suga in its sights. After the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP) selected Suga to replace an apparently ailing Shinzō Abe as party leader and, following parliamentary approval, prime minister, his support rating was briefly 74%.
16th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

German Factories Saw Bottlenecks in Days Before New Lockdown

German manufacturing powered ahead in December, with global demand helping factories post a better-than-forecast performance. IHS Markit’s monthly index unexpectedly jumped to 58.6, the highest level in almost three years, from 57.8. Orders across the goods-producing sector increased sharply, with many firms citing stronger demand from China in particular. The reading pushed the euro higher. It extended its gain and was up 0.4% to $1.2198 as of 10:47 a.m Frankfurt time. The yield on German 10-year bonds rose.
16th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg on MSN.com

If Australia can close internal borders to fight Covid so can we. Here's how.

Great news, a Covid vaccine is coming! But we can’t let our guard down now--it will take many months to fully roll it out, and it remains only one important tool in our toolbox. In the meantime, we must deploy parallel strategies to suppress Covid so that health and business can get back to normal as soon as possible. Failing that, we will face more lockdowns and risks, for example, the new Covid strain revealed this week in England, which could spread to Ireland given significant traffic between the two jurisdictions. Also this week, Michael Martin warned us about an impending January lockdown, as have many experts.
16th Dec 2020 - The Irish Times

COVID: Italy urged to ‘lock down’ to avoid ‘national tragedy’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to review plans aimed at easing coronavirus restrictions for the Christmas period. Several European countries have imposed tighter coronavirus restrictions ahead of the festive season. The United States reported another record number of new cases as worldwide infections near 73 million, with more than 1.6 million deaths. South Korea hit another record high of daily new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, prompting health officials to consider even tougher measures.
16th Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

Bed shortage looms as S.Korea reports record new coronavirus cases

South Korea reported a record daily rise in novel coronavirus cases on Wednesday and the prime minister issued an urgent call for more hospital beds to cope with the country’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. Hospitals were at breaking point with only three critical care beds available in greater Seoul, an area with a population of almost 26 million people, officials said. “The top priority is securing more hospital beds,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting, according to a transcript. “Full administrative power should be mobilised so that no patient would wait for more than a day before being assigned to her bed.”
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Should COVID cancel Christmas? UK says it is a personal decision

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that people should plan only for a “merry little Christmas” and exercise extreme caution but he refused to outlaw festive family gatherings as COVID-19 cases soared across swathes of Britain.
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Swiss coronavirus expert calls for lockdown to curb COVID-19

The leading expert advising the Swiss government on the coronavirus pandemic urged it on Tuesday to impose an immediate and strict lockdown to contain the infection rate, echoing calls by other scientists, officials and medical professionals. “We think we need very strong measures, the earlier the better,” Martin Ackermann, who heads the independent scientific advisory body on COVID-19, told a media briefing. Ackermann called for the closure of restaurants and non-essential shops and for strict work-from-home rules.
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

'On the brink': Covid pressure mounts at hospitals in Northern Ireland

When ambulances started queueing outside hospitals across Northern Ireland, revealing a health system overwhelmed by Covid-19, Sean Brophy was not surprised. Weeks earlier the 52-year-old hospital transport worker had himself been hospitalised with the virus and saw how even then the system was cracking under pressure. “When someone died or was discharged the bed was filled within an hour – they were already at capacity. Staff were brilliant but they looked as fatigued as those of us with Covid. It was just wrong. I could see where it was heading,” said Brophy.
16th Dec 2020 - The Guardian


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Arizona averages of COVID-19 deaths, cases double in 2 weeks

Arizona on Tuesday reported more than 60 new known deaths as the current coronavirus surge set another record for hospitalizations and saw the rolling seven-day averages of additional cases and deaths more than double over the past two weeks. The state Department of Health Services on Tuesday reported 4,134 additional known cases and 64 deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 424,382 cases and 7,422 deaths. The rolling average of daily new cases rose from 3,499 on Nov. 30 to 7,772.1 on Monday while the rolling average of daily deaths rose from 25 to 58.3, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.
15th Dec 2020 - Associated Press

UK reports 18,450 new cases of COVID-19, 506 deaths

Britain reported 18,450 new cases of COVID 19 on Tuesday, alongside 506 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Covid in Scotland: Pre-Christmas review of restriction levels

The latest review of Scotland's Covid-19 restriction levels will be announced at Holyrood later. All 32 local authority areas will have their situation assessed by politicians and public health officials. It could be the last review before the five-day Christmas easing of restrictions begins on 23 December. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said levels for all areas including Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire would be considered. Ms Sturgeon said last week she expected it to be the last review until 5 January although a parliamentary update on levels is scheduled for next week
15th Dec 2020 - BBC

COVID-19: UK reports 506 coronavirus deaths and 18,450 cases

The UK has reported a further 506 coronavirus deaths and 18,450 confirmed cases, government figures show. This is up from the 12,282 cases and 385 deaths reported last Tuesday. The number of cases and deaths per nation are as follows: Wales - 615 cases, nine deaths - Scotland - 845 cases, 24 deaths - Northern Ireland - 486 cases, six deaths - England - 16,504 cases, 467
15th Dec 2020 - Sky News

Nicola Sturgeon considering tightening Christmas lockdown as fears grow over virus

Nicola Sturgeon is considering tightening the Christmas lockdown restrictions after fears the virus is spreading too fast. Under the current UK-wide plans eight people from three households will be able to mix indoors between December 23 and 27. However, government leaders across the UK are under pressure after public health and medical experts warned about the impact of the temporary easing. Following a joint call from the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal, the leaders of the devolved administrations and the UK Government agreed to discuss the changes today.
15th Dec 2020 - Daily Record

Grieving alone: Some Turks want lockdown to halt new virus wave

Siyar Guldiken, still short of breath from his own battle with the coronavirus, was not able to grieve after his grandmother and uncle died of the related disease, as one of the world’s worst second waves of the pandemic slammed Turkey. After 10 days in isolation in Diyarbakir last month, Guldiken said only a full lockdown could stop the pandemic from worsening in Turkey, which has registered the seventh most cases globally. Ankara has resisted such calls so far. But pressure for more stringent action is growing from medical bodies, opposition parties and Istanbul’s mayor, after daily cases jumped to more than 30,000 and deaths to 200, even as the country prepares for a vaccine to arrive shortly. President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has issued weekend stay-at-home orders to tackle the pandemic, and it plans a five-day lockdown over New Year.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Sweden’s Second Wave Offers Hard Reality Check

Every country has at one point dared to believe they’ve figured out how to beat SARS-CoV-2, until reality sets in. The U.K.’s misguided flirtation with a hands-off “herd immunity” strategy in March led quickly to a U-turn and tough restrictions. France and Spain promised they’d never repeat the draconian lockdowns they imposed early on — only to break their vow when test-and-trace systems failed to keep pace with summer vacation contagion. Israelis, who after a first lockdown were told to enjoy life and “have a beer,” are now facing a third one. Donald Trump recently claimed he’d ended the pandemic (he hadn’t).
15th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

In frozen north, a Japanese city's coronavirus crisis maps out winter vulnerability

A freezing Hokkaido city that has become a red flag for Japan’s winter vulnerability to the coronavirus pandemic is weathering the worst of its COVID-19 crisis, local medical officials say, as military nurses take the strain from drained hospital staff. The city of Asahikawa was hit by outbreaks at two major hospitals, exacerbated by subzero temperatures and restricted ventilation that can promote the virus’s spread. But a voluntary lockdown, combined with medical reinforcements sent by central government last week, have helped the city stabilize — for now. There are now signs the cluster crisis is “peaking out,” said Yasutaka Kakinoki, a hematologist at Asahikawa City Hospital. That’s a relief, he said by phone, as staff have been pushed to the brink fighting the steady rise in COVID-19 cases over the last two months. “The lack of health care workers is a big problem,” he said.
15th Dec 2020 - The Japan Times

New York City May Go Back Into Lockdown, De Blasio Says

New York City may have to go back into a total lockdown in the coming weeks if coronavirus cases continue to rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN on Monday, noting the city’s hospitals will become overwhelmed if the surge doesn’t slow.
15th Dec 2020 - Forbes

South Africa tightens restrictions further as COVID-19 infections rise

South Africa imposed further COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, closing down beaches on the eastern coast and limiting large public gatherings ahead of the festive season, as the country looks to slow a sharp rise in infections. South Africa, which has recorded 866,127 total coronavirus cases, has seen a sharp spike in infections since the start of December with reported cases hovering around 8,000 per day in last few days, from around 3,000 in November. The country’s reported daily cases in the first wave peaked at around 14,000 in July.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters

France's COVID-19 hospitalisations inch up before end of lockdown

The number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 rose in France for the third day running on Monday, a worrying trend with the country set to replace a second national lockdown with a more lenient 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew. The three-day steady rise in hospitalisations is also a sequence not seen since mid-November. Patients in intensive care - the most important measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the pandemic - went up by 35 to 2,906, increasing for the second straight day after a continuous decline since Nov. 17.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19 prevalence rose in London even as lockdown cut English cases, study finds

COVID-19 cases rose in London during the last weeks of a national lockdown even as prevalence in England as a whole fell, a study said on Tuesday, adding that a planned relaxation of rules over Christmas posed risks. London will move into England’s highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Wednesday morning after an exponential rise in cases. When a national lockdown ended on Dec. 2, London was not placed under the strictest restrictions in the three-tier system. But while the prevalence of COVID-19 cases fell in England by around 30% during lockdown between Nov. 13 and Dec. 3, prevalence was rising in London, according to Imperial College London’s REACT-1 prevalence study.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19 cases hit new record high in South Korea

South Korea has hit another record high of daily new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, prompting health officials to consider even tougher measures to curb the spread of infection. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 1,078 more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, breaking the previous record of 1,030 only last Sunday. Of the new cases, most transmissions were reported from the capital, Seoul, the nearby Gyeonggi Province as well as the city of Incheon. Wednesday’s numbers were only the second time that new cases breached the 1,000 mark, according to Yonhap news agency.
15th Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

Tourists in Turkey can roam freely, but locals are in lockdown

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But when in Turkey, do whatever you please — but only if you are a tourist. According to some latest news reports, just like many other countries, Turkey has also been witnessing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, and to bring things under control, the country’s capital Istanbul instituted a lockdown, which is in force on weekends only — between 9.00 pm on Fridays and 5.00 am on Mondays. But, this lockdown does not apply to international tourists — it is for local residents only. According to a New York Times report, most museums stayed open for visitors, and hotel restaurants were allowed to remain open, but only for guests. In fact, the lockdown was monitored by police, who checked IDs to make sure locals stayed home. Anyone found flouting the norm was fined.
15th Dec 2020 - The Indian Express


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UK reports 20,263 new COVID cases, 7-day total up 22%

The United Kingdom reported 20,263 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total figure over the past seven days to 131,708, up 21.6% compared with the previous seven-day number, official data showed. The country reported 232 new deaths from the disease, with the seven-day total rising to 2,984, almost unchanged from the previous seven days. Since the start of the pandemic, the United Kingdom has recorded 1.870 million cases of COVID-19 and 64,402 deaths from the virus.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy reports 491 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, 12,030 new cases

Italy reported 491 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday against 484 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections declined to 12,030 from 17,938. There were 103,584 swabs carried out in the past day, down sharply from a previous 152,697, the ministry said. The first Western country hit by the virus, Italy has seen 65,011 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters

U.S. heads for sobering COVID-19 death toll of 300,000 as vaccinations begin

Critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay in Queens, N.Y. the first person in U.S. to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Italy passes U.K. for highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe. Germany pandemic restrictions over the holidays. The U.S. reached the sobering milestone of 300,000 for COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, a contrast to the hope and relief felt after the first person in the U.S. received a shot to protect against the deadly pandemic. The U.S. death toll climbed to 300,267 as of Monday afternoon, and the case tally rose to 16,388,504, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
14th Dec 2020 - MarketWatch

New strain of Covid-19 may be cause of rise in cases, Hancock tells MPs

A new Covid-19 variant has been identified in the UK, the health secretary has revealed, suggesting it could be linked to the rapid spread of the virus in south-east England as millions more people in London are being moved into the toughest restrictions. Cases of the strain have been found in almost 60 areas, Matt Hancock disclosed, although he stressed that clinical advice suggested it was “highly unlikely” the mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine. It came as he confirmed that the capital, as well as the majority of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire, would be placed into tier 3 from Wednesday after an “exponential” rise in cases.
14th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Covid: Intensive care staff plead for pre-Christmas lockdown

The Christmas relaxation of lockdown rules "makes no sense" as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Wales, doctors have warned. The Welsh Intensive Care Society also wants an "urgent" lockdown across Wales before Christmas, warning critical care would be unable to cope without urgent action. It comes after the number of positive Covid-19 tests passed 100,000 in Wales. Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething has said "nothing is off the table". But Mr Gething fears people would "make up their own rules" if meeting up over Christmas was banned.
14th Dec 2020 - BBC

Health Minister Vaughan Gething refuses to rule out lockdown in Wales before Christmas

The health minister has refused to rule out introducing tougher restrictions before Christmas in the wake of rising coronavirus cases across Wales. Vaughan Gething said in his press conference on Monday afternoon that "every option was still available" to the Welsh Government and that discussions had taken place with partners to set out the best course of action. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus passed the 100,000 mark over the weekend in Wales, and there are now more than 2,000 people with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus in our hospitals. When asked about whether there was still a chance restrictions could be tightened further before Christmas, Mr Gething said: "Every option is still available to us. I have had a meeting with local stakeholders across Wales about a range of challenges in different regions. Ministers in Cabinet will also meet today in our new virtual form.
14th Dec 2020 - Wales Online

Bill Gates says US entering worse phase of COVID pandemic and predicts lockdowns will last into 2022

Bill Gates offered his predictions during an interview with CNN on Sunday. It came as the US set new records for new cases, hospitalizations and deaths over a seven-day period. 'Sadly the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic,' Gates said. He went on to signal support for coronavirus-related business restrictions. 'Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think sadly that's appropriate,' he said. Gates said he thinks the US will become more 'normal' by summertime after a vaccine is rolled out He also expressed optimism about Joe Biden's incoming administration
14th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Queues form outside Milan food banks as crisis bites ahead of Christmas

Long queues have been forming outside food banks and help centres in Italy’s financial capital Milan as the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus has deepened before Christmas. s case numbers surged after the summer, Italy - the first European country to be struck by the pandemic and among the worst hit - has seen its stagnant economy dealt a blow by lockdowns to try to halt the spread of COVID-19. “During this period of the pandemic, the numbers have gone up,” said Luigi Rossi, vice-president of local aid group Pane Quotidiano, as a queue stretched down the block outside the centre in the south of Milan.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

South Korea orders schools to shut as COVID-19 cases spike

South Korea ordered schools to close from Tuesday in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas as it battles its worst outbreak of novel coronavirus since the pandemic began, surpassing the previous peak in February. Schools in the capital region would move classes online until the end of the month, in the latest ratcheting up of social distancing measures which so far have failed to reverse the spike in infections. The school closure is a step towards the imposition of Phase 3 social distancing rules, a move that would essentially lock down Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters

South Korea ramps up testing as coronavirus cases surge

South Korea is ramping up its coronavirus testing after reporting its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic. The country that had been held up as a success story, but now health authorities are getting increasingly nervous.
14th Dec 2020 - Deutsche Welle

COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Reach New Records

Daily records continue to tumble for COVID-19 cases and deaths in many parts of the world, forcing governments to impose restrictions or consider lockdowns to halt the spread of the coronavirus.   In Europe, Germany is heading for a second lockdown starting on Wednesday amid rising coronavirus infections. The government in urging citizens to avoid Christmas shopping in the two days before most stores close and social distancing rules tighten. According to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center (JHU), as of Monday morning, Germany had recorded over 1,350,800 confirmed cases and more than 22,080 deaths. Italy has overtaken Britain as the European country with the most COVID-19 deaths, according to data collected by JHU. Monday morning Italy had 64,520 deaths, while Britain 64,267.
14th Dec 2020 - Voice of America

South Korea weighs tougher Covid-19 restrictions to stem third wave

South Korea is considering raising Covid-19 restrictions to the highest level as the country struggles to contain a third wave of infections. Chung Sye-kyun, South Korea’s prime minister, on Monday said the government “won’t hesitate in making a bold decision” after the country reported a record for new cases over the weekend. Mr Chung, however, refrained from imposing a nationwide level 3 lockdown. “[Adopting] the level 3 social distancing scheme should be our last resort as it requires cautious deliberation,” he said.
14th Dec 2020 - Financial Times

China coronavirus cases on Russia border spark lockdowns, tests

China has put one northern city in lockdown and launched citywide coronavirus testing in another, after two local infections involving workers at a port and trade zone respectively, authorities have said. There was one new case each in Dongning and Suifenhe, which both sit on the country's border with Russia. In Dongning, a 40-year-old maintenance worker at a port tested positive on Thursday, triggering the latest measures. Officials there said Saturday it would enter "wartime mode"—temporarily suspending public bus services and road transport, while requiring anyone leaving the city to produce a negative COVID-19 test from the preceding 24 hours.
14th Dec 2020 - Medical Xpress

Japan, South Korea fret as surging coronavirus undermines leaders' support

Japan and South Korea grappled with surging coronavirus cases and growing public frustration on Monday, with Japan suspending a contentious travel subsidy programme and South Korea closing some schools and considering its toughest curbs yet. Japan reported more than 3,000 new cases on Saturday, yet another record as winter set in, with infections worsening in Tokyo, the northern island of Hokkaido and the city of Osaka. But Japan, with a focus on the economic costs, has steered clear of tough lockdowns. It tackled its first wave of infections in the spring by asking people to refrain from going out and for businesses to close or curtail operating hours.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Why us again? Italy suffers disproportionate toll in second COVID wave

In late November doctor Maurizio Cappiello visited more than 130 patients in the emergency room of Cardarelli hospital, in the southern Italian city of Naples. More than two-thirds had COVID-19. The virus which was limited mainly to Italy’s industrial north during the first wave in the spring was now also ravaging the poor south, overwhelming its fragile public health system. “Despite our efforts it was impossible to help them as we would have wanted and to transmit a sense of humanity, we tried to be fast and concentrate on the most critical,” Cappiello, a top official at Italy’s national ANAAO-ASSOMED doctors’ union, told Reuters.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Success stories Japan and South Korea start to struggle

Two countries lauded for keeping COVID-19 largely under wraps face uptick in cases. South Korea is closing schools and offering free tests, while Japan's prime minister is under fire for a travel incentive scheme. The coronavirus has put South Korea "against the wall," President Moon Jae-in told the nation on Monday as schools were ordered to close under what's expected to become a "Phase 3" lockdown — this year's first in Asia's fourth-largest economy. South Korea since January has largely kept the global spread of the virus SARS-CoV-19 in check with residents proactively wearing face masks, curbs on travel and strict social distancing.
14th Dec 2020 - Deutsche Welle


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Navajo Nation reports 203 new COVID-19 cases, 7 more deaths

Navajo Nation health officials have reported 203 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths as they implement a weekend-long lockdown for reservation residents. As of Saturday night, the tribe has now reported 19,420 cases and 718 known deaths since the pandemic began. Navajo Department of Health officials said more than 181,000 people on the vast reservation that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 and over 10,000 have recovered.
13th Dec 2020 - Associated Press

South Korea's Moon warns of toughest COVID-19 curbs after two days of record cases

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in warned on Sunday that COVID-19 restrictions may be raised to the highest level after a second day of record increases in cases as the country battles a harsh third wave of infection. Presiding over an emergency meeting at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters for the first time since February, Moon urged vigilance and called for an all-out efforts to contain the virus. “Unless the outbreak can be contained now, it has come to the critical point of considering escalating social-distancing measures to the third level,” he said, referring to the tightest curbs under the country’s five-tier system.
13th Dec 2020 - Reuters

New COVID-19 cases in Netherlands jump by almost 10,000 - data

The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has jumped by almost 10,000 in the past 24 hours, data released by national health authoriites showed on Sunday, marking their biggest jump since the end of October. The increase continues a rising trend seen over the previous week, as the effects of a partial lockdown which has been in effect since Oct. 13 seem to have waned. The Dutch government has convened an emergency meeting for Sunday to discuss extra measures to limit the spread of the disease.
13th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

China reports 24 new COVID-19 cases vs 13 a day earlier

China reported 24 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Dec. 12, up from 13 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday. There were five local cases and 19 imported infections, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 14 from 17 a day earlier. As of Saturday, mainland China had 86,725 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
13th Dec 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Sweden coronavirus: Intensive care beds running low amid soaring cases

Sweden has been hit hard by coronavirus second wave, after shunning lockdown Stockholm intensive care units are at 99 per cent capacity, with seven beds left Top medic says neighbouring nations, which used lockdowns, may need to help Sweden has suffered a total of 312,000 cases of the virus and 7,000 deaths, while Finland has seen just 30,000 cases and 400 deaths
12th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

South Korea reports 1,030 new coronavirus case, record daily rise

South Korea reported 1,030 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the second daily record in a row as a country that had initial success controlling COVID-19 now battles a harsh third wave. Of the new cases, 1,002 were locally transmitted. It brings the total to 42,766 infections with 580 deaths, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Saturday said further tightening social distancing restriction to the nation’s highest level would be inevitable if the spread continues, which would be practically a lockdown for the first time in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
12th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Brazil rolls out COVID-19 vaccination plan

The Brazilian government unveiled its long-awaited national vaccination plan against COVID-19 on Saturday with an initial goal of vaccinating 51 million people, or about one-fourth of the population,
12th Dec 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

UK records 21,672 COVID-19 cases and 424 deaths

The United Kingdom recorded 21,672 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, up slightly from the day before, and 424 deaths of people who had tested positive for the disease within 28 days, official data showed. The UK had recorded 20,964 cases on Thursday and 516 deaths.
11th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Montreal records largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases

Montreal’s public health director is once again urging people to respect the COVID-19 measures in effect and reduce their contacts as the disease spreads at an increasingly “alarming” rate. Montreal recorded its highest single-day increase in cases Thursday, adding 648 new infections. The new cases mostly come from school-aged children and seniors over 85 living in long-term care centres and residences, but the spread is increasing across all age groups.
11th Dec 2020 - Montreal News on MSN.com

Nicola Sturgeon: Care homes with Covid-19 outbreaks must tell families of residents

There is a “big responsibility” on care home providers to ensure good communication with relatives, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. Speaking at the coronavirus daily update on Friday, Ms Sturgeon said she would investigate the reported case of a woman who first found out about a Covid-19 outbreak at the care home of a relative in the North East through the media. It comes after investigations were launched by the Crown Office into outbreaks at two care homes in the North East.
11th Dec 2020 - The Scotsman

Care home Covid-19 case numbers much lower than during first wave – Sturgeon

The number of coronavirus cases in Scotland’s care homes is much lower than it was during the first wave of the virus, Nicola Sturgeon has said. A recent outbreak at Inchmarlo House care home in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, led to more than 40 cases being detected. It is one of two care homes in the north east where the Crown Office is investigating several deaths.
11th Dec 2020 - Evening Express

Second Covid-19 wave could be worse: Professor Karim

THE second Covid-19 wave has been worse than the first for half of the countries that have experienced a resurgence of the virus. This is according to epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim, speaking at the 2020 Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium in Durban yesterday.
11th Dec 2020 - IOL News

Navajo nation president says second COVID-19 wave hitting the tribe is 'more dire and severe than the first'

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Sunday that the most recent wave of COVID-19 cases is 'much more dire and much more severe than the first wave' Confirmed cases reached 18,163 on Monday among the reservation's population of only 173,667. ICU units are reaching capacity as another three-week lockdown began. Nez warned that healthcare workers will soon be forced to make 'difficult decisions' in treating patients due to a lack of resources. More than 600 residents have now died from COVID-19, bringing the death rate to 347 for every 100,000 people. The reservation had already been among the hardest hit in the nation, registering the highest per capita level of positive test results in May
11th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Expert predicts number of COVID-19 cases in Jordan to exceed two million by end of second wave

Disease Diagnostic Consultant Hussam Abu Farsakh Tuesday said he expects the number of people infected with coronavirus in Jordan will exceed two million by the end of the second wave. Abu Farsakh told Roya that studies say the real number of COVID-19 cases may be ten times the number of recorded cases, which is the case across the rest of the world. In regard to the coronavirus vaccine, Abu Farsakh called on health authorities to conduct an antibody test prior to administering the vaccine to ensure antibodies are not already present in the body.
11th Dec 2020 - Roya News English

More than 100 coronavirus cases recorded in care home outbreak

A spokesperson for the IMT said: “There is now 102 detected cases of Covid-19 associated with the outbreak at Inchmarlo House Care Home. “We continue to support the home with staffing to ensure the care of residents.” A spokesperson for Inchmarlo House said: “As reported yesterday, we acknowledge that the matter of the Covid-19 outbreak is in the hands of the Procurator Fiscal and we will, of course, co-operate fully with the process.” “The care, safety and wellbeing of our residents is always our primary focus and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities who are supporting us.”
11th Dec 2020 - STV News


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Covid-19 could 'run out of control' over winter without caution, Sturgeon warns

The First Minister has come in for fierce criticism for keeping the city under Level 3 restrictions – the second toughest level available in Scotland’s five-tier system. She argued if the Scottish Government does not apply “real caution” when considering these issues there is a risk Covid-19 infections could rapidly spiral. Both Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie challenged the First Minister on the failure to move Edinburgh to Level 2 – something many had expected to happen this week. Ms Sturgeon warned going down a level and easing restrictions “gives the virus more opportunity to spread”.
10th Dec 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Mexico's coronavirus czar faces criticism as COVID-19 surges

There’s hardly a Mexican who doesn’t know Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez by now. Mexico’s undersecretary of prevention and health promotion has sat across from reporters at 7 p.m. sharp almost every single night since late February to update them, and the country, on the toll of the coronavirus pandemic. His firm demeanor, careful speech, and courteous personality have made his televised coronavirus press briefings even more popular than those of the country’s president. But as COVID-19 deaths in Mexico continue to soar—surpassed only by the United States, Brazil, and India—many have questioned López-Gatell Ramírez’s leadership. Critics accuse him of undercounting the true numbers and mishandling the nation’s response. In early August, the governors of nine Mexican states demanded his resignation. His defenders, though, say he’s making sound decisions based on science and doing the best he can with the resources at his disposal.
10th Dec 2020 - Science Magazine

