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Coronavirus around the globe

Started by thaiga, March 25, 2020, 12:51:08 PM

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thaiga

Global coronavirus cases to soon surpass 30 million: Reuters tally
(Reuters) - Global coronavirus cases are expected to pass 30 million on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing.

India was firmly in focus as the latest epicentre, although North and South America combined accounted for almost half of the global cases.

Global new daily case numbers reached record levels in recent days and deaths neared 1 million as the international race to develop and market a vaccine heated up.

The official number of global coronavirus cases is now more than five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.

Around the world, there have been almost 1 million deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has well exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.

India on Wednesday became only the second country in the world, after the United States, to record more than 5 million cases.

The south Asian nation, the world's second most populous country, has been reporting more new daily cases than the United States since mid-August and accounts for just over 16% of global known cases.

The United States has about 20% of all global cases, although it has just 4% of the world's population. Brazil, the third worst-hit country, accounts for roughly 15% of global cases.

It took 18 days for global cases to surge from 25 million to more than 30 million. It took 20 days for the world to go from 20 million to 25 million and 19 days to go from 15 million to 20 million.

The global rate of new daily cases is slowing, reflecting progress in constraining the disease in many countries, despite a few big surges.

Health experts stress that official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.

The race to develop and bring to market a novel coronavirus vaccine has grown increasingly frenetic in recent weeks with about 200 candidates in development globally.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said his country could have a vaccine ready for distribution before the U.S. election on Nov. 3, while a Chinese health official this week said China may have a vaccine ready for public use as early as November.

While the trajectory of the coronavirus still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of them, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

in.reuters.com
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thaiga

Good news if your on the way to the UK People arriving from Singapore and Thailand in England and Scotland will not need to quarantine from Saturday morning. full article bbc.com

Singapore and Thailand added to England's 'quarantine-free' list

People arriving from Singapore and Thailand in England and Scotland will not need to quarantine from Saturday morning, the government has said.

They have been added to the list of "travel corridor" countries.

But travellers coming from Slovenia and Guadeloupe will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Both have also been added to Wales' quarantine list, while arrivals there from Gibraltar and Thailand will not need to self-isolate.

The changes come into force at 04:00 BST on Saturday.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

India's coronavirus cases rise to 5.2 million, with 96,424 new infections

India recorded 96,424 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 5.2 million, data from the federal health ministry showed on Friday (Sep 18).

India has been posting the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and seems on course to cross the United States as the country with the most number of cases.

Deaths in India have been relatively low, and it has a fatality rate of 1.62 per cent.

On Friday, the health ministry said 1,174 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking total mortalities from the disease to 84,372.

channelnewsasia.com
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thaiga

Seven Dead, Dozens Infected After 'Superspreader' Wedding In Rural US

A wedding in rural Maine became a coronavirus "superspreader" event that left seven people dead and 177 infected, renewing fear of the disease in the northeastern US state that had hoped the worst of the pandemic was behind it.

The nuptials in early August were attended by 65 people, breaking the official limit of 50 allowed at a gathering.

A ceremony at a church was followed by a reception at the Big Moose Inn -- both venues near the picturesque town of Millinocket, whose population numbers just 4,000.

Ten days later, two dozen people associated with the wedding had tested positive for Covid-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Maine opened an investigation.

The center's local director Nirav Shah on Thursday gave the latest toll for the event, adding that none of the seven people who died had actually attended the wedding.

Contact-tracers linked the wedding to several virus hotspots across the state -- including more than 80 cases in a prison 230 miles (370 kilometers) away, where one of the guards had attended the ceremony.

Another 10 probable cases were found in a Baptist church in the same area, while 39 infections -- and six of the deaths -- were at a nursing home 100 miles from Millinocket.  full article ibtimes.com

(pic below)  The Big Moose Inn, where the wedding reception was held: one of the guests was a prison guard, who appears to have infected 80 inmates at a jail in Maine Photo: AFP / Joseph Prezioso
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines reports 3,257 new coronavirus cases, 47 deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Friday reported 3,257 additional novel coronavirus infections, marking the 11th straight day the country has recorded more than 3,000 daily cases.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 279,526, most of which are in the capital, while deaths rose 47 to reach 4,830.

reuters.com
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thaiga

Indonesia capital eyes doubling of virus testing as cases soar
(Reuters) - Indonesia's capital plans to double its COVID-19 testing capacity in the near future, its governor told Reuters on Thursday, as it fights surging infections that saw restrictions re-imposed to slow the spread and help hospitals to cope.

