Welcome to the Finance Magnates live Coronavirus blog updates page. Keep up-to-date with the latest coronavirus news, focusing on the impact upon the financial, fintech, and crypto worlds.
COVID Deaths Rise as Winter Surge Drags the US Toll toward 400,000
08:25 Coronavirus deaths are rising in nearly two-thirds of American states as a winter surge pushes the overall toll toward 400,000 amid warnings that a new, highly contagious variant is taking hold.
California Records More Than 3M Infections
California has become the first US state to record more than 3 million known infections, as it grapples with an unprecedented surge of cases that have left hospitals overwhelmed.
China and WHO Made Mistakes in Containing COVID Outbreak, Says Panel
An independent panel has said that Chinese officials could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January 2020 to curb the initial Covid-19 outbreak and criticised the World Health Organization (WHO) for not declaring an international emergency until 30 January.
US Calls China for WHO Investigators to Have Better Access in China
The US called on China to grant greater access to the WHO team of investigators in China. The United States said China should allow the WHO team to interview “caregivers, former patients and lab workers” in the central city of Wuhan. The team of WHO-led independent experts is holding teleconferences with Chinese counterparts during a two-week quarantine before starting work on the ground.
Political Row Brewing Regarding Travel Bans Rescinded by Trump
A political row is brewing after Donald Trump announced he would rescind Covid travel bans on most non-US citizens arriving from Brazil and much of Europe, including the UK, effective 26 January. A spokesperson for Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated as the new US president on Wednesday, said the new administration “does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26”. “In fact,” wrote Jen Psaki on Twitter, “we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”
All Passengers Entering New Zealand Require Negative Cover Test Result
New Zealand has imposed a blanket testing regime for all flights arriving internationally, with passengers now required to return a negative Covid test result before departure.
25% of UK Youth Feel ‘Unable to Cope’ in Pandemic
One in four UK young people have felt ‘unable to cope’ in the pandemic. Young people are in danger of giving up on their futures and on themselves, with a quarter saying they feel unable to cope with life, one of the UK’s leading charities has said. The Prince’s Trust long-running annual survey of young people’s happiness and confidence returned the worst findings in its 12-year history.
Nightly Curfews Imposed in Bogota for Almost Two Weeks
Colombia’s capital Bogota will impose nightly curfews for almost two weeks, Mayor Claudia Lopez said on Monday, while the whole city will enter yet another full quarantine this weekend. Nightly curfews first started last week and continued until Sunday. However, they will begin again from Tuesday and will run until 28 January. During this time citizens must remain in their homes from 8 pm until 4 am, Lopez said.
Kazakhstan Plans to Vaccinate about 6 Million People This Year
Kazakhstan plans to vaccinate about 6 million people, or almost a third of its population, against the coronavirus this year, healthcare minister Alexei Tsoy said on Tuesday. Vaccinations will begin on 1 February, with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine being offered to medical workers, he told a government meeting. Kazakhstan also aims to produce Sputnik V at home.
Tuesday 19th January
The UK Prepares to Vaccinate the Elderly Aged over 70
Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to millions of over-70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable from this week as the government expands the rollout amid a border crackdown to keep out new strains. More than 3.8 million people in the UK – including over-80s, care home residents, and NHS and social care staff – have already received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, but from Monday it will be rolled out to the next two priority groups.
Chinese Health Authorities Report a ’Superspreader’ Traced to 102 Infections
Chinese health authorities say they have traced 102 infections to a ‘superspreader’ case, a 45-year-old man who travelled around the north-east of the country giving lectures on health.
Brazil’s Health Regulator Has Approved Use of Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid Vaccines
Brazil’s health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest nation to begin an immunisation program that has been subject to delay and political disputes.
The Us Is Nearing a New Milestone of 400,000 Deaths
According to Johns Hopkins University, by Sunday evening 23,923,062 cases and 397,494 deaths had been recorded in the country. Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff, told CNN on Sunday that Biden’s team projected another 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the first five weeks of the administration.
Florida Analyst Clashed with the Governor over Covid Data Manipulation
Florida analyst who clashed with the governor over Covid data faces arrest. Rebekah Jones, the founder of Florida’s coronavirus database who has clashed publicly with Governor Ron DeSantis in a dispute over data manipulation, said she would surrender on Sunday after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
UK Firms Urge Government to Help Struggling Eurostar
British business leaders called on the government to rescue Eurostar, reports said after the firm said it was close to collapse following border closures to contain new Covid-19 strains.
Monday 18th January
Global Deaths Close to 2 Million Milestone
07:30 The global coronavirus death toll currently stands at 1,993,699, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. With daily death tolls at around 16,000 per day in recent days, the world will likely pass the devastating milestone of 2 million dead from coronavirus in just over a year within the next few hours.
The UK to South America Flight Ban Comes into Force
Travellers from across South America have been banned from entering the UK amid growing concerns about a mutant coronavirus strain which has emerged in Brazil. The ban which, also covers the Central American state of Panama and Portugal – due to its strong travel links with Brazil – and the former Portuguese colony of Cape Verde, came into force at 4 am on Friday.
China’s Outbreak Is Increasingly Worse
China’s worsening outbreak in Hebei does not appear to be slowing down, with yet another rise in case numbers on Thursday. After consecutive days above 100 confirmed cases, health authorities announced 144 new Covid-19 infections, including 135 local transmissions yesterday. It is the highest increase in 10 months since 202 cases were reported on 1 March 2020. 90 of the 135 cases were found in Hebei province, and 43 in northeastern Heilongjiang province.
Overstretched London Hospitals Send Covid Patients to Newcastle
Struggling London hospitals sending Covid patients to Newcastle. Seriously ill Covid patients are being transferred from overstretched London hospitals to intensive care units almost 300 miles away in Newcastle, the Guardian can reveal.
Full Resurgence of Covid in Major Population Centers in the US
US officials warned ‘full resurgence’ of Covid in major population centers, saying the country could see an additional 92,000 deaths in less than a month. White House coronavirus taskforce reports from 10 January, obtained by CNN, said they were seeing a ‘full resurgence’ of the virus in ‘nearly all metro areas’ and advocated for ‘aggressive action’.
The US Government Executed an Inmate with Covid Causing Excruciating Pain
The US government executed an inmate with Covid. The US government has executed an inmate for his involvement in a series of killings in Virginia’s capital city in 1992, despite claims by his lawyers that the lethal injection would cause excruciating pain due to lung damage from his recent Covid-19 infection. Corey Johnson, 52, was the 12th inmate put to death at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana since the Trump administration restarted federal executions following a 17-year hiatus. He was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m.
Biden Unveils a $1.9 Trillion Corona Stimulus Package Proposal
Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn stimulus package proposal that aims to bring new urgency to the nation’s coronavirus vaccination campaign and usher in another round of economic relief for struggling Americans. The US is facing its deadliest period of the pandemic so far. Detailing the plan in a speech on Thursday evening, Biden described the moment as “a crisis of deep human suffering.” “There’s no time to waste,” Biden said. “We have to act and we have to act now.”
Denmark Leads the EU in Corona Vaccinations
Denmark leads the EU in vaccinations against the novel coronavirus thanks to a swift and smooth roll-out, and even more people would have got the jab if it had more available doses. So far, 2.2% of Denmark’s population of 5.8 million has been vaccinated since the campaign began on 27 December.
China’s Economy Grew Slowly Last Year
China’s economy grew last year at its slowest pace since the 1970s, according to an AFP poll of economists, but finished the year strongly on an accelerating coronavirus recovery. The average forecast of analysts from 13 financial institutions was a 2.0% expansion for the world’s second-largest economy, down sharply from 6.1% in 2019, itself a three-decade low.
Hospitals in Brazil’s Largest State Are Short of Oxygen Supplies
Health workers in Brazil’s largest state are begging for help and oxygen supplies after an explosion of Covid deaths and infections that one official compared to a tsunami and said could be linked to a new variant.
France Imposes 6 PM Nationwide Virus Curfew
The French government will impose a daily nationwide curfew at 6 pm starting Saturday to combat a worrying increase in Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday. Up to now, most of France has been under an 8 pm curfew, with some parts of the country, especially in the hard-hit east, already under the stricter 6 pm curfew that Castex said had resulted in an infection rate two or three times lower than in the rest of the country.
WHO Convenes Emergency Committee Early over Coronavirus Variants
The World Health Organization’s emergency committee will meet two weeks early on Thursday to discuss the new coronavirus variants from South Africa and Britain that have rapidly spread to at least 50 countries and sparked widespread alarm.
Friday 15th January
China Reach Highest Corona Cases in 10 Months
07:45 China records first local coronavirus death in eight months, highest cases in 10 months. China reported its biggest jump in cases in more than 10 months as infections in north-eastern Heilongjiang province nearly tripled, underscoring the growing threat ahead of a major national holiday when hundreds of millions of people usually travel. The national health commission said in a statement that 138 new Covid-19 cases were reported on 13 January, up from 115 cases a day earlier and marking the highest jump since 5 March. China also reported one new death, the first increase in the death toll since mid-May.
WHO Research Team Are in Wuhan
The WHO’s global team of researchers are in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic was first detected, to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries.
Pharmacies in England Begin Vaccine Rollout
England’s high street pharmacies will begin rolling out Covid vaccines, as the virus death toll across the UK climbed above 100,000. Boots and Superdrug branches will be among the six stores across England which will be able to administer the jabs from Thursday while the government aims to hit its target of vaccinating all people in the four most vulnerable groups by the middle of next month.
Brazil Plans to Import 2m of AstraZeneca’s Covishield jab from India
Brazil said Wednesday it would import 2m doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield jab from India. The inventory would add to some 10m doses of China’s CoronaVac as Brazil gears to start its vaccination campaign this month. The biggest country in Latin America is the second-hardest hit globally by the pandemic, as the novel coronavirus has killed more than 204,000 people out of Brazil’s population of 212 million.
New York Requests More Vaccines
New York called for more Covid vaccine. New York mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the city would fall short of its inoculation goals unless it could get more vaccine. The mayor said short supplies were hampering New York City’s efforts to increase its immunisation campaign. His appeal comes as the country as a whole struggles to meet an overall goal, with vaccinations now running far behind a target of 20 million people by now.
Japan to Expand Its State of Emergency in Tokyo
Japan is set to expand its state of emergency in greater Tokyo from Thursday to seven more regions including major cities Osaka and Kyoto and also to tighten border restrictions as cases surge. “We continue to see a serious situation,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, adding the measures were “indispensable”. “We must overcome this challenge that we face.”
Colombia Will Extend Quarantine
Colombia will extend a so-called selective quarantine until the end of February, President Ivan Duque said in a nightly address on Wednesday. The Andean country began more than five months of lockdown in March to control the spread of coronavirus. It moved to a much-looser ‘selective’ quarantine at the start of September, allowing dining at restaurants and international flights.
The Phillipines Authorises Emergency Use of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 Vaccine
The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration has authorised the emergency use of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine, its head said on Thursday. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has shown a 95% success rate, is the first vaccine the Philippines has approved. FDA head, Rolando Enrique Domingo told a media briefing China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd on Wednesday submitted to regulators its emergency use authorisation application.
Thursday 14th January
The African Union Has Obtained 300 Million Vaccine Doses
07:40 The African Union has secured close to 300 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in the largest such agreement yet for Africa, an official said on Tuesday. The 300m doses are being secured independently of the global Covax effort aimed at distributing Covid-19 vaccines to lower-income countries, the official said.
China’s CoronaVac Vaccine Only 50% Effective
New data shows 50.4% efficacy for China’s CoronaVac vaccine in Brazil. A coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech was just 50.4% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in a Brazilian trial, researchers said on Tuesday, barely enough for regulatory approval and well below the rate announced last week.
The US CDC Has Expanded Pre-flight COVID Testing
Anyone flying to the US will soon need to show proof of a negative test for Covid-19, health officials announced on Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement expands on a similar one announced late last month for passengers coming from the UK. The order takes effect in two weeks.
England’s Covid Rules Have Changed 64 Times since March
English Covid rules have changed 64 times since March, says barrister. Lockdown rules in England have been changed at least 64 times by the government since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a human rights barrister has calculated, amid growing calls for clearer guidance for the public.
WHO Will Fly Directly for the Investigative Mission to Wuhan
WHO mission will fly directly to Wuhan. The World Health Organization’s investigative mission will fly directly to Wuhan, China’s foreign ministry has confirmed. In a regular press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, spokesman for China’s ministry, Zhao Lijian, said the team would fly directly from Singapore into Wuhan. Zhao did not answer questions about whether the team would quarantine, and gave no further details.
China Sees Highest Daily Case Rise in Five Months
China has recorded the biggest daily jump in Covid cases in more than five months, despite three cities in lockdown, increased testing and other measures aimed at preventing another wave of infections in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Micronesia President Announces First Covid Case Not a Threat
Micronesia president said first Covid case not a threat to the country. The president of the Federated States of Micronesia has said the country’s first case of Covid-19 – detected in a sailor onboard a ship held in an island lagoon – does not pose a threat to the wider community.
California Stay-Home Order for Sacramento Region Is Lifted
California lifted a stay-at-home order in the 13-county Sacramento region on Tuesday as hospital conditions improved, a rare turn of good news as the state pushes through what Governor Gavin Newsom called “its most intense surge” of the coronavirus.
Head of Olympics for Tokyo 2020 States Impossible to Delay the Event
Tokyo 2020 head says ‘impossible’ to delay Olympics as public opposition grows. The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, has said preparations for the summer Olympics will continue, despite growing doubts that the Games can be held while the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.
Wednesday 13th January
England’s Head of NHS Said the Virus Was Spreading Out of Control
07:30 A quarter of coronavirus admissions to hospital are people under the age of 55, the Head of NHS England has said. Sir Simon Stevens told MPs on Monday the virus was spreading out of control across much of the country, with worrying consequences for hospitals. “In London, perhaps one in 30 people has the coronavirus, in parts of London it may be twice that number. In Merseyside in just the last week there has been a further 50% increase in the number of Covid hospitalisations,” he said.
Additional Curbs in China and More Lockdowns
China locked down Langfang city. Authorities in China introduced new Covid-19 curbs in areas surrounding Beijing on Tuesday, putting 4.9 million residents under lockdown as new infections raised worries about a second wave in a nation that has mostly contained the diseases. The city of Langfang in Hebei on Tuesday said residents will be put under home quarantine for seven days and be subject to mass Covid-19 testing in the latest attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Herd Immunity Not Achievable in 2021
Despite vaccines, no Covid herd immunity in 2021: WHO. The WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned that it will take time to produce and administer enough doses to halt the spread of the virus and that herd immunity is not achievable in 2021.
The US CDC Announces Nearly 9 Million Americans Vaccinated
The 8,987,322 people who have been given the first of two shots, according to the CDC, represent less than one-third of the total doses distributed to states by the US government.
Moderna’s Covid Vaccine Should Last a Year
Immunity from Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine should last at least a year, the company said on Monday at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference. The drugmaker said it was confident that the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology it used was well suited to deploy a vaccine based on the new variant of the coronavirus which has emerged in a handful of countries.
At San Diego Zoo Gorillas Test Positive for Covid
Gorillas at San Diego Zoo test positive for Covid in apparent first. Several gorillas at the San Diego zoo safari park have tested positive for coronavirus, with some experiencing symptoms, in what is believed to be the first outbreak among such primates in captivity.
New Zealand Will Request International Travellers for Negative Covid-19 Result
New Zealand will ask international travellers from most countries to show negative Covid-19 test results before boarding flights to the country as new contagious variants of Covid-19 spread across globally.
Australian Open Halted Due to Covid
Australian Open qualifiers halted mid-match to tell players he had Covid. Denis Kudla has been rushed into quarantine at the Australian Open qualifying event in Doha after testing positive for Covid-19.
Tuesday 12th January
WHO Corona Investigation Delayed
08:15 China says WHO Covid-19 origins probe team to arrive 14 January. A World Health Organization team of international experts tasked with investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic will arrive in China on 14 January, China’s national health authority said on Monday. The team was initially aiming to enter China in early January for the investigation but their arrival was delayed due to lack of authorisation from Beijing for their entry.