Coronavirus: 'London must enter tier 3 now' warn experts

London should be placed in tier three "now" to avoid a spike in deaths over Christmas, experts have warned. The city saw a spike in Covid-19 cases at the end of England-wide lockdown on 2 December, new figures have revealed. Government officials are due to meet on 16 December to review what tier each area should be allocated. Prof John Ashton, author of Blinded by Corona, said "if London doesn't want hospitals to be full over Christmas the government need to get a grip today". "Deaths will start going up during the Christmas period and new year unless something is done," said Prof Ashton, a former regional director of public health for north-west England.
10th Dec 2020 - BBC

Global cases stabilizing, but COVID deaths continue to climb

Global incidence of new COVID-19 cases remained high but stable for the second week in a row, while global coronavirus deaths increased, according to the latest weekly epidemiologic update from the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, with the United Kingdom's vaccination campaign in its second day, UK health officials said today that people with a significant history of allergic reactions to food, medicine, or vaccines should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech following allergic reactions in two health workers.
10th Dec 2020 - CIDRAP

Compromise lockdown struggles to subdue Germany's Covid second wave

In the spring, Germany was praised as a pandemic role model for its Covid-19 crisis management: its low fatality and high testing rates and efficient hammering of the curve were the envy of much of the rest of the world. But this winter the virus is exposing the weaknesses as well as strengths of Germany’s consensus-based federal system, as its “compromise lockdown” struggles to subdue the second wave. While the German infection rate remains below the EU average, the numbers have taken a “worrying” turn for the worse, as Lothar Wieler, the head of the country’s disease control agency, warned on Thursday.
10th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

French to find out if virus surge will ruin Christmas holidays

With just two weeks to go until Christmas, French people were on Thursday nervously awaiting news by the Prime Minister on whether lockdown restrictions will be relaxed as planned. Failure to adequately stem the number of coronavirus cases has fuelled fears that Jean Castex will scupper end-of-year festivities at a press conference set for 6pm. Under plans laid out in November, cinemas and theatres are due to reopen on 15 December, with a night-time curfew replacing a nationwide lockdown – allowing people to travel to see loved ones over the holidays.
10th Dec 2020 - RFI English

Covid-19: Second wave wouldn't be unexpected, but hard lockdown a ‘blunt tool’, says top expert

Many countries are experiencing a second Covid wave, and scientists are worried that SA is heading in the same direction. However, implementing another hard lockdown is impractical as the first one pretty much proved unsuccessful in containing the spread of the virus.
10th Dec 2020 - News24

Japanese medical community despairs at public's lack of concern for mounting virus wave

The air has shifted -- and many in the medical community are concerned by the changes in attitudes toward the coronavirus they're seeing in society at large. Compared to the first wave of infections, in which the whole country got in the mood to limit its activities, now people are more relaxed, with some shops even refusing to comply with requests to reduce their business hours. Disparities in the way ordinary people and medical professionals perceive the threat are widening.
10th Dec 2020 - The Mainichi

Covid-19 Surge Hits South Korea and Japan, After They Had Contained Virus

Some Asian countries that have been among the world’s most successful at containing Covid-19 are now struggling to beat back a winter resurgence, a sign of how elusive sustained progress can be until a vaccine gets rolled out widely. On Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened an emergency meeting after the country saw a nine-month peak of 686 cases that has forced officials to use shipping containers to address a hospital-bed shortage. Japan on Wednesday recorded 2,810 new cases, the government said, its highest daily total yet. Vietnam reported community infections for the first time in around three months, prompting authorities to suspend all inbound commercial flights. Hong Kong, which had taken daily infections down to single digits, has seen cases surge past 100, requiring the reintroduction of limits on dine-in restaurant service and gym closures. Several regions of Malaysia went into lockdown after cases doubled within a month.
10th Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

U.S., Breaking a Record, Tops the 3,000 Daily Death Mark

Just one week after the United States broke a daily record for coronavirus deaths, it did so again on Wednesday, when officials across the country reported at least 3,011 new fatalities. Last week’s record — 2,885 deaths reported in a single day — was a milestone because not since the pandemic’s first peak, in spring, had so many deaths been reported. The high point then was 2,752 deaths, on April 15. As a brutal surge gathers speed across the country, the country went on last week to record its most coronavirus-related deaths over a seven-day period.
10th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

'We need help,' says Stockholm healthcare chief as COVID fills intensive care wards

The head of Stockholm’s health service appealed to national authorities on Wednesday to send specialist nurses and other hospital staff as it struggles to cope with a second wave of COVID infections that has filled intensive care wards in Sweden’s capital city. Sweden, which has not opted for the kind of lockdown adopted by many other European nations, has suffered many times more COVID-19 deaths per capita than its Nordic neighbours, with the total reaching almost 7,300 on Wednesday. Stockholm and the surrounding region are among the areas hardest hit with 2,836 deaths. Infection rates are picking up again after a lull in the summer and autumn, and intensive care wards are now full.
10th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK


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Brazil registers highest COVID-19 daily death toll in almost a month

Brazil reported 51,088 additional confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and 842 fatalities from COVID-19, its Health Ministry said on Tuesday, marking the highest death toll since Nov. 14. The South American country has now registered 6,674,999 cases since the pandemic began, while its official death toll has risen to 178,159, according to ministry data. Brazil has the world’s third highest case count, after the United States and India, and second highest death toll. Easing quarantines in Brazilian cities have led to crowded bars and restaurants, giving some the impression that life has returned to normal. With the approaching holiday season, experts worry that COVID-19 will spread even faster.
9th Dec 2020 - NBC News

California's hospitals are close to 'breaking point' as COVID-19 surges

Governor Gavin Newsom is now bringing in hundreds of hospital staff from outside the state and preparing to re-start emergency hospitals that were created but barely used when the coronavirus surged last spring to cope with the new surge. The seven-day rolling average for new cases in the county's most populous state has doubled over the past two weeks to 23,000 a day. During the summer surge, average infections in California peaked at 10,000 per day.
9th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail on MSN.com

Christmas spike in Covid-19 cases ‘inevitable’

A spike in Covid-19 cases is “inevitable” as people mix over the Christmas holidays, the Tanaiste has said. Leo Varadkar said if further restrictions are introduced in January it “won’t be done lightly”. Referring to a rise in coronavirus cases following gatherings in the US and Canada for Thanksgiving, Mr Varadkar said it gives an indication on how the virus will spread over the festive holidays.
9th Dec 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

COVID-19: Another 533 deaths reported and 16,578 new cases

The UK has reported another 533 deaths with COVID-19 and 16,578 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours. That compares to 12,282 cases and 616 deaths on Tuesday, according to government data. It means the total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus is now 62,566.
9th Dec 2020 - Sky News

UK records 16,578 more cases of coronavirus and 533 deaths as fatalities continue to decline in the wake of England's second lockdown

Department of Health figures show the number of cases rose by 2.5 per cent compared to last Wednesday. Deaths, however, fell by 17 per cent compared to last week after 533 were recorded by health chiefs. Covid-19 cases in Briton have been plateauing since England's national lockdown was lifted on December 2
9th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid cases: Hospital admissions rise in most of England’s NHS regions despite lockdown, figures show

Admissions to hospital of patients with Covid-19 are rising in four out of seven NHS regions of England despite the month-long lockdown in November, official figures have shown. The increases are in London, east of England, south east and the Midlands, suggesting a third wave of the epidemic could be threatening the NHS just before the Christmas relaxation period.
9th Dec 2020 - iNews

London ‘facing Tier 3 before Christmas’ as figures shows rates up in 21 boroughs

Londoners might be facing Tier 3 lockdown restrictions just a week before Christmas as data shows infections are up in two thirds of the capital’s boroughs. The latest Public Health England data shows infection rates are rising in the capital, with cases per person up by half in certain areas of the city. Some officials are reportedly now voicing concern about London. Rates in some areas were rising even before lockdown was lifted on December 2 - and before Londoners enjoyed the first weekend of slightly eased measures.
9th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Germany coronavirus: Merkel backs tougher restrictions as Covid deaths hit record

German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated tougher restrictions on public life and pleaded with her compatriots to cut down on socializing as the country reported its highest single-day death toll of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. Germany is gradually moving toward a tighter lockdown, at least for a limited period after Christmas, as new virus cases remain stubbornly high — and are even beginning to creep higher — despite a partial shutdown that started on Nov. 2.
9th Dec 2020 - The Independent

With record deaths, Germany may tighten lockdown

Chancellor Angela Merkel is throwing her weight behind calls for a fuller lockdown in Germany that would include closing shops after Christmas, telling legislators that vaccines alone would not majorly alter the pandemic's course. Olivia Chan reports.
9th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Covid cases revealed for each London borough as millions urged to help keep capital out of Tier 3

Every single Londoner was today urged to join the battle to keep the city out of Tier 3 as official figures showed Covid-19 cases rising in more than two thirds of boroughs. MPs and Mayor Sadiq Khan called on millions of people across the capital to stick to social distancing, self-isolation, mask wearing and good hygiene rules and guidance to reverse the latest coronavirus surge. The number of confirmed cases is increasing across east London, apart from Redbridge which saw a very small decrease in the week to December 3, compared to the previous seven days.
9th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Asia Today: S. Korea sees 686 new cases, 2nd-biggest spike

South Korea has reported 686 new cases of the coronavirus, tying its second-highest daily jump since the emergence of the pandemic, as a resurgence driven by the greater capital area threatens to erase hard-won gains against the virus. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Wednesday that 536 of the new cases were reported in the Seoul metropolitan area, where new clusters of infections have been popping up from seemingly everywhere, including restaurants, markets, saunas, hospitals, long-term care facilities and army units.
9th Dec 2020 - Associated Press

International update: Global Covid cases pass 68.3 million - more than 15.1 million in US

Global coronavirus infections pass 68.3 million. Meanwhile, the global coronavirus death toll has passed 1,559,000 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. US: Covid-19 infections have passed 15 million. Record cases in at least three states – Arizona, Alabama and Ohio – pushed the cumulative case load to over 15 million, according to a Reuters tally of state and county data. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 286,338 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
9th Dec 2020 - pharmaceutical-technology.com

Germany records highest Covid death toll

The number of people who have died in Germany after catching the coronavirus has surged to 590, marking the highest daily death toll for the country in the pandemic yet. The figure, reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the national agency for disease control, beat the last record of 487 by more than 100. The RKI added 20,815 new coronavirus cases to the country's tally of confirmed infections, which amounts to 1,218,524 so far. The daily rise in new cases last Wednesday was lower at 17,270, providing further proof that a partial lockdown put in place in early November has failed to break Germany's second wave of infections
9th Dec 2020 - The West Australian

U.S. Breaks Record for Most Deaths in a Week

The United States has recorded its most coronavirus-related deaths over a weeklong period, as a brutal surge gathers speed across the country. With a seven-day average of 2,249 deaths, the country broke the previous mark of 2,232 set on April 17 in the early weeks of the pandemic. Seven-day averages can provide a more accurate picture of the virus’s progression than daily death counts, which can fluctuate and disguise the broader trend line. The United States is approaching 300,000 total deaths, with nearly 283,000 recorded, according to a New York Times database. The nation is averaging nearly 200,000 cases per day, an increase of 15 percent from the average two weeks earlier, and has recorded over than 15 million total cases.
9th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

Swedish govt to ask parliament for tougher powers to fight pandemic

Sweden’s government on Wednesday proposed new temporary legislation to expand its powers to fight the coronavirus pandemic, giving it greater leeway to implement and enforce lockdown measures such as closing shopping malls and gyms. The legislation, which will be submitted for review to relevant stakeholders before a vote in parliament, would come into force on March 15 next year and be valid for just over a year, the coalition said in a statement. Since summer and early autumn’s lull in the pandemic, a second wave of the virus has swept the Nordic country with infections hitting daily records, while hospitalisations and deaths have also shot up over the past two months.
9th Dec 2020 - Reuters India

French new coronavirus cases jump to 13,717

New confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours in France jumped to 13,713 on Tuesday, from 3,411 on Monday and 8,083 last Tuesday, health ministry data showed. On the 11th day after the government eased a nationwide lockdown, the number of people in intensive care however fell by 110 to 3,088, bringing it closer to a 2,500-3,000 government threshold that is one of the conditions for further lockdown easing.
9th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

New powers allow Hong Kong government to lock down Covid-19 hotspots

Chief Executive Carrie Lam adopts powerful new tool to combat an escalating fourth wave of the virus and urges residents to stay home as much as possible Authorities tighten social-distancing restrictions, with restaurants to end dine-in service at 6pm and gyms to close, as 100 new cases confirmed
8th Dec 2020 - South China Morning Post


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Covid-19 pandemic: As hospitals start to max out, medical workers beg for help

Dr. Cleavon Gilman served in the Iraq War, but he said that doesn't compare to the battle he's fighting as an emergency room physician in Arizona. "This pandemic is a lot worse than being in Iraq just because when you're in a war zone, you can leave that war zone. You can fly out of Iraq; you're OK here in the United States," the Yuma doctor said.
8th Dec 2020 - CNN on MSN.com

Matt Hancock urges Londoners to ‘stick to the rules’ as Covid cases rise

Matt Hancock issued an urgent appeal to Londoners today to “stick by the rules” after shock figures showed Covid-19 cases rising in 21 boroughs increasing the risk of Tier 3 for the city before Christmas. The Health Secretary also stressed that more people in the capital will end up in hospital and die because of the disease’s spread. He spoke out after alarming data showed confirmed cases jumping by 46.7 in Haringey in the week to December 2, with many boroughs in east London also being particularly badly hit. Worryingly, much of the rise happened before lockdown ended last Wednesday. The coronavirus surge is all the more striking as just over a week earlier cases were falling in 30 out of 32 boroughs.
8th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Russian doctors demand probe into Covid-19 patients jumping from high rise buildings

Russia and Ukraine has seen a number of Covid-19 patients fall to their deaths The latest, one of Russia's oldest war heroes, had recently been discharged Russian doctors are now calling for an investigation into the suicide cases They want to look into whether Covid-19 can cause neuropsychiatric disorders
8th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

America's COVID-19 death toll now surpasses the April peak

The US recorded 1,404 deaths and 192,299 new coronavirus cases yesterday, while the number of people currently hospitalized reached a record 102,148 Deaths, which have been rising rapidly since last month, are now currently averaging 2,200 per day. During the initial peak of the virus in April, the highest seven-day rolling average was just over 2,000. In the last week, 15,658 Americans have died from COVID-19 - making it the deadliest week since April. Hospitalizations have consistently set single-day highs since late October and are currently rising in 31 states. In the last week, every state apart from Utah and Montana have reported an increase in deaths compared to the previous seven days. The Dakotas continue to record the most deaths per 100,000 across the country. Rhode Island is currently the worst affected state with an average of 110 cases per 100,000 people in a week. It comes as alarming new red wave maps created by US government health officials show how surging COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have engulfed the United States in the last four months The data, included in the most recent White House task force situation report sent weekly to states, tracks the number of new COVID-19 admissions per 100 inpatient beds across the country
8th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

More areas in England recording rise in Covid-19 case rates, figures show

A growing number of areas in England are seeing a rise in Covid-19 case rates. Seven days ago, just 21 out of a total of 315 local authority areas had recorded a week-on-week jump in rates. That figure now stands at 126. A majority of places are still recording a fall – but there is only one region, north-east England, where are rates coming down in all local areas.
8th Dec 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Covid deaths climbed to highest number since May just before England’s lockdown ended

As people welcome the news that a 90-year-old woman has become the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 jab, stark new data has highlighted why the vaccine programme will be vital in the UK’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus. Despite tough restrictions brought in across England and Wales in recent months, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that by the end of November the number deaths from Covid-19 had reached the highest rate since May.
8th Dec 2020 - iNews

London's Covid cases are higher now than BEFORE England's lockdown

Matt Hancock has refused to rule out imposing Tier Three measures onto the capital a week before Christmas. Department of Health data shows infections in the city continued to rise during the four-week lockdown. But NHS hospital admissions and deaths from the virus are still flat-lining despite the surge in infections
8th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: U.S. Surpasses 10 Million Coronavirus Cases as Global Cases Top 50 Million

The United States reported its 10 millionth coronavirus case on Sunday, with the latest million added in just 10 days, as most of the country struggled to contain outbreaks in the third and most widespread wave of infection since the pandemic began. More than 103,600 new cases were announced on Sunday, the fifth-highest total of the pandemic, according to a New York Times database, and the fifth day in a row the country exceeded 100,000 cases in a single day. Case reports have soared in the last week, shattering records. The seven-day average of new cases now exceeds 111,000 per day, far more than any other country. The United States accounts for about one-fifth of all reported coronavirus cases in the world, a total that has passed 50.2 million.
8th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

Japan announces $708bn in fresh stimulus as COVID-19 cases rise

Japan will compile a fresh economic stimulus package worth 73.6 trillion yen ($708bn), Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday, signalling his resolve to pull the country out of its coronavirus crisis-induced slump. The new stimulus package will include fiscal spending worth around 40 trillion yen ($384.2bn), Suga said in a meeting with ruling party executives. The government is set to finalise the stimulus package later on Tuesday, which would follow a combined $2.2 trillion from two previous packages that focused on dealing with the immediate strain on households and business. The new economic measures would help push “new economic growth,” Suga said at the meeting. The package is likely to include subsidies and incentives to prod companies to boost green investment and spending on digitalisation, an area Suga has laid out as his key policy priorities.
8th Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

London ‘facing Tier 3 before Christmas’ as figures shows rates are up in 21 boroughs

Londoners might be facing Tier Three lockdown restrictions just a week before Christmas as data shows infections are up in two thirds of the capital’s boroughs. The latest Public Health England data shows infection rates are rising in the capital, with cases per person up by half in certain areas of the city. Some officials are reportedly now voicing concern about London. Rates in some areas were rising even before lockdown was lifted on December 2 - and before Londoners enjoyed the first weekend of slightly eased measures. Government officials are set to meet on December 16 to review tiers across the country - just over a week before Christmas Day.
8th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

US total tops 15 million as COVID-19 surge expands

More than 200,000 Americans are now testing positive for COVID-19 each day, on average, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its most detailed report of hospital capacity yet, the first to show facility-level status, NPR reported. The HHS data show that for 126 US counties, the average hospital is 90% occupied. Yesterday, the United States reported 192,299 new cases and 1,404 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. And the COVID Tracking Project reported that 102,148 Americans are currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
8th Dec 2020 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Dec 2020

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More people died in the US from COVID-19 nearly every day last week than died in the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor

COVID-19 data shows that the US daily death toll for 5 of 7 days last week topped the 2,403 lives lost in the attack that plunged the US into WWII.
7th Dec 2020 - Business Insider

L.A. County faces ‘three weeks of devastation’ before COVID-19 surge might slow, experts say

The coronavirus wave engulfing California over the last week seems to confirm that the worst of the surge is far from over. But how bad will it get? The numbers — which have reached record proportions — still don’t reflect anyone who may have gotten sick during Thanksgiving. Generally, it takes two weeks after an event to determine whether coronavirus transmission occurred, and two additional weeks for hospitalization numbers to increase as a result. It also will take several weeks for the effects of the latest stay-at-home order, which began in Los Angeles County last week and in much of California just before midnight Monday.
7th Dec 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Wales considers new Covid lockdown amid rapid rise in infections

Another lockdown may be needed in Wales to stop the NHS being overwhelmed as the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital soared to a record high. There are now more than 1,800 people in Welsh hospitals with confirmed or suspected coronavirus – the highest number recorded and 400 more than the previous peak in April. Describing the situation as “incredibly serious”, the Welsh health minister, Vaughan Gething, accepted more restrictions might be needed, possibly even before Christmas. The figures come just a month after the end of a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown, which was believed at the time to have been successful and was expected to give the country a clear run up to the new year. But the Welsh government has since conceded that it might have been better to bring in other curbs when the firebreak was lifted.
7th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Are Covid cases beginning to creep back UP? Daily infections jump 19.4% in a week to 14,718 as data shows curve began to flatten BEFORE lockdown ended – but deaths continue ...

The UK's daily infection curve began to flatten roughly a week before the draconian restrictions were lifted. In contrast, 12,330 positive tests were added to the tally last Monday — meaning today's figure is a 19.4% rise. Deaths are still continuing to fall, however, as a result of the national lockdown, according to official figures
7th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid Sweden: Infection rate overtakes UK, Germany and Spain

Sweden's infection rate is higher than in Britain, France, Spain, Italy or Germany Average daily deaths are once again above those in Denmark, Norway or Finland Gatherings have been limited to eight people, compared to 50 in the spring
7th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

South Korea Cancels Annual New Year Bell-ringing Ceremony Amid Surge In COVID-19 Cases

South Korea government announced cancellation as Seoul recorded confirmed 631 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, with a noticeable spike.
7th Dec 2020 - RepublicWorld

South Korea reports 615 new coronavirus cases as third wave grows

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on Monday (Dec 7) for expanded COVID-19 testing and more thorough tracing as the country struggled to control its latest and largest wave of infections. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 615 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Sunday, capping a month of triple-digit daily increases that have led to 8,311 confirmed patients in quarantine, the most ever. Moon ordered the government to mobilise every available resource to track infections, and to expand testing by deploying the military and more people from the public service, presidential Blue House spokesman Chung Man-ho told a briefing.
7th Dec 2020 - Channel NewsAsia

COVID-19 clusters break out in Japan's coldest city as winter closes in

The emergence of Japan’s coldest city as a COVID-19 hotspot has raised fears among health experts that it could be a sign of what the rest of the nation may face as winter sets in and more people stay indoors, raising airborne transmission risks. The city of Asahikawa, about 140 km (87 miles) north of Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido, is reeling from infection clusters at two hospitals and a care home. By Sunday, the number of cases recorded on the island was more than 10,000, and Asahikawa had accounted for 16% of the 256 deaths. It prompted the government to announce a plan on Monday to send nurses from Self Defense Forces to the region and western metropolis of Osaka to help fight the outbreak.
7th Dec 2020 - Reuters

South Korea, Japan to deploy military to combat COVID-19

South Korea and Japan are deploying their militaries to assist healthcare workers in combatting COVID-19, with South Korean soldiers called in to expand coronavirus testing and tracing and Japanese military nurses tapped to fill a shortage of staff at hospitals in the hard-hit regions of Hokkaido and Osaka. Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, on Monday ordered the government to mobilise “every available” resource to track infections and to expand testing by deploying the military and more people from the public service, presidential Blue House spokesman Chung Man-ho told a briefing.
7th Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

Kremlin sees no need to impose broad lockdown

The Kremlin said on Monday there was no need to impose lockdown restrictions to curb the sharp rise in coronavirus cases since September and that the current set of measures in place were widely seen by authorities as enough. Infections have surged to record highs in recent weeks. Earlier on Monday authorities confirmed 28,142 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, including 7,279 in Moscow.
7th Dec 2020 - Reuters

French coronavirus infection rate unlikely to fall to lockdown threshold -minister

French BFM TV reported on Monday that Health Minister Olivier Veran has told members of parliament that it is unlikely that the number of daily new coronavirus cases will fall to 5,000 by Dec. 15. French President Emmanuel Macron has said that threshold is one of the conditions for ending a nationwide lockdown on Dec. 15. Another condition was for the number of people in intensive care to fall below 3,000. On Sunday, France registered 11,022 new cases, down from a high of over 86,000 per day a month ago. The number of people in ICUs fell by 10 to 3,220 on Sunday.
7th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid-19 cases rise by 14,718 as UK records another 189 deaths

The Government said a further 189 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 with vaccines expected to be rolled out to public tomorrow. The latest data shows as of Monday, the UK total has suffered 61,434 deaths. The Government said that, as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 14,718 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,737,960. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 77,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
7th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard


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Long a Holdout From Covid-19 Restrictions, Sweden Ends Its Pandemic Experiment

After a late autumn surge in infections led to rising hospitalizations and deaths, Sweden has abandoned its attempt to combat the pandemic through voluntary measures.
6th Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Most of California to be under stay-at-home orders as COVID-19 surges

California’s two most densely inhabited regions and its agricultural breadbasket will be under stay-at-home orders by Sunday night as the COVID-19 pandemic strains hospitals in the most populous U.S. state, officials said. Designed to kick in when intensive care units in any of five regions have little remaining capacity, the order affecting Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will close bars, hair salons and barbershops, and allows restaurants to remain open only for takeout and delivery service. The shutdowns, which go into effect at 11:59 pm Sunday, are triggered by an order announced Wednesday by Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.
6th Dec 2020 - Reuters

South Korea to consider new curbs as coronavirus cases hit 9-month high

South Korea on Sunday reported 631 new coronavirus cases, the highest in nine months, ahead of an expected government decision on whether to further tighten social distancing curbs as health authorities struggle to contain a third wave of outbreaks. After implementing tighter restrictions on Saturday, the government is to decide on Sunday whether to impose new measures in a country that had seen initial success through aggressive contact tracing and other steps. The new cases bring the country’s tally to 37,546, with 545 deaths, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported.
6th Dec 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19: How the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being rolled out - and who will get it first

More details have emerged about who will be first to get the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine when the UK rollout begins next week. First doses of the highly anticipated jab reached Britain on Thursday after being brought through the Eurotunnel on lorries from Belgium. It is just the start of the huge and complex logistical and technical operation that lies ahead to protect those most vulnerable across the UK.
5th Dec 2020 - Sky News

Southern California headed for strict COVID lockdown due to lack of ICU beds

More than 20 million people across 23 Southern California counties will be under one of the country’s strictest COVID lockdowns beginning Monday morning. People in Los Angeles, San Diego, all surrounding counties and the state’s Central Valley will be legally prohibited from gathering with anyone outside their immediate household, and nearly all businesses must close under the new stay-at-home order. The lockdown rules last at least three weeks, meaning they’ll be in effect through Christmas. People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing site in the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Saturday.
5th Dec 2020 - New York Daily News on MSN.com

Pennsylvania man begs for help in finding a new ICU bed for his mom with COVID-19

