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Coronavirus around the globe

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

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thaiga

Australia records second day without COVID-19 death for first time in three months
(Reuters) - Australia reported its second straight day without any COVID-19 deaths on Friday, the longest stretch without any fatalities from the virus in three months.

Australian states and territories reported 16 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, down from 28 on Thursday, and no deaths for two days, the first time Australia has gone 48 hours without a COVID-19 death since July 11.

The results cement optimism that Australia has contained a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

The country's second most populous state Victoria, the epicentre of Australia's COVID-19 outbreak, said they now have less than 200 active infections.

"These are the results that come from a really determined effort to defeat this second wave," Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

Australia has reported more than 27,000 coronavirus infections and about 900 deaths - far fewer than many other developed countries

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

thaiga

Europe holds crisis talks as Spain seeks lockdown powers
Europe's leaders are stepping up efforts to force tougher local restrictions amid an unrelenting surge in coronavirus cases across the continent.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss a possible state of emergency for the Madrid region, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak with mayors of the country's biggest cities about efforts to contain the spread in Europe's largest economy.

Tensions are rising in the region as numerous countries post record increases in infections. Unlike the initial wave of the pandemic, national leaders are loath to impose stringent lockdowns and are facing increasing resistance even against local measures.

The U.K's caseload surged amid growing anger over the strategy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, which is preparing to announce new restrictions for the worst-hit parts of the country beginning on Monday -- potentially including closing restaurants and bars.

France moved to place more cities on maximum alert after daily cases rose above 18,000 for a second straight day. Authorities tightened curbs beyond Paris and Marseille, adding Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble from Saturday. Bars, casinos and exhibitions will close in the affected cities, while restaurants, cinemas and museums face stricter controls.

Merkel will discuss containment measures with big-city officials after new covid-19 cases exceeded 4,000 for the second day in a row -- levels not seen since April. Berlin has now become a risk area, and the capital's residents face travel restrictions within Germany, while Frankfurt is approaching that threshold. Berlin will join other major European cities in shutting bars at 11 p.m. starting this weekend.

Germany was quick to react to the initial phase, and "we are again in a situation in which we must be fast in order to still keep control of the situation," Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller told reporters before the call with Merkel. "It would be dramatic for the German economy, but also for social reasons not to see one another for months."

Gerd Landsberg, managing director of Germany's cities and municipalities federation, said he expects Merkel to appeal to officials to do more to help enforce hygiene and distancing rules, possibly including bans on the sale of alcohol.

"There are still a lot of people who think it's nonsense, and they create a party atmosphere," Landsberg said Friday in an interview with ZDF television.

In Spain, Sanchez decided to hold the meeting after two crisis calls on Thursday with the head of the Madrid region -- Isabel Diaz Ayuso, a member of the main opposition party to Sanchez's Socialists. The options for enforcing mobility restrictions in the area include the declaration of a state of emergency, and the regional president, an avid critic of the prime minister, is due to respond.

The standoff, which follows a court setback on new restrictions, marks the latest twist in the deepening crisis involving the Spanish capital and its surrounding region. The spat has involved an acrimonious back-and-forth between national and local administrations.

Under a state of emergency, the government can use extraordinary legal powers to limit people's movement. If the government decides to impose a new lockdown after one of the world's strictiest earlier this year, it would be targeted only at the Madrid region.

Like other European countries, Spanish coronavirus cases have been steadily increasing since the late summer, but the situation has been especially acute in Madrid in recent weeks. The region recorded about 40% of Spain's new infections on Thursday, while 40% of local intensive-care beds are occupied with Covid-19 patients -- far ahead of the national average of 18%.

In Austria, national leaders and rival local politicians are also at odds, a battle fueled by elections in Vienna on Sunday.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's government has implored Vienna to bring forward a curfew to 10 p.m. and draw on support from the federal police for contact tracing, deploring "chaos" under Mayor Michael Ludwig's watch.

The city's contagion rate is about double the national level, and Germany, Switzerland and other countries have issued travel warnings for the Austrian capital. The Social Democratic city hall blamed the federal government for easing curbs too early.

As case numbers peak across eastern Europe, several countries are running into limits of their testing capacities, which have often already lagged those in the wealthier West.

As a result, it may become more difficult to track the spread of the virus, with daily counts having stabilized near record levels this week even as hospitalizations and deaths climb.

The Czech Republic -- the new epicenter of the virus in Europe -- reported a third consecutive daily record just hours after the government announced stricter measures to contain the outbreak. The nation had 5,394 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the latest available figure.

As of Friday, Czechs have to keep to stricter distancing rules. Health Minister Roman Prymula urged people to work from home as much as possible to halt the "alarming" spread of infections. The country also banned all cultural and sporting events for two weeks, ordered restaurants to allow only four guests at one table and close at 8 p.m.

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

thaiga

Spain invokes state of emergency for Madrid lockdown
(Reuters) - Spain's Socialist-led government invoked a state of emergency on Friday to reimpose a partial lockdown for several million people in and around Madrid, one of Europe's worst COVID-19 hotspots, after a court had struck down the measures.

The move, with immediate effect, escalated a standoff between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government and the conservative-led Madrid regional chief who calls the curbs illegal, excessive and disastrous for the economy.

"Patience has its limit," Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference, chastising the regional authority for inaction. "It is important that the level of infection in Madrid does not extend to the rest of Spain."

The government said an extra 7,000 policemen would be deployed for enforcement. But many of the 3.8 million people affected in the capital city and eight satellite towns were bemused and cars continued to pour out for a holiday weekend.

"I feel bad because I don't know how to act, what to do, if I'm doing things right or wrong, and I feel totally misruled by our politicians who are just not up to the job," said 64-year-old retiree Jesus Doria.

Following a Health Ministry order, Madrid authorities last week reluctantly barred all non-essential travel in and out of the city and nearby towns. The region had 723 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the two weeks to Oct. 8, according to the World Health Organization, making it Europe's second densest cluster after Andorra.

'WHAT DO WE DO NOW?'

