International update: Global Covid infections pass 43.1 million – Europe posts record one day high

26th October 2020 (Last Updated October 26th, 2020 12:35)

26 October

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 43.1 million. The global coronavirus death toll is 1,154,746 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization’s coronavirus dashboard showed a third consecutive daily record high in the number of new confirmed cases. Nearly half of Saturday’s new cases were registered in the WHO’s Europe region, which logged a one-day record high of 221,898 cases.

US: US Covid-19 infections exceed 8.6 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 225,239 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The US recorded the most infections of the pandemic for the second day in a row, adding another 85,317 cases, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg through Saturday. The 1% increase outstripped the 0.8% daily average of the previous seven days as President Donald Trump sought to play down the surge in rallies in virus hot spots days before the election.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced that he will continue campaigning on Sunday, despite his chief of staff and four other top aides having tested positive for coronavirus.

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the US has reached a “dangerous tipping point” as hospitalizations from Covid-19 start to rise sharply, undermining the idea that most current incidences of the virus are no worse than a case of the flu.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows for saying earlier Sunday that the US is “not going to control the pandemic” and will instead focus on getting vaccines and therapeutics.

Arizona, among the Sun Belt states hit hard this summer, reported 1,392 cases, the most since 17 September. The state had successfully reined in a surge that peaked in July with several days over 4,000 cases. But the numbers have been rising again slowly over the last few weeks, as cases spread to the Midwest then to two national records this week. Florida has also reported several recent days of elevated infections, and Texas is working to contain a hot spot in El Paso.

China: China has detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar in the north-western region of Xinjiang, after one person was found to have the virus the previous day – the first new local cases for 10 days in mainland China.

India: India’s total coronavirus infections stood at 7.91 million on Monday, having risen by 45,148 cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed.

France: France registered 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, following a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday. It also said that 116 people had died from coronavirus infection over the past 24 hours, compared to from 137 on Saturday, taking the total confirmed death toll to 34,761.

Italy: The prime minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte announced new restrictions and warned that the country’s escalating coronavirus infection rate was already having a worrying impact on hospitals. Italy reported a new daily record of 21,273 coronavirus cases with 128 deaths, health ministry figures showed on Sunday, up from the 19,644 new infections reported on Saturday.

Mexico: Mexican health authorities acknowledged on Sunday that the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is far higher than thought, saying there were 193,170 “excess” deaths in the year up to 26 September.

Bulgaria: Prime Minister Boyko Borissov tested positive for the coronavirus and is feeling a “general malaise,” he said on his official Facebook page. Borissov, 61, was briefly quarantined on Friday after coming into contact with a deputy minister who had tested positive, He released on Saturday after twice testing negative and said he’s resting at home.

Vaccine news

Global: The WHO chief warned against “vaccine nationalism”, calling for global solidarity in the rollout of any future coronavirus vaccine, as the number of cases soared across the world.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has produced a robust immune response in elderly people, the Financial Times reported, citing two unidentified people familiar with the finding. The vaccine, which AstraZeneca is producing in collaboration with the University of Oxford, produced protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups.

Johnson & Johnson’s first batches of its Covid-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use as soon as January, Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, the company’s head of public health research and development, said in a presentation at the World Health Summit.

US: The US could have a coronavirus vaccine ready by the end of the year, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday. “We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December,” Fauci said.

Israel: Israel will begin its first clinical trials of a novel coronavirus vaccine next month, authorities said Sunday, as the country grapples with a second wave of infections.

Lockdown updates

Australia: The coronavirus hot spot of Victoria on Monday reported zero cases of coronavirus for the first time since June, and the premier, Daniel Andrews, announced that restrictions would be eased – among these are that hospitality and beauty businesses could reopen.

Spain: Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, declared a new nationwide state of emergency on Sunday – including a curfew – in the hope of stemming a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Malaysia: The king on Sunday rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to declare a state of emergency to fight a new outbreak of the coronavirus. The plan by Muhyiddin, which involves suspending Parliament, has sparked national outrage, with critics slamming the move as an undemocratic means for him to hang on to power amid challenges to his leadership.