23 September

Global: Worldwide Covid-19 cases have now passed 31.6 million, with more than 970,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The weekly number of new recorded infections worldwide was last week at its highest level ever, the WHO announced. With a new seven-day high of just short of two million new cases recorded, the latest tally represents a 6% increase on the previous week, as well as “the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic”, the UN health agency said.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.7% as compared with the same time Monday to 6.88 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was in line with the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.3% to 200,284.

India: India reported 1,085 additional fatalities from Covid-19, bringing its total death toll above 90,000. It also added 83,347 cases for Wednesday. India trails only the US and Brazil in Covid-19 deaths, while its 5.6 million confirmed cases are surpassed only by the US’s tally of almost 6.9 million infections.

Mexico: Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus caseload rose to 705,263 on Tuesday, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a reported death toll of 74,348.

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Argentina: Argentina reported a record daily rise of 470 Covid-19 deaths, for a total of 13,952, according to the government’s evening report. It’s the second day in a row Argentina has reported a record rise in fatalities. The government confirmed 12,027 new cases, bringing the total to 652,174.

China: China’s UN representative Zhang Jun said the country rejected ‘baseless accusations’ around coronavirus before introducing President Xi Jinping.

Mainland China reported 10 new Covid-19 cases as of 22 September, up from 6 a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Wednesday.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,769 to 275,927, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.

France: France reported 10,008 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, in line with the pace of infections picking up again, after a post-weekend lull on Monday. Confirmed cases rose by 10,008 in 24 hours, France’s public health agency said.

South Korea: South Korea added 110 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours, after seeing infections dip below 100 for three straight days. The total number of confirmed cases rose to 23,216, while the death toll remained at 388.

Iran: Iran recorded its biggest spike in daily cases since the pandemic began, with 3,712 new infections, surpassing 3,574 cases reported on June 4, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV. The death toll rose by 178 overnight, almost unchanged from 177 a day earlier.

Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea does not have enough Covid-19 testing kits, the country’s health minister has said. Fewer than 17,500 tests have been conducted across the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Japan is considering allowing more foreign arrivals into the country for longer stays starting as early as next month while keeping the Covid-19 entry curbs in place for tourists, the Asahi newspaper reported on Wednesday.

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new restrictions for England that could last six months, following a surge in cases in recent weeks. The slew of new measures includes telling the public to continue working from home, a 10pm curfew for hospitality venues, and limiting weddings to 15 people.

In Scotland, hundreds of students have been told to isolate after a suspected Covid-19 outbreak in a hall of residence. NHS Tayside is investigating a single positive Covid case and a small number of suspected cases linked to private student accommodation Parker House in Dundee.

Economy update

Europe: The European Central Bank risks legal trouble if it tries to extend the “emergency powers” of its pandemic bond-buying plan to its other asset-purchase program, according to Executive Board member Yves Mersch.