This photo taken on Feb 24, 2020 shows the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva. (FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)
SAO PAULO / LONDON / NEW YORK / PARIS / ALGIERS / DUBLIN / BUENOS AIRES / BOGOTA / ADDIS ABABA / RABAT / SANTIAGO / BERLIN / ROME / BRUSSELS / MOSCOW / CAIRO / KIEV / VILNIUS - Roughly 1 in 10 people may have been infected with the novel coronavirus, leaving the vast majority of the world’s population vulnerable to the related COVID-19 disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergency expert, told the agency’s Executive Board that outbreaks were surging in parts of southeast Asia and that cases and deaths were on the rise in parts of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region.
“Our current best estimates tell us about 10 percent of the global population may have been infected by this virus. It varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies depending on groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk,” Ryan said. “We are now heading into a difficult period. The disease continues to spread.”
The WHO has submitted a list of experts to take part in an international mission to China to investigate the origin of coronavirus, for consideration by Chinese authorities, he said.
Russia's daily tally of new coronavirus cases rose to its highest since May 12 on Monday as authorities reported 10,888 new infections nationwide, including 3,537 in Moscow.
The total number of cases registered since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 1,225,889, authorities said.
Authorities also said 117 people had died overnight, pushing the official death toll to 21,475.
Schools in Moscow and the regions of Ulyanovsk and Sakhalin will switch to online remote learning soon due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the Interfax news agency cited the Education Ministry as saying on Monday.
Global coronavirus infections surpassed 35 million while the global death toll topped 1.03 million on Sunday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded across Africa reached 1,506,185 while the death toll hit 36,614 as of Sunday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
Algeria will take further steps to ease the coronavirus lockdown including reopening schools and universities after a fall in the number of daily infections, the government said on Sunday.
Under the new measures, schools and universities will reopen on Oct 21 and Nov 22 respectively, the government said in a statement after a cabinet meeting.
Algeria reported 141 new cases and four more deaths on Sunday, bringing the tally to 52,136 and the death toll to 1,760, the Ministry of Health said.
Argentina's total number of COVID-19 infections is approaching 800,000 as the national death toll surpassed 21,000, the health ministry said Sunday.
According to the ministry, 7,668 new infections and 223 additional deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload and death toll to 798,486 and 21,018, respectively.
Brazil on Sunday registered 365 additional coronavirus deaths, the health ministry said, bringing the death toll in the country to 146,352.
Confirmed cases of the virus rose by 8,456 to 4,915,289.
Chile reported Sunday it registered 60 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, lifting its death toll to 12,979.
According to the Ministry of Health, 1,708 new cases were detected, taking the total caseload to 470,179, including 442,070 recoveries.
Coronavirus cases in Colombia rose to 855,052 after tests detected 6,905 new cases in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection said Sunday.
The death toll climbed to 26,712 after 156 more fatalities were reported over the past day.
Egypt confirmed late on Sunday 108 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to 103,683, the Health Ministry said.
Another 11 deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 5,981, while 81 more patients had recovered, taking the total recoveries to 97,355, the ministry's spokesman, Khaled Megahed, said in a statement.
In this Oct 1, 2020 file photo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen takes off her protective mask prior to making a statement regarding the Withdrawal Agreement at EU headquarters in Brussels. (JOHANNA GERON / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday she would self-isolate until Tuesday after attending a meeting with someone who tested positive.
"I've been informed that I participated in a meeting last Tuesday attended by a person who yesterday tested positive for COVID-19," von der Leyen said on Twitter.
"In accordance with regulations in force, I'm therefore self-isolating until tomorrow morning. I've tested negative on Thursday and am tested again today."
Paris is to be placed on maximum COVID-19 alert, meaning bars will be forced to close for two weeks from Tuesday and restaurants will have to put in place new sanitary protocols to stay open, the prime minister's office said.
Prime Minister Jean Castex's office said there had been no improvement in the Paris region since the capital passed all three of the government's criteria for being put on the highest level of alert mid last week.