Jakarta alone has seen more than 1,000 new daily cases on average this month, more than double the average in the first half of August, with the tide of infections piling pressure on its under-resourced health sector.

Governor Anies Baswedan said in an interview that the city of 10 million was conducting about 50,000 weekly coronavirus tests and hopes to "at least reach double from where we are today".

According to the World Health Organization, Jakarta's weekly testing rate of 5.5-6 people per 1,000 population in the past three weeks was five times the WHO's minimum benchmark.

Baswedan said the rapid case rise left him no choice but to bring back social restrictions that he eased in June, with limits on commerce, transport and places of worship re-imposed.

"We had never experienced this kind of jump," Baswedan said. "That's why ... we decided to pull a brake."

He said 13 of Jakarta's 67 hospitals have been designated as COVID-19 treatment centres.

Asked if more would be dedicated to coronavirus cases, he said, "I don't hope so."

"No one wants to see that," he added.

Indonesia reported 3,635 new infections and 122 deaths on Thursday, taking total cases to 232,628 and fatalities to 9,222, Southeast Asia's most deaths.

Unlike many Asian capitals, Jakarta did not impose a lockdown and opted for a more calibrated approach, which some critics say was too lax.

Indonesia's finance minister said Jakarta's tighter curbs could see a steeper than expected third-quarter economic contraction.

Baswedan said it was about more than just the economy.

"We better handle the health crisis, so that not only the economy, social activities can go back on track," he said.

reuters.com
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thaiga

Second UK Lockdown? England COVID-19 Cases Rising by 6,000 Per Day
(Reuters) - Britain was on Friday considering whether to impose a second national lockdown, after new COVID-19 cases almost doubled to 6,000 per day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.

The United Kingdom has reported the fifth largest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Asked if a second national lockdown was on the cards, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said hospital admissions were doubling every eight days but that a crucial estimate modelled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) would be key.

Its model pointed to about 6,000 new cases a day in England in the week to Sept. 10, up from 3,200 cases per day in the previous week, with the North West and London seen as hotspots.

The UK said reproduction "R" number of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom has risen to a range of 1.1-1.4 from last week's figure of 1.0-1.2.

"We're seeing clear signs this virus is now spreading widely across all age groups and I am particularly worried by the increase in rates of admission to hospital and intensive care among older people," said Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England.

"This could be a warning of far worse things to come."

Britain imposed new COVID regulations on the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday.

Hancock said a lockdown was a last resort but that the government would do whatever it took to tackle the virus.

Asked about a second lockdown, he said: "I can't give you that answer now."

SECOND WAVE?

COVID-19 cases started to rise again in Britain in September, with between 3,000 and 4,000 positive tests recorded daily in the last week. This is still some way behind France, which is seeing more than 10,000 new cases a day.

On Thursday, Britain recorded 21 deaths from the disease, taking the total under the government's accounting method to 41,705. Key statistics on the prevalence of the virus are due later on Friday.

More than 10 million people in the United Kingdom are already in local lockdown.

"COVID-19 infection rates have increased in most regions, particularly the North West and London," the ONS said. "It is likely that infection rates in all other regions have also increased except the South West and West Midlands."

The ONS said there had been clear evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive aged 2 to 11 years, 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was criticised by opposition politicians for his initial response to the outbreak and the government has struggled to ensure sufficient testing in recent weeks.

Asked by LBC radio why the testing system was such a "shambles", Hancock said Dido Harding, who is in charge of the system, had done an "an extraordinary job."

usnews.com
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thaiga

New UK lockdown likely sooner rather than later, ex-advisor warns
Britain is likely to need to reintroduce some national coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a leading epidemiologist and former senior government health advisor said on Saturday.

Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London's Imperial College, told the BBC the country was facing a "perfect storm" of rising infections as people return to work and school.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that he did not want another national lockdown but that new restrictions may be needed because the country was facing an "inevitable" second wave of COVID-19.

"I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later," Ferguson said.

Ministers were on Friday reported to be considering a second national lockdown after new COVID-19 cases almost doubled to 6,000 per day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.