But instead of a blanket restriction, the Madrid region chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso wanted tailored restrictions according to neighbourhoods' contagion levels.

A Madrid court sided with her on Thursday, effectively suspending the restrictions until the government responded with its two-week emergency order.

"We had an alternative plan we have been defending until the last moment, but it has not been possible, which is a pity. The state of emergency was totally avoidable," Madrid region spokesman Ignacio Aguado told reporters.

TV footage showed lines of cars on the main highways out of Madrid on Friday afternoon for what is usually one of the busiest weekends for domestic tourism as Spaniards mark Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492.

"I feel a little disconcerted and surprised and now everyone is saying, 'I'm going away for the weekend, no I'm not, what do we do now?'," said Esther, 45, in Madrid.

Underlining Spain's fractious political mood, the far-right Vox party has threatened protests against the state of emergency.

Spain has reported 848,324 coronavirus cases - the highest in Western Europe - and 32,688 deaths. Its tourism-dependent economy is set for a more than 11% contraction this year in the worst recession since the civil war.

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

thaiga

October 10, 2020
Myanmar reports more than 2,000 daily coronavirus cases in new record

(Reuters) - Myanmar's health ministry reported 2,158 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday in a record daily rise, along with 32 new deaths.

The Southeast Asian nation has locked down its biggest city, Yangon, and air and overland travel in the country has been halted.

A total of 26,064 cases and 598 deaths have been reported in Myanmar, the vast majority since a second wave began in mid-August.

The country is preparing to hold a general election on Nov. 8.

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

thaiga

Germans must reduce travel, partying to fight COVID-19, says Merkel aide
(Reuters) – Germany should continue capping the number of people allowed at gatherings and clamp down on unnecessary travel as the country battles rising coronavirus infections, an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.

"We must be a bit stricter in places where infection chains spread mostly, which is parties and, unfortunately, also travel," the chancellor's chief of staff, Helge Braun, told public broadcaster ARD.

"We are at the beginning of a second wave and only the politicians' and the population's determination will decide whether or not we can avoid it, or slow it down," he added.

Germany had managed to keep the number of new infections and deaths lower than many of its neighbours but the daily number of new cases has leapt above 4,000 since Thursday, the highest since April.

Sunday's count was below that but that is because test reports tend to be lower at weekends.

Merkel and mayors from Germany's 11 largest cities agreed on Friday to adopt stricter measures if infections exceed a threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 population in a week.

More than 20 cities are now above that level, which has caused a patchwork of internal travel restrictions.

Braun, a medical doctor, said test centres should prioritise health sector workers and people showing symptoms over tourists.

Holidaymakers can circumvent the local travel curbs if they produce negative test results.

Bavaria's prime minister, Markus Soeder, at the weekend proposed steeper fines for people not wearing masks where mandated in places such as public transport and shops — of 250 euros ($295.60) compared with the current 50 euros, and 500 euros for repeat offenders.

Braun said he agreed with tough penalties.

Merkel will hold further talks with state premiers on Wednesday.

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

thaiga

Liverpool City Region to go into lockdown after talks with government
(Reuters) - Liverpool City Region will go into the strictest "third tier" of new anti-coronavirus restrictions to be announced imminently by Britain, its leaders said late on Sunday after talks with the British government.

The government has decided that further measures and closures will apply to Liverpool City Region, its leaders, including Mayor Steve Rotheram, said in a joint statement.

"Pubs and bars; betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres and gyms will close," the statement added bit.ly/3iRyMrG.

The leaders said the furlough scheme announced recently by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was inadequate.

"Businesses in the region especially those in the hospitality sector and those serving it will be damaged and many will suffer long term damage or close for good", they said.

The statement added that the leaders have agreed with the government to remain in dialogue to establish a "mutually agreeable" financial support package to mitigate the impact of new "Tier 3" restrictions.

"We also require clear definition of the exit strategy from Tier 3", the statement said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out new measures to try to contain a growing coronavirus crisis on Monday, outlining three new alert levels to better coordinate the government's under-fire response.

Northern England has been particularly hard hit by a new surge in coronavirus cases that has forced local lockdowns.

In their statement, Liverpool City Region leaders acknowledged the government's offer on new local arrangements and funding support for a coronavirus test-and-trace system.

The Sunday Times newspaper had reported earlier that mayors in the UK will be given more control over the test-and-trace system as the national government attempts to secure their backing for tough new lockdown rules.

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

thaiga

China to test whole city of 9m as Europe rolls out new virus rules
All nine million people in a major Chinese port city will be tested for Covid-19 following a tiny outbreak, health officials said Monday, as surging infection numbers in Europe force another round of containment efforts.

The virus has been largely brought under control in China -- where it first emerged last year -- in stark contrast to many parts of the world still afflicted by rolling lockdowns and high case numbers.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday announce a new three-tiered alert system for coronavirus cases in England, while German authorities shuttered Berlin bars and clubs after 11pm until the end of the month and France is believed to be mulling local lockdowns in major cities.

In the United States -- the world's worst-affected nation with 7.7 million infections and 214,000 deaths -- President Donald Trump controversially declared himself immune after his treatment at a Washington hospital last week.

full article msn.com
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thaiga

UK's Johnson shuts pubs in parts of England with new COVID-19 curbs reuters.com

'Last orders!' – Pubs and restaurants close in central Scotland                 bbc.com

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

thaiga

England's pubs ponder if pasties or chips make a meal amid COVID lockdown
(Reuters) - Pub owners across England's COVID-19 hotspots were on Tuesday pondering a question that could decide if they survive or sink due to the coronavirus lockdown: when is a pub a pub, and when does it become a restaurant?

The question has sparked a bizarre discussion about some of England's favourite snacks: fries, chips and pork scratchings - roasted pork rind - do not count as a meal, according to a government minister quizzed on the status of the delicacies.

But Cornish pasties, a much-loved meat and vegetable pie that dates back to England's ancient tin mines, do count as a meal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new tiered system of restrictions for England on Monday, with Liverpool and the surrounding Merseyside placed in the highest level, with pubs shut, to curb an acceleration in COVID-19 cases.

