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Coronavirus - 28th November


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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 12:16

Summary for Saturday, 28th November

Covid-19 updates from around the world

This is the big news so far from today:

  • Europe remains the centre of the pandemic, with an average of 236,900 new cases daily – far ahead of the US and Canada’s 174,000 a day. But the rise in infections has slowed for the second week in a row, falling back 10% with many countries in lockdown.
  • The number of Covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the US nearly doubled in the past month, reaching 90,000 on Friday. The rate of hospitalisations – now at the highest level since the pandemic began – has reportedly pushed some hospitals beyond capacity.
  • Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he expected more than half of Canadians to receive a Covid-19 vaccine by next September after he came under criticism for saying the country would not be among the first to get doses.
  • Belgium will allow shops to reopen from Tuesday, prime minister Alexander De Croo said, but the country’s semi-lockdown will remain in place to bring down coronavirus infections. “The situation in our country is improving ... but it’s important to keep a lid on things,” De Croo said, warning that the Christmas and new year holidays would be “different” this year.
  • Hospitals in England have been told to prepare for the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine in as little as 10 days’ time, with NHS workers expected to be at the front of the queue, the Guardian has learned.
  • In Australia, the once Covid-19 ravaged state of Victoria has now recorded its 29th day of no Covid-19 infections or deaths. There are now no active cases in the state and the threshold for effective elimination has been met.
  • Italy will ease coronavirus restrictions in five regions, including Lombardy, the country’s richest and most populous region, from Sunday. Lombardy, Piedmont and Calabria will be downgraded from red to orange zones, while Sicily and Liguria will be designated as yellow rather than orange zones.
  • Another 827 Covid 19-related deaths were reported by Italy on Friday, the highest number so far of its second-wave coronavirus outbreak, and 28,352 new infections, the health ministry said. The rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed.
  • Russia reported a record high of 27,543 new coronavirus infections, including 7,918 in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 2,215,533. Authorities also reported 496 deaths related to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 38,558.
  • Iran reported a new daily record in coronavirus infections, as the country tightened its pandemic measures even further by all but closing government offices for an indefinite period. Iran recorded 14,051 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 922,397, and 406 deaths.
  • In Cyprus, authorities in the war-divided island’s south have announced new curbs on movement including a nationwide nighttime curfew. While the government had decided to end local lockdowns across the island’s entire south-west, it will introduce a nationwide nighttime curfew as of 30 November.
  • Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said he will not take a coronavirus vaccine, the latest in a series of statements he has made expressing scepticism toward coronavirus vaccination programs. “I’m telling you, I’m not going to take it. It’s my right.” The country registered 34,130 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours and 514 new deaths.
  • AstraZeneca may begin another 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.
  • Public health authorities in Switzerland have advised the public against oom-pah brass bands this Christmas. “Singing together and playing wind instruments can increase the risk of infection,” the federal office of public health said. Bands are usually a common sight at Christmas events and parties across Switzerland.
  • Denmark plans to exhume and burn 17 million mink slaughtered to curb the spread of a mutant strain of coronavirus. The decision comes after hundreds of dead mink, tipped into trenches at a military site in western Denmark, began rising from the grave as a result of gases from their decomposition.
  • The UK currently has the 7th highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, and has recorded 57,648, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker .
  • Coronavirus rates in India have dropped yet again on Saturday. Single-day cases have remained below the 50,000-mark for three weeks.
  • South Korea has reported more than 500 cases for a third day in a row.
  • The government in Hungary has come under fire over suggestions it might source its vaccine from Russia , despite having a go-it-alone policy.
  • Germany has recorded more than 21,000 infections in one day.

In Victoria, Australia, it’s still mandatory to wear a mask while inside stores and other publicly accessible buildings and when social distancing is impossible. The state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, has published this reminder ahead of citizens weekend shop:
Tweet  Dan Andrews:
Good morning to everyone except those wearing their mask under their nose at the supermarket.

Germany records 1 million coronavirus cases

Germany, once a beacon of hope in Europe’s coronavirus nightmare, logged more than 1 million cases on Friday.
Until recently, Germany’s relative success in containing the virus had offered some sense of hope, with authorities putting in place some precautions that still allowed life to carry on almost as normal.
However, its measured approach has failed during the second wave, endangering the health of Europe’s biggest economy and weighing on the mood as the northern hemisphere heads into the winter holidays.
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute recorded more than 22,000 new daily cases on Friday, pushing the overall total beyond the 1 million mark.
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care has soared from around 360 in early October to more than 3,500 last week.

