Covid-19 Wrap: Virus curbs tighten in Europe as global deaths top 1.3 million

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  • New restrictions to curtail a second wave of coronavirus infections have been announced around the world.
  • The pandemic cast a shadow over Diwali celebrations for hundreds of millions in India.
  • Elon Musk has said he "most likely" has a moderate case of Covid-19.


Virus curbs tighten in Europe

A swathe of new restrictions to curtail a second wave of coronavirus infections were announced or came into force from Austria to Greece, Italy to Portugal on Saturday as the global death toll climbed above 1.3 million.

More than 53 million have been infected worldwide by Covid-19, which is running rampant throughout America and Europe, forcing governments to take more drastic action despite the potential economic devastation.

Austria joined a growing trend announcing schools and non-essential shops would close from Tuesday, having imposed a partial lockdown two weeks ago.

Greece, battling a saturated national health system, announced it would shut all schools after imposing a nationwide night curfew from Friday.

In Italy, the regions of Tuscany and Campania -- of which Florence and Naples are the respective capitals -- plunged into "red zones" of tough restrictions, which now cover 26 million of the 60 million population.

Beyond Europe, Lebanon entered a new two-week lockdown, with hospitals in the crises-wracked country almost at capacity.

Bars in New York, the epicentre of the US's spring outbreak, were ordered to close at 10 pm from Friday. Schools could move to online only teaching as early as Monday.

The United States, the country hardest hit by Covid-19, saw 188,858 more cases and 1,596 more deaths Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah is the latest star footballer to be forced to isolate at home after testing positive following his brother's wedding in Egypt

Diwali dimmed

In India, the pandemic and chronic pollution cast a shadow over Diwali celebrations for hundreds of millions on the biggest Hindu holiday of the year on Saturday.

In the smog-shrouded capital New Delhi firecrackers were banned for the Festival of Light and while people still thronged markets, traders said Covid-19 had scared shoppers off spending.

With 8.7 million cases, India has the world's second-highest coronavirus infection count behind the US.

Elon Musk says 'most likely' has a moderate case

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Saturday he "most likely" has a moderate case of Covid-19, as he continued to question the accuracy of the tests.

"Am getting wildly different results from different labs, but most likely I have a moderate case of covid. My symptoms are that of a minor cold, which is no surprise, since a coronavirus is a type of cold," Musk wrote in a tweet.

He did not mention whether the results were from polymerase chain reaction tests, which are more accurate than rapid tests.

"A little up & down. Feels just like a regular cold, but more body achy & cloudy head than coughing/sneezing," the Tesla CEO wrote in reply to a user asking about symptoms.

Musk said on Thursday that rapid antigen test results from the same machine and the same test showed he tested positive twice and then negative twice all on the same day.

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