Shawn Rider posted to Facebook on Tuesday pleading for information on another Pennsylvania hospital that had a free ICU bed and an EMCO machine. His mother Karen had been on a ventilator due to COVID-19 since November 23 but her condition had deteriorated and she needed a transfer. A nurse at York hospital spotted his post and found the family an ICU bed. Karen was transferred the next day but is still in a serious condition. She has now been on an ventilator for 13 days Shawn has continued to share her story as the family hopes people will 'take more precautions so they don't end up in the position we are in.'
5th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

`Biggest crisis`: South Korea tightens COVID-19 restrictions amid record high surge

After months of keeping the novel coronavirus spread under control, a new outbreak has scared the authorities of a threat bigger than the starting of the grim year. Following a sudden surge in the COVID-19 cases, South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level in the capital city Seoul as the authorities believe this outbreak may take longer to be controlled. South Korea had been following the "trace, test and treat" approach for the past few months, and had managed to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Following a drop in cases, the country had reopened its economy, letting people step out to meet friends and go to work, and life was slowly returning back to normal.
5th Dec 2020 - WION

UK reports 13,430 new COVID-19 cases, 603 deaths

Britain reported 15,539 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and 397 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test result, both falls on the previous day’s figures.
5th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Russia reports record 29,039 new COVID-19 cases

Moscow wants to vaccinate up to seven million people, its Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, as Russia on Sunday reported yet another record high number of new COVID-19 cases. Moscow began distributing its Sputnik V COVID-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday to the most exposed groups, marking Russia’s first large-scale vaccination against the disease. “In prospect, we have to vaccinate six to seven million people,” Sobyanin told state TV Rossiya-1 in an interview published on Sunday.
5th Dec 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19: Vaccine clinics open across Moscow to start issuing Sputnik V jab

Seventy COVID-19 clinics opened in the Russian capital on Saturday, three days after President Vladimir Putin ordered a "large-scale" immunisation programme that he claims will begin with two million doses being made available this week. The Sputnik V has not yet completed Phase 3 of its trials, unlike the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, sparking widespread criticism it is not safe for use. The Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, which is producing the vaccine, says an "advanced" study on 40,000 volunteers showed 91.4% efficacy after two doses.
5th Dec 2020 - Sky News

COVID-19: Vaccines will only have 'marginal impact' on NHS winter pressures, chief medical officers warn

COVID-19 will keep hospitals under continued strain in the coming months as new vaccines will only have a "marginal impact" on patient numbers over winter, the UK's chief medical officers have warned. In a letter written to healthcare colleagues, the group - which includes England's Professor Chris Whitty - also said that festive gatherings were likely to put additional pressure on the NHS. "Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and wider health and social care service. This year will be especially hard due to COVID-19," it said.
4th Dec 2020 - Sky News

The Pro Cyclist Who Caught Covid Twice

Back in February, when the sports world was still wondering how severe an outbreak of something called Covid-19 might be, a Colombian cyclist named Fernando Gaviria was finding out for himself. Gaviria was doing his job, racing bikes in the United Arab Emirates, when he became one of the first international athletes to contract the coronavirus. The symptoms were harsh enough to land him in hospital for two weeks. “Back then we knew very little about the virus,” he wrote in an email. By the time Gaviria was healthy enough to leave Abu Dhabi, his world was a more uncertain place. The sports calendar had been scrubbed. Entire countries were shutting down. But Gaviria’s virus ordeal seemed to come with a personal silver lining. Prevailing wisdom suggested he’d at least be immune for the foreseeable future. That future lasted barely seven months. In October, Gaviria tested positive a second time. His reaction was sheer disbelief. “I was completely asymptomatic and felt OK,” he wrote.
2nd Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 4th Dec 2020

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Fall in UK Covid cases brings relief to hospitals

Coronavirus cases have halved in the past two weeks among people in their twenties and seventies, with falls continuing in all age groups.Test and Trace figures also show a drop of more than a quarter
4th Dec 2020 - The Times

Sweden's COVID-19 death toll rises above 7,000

Sweden, whose unorthodox pandemic strategy placed it in the global spotlight, registered 35 new COVID-19 related deaths, Health Agency statistics showed on Thursday, taking the total to 7,007. Sweden registered 6,485 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. The increase compared with a previous high of 7,240 daily cases recorded two weeks ago. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours but lower than several European countries that opted for lockdowns.
3rd Dec 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19: UK deaths pass 60,000 as another 414 are recorded - and 14,879 more cases

There have been a further 14,879 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 414 deaths recorded in the UK in the last 24 hours, government figures show. The update brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK to 1,674,134 - and takes the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 60,113. On Wednesday, 16,170 cases and 648 deaths were recorded.
3rd Dec 2020 - Sky News

Positive coronavirus tests fall 28 per cent as England's lockdown makes its mark

Positive Covid cases dropped more than a quarter in England last week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures, as the country begins to feel the effects of the nationwide lockdown. Figures from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) found that just over 110,000 people in England tested positive for coronavirus in England in the week to 25 November, marking a 28 per cent slump on the previous week.
3rd Dec 2020 - City A.M.

South Africa fears virus return after cluster outbreaks

Localised coronavirus outbreaks in parts of South Africa have raised fears that the country could see a resurgence in cases compounded by gatherings during the upcoming festive season. Officials in Africa's hardest virus-hit country are scrambling to contain infections after a flare-up was reported in the impoverished Eastern Cape province and adjacent Western Cape province last month. The national number of new daily cases crept over 3,000 last week, up 50% from an average of 2,000 earlier in November.
3rd Dec 2020 - RTE.ie

Europe struggles with 2nd virus wave as winter arrives

France, having the highest number of COVID-19 cases with more than 2.27 million, announced a gradual exit strategy from lockdown last month. On Nov. 28, lockdowns started to loosen with the opening of shops that had been considered non-essential, but only until 9:00 p.m. local time (2000GMT). Religious services resumed, albeit with a 30-person limit. However, lockdown will be lifted on Dec. 15, but a curfew will be imposed from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. excluding Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Museums, theaters, movie houses, conservatories, and music schools will reopen. On Jan. 20, restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, and sports halls will finally reopen.
3rd Dec 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Swedes' support for anti-lockdown stance slips amid rising Covid deaths

Support for Sweden’s government and public confidence in authorities’ ability to handle the coronavirus crisis are sliding as the country’s anti-lockdown approach continues to be tested by mounting numbers of deaths and new cases. As the national health agency announced 6,485 new infections and 33 more deaths on Thursday, the prime minister, Stefan Löfven , said the country’s high schools would switch to distance learning from 7 December for the rest of the term. “This is being done so as to have a slowing effect on the spread of the disease, Löfven said, adding that the measure was “not an extended break”. What the country does now “will determine how we can celebrate Christmas”, he said.
3rd Dec 2020 - The Guardian on MSN.com

Lebanese minister says COVID cases rising, beds won't suffice

Lebanon will not have enough hospital beds to cope with increasing COVID-19 cases, the health minister in the caretaker government warned on Thursday, saying compliance with a two-week lockdown that ended this week had been patchy. In a Tweet, Hamad Hassan said cases were on the rise and although more hospital beds had been added, these would not be enough. Intensive care units were at critical capacity when Lebanon ordered the lockdown and caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab had warned the shutdown may be extended if people did not comply.
3rd Dec 2020 - Reuters India

Hungary reports record 182 daily COVID deaths

Hungary reported 182 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, by far the highest daily toll since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed. Thursday’s tally brought the total number of deaths to 5,324, while infections rose by 6,635 to 231,844. As of Wednesday, Hungary ran the European Union’s fifth-highest death rate per 100,000 people over a two-week period based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government imposed a partial lockdown three weeks ago to slow the spread of the virus, including a 1900 GMT curfew and closing secondary schools.
3rd Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy bans Xmas midnight mass, movement between regions amid high COVID toll

Italians will not be able to attend midnight mass or move between regions over the Christmas period, a top health ministry official said on Wednesday, as the country battles high coronavirus infection rates and deaths. Italy has been reporting more daily COVID-19 fatalities than any other European nation in recent weeks and, while the increase in new cases and hospital admissions is slowing, the government is worried about gatherings over Christmas. Junior Health Minister Sandra Zampa said Christmas Eve mass must end by around 8:30 p.m. so that worshippers can return home before a 10 p.m. curfew, and people should not invite non-family members home for Christmas lunch or other celebrations.
2nd Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus surging in England's three worst hotspots - even before lockdown ended

Latest Public Health England data shows Swale in Kent, Boston in Lincolnshire and Medway, also in Kent, are among a small number of towns and cities to see a seven day rise in cases
2nd Dec 2020 - Mirror Online

The covid-19 symptoms to watch out for

Symptoms of covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, can range from mild to severe. The most common include fever, a dry cough or shortness of breath, but there are other indications you could need to be tested or have a conversation with your doctor. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and the order in which they appear can vary. Some people don’t show any symptoms — what health experts call “asymptomatic” cases — but still could spread the virus to others.
2nd Dec 2020 - The Washington Post


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 3rd Dec 2020

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Arizona hospitals scramble to boost staffing as state's COVID-19 crisis deepens

A shortage of medical providers could exacerbate Arizona's growing COVID-19 crisis, as hospitals compete for contract labor in the midst of a pandemic that is gripping the entire United States. Arizona hospital officials are most worried about finding enough staff — not PPE or beds — to treat a surge of new COVID-19 patients. "The number one limiting factor is staffing right now," said Ann-Marie Alameddin, president and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. "It's a much tighter supply because the whole country is in need of the same skill set." What's happening with COVID-19 in Arizona in this latest second wave of infection is a different situation than the summer.
2nd Dec 2020 - USA Today

Coronavirus hospital deaths soar by 465 with healthy 19-year-old among victims

On the day that the national lockdown was replaced with a tier system, approval was given to the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which can now be rolled out across the country
2nd Dec 2020 - Mirror Online

Italy tightens antivirus restrictions for Christmas

Italy will have to adopt strict restrictions over Christmas holidays to avoid a third wave of the pandemic next year, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told parliament on Wednesday. The new rules -- which will be effective from Dec. 4 -- will include an almost total ban on international movements and between Italian regions, aimed at avoiding the spread of the virus across the country and limiting huge get-togethers. The restriction will be even tougher on Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1, when citizens would not be allowed to travel even between cities. A nationwide curfew at 10 p.m. will be maintained also on Christmas night and New Year’s Eve, likely obliging Italian churches to anticipate the traditional midnight mass. The government is still discussing a few exceptions to these limitations, possibly for students who plan to visit their families in a different region, or elderly parents and grandparents who live alone and would spend the holidays by themselves.
2nd Dec 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Germany is now seeing MORE Covid-19 infections than Britain and reports its highest number of deaths yet after its 'lockdown light' failed to reduce number of cases

Germany is seeing around 18,000 infections per day, next to 15,000 in Britain Contagion has remained high despite a month-long 'lockdown light' in Germany Germany's death rate has also reached record levels with new high of 487 today
2nd Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

To slow down a killer virus, Spain breaks with decades-old Christmas traditions

For 41 years, families in the Spanish capital have kicked off the Christmas season by gathering behind the department store El Corte Inglés to watch a performance by giant singing puppets. The store’s “Cortylandia” show has treated crowds in the past to festive depictions of “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Aladdin,” among numerous others, including the Noah’s ark story. But this year, as all the world battles a killer virus, the tradition has been replaced with a light display that simply reads, in lowercase letters, felices fiestas. Happy holidays. The loss of a beloved 15-minute puppet show is among the Christmastime traditions of this traditionally Catholic country being altered or even eliminated, as the government tries to keep its physically demonstrative populace a step ahead of a virus that has killed 45,069 to date in the country.
2nd Dec 2020 - MarketWatch

New COVID-19 cases in France stay below 10,000 for third day

New COVID-19 infections in France stayed below 10,000 for the third day in a row on Tuesday, a sequence unseen since mid-September, and the number of people hospitalised for the disease resumed a downward trend. The government has loosened its second national coronavirus lockdown, put in place on Oct. 30, by allowing all shops to reopen at the weekend. President Emmanuel Macron said last week the lockdown could be lifted on Dec. 15 if by then the number of new infections per day fell to 5,000 and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care declined to between 2,500 and 3,000. Earlier in the day, Macron said that France should be in a position to embark on a broader COVID-19 vaccination campaign between April and June next year, after initially targeting a smaller group of people.
2nd Dec 2020 - Reuters

Zimbabwe tightens gathering limits as COVID-19 cases rise

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said the increase “points to [a] notable failure in government’s COVID-19 response and also the mishandling of the opening up of the socioeconomic sector”. Mukundu cited the reopening of schools last month “without adequate precautionary measures” as one of the reasons behind what he described as a “ticking time bomb”. “The government’s response has largely been politicised,” Mukundu said, urging authorities “to go back to the drawing board”.
2nd Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

Florida becomes the third state to reach one million COVID-19 cases after Texas and California - and Governor DeSantis STILL refuses to order a lockdown

Florida Department of Health released new COVID-19 figures on Tuesday. Total statewide tally of COVID-19 cases has reached 1,008,166, DOH data shows. Of those, 18,679 Floridians have died of the disease caused by the coronavirus. Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has refused calls for strict lockdown. DeSantis slammed those who urged school closures, calling them 'flat-earthers.' Last week, he barred towns from fining people for violating mitigation measures
1st Dec 2020 - Daily Mail


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Dec 2020

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Covid-19 death toll passes 1000 in Northern Ireland

Coronavirus-linked deaths recorded by health officials in Northern Ireland have surpassed 1,000. Health minister Robin Swann said the region had passed a “sad milestone” after 15 further fatalities were reported on Tuesday, taking the toll collated by the Department of Health to 1,011. Another 391 confirmed cases of the virus were also recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period.
1st Dec 2020 - Evening Express

How USA has become one giant hotspot: 1,172 Americans are now dying each day - an 80% increase in just one month - while hospitalizations soar to a record 96,000

A new map from an internal federal government brief shows that 48 US states and the District of Columbia are marked as 'sustained hotspots' of coronavirus Only two states on the map, dated November 29 and labeled 'not for distribution', did not fall in this category, which were Hawaii and Rhode Island. Another map from the brief also revealed the incidence rate of COVID-19 across the country is 336 cases per 100,000 people, up from 322 cases per 100,000 two weeks prior Most US counties on the map had incidence rates of either 200-499 new cases per 100,000 or 500+ new cases per 100,000. It comes as the US hit a grim new record of 96,039 coronavirus hospitalizations across the nation. Hospitals in several states are beyond capacity with health officials blaming 'COVID fatigue' and travel that occurred over Thanksgiving
1st Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Hospitalizations hit record 96,039 and rise in 41 states and America faces new restrictions

Hospitals from Rhode Island to Alabama and Montana were beyond capacity The pandemic now has no epicenter and is rampant across the whole country Case loads rose in 41 states and the mayor of El Paso blamed 'COVID fatigue'; he said that many cases in his city had been traced back to large stores Health officials are resigned to the situation worsening thanks to Thanksgiving and those who did travel for Thanksgiving are urged to assume they have COVID The decision by more than a million to travel means Christmas will be miserable On Monday Scott Atlas, Trump's favorite member of COVID taskforce, resigned. He has been strongly criticized for his skepticism about masks and lockdown
1st Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: UK records another 13,430 cases and 603 deaths

Another 13,430 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK, with 603 more having died after contracting the disease. The latest government figures bring the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK to 1,643,086 - and the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 59,051. It is a slight rise from the 12,330 new cases that were posted on Monday, but a significant increase on the 205 deaths that were recorded.
1st Dec 2020 - Sky News

UK coronavirus death toll passes 75,000

The UK’s total Covid death toll has passed 75,000, according to a tally of all fatalities that mention the disease on death certificates. The grim milestone comes just over a month after the UK surpassed 60,000 deaths in late October, showing how the Covid death toll accelerated since September, having slowed during the summer. The figure is higher than the government’s Covid death toll of 59,051. The latter figure only covers people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. Covid deaths have been recorded in almost every corner of the UK, with the Isles of Scilly the only local authority area in the country not to have had a coronavirus fatality.
1st Dec 2020 - The Guardian on MSN.com

Another 603 Covid deaths recorded the day before lockdown lifts

Another 603 UK coronavirus deaths have been reported today – hours before England comes out of its second national lockdown. The latest official figures show Covid-19 cases are continuing to drop, with another 13,430 people testing positive, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 1,643,086. The overall death toll for the UK now stands at 59,051, though separate figures from statistics agencies and more recent deaths suggest Covid-19 has been linked to some 74,000 deaths. Today’s death toll, the highest since 696 reported deaths on November 25, is a significant rise on the past couple of days – but figures at the weekend are often lower since reporting can lag behind. However, they will still alarm scientists and those who fear a third national lockdown in England, which is set to return to a harsher tiered system from tomorrow.
1st Dec 2020 - Metro

UK coronavirus hospital deaths soar by 422 on day before England lockdown ends

England is preparing to exit a month-long full national lockdown but 99% of the population will remain in Tier 2 or 3 coronavirus measures from December 2 onwards
1st Dec 2020 - Mirror Online

One chart shows how bad Germany's second wave of the coronavirus is

Germany was widely seen as a poster-child for its approach to tackling the coronavirus during the first wave of cases that emerged in Europe in the spring. Covid-19 cases in the country started to creep higher in October, however. This rise has been accompanied by an increasing daily death rate, on a 7-day average, which has now passed its April peak.
1st Dec 2020 - CNBC

In Europe’s Nursing Homes, a Soaring Covid-19 Death Toll and the Pain of Isolation

The coronavirus has resurged in Europe’s nursing homes, killing thousands of older people and forcing facilities to make a difficult choice: impose another period of crushing isolation or risk greater exposure to the virus. Nursing home outbreaks have dashed hopes that their residents could be shielded from the virus when it is spreading quickly in society at large. As cases soared across Europe this fall, nursing home personnel and visitors brought the virus in with them despite strict sanitary rules, infecting tens of thousands of residents.
1st Dec 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Austria set to bow to pressure on Covid risk with ski holiday ban

Austria’s government appears to have bowed to pressure from Germany, France and Italy and will ban skiing holidays over the Christmas break in an attempt to control the coronavirus pandemic, Austrian media is reporting. The decision, expected to be officially announced on Wednesday, follows heated disagreements between Berlin and Vienna. On Tuesday morning, Austria’s tourist minister accused the German government of interfering in its domestic affairs after Angela Merkel said she had wanted a ban on skiing holidays. The chancellor secured the backing of the Italian and French governments as well as the leaders of the 16 German states.
1st Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Netherlands makes face masks mandatory indoors

The Netherlands has made it compulsory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus. The country is one of the last in Europe to introduce such a measure. The rule will apply to those over the age of 13 in public buildings such as shops, railway stations and hairdressers from Tuesday. The Netherlands has been one of the countries worst affected by Europe's second wave of Covid-19. It broke daily case records throughout October, and the number of new confirmed infections in the country of 17 million has remained fairly stable at about 5,000 a day for several weeks.
1st Dec 2020 - BBC

As the virus resurges, mental health woes batter France

The panicked 22-year-old is led to Consultation Room No. 2, with its easy-mop floor and honeycombed meshing over the window. Behind her, the psychiatric emergency ward’s heavy double doors — openable only with a staff member’s key — thud shut. With anxious taps of her white sneakers, she confides to an on-duty psychiatrist how the solitude of the coronavirus lockdown and the angst of not finding work in the pandemic-battered job market are contributing to her maelstrom of anxieties. She is unnerved that she is starting to obsess about knives, fearful that her mental health might be collapsing.
1st Dec 2020 - Associated Press

WHO head hails first weekly decline worldwide in COVID-19 cases

The World Health Organization chief is hailing the first weekly decline in global COVID-19 cases since September, citing the impact of measures mainly in hard-hit Europe and warning that “this is no time for complacency.” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the “welcome news” still should be taken with caution and warned that death counts were still rising across the world — and cases were still rising in other parts of the world outside of Europe. “This is no time for complacency, especially with holiday season approaching in many cultures and countries,” he said.
30th Nov 2020 - The Boston Globe


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New York City Nurse Braces for New Covid-19 Surge. ‘Nobody Wants to Do it Again.’

About six weeks ago, Erin Smith got the sinking feeling that a new surge of Covid-19 infections had hit New York City. The Covid-19 unit that she oversees at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital was full, with very sick patients, including some who died. It stayed that way for two to three weeks before almost emptying. Ms. Smith, a 39-year-old nurse manager, said she estimates it will be full again the first week of December. The mood inside the hospital is anxious, but hopeful, she said, but a potential repeat of the experience in March and April, when Covid-19 first ripped through the city, is petrifying. “It was a hella six months,” said Ms. Smith. “Nobody wants to do it again.”
30th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

UK reports 12,330 new COVID-19 cases, 205 new deaths

The United Kingdom reported 12,330 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, up from 12,155 a day earlier and taking the cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 1,629,657 cases, government data showed. A total of 205 new deaths from the disease were also reported, down from 215 the previous day. The United Kingdom has the highest total death toll in Europe at 58,448.
30th Nov 2020 - Reuters

U.S. reported more COVID-19 cases in November than most countries had all year

The United States reported more than 4 million coronavirus cases in November, which is higher than the total number of cases seen all year by any country in the world except India and Brazil. Public health experts are warning that the U.S. will keep seeing record-breaking numbers in the final month of 2020. Since the pandemic began, the U.S. has seen more than 13.3 million confirmed cases and over 267,000 deaths, by far the highest numbers in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. accounts for nearly 20% of the global death toll.
30th Nov 2020 - CBS News

Edinburgh's Covid-19 rate described as 'encouraging' as Jason Leitch points to drop in cases

Edinburgh's Covid-19 rate is "encouraging" according to Jason Leitch, with the number of positive cases per 100,000 people down 16 per cent in the last week. The National Clinical Director says the people of Edinburgh "seem to be following the guidance in such a way that gets test positivity down". Leitch pointed to the fact the Covid cases, per 100,000, slowly dropped in the week leading up to 26 November. However he warned against getting too excited, adding that the test positivity number is only down marginally. He said: "One of the challenges with this disease, apart from the incubation period, is the time it takes for the numbers to fall. It's much easier for the virus to rise than fall. Edinburgh city does look better in the last seven days. It's 16 per cent down in number of positives per 100,000. It is only 0.8 down in test positivity, so we shouldn't get too excited.
30th Nov 2020 - Edinburgh Live

Covid-19 Northern Ireland: 10 further deaths in the past 24 hours

There have been 10 further deaths as a result of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health. The department's daily dashboard shows that there have been 290 further positive tests with 2,505 people being infected in the past seven days. The death toll in Northern Ireland from coronavirus now stands at 996, the Department of Health says. Belfast has had the highest number of new cases in the past 24 hours with 41, followed by Derry City and Strabane with 37 and Mid and East Antrim with 34. In the last seven days Belfast has also had the highest number of positive cases with 381, followed by Derry City and Strabane with 298.
30th Nov 2020 - Belfast Live

US hits four million monthly Covid-19 cases as Fauci warns of holiday surge

The United States passed four million cases of the coronavirus for November on Saturday, more than double the record 1.9 million cases set in October. Now experts have warned Americans to expect that sharp rise in cases to continue, due in part to the Thanksgiving holiday – potentially worsening heading into the December holiday season. “What we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, is that we might see a surge superimposed on the surge we are already in,” Dr Anthony Fauci said in an interview on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday. The government’s leading infectious disease expert added officials “tried to get the word out for people, as difficult as it is, to really not have large gatherings” but ultimately the travel industry suggested many Americans didn’t heed calls to stay home.
30th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Covid UK: Hospital deaths drop by 8% as 229 new fatalities reported

Figures are positive sign that England's second lockdown slowed infection rate Cases recorded today shaves more than third off 18,662 reported last Sunday Official figures released today have also revealed 215 more coronavirus deaths
30th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 cases: UK infections have fallen by 30% in lockdown and R rate has dropped to 0.88, study says

Covid-19 cases have fallen by roughly a third in lockdown, a new study has found. Infections in some of the worst-hit areas dropped, and while experts confirm lockdown restrictions were a success, cases nationally remain high. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while the drop in cases is “encouraging”, the public must stick to the rules in the coming weeks. The findings come just days before England ends its four-week lockdown, when the country will go into tiered restrictions with a review set for 16 December.
30th Nov 2020 - The i on MSN.com

Coronavirus cases fell by roughly 30% during England's lockdown

Covid infections in England fall by 30% over lockdown - React studyBBC NewsCovid infections in England down by nearly a third since second lockdownThe GuardianCOVID-19 cases fell by a third in England during second lockdown, study suggestsSky NewsCoronavirus infections down 30% in England and halved in North during lockdownMirror OnlineView Full coverage on Google News
30th Nov 2020 - CNN

Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 situation. The second all-party meeting, which comes amid a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases will be held virtually at 10.30 am. The meeting assumes significance as it is being held after the prime minister’s visit to Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech, and Serum Institute of India (SII) to personally review coronavirus vaccine development work there.
30th Nov 2020 - India.com

Swedish epidemiologist sidelined after country's no-lockdown rule leads to rise in number of deaths

Sweden "loses faith" with its Covid expert as deaths rise. An epidemiologist who led the no-lockdown strategy appears to have been sidelined by his government. The high-profile epidemiologist who led Sweden's no-lockdown strategy in the spring appears to be being sidelined by his country's government after his prediction that greater immunity would mean a lighter second wave proved badly wrong. Anders Tegnell's biweekly press conference was on Thursday pushed into the shade by an overlapping press conference fronted by Stefan Lofven, Sweden's prime minister, where scenarios prepared by the Public Health Agency were announced.
30th Nov 2020 - New Zealand Herald

England's COVID infections fell 30% in lockdown

COVID-19 infections have fallen by 30% during England's month-long national lockdown and the virus is now in retreat, a large-scale study of more than 100,000 volunteers showed on Monday. Emer McCarthy reports.
30th Nov 2020 - Reuters

US braces for continued surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations

As newly reported cases of the coronavirus continued to spike across much of the United States, breaking records for hospitalisations, some local leaders are moving to enact more stringent restrictions. US officials had pleaded with Americans to avoid travel and limit social gatherings as the nation entered its winter holiday season. But many appear to have disregarded those pleas over the long Thanksgiving weekend as the Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 1.2 million airline passengers on Sunday, the highest since mid-March.
30th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera


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Coronavirus deaths hit new daily record in Greece

Greece reported 121 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, a daily record, with hospitals in the north of the country under pressure as intensive care beds fill up with COVID-19 patients. Health authorities reported 1,747 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total since the first case was detected in February to 103,034. The death toll stands at 2,223.
29th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Fauci warns of ‘surge upon surge’ of COVID-19 in coming weeks

Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, has warned that residents should brace for a “surge upon a surge” of infections following the Thanksgiving holiday. Fauci, speaking shortly after the US holiday, which saw the highest rate of travel in the US since the first major outbreak, said on Sunday, “There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel.”
29th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

New Covid-19 cluster emerges in Hong Kong restaurants amid fourth wave

Hong Kong authorities are warning of an even more severe fourth wave of coronavirus infections after identifying a new group of cases at three restaurants that may be linked to the ever-expanding “super-spreader” dance venue cluster. More than 10 servers, cleaners and patrons at the three restaurants – Stellar House in Wan Chai, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Central, and Chuen Cheung Kui in Sheung Wan – have been confirmed sick, with authorities adding the venues to the mandatory testing list. The city recorded 115 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the highest daily increase since August 1, when it saw 125 new infections. Of those, 62 were linked to the dance venue cluster, bringing the city‘s largest coronavirus outbreak so far to 479 cases.
29th Nov 2020 - South China Morning Post

India's Modi visits key vaccine facilities as COVID-19 case load surges

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured three of the nation’s leading vaccine development and manufacturing sites on Saturday as coronavirus cases continue to soar. India has recorded 9.35 million COVID-19 infections, second only to the United States. It reported 41,322 new cases and 485 deaths on Saturday. The western state of Maharashtra - home to India’s financial hub, Mumbai - has been particularly hard hit by the virus. Its tally of 1.68 million cases is higher than countries such as Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.
28th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Swedes question Covid-19 approach as second wave hits

Sweden’s centre-left government has long seemed happy to allow Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist, to be the public face of the country’s distinctive approach to handling the Covid-19 pandemic. But as the second wave has hit Sweden, which resisted a formal lockdown, much harder than its Nordic neighbours — contrary to predictions made by Mr Tegnell in the spring and summer — so the government in Stockholm has stirred into action. Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, announced two weeks ago what he called the most intrusive measures in “modern times” in banning public gatherings of more than eight people. That night, Mr Tegnell told Swedish radio that it was not his public health agency “putting our foot down”, and that the ban was less wide-ranging than the prime minister had suggested.
28th Nov 2020 - The Financial Times

Pressure on critical care facilities in covid-19 patients in India

The covid-19 pandemic has presented multiple challenges to healthcare systems around the world. We want to highlight the difficulties in Kerala, India, of providing palliative care for patients with pre-existing advanced disease who are infected with coronavirus. There are difficult ethical issues related to triage and care rationing when resources are limited and demand is high, alongside the logistical challenge of making such decisions. The pandemic has now laid bare issues about futile and inappropriate medical interventions in certain contexts.
28th Nov 2020 - The BMJ

COVID-19: UK's R number falls to lowest level since August as daily infections decline

The UK's R number has fallen to between 0.9 and 1, according to new figures. Scientists have estimated the reproduction number, known as the R number, is now edging below one. It comes as the daily infection rate dropped slightly, with the UK recording a further 16,022 coronavirus cases and 521 related deaths. On Thursday 17,555 cases were recorded along with 498 deaths. The Government Office for Science said the impact of England's lockdown, which started on 5 November, is only beginning to be observed in the R number this week.
28th Nov 2020 - Sky News

US is 'rounding the corner into a calamity,' expert says, with Covid-19 deaths projected to double soon

As Thanksgiving week draws to an end, more experts are warning the Covid-19 pandemic will likely get much worse in the coming weeks before a possible vaccine begins to offer some relief. More than 205,000 new cases were reported Friday -- which likely consists of both Thursday and Friday reports in some cases, as at least 20 states did not report Covid-19 numbers on Thanksgiving. As of Saturday evening, more than 138,000 new cases and 1,100 deaths had been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. And while there is more good news on the vaccine front, for now Americans need to "hunker down" and prepare for a difficult winter ahead, according to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency medicine physician and a visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
28th Nov 2020 - CNN

With no action by Washington, states race to offer virus aid

Faulting inaction in Washington, governors and state lawmakers are racing to get pandemic relief to small-business owners, the unemployed, renters and others whose livelihoods have been upended by the widening coronavirus outbreak. In some cases, elected officials are spending the last of a federal relief package passed in the spring as an end-of-year deadline approaches and the fall COVID-19 surge threatens their economies anew. Underscoring the need for urgency, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States reached 205,557 on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – the first time its daily figure topped the 200,000 mark. Its previous daily high was 196,000 on Nov. 20.
28th Nov 2020 - Houston Chronicle

UK coronavirus death toll jumps by 479 as London lockdown protesters clash with police

The UK has recorded 15,871 new coronavirus cases and a further 479 deaths overnight. Today’s rise in infections follows a steady decrease in case rates across the country. The total number of infections recorded over the past week is 35,955 fewer than over the previous seven days – a fall of 24.1 per cent. It takes Britain’s total Covid-19 infection count since the start of the pandemic to 1,605,172. However, the positive trend in cases comes amid an ongoing rise in weekly deaths.
28th Nov 2020 - Evening Standard

Germany's coronavirus case toll tops 1million after 22,806 new infections were added to the total

German logged 22,268 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing its overall total from 983,588 to 1,006,394 as 426 deaths were also recorded - the highest one-day toll of the whole pandemic.
28th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail on MSN.com

The seven local Irish areas with alarming Covid-19 rates despite lockdown with one as bad as Spain

Seven local areas in Ireland still have Covid-19 incidence rates of over 240 per 100,000 people in the last two weeks despite lockdown. Four electorate areas in Donegal as well as one in Limerick, Louth and Offaly are the worst in the country according to the latest data up until midnight, November 23. Milford in Donegal has the worst rate in the country at 355.8 which, according to the ECDC, is not far off the rate of Spain's which stands at 361.4 today. Letterkenny is the only other electorate area in Ireland that currently has a rate of over 300. Here's a look at the seven spots with rates of over 200 per 100,000 people.
28th Nov 2020 - Irish Mirror

Asia Today: Speed of viral spread causes concern in S. Korea

South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the third straight day on Saturday, the fastest spread of infections the country has seen since the early days of the pandemic. The 504 cases reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention brought the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 33,375, including 522 deaths. Around 330 of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers are struggling to stem transmissions linked to hospitals, schools, saunas, gyms and army units.
28th Nov 2020 - Associated Press

England's hospitals could be overwhelmed without new tier system - minister

England needs tough restrictions after its current lockdown ends if hospitals are not to become overwhelmed, a senior minister said, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to lawmakers to say the measures would end in February to try to quell opposition. Britain upped preparations for a vaccine roll-out on Saturday as Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi as a new health minister to oversee its deployment and the Financial Times reported that the UK is set to approve the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine next week. But despite progress on the vaccine, the government still needs to convince lawmakers to back its new tougher tiered measures which will put 99% of English people into the highest two levels of restrictions when the current national lockdown ends on Dec. 2.
28th Nov 2020 - Reuters Canada


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In Italy’s South, War Zone Doctors Are Called to the Rescue Amid Covid-19 Upsurge

Italy’s troubled south, which was largely spared earlier on in the pandemic, is now struggling to cope—so much so that the government is turning for help to a medical charity used to working in war zones. The Milan-based nongovernmental organization Emergency is best known for assisting war victims in countries such as Afghanistan, or Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. It has now agreed to help confront the crisis in Italy’s poorest region of Calabria, where the dysfunctional health care system is ill-equipped to deal with a viral outbreak.
26th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus: South Korea faces a third wave

South Korea on Thursday reported 583 new cases of Covid-19 infection, the highest daily number in eight months, and which authorities now call “the third wave” of the epidemic. The majority of new infections were recorded in Seoul (208 new infections), and in the surrounding province of Gyeonngi (177 new cases), according to data from the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
26th Nov 2020 - The Brussels Times

South Korea virus cases hit highest level since March

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave. Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300. The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
26th Nov 2020 - Japan Today

Coronavirus infections levelling during England lockdown

Coronavirus infection rates in England are continuing to show signs of levelling off - but the picture across the UK is mixed, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. In Wales and Northern Ireland, infections have been decreasing in recent weeks - but in Scotland, they seem to be rising. After lockdown ends in England, most areas face tougher tier restrictions
26th Nov 2020 - BBC

California, Texas set nationwide records for new coronavirus infections in a single day

The United States’ two largest states broke the nationwide record for most new coronavirus infections reported in a single day on Wednesday, with California tallying 18,350 and Texas nearly 16,100 — around 3,000 and 1,000 cases more than the previous high, respectively. The new records come amid a trio of surging metrics: infections, virus hospitalizations and deaths are all on the rise across the country. Wednesday was the 33rd consecutive day that the United States set a new record in its seven-day average of reported cases, according to data compiled and analyzed by The Washington Post. Nearly 90,000 people are currently in hospitals with covid-19, another record.
26th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Covid: Pakistan cricket squad quarantined after positive tests in New Zealand

Six members of Pakistan's cricket team have tested positive for Covid-19 while on tour in New Zealand. All six have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine and the team's exemption from social-distancing rules for training has been suspended. Health officials said all 53 members of the visiting squad were tested on arrival in the country. New Zealand, widely praised for its pandemic response, had previously seen a total of 2,040 cases and 25 deaths.
26th Nov 2020 - BBC

Britain records 17,555 new Coronavirus cases, 498 new deaths

Britain recorded 17,555 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and 498 new deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, official data showed. Both measures were lower than on Wednesday, when there were 18,213 new coronavirus infections and 696 deaths.
26th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Pace of global COVID-19 rise slows, but deaths still climbing

The global surge in COVID-19 cases slowed a bit last week for the first time in months, though deaths from the virus continued a steady rise, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest weekly situation report. Led mainly by continued levels in the Americas and Europe, the pandemic total topped 60 million cases. In the United States, hospitalizations continued to surge, with 88,080 Americans currently receiving inpatient care for COVID-19, up from 85,836 the day before, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project.
25th Nov 2020 - CIDRAP

A ‘bad case of déjà vu’: New Jersey hospitals brace for Covid-19 surge, but hope this time will be different

In New Jersey, doctors and nurses say that they feel better prepared to deal with the coronavirus than in the spring, when so little was known about it. Because it was hit so hard in the first wave, New Jersey’s per capita death rate remains the highest in the country. But the recent numbers are discouraging. On Sunday, the state reported 3,968 new cases of the coronavirus, more than double the 1,743 new cases reported on Nov. 1. And the state’s hospitalization rates have tripled in the past month, from 732 on Oct. 17 to 2,446 on Nov. 17. While they are far short of the 8,000 who were hospitalized in April, as the days shorten, the temperature drops, flu season deepens, and the holidays loom, many depleted frontline workers are preparing for another season of difficulty.
25th Nov 2020 - STAT News


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Soaring Covid-19 Hospitalizations Again Put Traveling Nurses in Demand

As the number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus rises across the U.S., hospitals are turning to a tactic they used in earlier surges: hiring more traveling nurses. Demand is so great that hospitals are paying as much as twice the usual hourly pay for nurses, in one case $140 an hour, traveling-nurse agencies and hospital-industry leaders say. Hospitalizations, which have set new records every day for two weeks, hit a fresh high of 85,836 on Nov. 23, according to the Covid Tracking Project. That is higher than any of the prior surges in the U.S., where hospitalizations—at their highest—were pushing the 60,000 mark.
25th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Potential COVID-19 surge following Thanksgiving could cause 'humanitarian crisis,' experts warn

As Americans prepare for what will likely be an untraditional Thanksgiving, health experts and state officials are pleading with the public to heed their warnings to not travel and to avoid large gatherings and the mixing of households, as the country tries to get ahold on what experts call an "uncontrolled" spread of the coronavirus. "If we layer in travel and large indoor gatherings which we know are drivers of transmission, we expect to see a massive surge on top of an already dire situation," said Dr. John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children's Hospital and an ABC News contributor, warning that such a surge could result in a "humanitarian crisis."
25th Nov 2020 - ABC news

How Do We Stop This Surge? Here's What Experts Say Could Help

As the U.S. wades deeper into a brutal fall surge of the coronavirus, Americans are living under a growing list of restrictions aimed at curbing the exponential rise of COVID-19. But given the unrelenting advance of the virus, can these varied approaches make a difference? Or is it delaying the inevitable return to the sweeping lockdowns of the springtime? "It's really hard to slow it down once it gets going like this," says Don Milton, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. "That's when these awful draconian measures come into play."
25th Nov 2020 - NPR

Thanksgiving Travel Drops as Americans Rethink Rituals

The leader of France says the country is past the peak of its second Covid-19 wave. A surge in California is shattering records. Pennsylvania bans alcohol sales past 5 p.m. on Wednesday, in a bid to stop pre-Thanksgiving partying.
25th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

Lessons From Europe’s Covid Surge: Control Is Fragile and Losing It Is Easy

As Americans enter a period of peak travel among their states starting with Thanksgiving, new discoveries about how Europe’s second coronavirus wave spread provide an object lesson. Many European regions had made such gains against Covid-19 as to be cited as models. Those gains proved fragile: Unanticipated pockets of infection on the continent and a rush to relax rules allowed it to surge across Europe again. Much of Europe’s new wave can now be traced to outbreaks among agricultural workers living in cramped conditions in Spain’s Catalonia and Aragón regions, according to researchers from Switzerland and Spain. It spread to nearby cities and across Spain, then home with tourists.
25th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus surge: Is lockdown 'fatigue' to be blamed for the rise in cases?

Delhi, which once successfully turned the tide over in COVID-19 is grappling with infection spikes again. The same has been witnessed in other cities across India. Unlike what many believe, the worst might not just be over yet. This, despite the fact that India as a country is witnessing a depleting peak of COVID. While authorities are imposing strict measures to safeguard the community, there have been significant lapses on the part of the public as well.
25th Nov 2020 - The Times of India

Winter cold, young spreaders, small gatherings spur South Korea's Covid-19 third wave

Falling temperatures, young asymptomatic spreaders and small social gatherings where people tend to take off their masks. These are reasons cited by experts to explain South Korea's latest surge in coronavirus cases in what is viewed as the third major wave since February and possibly the biggest and toughest to curb. South Korea, which has prided itself on using massive testing and aggressive contact tracing to fight the coronavirus outbreak without resorting to lockdowns, is now struggling to contain Covid-19 ahead of an all-important college entrance exam due on Dec 3.
25th Nov 2020 - The Straits Times

Germany reports record COVID-19 deaths ahead of Christmas talks

Germany reported a record 410 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, before the 16 federal state leaders and Chancellor Angela Merkel meet on Wednesday to discuss restrictions for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 18,633 to 961,320, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
25th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Global coronavirus cases surpass 60 million infections – Reuters tally

The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 60 million on Wednesday, with the pace of new infections accelerating and the United States reporting record numbers of hospitalizations, according to a Reuters tally. The United States has reported 1 million new COVID-19 cases in less than a week, taking its total reported infections to over 12.5 million and its death toll to 260,000, according to the Reuters data based on official statements. Globally, infections stood at 60.005 million and deaths at 1.4 million.
25th Nov 2020 - Reuters

South Korea confirms most COVID-19 cases since March

South Korea has reported almost 600 new cases of coronavirus – the highest in more than eight months – as the country scrambles to contain a third wave of infections despite months of stringent safety measures nationwide. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said that “sporadic cluster infections across the country” from private gatherings, public facilities, hospitals and the military were behind most of the 583 new cases on Thursday.
25th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

US COVID-19 daily death toll tops 2,000 with many hospitals full

Daily US deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 for the first time since May and with hospitals across the country already full, portending a surge in mortalities to come as the coronavirus pandemic casts a shadow over the holiday season. The death toll reached 2,100 on Tuesday, with another 200,000 people infected, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, numbers that experts say could grow with millions of Americans defying official warnings and travelling for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.
25th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Coronavirus Malaysia: Top Glove on defensive over treatment of foreign workers as infections spread

Human resources minister M. Saravanan assails company for ‘terrible’ living conditions of workers and vows stern action. Company chairman dismisses possibility that its gloves could be contaminated as a result of the mass infections among work force
25th Nov 2020 - South China Morning Post


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Kremlin says healthcare under heavy strain as COVID-19 deaths hit new high

The Kremlin said on Tuesday Russia’s healthcare system was under heavy strain as authorities reported a record 491 deaths linked to COVID-19 and infections surged. Russia has resisted imposing national lockdown restrictions, as it did earlier this year, preferring targeted regional measures, even as thousands of cases are reported each day, with 24,326 new infections on Tuesday. “The healthcare system is working under heavy strain, but with the exception of a few regions...the situation remains under control,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
24th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Minneapolis doctor wipes away tears in describing Covid-19's toll on hospital workers

In the past seven days, Minnesota has had the fifth-most new coronavirus cases per capita in the country, behind only the Dakotas, Wyoming and New Mexico, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The swell of new infections has pushed hospitals -- and perhaps more importantly, the people who make them go -- to the brink. Dr. Shirlee Xie took care of five patients with Covid-19 the last time she worked at her Minneapolis hospital. "I can't prevent anyone from getting Covid, all I can do is try to keep Covid from killing you," she said. "So we are not the front lines. We are the last line of defense, and so what we need is for people to step up and to wear masks and to distance from people and just try to keep themselves safe and everybody else safe."
24th Nov 2020 - MSN.com

Turkey's daily COVID-19 deaths hit a record high of 161 -ministry

Turkey’s daily death toll from the coronavirus hit a record high of 161 on Tuesday, according to data from the Health Ministry, after the country introduced nationwide measures last week amid a surge in cases. The data showed 7,381 new COVID-19 patients were recorded in the country, while the overall death toll rose to 12,672. Since July, Ankara has only reported symptomatic COVID-19 patients, a move critics say hides the true scale of the outbreak.
24th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19 is taking a devastating toll on Filipino American nurses

Nearly a third of the nurses who've died of coronavirus in the US are Filipino, even though Filipino nurses make up just 4% of the nursing population nationwide. A recent report from the largest nurses' union in the country revealed the disproportionate number of deaths. It's a jarring statistic researchers are working to understand and a tragedy families across the US and around the world are living with every day.
24th Nov 2020 - CNN

Resigned to the pandemic, Brits are now indifferent to the death toll

When Boris Johnson announced England's second national shutdown on October 31, my phone lit up as family, friends and colleagues in Australia shared disbelief over Britain's mounting death toll and expressed sympathy about facing another lockdown. They had good reason to raise the former - in the 25 days since, 8796 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK and about 34,000 were admitted to hospital. While deaths are not spiking as sharply as earlier this year, they are high and likely to stay high for the next few months. But this lockdown has looked and felt nothing like the one in April and May. As cases climbed, the public largely carried on with life. Something profound has happened: rightly or wrongly, most here no longer fear the virus. In the great balancing act between health and the economy, the scales are now overwhelmingly lean towards jobs and social cohesion.
24th Nov 2020 - The Sydney Morning Herald

Stricter COVID-19 measures take effect in South Korea amid rise in cases

A stricter level of physical distancing restrictions went into effect in the greater Seoul area on Tuesday as health officials scrambled to contain what they have described as a third wave of COVID-19. The government raised its distancing level on its five-tier scale, from Level 1.5 to Level 2, as new cases continue to linger at the highest levels since August. South Korea saw more than 300 cases on Tuesday, most in the Seoul metropolitan region, where roughly half of the country's 52 million people live.
24th Nov 2020 - UPI.com

The Virus Surge, Once Centered in the Midwest, Is Accelerating in 45 U.S. States

AstraZeneca said its vaccine candidate was up to 90 percent effective, suggesting that the world could eventually have at least three working vaccines. At the same time, the virus is accelerating across the U.S., and officials are imposing new restrictions to flatten the curve. When infections began rising sharply in the U.S. in September, the growth was driven largely by outbreaks in the Upper Midwest. States like North Dakota and Wisconsin soon became the hardest hit in the nation, relative to their size, and the region continues to struggle. Now, though, with the whole country’s daily average of new cases is as high as it has ever been — over 171,000 — the most rapid growth is happening elsewhere.
24th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

Europe weighs COVID-19 steps as global total tops 59 million

As some European countries see some promising signs that their latest lockdowns are slowing the pace of COVID-19, the progress raises new questions about how to unwind the measures in a way that prevents a third wave of infections at the start of the new year. Over the weekend and through today, the world added about 2 million cases, putting the global COVID-19 total just over the 59 million mark. The total today climbed to 59,004,131 cases, and 1,393,736 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.
24th Nov 2020 - CIDRAP

Japan Eyes Tighter Virus Steps as Severe Cases in Tokyo Jump

As Japan returned to work Tuesday following a holiday weekend, regional and national authorities moved toward boosting restrictions designed to contain the spread of a coronavirus surge. A campaign to spur domestic travel, which some have blamed for spreading infections, will be partly suspended. The metropolitan region of Osaka, where cases have spiked, plans to ask bars and restaurants to close early, while Tokyo was reported to be making plans for similar steps as serious cases jumped to a new high in the city. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike last week said that severe cases, rather than sheer number of infections, were her “red line” that would spur further action. Those cases, which the area defines as those on a ventilator or ECMO machine, jumped 24% overnight to a total of 51, the most Tokyo has seen during the pandemic.
24th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Japan pauses domestic travel push in two cities as COVID spreads

Japan paused its domestic “Go To Travel” promotion campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 infections, a government minister said on Tuesday, a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s plan to help prop up regional economies. Critics of the programme had said it risked spreading the infection from major cities to the countryside. “We have agreed to temporarily exclude trips destined for the cities of Sapporo and Osaka from the travel campaign,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Tuesday. “Although we have tried to balance both economic revitalization as well as virus containment, we have made this decision at the local governors’ request,” Nishimura told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Suga and Tourism Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba.
24th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK


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Delaware COVID-19 numbers hit high mark before Thanksgiving

The seven-day average daily coronavirus case count in Delaware set an all-time high as the state tested a record number of people in the days before Thanksgiving. The News Journal reports that the state reported 486 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising the seven-day average of new cases to a record 428.4. On Wednesday, the state recorded nearly 11,000 tests, the most ever in one day. The numbers show more people in Delaware are seeking out a test and a significant portion of them are returning positive results. The daily average percent of tests that are positive is 5.9%, the highest it’s been since early June. The average daily case count has grown by 90% over the past two weeks.
23rd Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Italy's COVID-19 death toll passes 50,000, with 630 new fatalities

Italy reported 630 COVID 19-related deaths on Monday, rising from 562 the day before and taking the official toll since its outbreak began in February to 50,453, according to health ministry data. Italy, the first Western country to be hit by the epidemic, becomes the sixth nation in the world to surpass 50,000 deaths, and the second in Europe after Britain. The health ministry also reported 22,930 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, down from 28,337 the day before, with the fall reflecting the usual drop in the number of swabs conducted on Sundays. There were 148,945 coronavirus tests carried out in the past day, the ministry said, against a previous 188,747.
23rd Nov 2020 - Reuters

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak orders statewide 'pause' for three weeks with restaurants, bars and casinos being forced to reduce capacity as COVID-19 cases surge

Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak has ordered a statewide 'pause' for three weeks Under Sisolak's latest public health orders, restaurants and bars must reduce operations from 50% to 25% of capacity. There are also additional social-distancing requirements, including prohibitions on service without advance reservations, according to the governor. Casinos, which reopened in June after being ordered closed for more than two months following COVID-19 outbreak, will likewise be capped at 25% capacity. Nevada has set daily records for hospitalizations in the last week alone. On Friday, the state reported the most hospitalizations since the pandemic hit the US in March with 1,288; on Sunday, the state reported 1,273 hospitalizations
23rd Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

A birthday lunch left 15 Texas relatives battling covid-19: ‘Please don’t be like my family’

Enriqueta Aragonez reclined on a hospital bed in Arlington, Tex., with plastic tubes snaking from her nose and pneumonia in both of her lungs. The 57-year-old had a message for everyone doubting the need for covid-19 restrictions. “I went to my nephew’s house and loved seeing my family, but now, I’m fighting against covid-19,” Aragonez said in a video message. “Please protect yourself. It’s real.” Aragonez is one of 15 family members who contracted the coronavirus after a small indoor birthday celebration earlier this month where no one wore masks. Weeks later, in an emotional video shared by the city of Arlington, the family is begging others to avoid gathering with anyone outside their immediate household.
23rd Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

3 million new Covid-19 infections were reported in November, as hospitalizations reach a record high

November isn't even over, and the US has already seen more new Covid-19 cases than any other month of this entire pandemic. More than 3 million new cases were reported between November 1 and 22, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That's about a quarter of all US cases since the beginning of this pandemic. Yes, testing has increased. But it hasn't kept pace with the rate of new infections. As of late last week, the number of daily new cases increased 25% compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins data.
23rd Nov 2020 - CNN

Shanghai airport momentarily descends into chaos after workers test positive for Covid-19

Shanghai's biggest international airport momentarily descended into chaos Sunday night, after authorities ordered a mass testing drive in response to a small outbreak of Covid-19 linked to several cargo handlers. Since the beginning of November, seven cargo workers and their close contacts at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport have been diagnosed as confirmed coronavirus cases, including two reported on Sunday. In a bid to contain the cluster, authorities ordered all cargo staff at the airport to undergo coronavirus tests overnight and set up a temporary testing site on the second floor of a parking garage, according to a statement from the Shanghai government.
23rd Nov 2020 - CNN

Covid: 'Entire families in hospital after coronavirus surge'

On 14 October, Farah Husain, a critical care specialist in Delhi's largest Covid-19 hospital, heaved a sigh of relief. "After a gruelling four months for healthcare workers in dedicated Covid hospitals, India records lowest daily rise in new cases," she tweeted. Barely a month later, Dr Husain sounds wistful. "I really thought we were past it. Now we are facing the intensity of a winter surge of coronavirus," she told me. Doctors fear that Delhi may well become the epicentre of India's first wave of winter infections.
23rd Nov 2020 - BBC

Millions of Americans set to ignore warnings against Thanksgiving travel

Ominous warnings came as Donald Trump appeared to admit that coronavirus is “running wild” across the US, in contrast with his statements throughout the election campaign that the virus would simply “go away” or “disappear” and, more recently, that the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. As new Covid-19 infections in the US approached 200,000 a day, Trump tweeted on Saturday night to insist things were bad outside the United States as well, posting: “The Fake News is not talking about the fact that ‘Covid’ is running wild all over the world, not just in the US.”
23rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Maharashtra considering another lockdown to cap Covid-19 surge