But under the government's published advice, pubs can stay open in such areas "where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal."

Such pub-restaurants may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal, according to the government's advice.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said a substantial meal was clear - and did not include snacks such as pork scratchings, crisps or chips but did include Cornish pasties and possibly sausage rolls.

"A substantial meal means the kind of meal that you'd have for lunch or the kind of meal you'd have for dinner - a proper meal. It doesn't mean a packet of crisps or a plate of chips or a bag of pork scratchings," Jenrick told Sky.

Questioned at length by reporters on Tuesday, Jenrick agreed that a Cornish Pasty with chips or side-salad would amount to a substantial meal.

"That's a normal meal," Jenrick told LBC. "People who actually run pubs and bars will be familiar with this and know how to operate this."

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), a lobby group for brewers and pubs, said around 970 pubs would be affected by Johnson's announcement.

"Singling out pubs for closure and further restrictions is simply the wrong decision and grossly unfair," BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin said. "If the government is really going to go ahead and force much of our sector to close, then a far stronger financial package of support is going to be needed."

uk.reuters.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

Some British gyms defy PM Johnson's COVID-19 lockdown
(Reuters) – For one gym owner in the northwest of England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest COVID-19 lockdown is a step too far. To save his business, he is defying the government's command to close, along with dozens of other gyms in the area.

Governments across the world have imposed some of the most severe restrictions in peacetime history to tackle the coronavirus, to varying degrees of success. The virus has killed more than a million people and Europe is deep in a second wave.

The measures have also pushed many companies, and in some cases whole sectors, out of business. Some feel ignored and are starting to push back against the rules.

"We're supposed to be closed but we are open," Chris Ellerby-Hemmings, 36, owner of EmpoweredFit Gym in Greasby, near Liverpool, told Reuters.

He said 50 other gyms across the area were also staying open – an open show of defiance against the British government around 240 miles south in London.

Under a new tiered system which kicks off on Wednesday, Liverpool and the surrounding Merseyside area are classed as "very high" risk, meaning they are subject to the some of the strictest lockdown measures in England, including shutting pubs, gyms and casinos.

British government scientific advisers say the virus, which emerged in China last year, is spreading fast across all parts of the United Kingdom and that critical care beds are starting to fill up with COVID-19 patients in high risk areas.

But Ellerby-Hemmings of EmpoweredFit said the rules appeared irrational as COVID-19 transmission was lower in gyms while restaurants, which he said have a higher transmission rate, have been allowed to stay open.

"The government has presented no evidence as to why we should close – they have just done it irrationally," said Ellerby-Hemmings, who closed the gym during the first national lockdown from March 25 to July 25.

"If we did close again, because we have taken on a lot of debt, we would not be able to reopen. The staff would lose their jobs and I would lose my business," he said.

Ellerby-Hemmings said gyms were essential to keep people fit, fight obesity and improve mental health.

He opened the 16,000 sq ft, 24-hour gym in February 2017. Overheads are roughly 15,000 pounds ($19,000) per month but under government support schemes, he has been offered just 3,000 pounds per month. His rent alone is 6,000 pounds per month.

"We want to be listened to – we have tried to open a dialogue but we have so far been ignored," Ellerby-Hemmings said.

The gym has consulted with lawyers about the potential enforcement of the rules.

Will he ever give in? "No. Simple answer."

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

thaiga

Worried European nations revive curfews, lockdowns amid 'exponential growth' in virus
(Reuters) - France imposed curfews while other European nations are closing schools, cancelling surgeries and enlisting student medics as overwhelmed authorities face the nightmare scenario of a COVID-19 resurgence at the onset of winter.

With new cases hitting about 100,000 daily, Europe has by a wide margin overtaken the United States, where more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections are reported on average every day.

As cases in France climbed rapidly, President Emmanuel Macron announced night curfews for four weeks from Saturday in Paris and other major cities, affecting almost one-third of the country's 67 million people.

Macron said in an interview on national television that the curfews were to halt temporarily "the parties, the moments of conviviality where there are 50 or 60 people, festive evenings because, unfortunately, these are vectors for the acceleration of the disease."

"We'll get through this if we stick together," he said.

Most European governments eased lockdowns over the summer to start reviving economies already battered by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the return of normal activity - from packed restaurants to new university terms - fuelled a sharp spike in cases all over the continent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she and leaders of Germany's 16 states agreed on Wednesday on tougher measures without detailing them. "We are already in a phase of exponential growth, the daily numbers show that," she said.

Bars and pubs were among the first to shut or face earlier closing in the new lockdowns, but now the surging infection rates are also testing governments' resolve to keep schools and non-COVID medical care going.

Even Pope Francis was subject to new coronavirus rules, staying put at a safe distance from well-wishers at his weekly audience on Wednesday.

In Lisbon, football fans were unsurprised after Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for the virus, saying it simply showed everyone was at risk of getting infected.

The Czech Republic, with Europe's worst rate per capita, has shifted schools to distance learning and plans to call up thousands of medical students. Hospitals are cutting non-urgent medical procedures to free up beds.

"Sometimes we are at the edge of crying," said Lenka Krejcova, a head nurse at Slany hospital near Prague, as builders hurried to turn a general ward into a COVID-19 department.

Poland is ramping up training for nurses and considering creating military field hospitals, Moscow is to move many students to online learning and Northern Ireland is closing schools for two weeks and restaurants for four.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin described Northern Ireland's rise in cases as "hugely worrying," and the government increased restrictions in three counties on the border as well as almost all visits to homes across the country.

"We are on the brink of disaster," immunologist Pawel Grzesiowski said in Poland, which reported a record 6,526 infections and 116 deaths on Wednesday.

Efforts to develop a vaccine hit snags in some areas, with Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N pausing its trial after an unexplained illness in a study participant. AstraZeneca's AZN.L U.S. trial has remained on hold for more than a month.