Working from home should be prioritized "now more than ever" in the Paris area and university lecture halls should be no more than half full, Castex's office said in a statement.
France on Sunday reported 12,565 new cases of coronavirus, while 893 COVID-19 patients had been admitted into intensive care over the past week.
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German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said “it will take time” to return to life as it was before the pandemic, even if more effective therapies and a vaccine are made available.
“We will be dealing with this ‘new normality’ and with the virus into next year,” Scholz said in an interview with ARD state television late Sunday. “It’s not gone, and it’s a great danger for everyone around the world.”
Germany recorded 1,546 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours through Monday morning, compared to 1,653 the day before, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases on Monday, the tally increased by 1,382 to 300,619 and deaths increased by five to 9,534.
The country’s estimated infection rate rose for the second day on Sunday to 1.23 from 1.1 the previous day.
Ireland's government faced political and business resistance on Monday to a surprise recommendation by Ireland's health chiefs on Sunday that the country enter a second nationwide lockdown for four weeks in a surprise move that cabinet will discuss on Monday, two government sources said.
Ireland's National Public Health Emergency Team recommended a leap to the highest level of COVID-19 restrictions, Level 5, from current Level 2 controls in 24 of Ireland's 26 counties and stricter Level 3 measures in Dublin and Donegal.
Prime Minister Micheal Martin and the leaders of his two coalition partners will meet the country's chief medical officer on Monday ahead of a cabinet meeting to discuss the recommendations.
Under level 5, people are asked to stay at home, except to exercise within 5 kilometers, with only essential retailers allowed to stay open. Unlike the first lockdown, schools and crèches would not have to close.
Ireland has so far reported 38,032 confirmed cases and 1,810 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned that Italians may have to give up some liberties to combat the renewed spread of the coronavirus, as his government prepares to introduce new rules on use of masks and limits to gatherings, Corriere della Sera reported.
The Italian government will likely impose new restrictions on the country in the coming week, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Sunday. The cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday to decide how to respond to an increase in infections.
Speranza confirmed in an interview on RAI 3 that the government is considering making the use of masks outdoor compulsory. Italy wants to keep schools open and avoid a national lockdown like in March, he said.
Italy reported 2,578 cases on Sunday, compared with 2,844 Saturday, which was the highest since April 24. Another 18 COVID-19 related deaths were reported and patients in intensive care units rose above 300 to 303, well below the peak of over 4,000 in early April.
Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius will self-isolate for a week after contact with members of visiting French President Emmanuel Macron's delegation, who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
The minister was present at several events during the Sept 28-29 visit, spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitiene said.
Lithuania's BNS news agency reported that two members of staff at the French embassy in Vilnius, who were part of the delegation, had tested positive for coronavirus last week. The embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was not immediately clear if Linkevicius, who had met Macron during the visit, had been tested.
President Gitanas Nauseda, his wife and several members of his office took coronavirus tests on Sunday. All the results were negative, the president's office said in a statement.
Mexico's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 761,665 on Sunday with a total reported death toll of 79,088, according to the health ministry.
Authorities reported 3,712 new cases and 208 deaths, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to limited testing.
Morocco reported 2,044 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 133,272.
The death toll rose by 37 to 2,330 while recoveries increased by 2,349 to 111,036, the Ministry of Health said in a press release.
The Netherlands’ daily infection level surpassed 4,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with 4,007 new cases on Sunday.
This brings the total amount of new infections this week to 24,000, ANP news agency wrote. Amsterdam witnessed the biggest increase with 457 new cases.
People enter Oxford Circus underground station amid the rain in London, Britain, Oct 2, 2020. (KIRSTY O'CONNOR / PA VIA AP)
A technical failure in England's COVID-19 testing data system has now been fixed and should not be repeated, Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said on Monday.
The United Kingdom reported a jump in daily COVID-19 cases to a record 22,961 on Sunday, after authorities said a technical issue had meant that over 15,000 test results had not been transferred into computer systems on time, including for contact tracers. In total, the UK has reported 502,978 cases, according to government data.