The Maharashtra government will decide in the next eight days whether to impose curbs or a complete lockdown depending on the surge in Covid-19 cases, Vijay Wadettiwar relief and rehabilitation minister said Monday. He said that such measures will have to be taken if lives are to be saved. “If needed, in the next eight days, after careful study we will decide whether there is a need for a complete lockdown or imposition of some curbs or add new conditions. Such measures will have to be taken because ultimately lives are important,” the minister said.
23rd Nov 2020 - Hindustan Times

Will India Announce Lockdown? PM Modi to Meet CMs of States Tomorrow to Review COVID Situation

Looking at the rising cases of coronavirus across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet the chief minister of states on Tuesday via video-conferencing. During the day-long meeting with the chief ministers, PM Modi will review the CIVUD situation and as per their suggestions, he will take possible decision. As a number of states have partially announced lockdown by imposing night curfews and Section 144, it is possible that PM Modi might announce another lockdown in states where the cases are rising in rapid rate. However, the Centre would give states the power to decide on the announcement of lockdown
23rd Nov 2020 - India.com

South Korea's capital Seoul announces new coronavirus controls

Authorities in the South Korean capital on Monday announced a tightening of social distancing regulations, including shutting nightclubs, limiting service hours at restaurants and reducing public transportation. The measures going into effect on Tuesday also include a ban on public rallies or demonstrations of more than 10 people. Restaurants can provide only take out and delivery after 9 p.m., and public transportation will be limited after 10 p.m. Acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jung-hyup told reporters one-third of city employees will work from home. He recommended that churches convert to online worship services only.
23rd Nov 2020 - Arab News

The Scientist Who Saved Japan Once Now Battles a New Virus Surge

Having mocked him at first for his theories on how the coronavirus spread, the world came to recognize the effectiveness of Japanese scientist Hitoshi Oshitani’s “Three C’s” approach to the pandemic: avoiding closed spaces, crowded places and close contact situations where the virus thrives. It’s a strategy that’s helped Japan avoid thousands of deaths without a lockdown -- but one that’s now being challenged with infections rapidly escalating as cold weather sets in. Oshitani fears the nation may not be ready. “People’s concern is decreasing,” Oshitani, a virologist and infectious disease specialist, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We may see a sudden increase in severe cases and deaths.”
23rd Nov 2020 - BNNBloomberg

China tests millions after coronavirus flareups in 3 cities

Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week. As temperatures drop, widescale measures are being enacted in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, even though the number of new cases remains low compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections. Experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater in cold weather. Recent flareups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.
23rd Nov 2020 - The Associated Press

Hungary imposes restricted shopping hours to protect elderly in pandemic

Hungary’s government on Monday limited retail store visits in an effort to separate elderly shoppers and contain the coronavirus pandemic in the most vulnerable over-65 age group. “This government decree serves the protection of the elderly,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a Facebook video. “The pandemic’s statistics clearly show that the most endangered age group is that of our parents and grandparents. Let’s take care of them.” Hungary has tried for months to avoid a second lockdown and prevent further harm to the economy but was forced to close secondary schools and impose an 8 p.m.-5 a.m curfew.
23rd Nov 2020 - Reuters

In Malaysia's Sabah, pandemic rages as migrants flee testing

Some flee on boats. Some hide in the stilts under their homes. Others run into the woods. All across Malaysia’s Sabah region on Borneo island, stateless residents and undocumented migrants are fleeing public health officials conducting coronavirus screenings, fearful of being detained or deported. The race to tackle COVID-19 in Sabah, Malaysia’s biggest palm oil producing state, is being complicated by an estimated one million undocumented migrants and stateless residents who account for a third of the population.
23rd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Lithuanian parliament sets week-long recess as COVID-19 cases spike

Lithuania’s parliament goes into a week-long hiatus from Tuesday to help contain the spread of COVID-19 among its members. The Baltic country’s government is considering extending and tightening its COVID-19 lockdown by closing shopping centres as the current level of restrictions had done little to curb a second wave of the disease among the population. The number of new COVID-19 infections in Lithuania more than doubled over the the past two weeks despite the lockdown that took effect on Nov. 3, when 316 cases per 100,000 people were registered over the preceding two weeks.
23rd Nov 2020 - Reuters

Lockdown Restrictions Likely to Return in This State Amid Surge in COVID Cases

Amid the sudden spurt in coronavirus cases, the Himachal Pradesh government is planning to impose a few restrictions across the state. The development comes a day after Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over a meeting with the district level officers at Mandi to review the COVID-19 situation in Mandi district. “Keeping in view the upsurge in the COVID-19 cases in the state, the government would consider imposing a few restrictions to avoid social gatherings and ensure that people take all necessary precautionary measures. It is also important to regularly monitor the COVID-19 positive cases kept in home isolation as that number is more than those admitted in hospitals”, the CM said.
23rd Nov 2020 - India.com

South Korea records a spike in Covid infections with 386 new cases as Asia battles rising cases

South Korea had eased social distancing in October after months of few cases But infections are rising and experts fear they could see 1,000 a day in weeks Japan has scrapped a government campaign to encourage eating out
21st Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus cases rise in South Korea after restrictions were eased

South Korea has reported 386 new cases of coronavirus in a resurgence that could force authorities to reimpose stronger social distancing restrictions after easing them in October to spur a faltering economy. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency raised the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 30,403, including 503 deaths. More than 270 of the new cases have come from the Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to track transmissions in schools, private tutoring academies and religious facilities.
21st Nov 2020 - Belfast Telegraph


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Covid rampages across US, unifying a splintered nation as cases surge

The virus is on the rise so uniformly across the vast landmass of the US, that records are being shattered daily. Chris McGreal in Kansas City, Kenya Evelyn in Milwaukee, Vivian Ho in Oakland and Adam Gabbatt and Ed Pilkington in New York. The Disunited States of America are united once more. After a brutal election that exacerbated bitter partisan divisions and left the country feeling as though it had been torn in two, it has at last been thrown back together. For all the wrong reasons. The great leveler is coronavirus. Covid-19 is rampaging across the US as though it were on a personal mission to unify the splintered nation in an unfolding catastrophe. Of the 50 states of the Union, all but one – isolated Hawaii – is seeing alarming surges in new cases. The virus is on the rise so uniformly across the vast landmass of the US, that records are being shattered daily.
22nd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Portugal to ban domestic travel, close schools around national holidays

Portugal is to ban domestic travel and close schools around two upcoming holidays in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus ahead of Christmas, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Saturday. Travel between municipalities will be banned from 11 p.m. on Nov. 27 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 2, and then again from 11 p.m. on Dec. 4 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 9, to prevent movement around national holidays on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Schools will close on the Mondays before both holidays, while businesses must close early. Employers are being encouraged to give workers the day off in order to minimise travel activity. “We continue to have a very high number of cases which is a threat to our health,” Costa told a press conference. “We must persist to not only halt that growth rate but invert it.”
22nd Nov 2020 - Reuters

The US recorded 195,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day. An expert says spread is now 'faster' and 'broader' than ever

The number of US coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million Saturday -- an increase of more than 1 million cases in less than a week. At least 12,085,389 cases have been confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and 255,823 Americans have died. It's another horrific milestone in a month full of devastating Covid-19 records in the country. November already accounts for almost a quarter of all Covid-19 cases and 9% of deaths. Almost every state has reported a rapid surge in cases, and nationwide numbers have been climbing much faster than ever before -- with the country reporting a staggering 2.9 million infections since the beginning of the month.
22nd Nov 2020 - CNN

Some Russian hospitals face shortages of COVID-19 drugs

Some Russian hospitals are experiencing serious shortages of drugs used to treat COVID-19 and cannot restock because of panic buying, high demand and problems with a new labelling system, officials, distributors and doctors said.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

California enacts nighttime curfew as COVID-19 cases spike

California enacts a nighttime curfew Saturday as spiking coronavirus cases threaten to swamp health care systems and the state's largest county warned that an even more drastic lockdown could be imminent. The newest restrictions require people not on essential errands to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Dec. 21, with a possible extension if rapidly worsening trends don’t improve. People will be allowed to shop for groceries, pick up food and even walk their dogs. Authorities say the focus is on keeping people from social mixing and drinking — the kinds of activities that are blamed for causing COVID-19 infections to soar after dipping only a few months ago. Dr. Mark Cullen, an infectious disease expert who recently retired from Stanford University, said the underlying goal is based on a reasonable interpretation of data.
21st Nov 2020 - The Independent

Iran tightens COVID-19 restrictions, but some streets still busy

Iran introduced tougher restrictions on Saturday to stem a third wave of coronavirus infections, including closing non-essential businesses and travel curbs, but state media reported widespread flouting of the rules. “Tehran streets are crowded despite the restrictions,” state TV said on Saturday morning. It said some non-essential businesses were open, but later showed mostly empty streets and shuttered shops. The semi-official ISNA news agency posted photos of crammed metro trains with the hashtag “Coronavirus kills.” Other media sites posted photos of packed buses.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Ten more Covid-19-related deaths in NI

Ten more people in Northern Ireland have died after contracting Covid-19, taking the Department of Health's total of recorded deaths to 923. Another 357 people have tested positive for the virus, taking the overall number of confirmed cases to 49,442. The figures come a day after some businesses reopened ahead of a two-week lockdown from 27 November. The restrictions have been criticised by some businesses but First Minister Arlene Foster has defended the move.
21st Nov 2020 - BBC

Covid-19: Sweden now has a higher infection rate than France or UK

Sweden today recorded some 393 daily cases of Covid-19 per million people This far surpasses 337 per million seen in Britain and 324 per million in France Nation has seen hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients double each week
21st Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Northern Ireland to enter tougher two-week lockdown as hospitals face being ‘overwhelmed within weeks’

Northern Ireland will shut non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants for two weeks from November 27 to save the health service from becoming swamped. The country was poised to emerge from a limited circuit-breaker lockdown until the number of infections rose to worrying levels. Close-contact services and cafes can open this Friday as planned but will have to close again next Friday, while other hospitality sectors like pubs and licensed restaurants will remain closed throughout, Stormont ministers said.
21st Nov 2020 - The Independent

Wisconsin governor renews mask mandate despite court challenge as pandemic worsens

Wisconsin’s governor on Friday extended a statewide mask mandate despite a legal challenge from conservatives, renewing an emergency health order requiring face coverings in public spaces to curb an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters

Record COVID infections in Germany up pressure for stricter measures

Germany reported a record number of new coronavirus cases on Friday, upping the pressure on leaders of the country’s 16 federal states to implement stricter restrictions favoured by Chancellor Angela Merkel to tame a second wave before Christmas.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

India’s coronavirus cases top nine million mark

India’s total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began crossed the nine million mark on Friday. Nevertheless, the country’s new daily cases have seen a steady decline for weeks now and the total number of cases represents 0.6% of India’s 1.3 billion population. The health ministry reported 45,882 new infections and 584 fatalities in the past 24 hours on Friday. The death toll since the pandemic began is more than 132,000.
20th Nov 2020 - Irish Examiner


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Why Congress should be much more worried about Covid-19 than they are

Over the last 48 hours, at least four House members and a US senator have tested positive for the coronavirus, seemingly part of the broader surge in cases across the country. The overall reaction within the halls of Congress has been relatively ho-hum -- particularly among Republican lawmakers. This is a major mistake, especially when you consider what we know about the virus' transmissibility and who it threatens the most. The situation, is ripe -- VERY ripe -- for an outbreak. (And I didn't even mention that lots of members are flying to and from their home states or home districts, further raising the Covid-19 risk.) And yet, the level of concern among members doesn't seem to match the threat.
19th Nov 2020 - CNN

US sees highest Covid-19 death toll in months as deaths top a quarter of a million

The United States saw the highest Covid-19 daily death toll in more than six months Tuesday, with at least 1,707 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The coronavirus is now killing at least one American every minute of the day, bringing the country to another horrific milestone on Wednesday: At least 250,029 people in the country have died of Covid-19 since the first death on February 29 in Washington state. And it's only going to get worse, said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine. "The horrible death count that we saw yesterday in the United States ... reflects the number of people who were being infected three weeks ago -- two to three weeks ago, because that's the lag," Reiner said
19th Nov 2020 - CNN

Mayo Clinic: 900 employees at top US hospital catch Covid-19 in two weeks

More than 900 employees at Mayo Clinic, a top research hospital that is based in Rochester, Minnesota, have contracted Covid-19 in the last two weeks. Dr Amy Williams, dean of clinical practice at the hospital, said that the vast majority of staff who were infected – 93% – were not infected at work. Most of those who were infected at work contracted the virus while eating without a mask during their breaks, Williams said. The hundreds of employees who have contracted the virus over the last two weeks make up over a third of all employees who were infected since the start of the pandemic. The hospital is experiencing a shortage of 1,000 employees at its headquarters in Rochester. “It shows you how easy it is to get Covid-19 in the midwest,” Williams said
19th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19 was third biggest killer in England in October, ONS

Coronavirus was the third biggest killer in England in October, official figures show — but the total number of deaths from all causes for the month was no different to last year. An Office for National Statistics report found there were 43,265 fatalities recorded last month — just eight more than in October 2019 — of which 3,367 involved Covid-19 (7.8 per cent). The number-crunching body has previously said deaths were 'front-loaded' this year because so many elderly and vulnerable people fell victim to the disease in the spring. The 3,367 Covid deaths meant the disease was third leading cause of death in England last month, having climbed from 19th in September, when there were 690.
19th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

The Coronavirus Has Now Killed 250,000 People in the U.S.

The United States passed a grim milestone on Wednesday, hitting 250,000 coronavirus-related deaths, with the number expected to keep climbing steeply as infections surge nationwide. Experts predict that the country could soon be reporting 2,000 deaths a day or more, matching or exceeding the spring peak, and that 100,000 to 200,000 more Americans could die in the coming months. Just how bad it gets will depend on a variety of factors, including how well preventive measures are followed and when a vaccine is introduced. “It all depends on what we do and how we address this outbreak,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University professor of environmental health sciences who has modeled the spread of the disease.
19th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Worse Than It’s Ever Been. Why Aren’t We Acting Like It?

Nothing about the current COVID-19 explosion should come as a surprise. As the virus spread throughout summer and fall, experts repeatedly warned winter would be worse. They cautioned that a cold-weather return to indoor socializing, particularly around the holidays, could turn a steady burn into a wildfire. So it has. The U.S. is now locked in a deadly cycle of setting, then shattering, records for new cases and hospitalizations. On Nov. 13, a staggering 177,224 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with COVID-19. As of Nov. 17, more than 70,000 coronavirus patients were hospitalized nationwide. And unlike in earlier waves, which were fairly regionalized, the virus was as of Nov. 17 spreading–and fast–in virtually every part of the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.
19th Nov 2020 - TIME

Stop talking about a ‘national lockdown.' It won’t happen, and it is a distraction.

A national lockdown is not going to happen in the United States. Every time it’s brought up, it distracts attention from practical public health measures that can work to control covid-19. I understand that a “shutdown” or “lockdown” is a convenient shorthand to describe restrictions that states have recently put into place. This week, Washington state closed bars and restaurants for indoor dining and prohibited indoor social gatherings for people in different households. Michigan closed casinos and movie theaters and ended in-person classes for colleges and high schools. And as of Thursday, New York City’s public schools are returning to all-remote instruction. But let’s get our terminology right: These restrictions are not lockdowns. A lockdown is what the Chinese government imposed in February, forcing people to remain in their homes and preventing 780 million people from traveling city to city. A broader definition of lockdown could also include the stay-at-home orders most states instituted in March.
19th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Samoa leader appeals for calm after COVID case

The leader of the small Pacific nation of Samoa appealed for calm Thursday after the country reported its first positive test for the coronavirus, although a second test on the same patient returned a negative result. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi addressed the nation live on television and radio, urging people to remain vigilant with their virus precautions. Samoa was among a dwindling handful of nations to have not reported a single case of the virus.
19th Nov 2020 - Associated Press

Ukraine faces 'severe' coronavirus winter but no new lockdown measures, minister says

Ukraine faces a “very severe” period of COVID-19 cases but will not tighten lockdown restrictions because measures taken last week should stabilise the situation, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov told Reuters. The government on Saturday introduced a lockdown at weekends, closing or restricting most businesses except essential services such as grocery shops, pharmacies, hospitals and transport. A member of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration resigned over the decision, some mayors refused to comply with the government’s order and some business owners held protests.
19th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: London appears to be faring better during second wave

London was the worst-hit part of the UK during the first wave of coronavirus but the second time around it appears to be faring rather better. Data released this week by the Office for National Statistics showed 952 deaths registered in London in the week ending November 6, the same number as would be predicted based on the average for the past five years. It was the only one of the nine regions of England used for official statistics not to register any excess deaths. By contrast, the 1,900 deaths registered in the northwest were 496 higher than average, a difference of 35 per cent. Wales’s 832 deaths were 207 above normal, a 33 per cent difference. Experts told The Times it was too early to tell exactly why London was doing better, but one theory is that it now has some level of herd immunity.
19th Nov 2020 - The Times


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'A catastrophic situation': COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm Canada's health system

In July, the Canadian province of Manitoba went two weeks without a single new case of COVID-19. Theaters and casinos reopened and children soon returned to school. By October, the 1.4 million people living in a province only slightly smaller geographically than Texas had Canada’s highest rate of active cases - now 512 per 100,000 people, or nearly quadruple the national rate. “In a couple of weeks, we’re going to be in a catastrophic situation,” said Dr. Anand Kumar, a Manitoba intensive care physician.
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Putin admits he is ‘alarmed’ by Russia’s spike in Covid-19 deaths and says officials ‘cannot pretend all is fine’

Putin said the rising death rate was 'alarming' after record 456 fatalities today Russia has stopped short of imposing strict new measures like much of Europe In a further blow, smoke was seen billowing from a major hospital in Russia today
18th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott won’t order lockdown as coronavirus cases rise

The last time case numbers were this high, Abbott closed bars and urged Texans to avoid summer holiday gatherings. This time, he's staying the course, relying on a 2-month-old blueprint to claw back reopenings regionally based on hospitalizations.
18th Nov 2020 - The Texas Tribune

As virus hits Italy's south, some flee troubled health care

Patients some wrapped in blankets that look like they came from home, moan in their beds. What appears to be medical tubing and a wad of gauze or paper towels litter the floor of San Giuliano public hospital which treats coronavirus patients in a bleak town in Italy's Neapolitan hinterland. In another surreptitiously filmed scene, 15 kilometers (9 miles) away in Naples an elderly man suspected of having COVID-19 takes his last, labored breaths in a bathroom at the emergency room of Cardarelli Hospital, his undignified end memorialized on a phone camera by a fellow patient and posted online.
18th Nov 2020 - The Independent

Italy reports 34,283 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, 753 deaths

Italy has registered 34,283 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday, up from 32,191 the day before. The ministry also reported 753 COVID 19-related deaths, up from 731 on Tuesday and the highest daily tally since April 3, when the country was in full national lockdown. There were 234,834 coronavirus swabs carried out in the past day, the ministry said, against a previous 208,458. Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 47,217 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain’s, and 1.27 million cases.
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Brutal Covid second wave exposes Italy's shortage of intensive care staff

Italian hospitals are struggling with a shortage of intensive care specialists as the country battles a severe coronavirus second wave, while some citizens are also turning against health workers. Covid-related deaths rose by 731 on Tuesday – the highest daily toll since early April, when Italy was in complete lockdown – and by 753 on Wednesday, as weaknesses in the healthcare system across the country become more exposed. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University in the US, Italy has recorded four deaths per 100 infections - the third highest rate in the world. Tuesday’s count equated to one death every two minutes. Admissions to intensive care units have almost doubled to 3,612 since 1 November and the number of people in hospital with coronavirus – 33,074 – has eclipsed that reached during the first wave.
18th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Italy and Spain report highest daily Covid deaths of second wave

Italy and Spain have both recorded their highest daily coronavirus death tolls of the second wave, reporting 731 and 435 deaths respectively over the past 24 hours. Italy, the first western country hit by the virus, has logged 46,464 Covid deaths while Spain has logged 41,688. Such high Italian daily death figures have not been seen since 3 April, when the country was still in lockdown. The Spanish toll is well up on last week’s previous second-wave record of 411 deaths.
18th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

France is the worst-hit country for COVID-19 cases in Europe. But these teens are angry their schools remain open

The sun had barely risen over Paris and already pepper spray filled the air. Students protesting against an alleged lack of COVID-19 protections inside schools were the target of last week’s protest, but anyone nearby could feel the acrid substance in their nostrils. They tried to form a barricade of wheelie bins to block the entrance to their high school, General Lycée Colbert, in northern Paris. But police had prior warning of their plan and tried to snuff out the protest before it had even begun.
18th Nov 2020 - ABC News

South Korea sees biggest rise in Covid-19 cases since August

South Korea has recorded its largest daily increase in coronavirus infections in nearly three months as it gets set to tighten social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 313 new cases on Wednesday, raising the country's total to 29,311, including 496 deaths. It's the first time the country's daily caseload exceeded 300 since late August.
18th Nov 2020 - Deccan Herald

Japan cases hit record as Tokyo plans to raise virus alert

COVID-19 cases rose to a record of more than 2,000, according to local media tallies, as the nation that had previously shown success in containing the virus now faces a rapid spread of the pathogen.
18th Nov 2020 - bnnbloomberg

Tokyo to raise alert as Japan sets daily record with 2000-plus COVID-19 cases

Japan set a daily record with more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases — including a new high of 493 in the capital — on Wednesday, following reports Tokyo was expected to raise its virus alert to the highest level Thursday amid an ongoing surge of infections. Prior to Wednesday, record nationwide tallies had been reported for three consecutive days through Saturday, with the figure hitting 1,737 on that day. While the final figure for Wednesday was yet to be confirmed, local media tallies showed the figure had risen above the 2,000 threshold. But much of the focus has been on the capital and the surge in cases there. While raising the virus alert level, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government may also call on businesses to close early, according to local media reports.
18th Nov 2020 - The Japan Times

Ireland has only one way to avoid entering third lockdown

The whole of Europe is in a disastrous second wave of Covid-19 and a second lockdown. On past experience, it is likely to head into a third wave and third lockdown in January, which will bring further and unimaginable damage to us all, and a collapse of confidence in our medical advisers and governments. Vaccines and anti-virals will not arrive in time to avoid this catastrophe, and any talk of significant relaxation of guidelines for Christmas is highly irresponsible. We must go further and face the fact that the European policy of living with Covid-19 is wrong.
18th Nov 2020 - The Irish Times

Turkey says additional coronavirus measures will take effect from Nov. 20

Turkey said on Wednesday new coronavirus measures limiting the working hours of restaurants and cafes and introducing a partial lockdown on weekends will take effect from the evening of Nov. 20, according to an interior ministry statement. Restaurants, cafes, shopping malls and hairdressers will only be allowed to operate from 0700 GMT to 1700 GMT, the statement said, while restaurants and cafes will only be open for takeaway and delivery services. Under the new curbs, which will take effect from 1700 GMT on Friday, cinemas will be closed for the rest of the year. The government said on Tuesday it would impose tighter coronavirus measures as cases surged in recent weeks. Ankara reported 3,819 new symptomatic cases on Tuesday and 103 COVID-19 deaths in the country, taking the total death toll to 11,704.
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Confirmed coronavirus infections in France surpass two million

France’s cumulative number of COVID-19 cases now exceeds two million but efforts to rein in the pandemic are starting to bear fruit, its top health official said on Tuesday. Authorities have reported a total of 2,036,755 confirmed coronavirus infections, with the number of deaths in hospitals and nursing homes now at 46,273, including 437 over the past 24 hours, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon said. “Our collective efforts are starting to bear fruit, the number of new cases has been going down over a few days...We must double down our efforts to regain control of the epidemic,” Salomon told a news conference.
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid Stalks U.S. Nursing Homes Again With Pandemic Redoubling

The tip of the coronavirus spear is piercing the country’s long-term care facilities again in a surge that underscores the nation’s repeated failure to protect its most vulnerable. States reported over 29,000 new infections last week in places such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, the steepest uptick since at least May, according to Covid Tracking Project data. They come as national daily case counts were higher than ever in November, with a record of more than 170,000 new cases reported Nov. 13.
18th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Wedding with over 300 guests in Washington state linked to COVID-19 outbreak

A wedding in Washington state attended by over 300 people has been linked to nearly 40 COVID-19 cases so far, health officials said. The massive party was held near Ritzville, in rural Adams County, on Nov. 7, officials said. By Monday, neighboring Grant County had traced 17 cases of COVID-19 to the event, "with more being added daily," local health officials said in a news release. On Tuesday, the number of cases connected to the wedding was approaching 40, the Grant County Health District confirmed to ABC News.
18th Nov 2020 - ABC News

Covid: New York City closes all schools amid virus spike

New York City has been ordered to close its schools from Thursday, amid a Covid-19 spike. The decision to close the US's largest public school system comes as positive test rates for the virus surpassed the 3% threshold, officials say. It will affect some 300,000 children. New York, where 35,000 residents have died with coronavirus, was the epicentre of the outbreak in the US in the spring. It now appears to be facing a new wave. The US has more infections and more deaths from the virus than any other nation, and has reported record levels of cases in recent days.
17th Nov 2020 - BBC


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Nov 2020

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Spain reports 435 new COVID-19 deaths, new infections slow down

Spain's death toll from the coronavirus rose by 435 to 41,688 on Tuesday - the steepest daily increase in the second wave of contagion - but new infections continued to slow, health ministry data showed.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19 in the US: Is this coronavirus wave the worst yet?

