Both the rate of new infections and deaths from the coronavirus has begun to spike in the worldwide totals again with some countries and locations having to go back into lockdowns for a second or third time. In the US and parts of Europe a major new surge of cases is concerning health authorities, especially as these countries are now heading into cooler weather, and people gathering indoors.
As of Saturday morning, Thai time, a total of 42,462,925 people have been infected worldwide with Covid-19, 1,148,698 have died and 31,417,499 have recovered.
The following graph shows today’s top ten countries with the most new infections in the past 24 hours…
Here’s a summary of some of the main world Covid-19 headlines…
Italy has recorded another record with 19,143 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. That’s up from Thursday’s record of 16,079 new coronavirus cases. 91 coronavirus deaths were also reported on Friday. The governor of Campania in Vincenzo De Luca has made a formal request for a national lockdown and says he will close his region “for 30 to 40 days” to try and control the recent surge.
The governor of Lombardy lamented that it is a “dramatic situation.” Lombardy was the epicentre of one of the first, and most dangerous. clusters in the world after the virus first spread out of China.
GRAPH: New cases surging across Italy – worldometers.info
A study from the Covid-19 forecasting team at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports that… if 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved from Covid-19 over the next 4 months.
In a survey done in September, only about 49% of US residents reported that they “always” wear a mask in public.
The study calculated that, if the current extent of mask-wearing were to continue, and states continue with removing social distancing mandates, the death toll across the US from Covid-19 could reach about 1 million deaths by the end of February.
“The study had some limitations, including that the findings are only forecast projections from models and not definitive of what the future holds.”
The IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray maintains that the study still helps offer insight into how mask-wearing can make a difference.
Uruguay is closing its borders during the summer season as a program to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Uraguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou says that it will be “a restricted summer”.
“The borders will be basically closed, with exceptions that are already known and perhaps some more.
“Because today there are many cases, or several cases, in the education sector, we have decided to suspend face-to-face classes for two weeks.”
“Public safety measures will be enforced… avoid large gatherings and parties. We will be very strict when it comes to the topic of parties.”
Uruguay, with a total population of 3.5 million, has reported at least 2,701 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 and 53 deaths as of Friday morning and shares borders with Argentina and Brazil, both heavily impacted with a rise of Covid cases.
The head of infectious diseases at Tenon Hospital in Paris, Gilles Pialoux, says France is paying the price for ending the coronavirus lockdown too quickly.
On Thursday, France announced 41,622 new cases, and on Friday 42,032.
It will be “really difficult to avoid a second lockdown given the circulation of the virus.”
Gilles says local lockdowns or lockdowns “by population group” could be the solution. The doctor added the circulation of the virus among the “20-30 year old age group was far beyond the rest of the population”.
5 countries with the highest rate of new Covid infections, when measured against population, are all in Europe.
They are the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The number of new infections has risen sharply since the start of October, and continues to surge as the European autumn sets in.
As of last Thursday, the Czech Republic had a rolling daily average (across five days) of 10,579 new cases, meaning 988 new infections a day per 1 million population, a four-fold increase since the start of October. Belgium, was in the same situation with an average of 891 new infections per million residents as of last Thursday. The two countries have by far the highest rate of new Covid-19 infections.
The UK has seen a sharp increase in its rolling averages during October, from 9,729 new cases to 19,290 per day. And the situation in Spain is less dramatic “but the daily average remains stubbornly high”. Infections per million are lower in other European countries, but they are still rising.
In comparison, the rolling averages of new cases in India and Brazil continue to fall, while the US is seeing a gradual but persistent rise. Its rolling average has risen from 43,089 at the start of October to 59,387 this week, representing 179 new cases a day per million population.
The UK’s economic recovery after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has now flattened out and threatens to reverse and trigger a double-dip recession. The government has announced new restrictions to tackle the second wave which are expected to stifle business activity.
A new survey of business activity indicates private sector growth in the UK falling back as hospitality and transport companies struggled to cope with regional lockdown measures.
As autumn spreads across North American, 25 states in the US are reporting rising Covid-19 infections. White House Coronavirus Taskforce officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States”.
Last Wednesday, at least 14 states had recorded their highest seven-day average of new daily cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Including Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Meanwhile, more than 41,000 people are currently hospitalised with the coronavirus across the country, according to the CovidTracking Project. Missouri and Idaho health officials say they’ll “soon be facing a crisis if hospitalisations continue to surge”.
The US reported the highest daily death toll in more than a month, with more than 1,100 new deaths.
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