New lockdown measures for Los Angeles

All public and private social gatherings of individuals from different households will be banned in Los Angeles county for at least three weeks starting Monday under new restrictions local health officials unveiled on Friday, citing a continued surge in Covid-19 infections.
The latest public health order, affecting 20 million people living in and around the US’s second largest city, specifically exempts religious services and protests as constitutionally protected rights.

Mexico records 104,873 deaths

The health ministry of Mexico has confirmed the country’s Covid-19 death toll has risen to 104,873.
The country recorded 12,081 additional cases of Covid-91 on Friday and 631 more deaths in the country. This brings the official number of infections to 1,090,675.
Health authorities say the true number of infections and fatalities is likely to be significantly higher.

Between 100,000 and 150,000 people will be able to return to work in Ireland over the next week or so as all shops, restaurants, gyms and pubs serving food reopen, business minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday.
The number of people claiming temporary coronavirus-related jobless benefits has risen by almost 150,000 since Ireland began to tighten Covid-19 curbs in September, two-thirds of them since the highest level of constraints were put in place on 21 October.
Varadkar, who is also deputy prime minister, encouraged people considering returning from abroad for Christmas not to travel unless it was essential, but said that if they did travel, they must follow the quarantine rules.

China has reported six new coronavirus cases in the mainland on Friday and five the day before, the country’s health authority says.
All of the new infections were from international travellers, the National Health Commission said in a statement, and there were no new deaths.
China has also reported four new asymptomatic patients, compared with eight a day earlier.

Hundreds of delegates from Germany’s far-right political party AfD will gather on Saturday for a congress that authorities have said could become a coronavirus hotspot, AFP reports.
This comes as the group increasingly aligns itself with militants protesting against coronavirus restrictions.
Six hundred members of the party are due to meet at an unused nuclear plant in the western German city of Kalkar to draw up their first concept on pensions.
Currently, Germans have been asked to limit their contacts to just two households at a time. The AfD had signed up to stringent rules including compulsory mask-wearing and distancing in the huge hall and the party’s own security officers are due to ensure that the rules are met, alongside Kalkar officials.
Hundreds of police officers will be deployed to ward off any unruly scenes, as anti-AfD protesters have also announced plans to demonstrate outside.
The event could become a hotspot, said Kalkar’s mayor, Britta Schulz, adding that while it was irresponsible to hold such a big event, the political gathering could not be prohibited.
Germany has recorded more than a million coronavirus infections. A total of 15,586 people have died from the illness, according to official data.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 12:24

'Every hospital in England' could be overwhelmed without tier measures, says minister

Every hospital in England could be overwhelmed with coronavirus cases if new tier restrictions are not introduced, Michael Gove has said.
Gove said the decision to impose the restrictions was necessary to “pull the handbrake” and avoid the “disaster” of NHS hospitals reaching capacity with coronavirus patients.
The move was an apparent attempt to prevent a Tory backbench rebellion, amid a backlash from some Conservative MPs against the stringent measures introduced in parts of the country. Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly will be the only areas under Tier 1 restrictions when the national lockdown in England ends on 2 December, with the rest of the country under stricter tier 2 and 3 restrictions.
The chairman of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, was among the critics. He accused the government of infringing people’s “fundamental human rights”.
But Gove urged MPs to “take responsibility for difficult decisions”.
“Keeping our hospitals open, available and effective was not just crucial to dealing with Covid-19. It was imperative for the health of the whole nation,” Gove wrote in an article for the Times. “But the only way to ensure we can take care of cancer patients, administer radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and help stroke victims and treat heart attacks is by protecting the NHS.
“And just as we want to reduce Covid-19 infections to save lives, so reducing them is the key to saving the economy. Think for a moment what would happen to our economy if we allowed infections to reach such a level that our NHS was overwhelmed.”