Americans may have tuned out of coronavirus news as they focused on the outcome of the presidential election, but the pandemic has quietly been getting worse in the country. The number of infections in the US has reached new heights in recent days, surpassing 160,000 cases in one day for the first time since the outbreak began. Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, has warned that the country faces "a very challenging and ominous situation" as it approaches winter. So how bad is the situation and how much does it vary across the country?
17th Nov 2020 - BBC

Lockdowns, Round 2: A New Virus Surge Prompts Restrictions, and Pushback

California and Michigan moved to shut down indoor dining, and Philadelphia severely limited indoor gatherings. With more than 150,000 virus cases daily, the nation is shutting down again.
17th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

Covid: States clamp down as US cases pass 11 million mark

Michigan, Washington and California are the latest US states to bring in strict measures to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, as cases top 11 million. High schools and colleges are to halt on-site teaching while restaurants are prohibited from offering indoor dining in Michigan from Wednesday. Indoor restaurant dining is also banned in Washington State, and gyms, cinemas, theatres and museums will close. And much of California will return to its most severe restriction level. On average, more than 1,000 people a day are dying with the virus, and the overall death toll is close to 250,000. Hospital admissions have also reached record levels with nearly 150,000 new cases across the US on Monday.
17th Nov 2020 - BBC

Lockdown U-turn in Sweden as COVID-19 cases soar and herd immunity hopes falter

Sweden, whose unorthodox pandemic strategy garnered global attention, has registered 15,084 new coronavirus cases since Friday, Health Agency statistics showed on Tuesday. The number comes after Sweden hit a new daily record of 5,990 new cases last Friday, with the number of people testing positive rising by about 50 per cent a week.
17th Nov 2020 - National Post

Spain reports 38,273 new coronavirus cases and adds 484 victims since Friday

The coronavirus data sent by Spain’s regions to the central Health Ministry showed a clear improvement on Monday, according to the daily report that is published each weekday. Compared with the data released on Friday, all Spanish territories apart from Asturias and Cantabria have registered a fall in the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the key indicators being used to track the progress of the epidemic.
17th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Europe's second wave shows signs of slowing after new lockdowns

New lockdowns and tough social restrictions were reintroduced across numerous European countries in October in an effort to contain the second wave. The latest numbers suggest these steps seem to be working. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that the restrictions were causing case numbers to stabilize “somewhat, but too slowly.”
17th Nov 2020 - CNBC

France's new daily COVID-19 infections at one-month low

French health authorities on Monday reported 9,406 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, a more than one-month low and a figure sharply down from Sunday's 27,228 and way below the all-time high of 86,852 reached on Nov 7. Health minister Olivier Veran had said earlier in the day that recent data had shown some encouraging signs from the second national lockdown - albeit lighter than the first one - put in place on Oct 30. Nonetheless, the number of people hospitalised for the new coronavirus was up by 416 to reach a new all-time high of 33,497. And COVID-19 fatalities increased by 506, to 45,054, versus a seven-day moving average of 581.
17th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!News

'There's light at the end of tunnel': AIIMS' Randeep Guleria pins hope on COVID-19 vaccines as cases surge

With the number COVID-19 cases witnessing a surge in Delhi again, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday sought the Centre's approval to allow it to shut markets that may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots for a few days. The Delhi has already confirmed that the city is witnessing a third wave of COVID-19, adding that it has already peaked out. AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleri, in an exclusive interaction with India TV, listed out several reasons behind the spike in coronavirus cases in the national capital. Due to the festival season, people were seen flouting the COVID-19 protocols. Markets witnessed huge rush of people. It is quite likely that some events acted like superspreader, Dr Guleria said.
17th Nov 2020 - India TV News

With coronavirus cases rising in Hokkaido, is the prefecture going into a lockdown?

The northernmost island in Japan, Hokkaido is a popular destination for local and international tourists, famed for its cool summer, abundant snowfall in winter and exceptional seafood. Since last Thursday (November 12), however, the prefecture has been making headlines for its rising coronavirus cases. It reported a record 236 new Covid-19 cases on that day and a daily tally of over 200 new cases through to Sunday. Yesterday, Monday November 16, there were 189 new infections. When news of Hokkaido's upward trend in case numbers broke, there was speculation that the prefecture might be taken off the enticing Go to Travel domestic tourism campaign, which sees the government subsidising up to half of your travel costs. However, according to The Japan Times, Prime Minister Suga has said that the Go to Travel subsidy will continue as is.
17th Nov 2020 - Time Out

Australia scrambles to contain new COVID-19 cluster

Australian authorities conducted mass tests on Tuesday and about 4,000 people were confined to quarantine in the hope of stifling a new cluster of cases of the novel coronavirus after hopes it had been largely eradicated. The state of South Australia reimposed social distancing restrictions on Monday after detecting 21 cases of the coronavirus, most of which were acquired locally. The cases were the first local transmissions of the virus in Australia in nine days. South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said testing had identified five new cases in the past 24 hours, while 14 people were suspected to be infected and were awaiting test results.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Sask. nurses' union head pitches short-term 'circuit break' lockdown to help turn back tide of new COVID-19 cases

Saskatchewan Union of Nurses president Tracy Zambory joined CTV News at Five anchor Jeremy Dodge to explain why she thinks the province's new COVID-19 rules don't go far enough and how a novel approach taken in Australia could help stop the spread of coronavirus in Saskatchewan. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. So last week, you spoke to us here at CTV News about some of your concerns. And they proved not to be unfounded with, you know, over 400 cases of COVID-19 being confirmed on the weekend. Of course, the impact on the healthcare system has been felt by nurses and everybody on the front lines. Now, the government has taken some action, with new restrictions, what are your thoughts on where we stand?
17th Nov 2020 - CTV News Saskatoon

Jacinda Ardern refutes China's claims it found coronavirus in meat imported from New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern has hit back at claims from China that traces of coronavirus were detected in frozen meat imported from New Zealand. The Prime Minister is now seeking official clarification from China in a determined bid to get to the bottom of the matter after claims emerged from the eastern province of Shandong. Health authorities in the Chinese city of Jinan claimed coronavirus was detected on beef, tripe and product packaging from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand.
17th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Learning the lessons of Covid-19

Each country is trying to find a route through winter which will disrupt life as little as possible while still safeguarding health. There’s also a wish, as the UK’s Prime Minister put it, to “save Christmas”. And each country has a slightly different approach. Here in Switzerland the government has opted for a “slowdown” rather than a lockdown. Neighbouring France has gone into another “confinement” with strict rules around movement. To our east, Austria is beginning a “hard lockdown”, with schools closed and a daytime as well as a nighttime curfew. There is increasing debate, and confusion, about which measures are most successful. In most parts of Switzerland we can still go out for dinner. Our friends in France cannot. But since the introduction of the Swiss slowdown and the French confinement, cases of Covid-19 in both countries have begun to fall
17th Nov 2020 - swissinfo.ch

Covid-19: Weak positive case confirmed to be community infection

The weak positive case reported yesterday has been confirmed as a community case, with two more cases also reported at New Zealand's border. In a statement, the Health Ministry said the weak positive result from a neighbour of this week's community case in Auckland - reported yesterday - has now had a third test that returned a positive result. "These test results indicate that this new case is a very recent infection." This case has been in the Auckland quarantine facility since 12 November, the ministry said.
17th Nov 2020 - RNZ

Crisis-weary Beirut residents defy new lockdown despite COVID surge

Beirut’s popular Sabra market teemed with shoppers this week, some of them unmasked, in apparent defiance of a full national lockdown imposed on Saturday to stem a resurgence of coronavirus infections. The Lebanese government ordered the two-week restrictions, including a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on Sundays, as new daily infections rose above 1,000. Lebanon reported 1,016 new infections on Monday, bringing its total to 106,446 cases and 827 deaths since Feb. 21. After city streets and roads emptied on Sunday, pedestrians were back on Monday and some motorists could be seen flouting a re-imposed odd-even licence plate alternate day driving rule.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

Sweden Tests Limit of Controversial Covid Strategy as Cases Soar

Sweden is bumping up against the limits of a strategy that has so far relied on recommendations rather than rules to stop people transmitting the coronavirus. The country famously avoided a lockdown earlier this year, arguing instead that citizens would voluntarily do the right thing. But this week, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven took what he called the “unprecedented” step of banning public gatherings larger than eight people, amid signs that Sweden’s softer approach is falling short. On Tuesday, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said Swedes appear to be paying less attention to social distancing guidelines now than when the pandemic first erupted. That’s despite warnings from Lofven that Sweden faces a “really dark” winter with the virus.
17th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

UK Coronavirus deaths jump by 598 in highest daily rise since May 12

The UK has recorded a further 598 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily increase since May 12. It brings the total official death toll to 52,745 since the outbreak began, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 68,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
17th Nov 2020 - Evening Standard

Tokyo to raise coronavirus alert level to highest of four levels: Nikkei

Tokyo is preparing to raise its coronavirus alert level to the highest of four levels as the number of positive cases in the Japanese capital creeps up, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday. As part of the move, the metropolitan government is considering asking some businesses to shorten their hours again, the paper said, citing multiple unnamed sources. The announcement will be made on Thursday, the Nikkei said. Tokyo authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters

France becomes first European country to top two million COVID-19 cases – Reuters tally

France on Tuesday became the first European country to surpass 2 million coronavirus cases despite an Oct. 30 nationwide lockdown that has led to a sharp decline in new infections, according to a Reuters tally. France is fourth in the number of infections reported, with 2,036,755, behind the United States, India and Brazil. With a death toll topping 45,000, France ranks seventh in COVID-19 deaths globally.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Facing a ‘crisis’, South Korea moves to tighten COVID-19 curbs

South Korea will tighten physical distancing rules for Seoul and its surrounding areas from Thursday, the government saying its anti-coronavirus efforts are “facing a crisis” as it works to contain increases in new cases in and around the capital. The tougher measures – including limits on public gatherings of 100 or more people as well as the numbers able to attend religious services and sporting events – will come into force on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported.
17th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Covid Is Resurging, and This Time It’s Everywhere

Pervasive spread in smaller communities fuels nationwide case record, though mortality rates are lower than in the spring. With a third surge of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the U.S., many public-health authorities are warning the coronavirus is now so widespread that it will take pervasive new measures to contain it.
16th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 17th Nov 2020

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St. Louis Is So Overwhelmed With Covid-19 It’s Asking People To Do Their Own Contact Tracing

As health officials across the country struggle with dwindling resources amid a third resurgence of the coronavirus, St. Louis said Monday the county is so overwhelmed with Covid-19 it no longer has enough capacity for contact tracing.
16th Nov 2020 - Forbes

Covid-19 Northern Ireland: 14 further Covid-19 deaths recorded by Department of Health

There have been 14 further Covid-19 deaths recorded in Northern Ireland, with 10 of these taking place in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health. The department's daily dashboard says there have been 331 positive tests in the past day, with 3,831 people contracting the virus in the past week. The Northern Ireland death toll from the virus now stands at 869, says the DoH. Since the outbreak began, 47,162 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19. Belfast has seen the largest number of new infections in the past seven days, with 696, followed by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon with 544, and Causeway, Coast and Glens with 451. Those aged 20 to 39 have had the most positive tests in the past week, with 1,267, followed by those aged 40 to 59 with 1,199.
16th Nov 2020 - Belfast Live

Covid-19: Boris Johnson and six Tory MPs self-isolating after No 10 meeting

Boris Johnson, six Tory MPs and two political aides are self-isolating after a breakfast meeting inside Downing Street last Thursday. One of the MPs, Lee Anderson, later tested positive for Covid-19, and on Sunday the prime minister was told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. In a video from No 10, Mr Johnson urged others to "follow the rules" if contacted by the system. The PM's official spokesman insisted that Downing Street is "Covid-secure". He said "social distancing did happen" but factors such as the length of the meeting were considered by Test and Trace. Mr Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus seven months ago, spent about 35 minutes with Mr Anderson - who lost his sense of taste the day after the meeting.
16th Nov 2020 - BBC

States enact more Covid-19 rules as the US hits 11 million cases

The United States surpassed 11 million coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as states across the country moved to enact restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. The latest milestone comes just six days after the US recorded 10 million cases, per Johns Hopkins data. It was the fastest the US has added one million new cases since the pandemic began. At least 45 states have reported more new infections this past week compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University. "We have this firestorm of coronavirus all across the country," emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen said. "It's not one or two hotspots, the entire country is a hotspot of coronavirus infection."
16th Nov 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus: US rules out lockdown as daily cases near 200000

America’s top infectious diseases experts have ruled out a national lockdown against the coronavirus even as the country heads for a record of 200,000 new cases a day. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that it would fall to local and regional leaders to instigate mitigation measures even after Joe Biden, the president-elect, assumes power, and called on President Trump to stop stonewalling efforts by the new administration to get a plan in place. “We’re not going to get a national lockdown. I think that’s very clear,” Dr Fauci said.
16th Nov 2020 - The Times

Covid: Michigan and Washington State clamp down as US cases pass 11 million mark

Michigan, Washington and California are the latest US states to bring in strict measures to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, as cases top 11 million. High schools and colleges are to halt on-site teaching while restaurants are prohibited from offering indoor dining in Michigan from Wednesday. Indoor restaurant dining is also banned in Washington State, and gyms, cinemas, theatres and museums will close. And much of California will return to its most severe restriction level. On average, more than 1,000 people a day are dying with the virus, and the overall death toll is close to 250,000. Hospital admissions have also reached record levels.
16th Nov 2020 - BBC

Sweden limits public gatherings to eight people amid Covid surge

Sweden has cut its limit on attendance at public gatherings to eight people, as its light-touch approach to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be tested by a surge in new infections and hospitalisations. Public gatherings have until now had to adhere to limits of between 50 and 300 people depending on the type of event. The prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said the stricter limit would come into force from 24 November. “This is the new norm for the entire society,” Lofven said, adding that Swedes were not observing coronavirus recommendations as well they had in the spring. “Don’t go to gyms, don’t go to libraries, don’t host dinners. Cancel,” he said.
16th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Covid figures suggest France has passed peak of second wave: health minister

With more tests being carried out and fewer people admitted to intensive care, French Health Minister Olivier Véran says there is every reason to believe the country has passed the peak of the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. But the battle is a long way from over, the minister warned. Health Minister Véran said the epidemic is being brought under control. "Thanks to the lockdown, just as in March, the virus is spreading less quickly," Véran told journalists from a group of regional newspapers at the weekend.
16th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

"Delhi Has Crossed Peak Of Third Covid Wave, No Lockdown": Minister

Delhi will not be put under another lockdown in the wake of the third wave of COVID-19 since it has already peaked out, state Health Minister Satyendar Jain said today, dismissing all speculation. "There is no chance of a lockdown," Health Minister Satyendar Jain said today. "I can tell you today that the peak of Delhi's third wave is gone," Mr Jain said. When asked about markets being shut down, he said, "It has not even been considered. The festival is over, the crowds will get thinner now on." However, he said people ought to be cautious and wear masks. "The lockdown was a learning exercise...What we learnt was that the gains from a lockdown were the same as those from wearing masks." Delhi on Sunday recorded 3,235 new COVID-19 cases and 95 deaths due to coronavirus, state government data shows.
16th Nov 2020 - NDTV

Japan looks to avert Covid-19 lockdowns and keep economy open

Japan can make it through the winter without lockdowns or mass screening for Covid-19 but the public will have to socialise — and drink — with care, according to the doctor leading the country’s response. Dr Shigeru Omi, chair of the government’s expert committee on the virus, told the Financial Times in an interview that Japan was determined to keep the economy open even as case numbers were rising. Japan has been relatively successful in living with the virus — rather than seeking near elimination as has been pursued in Australia, New Zealand, China and Taiwan — making it a potential model for Europe and the US.
16th Nov 2020 - The Financial Times

Asia at a crossroads in fight against coronavirus as cases surge

Countries across the Asia-Pacific region reported record new coronavirus numbers and fresh outbreaks on Monday, with Japan facing mounting pressure to reimpose a state of emergency and South Korea warning it was at a “critical crossroads”. The resurgence of the virus in Asia comes as travel restrictions are gradually being eased in the region and it will dampen prospects for broader reopening that would boost the recovery underway in economies such as Japan. New daily cases in Japan reached a record 1,722 on Saturday, with hot spots in the northern island of Hokkaido and the western prefectures of Hyogo and Osaka. In Tokyo, cases have neared 400 in recent days, levels not seen since early August.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Japan looks to avert Covid-19 lockdowns and keep economy open

Japan can make it through the winter without lockdowns or mass screening for Covid-19 but the public will have to socialise — and drink — with care, according to the doctor leading the country’s response. Dr Shigeru Omi, chair of the government’s expert committee on the virus, told the Financial Times in an interview that Japan was determined to keep the economy open even as case numbers were rising. Japan has been relatively successful in living with the virus — rather than seeking near elimination as has been pursued in Australia, New Zealand, China and Taiwan — making it a potential model for Europe and the US.
16th Nov 2020 - Financial Times

Covid: South Australia goes on high alert after first outbreak in months

South Australian authorities say they are facing a "dangerous situation" after reporting 18 coronavirus cases in the state's first outbreak since April. Up to 13 infections were linked to a hotel quarantine worker in Adelaide who spread the virus to a family in the local community, officials said. The state has ramped up testing and brought in new restrictions. Australia had seen cases drop to near zero after beating a second wave that was largely confined to Victoria. Victoria's capital, Melbourne, spent almost four months in a stringent lockdown before re-opening last month.
16th Nov 2020 - BBC

Australia back on outbreak alert as state virus infections spike

South Australia reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Monday, a rapid spike in the state’s first outbreak since April, prompting officials to impose social distancing restrictions. The cluster also prompted some other Australian states to reimpose strict quarantine measures on anybody arriving from South Australia - just days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he expected all internal borders to be open by Christmas. South Australia authorities first reported three locally-acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday, saying the outbreak was caused by a worker from a quarantine hotel infecting family members. By Monday, case numbers had jumped to 17.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters

US COVID-19 infection numbers grow by one million in just six days

The US surpassed 11 million coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as states across the country moved to enact restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. The latest milestone comes just six days after the US recorded 10 million cases, per Johns Hopkins data. It is the fastest the US has added one million new cases since the pandemic began.
16th Nov 2020 - 9News

How Adelaide could go into a Melbourne-style lockdown because of hotel quarantine worker

South Australia outbreak has echoes of Melbourne's COVID-19 situation in June Adelaide now has 17 active cases with 15 of them linked to one large family SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said next 24 to 48 hours were crucial
16th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Indian capital's third coronavirus wave has peaked: minister

The latest surge of coronavirus infections in the Indian capital, that has swamped its intensive care wards and killed hundreds of people, has passed its peak, the city’s top health official said on Monday, dismissing fears of another lockdown. “I can definitely tell you that the peak is gone and cases will slowly come down now,” Satyendar Jain, minister of health in the city government, told Reuters partner ANI, pointing to a decline in the city’s positivity rate. New Delhi has seen a surge in novel coronavirus infections this month, what authorities have called a third wave that has killed more than 600 people dead in the past week, even as cases in other parts of the country have declined.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters

PM Johnson self-isolating after COVID-19 contact

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, a fresh setback after infighting among his top advisers plunged Downing Street into chaos last week. Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care in a London hospital earlier this year with the novel coronavirus, is well and does not have any symptoms, a spokesman for the prime minister said on Sunday. “He will carry on working from Downing Street, including on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” the spokesman said. “The prime minister will follow the rules and is self-isolating.” Johnson met lawmakers in Downing Street on Thursday, including Lee Anderson, a Conservative Party member who subsequently developed COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Spain's hard-pressed millennials move out of the city amid COVID

Thirty-one-year-old Ines Alcolea ditched the bustling life of Madrid in October for a village near the much quieter medieval town of Toledo, unable to face the prospect of more COVID-19 restrictions in her small flat in the Spanish capital. “At least here, if there’s another lockdown we’ll have more space, a garden. It’ll be lighter,” Alcolea said, sitting in her new home surrounded by boxes and her two cats. She is paying half the rent she used to for nearly twice the space, and has a rooftop terrace thrown in.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters

French virus data encouraging but too soon claim victory: minister

France’s health minister said on Monday it was too early to claim victory over a resurgence in coronavirus infections even if recent data showed some encouraging signs during a second national lockdown. Olivier Veran said that authorities were in the process of gradually regaining control over the COVID-19 pandemic but warned that it was too soon to let up. “We have not defeated the virus yet,” Veran told reporters in Lyon, adding that that as long as daily infection numbers did not drop significantly and the hospital system remained under pressure, lockdown measures must continue.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

France records 27,228 new COVID-19 cases, 302 more deaths

France has registered 27,228 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a further 302 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Sunday, although there were signs of a fall in the rate of new cases. France has now recorded 1,981,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases in all, while 44,548 people have died from the virus - the seventh-highest death toll in the world. Nevertheless, the data marked a slight decrease compared with the previous day’s COVID-19 figures in terms of new confirmed cases and deaths.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Malaysia's Top Glove workers under stricter COVID lockdown: government

The Malaysian government tightened movement curbs in an area where Top Glove Corp Bhd worker dormitories are located, to enable targeted coronavirus screenings on workers and residents as infections rise, the security ministry said on Monday. The curbs, in effect from Tuesday until the end of the month, will affect 13,190 workers and close to 1,200 residents in Klang, about 40km west of Kuala Lumpur, Senior Minister of Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said at a media conference. “(This enforcement) will allow the Health Ministry to continue targeted screenings on workers and residents in the area,” he said.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 16th Nov 2020

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Czech Republic sees further decline in COVID cases, still among highest in Europe

The Czech Republic reported on Sunday a further decline in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths from daily highs seen in early November, but the country remains among the hardest hit in Europe during this second wave of the pandemic. Health ministry data showed 4,199 new cases were reported on Saturday, down by more than 3,500 from the same day a week earlier, amid tough lockdown measures, with 132 new fatalities, which includes revisions to previous days.
15th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Mexico reaches one million COVID-19 cases, nears 100,000 deaths

Mexico has surpassed one million coronavirus cases, according to top health officials and recorded nearly 100,000 confirmed deaths. Mexican Director-General of Health Promotion Ricardo Cortes Alcala announced on Saturday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico now stood at 1,003,253, with at least 98,259 deaths from COVID-19.
15th Nov 2020 - Aljazeera

Irish health chief concerned by unexpected rise in COVID-19 cases

An unexpected 10% rise in the five-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Ireland threatens to reverse a recent sharp drop in the incidence rate of the disease to the third-lowest level in Europe, the country’s chief medical officer said on Saturday. Ireland was among the first European countries to reimpose tough nationwide measures last month to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, with restrictions on travel and the closure of non-essential retail more than halving the 14-day infection rate to 130 cases per 100,000 people.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Schools start closing — or delay reopening — as covid-19 cases jump across the country

Schools in some parts of the United States have started to close down and numerous districts are postponing plans to reopen in the face of skyrocketing community covid-19 cases, setting back efforts to try to reopen campuses closed since this past spring when the coronavirus pandemic began. Though the latest covid-19 surge is being blamed by health experts on social gatherings and not on schools, officials in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Topeka, San Diego, Sacramento, Minneapolis, D.C. and other districts have put off plans to soon reopen school buildings for the first time in the 2020-21 school year. Instead students will keep learning remotely at home, with no set date to return to school
14th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Governors issue stringent new measures as US reports a staggering Covid-19 record of more than 184,000 daily cases

Coronavirus cases in the US will spike after Thanksgiving, further stressing health care systems and prompting new restrictions, an emergency physician said Saturday, as states continued to report soaring numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, told CNN's Erica Hill he is "terrified" about what's going to happen this holiday season. "We're going to see an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year, and if people don't learn from Thanksgiving, we're going to see it after Christmas as well," Phillips said.
14th Nov 2020 - CNN

Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging COVID-19 pandemic, while three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel. The warning against unnecessary transit came as the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States rose to a record of over 177,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a new all-time high has been set, according to a Reuters tally of figures from U.S. public health agencies.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Italy Does Not Need National Lockdown: Deputy Health Minister

Italian Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri discusses the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the nation, focusing on regional lockdowns, and the ability to distribute a vaccine. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua on “Bloomberg Surveillance
14th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus: Italy extends 'red zones' as infections soar

Italy has added more regions to its coronavirus high-risk "red zones" as cases across the country hit a new daily record. Campania and Tuscany will join other regions placed under the strictest lockdown measures from Sunday. Authorities in Campania, which includes Naples, have warned that the health system there is close to collapse. Friday's announcement came as Italy confirmed 40,902 new infections - its highest ever daily total. It passed the one million mark earlier this week and there have been more than 44,000 deaths. The government's coronavirus consultant, Walter Ricciardi, told reporters that the country has "two to three weeks to decide whether to impose a new national lockdown".
14th Nov 2020 - BBC

Coronavirus incidence rate falls in 12 Spanish regions, but deaths continue to rise

Spain’s national coronavirus incidence rate remains high, but has been on a downward trend for the past week, according to the latest report by the Spanish Health Ministry. The daily report, released Thursday, put the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain at 504, down from the record of 528 registered on November 4. But it will be some time before this fall is reflected in the number of coronavirus fatalities. The Health Ministry added 356 deaths to the official toll on Thursday, up from 329 on Wednesday. This brings the average number of daily reported victims this week to close to 300.
14th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus deaths cast a pall over France, two weeks into a national lockdown

Two weeks into its second national lockdown, France may be seeing the first indications that it is bending the curve of coronavirus infections, but it could match or even eclipse the devastation of the spring before bringing the virus in check.
14th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

France Offers Another Glimmer of Hope on Covid

When Nobel Prize-winning economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee urged France’s Emmanuel Macron in September to impose a tough three-week circuit-breaker lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19 in time for Christmas, they were politely ignored. Macron’s health minister, Olivier Veran, dismissed such planning as “pie in the sky” and said lockdowns were to be avoided. Six weeks later, the economists look prescient. Covid’s second wave has been brutal in France with daily deaths now averaging around 500 versus 70 at end-September. The number of patients in hospitals is above where it was at the peak of the first wave, and intensive-care occupancy isn’t far off. France may not be alone in this struggle, but it has the highest total caseload in Europe and the third-highest death toll behind the U.K. and Italy (unadjusted for population). On Oct. 30, the country began a national lockdown.
14th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

South Korea reports 205 coronavirus cases, above 200 for first time since September

South Korea reported 205 new coronavirus cases as of Friday midnight, rising above 200 for the first time since September, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Saturday. Of the new cases, 166 were domestically transmitted and 39 imported. More than 65% of the locally transmitted cases were from Seoul and Gyeonggi province, a densely populated region near the capital.
14th Nov 2020 - Kontan

Fed officials differ over economy's risks as coronavirus surges

For St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, the current surge in U.S. coronavirus cases can be controlled and the economy recover if households are just nudged in the right direction, exhorted in a ‘this-time-we-mean-it’ push to wear masks and take other steps that health officials have urged since March. New York Fed President John Williams says a full recovery will have to wait for a vaccine, with the health crisis putting a “question mark” on the economy until then. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Friday re-upped his support for a temporary lockdown to try to slow the spread and reduce deaths in an overwhelmed healthcare system, predicted a muted recovery if the virus remains uncontrolled.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Second wave, same strategy: Swedish COVID-19 czar defiant despite surge

Sweden remains steadfast in its strategy of voluntary measures and no lockdowns, the architect of its unorthodox COVID-19 response said on Friday, as the country battles a growing second wave of a disease that has now killed more than 6,000 Swedes. The Nordic nation of 10 million people, whose soft-touch approach to combating the virus has drawn worldwide attention - and harsh domestic criticism from some - has seen a surge in the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths in recent weeks. At 5,990, the number of new cases reported on Friday was the highest since the start of the pandemic. A further 42 deaths were also recorded, the most for around three months.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

Istanbul mayor wants lockdown to restrain second virus wave

Istanbul’s mayor called on Saturday for a lockdown of at least two weeks to contain an “out of control” rise in coronavirus cases, and said virus-related deaths in the city alone outstrip reported nationwide figures. Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a leading politician in Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said the country’s largest city must act fast and provide a clear picture of how the pandemic’s second wave is emerging. “This job is not like it was in the March-April-May period (during the first wave). The circle is getting narrower,” he said at the opening of a water treatment plant.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Biden coronavirus advisers nix national U.S. lockdown

The head of Democratic U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board said on Friday there was no plan to shut the country down and that the new administration’s approach will be targeted at specific areas. Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to lead the board, said doctors have learned a lot about how the virus spreads and what steps to reduce risk are effective. “We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down. We got to be more targeted,” Murthy said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

India fears annual Diwali festivities will cause coronavirus surge

India fears annual Diwali festivities will cause coronavirus surge - The crowds filling shopping areas ahead of the Diwali festival of lights on Saturday are raising hopes of India's distressed business community after months of lockdown losses but also spawning fears of a massive coronavirus upsurge. People who've restricted their purchases to essentials for months appear to be in a celebratory mood and traders are lapping it up, said Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders. "The past three days have seen a tremendous increase in customer footfall in shopping markets for festival purchases,” he said.
13th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

The business case for a short, sharp shutdown and why it likely won't work in Canada

The argument seems like a strong one: If Canadians would just follow the lead of countries and regions around the world that appear to have licked COVID-19 for now, not only would our health crisis be over, but so would our economic one. As epidemiologists like Peter Jüni, director of the applied health research centre at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, know, under perfect conditions, breaking the link in the chain of viral spread for a mere matter of weeks would stop the disease in its tracks. Like a forest fire on an island, as soon as the available fuel is gone, it burns itself out. "Theoretically if you have the possibility of doing a hard lockdown ... after nine days you see the effect kick in very reliably," Jüni said in a phone conversation Wednesday. "Stuff like that is theoretically possible."
13th Nov 2020 - CBC.ca

COVID-19 infections are soaring. Lockdowns could be coming. A list of restrictions in your state.

