International update: Global Covid infections pass 54.4 million – US cases rise one million in one week

16th November 2020 (Last Updated November 16th, 2020 09:52)

16 November

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 54.4 million, meanwhile, the global coronavirus death toll exceeds 1.3 million according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

US: Covid-19 infections have passed 11 million. The US passed 11 million coronavirus cases just one week after confirming its ten-millionth case. The US coronavirus death toll is 246,217 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The White House is coming under growing pressure to allow transition talks to begin amid a terrifying surge in coronavirus cases that is pushing hospital systems across the US to the brink of collapse.

Two of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisers said they favor targeted local measures to stem the pandemic and oppose a nationwide U.S. lockdown as too blunt.

Michigan and Washington on Sunday joined several other states in announcing renewed efforts to combat the coronavirus, and as many Americans prepare to observe a Thanksgiving holiday marked by the pandemic.

California reported 10,968 new cases Sunday, a three-month high. Along with Saturday’s 9,875 infections, this makes it the worst weekend in months after the state surpassed 1 million cases last week.

UK: Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is self-isolating after coming into contact with an MP who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, Downing Street said on Sunday.

Covid-19 testing capacity in the UK is to be more than doubled, with major new laboratories to open early next year in a sign the government is planning for the pandemic to persist despite hopes for a number of vaccine candidates.

The UK added 24,962 cases on Sunday, in line with the average of 24,702 in the previous seven days. The country’s tally has risen by more than 20,000 cases every day since 2 November. Deaths increased by 168, below the weekly average of 411. Figures have been lower on weekends, when some reporting is delayed.

France: France reported 27,228 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. The seven-day average, which smooths out fluctuations in the data, shrank by 5.5% to 27,786, showing a continued decline over the past week as the country nears 2 million cases.

South Korea: South Korea reported 223 new cases in 24 hours,up from 208 a day earlier, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. The number is the biggest increase in 11 weeks.

Australia: South Australia state is battling a growing number of Covid-19 infections, with 17 cases now linked to a family cluster in the capital, Adelaide.

Italy: Italy reported 33,979 new coronavirus cases and 546 new deaths on Sunday, as regions including Florence and Naples adapted to new restrictions, including closed shops and restaurants. Cases remain close to recent highs but have declined from a record 40,902 cases on Friday. Sporadic protests erupted in cities including Rome and Turin against the measures taken by the government.

Vaccine news

UK: A vaccine from a unit of Johnson & Johnson is set to move to the third phase of clinical trials in the UK on Monday that will test the safety and effectiveness of the shot. The testing round by Janssen Pharmaceutical will include 6,000 volunteers and take place across 17 sites, according to a statement. The vaccine is the third candidate to be tested in the U.K., alongside one from an AstraZeneca Plc in partnership with the University of Oxford and another from Novavax Inc., it said.

Lockdown updates

Germany: Germany is considering additional measures, including limiting gatherings and completely halting private parties until Christmas to limit the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing a draft document it has seen. Under new measures, people from one household will be allowed to meet with two people from another household, down from a maximum of 10 people from two households now. Measures include mandatory mask wearing for school students.

New Zealand: Masks must be worn on Auckland public transport and on all domestic flights throughout New Zealand, effective from midnight Nov. 18, Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins said in an emailed statement.

Economy updates

Japan: Japan’s economy grew at the fastest pace on record in the third quarter,rebounding sharply from its biggest postwar slump, as improved exports and consumption helped the country emerge from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

China: China’s retail sales continued a general recovery in October, official data showed on Monday, on the back of a national holiday and policies aimed at boosting spending.