Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 48.06 million, death toll at 1,224,717
LONDON (Reuters) – More than 48.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,224,717 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
Several European countries reintroduced lockdown measures and other restrictions as new coronavirus infections surge across the continent, while China barred non-Chinese travellers from Britain, Belgium, the Philippines and India.
* Cases in Italy rose by a record 34,505 over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.
* Russia’s coronavirus tests give false negative results up to 40% of the time, a health official said as new infections rose and Moscow’s mayor warned of a worsening situation.
* Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko ordered border guards to prevent the return to Belarus of its citizens who left and are currently abroad, with the exception of those in Russia, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
* Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said a hard lockdown will be imposed in seven municipalities in northern Denmark after a mutation of the coronavirus that was found in mink had spread to humans.
* Greece ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks, its second this year after a sharp increase in infections this week.
* Poland reported a record 27,143 new infections, approaching a threshold at which the government has said it could be forced to impose a nationwide lockdown.
* Paris will be placed under more restrictions, including a requirement for more shops to close in the evening.
* Latin American nations, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe and not let their guard down, a Pan American Health Organization official said.
* The United States set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with hospitals in several states reporting a rising tide of patients, according to a Reuters tally.
* South Korea has alerted about 1,000 people who attended the memorial of the late Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee last week to get tested for the coronavirus after one person at the event tested positive.
* Australia agreed to purchase two more COVID-19 vaccines in development, beefing up its prospective arsenal against the pandemic to 135 million doses as it aims to complete a mass inoculation programme within months.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services in Africa as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said.
* Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said U.S. health regulators were doing a careful analysis of its experimental antibody cocktail to treat COVID-19 and that it was hopeful the drug could be authorized for emergency use in the country soon.
* A summer dip in UK infections has pushed back test results for AstraZeneca’s potential vaccine, leading the drugmaker to delay deliveries of shots to the UK government.
* A WHO-led scheme to supply COVID-19 drugs to poor countries is betting on experimental monoclonal antibody treatments and steroids, but is shunning Gilead’s remdesivir blockbuster therapy, an internal document showed.
* British finance minister Rishi Sunak ramped up his 200 billion-pound economic rescue programme once again in a coordinated move with the Bank of England, which increased its already-huge purchases of government debt.
* Indonesia suffered its first recession in over two decades as the pandemic hit consumption and business activity in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, costing millions of jobs.