Russia, which recorded a record daily increase in cases, has meanwhile granted regulatory approval to a second vaccine.
IMPOSSIBLE CHOICES

Germany, England and France have so far resisted pressure to close schools, but in Germany, politicians are debating whether to extend the Christmas-New Year school break to curb contagion.

The Netherlands returned to partial lockdown, closing bars and restaurants, but kept schools open.

European infections have been running at an average of almost 100,000 a day - about a third of the global total - forcing governments to tighten restrictions while attempting to avoid destroying livelihoods.

The United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain accounted for more than half of Europe's new cases in the week to Oct. 11, according to the World Health Organization.

In the United States, with the world's highest number of confirmed infections, 22 states have so far in October set records for increases in new cases. But deaths are trending downward and have averaged 700 a day over the last week.
FIELD HOSPITALS

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces opposition calls for another national lockdown in England, but has so far resisted. Hospital admissions, however, are climbing and field hospitals constructed in the spring are once more being readied.

London faces tighter restrictions within days, the Financial Times reported.

In Spain, authorities in Catalonia ordered bars and restaurants to close for 15 days and limited the numbers of people allowed in shops.

In Belgium, with Europe's second worst infection rate per capita, hospitals must now reserve a quarter of their beds for COVID-19 patients.

"We can't see the end of the tunnel today," Renaud Mazy, managing director of the University Clinics of Saint-Luc in Brussels, told La Premiere radio.

In Australia, one of the most successful countries in fighting the virus, clusters have emerged in the two most populous states, prompting New South Wales to delay relaxing some restrictions.

And new curbs have been imposed in Malaysia, where the royal palace postponed all meetings for two weeks.

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

thaiga

Northern Ireland imposes strictest UK lockdown, Irish border curbs follow
(Reuters) - Northern Ireland announced the strictest COVID-19 restrictions seen in the United Kingdom since early summer on Wednesday, closing schools for two weeks, restaurants for four weeks and leading Ireland to respond by tightening curbs in bordering counties.

The British-ruled region of Northern Ireland has become one of Europe's biggest COVID-19 hotspots in recent weeks. Its health minister described the situation last Friday as becoming graver by the hour.

The health department reported a record amount of daily cases on Wednesday with 1,217 new infections bringing the number of cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days to 356. Four more deaths were also announced.

"We do not take this step lightly ... the COVID transmission rates must be turned down or we will be in a very difficult place very soon indeed," First Minister Arlene Foster told the regional parliament.

The closure will affect the entire hospitality sector, except takeaway and delivery services, and double the length of the October school break from one week to two.

Under the measures, retail will remain open, but "close contact services" such as hairdressers and beauticians will be closed.

People will be advised to avoid unnecessary travel and work from home, while universities will be asked to teach remotely as far as possible.

The United Kingdom as a whole has been reporting record numbers of daily infections and the highest number of deaths since early summer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new tiered system of restrictions for England on Monday, with Liverpool and the surrounding Merseyside region in the highest level.

The government of the Irish Republic moved three counties on the open border with Northern Ireland - Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan - to Level 4 of its five-step framework, banning all non-essential retail in the areas with the country's highest infection rates.

Ireland has had stricter restrictions in place since last week, with all indoor restaurant dining and non-essential travel banned and while it added a ban on almost all visits to homes across the country on Wednesday, schools remain open everywhere.

Ireland, which has almost three times the population of Northern Ireland, also reported its highest number of cases in a single day on Wednesday - 1,012.

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

thaiga

Indonesia passes Philippines with most coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia

(Reuters) - Indonesia on Thursday reported 4,411 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally to 349,160, passing the Philippines with the highest case number in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia also reported 112 new COVID-19 deaths, with total fatalities reaching 12,268. The Philippines had recorded 348,698 cases and 6,497 deaths as of Thursday.

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

thaiga

Londoners have been warned they face "a difficult winter ahead", as the capital is braced to enter tier two of restrictions from late Friday night.

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

thaiga

Daily COVID-19 cases surge above 10,000 in Italy for first time

Italy has registered 10,010 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Friday (Oct 16), the highest daily tally since the start of the country's outbreak and up from the previous record of 8,804 posted on Thursday.

The ministry also reported 55 COVID-related deaths, down from 83 the day before and far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April when a daily peak of more than 900 fatalities was reached.

The number of people in intensive care with the virus has risen steadily. It stood at 638 on Friday, up from 586 on Thursday and compared with a low of around 40 in the second half of July.

Italy was the first country in Europe to be slammed by COVID-19 and has the second-highest death toll in the continent after Britain, with 36,427 fatalities since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures.

channelnewsasia.com
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thaiga

'On the brink of disaster': Europe's Covid fight takes a turn for the worse
"It's not a word I've heard in a long, long time," an elderly Paris resident said, leaving her apartment in mask and gloves for an early expedition to the shops. "A curfew. That's for wartime, isn't it? But in a way I suppose that's what this is."

Europe's second coronavirus wave took a dramatic turn for the worse this week, forcing governments across the continent to make tough choices as more than a dozen countries reported their highest ever number of new infections.

In France, 18 million people in nine big cities risk a fine from Saturday if they are not at home by 9pm. In the Czech Republic, schools have closed and medical students are being enlisted to help doctors. All Dutch bars and restaurants are shut.

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland are among countries to have broken daily case records, prompting the World Health Organization to call for an "uncompromising" effort to stem the spread.

Unfortunately, that requires making all but impossible compromises.

Most European governments relaxed strict lockdowns over the summer to revive economies shattered by the pandemic's first wave. The return of normal activity, from packed bars to new academic terms, has fuelled an exponential increase in infections.

With infections across the continent breaking the barrier of 120,000 a day, authorities must now tighten restrictions once more to slow the spread of the disease – while doing all they can to avoid destroying already-jeopardised jobs and livelihoods.

They are also facing legal challenges: the Dutch government must work out how it can make masks mandatory while complying with the law, and a Berlin court suspended a city order requiring bars to close at 11pm, for lack of evidence it would prove effective.

