Covid-19 wrap: Global cases cross 35.13m, New Zealand beats 'virus again' and Paris on maximum alert

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Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 35.13 million, death toll at 1 035 670

More than 35.13 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1 035 670 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.


New Zealand PM says 'we beat the virus again'

Wellington – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared on Monday that New Zealand "beat the virus again" and announced restrictions in the country's largest city would be eased, after a second Covid-19 wave was contained.

The virus was believed to have been eradicated in late May after a strict national lockdown led to New Zealanders enjoying 102 days without community transmission.

But a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August, forcing the city of 1.5 million into lockdown for almost three weeks.

With no new confirmed cases in Auckland for 12 days, Ardern said on Monday the virus was now under control and congratulated residents for enduring the second lockdown.

"It felt longer and dragged on in what was already starting to feel like a very long year," she said.

"But despite this, Aucklanders and New Zealanders stuck to the plan that has worked twice now, and beat the virus again."

Ardern said from late Wednesday, Auckland would join the rest of New Zealand on level one, the lowest rating on the government's four-tier virus alert system.

Under the change, there are no restrictions on social gatherings, allowing the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on 18 October to be played in front of a full stadium at Eden Park.

 - AFP

UK Covid-19 cases jump to 22 961 after glitch causes backlog

LONDON – Britain 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.

News of the glitch was likely to cast further doubt over the robustness of the national test-and-trace system, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said would be "world-beating" but which has experienced a series of delays and setbacks.

Sunday's daily cases figure represented a dramatic jump from the 12 872 cases reported on Saturday. The Sunday numbers were published hours behind schedule, just after a statement from Public Health England (PHE) about the technical problem.

"Today and yesterday’s headline numbers are large due to the backlog of cases flowing through the total reporting process," PHE said in a statement.

The technical problem, which was identified on Friday and has now been resolved, led to 15 841 cases not being uploaded into reporting dashboards used by the National Health Service (NHS) contact-tracing system.

"We fully understand the concern this may cause and further robust measures have been put in place as a result," said PHE's interim chief executive, Michael Brodie.


Restaurants to stay open, but Paris goes on maximum virus alert

Paris – Paris restaurants will be allowed to stay open – but under tightened restrictions – when the city is placed on maximum coronavirus alert in the face of alarming Covid-19 infection numbers, the prime minister's office announced on Sunday.

However, bars and cafes in Paris and its environs appear certain to close under the new measures, set to last at least 15 days.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the capital's police chief Didier Lallement will spell out the conditions on Monday.

Health Minister Olivier Veran announced last week that only improved Covid-19 infection rates could prevent "total closures" of the city's trademark cafes and bars.

France reported nearly 17 000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday alone, the highest daily number since the country began widespread testing.

Figures from the regional health agency ARS show new coronavirus cases remaining above 250 per 100 000 people in Paris.

That threshold triggers the maximum alert protocol, which has already hit the southern cities Aix-en-Provence and Marseille and their surroundings, as well as the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe.

Coronavirus patients are now taking up more than 30% of the intensive care beds in the Paris region.

 - AFP

Irish health chiefs recommend return to full lockdown - sources

DUBLIN – Ireland's health chiefs recommended to the government 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.

The government has almost entirely adopted their health chiefs' advice throughout the pandemic, but one of the sources said a return to lockdown would have a serious economic and societal impact.

Prime Minister Micheál 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 kilometres, with only essential retailers allowed to stay open. Unlike the first lockdown, schools and crèches would not have to close.


India's coronavirus infections rise to 6.63 million

BENGALURU – India's coronavirus case tally rose by 74 442 in the last 24 hours to 6.63 million on Monday morning, data from the health ministry showed.

Deaths from coronavirus infections rose by 903 to 102 685, the ministry said.

India's death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100 000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone, after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.

Last week, India further eased restrictions and permitted states to open schools and movie theatres.


Britain passes 500 000 coronavirus cases

London – The United Kingdom passed 500 000 confirmed coronavirus infections on Sunday, official figures showed, in the latest grim milestone for the European country worst-hit by the pandemic.

Health authorities blamed a technical glitch for a sudden spike in cases announced in evening figures that had kept several thousand cases from the last week of September off the official tally.

Sunday's numbers showed 22 961 cases for the day, a rise of more than 10 000 on Saturday's figures.

Officials said the issue had now been resolved and earlier cases missed in the official count would be included in future figures.

The United Kingdom has now recorded 502 978 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with more than 42 000 deaths.

 - AFP

Russia's new coronavirus cases surge to highest since 12 May

MOSCOW – Russia's daily tally of new coronavirus cases rose to its highest since 12 May on Monday as authorities reported 10 888 new infections nationwide, including 3 537 in Moscow.

Authorities said 117 people had died overnight, pushing the official death toll to 21 475. The total number of cases registered since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 1 225 889, they said.


Brazil registers 365 new coronavirus deaths

SAO PAULO – Brazil on Sunday registered 365 new 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.


Mexico reports 3 712 new coronavirus cases, 208 more deaths - health ministry

MEXICO CITY – 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.


Indonesia reports 3 622 new coronavirus cases, 102 new deaths

JAKARTA – Indonesia confirmed 3 622 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 307 120, official data showed.

It also reported 102 new deaths, according to its COVID-19 task force, with total fatalities in Indonesia reaching 11 253.


Philippines confirms 2 291 new coronavirus cases, 64 more deaths

MANILA – The Philippine health ministry on Monday reported 2 291 new coronavirus infections and 64 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases in the Philippines have increased to 324 762, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 5 840.


Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1 382 to 300 619 - RKI

BERLIN – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1 382 to 300 619, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

The reported death toll rose by five to 9 534, the tally showed.


Malaysia reports 432 new coronavirus cases, biggest daily jump

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia reported 432 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the country's biggest daily jump in infections.

Most of the cases were local transmissions, the health ministry said on Twitter.


Mainland China reports 20 new Covid-19 cases, up from 16 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 20 new Covid-19 cases on 4 October, up from 16 reported a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Monday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed Covid-19 cases, rose to 27 from 26 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 85 470, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4 634.


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