Germany's lockdown could continue until early spring

Germany’s partial lockdown measures could go on until early Spring if infections do not reduce, economy minister Peter Altmaier has said, warning that the country had “three to four long winter months ahead of us.”
Altmaier told Die Welt newspaper that it was not possible to end the measures while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.
Germany imposed a “lockdown light” in early November, which closed bars and restaurants but saw schools and shops stay open. While the measures have stopped exponential growth in cases and the number of infections has stabilised, this is at a high rate.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states on to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least Dec. 20.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 12:31

Free vitamin D for more than 2.5m people in England

More than 2.5 million at-risk people in England will be offered a free supply of vitamin D, the government has said today.
Care homes in England will automatically receive supplies of the supplement for their residents, and people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus will be offered the chance to opt in for a supply to their homes.
The free deliveries will start in January, and provide four months worth of vitamin D to up to 2.7 million people.
Public Health England advises everyone to take 10 microgrammes of vitamin D per day between October and early March, particularly elderly people, people who do not go outside and those with dark skin.
Research is ongoing to investigate the link between vitamin D and Covid-19 protection.
Read more

Russia reports 27,100 new coronavirus cases

Russia has reported 27,100 new coronavirus cases, including 7,320 in Moscow.
This takes the national total since the start of the pandemic to 2,242,633.
A further 510 deaths related to coronavirus were confirmed in the last 24 hours, pushing the official national death toll to 39,068.

Europe's coronavirus death toll surpasses 400,000

Coronavirus deaths passed the grim milestone of 400,000 in Europe today, the world’s second worst-hit region, according to an AFP tally.
The UK claims the unenviable title of the highest death toll in Europe, followed by Italy, then France.
However, shops across Europe are preparing to open ahead of Christmas. Shutters rose in France today, with Poland opening shopping centres, and Belgium following on 1 December.
It is worth noting that different trackers may record marginally different numbers for cases and deaths across the world. This is due to variation in sources, criteria, and reporting methods.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 12:37

Greece reports more than 2,000 Covid-19-related deaths and over 100,000 infections

Helena Smith - The Guardian
Ten months into the pandemic, and with a difficult winter ahead, the Greek government has decided to lower the cost of screening tests for Covid-19. For most the move, announced last night, is not a moment too late.
Polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted at private clinics and the fastest way of being tested have price tags of up to 95 euro although most hover around 75 euro. Announcing the decision, Panagiotis Stampoulidis, secretary general of trade and consumer protection at the Ministry of Development, said PCR tests would be set at a flat fee of 40 euro.
Rapid Antigen tests would cost 10 euro once the decision is tabled in parliament in the coming days.
The move follows the announcement that the lockdown imposed on the nation on November 6th will be extended through to December 7th. Today health officials said even that sounded optimistic with a growing consensus that with restrictions failing to reign in infection rates as fast as had been hoped, December 14 may be the date when curbs finally begin to be relaxed ahead of the festive season. Any relaxation will start with schools, the government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Saturday.
Greece broke two grim benchmarks this week: crossing the milestone of more than 2,000 deaths as a result of Covid-19 and over 100,000 infections. Although the country has fared comparatively better than other European states, it has seen a surge in cases since the autumn.

UK PM appoints minister responsible for coronavirus vaccine

Boris Johnson has appointed Nadhim Zahawi as a health minister responsible for the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine, Downing Street has announced.
The new arrangement is temporary, and due to last until at least next summer. Zahawi will focus on distribution of the vaccine, and report to health secretary Matt Hancock.
The news marks the latest sign of progress on a vaccine against Covid-19.
Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon since May 2010, was appointed as parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in July 2019. He also served as parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Education from January 2018 to July 2019.
“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi MP as a parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department of Health and Social Care,” Downing Street said in a statement, adding that he will stay in his role at BEIS.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 12:40

'Place of love': Gibraltar becomes marriage hotspot in pandemic

Gibraltar requires minimum bureaucracy to get married and there are fewer border restrictions than other places, which has helped turn it into a wedding hotspot during the pandemic.
Couples just need to present their passports and birth certificates, and stay in the territory overnight either before or after their wedding. They then need to have their marriage registered by the authorities in their home country.
Wedding planners have reported huge demand from couples from outside the territory.
“It is absolutely insane. We just can’t get enough slots and spaces,” said Leanne Hindle, the director of wedding events company Marry Abroad Simply.
Read more about the unlikely transformation of Gibraltar into a wedding hotspot.
Read more

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 14:36

Police and protesters have clashed at demonstrations in central London against lockdown restrictions, with at least three people arrested.
Police have been attempting to disperse the protesters, arguing the demonstration is unlawful under bans on gatherings because of coronavirus.
One protester told Sky News they were demonstrating because they believed there was “no future for our children” as a result of lockdown restrictions. Others described the measures as “fascist”.
Police faced booing from demonstrators and chants of “shame on you”, and some officers were pelted with bottles, as they intervened in the protest.
Traffic was temporarily blocked on Regent Street as officers attempted to handcuff people on the ground in the middle of the road.
Read more here

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The first three arrests were made outside Kings Cross station in London.
(Photograph: Matthew Chattle/Rex/Shutterstock)


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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 14:47

A further nine deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Northern Ireland, eight of which occurred in the past 24 hours, according to RTÉ. This brings the total death toll to 983.
A further 315 individuals have also tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 51,824.
At present, there are 410 coronavirus patients in hospital, 33 of whom are currently in intensive care.