In France, which reported more than 30,000 new infections on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron said a curfew was needed to halt "the parties, the moments of conviviality, the festive evenings ... They accelerate the disease. We have to act."

The government will deploy 12,000 police to enforce it, and spend an extra €1bn (£900m) to help already hard-hit businesses in the entertainment and hospitality sectors. "We cannot live normally while the virus is here," the prime minister, Jean Castex, said.

full article msn.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Global Covid report: Paris under curfew as Europe battles soaring caseload
Nine French cities now under month-long curfew; European cases rise 44% in a week; resistance to lockdowns in UK
Millions of Europeans faced tough new coronavirus restrictions as governments stepped up efforts to slow the surge in infections, after the World Health Organization reported a "very concerning" 44% rise in European cases over one week.

From Saturday evening, Paris and several other French cities go under a night-time curfew that will last at least a month. England is banning mixed household gatherings in the capital and other areas, and Italy's most populous region is limiting bar openings and suspending sports events.

The need for action in France was underlined as the country reported another record for new cases, with more than 32,000 registered in 24 hours.

Global cases of the disease, which has killed more than 1.1 million people around the world, have been soaring beyond levels seen in the first wave earlier this year, when many countries resorted to national lockdowns to get control of the crisis.

As well as the death toll, the pandemic has wrought social and economic havoc across the world.

The United States, which has suffered the worst toll with more than 218,000 fatalities, on Friday revealed a record deficit of $3.1tn in the fiscal year ended September 30.

It also announced that the number of cases there had passed 8 million, while global daily infections also hit a new record.

In a bid to stem the worrying rise in infections and in the hope of heading off a return to full lockdowns, many governments have tightened measures to control the spread of the pandemic – even if some dissenters are fighting back in the courts.

About 20 million people in the Paris region and eight other French cities were facing a 9pm-6am curfew from Saturday after cases surged in what has once again become one of Europe's major hotspots.

Many restaurant owners are unhappy at the hit their businesses will take.

"Closing at 9pm will have no effect (on the epidemic)," said Gerard, the manager of a Toulouse restaurant. "They're not attacking it in the right way."

Britain is the hardest-hit country in Europe, with over 43,000 deaths from almost 700,000 cases.

But as the government there ramped up restrictions, banning indoor meetings between members of different households in London and several other English cities, there was growing criticism from some quarters.

Under the new measures, about 28 million people – half of England's population – are now subject to tight social restrictions.

Some officials in north-west England have objected to their cities being placed on the highest level of a new three-tier alert system.

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has acknowledged that local restriction policies cannot be "pain free".

But the hope is that these measures will be enough to head off another full lockdown.

Northern Ireland meanwhile shut down pubs and restaurants on Friday for a month and extended the school holidays.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to stay at home whenever possible after 7,830 cases emerged over 24 hours.

"What will determine winter and our Christmas will be decided in the weeks ahead," she said in her weekly podcast address.

But on Friday, a Berlin court overturned an order for restaurants and bars to close early, the latest legal setback for efforts by Germany's national and local governments to restrict coronavirus transmission.

In Italy, the wealthy northern region of Lombardy, worst hit by the first wave of the virus in February, has ordered all bars to shut at midnight.

Slovakia announced Saturday it would test everyone over 10 for the virus, as infections surged there.

"Testing will be free of charge," prime minister Igor Matoviche told reporters in the country of 5.4 million people, without specifying whether it will be mandatory or voluntary.

Poland, the Czech Republic and Belgium have all announced daily record caseloads.

In the Czech Republic, the government has asked the army to set up a field hospital of 500 beds outside Prague.

Belgium will impose its own curfew, from midnight until 5am, from Monday, and will also shut cafes and restaurants for four weeks.

And Poland has closed schools and colleges in major cities while restaurants will have to close from 9pm.

In other developments:

Austria, Slovenia and Hungary have all announced a surge in cases – in Slovenia, the compulsory wearing of masks in outdoor public spaces came into effect Saturday.

The death toll in Iran has crossed the 30,000 mark, the health ministry announced Saturday.

Israel is preparing to ease some lockdown restrictions from Sunday in the first phase of scaling back measures imposed last month.

Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months, state television reported early on Sunday.

New Zealand, which was twice eliminated the virus, reported its first local case for 22 days.

The French Collectivity of Wallis and Futuna in the South Pacific recorded its first case for the entire pandemic.

Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months.

theguardian.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

Batons out as UK police CLASH with protesters during London anti-lockdown protest

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

thaiga

Belgium facing 'tsunami' of Covid infections, health minister says
Frank Vandenbroucke says situation in parts of country is 'most dangerous in all of Europe'

Belgium is losing control of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and is very close to being overwhelmed by a "tsunami" of infection, the country's health minister has said.

Frank Vandenbroucke, the federal minister, told the broadcaster RTL that Belgians needed to radically alter their behaviour.

He described the situation in Francophone Wallonia in the south and in the country's capital, Brussels, as "the worst, and therefore the most dangerous in all of Europe".

He said: "We are the most affected region in all of Europe. We are really close to a tsunami ... that we no longer control what is happening. Today, we can still control what is happening, but with enormous difficulties and stress.

"If it continues to increase, the number of hospitalisations will be such that we will have to postpone more and more non-Covid care, which is also very dangerous. [The government] has only one message to the public: protect yourself, protect your loved ones, so as not to be contaminated."

Belgium had been cited by the UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, only last month as a model of how to deal with the second-wave of infections, after numbers were kept down in August.

Hancock had suggested that the Belgian policy of limiting people's interactions within small "social bubbles" had been effective as he sought to convince the British public of the utility of the 'rule of six' in the UK.

The numbers in Belgium have, however, shot up since September, as adults returned to work and pupils went back to school after their summer break.

Between 9 and 15 October, an average of 7,876 new infections a day were reported, an increase of 79% from the previous week.