"Right now we're at about the levels of infection we were seeing in this country in late February, and if we leave it another two to four weeks we'll be back at levels we were seeing more back in mid-March, and that's going to - or could - cause deaths," Ferguson said.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked Johnson to meet her and the leaders of the devolved governments of Wales and Northern Ireland within the next 48 hours to try to ensure coordinated measures across different parts of the United Kingdom.

"We know from experience earlier in the year that speed and decisiveness of action is important in the fight against COVID," she said.

Britain has suffered Europe's highest death toll from COVID-19, with more than 41,000 deaths on the government's preferred measure.

The sharp increase in infections has not yet led to a similar rise in new fatalities - in part because cases have been concentrated among younger people - but hospital admissions are now beginning to rise.

Ferguson served on the government's main scientific advisory board until May, when he stepped down after breaking lockdown rules himself.

He said future lockdown restrictions did not need to be as strict as those introduced in March to be effective in slowing the renewed spread of the disease.

Reuters
smh.com.au
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thaiga

Indonesia reports its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections
Indonesia reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 4,168 new cases on Saturday (Sep 19), taking the total to 240,687, data from the country's health ministry showed.

Another 112 people have died from COVID-19, taking the total fatalities to 9,448, the biggest death toll in Southeast Asia.

Jakarta's governor Anies Baswedan said on Thursday that the country's capital plans to double its COVID-19 testing capacity in the near future.

Jakarta alone has seen more than 1,000 new daily cases on average this month, more than double the average in the first half of August, with the tide of infections piling pressure on its under-resourced health sector.

full article channelnewsasia.com
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thaiga

Philippines' Duterte keeps one meter social distancing rule
(Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to retain the 1 meter (three feet) social distance requirement on public transport to reduce coronavirus infecions, rejecting moves to reduce it to 30 centimetres (12 inches), his spokesman said on Saturday.

Health experts have warned that reducing gaps between passengers in trains, buses and jeepneys could result in a surge of infections in the Philippines, which has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.

Duterte studied recommendations and decided to retain the 1 meter distancing requirement, including a ban on eating and speaking in public transport, presidential spokesman Harry Roque told state-run PTV4 network. Passengers still need to wear face shield and mask at all times, he added.

The transport ministry, which cut the distance to 75cm on Monday, 50cm on Sept. 28 and 30cm on Oct. 12 to accommodate more passengers returning to work as the economy gradually reopens, said it will comply with the president's decision.

"We shall aggressively comply and strictly enforce the 1-metre physical distancing in all public transport as envisioned and mandated," the transport ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The World Health Organization recommends at least 1 meter of distancing to avoid the spread of the virus.

Manila's transport systems are notoriously crowded, with commutes typically involving long queues and several changes.

Experts and medical professionals have described as dangerous and premature a reduction in distancing requirement, warning it could prolong a first wave of infections that the Philippines has been battling since March.

The Philippines has nearly 280,000 infections, more than a third of which were reported in the past 30 days, and 4,830 deaths, the second most in Southeast Asia, next only to Indonesia.

reuters.com
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thaiga

Coronavirus: latest global developments
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- More than 957,000 dead -

The pandemic has killed at least 957,948 people in the world since emerging in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

More than 30.8 million people have been infected.

The United States has the most deaths with 199,268, followed by Brazil with 136,532, India with 86,752, Mexico with 73,258 and Britain with 41,759.

- UK imposes hefty fines -

People in England who refuse to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus could face fines of up to £10,000 (400,000 baht) under tough new regulations to tackle a surge in cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that from September 28 people in England will be legally obliged to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to by the National Health Service (NHS) tracing programme.

- Belgium tops 100,000 cases -

Belgium passes the 100,000 milestone of infections following a sharp increase in cases in recent weeks, according to figures from the research institute Sciensano.

The trend accelerated markedly in the first half of September, reaching an average of 1,000 new daily infections during the week of September 9 to 15, according to the data.

- Italy votes, cases rise -

Italians cast their ballots in a referendum and regional elections, despite warnings against opening polling stations while Covid-19 case numbers are on the rise. Italy currently has fewer new cases than Britain, France or Spain but it is still recording more than 1,500 daily.

