U.S. coronavirus cases increased by the most since late July. Italy is considering the tightest restrictions since its national lockdown ended as additional curbs come into effect in Paris and London.
Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Germans to stay home to stem the tide of new coronavirus infections that’s surging across Europe.
Merkel in her weekly podcast asked citizens to meet with fewer people whether inside or outside. How winter and Christmas work out will be decided in the coming days and weeks through the sum of individual actions, she said.
Belgium closed bars and restaurants across the country.
Global Tracker: Cases exceed 39 million; deaths top 1.1 millionEurope cracks down on virus with curbs in London and ParisDr. Reddy’s and Russia to start Sputnik vaccine testItaly considers tightest restrictions since national lockdownWho’s succeeding against the coronavirus and why: QuickTake
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U.S. Adds Most Cases Since Late July (8 a.m. NY)
U.S. cases increased by 69,276, the fourth consecutive day of rising numbers and the most since July 29, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
The number, which reflects Friday data, is 9% higher than the previous day’s, underscoring rising Covid-19 cases in most parts of the country less than three weeks before the election.
Dr. Reddy’s and Russia to Start Vaccine Test (7:48 a.m. NY)
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund got approval to conduct human clinical trials of their coronavirus vaccine in India.
The phase 2/3 trial will be a randomized controlled study that will include safety and immunogenicity, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The Kremlin has pinned great hopes on the vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin is promoting as the first registered inoculation in the world.
India added 62,212 new cases, taking the total infections in the country to 7.43 million, according to government data.
Italy Mulls New Restrictions (7:25 a.m. NY)
Italy is considering new restrictions on nonessential activities in a bid to contain the jump of new cases, which topped 10,000 for the first time on Friday.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza met with regional leaders Saturday morning to discuss the measures that are expected to be approved by Giuseppe Conte’s government as early as Saturday evening, according to three government officials, who asked not to be identified.
Malaysia Reports Record Infections (7:12 a.m. NY)
Malaysia reported a record 869 new infections on Saturday, with a majority of the cases occurring in the state of Sabah, health officials said. Sabah recorded 451 new cases, as well as four deaths. Areas of the country where the outbreak is most prominent are under tightened movement curbs.
Iran Death Toll Climbs (6:38 a.m. NY)
Iran’s death toll rose to 30,123 as the country reported 253 more fatalities in the past 24 hours. There were a recorded 4,103 new coronavirus infections overnight.
Ardern Wins in New Zealand on Covid Success (5:04 p.m. HK)
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swept to a commanding victory in New Zealand’s general election after her successful handling of the pandemic. She said she will use her mandate to rebuild the battered economy and tackle social inequality.
Merkel Calls for Citizens to Stay Home (3:57 p.m. HK)
Germany reported a record 7,695 new coronavirus cases as Merkel appealed to citizens to help stem the viral surge.
How winter and Christmas pan out will be decided in the coming days and weeks through the sum of individual actions, Merkel said. She stressed the importance of refraining from unnecessary journeys and celebrations.
Russia and Poland Report Surges (3:52 p.m. HK)
Russia added 14,922 new cases, taking total infections in the country to 1.38 million, according to government data. The death toll rose by 279 to 24,002.
Poland registered a record 9,622 new cases and the death toll there climbed by 84 to 3,524, the Health Ministry said on Twitter. The country had 604 respirators in use, up from 346 a week earlier.
Swiss Government Mulls Tighter Curbs (3:37 p.m. HK)
The Swiss government will hold a meeting on Sunday to decide on further steps to combat the virus, according to Tages-Anzeiger. Measures could include mandatory mask-wearing in indoor public spaces, a ban on gatherings of more than 15 in public, and the recommendation that people resume working from home, according to the report.
A government spokesman declined to confirm the meeting or comment on what measures might be introduced. In a separate newspaper report, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said the government must not overreact and people “have to learn to live with the virus.”
Austrian Foreign Minister Tests Positive (3:27 p.m. HK)
Austria’s foreign minister tested positive and might have caught the virus at the Foreign Affairs Council with European Union leaders in Luxembourg.
The minister, Alexander Schallenberg, had no symptoms and found out through took a routine test. As a precautionary measure all members of the government will be tested.
New Cases in Western Australia (2:41 p.m. HK)
Western Australia state recorded two new cases of Covid-19, with crew members on separate ships testing positive.
A crew member from the Al Messilah livestock carrier, which is docked at Fremantle, was brought ashore for medical treatment, the state health department said in a statement. An infected person on board the Key Integrity bulk carrier, at Geraldton Port, remains on the ship in isolation.
The health department says it has previously managed four vessel outbreaks, with no risk to the community.
Belgium’s Cases Continue to Rise (2:31 p.m. HK)
Belgium’s 14-day running Covid-19 incidence rate is still rising and jumped to 621 per 100,000 population. That compared with 550 the day before. While 358 patients were in intensive care, 31 more than a day earlier, hospitalizations were slightly lower.
Prime Minister Alexander de Croo had announced new stricter measures to control the pandemic on Friday evening, introducing a curfew, restricting close contacts further and closing restaurants and cafes for four weeks.
Czech Republic has Record Numbers (2:13 p.m. HK)
The Czech Republic posted a third consecutive record of new Covid-19 cases. The nation of 10.7 million people registered 11,105 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections to 92,736. The army should start to build a field hospital in Prague this weekend to add extra 500 beds for patients who need to be hospitalized.
The Czech Republic is the worst hit country in Europe based on the two-week cumulative number of new infections and deaths, adjusted for population, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Singapore Active Cases Drop (10:37 a.m. HK)
Singapore’s active coronavirus cases fell to the lowest level in seven months as the government reins in local transmissions. There were 89 active cases in the city-state, falling below 100 for the first time since March 12, the Ministry of Health said Friday.
Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble (9:57 a.m. HK)
The fledgling travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand hit an early snag after 17 passengers who flew into Sydney on Friday broke the rules and caught a connecting flight to Melbourne. In an effort to boost tourism, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is encouraging visitors from New Zealand, which has crushed community transmission of Covid-19, and says they can enter the country without having to undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Mexico, Argentina Cases Increase (8.38 a.m. HK)
Mexico reported 6,751 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 841,661, according to data released by the Health Ministry Friday night. Deaths rose by 419 to 85,704.
Argentina reported 16,546 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 965,609, according to the government’s evening report. There were 381 deaths reported in the past 24 hours for a total of 25,723.
Texas Cases Surge Most in 7 Weeks (7:35 a.m. HK)
Texas virus cases climbed by more than 5,600 in the past 24 hours, the biggest increase since Aug. 25, according to state health department data. The surge brought the cumulative total 815,678.
Meanwhile, statewide hospitalizations dropped for the first time in five days even as available intensive-care beds dwindled in the hot spots of El Paso, Lubbock and Amarillo, state figures showed.
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