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Coronavirus around the globe

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

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thaiga

Asia becomes second region to exceed 10 million coronavirus cases
(Reuters) - Asia surpassed 10 million infections of the new coronavirus on Saturday, the second-heaviest regional toll in the world, according to a Reuters tally, as cases continue to mount in India despite a slowdown and sharp declines elsewhere.

Behind only Latin America, Asia accounts for about one-fourth of the global caseload of 42.1 million of the virus. With over 163,000 deaths, the region accounts for some 14% of the global COVID-19 toll.

The Reuters tally is based on official reporting by countries. The true numbers of cases and deaths are likely much higher, experts say, given deficiencies in testing and potential underreporting in many countries.

Despite the Asian spikes, the region overall has reported improvement in handling the pandemic in recent weeks, with daily caseloads slowing in places like India - a sharp contrast to the COVID-19 resurgence seen in Europe and North America.

Within the region, South Asia led by India is the worst affected, with nearly 21% of the reported global coronavirus cases and 12% of deaths. This contrasts with countries like China and New Zealand that have crushed infections and Japan, where COVID-19 had been stubbornly entrenched but not accelerating.

India is the worst-hit country in the world after the United States, although infections are slowing in the world's second-most populous country. India is reporting more than 57,000 cases of the virus a day, viewed on a weekly average, with 58 new cases per 10,000 people in Asia's third-largest economy, according to a Reuters analysis.

India is averaging 764 COVID-19 deaths a day, the worst in the world and accounting for one in every 13 global pandemic deaths.

The country has reported nearly 7.8 million infections, behind the U.S. tally of 8.5 million, and nearly 118,000 deaths, versus 224,128 in the United States. Unlike the recent U.S. surge, however, India's slowdown saw the lowest daily caseload in nearly three months on Wednesday.

But India's infections may surge again, doctors fear, with a holiday approaching and winter bringing more severe pollution from farmers burning stubble, worsening the breathing difficulties that many COVID-19 patients suffer.

India's eastern neighbour Bangladesh is Asia's second-worst hit country, with nearly 400,000 cases. But daily infections have slowed to 1,453, less than 40% of the July peak.

Although the pandemic is slowing in Bangladesh, the world's biggest apparel producer after China faces harsh recession as a second wave of COVID-19 hits key markets in Europe and the United States.

Even if the country is making progress on controlling the disease, leaders of the key garment sector say international retailers are delaying orders or demanding steep price cuts, forcing them to lay off their workers. Some 1 million workers were furloughed or laid off. About one-third of those have been rehired since July, according to union leaders.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia surpassed the Philippines last week as the worst-hit nation with more than 370,000 infections.

The world's largest Muslim-majority nation, Indonesia has struggled to get its outbreak under control. With the country due to host soccer's under-20 World Cup next year, the government is racing to secure a supply of vaccines still under development, which some epidemiologists say means seeking a "silver bullet" solution before full vaccine efficacy and safety is known.

The Philippines, which last week reported its biggest daily tally in a month, has put partial coronavirus restrictions around the capital Manila until Oct. 31 to check COVID-19..

Despite Asia's patchy record, a World Health Organization expert said on Monday that Europe and North America should follow the example of Asian states in persevering with anti-COVID measures and quarantine restrictions for infected people.

Mike Ryan, head of the UN agency's emergencies programme, said the global death toll from COVID-19 could double to 2 million before a successful vaccine is widely used and could be even higher without concerted action to curb the pandemic.

in.reuters.com
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thaiga

Latest on the worldwide spread
(Reuters) - Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said on Saturday, and police used tear gas on several occasions as thousands of people protested in Warsaw against COVID-19 restrictions.

EUROPE

* Italy reported another daily record for COVID-19 cases on Saturday as the government planned further restrictions, despite a second night of street protests against curfews ordered this week.

* Spain will hold a special cabinet meeting on Sunday to discuss a new state of emergency after regions urged government action to allow them to impose curfews to help tackle its escalating outbreak.

* France on Saturday reported 45,422 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, a new record, after reporting 42,032 on Friday.
AMERICAS

* Marc Short, the chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, has tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesman for the vice president said on Saturday.

* Colombia surpassed 1 million infections on Saturday, becoming the eighth country globally to do so, tallying 1,007,711 confirmed infections and 30,000 deaths.
ASIA-PACIFIC

* Victoria state, Australia's COVID-19 hotspot, on Sunday delayed the eagerly awaited removal of strict lockdown restrictions for cafes, restaurants and pubs in the capital Melbourne because of an outbreak in the northern suburbs.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Algeria's 75-year-old President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is self-isolating because some officials in "upper ranks of the government" are sick with COVID-19, he said in a tweet on Saturday.

* Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for strict punishments for violators of COVID-19 restrictions as the Middle East's hardest-hit nation battled a third wave.
MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* AstraZeneca Plc has resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, and Johnson & Johnson is preparing to resume its trial on Monday or Tuesday, the companies said on Friday.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Cisco's video-conferencing app Webex clocked 590 million participants in September and is on track to record over 600 million this month, nearly double the numbers recorded in March when countries started shutting down due to the pandemic.

reuters.com
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thaiga

German minister warns of 20,000 new daily virus cases within days
(Reuters) - The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany is likely to reach 20,000 a day by the end of the week, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday as authorities readied new curbs to break the second wave of the pandemic.

"We are dealing with exponential growth," Altmaier told a virtual German-French economic conference in Berlin. "In Germany the number of new infections is rising by 70-75% compared to the week before."

Altmaier's forecast shows that Germany is contending with a faster upswing in coronavirus cases than previously expected. At the end of September, Chancellor Angela Merkel said there could be 19,200 cases per day by Christmas.

On Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 11,409. That compares with 6,868 cases last Tuesday and with the record 14,714 reported on Saturday.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the increase in new infections was "very worrying," and authorities had to quickly implement decisive steps to halt the second wave.

"The additional measures should be targeted, temporary and focussed. And they should be taken as uniformly as possible across Germany and be generally understandable," Scholz said.

"So far, our country has fared quite well during the coronavirus pandemic and it will be decided in the coming weeks whether it will stay that way. It's in our hands," he added.

Merkel and leaders of Germany's 16 states will hold talks on Wednesday to decide on additional measures. Scholz and Altmaier will also take part in the discussions.

Bild newspaper reported Merkel is planning a "lockdown light" which would mainly focus on the closure of bars and restaurants as well as restrictions on public events.

Altmaier said rising infections across Europe and corresponding curbs on daily life would make it harder for economic growth to rebound as quickly as previously hoped.

But he did not expect supply chains to be disrupted like they were during the first wave of the virus in spring.

The German government expects Europe's largest economy to shrink by 5.5% this year, a source told Reuters on Monday, a slightly more optimistic forecast than its previous guidance for a 5.8% decline in gross domestic product.

uk.reuters.com
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thaiga

UK coronavirus death toll passes 60,000, official figures show
Total of 61,116 comes as deaths in England and Wales continue to double every fortnight

The Covid death toll across the UK has surpassed 60,000 for the first time, hitting 61,116, according to analysis of official data.

The total number of deaths registered by the three statistical agencies across England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now stands at 59,927.

But more up to date government figures show that 1,189 deaths have occurred within 28 days of a positive test since the figures were registered in each nation: 1,044 in England, 62 in Scotland, 47 in Wales and 36 in Northern Ireland.

This brings to 61,116 the number of deaths across the four nations of the UK.

There were 670 Covid-19 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to 16 October, data from the ONS released on Tuesday shows.

This is an increase of 53% on the previous week, when 438 deaths were reported, and indicates the widespread increase in new coronavirus cases is leading to an increase in fatalities.

The number of deaths registered in England and Wales continues to double every fortnight, from 139 in the week ending 18 September to 321 two weeks later and 670 today.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals increased from 8.4% in week 41 to 12.0% in week 42.

Covid-19 deaths increased across all English regions but were highest in north-west England, where there were 229 deaths.

The number of deaths from all causes in hospitals remained below the five-year average, but deaths in private homes remained high, with 776 excess deaths. Care homes reported 90 more deaths than the five-year average.

theguardian.com
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thaiga

India's coronavirus cases set to cross 8 million
India's tally of coronavirus cases stood less than 10,000 away from the grim milestone of 8 million, as 43,893 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed.

Totalling 7.99 million, India has the second-most number of confirmed cases after the United States, which has a tally of 8.7 million.

The daily increase had been dipping in India since a peak in September, but health experts warn that the numbers could surge again during the ongoing Hindu religious festival season.

Deaths in India have been relatively low, totalling 120,010, out of which 508 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

channelnewsasia.com
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thaiga

UK coronavirus cases jump by nearly 25,000 as deaths up by 310
The UK has recorded almost 25,000 new coronavirus cases overnight as the death toll rose by more than 300.

The Government said another 24,701 infections had been confirmed across the country over the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 942,275.

Meanwhile another 310 Covid-19 deaths were recorded, bringing the official death toll to 45,675.

However, separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show more than 61,000 deaths have so far been registered across the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Today's number of fatalities marks a 28 per cent increase on the same time last week.

Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was "deeply saddened" after the country reported its highest death count for more than half a year.

He tweeted: "I am deeply saddened the number of coronavirus deaths in Wales reported over the past 24 hours is 37 – the highest number in more than 6 months.

"My thoughts are with the families and friends who are mourning the loss of a loved one."

Earlier in the day, health authorities said a further 248 deaths had been confirmed in British hospitals.

Of these, 174 were recorded in England, 28 in Scotland, and nine in Northern Ireland.

msn.com
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thaiga

Taiwan marks 200 days without domestic COVID-19 infection
Taiwan hit 200 days without any domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (Oct 29), highlighting the island's continued success at keeping the virus under control even as cases surge in other parts of the world.

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last reported a domestic case on April 12.

CDC officials noted the milestone and thanked the public for playing a role, while urging people to continue to wear masks and to wash their hands often.

Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has recorded 553 cases of COVID-19, and just seven deaths.

While it has stopped domestic transmission, it continues to record new cases in people arriving from abroad.

Taiwan has been pointed to as a success story in how to respond to the pandemic, especially considering its close business and tourism ties with China, where the virus first emerged late last year.

Questions remain, however, as to whether the island is truly free of the coronavirus.

Local media has been paying close attention to reports of people who tested positive for COVID-19 after leaving Taiwan.

Authorities said on Wednesday that they received notice from Japanese and Thai health authorities that three people who had recently left the island tested positive.

Yet, Taiwan is still undoubtedly a success in light of the global scale of the pandemic - more than 44 million reported cases and 1.1 million deaths.

Its success has in part been attributed to acting very early on.

Taiwanese officials were checking passengers on flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic began, as early as Dec 31 for fever and pneumonia symptoms, according to researchers writing in JAMA, a medical journal.

On Jan 20, the government formally initiated the Central Epidemic Command Center to coordinate the government response between different departments and branches.

The government also communicated effectively about the importance of wearing masks, while trying to prevent panic buying and price-gouging by rationing them.

The island was also quick to tighten its borders, suspending flights from Wuhan on Jan 23, and banning the entry of Chinese nationals who reside in Wuhan.

Taiwan has a strict 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, whether Taiwanese or foreign.

Professionals with technical expertise led the response and messaging, such as Taiwan's former vice president Chen Chien-jen, who is a trained epidemiologist.

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

thaiga

Covid has hit 'critical' stage in England, research finds
Dramatic increase in recorded cases across country, with infection rate rising fastest in south
The Covid pandemic has reached a "critical" stage in England, with prevalence doubling since last month with the fastest increases in the south where the R number has risen above 2, research has found.

While cases remain highest in northern England, a dramatic increase in infections has been recorded across all areas, according to the latest interim findings from the React-1 study from Imperial College London.

It triggered warnings from scientists that current measures – including bans for millions on households mixing and the closure of pubs – were not working and urgent action is needed to avoid a sharp rise in hospitalisations and deaths.

The React-1 study found that infections are still highest among 18- to 24-year-olds (2.2%) but are spreading into older and more vulnerable age groups. The percentage of people infected aged 55-64 increased more than threefold from 0.37% to 1.2%.

There has been a downturn in infections among young people in the north-east, where stricter restrictions were first imposed, the scientists said, but a large increase in the numbers among over-65s which is likely to translate to hospital admissions and deaths.

In the south-west, which has had low prevalence, there is now a rise in infections in 18- to 24-year-olds. "We're seeing a pattern in the south which is similar to what we saw in the north a few weeks back," said Prof Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health.

theguardian.com
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thaiga

France and Germany are heading back into lockdown to tackle growing cases of COVID-19, as people desperate to get back to work protest across Europe.

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thaiga

The former Deputy Chief Medical Officer has told Sky News the chances of England entering a full lockdown are "Very, very likely'"

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thaiga

Restaurants See New Wave of COVID-19 Restrictions as US Cases Surge
The second wave of COVID-19 that public health experts warned would strike is here — and it's ferocious, with John Hopkins data revealing that one American is dying from COVID-19 complications every 107 seconds. It's news that no one wanted, and in some states like Wisconsin, it's inciting new stay-at-home orders. This devastating turn of events is wiping out months of progress against containing the virus and unfortunately means that tough times (and strict restrictions) are far from over for restaurants, many of which were still in the reopening phase after the first wave.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its list of considerations for restaurants and bars on Thursday, and while this list contains "guiding principles," as opposed to regulations or rules, officials in some areas of the country are reversing reopening plans and opting to reimpose firm restrictions on dining.  msn.com
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thaiga

At a press conference, the prime minister said that he had decided to reimpose a national lockdown because "we could see deaths running at several thousand a day". The virus, he said "is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers". He added: "The risk is that for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and for our families."

Johnson's U-turn puts country under tough new lockdown
Under the new measures non-essential shops and venues, as well as pubs and restaurants, will be closed. Schools, colleges and universities will remain open. The public will be told only to leave home for specific reasons, such as work if they cannot work from home, to shop for food and essentials, exercise, medical appointments or caring for the vulnerable.

The vulnerable and those over 60 are being advised to be especially careful and minimise their social contacts, but there will be no return of a formal request to shield themselves. Government insiders said the "time-limited" measures would then see a return to a regionalised approach.

full article msn.com
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thaiga

Spain's PM calls for calm after violent anti-lockdown protests
Arrests and injuries in Madrid and looting in Logroño amid anger over Covid restrictions

Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has called for an end to "the violent and irrational behaviour" of a minority of people after a weekend of angry demonstrations in cities around the country against the government's decision to declare a six-month state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thirty-two people were arrested and 12 injured in Madrid on Saturday night after a protest over the region's midnight to 6am curfew turned violent, with rubbish bins set alight on the city's Gran Vía and skirmishes with police. full article theguardian.com
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thaiga

"They've been told that things were going well, that we were winning. But their savings have been used up, they can see the problems with a testing system that isn't working, and there is confusion and disagreement between the scientists. People have started to lose faith in the capacity of institutions to save them."

As Europe's governments lose control of Covid, revolt is in the air
Fears of civil unrest grow as people across the continent no longer trust leaders to protect them during the crisis

As the second wave of Covid-19 filled hospital wards across Europe last week, and countries inched reluctantly towards varying degrees of partial lockdown, television schedules were cleared to allow leaders to address weary nations.

Announcing a 6pm curfew for the country's restaurants and bars the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, called for national unity. "If we all respect these new rules during the month of November," he said, "we will succeed in keeping the epidemiological curve under control. That way we will be able to ease the restrictions and move into the Christmas festivities with greater serenity."

Speaking from the Elysée, a sombre Emmanuel Macron decreed a new national lockdown, lasting until at least 1 December, and warned France the new wave of infections was likely to be "deadlier than the first". In Belgium, where Covid is spreading faster than in any other European country, the new prime minister, Alexander De Croo, hoped "a team of 11 million Belgians" would pull together to follow tighter regulations.

In tone and spirit, the messages echoed those delivered in March, when shock and fear led populations to rally round leaders and consent to restrictions unknown outside wartime. Eight months on, that kind of trust and goodwill is in short supply.

Europe, once again, is the centre of the global pandemic, accounting for almost half the world's infections last week. But as desperately needed financial support fails to materialise, and track and trace systems fail to cope with the surge, there is public exasperation and, in some cases, open rebellion. On Friday evening, protestors threw molotov cocktails at police in Florence, in the latest outbreak of social unrest following Conte's new rules.

Pino Esposito, a Neapolitan barber, is one of those who has lost faith in the orders coming from the top. In his home city, Esposito is leading a group of small businessmen in a campaign against the new restrictions. "We are protesting," he says, "because all European governments, including ours, have found themselves unprepared for the second wave. Since March they were saying that, in October or November, the second wave would come and that it would be even more serious.

"But no preparation has been put in place for our schools, the health system, jobs, or the providing of incentives. And the financial support we were promised is not there to access. But businesses must have it if they are to stay closed and staff need unemployment money immediately."

Across the continent, there is similar evidence of people facing dire economic hardship and psychological exhaustion. Earlier this month, a study from the World Health Organization reported widespread apathy and reduced motivation to follow public health guidance. The emotional toll of Covid-19 has been compounded by a growing scepticism in the capacity of governments to truly get on top of a crisis that is destroying people's livelihoods as well as threatening their health.

According to the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, the continent's partial economic recovery in the summer and early autumn was "unequal, uncertain and incomplete". As the second wave hits, she said in a recent interview, "it now risks being extinguished."

From Milan to Manchester, and Marseille to Madrid, that prospect has sparked a wave of revolts. After the spring lockdown was eased, the subsequent patchwork of regulations and restrictions hit some workers, and regions far harder than others. The Spanish government's decision to declare a six-month state of emergency has led to angry protests across the country and a bitter row with the conservative regional government of Madrid, which has accused it of overstepping its powers.

more on that here ... theguardian.com
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thaiga

Michael Gove says England's Covid-19 lockdown could be extended
Michael Gove has admitted the new coronvirus lockdown in England could be extended beyond four weeks if the number of infections does not fall far enough.

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

thaiga

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

thaiga

Asia's Covid-19 outbreaks coming under control, but officials remain on alert
Some parts of Asia appear to have gotten a grip - albeit a tenuous one - on Covid-19 in recent days, compared with the situation in Europe and the United States where cases are spiralling and are barely contained.

India - which has recorded Asia's highest number of infections at more than 8.2 million cases - has seen its daily count fall steadily since the peak in mid-September.

Although it reported another 45,000 new cases on Monday (Nov 2), that number is less than half of the daily figure about six weeks ago.

Indonesia - South-east Asia's worst-hit nation - on Monday reported its lowest number of new cases since late August. It had around 2,600 cases and another 101 deaths, taking the tally to more than 415,000 infections and over 14,000 fatalities.

The Philippines, the second worst hit country in the region, reported nearly 2,300 new cases and 32 more deaths, bringing the total to some 385,000 infections and 7,200 fatalities.

While the number of new cases on Monday was slightly higher than those recorded over the past week, the daily infection count has been trending downwards since it peaked in early August.

"Experience with previous pandemics has been critical to help (some Asian) countries be better prepared to manage Covid-19," said Dr Shenglan Tang, a policy expert with the Duke Global Health Institute, who with his team reviewed the Covid-19 strategies of seven Asian countries and regions earlier this year.

In north-east Asia, Japan continued to report fewer new Covid-19 cases from a month ago, with 667 new infections on Monday.

With Covid-19 under control, the country has begun to ease some travel curbs, lifting its entry ban on foreign travellers from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and six other locations.

It is the first time Japan has lifted its entry ban on any region since the pandemic began, reflecting its growing confidence in managing the pandemic, on top of a necessity to revive its battered economy.

Neighbouring South Korea saw 97 new cases as of midnight on Sunday, much lower than its most recent triple-digit peaks in August and September. Its total caseload rose to more than 26,700, and the death toll reached 468, adding two more fatalities.

straitstimes.com
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thaiga

India records 46,253 new COVID-19 cases
India recorded 46,253 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Wednesday (Nov 4), with cases rising again in some parts including the capital New Delhi.

With 8.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases, India is the world's second most affected country, behind only the United States. But the spread has slowed down since a September peak, and the country has reported less than 50,000 infections daily for 10 straight days. Still, infections are rising in some parts of the country, even as active cases decline nationwide.

Besides New Delhi, the southern state of Kerala and West Bengal in the east have seen a rise in active cases in the last month, according to the health ministry. The government has warned that cases could surge during the ongoing festival season, asking people to wear masks and maintain social distancing.  channelnewsasia.com

Malaysia reports 1,054 new COVID-19 cases, teenager among 12 new deaths
Malaysia reported 1,054 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Nov 3), taking the national total to 34,393 infections.

There were also 12 new COVID-19 fatalities, including a teenager. Malaysia's death toll from the pandemic now stands at 263.

Of the new COVID-19 cases, 14 were imported comprising three Malaysians and 11 foreigners.

The state of Sabah, which reported 678 infections, accounted for more than half of the new cases on Tuesday.

A 14-year-old Sabah resident was Malaysia's youngest fatality on Tuesday. The teen also suffered from tuberculosis meningitis and hydrocephalus.

There are currently 94 patients in the intensive care unit, of which 32 and intubated, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.

channelnewsasia.com
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thaiga

Italy agrees curfew as Europe tries to stem virus surge
Italian officials agreed on Wednesday to impose a night-time curfew, joining a slew of European nations in ramping up restrictions in the face of a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases.

But the measure, which restricts Italians to their homes between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am, fell short of the kind of rules in force in countries including France, Belgium and Germany.

Governments in Europe are struggling to get a hold of a pandemic that has now infected more than 11 million on the continent.

Wednesday saw Russia announce a daily record for cases and deaths, upping pressure on the government only days after President Vladimir Putin said there were no plans for a lockdown.

The United States remains the worst-affected country with more than nine million cases and 230,000 deaths.

President Donald Trump, who has suffered from the virus, faced off with Joe Biden in a long-awaited election on Tuesday, with tens of millions of mask-wearing Americans streaming to the polls.

The virus has transformed the election, with many millions avoiding the queues and the risk of infection by returning postal votes before election day.

Trump's handling of the virus has also been under the microscope.

With results from crucial battleground states not yet returned, the election was on a knife-edge on Wednesday with neither candidate taking a decisive lead.

- 'Final straw' for pubs -

From Britain to Turkey, European countries have reimposed strict curbs this week, echoing their moves in spring when the virus first hit Europe following its emergence in China.

Many businesses are still struggling to recover from the damage of those earlier lockdowns –- particularly in the travel sector.

The Netherlands said on Wednesday it had agreed to inject 3.4-billion-euro ($3.9-billion) into its national airline KLM after a row with pilots was resolved.

"The past few days have been incredibly intensive for everyone," said KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers, adding: "But in the end we, as KLM and unions, came to an agreement."

Although many of the measures imposed this week are not as draconian as those earlier lockdowns, they have been resisted by many business-owners, politicians particularly from the right, and large sections of the population.

"Make no mistake, this could be the final straw for thousands of pubs and brewers," said Emma McClarkin, of the British Beer and Pub Association, with English pubs ordered to close for a month from Wednesday night.

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has struggled to build a coalition backing more stringent measures after sporadic protests broke out over an earlier decision to shut bars and restaurants early.

However, the curfew mixed with other restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres on weekends appeared to have struck the right compromise for regional leaders.

"We will continue to work to ensure that these provisions are observed by all Milanese," wrote Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala on Facebook, whose northern city is one of Italy's major hotspots.

- Pope 'back in library' -

Senior political figures, meanwhile, continue to fall victim to the virus. Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is "gradually recovering" from the illness in hospital in Germany, his office said on Tuesday.

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and two thirds of her government went into self-isolation Wednesday after the justice minister tested positive amid a new surge in cases.

Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto tested positive shortly after meeting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen -- with pictures showing neither man wearing a mask.

Hungary itself has reimposed a state of emergency that allows the government to rule by decree -- despite Prime Minister Viktor Orban facing allegations of a power grab when he passed a similar measure earlier in the year.

"The time has come to take new steps so that we can protect hospitals' ability to function, and also protect the lives of the elderly," said Orban.

One global figure taking renewed care over virus measures was Pope Francis, who had been criticised for continuing to mix with his flock.

"Unfortunately, we are back to doing this audience in the library in order to protect ourselves from the infections of Covid," said the pope on Wednesday as he streamed his weekly general audience from the Vatican Library rather than in person.

"We offer to the Lord this distance between us for the good of everyone."

bangkokpost.com
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thaiga

patients who are waiting hours in a corridor or on a trolley for a bed

Years of underfunding leave NHS 'woefully short' for Covid second wave
NHS England has far fewer hospital beds than it used to and is short of around 100,000 staff

The resurgence of Covid-19 just before winter, when flu, falls and pneumonia put the NHS under its most intense pressure, raises a pressing question: do hospitals have enough beds to cope with what is about to hit them?

Last weekend Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals in England, tweeted to warn of the "clear risk of 'a perfect storm': second Covid surge, usual winter pressures as well as recovering important care backlogs from first phase".

In order to be able to care properly for all these patients, the NHS needs a plentiful supply of beds. No one in the NHS or any organisation representing staff even pretends to believe it has anything like enough.

"The NHS is woefully short of hospital beds and the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the threat that this lack of capacity poses to the safe treatment of patients," says Dr Helen Fidler, the deputy chair of the British Medical Association's consultants committee.

The number of beds in English hospitals has fallen to its lowest level on record. The most recent official figures show that in April-June this year there were 118,451 overall. Of those, 92,596 were general and acute beds containing inpatients, such as those admitted for tests or treatment, either as an emergency or for elective (ie planned) care. These are the beds that come under huge pressure when the NHS is hit by its usual winter crisis. Just under 11,000 already contain Covid patients, and that number is set to soar.

Those 118,451 are something over a third of the 299,000 beds that the NHS had in 1987-88. Since then, numbers have fallen relentlessly. This has been driven by a rise in day-case surgery, recognition that being an inpatient can involve hospital-acquired infections and loss of muscle mass, and also the NHS's often-professed but still unachieved ambition of keeping people out of hospital through better home-based care. Last year the NHS England boss, Simon Stevens, urged an end to bed cutting, but the fall has continued anyway.

The decline has been particularly marked since 2010, when the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government ushered in a decade of austerity funding for the NHS. That included a squeeze on capital funding, which the NHS uses to build facilities and buy equipment such as scanners, and also the exacerbation of shortages of nurses and doctors.

Dr Claudia Paloni, the president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, points to OECD data showing that the NHS has one of the lowest bed bases in Europe. While the UK has 246 beds per 100,000 people, Germany has 800 per 100,000.

This dearth of beds is why A&E units can resemble war zones in winter, filled with patients who are waiting hours in a corridor or on a trolley for a bed, and also why so many people needing care end up waiting in the back of ambulances to get into A&E.

That shortage, and the fact that the NHS in England is short of around 100,000 staff, is also why hospital bosses privately say they are more worried about the NHS being overwhelmed in the next few weeks than they were when the pandemic struck in March, when footage from hospitals in northern Italy made for grim viewing on television news bulletins.

They fear that they will be expected to provide potentially life-saving care for large numbers of people with Covid or normal cold season-related breathing problems, or both, and that – unless the second lockdown leads to a big fall in infections and hospitalisations – they may have too few beds to accommodate them all.

Activating their "surge capacity", which comprises about 5,000 extra beds, will help. So, too, might opening the seven Nightingale field hospitals – the Manchester one has already taken patients – which between them could add another 8,500 beds. But they need to be staffed, and few hospitals have spare personnel to lend to them. Within weeks, years of underinvestment in both beds and the staff needed to care for those in them, could be exposed by the pandemic's second peak.

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

thaiga

US sets record for daily new cases average one day after election
Wednesday saw more than 91,000 people with new infections and deaths rising, underscoring the high stakes of the election

The US has set a new record for average daily confirmed Covid-19 cases, with surging infections and hospitalizations as the country remains on edge waiting for a winner to be declared in the presidential race.

Daily new coronavirus cases in America have increased 45% over the past two weeks to a record seven-day average of 86,352, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths are also on the rise, up 15% to an average of 846 deaths every day.

There were more than 91,000 new cases recorded on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins. The university counted nearly 99,000 US cases on 30 October.

The grim statistics underscore the high stakes of the election, which remained too close to call a full day after the polls closed. Joe Biden has said he is on course for victory while Donald Trump, who has continued to spread misinformation about the pandemic and downplay the threat of virus, has threatened election lawsuits and promoted falsehoods about the counting process.

More than 232,000 people have died from Covid in the US, and total confirmed cases have surpassed 9 million. Those are the highest totals in the world, and new infections are increasing in nearly every state.

The new record comes days after America's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, warned that the US should prepare for a "whole lot of hurt", predicting a winter of 100,000 or more cases each day and a rising death toll. The Covid Tracking Project, which keeps a tally separate from Johns Hopkins university, reported late Wednesday that the US met Fauci's predictions, with 103,000 cases, the highest daily count to date, and a daily death toll of 1,116. The group says 52,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid.

The crisis is spread across regions. There are 34 states reporting over 1,000 cases, a new record, and hospitalizations peaked in 16 states, the tracking project reported.

Public health experts have increasingly sounded the alarm about worsening Covid spread int he weeks prior to the election, especially in the midwest.

The US handling of the pandemic and predictions for a difficult winter became a major issue in the race between the president and the former vice-president. As early voting began, Trump falsely asserted that one of his achievements was "ending" the pandemic, a brazen statement made the same week that broke records for new infections. Despite the continuing bleak death toll each day, his son, Donald Trump Jr, falsely claimed in a Fox interview that deaths were "almost nothing".

During one of his final campaign rallies, the president threatened to fire Fauci.

Biden has pledged to keep Fauci in position and has promised to roll out a new nationwide plan to fight coronavirus if elected, though Trump would remain in charge until his inauguration in January.

In a recent interview that angered Trump, Fauci told the Washington Post, "It's not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly."

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, argued this week that if most Americans wear face coverings, it could save up to 130,000 lives by March. But if people continue not to wear masks and practice social distancing, the death toll could reach 1 million by the end of February, he said. Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden for wearing a mask.

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

thaiga

Reuters
7 hrs ago

Covid-19: India reports daily jump of 50,210 coronavirus cases

India reported a daily jump of 50,210 coronavirus infections, taking its total to 8.36 million, the health ministry said on Thursday.

This was the highest daily jump in cases since Oct. 25, according to a Reuters tally. Cases in India have been dipping since hitting a peak in September, but experts warn that the Diwali festival season could lead to a spike.

Deaths rose by 704, with total mortalities now at 124,315, the ministry said.

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

thaiga

Ukraine reports record daily high new coronavirus cases - minister
Nov 5 (Reuters) - Ukraine registered a record 9,850 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the health minister said on Thursday, up from a high of 9,524 reported a day earlier. Total infections stood at 430,467 with 7,924 deaths by Thursday, Maksym Stepanov said.
reuters.com

German coronavirus cases hit new record as shoppers stockpile again
Nov 5 (Reuters) - Germany's daily new coronavirus infections hit a record high on Thursday as data showed shoppers had stocked up on toilet paper, hand sanitiser and baking ingredients ahead of new lockdown measures that took effect this week.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 19,990 to 596,583, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

The Statistics Office said rising coronavirus cases and the new partial lockdown, which took effect from Nov. 2, had increased the demand for some hygiene articles and foodstuffs in the second half of October.

Sales of toilet paper in the week beginning Oct. 19 were 139% above the average for the pre-crisis months of August 2019 to January 2020, the Statistics Office said.

Purchases of disinfectant have risen continuously in recent weeks and were up 104% over pre-crisis levels in the last week of October, but remained lower than during the first lockdown in spring, when sales at times increased almost eight-fold.

Shoppers also stocked up on baking ingredients, with sales of flour up 101% from pre-crisis levels, while yeast and sugar rose 74% and 63% respectively.

But turnover of these products was also lower than in spring, suggesting that appeals from politicians to avoid hoarding were at least partly being heard, the office said.

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

thaiga

Malaysia reports 1,168 new coronavirus cases, 3 new deaths

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia reported 1,168 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the country's tally to 39,357 infections, as the government extended a partial lockdown order to more states until Dec. 6.

The Southeast Asian country also recorded three new fatalities, raising the death

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

thaiga

Japan braces itself for new wave of Covid-19 infections
Japan's daily Covid-19 tally is on the rise, with at least 1,328 new cases on Saturday (Nov 7), the third straight day of a national caseload above 1,000.

Such figures have been unseen since August, and raise concerns of a third wave of infections amid the onset of cooler temperatures.

More than 100 new clusters were discovered over the past week.

"We have to watch the situation with a stronger sense of caution than before," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday.

Top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato added that the government was "sparing no effort" to curb the outbreak, though a suspension of the multi-billion dollar Go To Travel campaign to resuscitate the ailing hospitality industry does not appear to be on the cards.

While Japan has avoided the explosive growth in cases elsewhere, it has been one of the hardest-hit in East Asia. It has also, comparatively, been one of the more laissez-faire in its response.

South Korea, which on Saturday enacted new five-tier social distancing guidelines, had 89 cases on Saturday, bringing its total to 27,284.

China, where the coronavirus was first detected, reported no local transmissions on the mainland on Friday, with all 33 new cases imported. The tally stands at 86,184.

Outpacing both countries is Japan, with 107,554 cases as of Saturday night. Tokyo, which accounts for nearly one in three cases, reported 294 new cases on Saturday, with several traced to Halloween parties.

Hokkaido and Kanagawa both posted new daily highs, with 187 and 137 cases respectively.

Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki has requested food-and-beverage outlets in the Susukino nightlife district in Sapporo to shorten business hours.

Elsewhere, Osaka had 191 cases and Aichi, where the city of Nagoya is located, had 113 cases.

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

thaiga

Six White House aides, including Trump's chief of staff, have the coronavirus.
Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, has contracted the coronavirus, as have five other White House aides and a Trump campaign adviser, officials say, raising fears of another outbreak sweeping through the ranks of the nation's top officials.

A Trump campaign adviser, Nick Trainer, along with four White House officials also tested positive for the virus, people close to the administration told The New York Times on Friday.

The diagnoses came as the pandemic rampaged across the United States, which has recorded an average of more than 100,000 new cases per day over the past week and hit another record on Friday, with more than 132,700 cases in a single day. The country also recorded more than 1,220 deaths.

Mr. Meadows, who abided by President Trump's efforts to play down the coronavirus throughout the summer, is only the latest in a string of people in the president's circle to contract the virus in the past seven weeks. Others include Mr. Trump himself and the first lady, Melania Trump, and several aides to the president and Vice President Mike Pence. Joseph R. Biden Jr., who was elected the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, made criticism of Mr. Trump's pandemic response a central feature of his campaign. Since Election Day, Mr. Biden has been briefed on the pandemic by economic and health advisers.

In a brief speech on Friday night, Mr. Biden vowed to control the virus and noted that the Covid-19 death toll in the United States was approaching 240,000.

"That's 240,000 empty chairs at kitchen tables and dining room tables all across America," he said. "We'll never be able to measure all that pain and the loss, the suffering, that so many families have experienced."

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

thaiga

Joe Biden to announce Covid task force on Monday
President-elect Joe Biden is expected on Monday to announce the members of his coronavirus task force, who will be charged with crafting a plan to curb the spread of the coronavirus as it reaches record-high levels.

The task force will be co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University, a Biden campaign official told NBC. Axios first

Biden, in his first speech as president-elect, confirmed that he will announce "a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors" to help implement his pandemic response plan.

"Our work begins with getting Covid under control," he said Saturday evening. "That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern. I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around."

The announcement, which will come before the president-elect has named any of his senior White House staff or cabinet appointments, signals how high of a priority the pandemic response is to Biden.

Biden will not be sworn into office until Jan. 20, when epidemiologists and medical experts say the country could be in a dire situation with the pandemic, if current trends continue. On the day NBC News projected Biden would win the election, the U.S. reported its third-straight record spike in daily new coronavirus cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Average daily new cases are rising by at least 5% in 47 states and the District of Columbia, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data.

Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner, said Biden will have his work cut out for him when he assumes office in January. She added, though, that he can begin encouraging compliance with public health measures even before he officially takes office.

"His work needs to begin right now. He needs to begin communicating the urgency of actions with the American people," she said in a phone interview. "His biggest challenge is going to be getting people to follow his recommendations. He can have the best policies and even the best way to implement his policies, but unless you can win the hearts and minds of the American people, it's not going to make a difference."

Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, said if the country continues on its current path, the U.S. could have more than half a million Covid-19 deaths before Biden takes office.

"It's going to get much worse this winter," she said. "We are surging all across the country. There are firestorms of Covid-19 that we're seeing in virtually every part of the country, and it is getting worse by the day."

Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University, echoed Wen's concerns about the months ahead.

"The worst days of the pandemic are almost certainly still ahead of us," she said. "This virus is now spread across the entire United States. When the first surge came, it was localized to the Northeast in New England, New York, New Jersey. In the second wave, it was the South and Southwest. But now we're seeing it literally takeover hospitals across the country."

She added that a Biden presidency gives her hope of a nationally coordinated response to the pandemic, but until Jan. 20, "it's like we're on our own."

Ranney added that several of her "colleagues and friends," whom she declined to name, will serve on Biden's coronavirus task force and will help him "hit the ground running on day one" when he takes office.

"But the trouble is, even with hitting the ground running on day one, it's going to take two months to manufacture adequate PPE," she said. "Even if on day one, he says, 'I'm going to create a mask mandate,' it's going to take a while to disseminate that and to get the messaging out."

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

thaiga

Britain reports 20,572 new cases of COVID-19, 156 deaths

(Reuters) - Britain reported 20,572 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 156 deaths from the virus, both lower than figures from a day before, government data showed.

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

thaiga

Half of UK Covid-19 cases not being identified, expert claims
A pandemic expert has claimed around half of positive coronavirus cases in the UK are not being identified.

Mass testing for coronavirus kicked off in Liverpool on Friday, November 6. The aim of the programme is to identify those who may have the virus but are asymptomatic and could continue to spread it throughout communities.

Officials hope mass testing will bring down the rate of infection around the city and get Liverpool out of lockdown by Christmas.

But an expert has issued a warning, claiming half of positive cases have been left unidentified.

Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said these cases mean attempts to control the virus are being done "with one hand behind our back".

Mr Woolhouse sits on a sub-group of SAGE and is a member of the Scottish Government's Covid-19 advisory group.

He said the mass testing scheme, which began here in Liverpool, is an attempt combat the problem.

Speaking on the BBC Scotland's Seven Days programme, Prof Woolhouse said: "The problem that testing pilot scheme in Liverpool is trying to solve is that we're still not finding about half of the Covid cases in Scotland or in the UK more generally.

"That's a very high proportion."

He added: "It's probably partly because many of them are asymptomatic or so mildly infected they don't recognise the symptoms, partly because people do have symptoms but actually genuinely aren't recognising them as Covid - I've heard a few cases of that in the last week - and also the possibility that some people are having symptoms and actually ignoring them, perhaps because they don't want to go into self-isolation.

"Whatever the reason, those missed 50% of cases - it's like trying to control the epidemic with one hand tied behind our back. We can't do it effectively if those cases are not also being self isolated and their contacts traced. It's going to make it much more difficult.

"The idea of Liverpool is to try and find these cases and hopefully ... persuade them to self-isolate."

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

thaiga

German health minister warns of worrying uptick in coronavirus infections
Head of Germany's federal disease control body says virus spread could spiral out of control Germany has registered a worrying uptick in new COVID-19 coronavirus infections, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday. At a press conference in Berlin, Spahn urged Germans to stay vigilant in the face of the virus and stick to the health guidelines.
full article i24news.tv

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

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