As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise nationwide, some states are halting phased reopening plans or imposing new coronavirus-related restrictions. Several are putting limits on social gatherings, adding states to travel quarantine lists, mandating face masks and encouraging residents to stay home, as many did in the spring. Others are restricting business hours of operation and limiting restaurant capacity. Thirty-five states – plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – now require people to wear face coverings in public statewide, according to a list maintained by AARP. Utah and North Dakota joined the list in recent days, and Maine, Ohio and West Virginia strengthened their mandates this week.
13th Nov 2020 - USA TODAY

Lockdowns possible as Illinois, Maryland and Washington governors weigh more restrictions

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is at a “breaking point” and reinstated the country’s most restrictive statewide measures since the fall surge began, while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced a two-week statewide “freeze” on Friday, which included curbing gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving. Other states are trying to avoid full-blown shutdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction, as the United States reported more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the third straight day.
13th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Covid-19: Lockdowns Return and North Dakota Issues Mask Mandate as Records Fall

After months of resisting ordering the people of North Dakota to wear masks and limit the size of gatherings, the state’s Republican governor relented in an effort to stem a coronavirus surge that is among the worst in the U.S. and that threatens to overwhelm the state’s hospitals. Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order Friday night came as a surprise and only hours before the state recorded new daily records for hospitalizations and infections. Throughout the pandemic, the former software executive had been leaving it to individuals to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread of the virus, beseeching the public during his weekly press briefings to wear masks but emphasizing a “light touch” by government.
13th Nov 2020 - Associated Press

‘Lockdown fatigue’ behind Delhi’s third Covid wave, experts call for behavioural change

Standing under the shade of an umbrella, Vinod Kumar is rolling out one paratha after another for office-goers in Delhi’s central district, just as he has done for 31 years now. But a mask is missing on his face. He doesn’t plan on wearing one either. “This coronavirus is nothing. I don’t believe it will harm me or my family. If something happens, it’s up to God to save us,” he says.
13th Nov 2020 - ThePrint

As Covid cases shoot up, Greece braces for tougher lockdown

Greece comes under tougher lockdown restrictions on Friday, a day after the country’s health authorities reported its worst performance since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting on Friday, a curfew is being imposed nationwide from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day in a bid to slow the virus’ transmission by preventing the public from engaging in non-essential activity outside the home, which has been much higher since the lockdown began last Saturday, compared to the spring.
12th Nov 2020 - Ekathimerini


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Czech Republic reports 8,925 new COVID-19 cases

The Czech Republic reported 8,925 new coronavirus cases for Nov. 11, Health Ministry data showed on Thursday, well below a record daily tally registered a week ago as the country seeks to push down Europe's highest per-capita infection rate. Wednesday's tally brings the total number of infections in the country of 10.7 million since the pandemic started to 438,805. A record one-day tally of 15,727 cases was hit on Wednesday last week.
12th Nov 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Montana emergency physicians warn Covid-19 has their community on 'the brink of disaster'

A group of emergency physicians in Montana is pleading with their community to follow Covid-19 restrictions, warning that a surge in cases and dwindling hospital capacity in Ravalli County has the community "on the brink of disaster." "This is a real threat, and it is getting worse daily -- there is no exaggeration in saying that," said a letter signed by seven emergency physicians affiliated with Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Ravalli County. "We are on the brink of disaster."
12th Nov 2020 - CNN on MSN.com

Covid: UK daily cases reach new high of 33,470

A record 33,470 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK government's latest daily figure. It is the highest daily number reported in the UK, although testing capacity has increased greatly since the first wave of the epidemic. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to more than 1.29 million. Government minister Alok Sharma said rising case numbers were "a reminder to us about why we are taking action to stop the spread of the virus". On Wednesday the UK became the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 Covid deaths, based on government figures. On Thursday, a further 563 people were reported to have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, down from Wednesday's figure of 595. Other ways to measure deaths, such as the number of people whose death certificates mention Covid-19, have put the overall toll at more than 60,000.
12th Nov 2020 - BBC

Video of dead man in hospital lavatory highlights COVID crisis in Italy's south

The health crisis in Italy’s third largest city Naples is out of control, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday, after a video was posted on social media showing a corpse sprawled in a hospital lavatory. The unidentified man was a suspected coronavirus sufferer who had been waiting for a test in a packed, squalid hospital emergency room, which was also shown in the amateur video.
12th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Italian hospitals face breaking point in fall virus surge

Dr. Luca Cabrini was certain his hospital in the heart of Lombardy‘s lake district would reach its breaking point caring for 300 COVID-19 patients. So far, virus patients fill 500 beds and counting. Italy, which shocked the world and itself when hospitals in the wealthy north were overwhelmed with coronavirus cases last spring, is again facing a systemic crisis, as confirmed positives pass the symbolic threshold of 1 million. “We are very close to not keeping up. I cannot say when we will reach the limit, but that day is not far off,” said Cabrini, who runs the intensive care ward at Varese’s Circolo hospital, the largest in the province of 1 million people northwest of Milan.
12th Nov 2020 - The Associated Press

Swedish surge in Covid cases dashes hopes of herd immunity

New infections and hospital admissions have surged in Sweden as the country battles a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that officials had hoped its light-touch, anti-lockdown approach would mitigate. “We consider the situation extremely serious,” the director of health and medical care services for Stockholm, Björn Eriksson, told the state broadcaster SVT this week. “We can expect noticeably more people needing hospital care over the coming weeks.” Swedish hospitals were treating 1,004 patients for Covid-19, SVT said, an increase of 60% over the previous week’s 627. Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggests the rise in recent weeks may be Europe’s fastest.
12th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Italy passes 1m Covid cases as calls grow for national lockdown

Italy surpassed 1m confirmed coronavirus infections on Wednesday, as its death toll climbed rapidly in a second wave that is wreaking havoc on hospitals. The government is biding its time on resorting to another national lockdown despite repeated calls from overwhelmed medics for such a policy. A further 623 Covid-related deaths were registered on Wednesday, the highest daily tally since early April, and there were 32,961 new infections. Italy is the third country in mainland Europe, after Spain and France, to exceed 1m cases. Italy was the first country in Europe to be hit by the pandemic and has the highest death toll on the continent, at 42,953. Doctors said this week there would be an additional 10,000 deaths in a month unless drastic action was taken.
12th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Spain’s official coronavirus death toll rises above 40,000

Spain has now exceeded 40,000 official coronavirus victims since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest report from the Health Ministry. Wednesday’s data saw 349 Covid-19-related fatalities added to the overall death toll, taking the total to 40,105. The ministry also reported 19,096 new infections, a slight rise on the figure for the day before. The official number of cases confirmed by testing now exceeds 1.4 million in Spain.
12th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Signs of hope in Germany, France but virus strains hospitals

The surge of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in Germany and France generating hopes that the two European heavyweights are beginning to regain control over the pandemic But authorities said Thursday that hospitals are crowded and are likely to face further strain in the coming weeks. Countries across Europe have implemented more or less drastic lockdown measures in recent weeks as they try to tamp down a resurgence of the pandemic, with numbers of confirmed cases hitting records. They have largely overwhelmed contact-tracing efforts even in Germany, which was credited with handling the pandemic's first cases well and is still in better shape than most of its neighbors.
12th Nov 2020 - The Independent

Two weeks into new lockdown, France faces further restrictions as cases surge

French Prime Minister, Jean Castex will hold a press conference on Thursday evening, looking at the Covid-19 situation, two weeks after the latest lockdown regulations. With the number of infections continuing to rise, few commentators are optimistic that there'll be any relaxation of restrictions. Paris centrist newspaper Le Monde has asked the prime minister what he'll say at Thursday's press conference. "We'll see if we're in a position to relax or reinforce the current regulations,on the basis of the latest statistics" Castex said. But, while admitting that there was evidence of a slight slowdown in the number of French infections, he added that "this is certainly not the moment to lower our guard".
12th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus appeared to be under control in Pakistan. But one young ICU doctor fears the worst is yet to come

Amara Khalid was only a month into her new job as a doctor in one of Pakistan's biggest hospitals when the nation's number of coronavirus cases exploded for the first time. Late one night in June, she decided to record a video on her mobile phone from the back of an ambulance. "I don't even want to imagine what some people are going through right now," she said through thick, muffling personal protective equipment (PPE). In the video, she sounds exhausted. "So many people are dying. So many people are sick. I am just helpless." Dr Khalid is in her first year out of university.
12th Nov 2020 - ABC News

Modi declares victory in India's first coronavirus election as cases soar in country's capital

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed victory in the country's first major state election held during the pandemic. Results from the Election Commission of India show that Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its coalition partners have returned to power after a tight race for control of the legislative assembly in Bihar, the country's third most populous state with more than 100 million people. "Democracy has once again prevailed in Bihar with the blessings of the people," Modi tweeted Tuesday local time, as results rolled in from Bihar's legislative election. "I assure every citizen of Bihar that we will continue to work for the equal development of every region and for every person."
12th Nov 2020 - CNN

As U.S. Breaks Hospitalization Records, N.Y. and Other States Add Restrictions

With coronavirus cases surging in New York and across the country, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday that private indoor and outdoor gatherings statewide would be limited to 10 people and that gyms, bars and restaurants must close daily at 10 p.m. The restrictions will take effect Friday, and Mr. Cuomo said that local governments will be responsible for enforcing them. The limit on gatherings will apply to private homes. The curfew will apply only to bars and restaurants licensed by the state liquor authority, and restaurants can continue to provide takeout and delivery after 10 p.m., but only for food. Mr. Cuomo said that officials were moved to announce the new restrictions as they confronted an increase in cases.
12th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

New Zealand reports first new community coronavirus case with no link to its border regime since August

Aucklanders are being urged not to panic after New Zealand health authorities announced a new case of COVID-19 in the community without a link to the country's border regime. It is the first case that cannot be drawn to the country's managed isolation (MIQ) facilities since August, when a new cluster formed and infected 179 people, killing three. COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said it was too soon to suggest the infected person would trigger an outbreak. "Panic never helps with COVID-19. We're still in the very early stages of this case investigation," he said.
12th Nov 2020 - SBS

One of Biden's coronavirus advisors says the U.S. should go into national lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden's COVID-19 task force, suggests the U.S. should go into a national four- to six-week lockdown as it awaits a vaccine to keep deaths low.
12th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

New Zealand businesses waiting for workers Covid-19 tests

About 100,000 Aucklanders who work in the city's CBD are being advised to work from home tomorrow if they can. Karyn speaks with the CEO of Business New Zealand, Kirk Hope, about the impact of this waiting game after a year of various lockdown alert levels on Auckland and the country's businesses.
12th Nov 2020 - RNZ

Alberta doctors are calling for a 'circuit breaker' lockdown. Here's what that would mean

As Alberta doctors call for a short, sharp "circuit breaker" lockdown to prevent the province's health-care system from being overwhelmed, one epidemiologist says it may not be enough to curb the spread of COVID-19. "I think a circuit breaker is a compromise between doing nothing and doing what you need to do," Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, told The Current's Matt Galloway. "What you need to do, probably, is a ... long-term suppression strategy followed by mitigation, rather than the short-term break in the system, leading to a rise in the cases when you lift these efforts."
12th Nov 2020 - CBC.ca

New Zealand partially shuts central Auckland over mystery Covid case

Health authorities in New Zealand are partially shutting down the central city of Auckland on Friday, asking workers in the city to stay home as they try to trace how a student became infected with Covid-19. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking people who work in downtown Auckland to work from home tomorrow where possible,” Covid-19 minister Chris Hipkins said. The number of workers in Auckland central business district instructed to stay home on Friday is 100,000. “If you must go into this area, please use masks and social distancing while health authorities continue work to trace the source of this infection.”
12th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Turkey bans smoking in public areas amid surge of COVID-19 patients

Turkey on Wednesday banned smoking in crowded public places to slow a recent surge in symptomatic coronavirus patients, the Interior Minister said, as the government warned citizens to abide by protective measures. Daily coronavirus cases in Turkey have recently spiked, with 2,693 patients identified on Wednesday. Ankara only reports the number of those who show symptoms, a decision which critics have said hides the true scale of the outbreak in the country. In a nationwide notice, the Interior Ministry said the smoking ban aimed to ensure citizens comply with rules to wear protective masks properly in public because people were seen to lower them while smoking.
12th Nov 2020 - Reuters

ICU beds full as COVID surges in Indian capital, weekend festival a worry

After his 92-year-old grandmother started coughing and her blood oxygen levels plummeted, Varunn Kaushik took her to two top private hospitals in New Delhi on Monday. Neither took her in, even after one of them found her positive for COVID-19. Kaushik said several other hospitals told him and his family on the phone that they did have free beds, but not in the intensive care units (ICU) his grandmother needed. He finally admitted her to a non-ICU COVID bed in a government hospital, 10 hours after leaving home.
12th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Texas tops 1 million cases as COVID-19 surge engulfs the US

Texas on Wednesday became the first state with more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and California closed in on that mark as a surge of coronavirus infections engulfs the country. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said all restaurants, bars and gyms statewide will have to close at 10 p.m. starting Friday, a major retreat in a corner of the U.S. that had seemingly brought the virus largely under control months ago. He also barred private gatherings of more than 10 people. Texas, the second-most populous state, has recorded 1.02 million coronavirus cases and over 19,000 deaths since the outbreak began in early March, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. California, the most populous state, has logged more than 995,000 cases.
12th Nov 2020 - AP

Japan sees near-record 1,547 coronavirus cases in possible 3rd wave

Japan reported Wednesday a near-record 1,547 cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest level since early August, amid signs of what some health experts say is a "third wave" of infections as cooler temperatures arrive and people spend more time indoors without enough ventilation. The nationwide tally, compiled by Kyodo News based on official information, inched closer to the single-day record of 1,596 logged on Aug 7 after areas with big urban populations saw a spike in the number of new cases. Tokyo confirmed 317 cases, topping the 300 mark for the first time since Aug. 20, bringing its cumulative total to 33,377, the highest by far among the country's 47 prefectures. Osaka, Hyogo and Saitama prefectures all reported record single-day increases since the outbreak of the virus, while there has also been a rapid rise of cluster infections in northern regions such as Hokkaido, a popular tourist destination.
12th Nov 2020 - Japan Today

Covid patients ‘head to toe’ on trolleys in A&E spark warnings over ‘lethal’ situation

Patients, including those with the coronavirus, are being kept “head to toe” on trolleys in accident and emergency departments in Manchester, with some forced to wait up to 40 hours for a bed. The “dangerous” situation has sparked warnings from the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine over the “potentially lethal” crowding of patients in A&Es across the country this winter. Katherine Henderson said she was “absolutely terrified” by what was happening in some departments. She said she had warned NHS England about the dangers of crowding patients in A&E but that not enough action had been taken.
12th Nov 2020 - The Independent


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 12th Nov 2020

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COVID-19 cases still surging in the Americas, the WHO warns

COVID-19 cases are still surging in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day in last week, the World Health Organization’s regional office said on Wednesday. The United States continues to report record-breaking numbers, while parts of Canada and some states in Mexico, including the capital, are experiencing spikes, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said. The United States became the first country to surpass 10 million COVID-19 infections, according to a Reuters tally, as the third wave of the virus surges across the nation. Other countries in the Americas are doing better. Argentina, Costa Rica and Jamaica have curbed the outbreak with effective contact tracing, and most Caribbean nations have avoided spikes by acting fast, PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.
12th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

UK confirmed COVID-19 deaths surge past 50,000

The United Kingdom passed 50,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 on Wednesday, with a recent rise in infections leading to a new grim milestone for the European country hit hardest by the pandemic.
11th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Record Covid-19 Hospitalizations Strain System Again

Hospitals across the nation face an even bigger capacity problem from the resurgent spread of Covid-19 than they did during the virus’s earlier surges this year, pandemic preparedness experts said, as the number of U.S. hospitalizations hit a new high Wednesday. The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients reached 65,368, according to the Covid Tracking Project, passing the record set Tuesday for the highest number of hospitalizations since April. A spring surge in the Northeast pushed hospitalizations near 60,000. Hospitalizations hit a nearly identical peak again in late July, as the pandemic’s grip spread across the South and West. Epidemiologists said the record is likely to be swiftly replaced by another as Covid-19 cases soar nationally. “We already know this is going to go far north,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
11th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Covid-19: Liverpool mass-trial sees 23,000 tested with 154 positive

More than 23,000 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Liverpool's mass trial with 154 testing positive. City mayor Joe Anderson said 23,170 people have been tested since midday on Friday with 0.7% testing positive. Those testing positive had no symptoms, testers said. All residents and workers in Liverpool have been offered tests. There are 18 test centres - including Liverpool's Anfield stadium - and Mr Anderson said there had been a "great response" from people. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had urged all the city's 500,000 residents to take part, saying "do it for your friends, for your relatives, for your community" in a bid to drive the disease down".
11th Nov 2020 - BBC

Boris Johnson urges York to take up mass testing for Covid-19

The Prime Minister has urged City of York Council to take up the Government's offer of mass coronavirus testing in the city. Boris Johnson was speaking in the Commons after being quizzed by York Outer MP Julian Sturdy about testing and also about whether York can go straight back into Tier 1 once the lockdown ends next month. The exchange during Prime Minister's Questions came after York's director of public health, Sharon Stoltz, said on Tuesday that York would not - as yet - be joining more than 60 other local authorities in taking up a Government offer of mass testing. She said that at this point, further information and consideration was needed. The PM said: “I urge York Council and councils across the land to take up this offer of mass lateral flow testing. I think it’s a very, very exciting possibility….it’s one of the boxing gloves we seek to wield to pummel this disease into submission."
11th Nov 2020 - York Press

Coronavirus hospitalizations in US reach an all-time high with more than 60,000

With the number of coronavirus cases in the United States skyrocketing, many health experts warned the total number of people hospitalized in a given day would rise too. On Tuesday, the number of people with Covid-19 at US hospitals for the first time topped 60,000. The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization that compiles data on coronavirus cases, said the number as of Tuesday was 61,694. That's 2,024 more people than were hospitalized on April 15, the previous record. The United States currently averages about 1,661 new hospitalizations per day, the organization's data shows.
11th Nov 2020 - CNN

What Joe Biden Has Said About a Nationwide Lockdown If U.S. COVID Cases Continue to Spiral

President-elect Joe Biden has said he will do "everything possible to get COVID-19 under control" in what he describes as "the worst wave yet in this pandemic," following his first coronavirus briefing this week. Biden expressed similar sentiments in August, saying he would do "whatever it takes to save lives," including a national lockdown, if COVID-19 infections surged in January, exacerbated by the flu season. "I would shut it [the country] down; I would listen to the scientists," Biden told ABC News anchor David Muir.
11th Nov 2020 - Newsweek

Covid: UK first country in Europe to pass 50,000 deaths

The UK has become the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest government figures. A total of 50,365 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, up 595 in the past 24 hours. The UK is the fifth country to pass 50,000 deaths, coming after the US, Brazil, India and Mexico. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the figures showed, despite hopes for a vaccine, "we are not out of the woods". He said: "Every death is a tragedy," but added: "I do think we have got now to a different phase in the way that we treat it."
11th Nov 2020 - BBC

COVID-19: Number of UK coronavirus deaths passes 50,000, government figures show

The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK has passed 50,000, according to government figures which highlight the devastating impact of the virus on the country. A further 595 deaths were announced on Wednesday - the highest number since 12 May - bringing the country's total to 50,365. It marks a significant moment in the pandemic for the UK, which has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 with Europe's highest recorded number of deaths.
11th Nov 2020 - Sky News

Germany sees spike in COVID-19 deaths

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against reading too much into a moderate drop in new coronavirus infections almost two weeks into an emergency lockdown in Germany, which reported the biggest rise in COVID deaths on Wednesday since April. Europe’s biggest economy, in a partial lockdown since Nov. 2 designed to tame a second wave of the coronavirus, recorded 18,487 new infections and 261 deaths in a day, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. “As it was the case with the Spanish flu, we now also have to expect that the second wave will be more severe,” Merkel said during a video conference with the government’s council of economic advisers.
11th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to levels not seen since the full lockdown in spring

The number of new coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday by Spain’s Health Ministry was, at 17,395, one of the lowest in recent weeks. Not since October 21 has a better figure been seen. That said, the number of Covid-19 fatalities reported set a new record. The ministry added 411 victims to the overall death toll in yesterday’s report, the highest so far in this second wave of the pandemic – apart from that of Monday (512), but this cannot be used for comparison given that it includes data from the entire weekend. The last time that 400 coronavirus victims were reported in a single day was back in April, when residents of Spain were still in a total lockdown.
11th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

India’s Covid-19 Cases Have Plummeted. Many Fear a New Wave.

