International update: Global Covid infections pass 43.5 million – WHO warns of ‘pandemic fatigue’

27th October 2020 (Last Updated October 27th, 2020 09:12)

27 October

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 43.5 million. The global coronavirus death toll is 1,159,708 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization chief warned Monday that abandoning efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic, as suggested by a top US official, was “dangerous”, urging countries not to “give up”. He acknowledged that after months of battling the new coronavirus, which has claimed more than 1.1 million lives globally, a certain level of “pandemic fatigue” had set in.

US: US Covid-19 infections exceed 8.7 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 225,735 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Average deaths per day across the country are up 10% over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday. Newly confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

California, home of the most US coronavirus cases, surpassed 900,000 infections. It added 2,981 cases yesterday for a total of 901,010, according to state health data.

A paused clinical trial of an Eli Lilly & Co. experimental antibody therapy won’t resume after federal researchers concluded the drug likely wouldn’t help hospitalized Covid-19 patients with advanced cases.

China: Mainland China reported 16 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on 26 October, down from 20 a day earlier, the country’s health authorities said on Tuesday. The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 reported a day earlier amid a fresh wave of symptomless infections being reported in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

India: India reported 36,470 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, marking its lowest daily increase since 17 July. The country now has 7.95 million cases, trailing only the US in total infections. India’s coronavirus-related death-toll is now 119,502, according to government data.

France: France alone may be experiencing 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day – double the latest official figures – Prof Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, said. Tougher coronavirus containment measures could be announced in the country later this week.

Germany: Germany is on the verge of losing control of its fight against the coronavirus, Angela Merkel has reportedly warned colleagues. In an indication of the growing concern, Merkel brought forward a meeting on additional coronavirus restrictions with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states from Friday to Wednesday.

Italy: Italians have been advised against trips to other European countries because of surging coronavirus cases, with the foreign ministry warning they could get trapped overseas if travel bans became necessary..

Pope Francis will have to forego meeting Catholics at the annual Advent and Christmas masses in the Vatican owing to the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, the specialist Catholic News Agency reported on Monday.

Bulgaria: Bulgaria reported record numbers of new cases, deaths and patients in intensive care, putting fresh pressure on the country’s health-care system. The Balkan country reported 2,243 daily coronavirus cases, the first time new infections topped 2,000, as well as 42 deaths. The numbers come as Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is recovering at home after testing positive for Covid-19.

Belgium: Belgium’s intensive care units will be overrun in a fortnight if the rate of infection continues, a spokesman for country’s Covid-19 crisis centre has said. Dr Yves Van Laethem said the 2,000 intensive care beds would be full with patients without a change of course. On Monday morning, new regulations came into force in Brussels.

Philippines: The Philippines has the second-worst outbreak in Southeast Asia, with over 371,000 cases as of Monday. It reported fewer coronavirus cases last week amid a slowdown in testing as the Red Cross halted most of its Covid-19 operations after the state health insurer failed to pay.

Australia: Victoria recorded zero new cases for second time. The epicentre of Australia’s Covid-19 infections said on Tuesday it had gone 48 hours without detecting any new cases for the first time in more than seven months.

Vaccine news

US: The Trump administration will this week announce a plan to cover out-of-pocket costs of Covid-19 vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid, Politico reported late on Monday.

India: Cadila Healthcare Ltd., is in talks with potential partners to ramp up production capacity if its Covid vaccine candidate passes human clinical trials. The Ahmedabad-based firm is looking to hire contract manufacturers for an additional 50 million to 70 million doses of its plasmid DNA vaccine, on top of the 100 million that will come from its own capacity, according to Managing Director Sharvil Patel.

UK: Antibody responses to the coronavirus may diminish over time, according to a study that showed the natural defenses waning in Britons who’d previously been exposed. Among 365,000 randomly selected U.K. adults who tested themselves at home, 4.4% had antibodies in September, compared with 6% in June, according to research published Tuesday by Imperial College London and polling service Ipsos MORI.

Lockdown updates

Czech Republic: The Czech government has ordered a 9pm curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays, as part of tighter measures adopted to stem a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Italy: Protesters turned out by the hundreds in Turin, Milan and other Italian cities and towns Monday to vent their anger, sometimes violently, at the latest pandemic restrictions that force restaurants and cafes to close early and shutter cinemas, gyms and other leisure venues.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the city would re-open public beaches, as the city slowly lifts strict virus-related restrictions. Hong Kong currently limits public gatherings to four people and has compulsory mask-wearing rules.

Philippines: The Philippines will keep loose movement restrictions in its capital through November after the Southeast Asian nation recorded fewer infections last week. Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine, where most businesses are allowed to operate, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a briefing aired Tuesday.

Economy updates

Global: Stock markets have opened sharply down in Asia Pacific on Tuesday, taking their cue from the US and Europe where shares fell on Monday amid concerns that the second wave of coronavirus is not being contained.

UK: A plan to open up air travel between Dubai and London is ready and could be implemented once approved by the respective governments, according to the head of the emirate’s airport operator. Testing and quarantine requirements have been agreed by hubs and airlines, Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, said in an interview.