International update: Global Covid cases pass 41 million – France and Spain exceed one million infections

22 October 2020 (Last Updated October 22nd, 2020 16:08)

22 October

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 41.3 million cases, reaching 41,341,755. The global coronavirus death toll is 1,133,032 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

US: US Covid-19 infections exceed 8.3 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 222,263 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Alabama’s lieutenant governor, who has called the state’s mask order a government overstep, announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for Covid-19.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy placed himself in quarantine after coming into contact over the weekend with a senior staff member who tested positive for Covid-19.

New York state posted more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since May, a surge that officials are desperate to head off as they prepare to distribute vaccines in the new year.

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. Meanwhile, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio reported record daily increases in new infections.

US hospitalizations for Covid-19 hit the highest point since 22 August, with New York doubling its count from early September and at least ten other states reporting records. Texas virus hospitalizations jumped to almost 5,000 on Wednesday, the third straight daily increase.

A United Airlines Holdings Inc. flight from London to Newark, New Jersey, performed the first US trial of a new digital health app designed to share travelers’ coronavirus test results. The CommonPass mobile app, created by the Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum, is seen as a tool to help governments reopen borders by providing test data.

India: India added 55,839 cases in a day, bringing total infections in the South Asian country to 7.7 million, government data showed. Deaths from the virus topped 116,000.

Spain: Spain became the first country in Western Europe to surpass one million coronavirus infections, as authorities struggle to control fresh outbreaks and contemplate a curfew for the capital Madrid. Some 6,114 new cases were detected in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,005,295, according to Health Ministry data published Wednesday.

France: France has become the second country in Western Europe to record more than one million 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.

Greece: Greece saw a second straight record day for new cases. The country reported 865 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 27,334. It recorded six more deaths in the past 24 hours with the total number of dead at 534.

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.

Italy: 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.

Czech Republic: The Czech Republic registered a daily record of 14,968 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, Health Ministry data show early on Thursday, confirming the worst current outbreak of the disease in Europe adjusted for population.

Puerto Rico: All of Puerto Rico’s 911 call centers were shut down Wednesday night after several employees tested positive for the coronavirus, officials announced.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported just two new cases of the virus on Thursday, a day after recording its highest number of new Covid-19 cases in a single day for more than six months – most of them diagnosed in border quarantine facilities. Both new cases were diagnosed in travellers returning to the country.

South Korea: South Korea reported 121 more coronavirus cases on Thursday, up from 91 cases a day earlier. The number of new infections is the biggest in a month, with 62 cases in Gyeonggi and 18 in Seoul.

South Africa: South Africa is recording a worrying increase in coronavirus infections, especially in the Western Cape province, which saw a 42% spike in new cases in the past week, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Vaccine news

US: Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, said he expects the US trials of vaccines made by AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson to restart as soon as this week.

New York City officials are beginning to plan for wide-scale distribution of a Covid-19 virus vaccine next year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Brazil: 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.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blasted a Chinese coronavirus vaccine being tested in the country just a day after his health minister said it would be distributed nationwide.

“The Brazilian people WON’T BE ANYONE’S GUINEA PIG,” he wrote on his Facebook and Twitter pages, adding that billions can’t be spent on medication that is still being tested. “My decision is to not acquire the aforementioned vaccine.”

Denmark: Bavarian Nordic’s plan to develop a Covid-19 vaccine faces delays after the firm had difficulties raising funding from investors, Borsen reported, citing Rolf Sass Sorensen, head of IR.

Switzerland: Roche Holding AG agreed to pay $350 million in an alliance with Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc. to develop a potential treatment for Covid-19. The Swiss drugmaker will get the rights to distribute Atea’s AT-527 drug outside of the US under the agreement, Atea said Thursday.

Lockdown updates

Italy: Italy’s Lazio region, including the capital Rome, is set to introduce a curfew on Friday from midnight to 5am to try to curb its surging Covid-19 infections, a regional government source told Reuters.

Greece: The northwestern city of Kastoria is being raised to level four, the highest risk, with local lockdown measures to be introduced from 6am on 24 October, Deputy Citizen Protection Nikos Hardalias said Wednesday.

Uruguay: Uruguay’s government issued a 30-day ban on public events and private parties in the province of Rivera that borders Brazil amid a recent surge in Covid-19 cases. It also suspended non-life threatening surgical procedures and made school attendance optional.

Economy updates

US: 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.”