Last Tuesday, 12,051 infections with the corona virus had been identified, marking the "highest number of infections recorded in one day since the start of the pandemic," said Dr Steven Van Gucht, the spokesman for the Belgian virus Crisis Centre, at a press conference on Monday. "We also passed the 10,000 infection mark on Wednesday, October 14, with 10,932 confirmed cases in one day."

The Belgian government's latest restrictions came into force on Monday, including yet another squeezing of the number of people allowed in the social bubbles, as the government made an eleventh hour attempt to avoid another full lock down.

Only one "close contact" outside a household is allowed. Four guests, changeable every two weeks, may visit homes if they keep a distance.

For four weeks from Monday, all bars and restaurants will also be closed. The sale of alcohol will be banned after 8pm and a curfew will be imposed between midnight and 5am.

The new Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, had said on Friday the situation facing the country was "more serious" than it had been in March before the first nationwide lockdown.

Behind-the-scenes the government had been torn over how to respond to the spiralling number of infections. But Vandenbroucke, with the prime minister's support, ultimately convinced sceptics in the government that social contacts in the hospitality sector had been fuelling the crisis.

"The main thing is people's behaviour," Vandenbroucke said. "They must understand that they must protect themselves and their loved ones, therefore respect the distance, wear the mask if there is no distance, limit the number of contacts... This is essential. I can only repeat: the virus is no one's fault, so let's not make one or the other feel guilty. But now, rectifying this situation is everyone's responsibility."

The government has also faced criticism over its track and trace system with the sheer number of people seeking a test causing delays in results being provided.

The mayor of Namur, Maxime Prévot, said: "There is clearly a problem today in terms of testing, and even more so in terms of tracing. We do not have effective monitoring. We have kilometres of lines [of people] to be tested, then we wait days and days to have the results."

The Walloon minister of health, Christie Morreale, admitted that the system was under unprecedented strain. "The laboratories are working at full speed. And Belgium is one of the EU countries which tests the most, But at some point, when there are too many patients, the system cracks."

Between 11 and 17 October there were an average of 233.9 daily admissions to hospital, a 96% increase on the previous week.

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

thaiga

Argentina becomes 5th country to record 1m cases
Argentina has become the fifth country with more than 1 million coronavirus cases, its Health Ministry said, after an acceleration of cases in the past few weeks.

There were 1,002,662 confirmed cases of the virus in the South American country by Monday night, the ministry said in a statement.

In the past 24 hours, there were 12,982 new cases reported and 451 deaths, it said.

The latest figures put it alongside the United States, India, Brazil and Russia, all with populations greatly exceeding Argentina's 45 million people.

It means one in every 45 Argentinians have had the virus.

More than 26,000 people have died, giving the country fatality rate of about 2.7%, according to health ministry data.

The country ranks 15th in the world on deaths per 100,000 population, at 59.03, according to Johns Hopkins data. Peru (105.35), Brazil (73.36) and Chile (72.80) and Ecuador (72.5) top the rate of deaths per 100,000 in South America. By comparison the US's rate is 67.14.

Argentina is also grappling with low levels of testing. But for those getting tested, more than 60% of recent tests are coming back positive, one of the world's highest positivity rates.

Argentina's borders remain closed to tourism, though domestic flights have resumed for people with government approval to travel for medical, family or work reasons.
theguardian.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Canada passes 200,000 cases
Canada's total infections passed 200,000 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Ontario and Quebec, which account for around 60% of Canada's 37.6 million people and just under 80% of the country's reported Covid cases, have seen sharp increases in cases in recent weeks.

Both provinces have taken fresh measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Less-populated provinces, including Manitoba and Alberta, are also seeing worrying increases.

Canada's chief medical officer, Dr Theresa Tam, said on Monday she was concerned the country will see an uptick in "severe impacts" of the virus in the coming weeks.

Canada announced on Monday that its border with the United States would remain closed until at least 21 November. 
theguardian.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Johnnie F.

Quote from: thaiga on October 20, 2020, 04:43:07 PM
Canada announced on Monday that its border with the United States would remain closed until at least 21 November. 

I remember 44 years ago I just walked over the bridge at Niagara Falls to cross from New York State to Canada, no checks at all. But back from Canada to Montana it was more than just checking passports (for me as German). Maybe this helps Americans a little to think about that Wall Trump is building on the border to Mexico.

thaiga

Warning of tens of thousands of deaths in England from Covid-19 second wave
Tens of thousands of deaths are now inevitable in a second wave of coronavirus infections sweeping across England because of the failure to contain the virus, a government scientific adviser has warned.

John Edmunds, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told MPs on Wednesday that without further measures England's tiered Covid-19 strategy would lead to high numbers of new infections every day, putting the NHS under strain and driving up the death toll.

"If you look at where we are, there is no way we come out of this wave now without counting our deaths in the tens of thousands," Edmunds, an epidemiologist, told the joint hearing of the Commons science and technology committee, and the health and social care committee.

He added: "We are already at the point, or getting close to the point, where the health service will be under strain in the next few weeks. And even if we stop things now, cases and hospitalisations will continue to go up for the next 10 days, two weeks, because they are already baked into the system."

Edmunds, who sits on the government's Sage (advisory) committee, warned that if nothing more were done the virus would peak in north-west England in the coming four to six weeks; and the remainder of the country would face "very severe numbers of cases" around Christmas and New Year.

Since the prime minister, Boris Johnson, acknowledged the second wave of coronavirus infections, on 18 September, the government's Covid-19 dashboard has recorded 2,191 deaths in the UK, with 1,903 in England.

The hearing, the second in an inquiry focusing on lessons to be learned from the pandemic, highlighted the failure of the UK's test and trace system to take control of the epidemic by containing outbreaks early on.

Max Roser, a doctor and director of the Oxford Martin programme on global development, told the committee that several countries in Asia had recorded fewer than 10 deaths per million population, compared with the UK's 644 deaths per million.
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One aspect that stood out as important, Roser said, was the ability to test people and to scale up testing when outbreaks demanded it. "It's really only when people are aware they're sick that they can self isolate," he told MPs.

