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Coronavirus - 1st November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 14:42

Summary for Sunday, 1st November

(Today's latest updates from The Guardian)



'Shockdown': what the Sunday papers say about England's new Covid-19 lockdown

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In the UK, Sunday’s front pages are dominated by the news that month-long national lockdown measures will be imposed across England from Thursday. Here’s a roundup of this morning’s coverage .

Global overview: where are we now?

Around the world, more than 46 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded, with a global death toll of 1,195,930.
Of the lives lost, 230,556 were in the US. The country has the highest death toll from coronavirus, and the highest number of cases, at more than 9 million.
In order of case number, the next most severely hit are:

  • India, which has counted more than 8.1 million cases and has lost 122,111 lives.
  • Brazil, which has recorded over 5.5 million cases and 159,884 deaths.
  • Russia, which has confirmed 1.6 million cases and 28,026 deaths.
  • France, which has recorded 1.4 million cases and 36,826

The UK has the ninth-highest number of cases, at more than 1 million, and has recorded 46,645 deaths.
These figures come from Johns Hopkins University, whose coronavirus tracker you can find here .

Russia reports record 18,665 new cases

Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases hit a record high of 18,665 on Sunday, including 5,261 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 1,636,781, Reuters reports. Authorities also reported 245 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 28,235.

The Czech Republic recorded a further 11,428 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, and a further 173 new deaths.
This takes the total number of cases in the country, which has a population of 10.7m, to 335,102. It also increases the death toll to 3,251.

Indonesia has reported 2,696 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 412,784, according to data from the health ministry.
A further 74 deaths were recorded, taking the country’s total coronavirus death toll to 13,943.
Indonesia has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in south-east Asia.

Parts of Portugal are set to enter a “state of calamity” on Wednesday, following a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.
The prime minister, António Costa, told the nation on Saturday that they “must stay at home”, unless shopping, exercising or providing assistance to elderly or disabled people.
People must work from home if they can.
All commercial establishments and services, including shopping centres, must close at 10pm, but restaurants can allow a maximum of six people per table (except family groups) until 10.30pm.
The measures will be applied to 121 municipalities where there have been more than 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days, and will last until 15 November.

Dozens of people were arrested in Spain last night as anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police for a second night.
The largest protests were in Madrid, with demonstrators shouting “freedom!” setting rubbish bins alight and constructing makeshift barricades on the city’s main thoroughfare, the Gran Vía. Police were pelted with stones and flares as they tried to disrupt the assembly.
According to emergency services, twelve people – including three police officers – were injured. Police said they made 32 arrests.
Last week, Spain imposed a nationwide nighttime curfew to limit the spread of the virus. Almost all of Spain’s regions have imposed regional border closures to prevent long-distance travel.

Malaysia has reported 957 new cases of coronavirus, but no new deaths.
This brings the total number of infections in the country to 32,505, while the death toll stays at 249.

Israel begins human trials for coronavirus vaccine

Israel has today begun testing its coronavirus vaccine on humans.
Eighty volunteers will initially take part in the trial, and it will be expanded to 960 people in December. If these trials are successful, the vaccine will move to a third stage with 30,000 volunteers in April or May.
If these stages are successful, it could be ready for the general public by the end of next summer.
The trials are being run by the Israel Institute for Biological Research, whose director general said the organisation was “in the final stretch”.
The institute, which is overseen by the Defense Ministry, began animal trials for its “BriLife” vaccine in March. Last week, it announced that it had received regulatory approval to take the vaccine to the next stage.

India’s gasoil consumption rose 6.6% this October from a year earlier, the first such increase since coronavirus restrictions were introduced.
The preliminary findings indicate an increase in industrial activity.
Diesel sales by the country’s three state fuel retailers totalled 6.17 million tonnes in October, according to provisional data compiled by Indian Oil Corp, the country’s biggest refiner and fuel retailer.
India is the world’s third biggest oil consumer and importer, so this uptake will be a boost to refiners, who had to cut crude-processing runs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It should also support other markets hit by slow demand recovery.

Nearly half of Slovakia’s entire population tested for Covid-19 in one day

Nearly half of Slovakia’s entire population were tested for coronavirus on Saturday, as the country began a two day testing programme which it hopes will bring the virus under control without further lockdown measures.
Of the 2.58 million Slovaks who took the test, 25,850, or 1%, tested positive and must go into quarantine.
More than 40,000 medics and support teams of soldiers, police, administrative workers and volunteers staffed around 5,000 sites to administer the antigen swab tests. The country, which has a population of 5.5m, is aiming to test as many citizens as possible, except those under the age of 10.
The scheme is the first in the world in a country of a comparable size, and is being carefully watched by countries around the world to see if it might offer an alternative approach to the pandemic.
While the testing was free and technically voluntary, Slovakia’s government will impose a lockdown on those who do not participate, which includes a ban on going to work.
“Freedom must go together with responsibility toward those who ... are the weakest among us, oncology patients, old people, people with other diseases,” prime minister Igor Matovic told a news conference.
During the first wave of the virus, Slovakia recorded just a few thousand cases of coronavirus after swiftly imposing restrictions, but cases have soared in recent weeks.
On Sunday, Slovakia reported 2,282 new cases, bringing the total to 59,946 - not including those identified in the nationwide scheme. The country has lost 219 lives.

Iran marks highest daily increase in deaths

A bit more information on the situation in Iran here ...
The daily tally of coronavirus deaths reached 434 on Sunday, marking the highest daily increase on record.
The record comes a day after the county announced strict new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of schools, universities and mosques in most of the country.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that new restrictions would take effect on Wednesday in 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and last for 10 days.
The government has also banned weddings, wakes and conferences in the Iranian capital until further notice.

Italy’s health minister has described new data on coronavirus pandemic as “terrifying”, saying that the country had two days to approve further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
On Saturday, Italy recorded almost 32,000 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily record since the start of the crisis. It also confirmed just under 300 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 38,618.
“We have 48 hours to try to approve a further tightening (of the rules), there are too many people around,” health minister Roberto Speranza was quoted as saying in the daily Corriere della Sera.
He said another lockdown, though not as extended as the one introduced in March, seemed to be the only option.
“The epidemiological curve is still very high. What worries me the most is the absolute data, which shows a terrifying curve,” Speranza said.
Last week, Italy introduced restrictions on business activity, ordering bars and restaurants to close at 6pm and shutting gyms, cinemas and theatres in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Many cities and regions, including Lombardy, which has been at the heart of the nation’s outbreak, also adopted local curfews.
While prime minister Conte has repeatedly said he wants to avoid a new national lockdown to prevent further economic damage, the localised measures have not been enough to bring transmissions rates under control.
Today, the prime minister is meeting with representatives from the regional government and the opposition parties to discuss further measures. Limits on travel between regions, the imposition of local lockdowns in areas with a high rates of transmission, and an increase the use of remote learning is expected to be announced as early as Monday.

As Europe's governments lose control of Covid, revolt is in the air

“Europe, once again, is the centre of the global pandemic , accounting for almost half the world’s infections last week.
But as desperately needed financial support fails to materialise, and track and trace systems fail to cope with the surge, there is public exasperation and, in some cases, open rebellion.”
Read the full report on the rise in anti-lockdown demonstrations from The Guardian's Julian Coman here .

An image showing a shop in France covering up books, apparently to prevent people buying them, is being widely shared on social media.
Starting on 30 October, non-essential shops and venues, as well as bars and restaurants, were closed in France, but essential shops including grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies remain open.
Coronavirus - 1st November Elqmmh10 Coronavirus - 1st November Elqmmv10

It follows an incident in Wales in which the supermarket chain Tesco was forced to apologise after it mistakenly told a woman on Twitter that sanitary items were classed as non-essential so were not for sale. They had been cordoned off in a Tesco store because of a break-in in that area, leading to reports that they had been classed as non-essential.

Fauci says Biden is taking virus seriously, as he warns of bleak winter for US

The US is “in for a whole lot of hurt” under the coronavirus pandemic, the senior public health expert Anthony Fauci has said, predicting a winter of 100,000 or more cases a day and a rising death toll.
Fauci has regularly appeared with president Trump at press conferences on the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly,” he told the Washington Post.
Fauci said that Trump’s challenger, the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, was “taking it seriously from a public health perspective”. Trump, he said, was “looking at it from a different perspective … the economy and reopening the country”.
Unsurprisingly, this has caused outrage in the Trump administration, who have accused Fauci of “playing politics”.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said: “It’s unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr Fauci, a senior member of the president’s coronavirus taskforce and someone who has praised President Trump’s actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before an election to play politics.”
You can get more information in this report from The Guardian's Martin Pengelly in the US.

The prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has called for an end to “the violent and irrational behaviour” of a minority of people after a weekend of angry demonstrations in cities around the country against further lockdown restrictions.
Last week, the Spanish government announced a six month state of emergency which would allow them to implement further measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Madrid saw the largest demonstrations last night, with thirty-two people arrested and 12 injured. There were also protests over the weekend in Barcelona, Málaga, Vitoria, Valencia, Santander and Burgos.
Read the full report here from Sam Jones, who is in Madrid.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 14:53

Summary of recent events

The Guardian
Here’s a summary of the key developments in the coronavirus pandemic over the past few hours:
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 18:22

Brazil's Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello discharged from hospital

Brazil’s health minister, who was admitted to hospital with coronavirus and dehydration two days ago, has been discharged from hospital.
Eduardo Pazuello tested positive for coronavirus on 21 October. Roughly half of president Jair Bolsonaro’s 23-member cabinet has been infected with coronavirus, with the president and his wife contracting the disease in July.
Although Bolsonaro has sought to downplay the severity of the disease and opposed strict lockdowns, Brazil has experienced the second deadliest outbreak of coronavirus. The country has recorded more than 5.5 million cases, and lost 159,884 lives – second only to the US.

Iran death toll three times higher than official figure, independent medical leader says

Iran’s true death toll is likely to be at least three times higher than the reported figure, the head of Iran’s medical council has said.
Earlier, it was reported that the country’s daily tally of coronavirus deaths had hit a record high of 434. The deaths, announced by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari on state TV, take the official toll to 35,298 in the Middle East’s worst-hit country. She also said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 7,719 to 620,491.
However, the head of Iran’s medical council, Mohammadreza Zafarghandi, doubted the accuracy of the official toll and warned that Iran had reached a “catastrophic mortality rate”, according to the Students News Agency, ISNA.
The official death toll is only based on the number of registered patients,” Zafarghandi said. “Through field surveys in hospitals and cemeteries, our Council has obtained a figure at least three times higher than the official death toll.”
The medical council is a non-governmental organisation responsible for licensing doctors in Iran.

Iran will restrict travel to the cities hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, amid a record high of daily coronavirus deaths .
The measure takes effect at Monday midday and will last until Friday, according to a state broadcaster.
Under the new restrictions, residents will be unable to leave and non-residents to enter, based on vehicle plate numbers. Public transport is exempt.
The measures apply to the capitals of 25 provinces considered “red” – the highest level on Iran’s colour-coded risk scale – and includes the capital Tehran, which has more than 8 million residents.
The order will be backed by fines for those who violate it.
It follows measures imposed on Saturday in the cities, which forced the closure of some public spaces and businesses.
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 18:29

UK reports 23,254 new cases and 162 deaths

There have been a further 23,254 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, according to government data. This compares to 21,915 new cases registered on Saturday.
A total of 1,034,914 people have tested positive.
A further 162 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Sunday, bringing the total to 46,717. There were 326 on Saturday.
There have been 58,925 deaths were Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, registered up to 16 October.
It is important to note that Sunday figures are often lower due to delays in reporting over the weekend.
The latest figures come as England prepares to enter a national lockdown on 5 November, which will last until 2 December.
Scotland will introduce its new five-tier system on 2 November, and the current Wales-wide ‘firebreak’ lockdown will end on 9 November, while Northern Ireland’s restrictions will end on 13 November.

A further 137 people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 32,992, according to NHS England figures.
The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:
East of England – 11
London – 7
Midlands – 40
North East & Yorkshire – 35
North West – 32
South East – 6
South West – 6
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 18:34

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.
The new research analysed data following 18 Trump rallies held between 20 June and 22 September, three of which were indoors.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the Stanford paper was “suggestive” of spread from the events, but not definitive because it was not based on an investigation of actual cases. That would help confirm whether participants were exposed to the virus at the event, rather than other places where transmission is rampant.
Minnesota public health officials have attributed four Covid-19 outbreaks and more than 25 cases to Trump rallies held in the state in September and October.
An additional 11 state health departments contacted by Reuters said they had not been able to trace infections to the rallies, although some, including Michigan and Wisconsin, have determined that individual people who later tested positive for Covid-19 were present at Trump campaign events.



Greece has reported a further 1,678 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total to 40,929. It comes after a record daily increase of 2,056 was announced on Saturday.




Thousands gathered outside the main church in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, on Sunday for the burial of Bishop Amfilohije, who died of Covid-19 on Friday.
The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church led the prayers inside the packed church joined by dozens of officials and clergy, many of whom did not wear face masks. Montenegro has recently recorded a surge in virus cases.
In an illustration of the bishop’s popularity, thousands have paid their respects since Saturday, passing by an open casket with his body. Many kissed the bishop’s remains, prompting an appeal from doctors to close the coffin.
An additional nine deaths have been registered, bringing the toll to 635.
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Orthodox faithfuls gather on November 1, 2020 around the open casket of late Archbishop Amfilohije, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro who died of Covid-19 at the age of 82, ahead of his funeral ceremony outside the Serbian Orthodox Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica.
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 18:38

Geneva to enter partial lockdown from Monday

Geneva will impose a partial lockdown on Monday after the Swiss canton reported more than 1,000 new cases on several days.
The new measures will see bars, restaurants, close-contact services and non-essential shops closed from 7pm on 2 November. Schools will remain open.
The measures will remain in effect until 29 November.
Cinemas, museums, concert halls, gyms, swimming pools and ice rinks will also be shuttered, the cantonal government said in a statement on Sunday.




As England prepares to head into a second national lockdown on Thursday, a review of Boris Johnson’s previous statements on the issue reveals a number of mixed messages.

The lockdown will come into force on 5 November, and is due to end on 2 December – however, Michael Gove admitted on Sunday that it may be extended if if the infection rate does not fall sufficiently.
On 23 March, the prime minister announced the first lockdown, saying:
:Left Quotes:  We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.

Andrew Sparrow has written a round-up of what Johnson has said about lockdown since – you can read it here .
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 23:32

France reports 46,290 new coronavirus infections

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.
The country said 231 more people had died from Covid-19, taking the toll to 37,019.

US reports 9,105,230 further cases

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 9,105,230 coronavirus cases, an increase of 80,932 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 823 to 229,932.
The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.




Senior Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady has said he is likely to vote against the new coronavirus restrictions set to come into force in England on Thursday.
He told BBC BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour that he was concerned about the intrusion into people’s rights: “The freedom of association, the right to a family life.
“We even have the government telling people who they are allowed to sleep with or not depending on whether they are deemed to be in an established relationship or not.
“If these kinds of measures were being taken in any totalitarian country around the world we would be denouncing it as a form of evil and here the removal of people’s fundamental liberties is going almost without comment and I think it is very important that we focus on those basic human rights and find ways, of course, to deal with the serious threat of Covid-19 but do it working with people rather than doing things to people.”




Another Tory MP has warned she will vote against England’s new lockdown measures.
In a post on Instagram, Esther McVey wrote: “I will be voting against the new national lockdown on Wednesday when it comes before the House of Commons.
“The ‘lockdown cure’ is causing more harm than Covid.
“The world cannot be put on hold, and the Government must stop pressing the pause and stop button for the whole nation on a whim, with all the disastrous effects this brings to our lives, livelihoods, health and relationships.”



Education unions, backed by northern leaders, have warned that keeping schools and universities open in England is an inadequate “half-measure” which will sow the seeds for another lockdown next year and prolong the suffering from Covid.
The National Education Union (NEU), the biggest teaching union in the UK with almost half a million members, says schools are “an engine for virus transmission” and wants them to close again to all except “vulnerable” pupils and those with key-worker parents, to drive down transmission.
Read education correspondent Sally Weale ’s report here .





Police broke up a series of illegal gatherings across England this weekend, including a 1,000-strong music event and a christening with 200 guests.
Around 300 people gathered near Wigan on Saturday night while dozens more were turned away, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said.
Seven police vehicles had their tyres slashed and officers searching the site found a machete in an area of bushes, the force said.
Meanwhile, in Yate, near Bristol, Avon and Somerset Police broke up an illegal rave where some of the 500-strong crowd were violent towards officers.
In London, the Metropolitan Police dispersed up 11 illegal gatherings, including a christening with 200 guests on Saturday.
Around 1,000 people went to a music event in Poplar, east London, where seven people were arrested under the coronavirus regulations for holding or being involved in staging it.
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Post by Kitkat on Sun Nov 01 2020, 23:37

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”.
The plans to change the name are subject to approval of the Electoral Commission.
None of the party’s candidates won a seat in the 2019 general election.

Tommy Robinson 'arrested for breaking Covid rules' at London rally

The former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson appears to have been arrested for breaking coronavirus restrictions during a heated rally in London, PA media reports.
Images on social media showed him being led away by police officers. The 37-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, co-founded the far-right EDL in 2009.
The Metropolitan police said they arrested a man who was at a rally at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, on Sunday.
A spokesman said: “At 14.44hrs a man aged in his 30s was arrested under the coronavirus regulations for holding or being involved in the holding of the event.
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