Sunday's daily cases figure represented a dramatic jump from the 12,872 cases reported on Saturday. The technical problem, which was identified on Friday, led to 15,841 cases not being uploaded into reporting dashboards used by the National Health Service (NHS) contact-tracing system.
Meanwhile, a new three-tier lockdown is being planned for England, The Guardian reported, citing leaked government documents which revealed tougher measures that could be implemented locally or nationally if the government fails to get COVID-19 cases under control.
The new lockdown would potentially entail harsher restrictions including the closure of pubs and a ban on all social contact outside household groups, the newspaper said.
Separately, the Financial Times reported that less than half the UK’s population can expect to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing the head of the government’s vaccine task force.
The daily number of new coronavirus cases in Ukraine could exceed 5,000 later this week, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Monday.
Ukraine reported a record of 4,661 new cases on Saturday, but the number fell to 4,140 cases on Sunday and 3,774 on Monday.
"The situation is tense but not critical," Stepanov said at a televised briefing.
The health ministry said a total of 226,462 cases had been registered in Ukraine as of Oct 5, including 4,397 deaths.
People walk through an area where restaurants operate outdoor spaces for dining that spread onto sidewalks and streets as part of continued COVID-19 economic impact mitigation efforts, in New York, Oct 3, 2020. (JOHN MINCHILLO / AP)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will directly take over enforcement in 20 hot spots that are rapidly driving infections to the highest levels since lockdown. That enforcement will include local businesses and schools, including private ones, he said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is moving to shut non-essential businesses as well as schools in nine neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, starting on Wednesday.
Indoor and outdoor dining will also be closed in these areas. Houses of worship will stay opened with restrictions, he said. The state would have to approve the mayor’s plan.
Nationwide, the US has so far reported more than 7.4 million confirmed cases and 209,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
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Zambia conducted 2,792 tests in the last 24 hours as the country ramps up tests as an effort to combat the pandemic, a government agency said on Sunday.
Among the tests conducted, 78 returned positive results, according to the information posted on the website of the Zambia Institute of Public Health. The new cases brought the tally to 15,052, including 333 deaths.
Georgia has reported a record 578 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest number since the outbreak of the virus in the country, bringing its total to 8,696.
Among the new cases, 416 were confirmed in the western Adjara region, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said.
As of Monday, 4,619 of the 8,696 patients have recovered, while 52 others have died, said the center.
Iceland has ordered bars, gyms and entertainment venues to close and has sharply cut the number of people allowed to gather in public in order to curb a recent rise in COVID-19 infections.
From Monday a maximum of 20 people will be allowed to gather in public, with some exceptions such as courts, parliament and universities, the health ministry said in a statement issued late on Sunday. The previous upper limit was 200 people.
A social distancing rule of one meter will remain in place, while public swimming pools will operate at half capacity.
Iceland allowed bars and gyms to reopen in late May after combating the spread of the virus, but in the second half of September, like many other countries across Europe, saw an uptick in cases, registering up to 40 daily infections.
Iceland, with a population of around 360,000, has registered 2,980 infections in total, with 10 deaths, since the start of the global pandemic.
Madrid residents were largely coming-and-going as normal on Monday despite a prohibition on non-essential travel in the first European capital to return to lockdown due to the resurgent coronavirus.
Police said 300 officers were manning 60 checkpoints, but commuters poured into the Spanish capital as normal and few had noticed extra controls.
With 850 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people, the Madrid area has Europe’s highest rate, so 4.8 million people in the city and nine satellite towns came under new restrictions from Friday night.
“I haven’t seen any police controls. I don’t quite understand this situation that they have created,” said nutrition student Cristina Canete.
Worried about further economic damage, the conservative-led regional authority only reluctantly agreed to the new measures ordered by the socialist-led national government and launched a legal challenge. But the high court rejected a first appeal on Monday.
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