"The country is in a state of emergency; it is utterly contradictory to be massing people together at polling stations, particularly in light of the trend in Europe," Professor Massimo Galli, infectious diseases chief at Milan's Sacco hospital, tells AFP.

- Hollywood Covid-era awards -

The first major Covid-era award show for Hollywood takes place Sunday with the Emmys -- the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars -- looking radically different to previous editions, with no red carpet and a host broadcasting from an empty theatre in Los Angeles.

- Fewer US election monitors -

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors elections in many parts of the world, says it will only send a small team to observe the US polls in November due to the pandemic.

No short-term observers will be deployed to monitor the election on the day, Katya Andrusz, OSCE spokeswoman, tells AFP. The team for the elections on November 3 will consist of just 14 analysts and 30 long-term observers.

bangkokpost.com
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thaiga

Covid: UK at 'critical point' in pandemic, top scientists to warn
The UK is at a "critical point" in the coronavirus pandemic and "heading in the wrong direction", the government's chief medical officer will warn later.

Prof Chris Whitty believes the country is facing a "very challenging winter period" and will hold a televised briefing at 11:00 BST.

It comes after the prime minister spent the weekend considering whether to introduce further measures in England.

On Sunday, a further 3,899 daily cases and 18 deaths were reported in the UK.

The prime minister is understood to be considering a two-week mini lockdown in England - being referred to as a "circuit breaker" - in an effort to stem widespread growth of the virus.

He held a meeting at Downing Street on Sunday, along with Prof Whitty, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to discuss possible measures.   full article from the bbc.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

U.S. nears grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths
(Reuters) - The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States was approaching over 200,000 on Monday, by the far the highest number of any nation.

The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally. That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15.

During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the worst was over, as the death toll reached 199,630 with 6.8 million confirmed cases.

"We are rounding the corner on the pandemic, with or without a vaccine... and we've done a phenomenal job - not just a good job - a phenomenal job. Other than public relations, but that's because I have fake news."

Graphic: Tracking the novel coronavirus globally here

Trump has previously admitted to playing down the danger of the coronavirus early on because he did not want to "create a panic."

reuters.com
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thaiga

Gravediggers under strain as COVID-19 burials surge in Jakarta

Gravedigger Junaedi Bin Hakim toils until nearly midnight almost every day in a Jakarta cemetery, preparing plots for fellow Indonesians amid a renewed spike in coronavirus burials. "I am worried and scared but this is part of my job and responsibilities," said 43-year-old Junaedi, who prior to the global pandemic routinely left work at 4 p.m. to spend time with his young family.

Jakarta has been the epicenter of the outbreak in Indonesia, where authorities have struggled for months to contain the virus. The country has reported nearly 245,000 cases, including 9,553 deaths, the highest levels in southeast Asia. Unlike many other Asian capitals, Jakarta authorities did not impose a strict lockdown, opting for more calibrated social restrictions, an approach that some health experts have said was too lax.

After an initial surge at the start of the pandemic, burials in Jakarta dropped to around 20 to 30 on average per day in July and August. But they shot up in September to between 50 and more than 60 per day, data from the city government showed. As ambulances carrying victims snaked around the entrance of Pandok Ranggoon cemetery, Junaedi said it could be full within two months at the current rate of burials.

"Usually, we bury around 10 people everyday. But for the last few days, when we handle COVID-19 burials, it has reached an average of 30 per day," he said. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said more land had been earmarked in case that happens. The number of deaths across Indonesia has averaged 114 per day over the past week, up from 64 a month ago, according to a Reuters tally based on official data. Anies said in an interview last week that while not all burials were definitely COVID-19 patients, "I don't see any other disease going on in our city".

Anies said the rise in funerals, along with strain on the city's healthcare system, were the reasons why he reinstated social restrictions in Jakarta last week, which prohibit working from offices except for essential businesses, as well as limit the capacity of public transport and places of worship. "We had never experienced this kind of jump," he said. "That's why ... we decided to pull a brake." For Junaedi's wife, Karlina, her husband's work is a source of fear for her small children, despite the health protocols being followed for burials. "I still have two children at home so definitely I'm scared and worried," she said.  thejakartapost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines confirms 3,475 more novel coronavirus cases, 15 deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Monday confirmed 3,475 new coronavirus infections and 15 more deaths, the lowest daily increase in fatalities in two weeks.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases had increased to 290,190, still the most in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths had reached 4,999.

news.yahoo.com
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thaiga

Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths

(Reuters) – Indonesia reported on Tuesday its biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths with 160 fatalities, data from the country's COVID-19 task force showed.

Indonesia has reported 9,837 deaths overall, the highest death toll in Asia outside India.

It also reported 4,071 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 252,923.

metro.us
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thaiga

Philippines reports 1,635 coronavirus cases, 50 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippine health ministry on Tuesday reported 1,635 novel coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase in infections in two weeks, and 50 new deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections in the Philippines have increased to 291,789, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 5,049.

reuters.com
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thaiga

COVID 'firepower': Britain imposes six-month curbs against second wave
(Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

full article reuters.com

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thaiga

Philippines records 2,833 new coronavirus cases, 44 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines reported 2,833 newly confirmed coronavirus infections and 44 more deaths on Wednesday.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said the Southeast Asian country's total confirmed cases had climbed to 294,591, the region's highest, while its death toll had risen to 5,091.

reuters.com
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thaiga

Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases

(REUTERS) - Indonesia reported 4,465 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday (Sept 23), the country's biggest daily rise, taking the total number of infections to 257,388, data from the country's health ministry showed.

The data added 140 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 9,977, the biggest death toll in South-east Asia.

straitstimes.com
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thaiga

'Last call!': Curfew begins for English and Welsh pubs

The last call echoed around pubs and bars in England and Wales earlier than usual Thursday night, as tighter rules to try to stop a coronavirus surge came into force.

The ramped-up restrictions, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, require all premises serving food or drink to close by 10pm.

They will apply in Scotland from Friday, while Northern Ireland -- where venues serving only alcohol had just been allowed to reopen, from Tuesday -- is still considering a curfew.

British pubs traditionally close at 11 pm and although some stay open later -- depending on their location and the day -- some question the curfew's likely impact.

"I don't think it's gonna help, it's too little too late, as usual," Joyce, a sceptical drinker in her fifties at the Prince George in the East London neighbourhood of Dalston, told AFP.

"You're just displacing the problem," she predicted.

The UK government and devolved administrations in Cardiff and Edinburgh have imposed the curfew, alongside several other measures, as Covid-19 transmission spirals nationwide once again.

Britain announced 6,634 new cases on Thursday -- the highest daily tally recorded since the pandemic began, though the number of tests being conducted is now at unprecedented levels.

The new curbs come just weeks after the end of a month-long government scheme that encouraged people to eat and drink out by subsidising the bill, in a bid to help the hard-hit hospitality industry.

The new measures have been greeted gloomily from the sector, with the British Beer and Pub Association estimating that fewer than half of pubs were currently breaking even.

Leisure group Whitbread and pub chain Wetherspoons both announced widespread job cuts on Tuesday.

"It's a bit of a shame, but it's just realism of what is going on now," said Kristy Law, the assistant manager at the Prince George.

She noted the pub, which typically serves regulars, usually closes at midnight on weekends but would now be opening an hour earlier at 4pm to compensate.

"It's a nightmare to kick people out at the end of the night!

"I can't imagine what it will be (like) now... everyone will still be in this party mood."

Some experts have questioned whether the new hospitality rules will have a meaningful impact while various people can still meet in pubs, bars and restaurants.

"Closing down restaurants and pubs earlier will do little to stave the spread for as long as multiple different households can interchangeably meet up," said David Strain, clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter.

In England up to six people from different households can currently gather, while in Scotland the same number can meet up but only from two households. In Wales, socialising is limited to six people from within your own household.

However Jennifer Cole, a biological anthropologist at Royal Holloway, University of London, argued that even an hour of less drinking could help.

"The more drunk you are, the less inhibited and less risk-averse you are," she said after the rules were announced.

"Closing the bars and restaurants at 10pm simply keeps people more sober."

bangkokpost.com
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thaiga

Over 80% of Britons not heeding COVID-19 self-isolation rules, study finds

(Reuters) - Over 80% of people in Britain are not adhering to self-isolation guidelines when they have COVID-19 symptoms or had contact with someone who has tested positive, a study has found.

A majority were also unable to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The research raises major questions about the effectiveness of England's Test and Trace programme as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to keep a lid on rising infection numbers with new restrictions.

The research, led by King's College London, found that only 18.2% of people who reported having symptoms of COVID-19 in the last seven days had not left home since the symptoms developed, and only 11.9% requested a COVID-19 test.

It also found that only 10.9% of people told by the NHS Test and Trace scheme to self-isolate after close contact with a COVID-19 case had done so for 14 days as required.

The government last week introduced fines of up to 10,000 pounds ($12,780.00) for breaking self-isolation rules, and are offering a 500-pound support payment to low-paid workers who lose income from quarantining.

The researchers said that financial support for self-isolating could encourage adherence.

"Our results suggest that financial constraints and caring responsibilities impeded adherence to self-isolation, intending to share details of close contacts, and quarantining of contacts," they wrote.

Johnson promised a "world-beating" test and trace system, but it has been dogged with problems, regularly failing to meet a target of reaching 80% of contacts. A tracing app finally launched on Thursday after four months of delays.

Reasons for non-compliance ranged from not knowing government guidance to being unable to identify the symptoms, the study found.

Just under half the participants were able to identify the key symptoms of COVID-19 of cough, a fever and a loss of sense of taste or smell.

The study used data collected between March 2 and Aug. 5, and was based on 42,127 responses from 31,787 participants aged over 16.

As of Thursday, Britain had the highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe, at 41,902.  msn.com

(pic below) Reuters/Andrew Couldridge FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the hot weather on Margate beach in Margate
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thaiga

Indonesia reports 4,494 new coronavirus infections, 90 deaths: health ministry
(Reuters) - Indonesia reported 4,494 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, taking the total number of cases to 271,339, official data from the health ministry showed on Saturday.

The Southeast Asian country also reported 90 new deaths from the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 10,308.
199,403 have recovered from the novel coronavirus as of Saturday.

reuters.com

Philippines surpasses 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases
(Reuters) – The Philippines' health ministry on Saturday reported 2,747 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 88 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 301,256 cases and 5,284 deaths.

The Department of Health also said 787 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, bringing total recoveries to 232,906.

metro.us
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Madrid at 'serious risk' without tougher COVID-19 rules, health minister warns
(Reuters) - Spain's health minister urged authorities in Madrid on Saturday to tighten restrictions in the coronavirus hotspot, warning that the capital's residents and surrounding regions were at "serious risk" without tougher curbs.

Madrid extended a partial lockdown on Friday in several dozen districts with high infection rates, rejecting national government recommendations for a city-wide lockdown as cases continue to surge in the capital.

"Madrid is in a situation of serious risk and it's time to act with determination," Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference.

"There is a serious risk for inhabitants, for the neighbouring regions," he said, calling on the capital's regional authorities to "put the health of citizens first".

Spain's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 12,272 on Friday from the previous day to 716,481, the highest number in Western Europe. More than 31,000 people have died from COVID-19.

Spaniards endured one of Europe's strictest lockdowns from March until May, when they were not allowed to leave their homes. But after restrictions were totally lifted on June 21, the pandemic has surged again.

Most of the 45 Madrid districts covered by the new restrictions are high-density, low-income areas, triggering complaints about "class confinement", including during a protest outside the city assembly late on Friday.

msn.com
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thaiga

Virus curfew to be lifted in Australia as global deaths near 1m
An overnight curfew in Australia's second-largest city will be lifted this week, officials said Sunday, even as the global coronavirus toll inched towards one million dead.

Despite the number of infections worldwide passing 32 million -- with the US state of New York reporting a fresh spike -- more than 10,000 anti-lockdown protesters demonstrated in central London ahead of the re-imposition of restrictions there.

In more positive news, residents of the Chinese city of Wuhan -- where the virus emerged last year -- reported a hesitant return to normalcy, while the French Open got underway at Roland Garros in Paris.

In Australia, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne residents would be free from Monday to leave their homes for work, exercise, shop for essentials, or provide care after active cases in the state fell below 400 for the first time since June 30.

The relaxation of the curfew, imposed Aug 2, comes after 16 new infections and two deaths were reported Sunday.

People will still be confined to within five kilometres (about three miles) of their homes, and fines for breaching other restrictions will be increased to almost Aus$5,000 ($3,515).

Andrews said several other restrictions, including on religious services and childcare centres, will also be lifted.

- Anti-lockdown protests-

It was a different story in the UK, now battling to contain a mounting second wave, as thousands marched in London on Saturday against coronavirus restrictions.

At least 10 people were arrested as police moved in with batons to disperse more than 10,000 protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square.

This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government imposed a ban on gatherings of more than six people and ordered pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, which has claimed 42,000 lives in the country so far -- making it the worst-affected nation in Europe.

In New York state -- once the epicentre of the US outbreak -- new infections rose for the first time since June to above 1,000 a day, local officials said.

In India, meanwhile, infections closed in on six million on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on people to keep wearing face masks in public.

"They are potent tools to save the life of every citizen," he said.

Health ministry figures showed that the total number of cases had risen to 5,992,532.

India is expected to take over the United States -- which has reported more than seven million cases so far -- as the worst-hit country in the next few weeks.

- Back to normal? -

In Paris, a limited number of spectators will watch live tennis for the first time in months as the French Open starts -- four months later than scheduled.

It will be an eerily unfamiliar tournament as a resurgence of the virus means only 1,000 spectators will be allowed into the grounds each day.

For residents of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, life is already back to normal.

There have been 50,340 confirmed cases and 3,869 deaths in Wuhan, according to the official figures -- the majority of mainland China's toll -- but no new infections since May.

Families are once again packing amusement parks, and shopping streets were full over the weekend -- although residents remained cautious.

"The people have experienced tragedy and deeply know that a happy life is not easy to come by," said a woman named Wang.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

British ministers prepare for social lockdown in northern Britain, London: The Times
(Reuters) - The British government is planning to enforce a total social lockdown across a majority of northern Britain and potentially London, to combat a second wave of COVID-19, The Times reported late on Sunday.

Under the new lockdown measures being considered, all pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks initially, the report said.

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said any new national lockdown would threaten jobs, livelihoods and human contact.

The report added that households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under the order.

Britain had last week imposed new measures that required people to work from home where possible and had ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

Schools and shops be allowed to remain open, along with factories and offices at which staff could not work from home, the Times added, citing a senior government source.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Global coronavirus deaths pass 'agonizing milestone' of 1 million
(Reuters) - The global death toll from COVID-19 rose past 1 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, a bleak milestone in a pandemic that has devastated the global economy, overloaded health systems and changed the way people live.

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus this year is now double the number of people who die annually from malaria - and the death rate has increased in recent weeks as infections surge in several countries.

"Our world has reached an agonizing milestone," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

"It's a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues."

It took just three months for COVID-19 deaths to double from half a million, an accelerating rate of fatalities since the first death was recorded in China in early January.

More than 5,400 people are dying around the world every 24 hours, according to Reuters calculations based on September averages, overwhelming funeral businesses and cemeteries.

That equates to about 226 people an hour, or one person every 16 seconds. In the time it takes to watch a 90-minute soccer match, 340 people die on average.

INFECTIONS RISING

Experts remain concerned that the official figures for deaths and cases globally significantly under-represent the real tally because of inadequate testing and recording and the possibility of concealment by some countries.

The response to the pandemic has pitted proponents of health measures like lockdowns against those intent on sustaining politically sensitive economic growth, with approaches differing from country to country.

The United States, Brazil and India, which together account for nearly 45% of all COVID-19 deaths globally, have all lifted social distancing measures in recent weeks.

"The American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead," U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned on Monday. U.S. deaths stood at 205,132 and cases at 7.18 million by late Monday.

India, meanwhile, has recorded the highest daily growth in infections in the world, with an average of 87,500 new cases a day since the beginning of September.

On current trends, India will overtake the United States as the country with the most confirmed cases by the end of the year, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government pushes ahead with easing lockdown measures in a bid to support a struggling economy.

Despite the surge in cases, India's death toll of 96,318, and pace of growth of fatalities, remains below those of the United States, Britain and Brazil. India on Tuesday reported its smallest rise in deaths since Aug. 3, continuing a recent easing trend that has baffled experts.

In Europe, which accounts for nearly 25% of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a worrying spread in western Europe just weeks away from the winter flu season.

The WHO has also warned the pandemic still needs major control interventions amid rising cases in Latin America, where many countries have started to resume normal life.

Much of Asia, the first region affected by the pandemic, is experiencing a relative lull after emerging from a second wave.

BURIAL STRAIN

The high number of deaths has led to changes burial rites around the world, with morgues and funeral businesses overwhelmed and loved ones often barred from bidding farewell in person.

In Israel, the custom of washing the bodies of Muslim deceased is not permitted, and instead of being shrouded in cloth, they must be wrapped in a plastic body bag. The Jewish tradition of Shiva where people go to the home of mourning relatives for seven days has also been disrupted.

In Italy, Catholics have been buried without funerals or a blessing from a priest, while in Iraq former militiamen dropped their guns to dig graves at a specially created cemetery and learned how to conduct both Christian and Muslim burials.

In some parts of Indonesia, bereaved families have barged into hospitals to claim bodies, fearing their relatives might not be given a proper burial.

An indigenous group in the Ecuadorean Amazon took two police officers and a state official hostage, demanding authorities return the body of a community leader for a traditional burial.

The United States, Indonesia, Bolivia, South Africa and Yemen have all had to locate new burial sites as cemeteries fill up.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

India's coronavirus infections rise to 6.84 million

(Reuters) - India's total coronavirus cases rose by 78,524 in the last 24 hours to 6.84 million on Thursday morning, data from the health ministry showed.

Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 971 to 105,526, the ministry said.

India's death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone, after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.

Last week, India further eased restrictions and permitted states to open schools and movie theatres.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Germany faces 'uncontrollable' spread
German health experts warned on Thursday that the coronavirus could "spread uncontrollably" in the country, as infections surged across Europe and governments prepared to renew some lockdown measures.

In Belgium, Brussels' crowded bars and cafes were shut for a month, a return to the stricter protocols imposed at the height of the epidemic in March and April.

And in France, officials were to apply tighter restrictions in several major cities, two days after a maximum alert protocol went into force in Paris.

Across the Atlantic, President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic continues to dominate the US election, with the Democrats' Kamala Harris accusing him of overseeing "the greatest failure... in the history of our country".

Germany's response to the crisis has been held up as a relative success, but officials are now raising the alarm over a "worrying jump" in coronavirus cases.

The number of new daily infections in Germany soared past 4,000 for the first time since early April.

"We don't know how the situation in Germany will develop in the coming weeks," warned Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute for disease control.

"It's possible that we will reach more than 10,000 cases a day. It's possible that the virus will spread uncontrollably. But I hope it doesn't."

- Partying youth -

The alarming jump in cases coincided with autumn school holidays in many parts of Germany, prompting calls from Chancellor Angela Merkel's government for citizens to avoid travel abroad.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said many young people were "partying, travelling, thinking they are invincible".

"But they're not," he said, urging them to think of the risk they pose to elderly relatives.

The number of daily coronavirus infections came in at 18,746 in France on Wednesday, a record since widespread testing began.

In Paris, bars and cafes were ordered to close on Tuesday for two weeks to slow the spread, just over a week after new restrictions were imposed on Marseille and the overseas region of Guadeloupe.

Health Minister Olivier Veran is expected to announce later that tighter rules will be imposed in other cities.

Bars were also ordered to close on Thursday in the Belgian capital Brussels, home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO.

Restaurants will remain open under strict social-distancing rules, but outdoor drinking and cafes will close after both new cases and hospitalisations surged to their highest levels since April.

Scotland imposed two-week ban on pubs in its main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh on Wednesday, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's UK government to take similar steps in England.

But stark warnings from health experts about the rise in cases are balanced against rising opposition to lockdowns in many countries, from hard-pressed businesses and sceptical protesters.

- 'Greatest failure' -

In Spain, Madrid's top regional court on Thursday rejected a partial lockdown imposed on the capital's 4.5 million residents at the weekend.

The ruling stated that the order intruded on "the rights and fundamental freedoms" of Madrilenos.

Tensions over the virus also took centre stage at the US vice-presidential debate between the incumbent Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, running mate to Trump's Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The Covid-19 illness has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, more than in any other country, and Trump has just emerged from hospital after catching a disease he once dismissed as harmless.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," said Harris.

"The president said it was a hoax. They minimised the seriousness of it," she declared. Pence insisted Trump had put "the health of America first" and accused Biden of copying his Covid plan.

The novel coronavirus has killed more than a million people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, and the lockdown measures adopted by many governments have battered the world economy.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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