Two months ago, India looked like a coronavirus disaster zone. Reported infections neared 100,000 a day, deaths were shooting up, and India seemed ready to surpass the United States in total recorded cases. Today, India’s situation looks much different. Reported infections, deaths and the share of people testing positive have all fallen significantly. By contrast, infections in Europe and the United States are surging.
11th Nov 2020 - New York Times

Japan's surge in COVID-19 cases reignites debate over tougher virus law

As flu season approaches and new cases of the novel coronavirus remain consistently high or surge again in several cities, fears of a twofold crisis have led many to call for laws to be revised to distribute power concentrated in the central government and appease municipal leaders demanding teeth in the fight against COVID-19. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga maintains that legal revision is an arduous political process that should be shelved until after the coronavirus is contained. But experts say doing so is an immediate necessity, one that could be achieved within months if not for complacency and bipartisan politics. “It’s better to have a tool and not use it, than to not have it and suffer the consequences,” said Shuya Nomura, a professor at the Chuo University Graduate School of Law. “It’s true that the country has avoided heavy casualties without imposing citywide lockdowns or strict measures, but we don’t know why we got lucky or if those methods will continue to work.”
11th Nov 2020 - The Japan Times

What Joe Biden Has Said About a Nationwide Lockdown If U.S. COVID Cases Continue to Spiral

President-elect Joe Biden has said he will do "everything possible to get COVID-19 under control" in what he describes as "the worst wave yet in this pandemic," following his first coronavirus briefing this week. Biden expressed similar sentiments in August, saying he would do "whatever it takes to save lives," including a national lockdown, if COVID-19 infections surged in January, exacerbated by the flu season.
11th Nov 2020 - Newsweek on MSN.com

Hungary's COVID-19 deaths near record on eve of partial lockdown

Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday granted Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government a special 90-day mandate to rule by decree in an effort to curb a spiking coronavirus pandemic, and they approved new restrictions amounting to a partial lockdown. Hungary’s government reported 103 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, making it the third hardest hit country in Europe in terms of deaths per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, behind the Czech Republic and Belgium, European Union data showed. Orban, signalling a shift away from his policy of avoiding tough restrictions in order to protect the economy, announced a limited lockdown from 12:01 a.m. (2301 GMT) on Wednesday to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed.
11th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

Merkel warns of winter long haul as German COVID deaths soar

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against reading too much into a moderate drop in new coronavirus infections almost two weeks into an emergency lockdown in Germany, which reported the biggest rise in COVID deaths on Wednesday since April. Europe’s biggest economy, in a partial lockdown since Nov. 2 designed to tame a second wave of the coronavirus, recorded 18,487 new infections and 261 deaths in a day, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. “As it was the case with the Spanish flu, we now also have to expect that the second wave will be more severe,” Merkel said during a video conference with the government’s council of economic advisers. The government says the emergency month-long lockdown that includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres was necessary to reverse a spike in coronavirus cases that risks overwhelming hospitals.
11th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Bill de Blasio says lockdown restrictions are 'on table' as the NYC infection rate jumps to 2.34%

Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his daily coronavirus press briefing earlier today that the city will ‘have to do something quickly’ to prevent a second wave. He said the city's latest figures are 'very worrisome' and a 'warning sign if I've ever seen one' during his daily coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday. On Monday, NYC’s daily positive test rate for the coronavirus was 2.88 percent – the highest single-day figure since at least early August. De Blasio added that the city’s seven-day rolling average of new cases has now hit 2.34 percent, with NYC recording an average of 795 new cases of per-day
10th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail


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U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations surge to record of just over 59,000 patients: Reuters tally

There were just over 59,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday, the country’s highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease, with new infections at record levels for the sixth consecutive day. The harsh statistics tallied by Reuters cemented the United States' position as the nation worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, even as drugmaker Pfizer Inc provided some hope with successful late-stage tests of its vaccine. President-elect Joe Biden hailed Pfizer’s progress, but urged Americans to wear masks as he noted a vaccine may not be widely available for many months. The number of Americans with COVID-19 currently hospitalized has surged around 73% over the past 30 days to at least 59,008 - a record level that surpasses the previous high of 58,370 on July 22. Daily new infections, meanwhile, exceeded 100,000 for the sixth consecutive day.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Expert predicts US could soon hit 200,000 daily coronavirus cases as the country tops 10 million infections

More people are currently hospitalized in the United States with Covid-19 than ever before, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Tuesday, 61,964 people were hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the tracking project. The nation has never before topped 60,000 current hospitalizations. The United States currently averages roughly 1,661 new hospitalizations per day, CTP data shows.
10th Nov 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus: Russia resists lockdown and pins hopes on vaccine

The ticket booths at Krylatskoye ice palace are shuttered, but the rink is full: not of speed skaters and hockey players, but rows of coronavirus patients. It's one of five facilities in Moscow transformed into giant temporary hospitals that are now swinging into action as the number of new Covid cases reaches daily record highs. The Kremlin describes the rate of infection as "worrying" - close to 21,000 new cases were announced across Russia on Tuesday - and it admits that healthcare facilities in some regions are "overloaded".
10th Nov 2020 - BBC

In Italy’s Second Coronavirus Wave, Milan Staggers as Hospitals Fill Up

Italy’s business capital has become the center of a second wave of the coronavirus, putting at risk the country’s economic recovery and reviving the specter of a health-care crisis Italians thought they had overcome this spring. With infections, hospitalizations and deaths linked to Covid-19 rising exponentially, hospitals in Milan are running out of beds even after having converted wards and suspended nonurgent procedures. Ambulances have been forced to wait for hours to drop off patients at hospitals where Covid-19...
10th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Beaches, mountains, COVID data: Spain's lesser-known regions shine amid pandemic

The popularity of once under-the-radar regions like Asturias on Spain's northwestern coast has boomed as Spaniards factor in their handling of the pandemic alongside newfound priorities including sparse population and abundant natural spaces.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters

As virus spikes, Europe runs low on ICU beds, hospital staff

In Italy lines of ambulances park outside hospitals awaiting beds, and in France the government coronavirus tracking app prominently displays the intensive care capacity taken up by COVID-19 patients: 92.5 per cent and rising. In the ICU in Barcelona, there is no end in sight for the doctors and nurses who endured this once already. Intensive care is the last line of defence for severely ill coronavirus patients and Europe is running out — of beds and the doctors and nurses to staff them.
10th Nov 2020 - 9News

Spain reports first weekend fall in coronavirus cases, but sets new record for fatalities

The number of new weekend coronavirus cases reported in Spain has fallen for the first time in more than a month. According to the Health Ministry’s report, released Monday night, 52,386 new infections were detected since Friday – a figure that covers the weekend, given that no data is released on Saturdays and Sundays. The last time a fall was recorded over this period was October 5. The number of Covid-19 related deaths, however, broke a new record. Since Friday, 512 fatalities have been added to the official toll, the largest weekend figure of Spain’s second wave.
10th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Hungary's COVID-19 deaths near record on eve of partial lockdown

Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday granted Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government a special 90-day mandate to rule by decree in an effort to curb a spiking coronavirus pandemic, and they approved new restrictions amounting to a partial lockdown. Hungary’s government reported 103 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, making it the third hardest hit country in Europe in terms of deaths per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, behind the Czech Republic and Belgium, European Union data showed. Orban, signalling a shift away from his policy of avoiding tough restrictions in order to protect the economy, announced a limited lockdown from 12:01 a.m. (2301 GMT) on Wednesday to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Sick patients ‘in limbo’ as operations suspended and mental health problems soar - GPs voice fears over the winter ahead

Family doctors have voiced worries about a growing mental health crisis, battles to get patients into hospital and how exactly the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out will work, as entire surgeries find themselves self-isolating
10th Nov 2020 - Manchester Evening News

Covid: NHS staff helped through crisis by 'wobble room'

In small room in the Royal Derby Hospital, there's a table bearing a laminated sign. "You are not alone," it says. It continues: "Kindness will get you through. Embrace the challenge. Look after each other. You are stronger than you think." This is the "wobble room", set aside not for patients but for front-line staff to get them away - briefly - from the intense pressure and strain experienced in the first wave of Covid-19. "We made a wobble room because that's what we needed," Kelly-Ann Gurney, an intensive-care nurse, told the BBC.
10th Nov 2020 - BBC

Nepal to offer free COVID-19 tests and treatment as cases surge

Nepal will provide free COVID-19 tests and treatment for everyone, an aide to the prime minister said on Tuesday, as the total number of infections was set to cross the 200,000 mark. The move follows a Supreme Court order for free treatment last week after the Communist government asked citizens who could afford to pay to do so, limiting free testing and care to only those who couldn’t.
10th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Why is Spain taking longer to respond to the coronavirus pandemic than its European neighbors?

El Pais speaks to experts about why Spanish authorities continue to drag their feet when it comes to introducing measures that have already been applied in several nations with much lower incidence rates
9th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English


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Covid-19: Global coronavirus cases pass 50 million

The total of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged past 50 million following record numbers of new cases in several countries. More than 1.25 million people have now died after contracting the virus, according to Johns Hopkins university. But the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries. A second wave of the virus has accounted for a quarter of all cases, Reuters reported. Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year. In the US just under 10 million have tested positive. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row.
9th Nov 2020 - BBC

From lockdowns to Dr. Fauci: Here's how President-elect Joe Biden plans to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The U.S. can expect increased Covid-19 testing, a national mask mandate and the possibility of nationwide lockdowns once President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. Biden has also said he plans to repair the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. The transition team wasted no time, naming its own Covid-19 advisory board on Monday.
9th Nov 2020 - CNBC

Italy’s coronavirus situation is ‘out of control’ and a new national lockdown is needed, country’s health chiefs warn

Health expert Massimo Galli has backed calls for a second national lockdown Italy recorded 32,616 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday and 331 more deaths Health service is under strain with some patients being treated in corridors Government is desperate to avoid an economically-crippling full lockdown
9th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

France and Italy report record cases as virus ravages Europe.

As winter approaches, Europe is struggling with a brutal resurgence of the virus, one that, along with the U.S. surge, has helped push the global case count over 50 million, according to a New York Times database. France and Italy have reported record daily case totals in recent days as both countries have moved to lock down some regions. In Italy, where the devastation of the first wave in the spring looms large, 39,809 new coronavirus cases were reported on Saturday, a new daily record. Its daily average has increased by 119 percent over the past two weeks. Deaths in Italy have increased by a staggering 232 percent over the past two weeks, with 425 deaths reported on Saturday.
9th Nov 2020 - The New York Times

Boris Johnson needs an Australian-style Covid plan

In a typical year, Australia makes as many ripples in British public life as you would expect from a rich, war-free country of 25m people at the other end of the world, which is to say not many. As a transplanted antipodean in London, this year has not felt typical. It began with news from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that it did not matter if Britain failed to get the EU trade deal it wanted by the end of the year because it could always have what he called an arrangement “like Australia’s”. This idea of an Australian-style trade deal took off like a dingo strapped to a Saturn V rocket. There were only four days in the entire month of October when the term did not appear somewhere in the British media, news databases show. That is even more astonishing considering Australia does not actually have a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. And it was just the start of it.
9th Nov 2020 - Financial Times

Boris Johnson needs an Australian-style Covid plan

In a typical year, Australia makes as many ripples in British public life as you would expect from a rich, war-free country of 25m people at the other end of the world, which is to say not many. As a transplanted antipodean in London, this year has not felt typical. It began with news from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that it did not matter if Britain failed to get the EU trade deal it wanted by the end of the year because it could always have what he called an arrangement “like Australia’s”. This idea of an Australian-style trade deal took off like a dingo strapped to a Saturn V rocket. There were only four days in the entire month of October when the term did not appear somewhere in the British media, news databases show. That is even more astonishing considering Australia does not actually have a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. And it was just the start of it.
9th Nov 2020 - Financial Times


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COVID-19 Nursing Home Cases Up 400% in Surge States

The number of coronavirus infections among nursing home residents in 20 of the hardest-hit states has increased by 400 percent since May, reports the Associated Press. The new data comes from a study by the University of Chicago which determined that cases rose from 1,083 to 4,274 between the week ending May 31 and the week ending October 31. Nursing home resident deaths more than doubled to 699 during the same period and infections among staff more than quadrupled to more than 4,000 in the same five-month period. The rise comes even though the Trump administration has allocated $5 billion to help beef up testing in the country’s nursing homes, including more than 14,000 fast test machines. The 20 states analyzed in the study are those with the highest COVID-19 hospitalizations: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
9th Nov 2020 - Daily Beast

Iran's daily COVID-19 deaths hit record of 459 - TV

Iran’s daily tally of coronavirus deaths hit a record high of 459 on Sunday, the health ministry announced, increasing the official toll to 38,291 in the Middle East’s worst-hit country. Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 9,236 to 682,486. Iran has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Britain reports 20,572 new cases of COVID-19, 156 deaths

Britain reported 20,572 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 156 deaths from the virus, both lower than figures from a day before, government data showed.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19: Nursing shortage warning as winter looms

Widespread nursing shortages across the NHS could lead to staff burnout and risk patient safety this winter, the Royal College of Nursing has warned. The nursing union said a combination of staff absence due to the pandemic, and around 40,000 registered nursing vacancies in England was putting too much strain on the remaining workforce. The government says more than 13,000 nurses have been recruited this year. It has committed to 50,000 more nurses by 2025. It also hopes England's four-week lockdown will ease pressure on the NHS. The RCN has expressed concern that staff shortages are affecting every area of nursing, from critical care and cancer services to community nursing, which provides care to people in their own homes.
8th Nov 2020 - BBC

While the US is focused on the election, the Covid-19 pandemic keeps growing

This week, as voters cast ballots and waited to see who would clinch the White House, the Covid-19 pandemic largely fell out of view. But even as CNN projected former Vice President Joe Biden would become the 46th President of the United States, the coronavirus continued to spread, in some places at a higher rate than ever before. The US broke one record after another. Patients flooded hospitals, and thousands died. And officials across the country implemented more restrictions to get the virus under control. Here's what happened this week in the country's fight against Covid-19.
8th Nov 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Further seven deaths and 420 new cases of Covid-19

A further seven Covid-19 related deaths have taken place in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has confirmed. All of the deaths occurred within the past 24 hours and it brings the death toll from the virus in the region to 781. Two of the deaths occurred in the Belfast council area, two in Derry City and Strabane, one in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, one in Mid Ulster and one in Newry, Mourne and Down. Another 420 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed after 5,762 tests were carried out on 2,386 people on Saturday. Since the start of the pandemic a total of 42,917 in Northern Ireland have tested positive for the virus.
8th Nov 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Hospital trust declares major incident as Covid-19 surge sees oxygen demand jump

A hospital trust has declared a major incident as demand for oxygen surges among coronavirus patients. Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospital Trust has seen a surge in coronavirus patients admitted as one of the worst affected areas in the country. As of this morning, there were 106 Covid-positive patients being treated in the Trust's three hospitals - 56 at Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, 47 at Scunthorpe General Hospital and three at Goole. There are six people in ICU in each of the Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals, reports the Grimsby Telegraph. Additional nursing staff have been called in to work extra shifts as the virus continues to take its toll on staff. Across the Trust last week, 140 staff members were unavailable to work. This includes 71 from Grimsby's hospital, 48 at Scunthorpe, 6 in Goole, and 15 'across the trust'.
8th Nov 2020 - Mirror Online

Coronavirus: How thousands died of Covid-19 they caught in hospitals

During the first wave of the pandemic, patients who went into hospital to be treated for conditions unrelated to Covid were infected and died. Hospital-acquired infections accounted for one in ten Covid deaths. Though the figures relate to all deaths from Covid from March 1 to August 31, experts are calling for action to protect the public as the problem is 'ongoing'
8th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Doctors fear more death as Dakotas experience virus 'sorrow'

With coronavirus cases running rampant in the Dakotas and elected leaders refusing to forcefully intervene, the burden of pushing people to take the virus seriously has increasingly been put on the families of those who have died. The ranks of those who know what it means to lose someone they love to COVID-19 are on the rise. North Dakota and South Dakota have the nation’s worst rate of deaths per capita over the last 30 days. Despite advances in treating COVID-19 patients, hundreds more people have died in recent weeks than during any other period — a grim exclamation point on the virus outbreak slamming the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
8th Nov 2020 - The Associated Press

COVID-19 surge creates new headache for beleaguered PM Muhyiddin

As Malaysia celebrated its national day at the end of August, it appeared to have brought COVID-19 to heel. But two months later, the Southeast Asian nation of 30 million people finds itself confronted with a brutal resurgence of the virus centred mostly on Sabah on the Malaysian part of Borneo
8th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

UK reports 24,957 new COVID cases, 413 more deaths

Britain reported 24,957 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 413 deaths from the virus, both up on figures from the day before, government data showed.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters

U.S. reports 130,000 new coronavirus cases, fourth straight daily record

The United States on Saturday reported a record increase in coronavirus cases for a fourth consecutive day with at least 131,420 new infections, bringing the country’s total caseload to about 9.91 million, according to a Reuters tally. Seventeen states reported a record one-day increase on Saturday while 14 states reported record daily numbers of hospitalized patients. The number of deaths nationwide was more than 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Three areas recording the biggest coronavirus spikes as England enters lockdown

Three areas in northern England are recording the highest spikes in coronavirus rates. Hull, in east Yorkshire is now recording the biggest week-on-week jump, with infection rates are up from 318.7 to 543.
7th Nov 2020 - Daily Mirror

Can I still go fishing during coronavirus lockdown?

Anglers will be able to continue with their sport during lockdown, which started across England on Thursday. The national governing body representing all game, coarse and sea anglers in England, Angling Trust, is urging people to: "Fish safely, locally and respect the ‘rule of two’ during lockdown." Those who enjoy spending time on the banks of waters are being trusted by Government to respect the restrictions tied-in with fishing's continuance, as they were as the first to enjoy recreational activity again after spring's lockdown when many newcomers were attracted to the sport.
7th Nov 2020 - Lancashire Telegraph


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The US just reported 102,831 new Covid-19 infections in 1 day. That's an all-time high

The United States broke another daily coronavirus record on Thursday -- in a week marked by record daily cases -- when it surpassed 114,000 new infections. Health experts had warned weeks ago that the nation's daily cases would eventually reach six digits, but that alarming reality hit sooner than expected. Still, the situation is expected to get worse, with health experts now predicting that Covid-19's death toll could reach 266,000 by the end of November. Thursday saw at least 114,876 new cases nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. There were also at least 1,159 reported deaths, a near 20% increase from the same day last week.
5th Nov 2020 - CNN

Fresh curbs for England and Italy as US sets new case record

England's 56 million people joined much of western Europe in a second coronavirus lockdown Thursday, as the United States set a fresh daily record with close to 100,000 new infections. European governments are struggling to contain a fresh wave of the pandemic, which has now infected more than 11 million across the continent. The new stay-at-home orders from London came as Denmark said it would cull its entire population of more than 15 million minks after a mutation of the virus was found to have spread to people from the otter-like mammals.
5th Nov 2020 - Medical Xpress

German COVID cases at record high

Data released on Thursday, November 5, from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, showed cases had increased by 19,990 to 596,583. Statistics Office data showed that ahead of the new partial lockdown, which took effect from November 2, toilet paper sales in the week beginning October 19 were 139% above the average for the pre-crisis months of August 2019 to January 2020. Disinfectant purchases also rose by 104% over pre-crisis levels in the last week of October.
5th Nov 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Spanish government to wait ‘two or three weeks’ before taking tougher coronavirus measures

The Spanish Health Ministry remains hopeful that the restrictions introduced by regional governments under the state of alarm will be able to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This would avoid the need for a home lockdown like the one seen during the first wave of the pandemic, when millions of Spaniards were confined to their homes. The government wants to avoid this at all costs in order to prevent further damage to the Spanish economy, which lost around one million jobs in March and April due to the strict lockdown. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Wednesday that “two or three weeks” are needed to see if the current measures have been able to reduce transmission rates.
5th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

U.S. Records 100,000 Cases in a Day for the First Time

The United States on Wednesday recorded over 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time since the pandemic began, bursting past a grim threshold even as the wave of infections engulfing the country shows no sign of receding. The total count of new infections on Wednesday was more than 107,800, according to a New York Times database. Twenty-three states have recorded more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch. Five states — Maine, Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska and Colorado — set single-day case records. Cases were also mounting in the Mountain West and even in the Northeast, which over the summer seemed to be getting the virus under control.
5th Nov 2020 - The New York Times


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UK daily COVID-19 death toll rises by 492, most since mid-May

Britain recorded 492 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the biggest toll since May 13 and up from 397 on Tuesday, government data showed. The cumulative toll for those who died within 28 days of a first positive COVID-19 test now stands at 47,742. The daily figures also showed 25,177 new cases of COVID-19.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Greek government prepares more curbs to contain COVID-19 spread

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce new restrictions to curb a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, government officials said on Wednesday. Greece has reported fewer cases than most European countries but the number of infections has been gradually increasing since early October, prompting it to reimpose restrictions.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

The US reported its second-highest number of new Covid-19 cases on Election Day, with more than 91,000 infections

The US recorded 91,530 new Covid-19 infections on the day many Americans cast their ballots, adding to a series of staggering case numbers reported within just the past week. The country's five highest days of coronavirus cases have all been recorded since October 29, affirming experts' warnings another surge is well underway and will only get worse. The nationwide seven-day average of new daily cases now stands at about 86,363 -- more than double what it was on September 4, data from Johns Hopkins University show.
4th Nov 2020 - CNN

Covid-19 drive to clear hospital beds left some of those discharged with unmet needs and no support

The drive to rapidly clear hospital beds at the start of the pandemic left some of those discharged unsupported with unmet care needs, research has found. More than four in five of those discharged between March and August 2020 (82%) did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home, with 18% of this group reporting an unmet care need, found a survey of 352 patients and 177 carers of people discharged during this time. Almost half (45%) of disabled respondents to the survey by Healthwatch and the British Red Cross reported unmet needs following their discharge, as did 20% of those with long-term conditions. Issues reported by those with unmet needs included problems accessing aids and equipment, a lack of consideration of their home situation and being unsure how to manage their conditions.
4th Nov 2020 - Communitycare.co.uk

NI can access furlough scheme if lockdown needed, says PM

Northern Ireland can access the Government’s furlough scheme if it has to introduce lockdown measures at a different time from England, Boris Johnson said. The Prime Minister told MPs the NHS faced an “existential threat” from Covid-19. The South Eastern Health Trust, which includes the Ulster Hospital, said it had the highest number of Covid positive patients to date and was operating at 111% capacity.
4th Nov 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

UK coronavirus death toll soars by 406 with hours to go before lockdown

The UK coronavirus death toll has soared on Wednesday - with NHS England reporting 302 COVID-19 hospital deaths that occurred over 15 dates. 174 were reported last Wednesday. A record 44 new Covid-19 related deaths will be recorded later today by Public Health Wales according to Welsh Government minister Eluned Morgan.
4th Nov 2020 - Birmingham Mail on MSN.com

Covid-19: NHS in England moves to highest alert level

The NHS in England has been placed on its highest alert level, bosses have announced. The move by NHS England means staff can be moved around the country, while patients may be sent to other regions for treatment if Covid threatens to overwhelm local services. Health bosses said they were seriously concerned, adding the NHS was facing a "very difficult winter". But they said they hoped lockdown would help avoid major disruption. Evidence presented at a press briefing in London suggested hospitals could take a maximum of 20,000 Covid patients before other services, such as routine surgery, would be disrupted. Hospitals are currently treating just over 10,000 patients - and are expected to get close to the 20,000-mark in the coming weeks, given the infection levels seen recently.
4th Nov 2020 - BBC

Nearly one-third of all intensive care beds in Spain occupied by coronavirus patients

A third of Spain’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds are now occupied by coronavirus patients, according to the latest report on the pandemic supplied on Tuesday by the Health Ministry. In total, 2,754 people are receiving intensive care treatment for Covid-19, 104 more than on Monday, and with 531 more admissions than discharges. Since the pandemic took hold in March, a total of 15,898 patients have needed ICU treatment for the coronavirus.
4th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain under pressure to impose virus lockdown

With coronavirus infections rising, Spain's central government was under pressure Wednesday to follow the example of other European nations and impose a new national shutdown. The country has the second-highest caseload in the European Union after France. It has recorded more than 1.2 million cases so far and 36,495 deaths, including 18,669 new infections and 238 new deaths reported by the health ministry on Tuesday. More worryingly, pressure on hospitals is increasing with nearly a third of all hospital intensive care unit beds, 29 percent, occupied by Covid-19 patients.
4th Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24

COVID-19 reached community spread, impossible to wipe-off with just lockdown says Delhi Health Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said it is "impossible to wipe off" COVID-19 transmission through a lockdown as the virus has "spread through the community" and people should treat wearing a face mask as a vaccine till the real medication is made available. His remarks come amid a massive spike in fresh cases with a record 5,891 incidences reported on Friday, the third consecutive day when over 5,000 cases have been registered in a day. Interacting with reporters, the minister said that the lockdown was imposed in the beginning as "it was a new virus then" and its behaviour was totally unpredictable. "There have been a lot of learnings from the lockdown, and a lot was also said that after the 21-day lockdown the virus spread will stop or with temperature going to 40 degrees Celsius, it will stop.
4th Nov 2020 - Firstpost

After shunning lockdowns, Sweden now says its coronavirus situation is 'very serious'

Sweden says a maximum of eight people will now be allowed to dine together at restaurants or cafes, as the country faces a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and deaths. "We see that the situation is heading in the wrong direction - the situation is very serious," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a press conference on Tuesday. He added that more patients were being treated in intensive care units for severe cases of COVID-19, and it was likely that fatalities would rise. One in five patients receiving intensive care was a COVID-19 patient, added Lena Hallengren, Sweden's minister of health and social affairs.
4th Nov 2020 - SBS News

The UK can learn from Victoria how to bring its Covid second wave under control

The decision to go into coronavirus lockdown is not one that any government takes lightly as there are considerable economic and human costs. However, when virus transmission has spiralled out of control, most experts agree that there is little choice but to go down this path. As the UK likely begins its month-long lockdown on Thursday, and after the rapid soaring in cases that has occurred over the previous month, it’s perhaps appropriate to look to Australia, and particularly the state of Victoria, for guidance on how best to bring its second wave under control.
4th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Jordan suffers Covid surge after early success against virus

Rates of new Covid-19 cases in Jordan have risen to among the highest in the world a few months after the kingdom appeared to have eliminated community transmission of the virus and relaxed most public health restrictions. As recently as three months ago, Jordan was counted alongside New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam as a coronavirus success story, after going weeks without detecting infections in the community and registering just over 1,100 cases and 11 deaths as of late July. On Monday this week the country of 10 million people announced it had detected a daily record 5,877 cases – one of the highest per capita rates in the world – with more than 80,000 detected overall. Nearly 970 people have died.
4th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

France's COVID-19 deaths rise by almost 1,000

France’s daily COVID-19 death toll spiked by 854 on Tuesday, an increase unseen since April 15, while the number of people hospitalised for the disease went up by more than a 1,000 for the fifth time in nine days. And if the number of new infections, at 36,330, was sharply down versus Monday’s all-time high of 52,518, the seven-day moving average of additional cases, which evens out reporting irregularities, reached a record for a second day in a row, at 43,438. France reinstated a one-month national lockdown on Friday to try and contain the resurgence of the pandemic but it generally takes two weeks for restrictive measures to have some effect.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Netherlands poised to tighten curbs to slow second COVID-19 wave

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday ordered extra lockdown measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands, and said the government is also considering curfews and school closures. The new measures, which include a ban on public meetings of more than two people not in the same family, were imposed amidsigns the epidemic had reached a second peak. Rutte said the government was strongly recommending that people not travel abroad for holidays until mid-January. “The number of new cases is falling, but not quickly enough,” Rutte said in a televised press conference. The new measures go into effect on Wednesday for two weeks.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Nearly 600 NHS staff are off work amid Covid outbreak at hospitals in Stoke and Stafford as six workers at trust test positive for coronavirus after sharing car without wearing masks

Nearly 600 NHS staff at hospitals in Stoke and Stafford are self-isolating. Trust reported nearly 1,000 staff are off sick amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six workers fell ill with Covid-19 after not wearing face masks in car share
4th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

France registers over 40,000 new COVID-19 cases, warns of under-reporting

France registered 40,558 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, compared with 36,330 on Tuesday and a record of 52,518 on Monday, health ministry data showed. The total number of cases increased to 1,543,321 but the ministry added that the number of new cases reported on Wednesday was a minimum number that could increase due to problems with data gathering. The ministry also reported that the number of people who have died from the virus increased by 385 to 38,674, compared with 854 on Tuesday but those numbers included a multi-day batch of 428 deaths in retirement homes. The ministry said there were 394 new deaths in hospitals over the past 24 hours.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 4th Nov 2020

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U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations hit three-month high over 50,000: Reuters tally

The number of coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals breached 50,000 on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly three months, as a surge in infections threatens to push the nation’s health care system to the edge of capacity.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK