Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- The global death toll climbed above 1.3 million and more than 53 million have been infected worldwide by Covid-19, as the virus runs rampant through America and Europe.
- Ten Covid-19 patients were killed and others were in critical condition after fire broke out in an intensive care unit in northeast Romania on Saturday, a hospital spokesperson said. The fire occurred in the early evening in the intensive care of the hospital in the town of Piatra Neamt. It was under control an hour later by the emergency services.
- UN food agency warned 2021 will be worse than 2020. The head of the World Food Program says the Nobel Peace Prize has given the U.N. agency a spotlight and megaphone to warn world leaders that next year is going to be worse than this year, and without billions of dollars “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.”
- North Dakota has become the 35th US state to require face coverings be worn in public, as governors across the country grapple with a surge in coronavirus infections that threatens to swamp their healthcare systems. North Dakota joined 38 other states this month in reporting record daily jumps in new cases, 17 others with record deaths and 25 others with a record number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, according to a Reuters tally.
- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 16,947 to 790,503, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 107 to 12,485.
- Mexico passes 1m cases. Mexico has registered more than 1 million total coronavirus cases and nearly 100,000 test-confirmed deaths, though officials agree the number is probably much higher. Health Director General Ricardo Cortés Alcalá said late Saturday the number of confirmed cases had reached 1,003,253, with at least 98,259 deaths from Covid-19.
- South Korea reported 208 new coronavirus cases as of Saturday midnight, marking the eight straight day of triple-digit increases, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Sunday. That was slightly higher than the previous day’s 205 new infections and the highest since early September. Of the cases, 176 were domestically transmitted and 32 imported. Nearly 70% of the locally transmitted cases were from Seoul and Gyeonggi province, a densely populated area near the capital.
- In Australia, the state of Victoria again recorded no new cases and no new deaths for the 16th consecutive day. Victoria’s death toll from coronavirus remains at 819, while the total number of deaths from Covid-19 in Australia is 907. Australia’s two other most populous states, NSW and Queensland, also recorded no new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases.
- Ten people have died after a fire broke out in a Covid-19 intensive care ward in Romania, as prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into events. The blaze, which was “most likely triggered by a short circuit”, spread through the ward at Piatra Neamt Regional Emergency hospital on Saturday afternoon, critically injuring seven people.
- 462 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 in the U.K, raising the official death toll to 51,766. This number is up from 376 on Friday, government data shows. In Bristol, police made 14 arrests after protesters defied a ban on an anti-lockdown rally. One of the arrested men was Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, vision appears to show.
- Record high case numbers were recorded in Russia and Ukraine. Russia reported 22,702 new infections and 391 deaths. Ukraine registered 12,524 new cases. Poland recorded a record new 548 deaths and 25,571 cases. The record number of deaths takes Poland’s toll above 10,000.
- Iran has announced strict new lockdown restrictions from next Saturday., after recording 452 deaths, a near record. President Hassan Rouhani said non-essential businesses and services will be shut and cars will not be allowed to leave or enter Tehran and 100 other towns and cities
- Lebanon has started a new two-week lockdown after coronavirus infections crossed the 100,000 mark. Beirut’s roads were largely empty and police checkpoints were set up at several locations.
- Greece and Austria have set out plans to tighten lockdown restrictions. Austria is planning to impose a full lockdown from Tuesday. Greece has announced the closure of nurseries and primary schools until the end of November as its death toll surpassed 1,000.
Russia reported a daily increase of 22,572 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the national tally to 1,925,825. Authorities also reported 352 Covid-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 33,186.
Indonesia has reported 4,106 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the total number to 467,113, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
It recorded 63 COVID-19 deaths, taking the number of fatalities to 15,211. As of Sunday, 391,991 people have recovered from the virus in Indonesia
The Czech Republic has reported a further decline in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths from daily highs seen in early November.
But the country remains among the hardest hit in Europe during this second wave of the pandemic.
Health ministry data showed 4,199 new cases were reported on Saturday, down by more than 3,500 from the same day a week earlier, amid tough lockdown measures, with 132 new fatalities, which includes revisions to previous days.
The total number of cases in the country of 10.7 million since the start of the pandemic now stands at 458,229. The death toll stands at 6,058, a tenfold increase since late September.
Coronavirus has killed at least 1,313,471 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Sunday.
At least 54,001,750 cases of have been registered. Of these, at least 34,599,700 are now considered recovered.
The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.
Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.
Over Saturday, 9,246 new deaths and 607,998 new cases were recorded worldwide.
Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 1,351 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 921 and Mexico with 635.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 245,614 deaths from 10,905,598 cases. At least 4,148,444 people have been declared recovered, AFP reported.
According to the AFP tally, After the US, the hardest-hit countries are
- Brazil with 165,658 deaths from 5,848,959 cases,
- India with 129,635 deaths from 8,814,579 cases,
- Mexico with 98,259 deaths from 1,003,253 cases, and
- the United Kingdom with 51,766 from 1,344,356 cases.
The country with the highest number of deaths compared to population is Belgium with 123 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Peru with 107, Spain 87, Argentina 78.
China - excluding Hong Kong and Macau - has to date declared 86,338 cases, including 4,634 deaths and 81,319 recoveries.
Latin America and the Caribbean together have 423,176 deaths from 12,023,640 cases, Europe 334,968 deaths from 14,432,068 infections, and the United States and Canada 256,487 from 11,195,957 cases.
Asia has reported 181,799 deaths from 11,440,026 cases, the Middle East 68,991 deaths from 2,913,735 cases, Africa 47,109 deaths from 1,966,317 cases, and Oceania 941 deaths from 30,008 cases.
Here's a round-up of the key measures in place in parts of Europe:
FranceThe country announced a second lockdown from 30 October after daily Covid-related deaths reached their highest levels since April. Due to last at least a month, it is having a limited effect: new infections and hospital admissions dropped sharply at first only to increase sharply at the end of last week. , health ministry data showed
People are allowed to leave home only for essential work and medical reasons; restaurants and bars have been told to close but schools and factories can remain open. All non-essential travel has been banned and the country’s external borders are closed (although journeys are still permitted inside the EU). Travellers must be tested on arrival.
Yesterday, Vienna ordered a three-week lockdown starting on Tuesday to bring a surge in Covid-19 cases under control in time for Christmas. Austria now has one of Europe’s highest infection rates per capita. Daily new cases hit a record of 9,586 on Friday, nine times higher than at the peak of the first wave.
A current night-time curfew will become an all-day requirement to stay at home, with a few exceptions such as shopping or exercise. Working from home should happen wherever possible. Non-essential shops will close, as will service providers such as hairdressers. Secondary schools have already switched to distance learning; primary schools and kindergartens will continue to provide childcare.
GermanyEarly this month, Germany began a “circuit-breaker” national lockdown to try to stop a sharp rise in cases, closing restaurants, bars, cinemas and gyms, and banning leisure travel. Schools remain open, and worship and protests are still allowed.
But daily infections have continued to increase, hitting a record 23,542 on Friday, and officials have dampened hopes that restrictions would be lifted at a meeting on Monday, when the effect of the lockdown will be discussed. Winter events such as office Christmas parties were unlikely to be allowed, the health minister said.
PortugalThe country is having a second wave that is worse than its first, and in response has brought in one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe , with a nightly curfew and weekend shutdowns in nearly 200 municipalities, home to more than three-quarters of the population. People have been urged to work from home if they can, though schools, shops and restaurants are still open. In affected areas, people must stay at home from 11pm to 5am, or from 1pm at weekends.
The country has recorded a comparatively low 191,011 cases and 3,181 deaths, but last Saturday daily infections rose to over 6,600.
Since the start of the pandemic, Sweden has opted for a light-touch, anti-lockdown approach. There were hopes that this could mitigate a second wave by producing a higher level of immunity, but studies so far show that the national health agency has been over-optimistic about levels of antibodies in the population. In recent days, infections and hospital admissions have surged, and several regions have brought in tighter controls – though people are asked, rather than legally obliged, to comply with most measures. On Friday, the country registered 5,990 new cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic.
But shops, bars, restaurants and gyms have stayed open throughout, and wearing a face mask is still not an official recommendation outside hospitals. The country’s death rate per capita is far higher than that of its Nordic neighbours, but lower than in countries such as Spain .