David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said countries that were now opening up successfully were able to do so because they had started contact tracing early and could stem outbreaks. "You can't do contact tracing from a central point, it must be done with full involvement of the communities," he said.

Public Health England abandoned its routine test and trace strategy in mid-March, before the spring lockdown, because it was unable to keep up with the outbreak.

In a fractious exchange, Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Commons health and social care committee, asked Edmunds about the government's decision in March to shift from containing the virus to mitigating the impact of the outbreak. He asked why Sage scientists had not modelled and then proposed test and trace as a strategy. Edmunds said it had been modelled, but that, by March, England had too many cases for test and trace to keep up.

Asked about the government's three-tier local Covid alert levels, Edmunds said it was not a strategy he would follow. The restrictions in tier 3 might at best bring the R value (the average number of infections caused by someone infected with Sars-CoV-2) close to 1, he said, but that meant regions that were placed in the top tier when their cases soared would continue to have high levels of new infections, increased pressure on hospitals, and high death rates.

"What that means is we all end up at a high level of incidence where hospitals are really overstretched and we have large numbers of deaths. That for me is the logical conclusion of the strategy we are following – and I would not follow that strategy," he said.

Edmunds argued that if regions imposed a strict two-week circuit breaker first, they could potentially halve the rate of new infections and hold cases at a lower level where the NHS was under less strain. Alternatively, he said, the entire country could move to tier 3 to prevent places with low levels of infection reaching the situation in Liverpool now and elsewhere in the north of England.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Johnson referred to graphs showing infection rates falling in those aged 10 to 29 in many regions, but continuing to rise for older people. Jonathan Van-Tam, a professor and England's deputy chief medical officer, said the apparent decline could be to the rate at which people were coming forward for testing.

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

thaiga

Covid surge 'very serious' in Germany and 'out of control' in Spain
Czech PM apologises for bringing back tough measures; Poland and Croatia set daily records

European politicians and experts charged with combating the coronavirus pandemic are raising the alarm that nations across the continent are on the brink of an "out-of-control" resurgence of the disease.

As multiple countries experienced record rises in infections – including some previously praised for the effectiveness of their response – a chorus of increasingly grim warnings was matched by announcements of tightening restrictions.

Among those voices was the head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, who said the country was facing a "very serious" rise in cases as it reported a record 11,287 infections.

The Czech Republic prime minister, Andrej Babiš, warned of an "enormous surge" as he apologised for reintroducing tough restrictions that Czechs had been told would not be needed again. He said that without the measures the country's healthcare system faced an imminent "collapse".

The Czech government is likely to ask parliament to extend state-of-emergency powers that are due to run out on 3 November. "I apologise even for the fact that I ruled out this option in the past because I was not able to imagine it might happen," Babiš said. "Unfortunately it has happened and now, above all, we have to protect the lives of our citizens."

Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, added to the mounting sense of a region-wide crisis, saying "drastic" measures were necessary to combat a new wave of the pandemic. The government is considering fresh restrictions including curfews after Spain became the first country in western Europe to record more than 1m cases of the virus.

"The second wave is a reality. In many areas of our country, the epidemic is out of control," Illa told Onda Cero radio.

In the Netherlands, more than 9,000 new cases were recorded in 24 hours, a new record. The Dutch hospital system, which has reported coming under increasing strain from coronavirus admissions, said it expected to begin transferring some patients to Germany for treatment within two days.

Poland's health ministry reported a record 12,107 new coronavirus infections and 168 deaths in the space of 24 hours.

Croatia reported its biggest daily tally of infections, nearly half of which were in its capital. Zagreb recorded 705 new cases, which was more than double the previous day's 337.

The World Health Organization's latest epidemiological update, published at the beginning of this week, noted a continuing rapid increase in cases and deaths in Europe, with the region now contributing 38% of all new cases reported worldwide and deaths increasing by 29% from the previous week.

Most striking has been the situation in Germany, widely regarded as having handled the pandemic well. While infection rates in Germany remain lower than in much of Europe, they have been accelerating.

Authorities have tightened restrictions, such as by banning large gatherings. Local restrictions have also been imposed: in Berlin, it is now compulsory to wear a mask on certain busy streets.

Wieler, of the Robert Koch Institute, blamed private gatherings, especially among young people, for the recent rise in cases. "The more people gather in private circles, the more the numbers will increase and the further the virus will spread," he said, adding that "the young are currently the most exposed to this virus".

In Sweden, where cases are also rising, the government said on Thursday it would tighten rules for nightclubs to force them to limit the number of partygoers to 50. "The parties at the nightclubs are over now," said the prime minister, Stefan Löfven.

In Belgium, Sophie Wilmès, the foreign minister, who was caretaker prime minister during the first wave of the coronavirus, has been admitted to intensive care.

The 45-year-old tested positive for Covid-19 last week and had been self-isolating, but her condition worsened and on Wednesday night she was taken to a Brussels hospital.

"She is conscious and she can communicate," her spokeswoman said, confirming that Wilmès was receiving intensive care. A source in her office said her condition was stable.

Agencies contributed to this report

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

thaiga

France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe
(Reuters) – France extended curfews to around two thirds of its population on Thursday and Belgium's foreign minister was taken into intensive care with COVID-19, as the second wave of the pandemic surged across Europe.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a curfew imposed last week on Paris and eight other cities would be extended to 38 more departments, confining 46 million out of the country's 67 million population to their homes from 9 pm to 6 am.

"A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious," Castex said at a news conference.

Shortly after the measures were announced, French health authorities reported a record 41,622 new confirmed cases, bringing the cumulative total to 999,043.

According to a Reuters tally, Wednesday saw the highest total of infections reported in a single day across the world, at 423,290.

In Spain, which this week became the first European country to pass 1 million cases, Health Minister Salvador Illa said the epidemic was now "out of control" in many areas. Regional authorities debated a curfew but stopped short of taking a decision.

After Europe appeared to have gained a measure of control over the epidemic following the dramatic lockdowns of March and April, a surge in cases over recent weeks has put the continent back at the heart of the crisis.