Seven New Mass Vaccination Locations Open Monday in England
The new centres – including at a football stadium and a tennis club – will be joined later this week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total to around 1,200, NHS England said. The locations – Ashton Gate in Bristol, Epsom racecourse in Surrey, the Excel Centre where London’s Nightingale hospital is based, Newcastle’s Centre for Life, the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, Robertson House in Stevenage and Birmingham’s Millennium Point – will offer jabs to people aged 80 and above, along with health and care staff.
Two Mass Vaccination Sites Have Opened in New York
Two mass vaccination locations opened in New York City on Sunday. The mass sites were open for part of the day on Sunday before they start operating round the clock, seven days a week on Monday as part of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to set up 250 vaccination locations to meet the ambitious goal of inoculating 1 million New Yorkers by the end of the month. Three other smaller sites also opened on Sunday.
India Prepares for Mass Vaccine Rollout
India is preparing for a mass coronavirus vaccine rollout. India aims to begin vaccinating its 1.3 billion people against coronavirus from Saturday, a colossal and complex task compounded by safety worries, shaky infrastructure and public scepticism. In one of the world’s biggest rollouts, the planet’s second-most populous nation hopes to inoculate 300 million people – equal almost to the entire US population – by July.
China Saw Its Greatest Daily Infection Rate Increase in Five Months
Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in Covid-19 cases in more than five months, the country’s national health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. Hebei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on 10 January, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning Province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas.
Monday Marks One Year since First Corona Death Announced in Wuhan
Monday marks a year since the first coronavirus death was announced in Wuhan. China announced the first death from a new virus in Wuhan on 11 January 2020. Twelve months later, Covid-19 has claimed 1.9 million lives worldwide.
Corona Infections Have Reached 90 Million Worldwide
Coronavirus infections have now surpassed 90 million confirmed cases around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University, as more countries brace for a wider spread of more virulent strains of a disease that has now killed1.9 million people worldwide.
Headteachers in England Forced to Ration on-Site Lockdown Learning
Nearly half of England’s headteachers are being forced to prioritise class places among vulnerable students and the children of key workers because of a huge increase in demand, according to a survey of school leaders.
Roughly 80% of Japanese Citizens Are against Holding the Olympics This Summer
About 80% of people in Japan are against holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer, amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the host city and other parts of Japan. A weekend poll by the Kyodo news agency found that 35.3% wanted the Games to be cancelled, while 44.8% favoured another delay. Local organisers and the International Olympic Committee have said that it will not be possible to postpone a second time. The Games, which are due to open on 23 July, were delayed by a year due to the Covid pandemic.
Monday 11th January
WHO Said Poorer Countries Can Expect Vaccine Doses by January
08:05 The world’s poorest countries can expect to start receiving their first Covid-19 vaccine doses between the end of January and mid-February, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. Vaccination is already underway in some of the world’s wealthiest nations, including the US, Britain, European Union countries and Canada.
Brazil Surpassed 200,000 Corona Deaths
Brazil passed 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic Thursday. That is the second-highest total in the world. The health ministry said the country had 1,524 deaths in the previous 24 hours, rising to a total of 200,498 for the pandemic.
UK Corona Strain Detected, Thus, Australian City Enters Lockdown
Australia’s Queensland state enforced a three-day lockdown in the city of Brisbane from Friday evening, after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for the more contagious variant of Covid-19 that emerged in Britain last month.
Sinovac Vaccine 78% Effective in Brazil Trial
A coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech was 78% effective in a late-stage Brazilian trial with no severe Covid-19 cases, researchers said on Thursday, although a lack of data details stirred calls for more transparency.
UK Arrivals Need to Show Negative Covid Result
Arrivals to the UK will need to show a negative Covid test before entry. International travellers will need to show a negative Covid-19 test before being allowed into the UK, the government has announced, in a significant toughening of border controls to try to stem the spread of new coronavirus variants.
China Seals City to Curb the Spread of Corona
China reports 53 cases, down from the day before as it seals city. The number of new Covid-19 cases reported in China’s Hebei province surrounding Beijing fell slightly from a day earlier, as authorities barred people in the provincial capital from leaving in order to curb the spread of the disease. China has sealed off Hebei’s Shijiazhuang, a city of several million in Hebei province whose surrounding areas take the total population to 11 million.
Record Death Figures Continue as the US Faces Its Deadliest Pandemic Month
The US faces a deadly post-holiday phase of the pandemic: Fauci. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, has warned the country faces the prospect of continued mass deaths from the Covid-19 crisis, predicting the situation there will worsen before it gets better. The US faced its deadliest month of the pandemic in December and continues to post record death figures, including a record 3,854 deaths on 6 January alone.
Pfizer Vaccine Said to Protect against New Corona Strains
Pfizer vaccine protects against the new UK and South African strains – research. Research suggests that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in two contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa.
Friday 8th January
The US Reports Record Daily Deaths at 3,865
07:30 The Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, has just posted the data for 6 January, the same day as the Capitol attack, which shows the US again suffering a record daily death toll, with 3,865 Americans dying in 24 hours. This is the first time the toll has passed 3,800. 145,000 cases were reported on 6 January. Additionally, Arizona has become the Covid ‘hot spot of the world’, public health experts warned, as the US state saw a triple-digit number of new virus-related deaths for the second day in a row.
Soon London Hospitals May Be Overwhelmed by Covid-19
Hospitals in London could soon be overwhelmed by Covid-19 and left short of almost 5,500 beds they need to cope with the explosion in cases, NHS leaders have revealed. The health service’s lead doctor for the capital shared the worrying analysis with the most senior medics in the city’s NHS hospital trusts on a Zoom call on Wednesday afternoon.
Mexico Reports Highest Daily Increase in Corona Cases
Mexico has reported a new high for a daily increase in coronavirus cases, with 13,345 newly confirmed infections reported Wednesday for the previous 24 hours. Officials also reported a near-record of 1,165 deaths related to Covid-19.
China Reports Highest Daily Corona Cases since July
China reports highest local cases since July as travel to Hebei province blocked. China reported 63 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, the highest single-day tally since July, as authorities try to stamp out an outbreak of the virus in a city of 11 million near Beijing.
WHO Experts Warn of More Troubled Times Ahead
World Health Organization experts warned Wednesday there could be six months of ‘hard, hard road ahead’ in 2021 before vaccines turn the tide against the coronavirus pandemic. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said that in many countries, the situation was very worrying – and would get worse.
Pandemic Stress May Cause People to Lose Hair
Pandemic stress may be causing people to lose their hair, according to a new study. By mid-summer, rates of a hair-shedding condition called telogen effluvium (TE) had surged more than 400% in a racially diverse neighbourhood in New York City, researchers report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Thursday 7th January
China Blocks Entry to WHO Investigating Corona Origins
07:15 The WHO chief was ‘very disappointed’ after China blocked the Wuhan visit. China has blocked the arrival of a team from the World Health Organization investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that their visas had not yet been approved even as some members of the group were on their way.
One in 50 People in England Had Covid Last Week
One in 50 people in private households in England – more than 1.1 million – are estimated to have had the coronavirus in the week ending 2 January.
The UK November Lockdown Leak Is Linked to Corona Surge
In England, the November lockdown plan leak has been linked to a ‘surge in new infections’. The leak of plans for a November lockdown in England to the media approximately a week before restrictions came into force has been linked by researchers to a jump in Covid-19 cases caused by people rushing to socialise before the deadline.
South Korea Conducts Mass Corona Testing on Prisoners and Staff
South Korea rolls out mass testing for 70,000 prisoners and staff. South Korea rolled out mass testing for 52 prisons in the country after a massive prison outbreak and may extend flight suspensions from Britain in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases, the health minister said on Wednesday.
China Increases Covid Restrictions
China stepped up Covid measures. The northeastern Hebei province surrounding Beijing on Tuesday entered a ‘wartime mode’ after reporting its first local infections in more than six months. The province will set up investigation teams to trace the close contacts of those who have tested positive.
Tokyo Corona Infections Surge to 1,500 on Wednesday
Tokyo’s new daily coronavirus cases topped 1,500 on Wednesday – a fresh record, local media reported, as Japan braces for a renewed state of emergency for the Greater metropolitan area. The previous record for the capital was 1,337, set on 31 December.
Brazil’s Syringe Manufacturers Will Supply 30 Million Syringes
Brazil’s syringe manufacturers said they will supply 30 million syringes and needles for the country’s Covid-19 vaccination program after the government said it would requisition surplus supplies.
Wednesday 6th January
Patients Unlikely to Survive Will Not Be Transported by LA County Emergency Medical Services
07:10 The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency has told ambulance crews not to transport coronavirus patients who are unlikely to survive, in order to conserve oxygen supplies and ICU beds.
Toughest Lockdown in England
England has entered its toughest nationwide lockdown since March, with schools closed and people allowed to leave home once a day for exercise for at least six weeks, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced as the numbers of people in hospital reach new highs.
New Corona Strain Found in New York
New York governor, Andrew Cuomo said his state has found its first case of the more contagious strain of the coronavirus first detected in the UK, raising concerns about threats to hospital capacity should it spread rapidly.
Airlines Back Approval of Global Corona Travel Testing Programme
Airlines to back approval for global travel testing programme – reports. A group representing major US airlines on Monday backed a proposal by public health officials to implement a global testing program requiring negative tests before most international air passengers return to the United States, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Mexico Approved Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine
Mexico approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use Monday, hoping to spur a halting vaccination effort that has only given about 44,000 shots since the third week of December, about 82% of the doses the country has received, AP reports.
Germany Extends Lockdown
Germany to prolong lockdown as virus deaths surge. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders are expected Tuesday to extend a lockdown in Europe’s top economy as coronavirus deaths continue to mount despite tough restrictions in the run-up to the holidays.
Tuesday 5th January
UK Schools Cause More Disruption due to Rising Corona Infections
07:45 In England, parents face more disruption and uncertainty as local authorities across the country scramble to delay schools reopening in the face of rising coronavirus infection rates and the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, admitted that more could be shut in the coming weeks.
Britain Will Roll Out the Astrazeneca and Oxford University Vaccine Today
Britain will become the first country to roll out the low-cost and easily transportable AstraZeneca and Oxford University Covid vaccine on Monday. Six hospitals in England will administer the first of about 530,000 doses Britain has ready. The programme will be expanded to hundreds of other British sites in coming days and the government hopes it will deliver tens of millions of doses within months.
Japan’s Government Considers Declaring State of Emergency in Tokyo
Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said the government is considering declaring a state of emergency in the greater Tokyo region amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in and around the capital. Suga, whose handling of the pandemic has seen his approval ratings plummet in recent weeks, has come under pressure to take action to address the recent surge in infections.
China Races to Inoculate Millions before Chinese New Year
Thousands of people were lining up in Beijing to receive a vaccine as China races to inoculate millions before the Chinese new year, which sparks a mass travel season in February. More than 73,000 people in the Chinese capital have received the first dose of the vaccine over the last couple of days, state media reported Sunday, including community workers and bus drivers.
The US Surpasses 350,000 Corona Deaths
The US passed 350,000 coronavirus deaths – the highest toll in the world, amid several days of more than 2,500 deaths per day. The US also confirmed nearly 300,000 new cases in 24 hours on 2 January (the most recent available toll), according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
India Has Authorised Two COVID Vaccines
India authorised two Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday, paving the way for a huge inoculation programme to stem the coronavirus pandemic in the world’s second-most populous country. The country’s drugs regulator gave emergency authorization for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and another developed by the Indian company Bharat Biotech.
New Zealand Tightens Border Controls due to New Corona Strain
New Zealand has further tightened border controls amid mounting anxiety about the new strain of coronavirus driving up infections overseas. Six cases of the new variant of the virus – five in arrivals from the UK and one from South Africa – were recorded in managed isolation facilities in the two weeks leading up to Christmas.
South Korea Increases Curbs on Private Gatherings
South Korea expanded a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to the whole country and extended unprecedented social distancing rules in greater Seoul as the number of daily cases bounced back to more than 1,000 in four days.
Vietnam Agrees to Purchase 30 Million Corona Vaccine Doses
Vietnam has agreed to buy 30m doses of the Covid-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca Plc, the government said on Monday, adding that authorities are also seeking to purchase vaccines from other sources, including Pfizer Inc.
Monday 4th January
The WHO Lists Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine for Emergency Use
07:40 WHO has granted emergency validation to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, paving the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve its import and distribution.
US CDC Reports Record Rise in Daily Infections
US CDC reports record 3,764 coronavirus deaths in a day. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a record daily rise of 3,764 Covid-19 deaths, taking its total to 341,199.
A Key London in Hospital Prepares for Covid Only Care
Key London hospital preparing for Covid-only care as cases surge. One of London’s biggest hospitals has warned it is on track to become virtually Covid-only amid a surge in cases in the capital that has left it scrambling to convert operating theatres, surgical recovery areas and stroke wards into intensive care units for the very sick.
The French President Promises No Unjustified Delays in Immunisation
Macron pledges no ‘unjustifiable delays’ in Covid jabs. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to avoid ‘unjustifiable delays’ in efforts to immunise citizens against Covid-19 following criticism over the slow pace of the inoculation campaign.
Brazil Detects 2 Cases on New Corona Strain from the UK
Brazil detects two cases of new coronavirus variant found in the UK. A Brazilian lab said it has detected two cases of the new coronavirus variant that has spread rapidly in Britain and urged reinforcement of quarantine measures for travellers coming from Europe.
Ontario Minister Resigns After Flouting Covid Advice
The finance minister for Canada’s most populous province has resigned after going on a Caribbean vacation during the pandemic and apparently trying to hide the fact by sending social media posts showing him in a sweater before a fireplace.
Hospital Worker Arrested on Suspicion of Spoiling Covid Vaccine Doses
Wisconsin police arrest hospital worker suspected of intentionally spoiling Covid vaccine doses. Police in Wisconsin said they had arrested a hospital employee who was fired after being suspected of intentionally spoiling hundreds of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Friday 1st January
New Corona Virus Strain from Britain Now Detected in California
06:15 The highly infectious coronavirus variant originally discovered in Britain has been detected in California, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday, a day after the first known US case was recorded in Colorado.
Ireland Extends Travel Ban on Travellers from the UK or South Africa
Ireland has extended a ban on travel to the country from the United Kingdom and South Africa until 6 January due to the presence of a new more infectious variant of Covid-19, the government said. The new Covid strain that reached Ireland from the UK is spreading faster than the country’s worst-case forecasts, the country’s prime minister Micheal Martin said as he announced a tightening of public health restrictions and ordered the closure of non-essential retail for the next four weeks.
Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine May Be Authorised for Emergency Use in the US
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will likely be authorised for emergency use in the US in April, the Chief Adviser for the country’s vaccine program said, with recruitment for the British drugmaker’s late-stage US trial almost complete with over 29,000 participants already enrolled after it was approved by the UK medicines regulator this morning.
Schools in England Will Close for First Two Weeks or More of Term
Secondary schools across England will be closed to most pupils for the first two weeks of term and both primaries and secondaries in London and other areas worst hit by Covid are likely to remain closed for longer, the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced, as the UK recorded the highest daily deaths figure reported since 24 April.
France to Reply Police to Enforce Corona Curbs and Clamp Down on Parties
France will deploy 100,000 police and gendarmes across the country to clamp down on parties, gatherings and the traditional torching of vehicles on 31 December.
Scotland’s First Minister Warned New Strain of Covid-19 Becoming Dominant
In Scotland, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, warned the new highly infectious variant of Covid-19, known as B117, is quickly becoming the dominant strain after the country reported a record number of positive cases today.
Chinese Health Officials Encourage Migrant Workers Not to Travel Home for New Year Holiday
Health officials in China are encouraging tens of millions of migrant workers not to travel home during next February’s Lunar New Year holiday, the most important time for family gatherings, to limit coronavirus transmissions even though it has all but eradicated local transmission already.
Greek Senior Officials Will Not Be Given Vaccine Priority
Greece’s government has announced senior officials will no longer be given priority for the vaccine after posts on social media by Cabinet ministers receiving the shot before most healthcare workers led to a backlash from unions and opposition parties.
Thursday 30th December
The UK’s Highest Daily Infection Rate to Date
07:30 The UK reported its worst daily figure for new infections since the pandemic began. Health authorities said there were 41,385 new positive tests. The previous highest number was 39,237, reported on 23 December.
South Africa Has Curbed Restrictions
The president Cyril Ramaphosa banned alcohol sales and extended a nationwide curfew, as infections passed the one million mark owing to a faster-spreading variant of the disease discovered in the country.
Fears of a Third Lockdown in France
The French health ministry reported 2,960 new infections; down from 8,822 on Sunday and from Saturday’s 3,093. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, planned to review the situation on Wednesday amid fears of a third lockdown.
Finland Detects New Corona Strain
The new variant of the virus was detected in Finland. The country imposed travel restrictions earlier this month on passengers from the UK amid concerns over the new variant, which is thought to be more contagious than previous ones.
The Catalan Government Introduce More Acute Covid Constraints
The Catalan regional government stopped short of threats to introduce more severe restrictions. That came despite 973 new cases and 26 deaths in the past 24 hours and a growing risk of a fresh outbreak.
Tuesday 29th December
Canada Approves Modern Vaccine
07:25 Canada becomes the second country to approve the Moderna vaccine for deployment. The Canadian government is also set to extend its ban on incoming commercial and passenger flights from Britain until January 6.
The UK Treasury Announced £800m Additional Coronavirus Funding
The Treasury announces an additional £800m in coronavirus funding to the UK’s devolved nations. The fund will be split into £400m for the Scottish government, £200m for the Welsh government and £200m for the Northern Ireland executive.
France Registered Almost 15,000 New Daily Corona Infections
France has registered 14,929 new Covid cases and 276 more deaths in the last 24 hours, according to French healthcare data.
Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 Vaccine Reported to Be 50% Effective
Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine is reported to be 50% effective in late-stage trials, according to the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo on Wednesday.
Peru to Receive Significant Batch of Vaccines from Covax
Peru is set to receive a ‘significant batch’ of vaccines from the Covax alliance during the first quarter in 2021. The Covax global alliance was designed to help secure Covid-19 vaccines to poor and middle-income countries.
Argentina Approves Russian Vaccine
Argentina has become the first Latin American country to approve the Russian vaccine, the Sputnik V.
Moderna Said the Vaccine Should Protect against New Strain
The Moderna company have said that it expects its vaccine to be protective against the new variant reported in the UK.
The UK Introduces Travel Ban on South African Passengers
The UK government has implemented a travel ban on passengers arriving from South Africa after two cases of another new strain of Covid-19 was found in the UK.
Stranded Trucks Move Slowly Across the Channel
The European Union’s transport commissioner, Adina Valean has said that she is pleased stranded trucks are now moving ‘slowly across the Channel’, as restrictions between France and the UK were lifted.
Thursday 24th December
France Slightly Eases Restrictions on British Travellers
08:05 British travellers have been allowed to return to France after the travel ban on the French side, because of the new Covid variant in England, was eased. The first ferry arrived in France at 0330 local time. About 4,000 lorries were backed up in Britain waiting to cross. Rail, air and sea crossings resume from Wednesday, with all people required to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours.
Singapore Bans Travellers from the UK
Singapore has banned travellers from the UK arriving or transiting through the country from midnight on Wednesday. Singapore’s ministry of health said passengers who had been in the UK in the last 14 days would not be allowed entry until further notice, a move that will affect travellers using it as a stopping off point on the way to countries such as Australia.
The Philippines Suspends all UK Flights
The Philippines has announced that it will suspend all flights to the UK from 24 December, according to a presidential spokesperson.
Trump May Not Sign off on $900 Billion Pandemic Relief Package
Donald Trump has suggested he may not sign the bipartisan $900bn pandemic relief package that Congress passed on Monday night. Trump complained in a video that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries and not enough to Americans. The bill has enough votes to override a veto should Trump decide to take that step.
The US Reported 1.6 Million New Cases in a Week
In the United States, 1.6m new cases of Covid were reported in the week to 20 December, the World Health Organization has said, the highest number of new cases for any single country. That weekly US increase was a rise of 14%. Dr Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, had his Covid jab and said he hoped it would encourage millions of other Americans to do the same.
Peru Surpasses 1 Million Covid Cases
Peru surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, health officials said on Tuesday, as concerns about a potential second wave of infections began to grow in the hard-hit Andean nation.
Full Lockdown Considered in Scotland
In Scotland, the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has warned she may have to introduce full lockdown measures across the country in the coming days to contain the faster-spreading Covid variant, which has already led to Wales bringing forward a countrywide lockdown from last Sunday and Northern Ireland announcing a six-week lockdown from Boxing Day.
1,092 New Corona Cases in South Korea
South Korea reported 1,092 new coronavirus cases as of midnight on Tuesday, the second-highest since the start of the pandemic, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Wednesday.
Wednesday 23rd December
Antarctica Has Reportedly Recorded Its First Confirmed Cases
07:20 The 36 new infections are among people stationed at a Chilean research base and include 26 members of the Chilean army and 10 maintenance workers.
Taiwan Reports First Locally Transmitted Case Since 12 April
Taiwan’s government on Tuesday reported its first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 since 12 April. The individual who tested positive for Covid-19 was a friend of a person who had already been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told a news conference.
The US Government Reviews Conditions of Travel from the UK
The US government is considering requiring that all passengers travelling from the United Kingdom receive a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure as a condition of entry, airline and US officials briefed on the matter said Monday.
Virgin Atlantic to Require Negative Covid Test
Starting on December 24, the airline Virgin Atlantic will require proof of a negative coronavirus test for all passengers travelling from London to the US, the company announced.
The Vatican Urges Catholics to Get Vaccinated
The Vatican has urged Catholics to get vaccinated against coronavirus and said it is ‘morally acceptable’ to take vaccines that use cell lines from aborted foetuses. Cells derived from foetuses aborted decades ago have been used by some researchers working on vaccines against Covid-19.
Ontario Announced Province-Wide Shutdown
Ontario on Monday announced a province-wide shutdown because of a second wave of Covid-19 in Canada’s most populous province. The lockdown will be put in place for southern Ontario from 26 December until Jan. 23 but will be lifted for northern Ontario on 9 January. Ontario has had seven straight days of more than 2,000 cases a day.
Japan’s Prime Minister Said No Need to Enter State of Emergency
Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga reiterated on Tuesday that there was no need for Japan to enter a national state of emergency, even as health groups declared their own state of emergency for the medical system as coronavirus infection rates continue to rise.
Further Closures to Winter Tourist Spots in South Korea to Evade the Third Wave
South Korea on Tuesday moved to shut down all ski resorts and winter tourist spots in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus spreading as a third wave of the pandemic proves much tougher to contain in the densely populated region of the capital city.
Australian State of New South Wales Reports 8 New Cases
In the Australian state of New South Wales, where residents are on edge as they await health restrictions, or the easing thereof, amid a new outbreak happening just before Christmas, were eight new cases today, which is down from 15 yesterday.
Tuesday 22nd December
Boris Johnson Will Convene Crisis Talks
07:30 Boris Johnson will hold crisis talks with ministers after France banned lorries carrying freight from the UK and countries around the world ended flights amid fears over the new mutant coronavirus strain.
Nations Ban and Increase Curbs on Travel from the UK
A growing number of European and other nations have banned travel from the UK in a bid to stop a mutant strain of coronavirus crossing their borders. The list includes France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Sweden, Croatia and the Netherlands which have all said they will halt flights arriving from the UK.
Moreover, all three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have halted all passenger flights from the UK. Lithuania will still allow flights to depart for the UK, while Estonia and Latvia have halted those as well. Latvia has also banned bus and ferry passenger traffic to and from the UK. The bans will go into effect Monday and last until the end of the year.
More Countries Suspend and Limit Air Travel from Britain
Colombia, Turkey, Morocco, Kuwait and Iran have all temporarily suspended flights from Britain due to the high-risk factor of the new Corona strain. Additionally, Canada, the Czech Republic and Chile have imposed stricter quarantine measures for people arriving from Britain.
Britain and Other Countries Affected by New Curbs
Israel has said it was barring entry to foreign citizens travelling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa. Also, El Salvador’s President announced that anyone who had been in Britain or South Africa in the past 30 days will not be allowed to enter the country. Furthermore, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that Saudi Arabia is also suspending international flights for one week.
South Korea Sees Highest Daily Corona Deaths
South Korea recorded its highest daily death toll from the coronavirus, health authorities said on Monday, as a surge in infections strains the health system and prompted police raids on venues suspected of violating social distancing rules. As of midnight Sunday, there were 24 additional deaths, bringing the country’s total to 698, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. Seoul and surrounding areas will ban most gatherings of five people or more later this week.
US Congress Agree on $900 Billion Aid Package
The US congressional leaders have reached agreement on a $900 billion package to provide the first new aid in months to an economy hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, the Senate’s top Republican and Democrat said on Sunday, but it remained unclear when Congress would vote to seal the deal.
Thailand Conducts Thousands of Covid-19 Tests
Thailand is testing tens of thousands of people for Covid-19 after an outbreak at a shrimp market led to the biggest surge in cases in the country, which had appeared to have almost eradicated the virus.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches Endure Corona Cluster
In Australia Sydney’s northern beaches coronavirus cluster has spread across the city, with transmission events recorded in the CBD, north shore and inner-west. However, authorities in New South Wales are continuing to defend their decision to allow mask use to be voluntary, as the cluster centred in the locked-down northern beaches grows by 15 to a total of 83 cases after a record 38,578 Sydney-siders were tested on Sunday.
Monday 21st December
UK Restrictions Predicted to Last until February
08:00 Tough coronavirus restrictions are expected to be in place across much of the UK until at least February, experts have said, as they warned of a ‘harsh’ two to three months ahead.
British GP’s Extend Vials to Six Doses Not Five
General practitioners in Britain have been given new guidance allowing them to use Pfizer Inc’s extra Covid-19 vaccine doses ‘at their discretion’, NHS England said, with the development coming a day after US regulators issued similar guidance. Every vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was expected to include five doses, but GPs found it was possible to make six doses out of the vials.
Before Lunar New Year China Plans to Vaccinate 50 Million
China is planning to vaccinate 50 million people in the high-priority group against the coronavirus before the start of the peak lunar new year travel season early next year, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday. Beijing is planning to distribute 100m doses of the vaccines made by Chinese firms Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the report said.
Africa Confronts Second Wave of COVID-19
The continent’s most-hit nations are again having to contemplate stringent public health measures. New cases are emerging in East Africa, in northern and southern Africa, but the trend in West Africa is a decline.
French President Tests Positive for Corona
Emmanuel Macron ‘very likely’ infected with Covid-19 during EU council. The French president tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting a track-and-trace effort across Europe following numerous meetings between the French leader and EU heads of government in recent days.
Six-Week Lockdown in Northern Ireland Will Start from Boxing Day
Northern Ireland is preparing for a sweeping lockdown and the deployment of paramedics from the Republic of Ireland in an effort to control Covid-19. Health officials on Thursday proposed a six-week lockdown and approved a plan to reinforce the ambulance service with units from across the border.
Daily Colombian Corona Infections Reach Highest since August
Colombia’s daily confirmed cases of coronavirus reached their highest level since mid-August on Thursday, as the government warned people against large holiday gatherings.
King of Sweden Blasts ‘Failed’ Coronavirus Response
The king has said the country has failed in its response to Covid-19, as hospitals in the Stockholm region warned they were struggling to cope with a surge in cases and polls showed public confidence in the authorities had plunged to a new low.
The US Surpasses 17m COVID-19 Infections as Vaccines Are Distributed
The US on Thursday surpassed a total of 17m coronavirus cases, with infections rising by more than a million a week during the early winter surge – while at the start of the year it took three months for the US to accumulate its first million cases.
Friday 18th December
London Increased Restrictions to Tier 3
07:45 London on Wednesday moved into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions in an effort to control rising infection rates, dealing another blow to hospitality venues before Christmas. The British capital’s move into ‘tier 3’ means theatres, pubs, restaurants will have to close although takeaway food outlets can still operate.
Trump Will Definitely Motivate Americans to Vaccinate against Corona
Donald Trump will ‘absolutely’ encourage Americans to take the vaccine, says press secretary. The US President will certainly encourage Americans to take Covid-19 vaccines and will receive a vaccine himself as soon as his medical team determines its best, the White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has said.
Almost 25% of People Will Not Receive a Vaccine Until 2022
Nearly one in four people may not get Covid-19 vaccines until at least 2022 because rich countries with less than 15% of the global population have reserved 51% of the doses of the most promising vaccines, researchers said. Low- and middle-income countries, home to more than 85% of the world’s population, would have to share the remainder, said researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.
WHO Research Mission Planned to Arrive in Wuhan Next Month
A World Health Organization research mission to China is expected to arrive in Wuhan next month to investigate how the novel coronavirus jumped from animals to humans, and whether it emerged earlier or in a different place than originally thought.
India Corona Infections Deplete to Almost 25,000 a Day
India recorded 26,355 new coronavirus cases, data from the health ministry showed on Wednesday, making it the third straight day that daily infections in the country have stayed below 30,000. India has recorded 9.93m infections so far, the second-highest in the world after the United States, but daily numbers have dipped steadily since hitting a peak of about 97,000 in mid-September.
Instant Covid-19 Tests Given Emergency Approval in the US
A rapid, over-the-counter Covid-19 test developed by Australian firm Ellume has been given emergency approval in the US. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Brisbane-based company’s 20-minute Covid-19 Home Test on Tuesday as the US battles the virus that has infected 16.5 million people and killed more than 300,000 people in the country.
South Korea Reports New Record Corona Infections
South Korea reports record 1,078 new cases. South Korea has reported 1,078 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national total to 45,442. The death toll has risen by 12, bringing the total to 612. The new case total is the highest since the start of the pandemic. There were only three critical care beds left in the greater Seoul area with a nearly 26 million population, officials said.
Swedish PM Says Officials Misjudged Power of First Wave of Covid
Health officials in Sweden, which opted not to respond to the first wave of Covid-19 with a national lockdown, misjudged the power of the virus’s resurgence, the country’s prime minister has said, as independent commission criticised the country’s strategy.
New Zealand Shows Greater Economic Recovery Than Predicted
The country is expected to bounce back sooner from the impact of Covid-19 than previously thought, but large deficits and rising debt levels will have a lasting effect on the economy, the government said on Wednesday. The country’s treasury department predicted the budget deficit for the 2020/21 fiscal year to be NZ$21.58bn, NZ$10.1bn smaller than forecasts made in September.
Wednesday 16th December
Dutch Prime Minister Announces Five-Week Lockdown
07:10 Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte imposed a tough new five-week nationwide lockdown Monday, saying schools, nonessential shops, museums and gyms will close down at midnight until 19 January. “We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better,” a sombre Rutte said in a televised address to the nation.
New Strain of Corona Detected in England
A new strain of coronavirus that has shown up in England’s genomic surveillance in the past two months may have spread the virus in the South of England. The strain contains a number of different mutations and has been detected in parts of the south where cases of the virus are rising fastest, according to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.
Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Documents Accessed by Hackers
Moderna Inc said on Monday it was informed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) certain documents related to pre-submission talks of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate were unlawfully accessed in a cyberattack on the medicines regulator.
South Korean Prime Minister Beseeched Residents to Observe Social Distance Rules
South Korea’s Prime Minister pleaded with residents on Tuesday to abide by social distancing rules to avoid even greater restrictions in the face of the country’s largest wave of coronavirus infections. Daily infection rates are hovering at record levels with another 880 new cases reported as of midnight Monday, up from 718 a day earlier, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
Canada Began Inoculation Corona Campaign on Monday
Canada kicked off its inoculation campaign against Covid-19 on Monday by injecting frontline healthcare workers and elderly nursing home residents, becoming just the third nation in the world to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Singapore Plans to Open Business Travel for all Countries in January
Singapore will open a new segregated travel lane for a limited number of businesses, official and high economic value travellers from all countries, the government said on Tuesday, as part of efforts to revive its key travel and hospitality sectors.
Record Number of Journalists Imprisoned During 2020
A record number of journalists were imprisoned during 2020, as governments cracked down on coverage of the coronavirus pandemic or tried to suppress reporting of civil unrest, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Tuesday.
Tuesday 15th December
Trump Postpones Scheduled Vaccine for Himself
08:30 After reports that Trump and other White House staff would be offered the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, the US president said he was not scheduled to receive the vaccine, tweeting: “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!” Although Trump has had coronavirus, his taking it is meant to instil confidence in Americans that the vaccine is safe.
London mayor Stated the Surge in Cases Is ’Deeply Concerning’
The surge in coronavirus cases across London is ‘deeply concerning’ and requires further government action to be brought under control, Sadiq Khan has said. He wrote to Boris Johnson on Sunday requesting for an immediate increase in Covid-19 testing provision across the capital in response to the rising number of infections.
Vaccination Clinics Will Begin across England from Monday
Vaccination clinics run by family doctors will begin across England from Monday but people have been warned that a rise in cases after Christmas socialising could disrupt the rollout of protective jabs. GP practices in more than 100 locations will have the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine delivered to them on Monday, with some offering vaccinations within hours.
A Sad Milestone Is Being Reached in the US, 300,000 Corona Deaths
The US is on the brink of marking the sad milestone of 300,000 dead from coronavirus in just under a year. The US death toll, a fifth of the global total, stands at 299,168, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Dutch May Add Stricter Measures against Corona
The Dutch government will decide on stricter measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands on Monday, as the country reported the biggest rise in infections in more than six weeks.
Bahrain Approves Vaccine Developed by Sinopharm
Bahrain has approved a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and launched online registration for the vaccine for citizens and residents. Citizens and residents above 18 years of age could register online to receive the vaccine for free.
Algeria’s President Announced He Is Recovering from Covid
Algeria’s president Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said he is recovering from Covid-19, in his first televised appearance since he was treated in a German hospital almost two months ago.
Monday 14th December
FDA Panel Approves Pfizer Vaccine
07:35 A panel of outside advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted overwhelmingly to recommend emergency-use authorization of a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner, BioNTech SE.
Canada May Begin Adminstrering Vaccinations Any Day
Canada on Wednesday approved the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE and vaccinations are expected to start next week with high-risk people such as healthcare workers receiving the first doses.
Carbon Emissions Are Expected to Rebound in 2021
Greenhouse gas emissions, which plunged by a record amount this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, are set to rebound next year as restrictions are lifted further and governments strive to return their economies to growth, according to a global study.
Advisor to Biden Utters Tough Christmas Warning
A top coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden delivered a stern holiday message to Americans on Thursday ‘no Christmas parties’ and warned they face a Covid-19 siege for weeks to come despite the latest moves toward US government approval of a vaccine.
South Korea Deploys Military to Assist Health Workers
South Korea will mobilise military forces in the capital Seoul to help frontline health workers deal with a surge in coronavirus, with 689 new cases reported on Friday, and as the death toll and number of patients in critical care rose.
Mexican Health Advisers Review Pfizer Vaccine
An advisory committee for Mexican health regulator Cofepris will review Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine application on Friday, a health official said, as the country registered another 11,897 coronavirus cases and 671 more deaths.
Friday 11th December
Only 50% of Americans Will Take the Vaccine
07:30 A survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows about a quarter of US adults are uncertain if they want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Roughly, another quarter of US citizens say they refuse to take it.
Chinese Journalist Goes on Hunger Strike
A citizen journalist detained for more than six months after reporting on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has had a feeding tube forcibly inserted and her arms restrained to stop her pulling it out, her lawyer has claimed. Zhang Zhan, a 37-year-old former lawyer, has been on a hunger strike at a detention facility near Shanghai. Zhang was arrested in May and accused of ‘picking quarrels and stirring up trouble’, an accusation frequently used against critics and activists inside China, after reporting on social media and streaming accounts. Last month she was formally indicted on charges of spreading false information.
The US Death Toll Reaches New Peak
The US to confirm a new record daily death toll on Wednesday. It looks like the US will again confirm a record new death toll on Wednesday, for the first time exceeding 3,000 deaths, higher than the toll of 9/11, in 24 hours. The Guardian relies on Johns Hopkins for official data, and they have not yet posted 9 December’s toll, but the Washington Post, New York Times and Covid-tracking Project’s figures each suggest that it will be a record day.
South Africa Enduring Second Corona Wave
South Africa now experiencing Covid-19 ‘second wave’, the health minister declared Wednesday. “As it stands as a country we now meet that criteria,” Zweli Mkhize said in a statement, as the country registered nearly 7,000 new cases in the last day. The country now counts 828,598 infections after 6,709 new cases were detected between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Australia Scientists Developed Rapid Method to Reduce Further Outbreaks
Australian scientists said on Thursday they had developed a rapid genome sequencing method that would cut to within four hours the time taken to trace the source of coronavirus cases, helping to quickly contain any future outbreaks.
Japan Hits New Record Case Numbers
Japan has reported a record daily number of coronavirus cases, prompting health experts to urge people not to travel in the run-up to the New Year holidays. The country reported 2,811 new infections on Wednesday, as well as a record 555 people with serious Covid-19 symptoms, the Kyodo news agency said.
Thursday 10th December
Some Low Income Countries Will Have Limited Quantity of Vaccines
07:30 Nine out of 10 people in 70 low-income countries are unlikely to be vaccinated against Covid-19 next year because the majority of the most promising vaccines coming on-stream have been bought up by the west, campaigners have said.
US Corona Infections Crossed 15 Million
Record cases in at least three states – Arizona, Alabama and Ohio – pushed the cumulative caseload to over 15 million, according to a Reuters tally of state and county data.
UK Chief Scientific Adviser Warns Masks May Still Be Needed Post Vaccine
UK’s Science Chief warned Britons may still need masks next winter. People in the United Kingdom may still be wearing face masks in a year’s time despite the country’s national vaccination programme getting underway, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, told the Telegraph. “It may be that next winter even with vaccination we need measures such as masks in place,” he said.
Rudy Guiliani Predicted to Leave Hospital Today
The US President Donald Trump’s lawyer said he is feeling better after contracting Covid-19 and expects to leave the hospital on Wednesday.
South Korea Reports Its Second-Highest Rate of Infections
South Korea reported 686 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as it battles the third wave of infection that is threatening to overwhelm its medical system. The daily tally was the second-highest since the start of the pandemic, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. New cases have been consistently around 600 over the past week.
Thailand Increases Security Measures: Infected Cross Border Undetected
Thailand will deploy drones and increase military patrols along its border with Myanmar following a small cluster of cases linked to people crossing undetected into the country. At least 19 cases of the coronavirus have been linked to people passing over the border without undergoing mandatory quarantine. Health workers have raced to trace hundreds of contacts, while some schools have also been closed as a precaution.
Wednesday 9th December
WHO Advises Motivating Citizens to Vaccine Opposed to Enforcing
08:00 The World Health Organization said Monday that persuading people on the merits of a Covid-19 vaccine would be far more effective than trying to make the jabs mandatory. The WHO said it would be down to individual countries as to how they want to conduct their vaccination campaigns against the coronavirus pandemic.
UK Administering First Doses
The UK is set to administer the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday, with the NHS giving top priority to people over the age of 80, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents.
Hong Kong Will Impose New Virus Curbs
Hong Kong will ban evening dining at restaurants and close fitness centres, the city’s leader said Tuesday, as part of new measures aimed at stemming the fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the rules aim to reduce the “number of people on the streets”, echoing moves taken by authorities when cases spiked earlier this year.
South Korea Ordered Vaccines for 44 Million Citizens
According to Yonhap, South Korea has secured 64 million doses for 44 million people (three of the vaccines need two shots). Vaccines for 34 million will come directly from the drugmakers and 10 million via the WHO. The vaccines ordered are sufficient to cover 88% of the population.
Trump Will Sign Executive Order to Prioritise Vaccine for US Citizens
US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to ensure that priority access for Covid-19 vaccines is given to the American people, for doses procured by the US government, before assisting other nations, senior administration officials said on Monday.
Armed Police Raided Florida Scientist’s Home over Covid-19 Data
Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist embroiled in a dispute with the state’s Republican governor over the handling of coronavirus figures, had her home raided on Monday by armed police who confiscated her computers.
India Reported Lowest Daily Infections Since 10 July
India reported 26,567 new coronavirus infections, data from the health ministry showed on Tuesday, the lowest daily increase since July 10. Daily cases have been falling in India since hitting a peak in September. The country has 9.7 million cases, the second-highest caseload in the world after the United States. Deaths rose by 385, the health ministry said, with the total now at 140,958.
Tuesday 8th December
The UK Plans to Administer First Vaccine on Tuesday
07:15 Britain is set to administer the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, with the NHS giving top priority to vaccinating the over-80s, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine needs to be kept at -70C (-94F) and only lasts five days in a regular fridge. For that reason, it will first be administered in 50 hospitals. About 800,000 doses are expected to be available within the first week.
Guiliani Tested Positive for Corona
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to Donald Trump, has been admitted to hospital following the announcement by Trump on Twitter that Giuliani had tested positive for coronavirus. CNN, the New York Times and the ABC, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, report that Giuliani has been admitted to Georgetown University Hospital.
Biden Chooses New Health Roles
President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra to be his Health Secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration’s coronavirus response. If confirmed by the Senate, Becerra, 62, will be the first Latino to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Biden is also expected to nominate Rochelle Walensky, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, to run the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the decision.
First International Passenger Flight in Melbourne in Months
In Australia, the city of Melbourne has welcomed its first international passenger flight in five months, an arrival that will test the state of Victoria’s revamped hotel quarantine system. Australia has since March closed its borders to non-citizens, but airports serving Victoria’s capital stopped accepting any arrivals in late June after an outbreak of Covid-19 that began at two hotels where arrivals were quarantining.
South Korea See Triple-Digit Daily Covid-19 Increases
South Korea reported 615 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said, capping a month of triple-digit daily increases that have driven the nation’s largest wave of infections in nine months. Monday’s total was down slightly from Sunday when the agency reported 631 new cases, the largest daily tally since a peak in February and early March.
Public Support of Japan’s New Prime Minister Plummets
The public support for Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has plummeted over the past month amid mounting criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. A new poll by the Kyodo news agency shows support for his cabinet at 50.3%, down 13 percentage points from a month earlier. Disapproval rose from 19.2% to 32.6%.
India Is seeking Emergency Authorisation Use of AstraZeneca’s Vaccine
The Serum Institute of India has sought emergency use authorisation from India’s drug regulator for AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, according to several reports in Indian media, citing the Press Trust of India. It applied to the Drugs Controller General of India, citing unmet medical needs due to the pandemic and in the interest of the public at large, the agency report said, citing official sources. The Serum Institute was not immediately available to Reuters request for comment.
Indonesia Receives Vaccine from China
Indonesia received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine from China on Sunday, President Joko Widodo said, as the government prepares a mass inoculation programme. The vaccine still needs to be evaluated by the country’s food and drug agency while his administration prepares to distribute it across the vast archipelago of 270 million people, Jokowi said.
Monday 7th December
Joe Biden Will Join Ex-Presidents to Take Vaccine Publicly
07:30 Joe Biden, the President-elect, joins ex-presidents in a pledge to take the vaccine. Biden told CNN during an interview on Thursday that he would be happy to get his vaccine publicly to encourage people to follow suit, following Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton’s pledges to do the same. Additionally, Biden has told CNN that it was his ‘inclination’ that, on his inauguration, he would ask the public to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration to help drive down the spread of the virus. Biden said he would issue an order for masks to be worn inside federal buildings and in transportation facilities.
WHO Review Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates
The World Health Organization said it was considering introducing electronic vaccination certificates, as hopes for an end to the pandemic were boosted after Britain became the first country to approve the use of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Tighter Corona Restrictions for Seoul
Seoul to shut down most establishments at 9 pm to contain coronavirus. South Korea’s capital Seoul will require most establishments to close at 9 pm each day after South Korea reported 629 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number in nine months. Of the new cases, 295 were from capital Seoul alone.
Moderna Inc Prepares over 100 Million Experimental Corona Vaccine Doses
Moderna Inc said on Thursday it expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine available globally in the first quarter of 2021. The company said 85 million to 100 million of those doses would be available in the United States, with 15 million to 25 million available outside the country.
Dr Fauci Apologises to UK Drug Regulator
America’s leading infectious diseases scientist, Anthony Fauci, has apologised for implying that he thought Britain’s drug regulator had rushed through its coronavirus vaccine approval. His comments came a day after Britain became the first country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for general use, prompting some scepticism among European neighbours and suggestions of politicisation.
Costa Rica Signed up for 3 Million Vaccines for Next Year
Costa Rica has signed an agreement with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE for the manufacture and delivery of 3 million Covid-19 vaccines next year, the office of President Carlos Alvarado said on Thursday.
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India Reporting Fewer Covid-19 Infections
India’s daily coronavirus cases rose by less than 40,000 for the fifth straight day, health ministry data showed on Friday, with 36,595 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. India’s daily rate has fallen since the south Asian nation reported the world’s highest such tallies through most of August and September, despite a busy festival season last month that experts had warned could trigger a spike in infections.
Friday 4th December
Global Corona Totals
07:15 Meanwhile, the global Covid death toll is nearing 1.5m, with 1,488,992. Currently, the world is regularly suffering more than 10,000 deaths per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. There are 64.3m cases worldwide.
CDC Warns of Coronavirus Surge This Winter
CDC Chief warns Americans that they will face ‘rough’ winter from Covid-19 surge. The Head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Wednesday the Covid-19 pandemic, still raging with unprecedented fury nationwide, will pose the country’s grimmest health crisis yet over the next few months, before vaccines become widely available. Currently, the US is suffering the highest daily deaths since April, having recorded 2,597 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University. This is its worst toll since 15 April and its second-worst toll of the pandemic so far.
Agricultural Workers Contract Covid-19 Rapidly
California’s agricultural workers have contracted Covid-19 at nearly three times the rate of other residents in the state, a new study has found, laying bare the risks facing those who keep a $50bn industry afloat. Farmworkers have been deemed ‘essential’ and thus continued to work throughout the duration of the pandemic.
More Vaccines on Route to the US
Eli Lilly and Co said on Wednesday the US government has purchased 650,000 additional doses of its Covid-19 antibody drug for $812.5 million. The doses will be delivered through 31 January, with at least 350,000 delivered in December, the company said. The drug has been authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, and the government bought 300,000 doses in October.
Health Safety Inspections on Businesses Added to China’s Curbs
China is carrying out sweeping inspections on food importers, supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and restaurants to prevent the spread of coronavirus through imported cold chain products, the country’s market regulator said on Wednesday.
South Korean Pharmaceutical Company Awaits Approval of Covid-19 Vaccine
South Korean drugmaker, Daewoong Pharma said on Thursday it had sought regulatory approval for Phase II trials of its anti-parasite niclosamide drug to treat Covid-19 patients, sending its shares up nearly 6%.
Further Outbreaks of Coronavirus in South Africa
Localised coronavirus outbreaks in parts of South Africa have raised fears that the country could see a resurgence in cases compounded by gatherings during the upcoming festive season. Officials in Africa’s hardest virus-hit country are scrambling to contain infections after a flare-up was reported in the impoverished Eastern Cape province and adjacent Western Cape province last month.
French President Dies from Covid-19 Causes
Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing died on Wednesday from complications linked to Covid-19, his foundation said. Giscard was admitted to hospital in September with respiratory problems. He recovered but was re-admitted in mid-November. He was 94.
Emergency Approval of Covid-19 Vaccines in Brazil
Brazil opens a route for emergency approval of Covid-19 vaccines and outlined the requirements for companies looking to do so. Authorisations will be analysed on a case-by-case basis and that to be considered the vaccine must be in late-stage trials in Brazil. It said no requests had been received so far.
UK Vaccinations Start Next Week
Covid vaccinations will begin next week, says Boris Johnson. Mass immunisation against coronavirus will begin next week, UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday as he moved to defuse a diplomatic row over claims that Brexit was responsible for the fast-track approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Thursday 3rd December
Discord in the UK House of Commons over Tier System
08:30 In the UK, Boris Johnson suffered his worst-ever House of Commons rebellion on Tuesday night, as 55 Conservative MPs opposed the government’s new coronavirus tier system. The UK’s month-long lockdown ends on Wednesday, 2 December. England’s new three-tier system comes into effect on 2 December. Non-essential shops in all areas can reopen, as can gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses, with the formal instruction to stay at home at an end. The ‘rule of six’ will again apply for outdoor gatherings in all areas.
100,000 Corona Cases Plus Per Day in November in the US
The US reported more than 100,000 cases a day in November, Johns Hopkins data shows, as it heads into a festive season marked by surging hospitalisations. Moreover, a US government panel on Tuesday formally recommended early doses of Covid-19 vaccines be given first to healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents in the US, generally seen as people who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Furthermore, the US CDC will soon shorten the length of self-quarantine recommended after potential exposure to the coronavirus to 10 days, or 7 days with a negative test, a federal spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Mexico Will Sign Coronavirus Contract with Pfizer
Mexico’s government was due to sign a contract on Wednesday with pharmaceutical company Pfizer for the delivery of its coronavirus vaccine, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday. Pfizer has submitted the details about its vaccine to Mexico’s health regulator, Cofepris, and the country’s foreign minister last month said the government expects the vaccine to reach Mexico in December.
India’s Corona Infections Decreasing
India’s daily coronavirus cases continued to stay below the 50,000 mark for the 25th straight day, with 36,604 new infections reported, data from the health ministry showed on Wednesday. The country now has 9.5 million total infections, but cases have been dipping since a peak in September, in spite of a busy festival season last month.
Wednesday 2nd December
Dr Scott Atlas, Special Adviser to US President, Has Resigned
07:20 Dr Scott Atlas has resigned as special adviser to President Donald Trump, a White House official said on Monday, after a controversial four months during which he clashed repeatedly with other members of the coronavirus task force. “I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the President of the United States,” Atlas said in a letter to Trump dated 1 December, according to Fox News, which first reported his resignation.
Corona Vaccine Could Be Authorised and Shipped to the US in December
US Health Secretary Alex Azar said Pfizer Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine could be authorized and shipped within days of a 10 December meeting of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration tasked with reviewing trial data and recommending whether it warrants approval. The US may begin vaccinations before Christmas. After a Thanksgiving weekend when the number of people travelling through US airports reached its highest since mid-March, a top government official said on Monday some Americans could begin receiving coronavirus vaccinations before Christmas.
China Shares Experimental Corona Vaccine with North Korean Leader
China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a US analyst said on Tuesday, citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources. Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, said the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated. It was unclear which company had supplied its drug candidate to the Kims and whether it had proven to be safe, he added.
WHO to Identify Covid-19 Origins
WHO says ‘will do everything’ to find Covid-19 origins. The World Health Organization insisted Monday it would do everything possible to find the animal origins of Covid-19, insisting that knowledge was vital to preventing future outbreaks. “We want to know the origin and we will do everything to know the origin,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
Vietnam’s First Corona Transmission in 3 Months
Vietnam reported its first local transmission of Covid-19 in nearly three months on Monday, with officials scrambling to prevent a wider outbreak in the country’s most populous city.
The World Tourism Organisation Spurs on Corona Uniformity
UN tourism body urges uniformity in virus travel rules. The World Tourism Organisation called Monday for the standardisation of traveller health checks and the establishment of air corridors to ease international travel during the pandemic. The call came at a conference in Spain’s Canary Islands as the global tourism industry reels from a year in which travel restrictions to slow the coronavirus pandemic have decimated the sector.
Tuesday 1st December
US Experts Predict Higher Corona Infections after Thanksgiving
07:30 The US top infectious disease expert said on Sunday that the country may see “surge upon a surge” of coronavirus cases in the weeks after Thanksgiving, and he does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas. Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported a total 13,142,997 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 143,333 from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,210 to 265,166.
Pandemic Fears Effect Sri Lanka’s Overcrowded Prisons
Six inmates were killed and 35 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said. Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities.
China Showing Economic Improvement
China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November, while growth in the services sector also hit a multi-year high, as the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus stepped up, Reuters reports.
Japan Battles Third Wave of Infections
Japan’s serious cases reach record levels. In Japan, the number of Covid-19 patients with serious symptoms has reached record levels, as the country battles the third wave of infections. The number of people with severe symptoms rose to 462 on Sunday, the health ministry said, which is an increase of 22 from the previous day.
Lebanon Easing Restrictions
Lebanon will begin to slowly relax coronavirus restrictions imposed two weeks ago from Monday, as it looks to boost its struggling economy ahead of Christmas.
Turkey’s Daily Death Toll Hits Record Figures
Turkey’s daily coronavirus death toll hit a record high for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday, with 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The WHO Delivers Ventilators to Gaza
The WHO delivered 15 ventilators to hospitals in Gaza on Sunday as the Palestinian territory suffered a rise in Covid-19 infections.
Monday 30th November
The Brazilian President States Clearly Spurns Vaccine
Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro has said he will not take a coronavirus vaccine, the latest in a series of statements he has made expressing skepticism toward coronavirus vaccination programs. “I’m telling you, I’m not going to take it. It’s my right.”
Germany Hits 1 Million Covid-19 Infections
07:45 Germany has surpassed 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, recording another 22,806 cases in the past 24 hours.
South Korea Thwarts North Korea’s Hacking Attempts into Vaccine Companies
South Korea’s intelligence agency foiled North Korean attempts to hack into South Korean companies developing coronavirus vaccines, a member of a parliamentary intelligence committee was quoted as saying. It follows revelations last week, that hackers working for the Russian and North Korean governments have tried to break into the networks of seven pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in South Korea, Canada, France, India and the United States.
AstraZeneca Intends a Further Trial of Its Vaccine.
The company, which is developing a treatment with Oxford University, is working with regulators to investigate a lower dosage of its vaccine that performed better than a full dosage.
Curbs Tightening Post UK Lockdown
Almost all of England’s 55 million population faces tough post-lockdown restrictions. Tough new tier-based curbs will affect 99% of people in England when the national lockdown ends next week, prompting a furious backlash from MPs.
Trump Announced Vaccine Deliveries Begin Next Week
US President Donald Trump claims deliveries of a vaccine would begin next week. Speaking to US troops overseas via video link to mark the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said the vaccine would initially be sent to frontline workers, medical personnel and senior citizens.
28 Days and No New Corona Cases in Victoria, Australia
The Australian state of Victoria has achieved ‘Covid’ elimination. The state had an almost three-month lockdown to contain a second-wave outbreak but has now had 28 days without one new case.
France Corona Infections Drop in the Fourth Week of Lockdown
France reported 13,563 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, compared with 16,282 on Wednesday and 21,150 a week ago, suggesting the spread of the virus continued to slow in the fourth week of a national lockdown.
Croatia Reaches Record High Covid Case Numbers
Croatia will close cafes and restaurants and ban weddings until Christmas as the number of coronavirus cases hit a record high for the second day in a row, the government said. The country of 4 million reported 4,009 new cases and 51 deaths on Thursday, with 21,725 active cases.
Friday 27th November
Germany Lengthens Partial Lockdown
Germany reported 410 deaths in 24 hours. This is the worst such toll since the pandemic began. As a consequence to these recent increases, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors on Wednesday agreed to extend a partial shutdown well into December in an effort to further reduce the rate of Covid-19 infections ahead of the Christmas period.
Highest Corona Cases in South Korea since March
South Korea has reported its highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since March, despite the recent introduction of stricter social distancing measures in Seoul and other virus hotspots. The country reported 583 infections on Thursday, the first time they had topped 500 since 6 March.
CDC Gauges 12.5% of Corona Infections Reported
CDC estimates only 1 in 8 infections caught. A new government report says the US is still missing nearly eight coronavirus infections for every one counted. By the end of September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that as many as 53 million Americans had been infected. That is just under eight times the confirmed cases reported at the time. Previously, the CDC estimated that one of every 10 infections were being missed.
Sicily Has Requested Health Operators from Cuba
Authorities in Sicily asked Cuba’s government to send to the region about 60 health operators, including doctors and nurses, as hospitals are struggling with a shortage of medical personnel during the second wave. The request was filed this week to the Italian embassy in Cuba and consists of intensive care specialists, nurses, anaesthetists, resuscitators, virologists and pulmonologists, the Italian newspaper la Republica reported.
1.5 Million Cases Reported in 7 Days in The Americas
The Americas reported more than 1.5m cases in the last seven days; the highest weekly number since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization regional branch PAHO said. The rapid surge of infections in the US continued and cases accelerated in countries of North, Central and South America, PAHO said. In Canada, infections were rising particularly among the elderly and indigenous communities.
Iran Reaches Its Highest Daily Corona Infections
Iran recorded its worst daily caseload, with the health ministry reporting 13,843 new infections. That pushed the national tally to 894,385 in the Middle East’s worst-hit country. The ministry’s spokeswoman, Sima Sadat Lari, told state TV the death toll rose by 469 in 24 hours to 46,207.
Thursday 26th November
England’s Corona Test and Trace System Fails
Test and trace fails to contact 110,000 in English Covid hot spots. The British government’s £22bn test-and-trace system has failed to reach more than 100,000 people exposed to coronavirus in England’s worst-hit areas since the second wave began, official figures show, with four in 10 not asked to self-isolate.
The French Will Ease Lockdown Restrictions from This Weekend
French president says lockdown to ease starting this weekend. In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced a three-stage easing of the country’s month-long lockdown, beginning this weekend with the reopening of “non-essential” businesses such as hairdressers and clothes shops, which will have to observe strict distancing rules and close at 9 pm.
CDC May Reduce Quarantine Period
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon shorten the length of self-quarantine period recommended after potential exposure to the coronavirus, a top official said on Tuesday. Health authorities currently recommend a 14-day quarantine in order to curb transmission of the virus but an official said Tuesday that there is evidence that the period could be shortened if patients are tested for the virus during their quarantine.
Ahmed Patel, a Member of India’s Congress Died from Corona on Wednesday
A senior leader of India’s Congress party died of coronavirus related complications on Wednesday, his family said, a second veteran from the opposition group to fall victim to the virus in recent days, as total cases in the country touched the 9.2 million mark. Ahmed Patel, a lawmaker who was party treasurer and was seen as close to the Gandhi family that leads the party, was detected with Covid-19 a month ago and died of multi-organ failure, his family said in a statement.
Wednesday 25th November
International Experts to Investigate Origins of Covid-19
07:15 International virus sleuths expected to go to China soon: WHO. The World Health Organization said Monday it had received reassurances from Beijing that international experts would soon be able to travel to China to help investigate the animal origins of Covid-19. “We fully expect and have reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that the trip to the field… will be facilitated, and as soon as possible,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual press briefing.
England Reduces Quarantine Time
England to cut quarantine period for arrivals from abroad. Travellers arriving in England from abroad face a shorter spell in quarantine from mid-December if they test negative for coronavirus five days after their arrival, the UK government announced Tuesday. It hopes the new rules will revive the ailing travel industry, particularly aviation, which has suffered a steep drop in ridership because of restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic.
Japan Covid-19 Cases See Sharp Rise
Japan’s government is preparing to pause its domestic travel campaign in two cities following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases, the minister handling the government’s coronavirus response said on Tuesday.
French Corona Infections Show Lowest Tally since September
Daily Covid-19 cases in France is near a two-month low. France reported 4,452 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, the lowest daily tally since 28 September, suggesting a second national lockdown is having an impact.
UK Inoculation Vaccine Target
The UK aims to inoculate those most at risk from Covid by Easter. The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, said he hoped almost all Britons at high risk from Covid-19 would be vaccinated against the disease by Easter. He also said people will not be forced to have vaccinations against Covid-19.
King Felipe of Spain Has Contracted Corona
Spain’s king self-isolating after virus contact. Spain’s King Felipe VI has started 10 days of quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who later tested positive for Covid-19, the palace said.
Gaza Covid-19 Infections Spiralling out of Control
The mounting number of coronavirus infections in densely populated Gaza is spinning out of control, Palestinian health officials warned. Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas official, said the health ministry “expects the worst if the epidemiological situation remains the same” citing “a health system at the end of its rope”, “severe drug shortages” and “extreme overcrowding”.
Tuesday 24th November
Almost 60m Corona Cases Worldwide
07:35 The global coronavirus infections total is currently 58,563,451, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. With daily totals averaging at around 600,000, the global infections total is likely to pass 60m this week. The global death toll now stands at 1,386,465.
Mayhem at Shanghai Airport due to Corona Testing
Chaos at Shanghai airport after sudden decision to test thousands. The Global Times reports that Shanghai Pudong airport has started testing thousands of staff and passengers after several cargo handlers tested positive for coronavirus. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and videos posted online appear to show people panicking as they are told they will all be tested for the virus.
South Korea Sees Increase in Covid-19 Infections
South Korea reported another daily rise of over 200 new coronavirus cases on Monday. This is a day before tighter social distancing rules are put into effect, which are aimed at blunting the third wave of infections. The daily tally of 271 new cases fell from 330 reported on Sunday after hovering above 300 for five straight days, a level not seen since August, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The UK Is Easing Isolation Rules
The UK government will announce on Monday that self-isolation will no longer be required for those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19, the Telegraph reported. Contacts of those who test positive will be asked to undergo daily tests for seven days, and will be allowed to go about their business in the meantime, the newspaper said.
Americans May Receive a Vaccine by 11th December
The first Americans could be vaccinated on 11 December. US Covid-19 vaccine programme head, Moncef Slaoui said the first Americans to receive a coronavirus vaccine could be as soon as 11 December, CNN reported on Sunday. “Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunisation sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11 or the 12 of December,” he said in an interview to CNN.
Germany Plans to Start Distributing Vaccines in December
Germany could start administering shots of Covid-19 vaccines as soon as next month Health Minister, Jens Spahn was quoted as saying. “There is reason to be optimistic that there will be approval for a vaccine in Europe this year,” Spahn said in an interview with the publishing group, RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. “And then we can start right away.”
NHS Making Preparations for Vaccine Administration
NHS told to be ready to administer vaccine by 1 December. Britain could give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine this week, even before the US authorises it, the Telegraph news site reported on Sunday. Citing government sources, it said British regulators were about to start a formal appraisal of the vaccine, made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, and that the National Health Service had been told to be ready to administer it by 1 December. The US Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it would meet on 10 December to discuss whether to authorise the vaccine.
Spain Will Deliver Vaccines from January
Spain will begin a comprehensive coronavirus vaccination programme in January and expects to have covered a substantial part of the population within three months, Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday. He said Spain and Germany were the first European Union countries to have a complete vaccination plan in place.
Monday 23rd November
9 Million Corona Cases Recorded in India
07:35 India has recorded more than 9 million coronavirus cases. The country added 45,882 new infections in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Friday, and now has 9,004,365 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker site, and 132,162 deaths.
Dr Fauci Returns to the White House
Dr Anthony Fauci, the US diseases expert, is back. After months of sparring with Donald Trump, the scientist spoke at a White House briefing again as the outbreak continues to spread rapidly. It is the only country with more cases than India, with the national total now on 11.72 million with 250,000 dead. California has imposed a curfew on most of its 40 million residents.
Mexico Has Fourth Highest Covid Mortality Rate
Mexico passed the 100,000 mark in Covid-19 deaths Thursday, becoming only the fourth country behind the United States, Brazil and India to do so.
EU Plans to Purchase 425 Million Corona Vaccine Doses
The EU will pay more than $10bn to secure 425m doses of vaccines being developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and CureVac, Reuters reports. The bloc has agreed to pay €15.50 euros ($18.34) per dose for the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, and slightly less for the Curevac treatment.
Close to a Million Chinese Took Covid-19 Vaccine in Trials
Almost a million people in China have taken an emergency Covid-19 vaccine that is still in its testing phase, the company Sinopharm has said.
WHO Warns against Remdesivir
Remdesivir should not be used in hospitals to treat Covid-19, the WHO has warned. Donald Trump tried to push the treatment and took it himself when he contracted Covid-19. But, the WHO says there is no evidence it works.
Friday 20th November
US Hospitals Struggle to Cope as Corona Deaths Reach 250,000
07:25 There are more than 76,000 people hospitalised with Covid in the US. Officials said hospitals were straining to cope with the volume of patients, but there was some hope that Republicans were beginning to pave the way for cooperation with president-elect Joe Biden as he tries to coordinate a response to the crisis. Amidst these challenges, 250,520 Americans have now died of the virus and there have been more than 11.5 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
New Corona Highs in Japan
Japan has recorded a record number of new daily coronavirus infections. The health ministry said it had found 2,179 new cases in the previous 24 hours. The capital, Tokyo, also recorded a new daily record as it went into its highest level of alert.
India on the Verge of 9 Million Covid-19 Cases
India has edged closer to 9 million cases. It added another 45,576 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total infections to 8.96 million, data from the health ministry said on Thursday.
England Plans Mass Vaccination
Mass vaccination planned in England. Britain’s National Health Service is assembling a huge team of retired doctors, nurses and physiotherapists to implement the country’s biggest ever mass vaccination programme.
New Record Corona Infections in Ukraine
Ukraine has also seen its highest ever daily infection total with a record of 13,357 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Turkey Intends to Purchase 20 Million Vaccines
Turkey plans to buy 20m doses of the Chinese vaccine. The government is also in talks to buy vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech, MPs were told on Thursday.
First Corona Case in Samoa
The Pacific nation of Samoa has recorded its first-ever case of Covid-19. Prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said that a sailor who had returned from New Zealand on a repatriation flight tested positive in a quarantine facility.
Corona Patient in Coma Gives Birth
A hospital doctor gave birth to twins while in a coronavirus coma. Perpetual Uke was 26 weeks pregnant when she was put in an induced coma in a hospital in Birmingham, but doctors delivered the babies by Caesarean.
Thursday 19th November
US States Backtrack to Earlier Policies of Recommending Wearing Masks
08:25 Several US states including Iowa have backtracked on earlier policies and recommended that people wear masks as cases in the US continue to spread. Senator Chuck Grassley, at 87 the oldest member of the US upper house, has become the latest high-profile figure in Washington to test positive.
Headteachers Concern over Corona May Lead to Resignations
Almost half the headteachers in England are considering quitting after the virus is brought under control, according to a union survey. It comes as 598 more people died on Tuesday within 28 days of testing positive for Covid 19, bringing the UK total to 52,745. This represents the highest daily increase since 12 May.
Tokyo Businesses May Be Required to Reduce Opening Hours
Businesses in Tokyo could be asked to shorten opening hours in order to contain a worsening outbreak of the virus that has seen cases in the Japanese capital reach a record daily high of 472 on Wednesday.
New Restrictions in Turkey to Curb Sharp Rise in Infections
Turkey is imposing fresh restrictions in the wake of a sharp rise in cases. Restaurants and cafes will be asked to close at 5 pm from Friday, and a partial lockdown will be imposed on the country at weekends.
Voluntary Corona Test Launched by British Airways
British Airways is to launch a voluntary coronavirus test for passengers travelling to the UK from three American airports. The airline said it will trial a testing regime, which will involve hundreds of travellers on particular routes from the US to Heathrow.
Six-Day Lockdown in South Australia
South Australia has imposed a six-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown to beat an outbreak of cases in the state’s capital, Adelaide. Most schools will be closed, as will universities, pubs, cafes and food courts.
Wednesday 18th November
China Reports New Corona Infections Originating from Overseas
06:30 Mainland China reported 15 new Covid-19 cases on 16 November, up from eight cases a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said in a statement all new cases were imported infections originating from overseas.
India’s Corona Figures Have Dropped Significantly
India’s daily cases fall to the lowest number since mid-July. Daily coronavirus infections in India fell to their lowest since mid-July, with 29,163 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 8.87 million, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
West Scotland Awaits Level 4 Restrictions
Parts of west Scotland braced for Level 4 restrictions, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to announce her decision on Tuesday. On Monday, Ms Sturgeon said at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing that rates in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas are ‘stubbornly high’.
Belgium Will Provide a Free Vaccine for its Citizens
Virus vaccine to be free in Belgium. The Belgian government said Monday it intends to make any coronavirus vaccine available to around 70% of the population, some eight million people, and free of charge. The jab will not be compulsory, added Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke as he and regional counterparts attended an interministerial health conference.
Indoor Gatherings Banned in Philadelphia
Philadelphia bans indoor gatherings. In one of the most aggressive actions taken in the US to confront the looming crisis, Philadelphia officials on Monday ordered a ban on “indoor gatherings of any size in any location, public or private,” except among individuals who live together.
California Reintroducing Corona Restrictions
California will dramatically roll back its reopening efforts, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday, saying he was pulling the “emergency brake” amid a troubling surge in cases. The changes, which take effect Tuesday, will see more than 94% of California’s population and most businesses across the state return to the most restrictive tier of rules aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
US Biotech Firm, Moderna States Vaccine Extremely Effective
The US biotech firm Moderna has claimed that its Covid-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to an interim analysis released on Monday and based on 95 patients with confirmed Covid infections. The company plans to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use authorisation.
Tuesday 17th November
More Pressure on The White House to Resolve the Presidency
07:15 The White House is coming under growing pressure to allow transition talks to begin amid a terrifying surge in coronavirus cases that is pushing hospital systems across the US to the brink of collapse. As Donald Trump insisted he would not concede defeat – despite tweeting that Biden “won” last week’s election – Ron Klain, Biden’s Chief of Staff, said on Sunday it was essential that a “seamless transition” begins quickly, given the severity of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson Potentially at Risk of Second Corona Infection
UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, is self-isolating after coming into contact with an MP who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, Downing Street said on Sunday. The prime minister was present at a 35-minute meeting with a small group of Conservative MPs on Thursday morning. One of them, Lee Anderson, subsequently developed symptoms of Covid-19 and has tested positive. Downing Street said the prime minister was ‘well” and insisted that No 10 was a Covid-secure workplace, but that test and trace had advised the prime minister that, because of factors including the length of the meeting, he should self-isolate as a precaution.
One Million New Corona Cases in a Week in the US
The US passed 11m coronavirus cases just one week after confirming its ten-millionth case. More than a million cases were recorded in the country over the last week, which saw four days in a row of world record infection totals. The current US total, according to Johns Hopkins University, is 11,003,469. At least 246,000 people have died in the country. The global case total is 54m and the death toll stands at 1.3m.
More New Techniques to Combat Corona in Michigan and Washington
Michigan and Washington on Sunday joined several other states in announcing renewed efforts to combat the coronavirus, and as many Americans prepare to observe a Thanksgiving holiday marked by the pandemic. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration ordered high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, closed restaurants to indoor dining and suspended organized sports — including the football playoffs — in an attempt to curb the state’s spiking case numbers. “We are at the precipice, and we need to take some action,” said Whitmer.
Corona Vaccine Testing Will Double in the UK
Covid-19 testing capacity in the UK is to be more than doubled, with major new laboratories to open early next year in a sign the government is planning for the pandemic to persist despite hopes for a number of vaccine candidates.
Retail Sales in China Showing Recovery Despite Corona
China’s retail sales continued a general recovery in October, official data showed Monday, on the back of a national holiday and policies aimed at boosting spending. Although China has largely brought the coronavirus under control, spending has been slower to recover as the world still grapples with the impact of the pandemic. Retail sales in the world’s second-largest economy rose 4.3% on-year last month, Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.
Monday 16th November
Highest Global Corona Case Numbers in the US
07:20 The US topped 140,000 daily cases, again breaking the world record. As the US confirmed a world record 143,231 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, Dr Anthony Fauci says he does not believe the United States will need to go into lockdown to fight the coronavirus if people double down on wearing masks and social distancing. The nation’s top infectious disease expert says “the cavalry is coming” in the form of vaccines. He says, “Help is really on the way.”
New Covid-19 Record Cases in Britain
The UK confirms record new cases. Britain hit a new daily high of 33,470 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday. That is an increase of 10,520 more positives reported Wednesday and pushed the total number of cases in the UK to nearly 1.3 million, AP reports.
Cruise Ship Passengers Contract Corona
Five passengers test positive for Covid-19 on Caribbean cruise ship. One of the first cruise ships to ply through Caribbean waters since the pandemic began ended its trip early after five passengers tested positive for Covid-19. The SeaDream is carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, with the majority of passengers hailing from the US, according to Sue Bryant, a cruise ship reporter who is aboard the ship.
California Reaches 1 Million Covid-19 Cases
California becomes the second state in the US to surpass 1m Covid-19 cases. California crossed a grim milestone in its battle against the coronavirus, as the state became the second in the US to surpass 1m cases of Covid-19 on Thursday. With 1,000,631 total cases as of Thursday, California saw nearly 7,000 cases in the past 24 hours, with a seven-day test positivity rate at 5%.
Record Corona Increase in Japan
Japan confirmed a record daily case increase. Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said there is no need to declare a second state of emergency after the country recorded a record number of daily coronavirus cases. Japan reported 1,660 infections on Thursday – including 393 in Tokyo – beating the previous record set in early August. The surge prompted the president of the Tokyo Medical Association, Toshio Nakagawa, to warn that the country had entered a “third wave” of infections.
Downtown Auckland Reopens
New Zealand reopened downtown Auckland on Friday after contact tracing of a new coronavirus case revealed it was linked to a known case from a border isolation facility, reversing an earlier call for people to work from home.
Australia Prioritises Return of Locals over Foreign Students
Australia will not allow foreign students to return as Canberra prioritises the return of locals stuck overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. Australia has since March closed its borders to all non-citizens and permanent residents in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Friday 13th November
Highest Corona Case Numbers Recorded in 1 Day
09:30 The US confirmed its highest 24-hour infection total to date with a world record of 136,000 cases recorded in one day. The US also suffered its highest death toll since early May, with 1,984 coronavirus deaths. Though Texas passed 1m cases on Wednesday and became the first state with more than 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Olympic Athletes Are Exempted from Corona Isolation Rules in Tokyo
Athletes arriving at the Tokyo Olympic Games will be exempt from isolation requirements. Athletes arriving in Tokyo for next year’s Olympic Games, postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period Japan has imposed on anyone arriving from overseas to help stop the virus spreading.
Alcohol Sales Restricted in Sweden to Curb Spread of Covid-19
Sweden’s PM, Stefan Lofven, said his government plans to ban the sale of alcohol nationwide after 10 pm in bars, restaurants and night clubs from 20 November in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Sweden has witnessed record numbers of new coronavirus infections in past weeks, which is burdening the country’s health care system and intensive care wards.
Corona Deaths in Spain Is above 40,000
Spain’s coronavirus death toll surged to over 40,000 with infections passing the 1.4 million mark, while the rate of new cases continued to grow, health ministry data showed. A further 349 people died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 40,105 in Spain – the fourth-highest within the European Union after the United Kingdom, France and Italy.
South Africa Boosts Tourism Despite High Corona Cases
South Africa will open up travel to all countries and restore normal trading hours of alcohol, despite having the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the continent, in an effort to boost tourism and hospitality, the president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
New Restrictions Imposed on New York
The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo imposed a new round of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as the infection rate climbed and hospitalisations soared in the state. Taking effect on Friday, Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants and gyms in the state to shut down on-premises services at 10 pm nightly, and capped the number of people who could attend private parties at 10.
Smoking Banned in Public in Turkey to Curb Corona
Turkey banned smoking in crowded public places to slow a recent surge in symptomatic patients with coronavirus, as the government warned citizens to abide by protective measures. It comes as daily cases surged to 2,693 on Wednesday.
Tighter Covid-19 Restrictions in Greece
Greek authorities announced stricter restrictions on movement, extending a curfew nationwide after infections broke fresh records, reporting 2,752 new cases on Wednesday. Four days after the country went into a second lockdown to curb the surge in cases, the government said all circulation would be banned between 9 pm and 5 am.
Travellers to Spain Require Negative Covid-19 Test
Spain will demand a negative Covid-19 test for all travellers arriving from countries with a high risk for coronavirus from 23 November. Visitors will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test result within the previous 72 hours to be granted entry and officials will be allowed to ask for proof of the test results.
Thursday 12th November
First Corona Case in Vanuatu
07:30 Vanuatu, one of the last remaining countries to be free of Covid, confirms its first case. One of the last remaining Covid-free countries in the world has announced its first positive test. Vanuatu Prime Minister, Bob Loughman made the announcement in an address to the nation. Loughman told a press conference that the indigenous Ni-Vanuatu person had arrived from the USA, transiting through Sydney and Auckland.
Nightly Curfew Introduced in Iran
Iran imposed a nightly curfew on businesses in Tehran and other cities on Tuesday, as it battles a major surge in coronavirus infections. Restaurants and nonessential businesses in Tehran and 30 other cities were ordered to close at 6 pm for one month, to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and to slow the worsening outbreak, which has killed more than 39,000 — the highest toll in the Middle East.
New Lockdown Imposed in Lebanon
In Lebanon, caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab announced a lockdown on Tuesday night that will begin on Saturday and last until the end of the month. Lebanon has broken daily records in recent weeks, straining the country’s medical sector where intensive care units are almost full and cannot take more cases. The World Health Organization says 1,527 health workers have tested positive since the first case was reported in Lebanon in late February.
Thousands of Mink Die from Corona
More than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the coronavirus since August, and authorities are keeping about a dozen farms under quarantine while they investigate the cases, state agriculture officials said.
Students in England Have Six Days to Return Home for Christmas
Students in England will be given a six-day window next month in which to travel home before Christmas, with mass testing carried out on campus before they are allowed to leave.
Hong Kong to Singapore Re-establish Air Travel
Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to begin on 22 November. A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will begin on 22 November, Singapore’s airline regulator announced on Wednesday, as the two cities move to re-establish overseas travel links and lift the hurdle of quarantine for visiting foreigners.
US Hospitalises Record Corona Victim Numbers
The US sees record Covid hospitalisations. The Covid-Tracking project reports that the US on Tuesday saw its highest number of people hospitalised with coronavirus so far, a day after breaking the record on Monday. The number of hospitalisations currently stands at 61,964.
Wednesday 11th November
Inflation Drops in China
07:30 China inflation dips to 11-year low as pork stocks rise. Falling food prices dragged China’s consumer inflation to an 11-year low last month, spurred by improving supplies of pork, official data showed Tuesday.
Increasing Hostility to China over Blocking Taiwan at WHO
Blocking Taiwan at WHO will increase hostility to China, premier says. China’s efforts to block Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organisation during the coronavirus pandemic will only increase the world’s hostility towards the country, the island’s premier said on Tuesday.
No Recent Local Corona Cases in Australia
Australia records third day with no local cases. Australia has gone three days without any locally acquired cases of Covid-19. All cases have been detected in quarantined locals who have recently returned from overseas. Now the country is considering opening its borders to Asian countries, including parts of China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Canberra seeks to revive an economy ravaged by Covid-19.
Record Corona Patient Numbers in US Hospitals
There were almost 59,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday, the country’s highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease. The number of people with the virus being hospitalized has surged around 73% over the past 30 days to at least 58,982 – a record level that surpasses the previous high of 58,370 on July 22.
US FDA Authorises Experimental Treatment for Covid-19
US FDA authorises emergency use of Eli Lilly’s experimental treatment for Covid. The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorised emergency use of Eli Lilly and Co’s experimental Covid-19 antibody treatment for non-hospitalised patients older than 65 or who have certain chronic medical conditions. The FDA said its emergency use authorisation (EUA) was based on clinical trials showing that the treatment, bamlanivimab, reduced the need for hospitalisation or emergency room visits in Covid-19 patients at high risk of disease progression.
Brazil Halts Chinese Corona Vaccine Trials
Brazil halts trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine. Brazil’s health regulator said Monday it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine after an ‘adverse incident’ involving a volunteer recipient, a blow for one of the most advanced vaccine candidates, AFP reports. The setback for CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, came on the same day US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said its own vaccine candidate had shown 90 percent effectiveness, sending global markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to the pandemic.
Italy Updating and Increasing Covid-19 Restrictions
Italy will ramp up coronavirus restrictions in Tuscany and four other regions from Wednesday to rein in the second wave of the pandemic, a health ministry source said on Monday. Last week, the government imposed nationwide curbs including a nightly curfew, and divided the country into three zones based on the intensity of their Covid-19 outbreaks, calibrating additional limitations accordingly.
UK Vaccine Expert Announces “Life May Return to Normal by Spring Next Year”
Sir John Bell, one of the UK’s most eminent vaccines experts, said he believed “with some confidence” that life should return to normal by spring next year following the Pfizer/BioNTech announcement. Bell went further than many of peers in the scientific community but his prediction carries significant weight given his role on the UK’s vaccines taskforce.
Tuesday 10th November
US Corona Cases Stand above 10 Million
07:25 The US, the world’s worst-affected country in terms of the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections, is about to pass 10m cases, according to Johns Hopkins. According to Reuters calculations, the latest seven-day average shows global daily infections are rising by more than 540,000, and October was the worst month of the pandemic so far. The US currently has just under a fifth of the global total, 9,96m cases, and in recent days has often registered over 100,000 cases a day. America has lost at least 237,542 people to the pandemic this year. The global death total is 1,254,453.
50% UK Covid-19 Cases Unidentified
Pandemics expert says half of the positive cases in the UK are not being identified. Around half of the positive coronavirus cases in the UK are not being identified, according to a pandemics expert. 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.
Globally, October Proves Worst Corona Figures to Date
October was the worst month for pandemic so far. A Reuters tally has calculated that October was the worst month of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with its second wave in the past 30 days accounting for a quarter of all cases. The last month saw the spread of the virus accelerate at a rapid pace: while it took 32 days for cases to rise from 30 million to 40 million, it only took 21 days to add another 10 million.
Corona May Lead to Third World War
The economic fallout during the coronavirus pandemic has made the prospect of a third world war ‘a risk’, the UK’s most senior military commander has said. General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff made the comments when asked by Sky News in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday whether he feared the global economic crisis brought on by coronavirus could lead to war.
France Reports Record High Covid-19 Numbers
France reported a further 38,619 coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 1,787,324. It follows a record daily increase on Saturday when a staggering 86,852 cases were logged.
Algeria’s President Responds Well to Corona Treatment
Algeria’s president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has responded well to coronavirus treatment after being hospitalised 13 days ago. Algeria’s government has also extended a night-time curfew already in place in 20 of the country’s 48 regions to a further nine areas. The curfew will start at 8 pm (1900 GMT), three hours earlier than previous restrictions, but will still end each morning at 5 am (0400 GMT). The new measures will come into effect from Tuesday for 15 days.
Monday 9th November
US Records Huge Daily Covid Case Numbers
07:30 The United States has again recorded more cases in 24 hours than any country over the course of the pandemic, with 120,000 infections confirmed for Thursday 5 November. The country also recorded more than 1,000 deaths for the fourth time this week, with 1,200 people reported dead in the last 24 hours. The previous record for cases, also held by the US, was 102,000 the day before.
Global Corona Figures Higher Than Ever
Globally, the world suffered the highest total one-day death toll of the pandemic so far, with 11,447 people lost in the last day. It also recorded more cases than ever before, partly as a result of rising cases in the US, but also because of Europe’s second wave, and more than 50,000 infections being recorded in India for the first time in 10 days. The global case total was 700,000, taking the world closer to 50m cases – a devastating milestone that we are likely to cross by the end of the week. Cases currently stand at 48,541,340.
Anti-virus Protests in Slovenia Become Aggressive
Slovenia anti-virus shutdown protest turns violent. A protest against Slovenia’s coronavirus shutdown sparked some of the most violent scenes the country has seen in years, as police moved in with teargas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. The rally of several hundred in the capital Ljubljana, organised by activists calling themselves the Slovenian branch of the cyber group, Anonymous, started late in the afternoon and led to several injuries and arrests as the protesters clashed with police.
French Commuters Barred from China over Covid
China bars arrivals from France over virus fears. Beijing on Thursday banned foreign arrivals from France and a host of other countries, the latest in a growing number of entry bans as China closes itself off from a world still battling the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 first emerged in central China late last year, but Beijing has largely brought its outbreak under control through tight travel restrictions and stringent health measures for anyone entering the country.
WHO Presses Taiwan to Join Key Corona Meeting
WHO urged to invite Taiwan to a key meeting. The World Health Organization is facing renewed pleas to allow Taiwan to participate in a key international meeting amid fears its exclusion could jeopardise efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic,
Greece Will Start New Lockdown on Saturday
Greece will go back into lockdown from Saturday for three weeks to battle a second wave of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced. Under the measures, Greeks can only leave their homes if they make an official request via mobile phone and then receive authorisation. Only ‘essential shops’ including supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open when the lockdown starts at 6 am (0400 GMT) on Saturday, Mitsotakis said.
WHO Sounds Alarms on Covid-19 Cases in Europe
WHO warns of ‘explosion’ of virus cases in Europe. The World Health Organization in Europe on Thursday said it was seeing an “explosion” of coronavirus cases in the region and warned of a “tough time” ahead as mortality rates rose. “We do see an explosion…. in the sense, it only takes a couple of days to have over the European region an increase of one million cases,” WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told AFP.
All Lawmakers in Colombia to Self Quarantine
Colombia’s lower house abruptly ended its session on and asked lawmakers to quarantine after a member tested positive for Covid-19. At least 150 lawmakers could potentially have been exposed, the chamber’s press office said. They have been told to avoid travel to their home regions and remain in Bogota while they wait 72 hours from potential exposure to have a test.
Corona Hits Mid West Hard
A dozen US states reported record one-day increases in Covid-19 cases, a day after the country set a record with nearly 105,000 new infections reported on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally. The outbreak is spreading in every region of the country but is hitting the Midwest the hardest, based on new cases per capita. Illinois reported nearly 10,000 new cases and along with Texas is leading the nation in the most cases reported in the last seven days. Other Midwestern states with record increases in cases on Thursday were Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio. Arkansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia also set records for rises in new infections.
Second Corona Wave in Ireland Diminishing
Ireland is on track to get its second wave of Covid-19 infections under control by the end of November when the government hopes to ease some of the strictest restrictions in Europe, a senior public health official said. “The way case numbers are behaving would suggest that case numbers are declining rapidly and that we are on target for the sort of end position we want to be in at the end of the six weeks,” on 1 December, Philip Nolan, the chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, told a press briefing.
Friday 6th November
England’s National Lockdown in Effect
07:30 England entered its second national lockdown, placing 56 million people under new coronavirus restrictions for at least the next four weeks. Despite a bruising vote in which the prime minister Boris Johnson’s strategy was rejected by dozens of his own MPs, the stay-at-home order was approved in parliament on Wednesday by 516 votes to 38.
Indonesia’s Economy Suffers First Recession in Two Decades
Indonesia fell into its first recession in over 20 years. Indonesia’s virus-hit economy contracted in the third quarter, plunging it into its first recession since the archipelago was mired in the Asian financial crisis more than 20 years ago. Activity in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy slumped 3.49% on-year in July-September, the statistics agency said Thursday, with tourism, construction and trade among the hardest-hit sectors. The data marked the second consecutive quarter of contraction after a 5.3% decline in April-June.
China Bans Commuters from Britain and Belgium
China bars entry to travellers from Britain and Belgium. Mainland China has barred entry to some travellers from Britain and Belgium and has set strict testing requirements on visitors from the United States, France and Germany, Reuters reports, as it reimposed border restrictions in response to rising global cases.
A Leap in India’s Case Number of 50,000 +
India reported over 50,000 cases for the first time in 10 days. 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 25 October, according to a Reuters tally, and the first time over 50,000 cases were reported in the 10 days since then. 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.
Six Countries in Europe Saw Record Corona Case Numbers
Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Austria, Latvia and Estonia see record daily case rises. At least six European nations have seen record case rises in the last 24 hours. Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Austria, Latvia and Estonia each confirmed their highest new infections to date. Russia, which has the fourth-highest cases in the world, added over 18,000 new infections on Wednesday, bringing its total to 1,680,579, according to Johns Hopkins University. Swiss authorities announced a record 10,043 coronavirus cases in Switzerland in the last 24 hours. Austria’s daily tally of new coronavirus infections climbed above 6,000 for the first time on Wednesday to a new record of 6,211, data from the health ministry showed. Poland hit a daily high of nearly 24,700 coronavirus cases as the government introduced new restrictions on shops, schools and cultural institutions through November. Finally, the Baltic nations of Estonia and Latvia say they have both registered a record daily number of coronavirus infections since the start of the outbreak.
New US Covid-19 Record Set Day after Election
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.
Thursday 5th November
China’s Covid-19 Cases on Increase
07:25 China reports 49 new cases. China reported 49 new Covid-19 cases for 2 November, up from 24 a day earlier, the national health authority reported on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said in a statement that 44 of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas.
Quarantine Hotels in New Zealand Almost Full Due to Christmas
New Zealanders coming home for Christmas warned quarantine hotels may be full. New Zealand’s quarantine hotels are approaching capacity as the military warns there may not be room to house Kiwis planning to return home for Christmas.
New Record Highs in Corona Infections
France reported a record 52,518 new Covid-19 on Monday and the number of people hospitalised with the disease rose by more than a 1,000 for the fourth time in eight days, as the pandemic showing no signs of abating despite a new lockdown.
A Potential Corona State of Emergency in Portugal
Portugal considering a state of emergency to tackle Covid-19. Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he is pondering declaring a state of emergency as a preventive measure to fight the spread of the coronavirus at a time when infections are soaring.
Italy’s Approach to Corona Maybe Ineffective
Italy’s coronavirus strategy is ‘wasting time’, says scientific advisor. Italy is working towards measures that could include a national 9 pm curfew, a ban on inter-regional travel and the closure of shopping malls at weekends.
Germany Eases Lockdown Restrictions
Germany begins ‘light lockdown’. Germany goes into ‘lockdown light’ mode today, as the country’s disease control agency recorded 12,097 new confirmed Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Bars, cinemas, theatres, museums, fitness studios and swimming pools will remain closed from today, while cafes and restaurants are allowed to offer takeaway food only. Meetings in public are restricted to two households and no more than 10 people. Unlike during the first lockdown in the spring, schools and nurseries will stay open.
Corona Infections Decreasing in the Netherlands
Coronavirus infections fall for the third day straight in the Netherlands. The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands rose by nearly 8,300 over the past 24 hours, the slowest pace in roughly two weeks.
Iran Covid-19 Death Toll at Record Numbers
Iran reports a record high Covid death toll as travel bans go into force. Iran reported a record 440 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s death toll to 35,738 as a ban on travel in and out of major cities came into force.
Tuesday 3rd November
EU Will Provide Financial AID to Mozambique
The European Union (EU) has agreed to provide Mozambique with 100 million euros ($116.30 million) in coronavirus-related aid. The EU cut off direct budget support to Mozambique in 2016 after the country revealed the existence of hefty state-guaranteed loans that it had not previously disclosed.
Trump Threatens to Fire Dr Anthony Fauci
07:30 US President Donald Trump threatened to fire the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci. At Trump’s rally in Florida, a ‘Fire Fauci’ chant broke out when Trump defended his handling of coronavirus. Anthony Fauci, a highly respected member of his coronavirus task force, has been increasingly critical of Trump’s handling of the virus. In response to the ‘Fire Fauci’ chant, Trump said: “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election.”
Japan Evaluates Likelihood of Hosting Olympics in Safety
Japan has used new technology to determine if large crowds can watch sports events in safety, less than a year before Tokyo is due to host the coronavirus-postponed Olympics.
Fines in South Korea over Health Masks
South Korea will fine people for not wearing masks from later this month, as the country expands its rules on mandatory face coverings. Although South Korea has fared better than many other countries in containing the coronavirus outbreak, daily cases have risen to over 100 in recent days.
Lockdown in England Could Be Lengthened
England’s lockdown could be extended. The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday.
Brexit Party Is New Anti-Lockdown Party
Brexit Party to rebrand as ‘anti-lockdown’ party, Farage says. Nigel Farage plans to rebrand the Brexit Party as an anti-lockdown party called Reform UK, the party leader has announced in an article in the Telegraph where he says “it is time to redirect our energies”.
Brazilians Protest in Sao Paulo against Mandatory Vaccines
More than 300 Brazilians gathered on São Paulo’s main commercial thoroughfare on Sunday to protest state Governor, João Doria’s support for mandatory Covid-19 immunization and testing the potential vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac.
Trump’s Rallies May Have Increased Corona Case Numbers
Donald Trump’s campaign rallies may have led to 30,000 additional confirmed cases of Covid-19, and likely resulted in more than 700 deaths overall, according to a Stanford University paper posted online this weekend.
France’s Covid-19 Cases on the Rise
France reported 46,290 further coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to over 1.4 million cases. Infections rose by 35,641 the previous day.
Two Day Mass Testing in Slovakia
Slovakia tested almost half of its entire population yesterday, as part of a two-day mass testing programme designed to bring coronavirus under control without implementing further lockdown measures. Of the 2.58 million people tested, 1% were positive and will have to quarantine.
Record High Corona Cases in Russia
Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases hit a record high of 18,665, taking the national total to 1,636,781. Meanwhile, Iran has marked the highest daily increase in its coronavirus death toll, with 434 recorded on Saturday.
Monday 2nd November
The US Approaches 9 Million Corona Cases
07:30 The United States, the worst-affected country worldwide in terms of the number of coronavirus cases and national death doll, is on the brink of the terrible milestone of 9m cases. In recent days the US has twice reported daily infection totals of over 80,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.It currently has a total of 8,944,632, with the next daily infection figure expected to take that number over 9m.
US Record High Number of Guns Purchased in 2020
Record 17m guns bought this year in the US. Americans have bought nearly 17m guns so far in 2020, more than in any other single year, according to estimates from a firearms analytics company. Gun sales across the United States first jumped in the spring, driven by fears about the coronavirus pandemic, and spiked even higher in the summer, during massive racial justice protests across the country, prompted by police killings of black Americans.
Australia Reports Total Active Corona Cases under 200
Australian active cases lowest in four months. Australian officials said on Friday there just under 200 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, the lowest number in more than four months and well down from a peak of just over 8,000 in mid-August. Officials reported just 11 new infections in the past 24 hours, the bulk of which were people already in hotel quarantine after arriving from overseas. Australian states and territories have begun further relaxing domestic travel bans, although some restrictions remain.
Japan Corona Total over 100,000 Cases
Japan passes 100,000 cases. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Japan has topped 100,000, as experts warned that Tokyo, the most affected part of the country, should prepare for another wave of infections this winter. Japan had recorded 100,516 cases and 1,761 deaths as of Thursday, according to a tally by public broadcaster NHK.
EU Funds Corona Patients Border Transfer to Prevent Hospitals Collapsing
EU to fund the transfer of Covid-19 patients across borders to prevent hospital collapse. The EU will finance the transfer of patients across borders within the bloc to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations rise across the continent. “The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” said Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU Commission.
Highest Daily Corona Case Numbers in Spain
Spain hit a new record in daily cases, recording another 23,580 infections. It brought the nation’s tally to 1,136,503, health ministry data showed. The government voted in favour of a six-month extension of the state of emergency, which allows Spain’s 17 regional governments to limit mobility, impose curfews and shut their borders with other regions.
