International update: Global Covid infections pass 38.5 million – lockdowns tighten across Europe

15th October 2020 (Last Updated October 15th, 2020 11:04)

15 October

Global: The global coronavirus death toll is 1,092,641 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Covid-19 infections exceed 38.5 million world wide.

US: US Covid-19 infections exceed 7.9 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 216,903 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

President Trump has again claimed he is “immune” from Covid and said that he thinks his son Barron, 14, didn’t even know he had coronavirus.

Trump’s youngest son, Barron, tested positive for coronavirus while his parents recovered from Covid-19 but never showed symptoms of the disease, his mother said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said city health officials are making progress in reducing infection rates in areas of Brooklyn and Queens where coronavirus cases have been spiking recently.

Intensive-care units in Texas’s hardest-hit cities and towns are filling up as a new wave of infections grips the second-biggest US state. The El Paso area has just 10 ICU beds available after hospital admissions jumped by more than 80% in the past week.

India: India’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 7.31 million on Thursday, having risen by 67,708 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed.

China: In China, a hospital president and the director of the health commission in the northern city of Qingdao have been fired after China’s latest coronavirus outbreak, authorities said on Thursday. A brief notice on the Qingdao city government’s official microblog Thursday said Health Commission Director Sui Zhenhua and Deng Kai, president of Qingdao’s thoracic hospital to which the cases have been linked, were placed under further investigation.

Italy: Italy on Wednesday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases, as the spread of the contagion surpassed levels reached at the peak of last spring’s outbreak. New cases jumped to 7,332 from 5,901 on Tuesday.

Germany: Germany has recorded its highest daily coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. It added 6,638 new infections on Thursday, eclipsing the 28 March figure of 6,294.

Czech Republic: The Czech Republic has also set a new record for daily Covid cases, recording 9,544 new infections, the highest since the pandemic started, Health Ministry data showed.

South Korea: South Korea logged 110 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing total infections to 24,988, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

Vaccine news

Global: The WHO’s chief scientist has said young, healthy people may have to wait until 2022 to be vaccinated for coronavirus, because health workers and vulnerable groups will likely be prioritised.

Russia: Russia is going to miss its target of making 30 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine this year due to setbacks maintaining the serum’s stability while expanding production.

Japan: Japanese drugmakers don’t think they can roll out a possible coronavirus vaccine until 2022, NHK reported late Wednesday, citing remarks made by companies at an industry symposium.

Philippines: China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. may start Covid-19 vaccine trials in the Philippines before the end of the year, the chief of the Southeast Asian nation’s food and drug agency said.

Lockdown updates

Pakistan: Pakistan warned of “restrictive actions” because of a spike in coronavirus cases, the highest since August, which may hurt the economy that was showing signs of recovery.

France: Paris and eight other French cities will be subject to a curfew from Saturday. “We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a TV appearance, announcing the 9pm-6am curfew that will remain in force for at least four weeks, except for essential reasons. The curfew will also apply in Rouen, Lille, St Etienne, Lyon, Grenoble, Montpellier, Marseille and Toulouse.

Spain: Spain will close bars and restaurants across Catalonia for the next 15 days following a surge in cases, as the country tackles one of the highest rates of infection in Europe, with nearly 900,000 cases and more than 33,000 deaths.

Portugal: Tough measures are to be introduced in Portugal from Thursday as the country reported a new record in cases. Gatherings will be limited to five people. Weddings and baptisms can be attended by a maximum of 50, but university parties will be banned. Fines for businesses which do not comply with the rules will be doubled from an upper limit of 5,000 to 10,000 euros.

UK: London is on course for an imminent tightening of coronavirus restrictions, as cases continue to rise in Britain and the country’s response fragments. A change in the rules in the capital is likely in very short order, according to an official in London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office. Khan and health leaders met Wednesday to discuss the potential move into stricter restrictions.

Ireland: Ireland is introducing new measures to curb the spread of the virus, after daily cases increased at the fastest rate since April. All household visits will end, and a number of districts close to the border with Northern Ireland will move to a so-called Level 4 lockdown. In addition to existing restrictions in those areas, including the closure of most bars and restaurants, most business and services deemed non-essential will shut, wedding guests will be limited to six and gyms will close.

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a series of piecemeal measures to contain a second wave of the pandemic in Germany, and cautioned that more would follow if the rise in virus infections didn’t stop in 10 days. In hard-hit areas, bars and restaurants must shut down by 11 p.m., while gatherings will be limited to 100 people. The use of masks in public will be extended.