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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 15:54

More than 60 arrests at London anti-lockdown demo

More than 60 people have been arrested at anti-lockdown demonstrations in London, the Met police have said.
They were arrested for a number of offences, including breaking lockdown restrictions. The force said it expected the number of arrests to rise.
Earlier, we reported on scuffles between police and protesters at the demonstration.
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Police officers block a path during an anti-lockdown demonstration amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in London, Britain November 28, 2020. (Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

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Police and protesters clashed at the demonstration. (Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

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The police rush to catch up - The Anti Lockdown protest, organinsed by Stand Up X, grows as it switches to Oxford Street and the West end after starting at Kings Cross. They question whether the whole covid pandemic is a hoax and believe the scientists, who agree with them, are shut out of the media. (Photograph: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock)

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 21:22

Police have arrested 155 people for offences including breaching coronavirus regulations, assaulting a police officer and possession of drugs following anti-lockdown protests in central London.
The Metropolitan Police said it used early intervention methods to disperse the illegal gatherings, including intercepting coachloads of demonstrators as they came into the capital.
Ch Supt Stuart Bell, policing commander for the event, said:

On Friday, we made it very clear how we would police this event, warning those looking to attend that they risked facing enforcement action if they attended a gathering in London. Today’s enforcement action is a direct result of those individuals deliberately breaking the law and at times, targeting our officers with aggression and causing disruption to the road network. Our policing plan will continue well into the evening and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already dispersed to go home.

Police have stopped 110 drivers for Covid-19 offences during the first 24 hours of random checks in Cardiff, PA media reports.
Officers in the Welsh capital were granted powers to stop and fine drivers from 9am on Friday in an effort to prevent people from outside the nation travelling into Cardiff.
South Wales Police said they handed out 12 fixed penalty notices in the first day, and warned a further 15 people, instructing them to leave Cardiff.
Those found breaching the legislation included a couple travelling from Essex heading to Cardiff to give family Christmas presents.

479 further Covid-linked deaths registered in the UK

In the UK, 479 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
This number is down from 521 the previous day, according to government data.
There were 15,871 people in the UK that tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, down from 16,022 on Friday.
See the official release here .

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 21:31

Italy reported 686 Covid-19-related deaths on Saturday, against 827 the day before, the health ministry confirmed.
There were also 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday.
Italy was the first western country to be hit by coronavirus and has had 54,363 Covid-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain.

Turkey’s daily Covid-19 death toll hit a record high for a sixth consecutive day today, with 182 fatalities in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 13,373, data from the health ministry showed.
Turkey also recorded a new high of 30,103 coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours, including asymptomatic cases.
For four months, the country only reported symptomatic cases, but since Wednesday it has reported all cases.

Greece reported 121 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, a daily record, bringing the death toll to 2,223.
Hospitals in the north of the country are under increasing pressure as intensive care beds are filled by Covid patients.
Health authorities reported 1,747 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total since the first case was detected in February to 103,034.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 28 2020, 21:35

Johnson defends Covid tier system in England as Tory backlash grows

Boris Johnson has written to Conservative MPs offering them a second vote on the coronavirus tier system early next year, as he seeks to quell a backbench rebellion in the Commons on Tuesday.
In a letter to colleagues on Saturday evening, the prime minister said stringent regulations planned across much of England from 2 December would contain an expiry date of 3 February, with MPs offered the chance to vote to extend them.
In a further olive branch to MPs, Johnson said he would publish more data and outline what circumstances need to change for an area to move down a tier.
Read more

Croatia’s prime minister, Andrej Plenković, has been ordered to isolate at home after his wife tested positive for Covid-19, the government’s spokesman has confirmed.
“Prime minister Plenković was tested on Saturday and the result is negative. He was ordered to remain in isolation at home for the next 10 days. He will continue performing his duties from home,” the spokesman said.
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Croatia’s prime minister Andrej Plenković . (Photograph: Johanna Geron/EPA)

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