Intensive Restrictions Set in France
France will restrict outdoor movement and make working from home mandatory under new lockdown rules, coming into effect at midnight. People will only be able to leave their own homes for certain essential purposes, as the country tries to put the brakes on a Covid-19 outbreak that the president Emmanuel Macron said risked accelerating out of control. More details here.
England Applies Tier 3 Restrictions in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire in England will move into tier 3 restrictions from 12.01 on Monday. The ‘very high’ restrictions – the strictest level in England – will see indoor social mixing banned and the closure of pubs and bars unless they can operate as a restaurant. More details here.
Regional Lockdowns in Greece
Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from Friday after a rise in cases of Covid-19, the government said.
Italy’s Corona Numbers Set New Records
Italy registered a record of 26,831 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Under new restrictions, bars and restaurants must stop serving customers at 6 pm while cinemas, theatres, swimming pools and gyms must close completely.
Record Corona Cases Register in Sweden
Sweden registered 2,820 new coronavirus cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic and the third record number in a matter of days. Hospitals are feeling the strain, with the number of patients with Covid-19 in need of care in the region having risen about 60% over the past week after a near 80% surge in recorded infections.
Friday 30th October
Almost 500,000 Corona Cases in the US in One Week
07:45 Nearly 500,000 people have contracted Covid-19 in the United States over the last seven days, as new cases and hospitalizations set records in the Midwest. The seven-day total is 491,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US has the highest number of infections worldwide, with more than 8.7 million people who have contracted the virus. Its death toll, also the world’s largest, stands at more than 226,000.
Americans Cast Ballots Early in US Presidential Election
More than 70 million Americans have cast ballots in the US presidential election, over half the total turnout of the 2016 election with one week to go until Election Day, according to a Tuesday tally from the US Elections Project. The figure highlights voters’ desire to reduce their risk of exposure to Covid-19 as the pandemic regathers strength heading into winter.
Intensifying Corona Restrictions for Germany
German chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to push for a ‘lockdown light’ in crisis talks with regional leaders on Wednesday. The proposed new restrictions would include closing restaurants and bars and putting strict limits on private and public gatherings while keeping schools, daycares and shops open, according to the best-selling Bild daily.
India Heading for Corona Case Milestone 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.
French Healthcare Under Extreme Pressure with New Corona Records
France’s prime minister, Jean Castex, told MPs on Tuesday that hospital intensive care units will be saturated with Covid-19 patients by 11 November if nothing is done to stop the epidemic in the country. President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would be giving a televised address on Wednesday evening amid reports that his government was considering placing the country under a month-long lockdown to stop the surge in cases. The number of Covid-19 patients in French intensive care units could reach the same level as during the peak of the first wave in April in two weeks without new measures, a government spokesman said.
200 UK and European Airports Might Go Bankrupt
Airports Council International Europe, which represents airport operators, said it estimated that 193 out of Europe’s 740 commercial airports face “insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not start to recover by the year-end.”
Wednesday 28th October
Stock Markets Dropped Significantly from Concerns of Next Wave of Corona Not Being Contained
07:15 Stock markets have opened sharply down in Asia Pacific on Tuesday, taking their cue from the US and Europe where shares fell on Monday amid concerns that the second wave of coronavirus is not being contained. In Sydney, the ASX200 has fallen 1.2% and the Dow Jones New Zealand is down 1.3%. Markets in Asia are set to follow suit.
Trump Will Release Plan to Accommodate Vaccine Expenses
Trump to announce a plan to cover vaccine costs report. The US Trump administration will this week announce a plan to cover out-of-pocket costs of Covid-19 vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid, Politico reported late on Monday, citing four people with knowledge of the plan.
China Daily Corona Cases Reducing Further
Mainland China reported 16 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on 26 October, down from 20 a day earlier, the country’s health authorities said on Tuesday. The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 reported a day earlier amid a fresh wave of symptomless infections being reported in the northwestern Xinjiang region.
Protestors Speak Out over Pandemic Restrictions
Protesters turned out by the hundreds in Turin, Milan and other Italian cities and towns Monday to vent their anger, sometimes violently, at the latest pandemic restrictions that force restaurants and cafes to close early and shutter cinemas, gyms and other leisure venues.
WHO Warns Dangers of Abandoning Corona Control Measures
‘We cannot give up’ warned the WHO chief. The World Health Organization chief warned Monday that abandoning efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic, as suggested by a top US official, was ‘dangerous’, urging countries not to ‘give up’. He acknowledged that after months of battling the new coronavirus, which has claimed more than 1.1 million lives globally, a certain level of ‘pandemic fatigue’ had set in.
100,000 New Covid-19 Infections in France Daily
France alone may be experiencing 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day – double the latest official figures – Prof Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, said. Tougher coronavirus containment measures could be announced in the country later this week.
Czech Government Intensifies Corona Restrictions
Czech government tightens coronavirus measures with curfew and retail curbs. The Czech government has ordered a 9 pm curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays, as part of tighter measures adopted to stem a surge in Covid-19 infections.
Germany Struggles against Covid-19
Germany is on the verge of losing control of its fight against the coronavirus, Angela Merkel has reportedly warned colleagues. In an indication of the growing concern, Merkel brought forward a meeting on additional coronavirus restrictions with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states from Friday to Wednesday.
Belgium Corona Health Service Concerns of Being Overrun
Belgium’s intensive care units will be overrun in a fortnight if the rate of infection continues, a spokesman for the country’s Covid-19 crisis centre has said. Dr Yves Van Laethem said the 2,000 intensive care beds would be full of patients without a change of course. On Monday morning, new regulations came into force in Brussels.
Tuesday 27th October
Corona Infections in White House Persist
07:55 The United States saw 83,718 new cases reported nationally on Saturday, nearly matching the record 83,757 infections reported on Friday, as US Vice President Mike Pence announced that he will continue campaigning on Sunday, despite his chief of staff and four other top aides having tested positive for coronavirus.
Spain Declares Corona State of Emergency
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, declared a new nationwide state of emergency on Sunday, including a curfew, in the hope of stemming a resurgence in coronavirus infections. The Socialist leader told the nation in a televised address that the extraordinary measure will go into effect on Sunday from 11 pm to 6 am.
India Records Lowest Covid-19 Death Toll in Four Months
India’s total coronavirus infections stood at 7.91 million on Monday, having risen by 45,148 cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed. India recorded its lowest death toll in about four months on Monday with 480 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 119,014.
Mexico’s True Corona Death Rate Is 56% Higher than Estimate
Mexican health authorities acknowledged Sunday that the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is far higher than thought, saying there were 193,170 ‘excess’ deaths in the year up to 26 September, with 139,153 of those judged to be attributable to Covid-19. That is about 50,000 more deaths than Mexico’s official, test-confirmed death toll of about 89,000, and about 56% higher than the previous estimate of 103,882 pandemic deaths.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Proposal Rejected by King
Malaysia’s king on Sunday rejected a proposal by embattled Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin to declare a state of emergency to fight a new outbreak of the coronavirus. The plan by Muhyiddin, which involves suspending Parliament, has sparked national outrage, with critics slamming the move as an undemocratic means for him to hang on to power amid challenges to his leadership.
Israel’s First Clinical Trials to Begin Soon
Israel will begin its first clinical trials of a novel coronavirus vaccine next month, authorities said Sunday, as the country grapples with a second wave of infections.
Half of Saturday’s Global New Corona Cases Stem from Europe
The World Health Organization’s coronavirus dashboard showed a third consecutive daily record high in the number of new confirmed cases. Nearly half of Saturday’s new cases were registered in the WHO’s Europe region, which logged a one-day record high of 221,898 cases.
New Daily High Corona Figures Recorded in France
France registered 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, following a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday. It also said that 116 people had died from coronavirus infection over the past 24 hours, compared to from 137 on Saturday, taking the total confirmed death toll to 34,761.
New Restrictions for Italy as Corona Daily Rates Strain Hospitals Further
The prime minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte announced a raft of new restrictions and warned that the country’s escalating coronavirus infection rate was already having a worrying impact on hospitals. Italy reported a new daily record of 21,273 coronavirus cases with 128 deaths, health ministry figures showed on Sunday, up from the 19,644 new infections reported on Saturday.
Monday 26th October
France Surpasses 1Million Corona Cases
07:45 France has become the second country in Western Europe to record more than 1m coronavirus infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The current total is 1,000,357. France has recorded 34,075 deaths. There are now seven countries worldwide with more than one million cases.
New Record Corona Increases in Midwest
Six US states reported record day-over-day increases in Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, as infections rose across the Midwest and elsewhere, prompting new clampdowns on residents, schools and businesses. Deaths attributed to Covid-19 hit daily records in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Hawaii and Wisconsin. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio reported record daily increases in new infections.
More Than 10,000 Daily Corona Cases in Germany
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by more than 10,000 in a single day for the first time, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The institute recorded 11,287 new cases in its daily update for a total of 392,049. The previous day’s increase was 7,830. The previous highest one-day total was on 20 October, according to Johns Hopkins University, with over 8,500 new cases. The reported death toll rose by 30 to 9,905, the tally showed.
911 Call Centres Closed Wednesday in Puerto Rico as Employees Test Positive
All of Puerto Rico’s 911 call centers were shut down Wednesday night after several employees tested positive for the coronavirus, officials announced. Public Safety Secretary Pedro Janer said people should call the island’s emergency management agency at 787-724-0124 or police at 787-343-2020 in an emergency. He said both agencies are operating 24 hours a day. However, people calling the first number that Janer provided get a recording asking them to call 911 for an emergency. Then the recording provided callers with a directory.
Brazilian Volunteer Dies in AstraZeneca Corona Vaccine Trial
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial Brazil volunteer dies, trial to continue. Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the Covid-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis jab.
No Agreement in Sight with Democrats
Trump says he does not see an agreement with Democrats on stimulus. Donald Trump has said he does not see any way House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader, Chuck Schumer “will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers, or our wonderful USA itself, on stimulus.”
Lazio, Italy Will Introduce Curfew on Friday
Italy’s Lazio region, including the capital Rome, is set to introduce a curfew on Friday from midnight to 5 am to try to curb its surging Covid-19 infections, a regional government source told Reuters. It comes as Italy registered a record of 15,199 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Greece Announces Regional Lockdown in the North
Greek authorities announced a regional lockdown of the northern region of Kastoria, after declaring the region an elevated risk, the highest of a four-tier risk assessment. Restrictions will be imposed from 23 October. It comes as the country reported 865 new cases of Covid-19, a new high since the outbreak began in late February.
Thursday 22nd October
300,000 Excess Deaths Recorded in the US for 2020
07:10 The US Centers for Disease Control and Protection has found that 300,000 excess deaths were recorded in the US this year – 66% of which were accounted for by the official coronavirus death toll of around 220,000. Usually, between the beginning of February and the end of September, about 1.9 million deaths are reported. This year, it is closer to 2.2 million – a 14.5% increase. The remaining deaths, the CDC wrote, “provide information about the degree to which Covid-19 deaths might be under ascertained.”
Brazil’s Health Minister Announced a Chinese Vaccine Will Be Added to Immunisation Program
Brazil’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuello has fallen ill with a suspected case of Covid-19. The ministry said Pazuello had a fever on Tuesday and would be tested for Covid-19. Pazuello also announced that Brazil would add the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine against Covid-19 to its national immunisation program, despite a political and diplomatic row over whether to use it.
Cathay Pacific Reduces Workforce and Plans Contract Changes for Other Staff
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways said on Wednesday it would cut 5,900 jobs and end its regional Cathay Dragon brand as it grapples with a plunge in demand. The restructuring will cost HK$2.2bn ($284m) and the airline will also seek changes to conditions in its contracts with cabin crew and pilots, it told the stock exchange.
Two Potential Corona Vaccines Being Tested in 10 Countries by SinoPharm
A state-owned drugmaker in China is setting up production lines to supply a billion doses of two possible vaccines that are being tested on 50,000 people in 10 countries, the company chairman said on Tuesday. Testing by SinoPharm Group is “in the last kilometre of a long march,” chairman, Liu Jingzhen said. He gave no indication when results were expected.
Spain Approaches 1 Million Covid-19 Infections
Spain is nearing a total of a million infections over the course of the pandemic so far, with 988,322 registered on the Johns Hopkins database, which would make it the first European country and sixth country globally to do so. Its death toll stands at more than 34,000.
Wednesday 21st October
Manchester Will Suffer the Toughest Restrictions in the UK
07:20 In England, the strictest Covid restrictions will be imposed on nearly 3 million people across Greater Manchester if no deal is reached by midday on Tuesday, the government has said in a dramatic ultimatum. The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, warned northern leaders late on Monday night that if they fail to agree to pub closures and a ban on household mixing, the tier 3 measures will be brought in unilaterally.
6 Weeks of Lockdown in Ireland Expected from Wednesday
Ireland has announced a return to coronavirus lockdown. The prime minister, Micheal Martin, issued a nationwide ‘stay at home’ order but insisted schools would stay open. Measures coming into effect for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday will see all non-essential retail businesses close and bars and restaurants limited to takeaway or delivery service only. “Everyone in the country is being asked to stay at home,” Martin said in a televised national address.
Wales Entering 2 Week Lockdown
Wales is to go into a two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown, under which schools, shops, pubs and hotels will close and citizens will be told to stay at home. The government said it was needed to prevent thousands more deaths and the NHS becoming overwhelmed.
Final Presidential Debate Includes Corona Pandemic Topic
Donald Trump has confirmed he will participate in the final presidential debate on Thursday. Topics will include the coronavirus pandemic. Both Trump and Joe Biden will be subject to having their mics muted if they interrupt during certain designated two-minute speaking periods. It comes as Trump said Americans were “tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss Covid. The president once again attacked his top public health expert, using a call with campaign staff to call Anthony Fauci ‘a disaster’ and to claim “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss ways to combat the coronavirus.
WHO Warns Quarantine Failures Responsible for Cases Increasing
The World Health Organization has warned that quarantine failures are partly responsible for rising cases in the Northern Hemisphere. The WHO’s emergencies director, Michael Ryan said the fact that self-isolation measures were not being enforced systematically was “a good part of the reason why we’re seeing such high numbers”.
Tuesday 20th October
40 Million Corona Cases Worldwide
07:40 Global coronavirus infections are nearing a staggering 40m cases, with 39.8m currently confirmed by the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Additionally, according to an AFP tally based on official sources, Europe’s death toll has passed 250,000 fatalities.
Chinese Economy Shows Improvement
China became the first major economy to recover from Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese economy grew 4.9% between July and September, according to government data. The year-on-year expansion, while slightly lower than analyst expectations, represents a dramatic reversal from the first quarter of this year when the economy shrunk by 6.8%, China’s first contraction since 1992 when officials began keeping quarterly GDP data.
Biden Questions Trump’s Claims of ‘Rounding the Turn’ of the Pandemic
At his rally in Nevada, Trump claimed that the US was ‘rounding the turn’ of the pandemic, despite the weekly case average rising in 48 of the country’s 50 states. Friday saw the highest 24-hour infection total since July, with 68,000 new cases reported in one day. The US has 8.1m cases and nearly 220,000 deaths. Biden responded to Trump’s repeated claims: “As my grandfather would say, this guy’s gone around the bend if he thinks we’ve turned the corner. Turning the corner? Things are getting worse,” Biden said.
Mayors in Italy Granted Extra Authority to Enforce Curfews
Italy’s mayors were given new coronavirus powers amid a record case rise. Among the powers is the ability to impose 9 pm curfews in their towns and cities. Italy reported a record figure of 11,705 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the health ministry has said, this is up from the previous peak of 10,925 posted on Saturday.
Melbourne Restrictions Begin to Ease off
Restrictions have eased in the Australian city of Melbourne, which has been under a strict lockdown for more than 100 days. On Monday, hairdressers, dog grooming businesses and real estate inspections</s