While hospitalisations and deaths have not so far overwhelmed health systems as they did during the initial wave early this year, authorities in many countries worry the situation is rapidly reaching a tipping point.

Germany, which reported more than 10,000 daily cases for the first time, extended travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, most of Austria and Italian regions including Rome.

"We still have a chance to slow a further spread of the virus," Lothar Wieler, of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's infectious diseases agency, said in Berlin.

More than 5.3 million people across Europe have contracted the disease and over 204,000 have died, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. That compares with 8.4 million cases in the United States and 7.7 million in India.

Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes went into intensive care on Thursday, just a day after German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive.

The resurgence over recent weeks stands in contrast to several countries in Asia, from China to South Korea or New Zealand, where draconian lockdowns and rigorous contact tracing have helped contain the disease.

"WE ARE SWAMPED"

Grappling with the enormous costs of the coronavirus, Europe's leaders are desperate to avoid a repeat of the blanket lockdowns that shut down their economies in the spring.

As cases have surged and health services have come under increasing pressure, they have been forced to impose and expand local restrictions aimed at reducing public gatherings to ever wider areas.

Italy's three most populous regions — Lombardy around Milan, Lazio, around Rome and Campania around Naples — have already imposed overnight curfews. Britain also tightened restrictions on three more areas on Thursday.

Amid the growing public alarm, Germany's statistics office noted that sales of toilet paper rose almost 90% last week from pre-crisis levels with almost equally sharp jumps in sales of disinfectants and soap.

Only Sweden, a European outlier which has relied largely on voluntary measures to promote social distancing, was an exception, declaring senior citizens no longer need to isolate themselves given lower COVID infection rates than in spring.

As the crisis has intensified, much of the public goodwill seen in the first phase of lockdowns has evaporated and central governments have engaged in angry spats with local authorities from Manchester to Madrid over issues ranging from health and welfare to transport and schools.

With winter coming, health services are looking ahead with apprehension as the wave of COVID patients coincides with the usual seasonal respiratory illnesses.

"We are already swamped," said Bruno Megarbane, head of intensive care at the Lariboisiere hospital in Paris. "So, indeed, there is the fear that we will face a very difficult situation."

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

thaiga

Covid-19: South Yorkshire wakes up to tier 3 restrictions
More than 1.4 million people in South Yorkshire are waking up to tighter restrictions.

Tier three measures came into effect at midnight affecting areas including Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Sheffield City Region's mayor said the measures were needed but called on the government to "define precisely what the exit criteria is" from tier three.

Meanwhile, Wales entered the first full day of a national lockdown amid border patrols to stop non-essential travel.

Gloucestershire Constabulary said it will patrol routes into the Forest of Dean area and pull over vehicles suspected of making unnecessary journeys out of Wales.

Drivers without a valid excuse will be advised to turn around and, if they do not, will be reported to police in Wales who can issue fines, the force added.

Some 7.3 million people are now living under England's tightest restrictions.

As the Sheffield City region entered tier three - very high alert - mayor Dan Jarvis, urged people to "do their bit" and stick to the new rules.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he was "clear what it takes our end" to get out of tier three, such as a drop in new cases - but the government "do have to be clear and transparent about the exit strategy".

Elsewhere, Stoke-on-Trent, Slough and Coventry moved into tier two - high alert level - at midnight.

In Wales, a 17-day "firebreak" has started, meaning most non-essential businesses are closed, with people only able to leave home for limited reasons.

Under the rules, supermarkets removed non-essential items from sale - including clothing, kitchen electrical items and crockery - using barriers and plastic sheets to cover products.

In Scotland, a five-level system will be introduced from 2 November. The top level would be close to a full lockdown, but the aim is for schools to remain open at all levels.

In Northern Ireland, schools have been closed for two weeks as part of an extended half-term break. This is part of a four-week "circuit-breaker" lockdown, with some businesses being told to close temporarily.

Under England's tier three rules, pubs and bars not serving substantial meals have to close, while household mixing is banned indoors and outdoors in hospitality settings and private gardens.

Additional rules in South Yorkshire include the closure of betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos, soft play centres and gym classes - though gyms will remain open.

The new measures will be reviewed after 28 days, but Sheffield's director of public health, Greg Fell, said he feared four weeks "will not be long enough".

In a letter to residents, Mr Jarvis, who is also the Labour MP for Barnsley Central, said there was light at the end of the tunnel and the restrictions would "help us reach it sooner, and at a lower cost".

He warned South Yorkshire communities now have some of the highest numbers of cases in the north of England and infection rates are still going up.

In Barnsley the infection rate in the seven days to 19 October was 486 cases per 100,000 people, in Sheffield 415, in Rotherham 407 and in Doncaster 393. The average area in England had 117.

Mr Jarvis wrote: "It's tempting to think that because new restrictions are not a silver bullet they are not worth the disruption.

"We don't have the luxury of easy choices. But I have no doubt this was the right one to make.

"The alternatives carry far too great a risk of causing more deaths, and ultimately more harm to our economy."

full article bbc.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Germany COVID-19 death toll passes 10,000
Germany has suffered more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to official data published on Saturday (Oct 24).

A total of 10,003 deaths have been recorded by the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency, with 418,005 infections recorded nationwide.

Of those, 14,714 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours - a daily record.

Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler said Germany was facing a "very serious" situation and asked the population to adhere to social distancing measures.

Germany was spared during the first wave of coronavirus infections that hit Europe in spring but is now suffering a sharp increase in cases along with the rest of the continent.

Authorities have tightened measures against the pandemic including the adoption of a public assembly ban.

Chancellor Angela Merkel last weekend asked the country to reduce their social contact and stay home as much as possible.

"What winter will be, what our Christmas will be, will be decided in the days and weeks to come," she had warned.

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

thaiga

US breaks daily record for COVID-19 cases, recording 80,000 in one day | ABC News
The United States remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, setting a global one-day record with over 80,000 cases recorded. And, while Donald Trump tries to convince voters that America is 'rounding the corner'

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

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