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News24.com | LIVE | France reports over 1 000 people in ICU due to coronavirus

INTERNATIONAL NEWS 

The French health ministry reported on Thursday that the number of people in intensive care due to the coronavirus jumped over 1 000 for the first time since 8 June.

The ministry also said that the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital was up by 136 to 5 932.

- REUTERS 

Dogs used to detect coronavirus in pilot project at Helsinki airport

HELSINKI – Dogs trained to detect the novel coronavirus began sniffing passenger samples at Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa airport this week, authorities said, in a pilot project running alongside more usual testing at the airport.

The dogs' efficiency has not been proven in comparative scientific studies, so passengers who volunteer to be tested and are suspected as carrying the virus are instructed to also take a swab to confirm the result.

A team of 15 dogs and 10 instructors are being trained for the job in Finland by volunteers, sponsored by a private veterinary clinic. Among them is Kossi, a rescue dog from Spain, who was trained as a sniffer dog in Finland and who has worked before detecting cancers.

"What we've seen in our research is that the dogs will find (the disease) five days before they (patients) get any clinical symptoms," Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, who is adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and who specialised in clinical research for companion animals, told Reuters.

"They are very good (at it). We come close to 100-percent sensitivity," she said, referring to the dogs' ability to detect cases of the virus.

In the canine test, a passenger swipes their neck with a gauze, places it in a can which is then handed over to another room for a dog to sniff and to deliver an immediate result.

 - REUTERS

Children’s immune systems respond differently to Covid-19 than those of adults, research suggests

Previous research indicates that children tend to experience milder Covid-19 than adults. But exactly how do their immune systems react?

Early in the Covid-19 outbreak, evidence showed that children are likely to experience milder Covid-19 symptoms than adults.

What did the research entail?

For the research, scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Yale University investigated cases of 60 adult Covid-19 patients and 65 child patients (all younger than 24 years) between 13 March and 17 May 2020.

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Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 31.7 million, death toll at 971 130

More than 31.7 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 971 130 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.

 - REUTERS

Coronavirus morning recap: Fatigue common after Covid recovery, and homemade masks are effective

Fatigue is common in people who recover from Covid-19, regardless of severity; and homemade masks are effective, even when we sneeze, study finds.

LATEST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, we have learnt that people experience the disease differently. Some require hospitalisation where the outcome may be fatal, while others are able to recover at home.

But according to new research presented at a conference on Covid-19 hosted by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, there is one key factor that many Covid-19 patients, mild and severe alike, experience – persistent fatigue.

As more people recover from Covid-19, some are experiencing post-infection problems, the researchers stated.

"Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic Covid-19 infection. Whilst the presenting features of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been well-characterised, the medium and long-term consequences of infection remain unexplored,” explained Dr Liam Townsend, lead study author from St James's Hospital and Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

READ MORE ON HEALTH24
Major vaccine trial moves into next phase, Trump takes aim at China again - International Covid-19 newsUS President Donald Trump casts blame for the pandemic on China in an address before the United Nations, whose chief warns against a new "Cold War" between the two world powers.

The UK will host clinical trials where volunteers would be deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to assess the effectiveness of experimental vaccines, the Financial Times reported.

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it was entering the final Phase 3 stage of its Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial following positive results in earlier stages.

Organisers of world's leading annual mobile trade fair said Wednesday they would postpone the 2021 edition of the annual event from March to late June due to the pandemic.

Belgium is ending a requirement to wear masks outdoors and reducing the time people have to self-isolate, in a slight easing of coronavirus restrictions announced on Wednesday despite sharply rising numbers of Covid-19 infections.

strongMajor vaccine trial moves into next phase, Trump takes aim at China again - International Covid-19 newsbr /br //strongUS President Donald Trump casts blame for the pandemic on China in an address before the United Nations, whose chief warns against a new "Cold War" between the two world powers.br /br /The UK will host clinical trials where volunteers would be deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to assess the effectiveness of experimental vaccines, the Financial Times reported.br /br /Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it was entering the final Phase 3 stage of its Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial following positive results in earlier stages.br /br /Organisers of world's leading annual mobile trade fair said Wednesday they would postpone the 2021 edition of the annual event from March to late June due to the pandemic.br /br /Belgium is ending a requirement to wear masks outdoors and reducing the time people have to self-isolate, in a slight easing of coronavirus restrictions announced on Wednesday despite sharply rising numbers of Covid-19 infections.strong/strong
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Global news update at a glance:

Virus deaths top 971 000

The virus has killed at least 971 677 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP. More than 31.6 million cases have been confirmed.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 200 818 deaths, followed by Brazil with 138 108, India with 90 020, Mexico with 73 348 and the United Kingdom with 41 825.

Europe cases top five million

Europe has recorded more than five million infections, according to official sources, with a total of 5 000 421 cases now registered.

More than half of these were in Russia, followed by Spain, France and the United Kingdom.More than 380 000 new cases were reported in the past week, the highest number in the region since the start of the pandemic.

US-China spat

US President Donald Trump casts blame for the pandemic on China in an address before the United Nations, whose chief warns against a new "Cold War" between the two world powers.

China's ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, tells reporters that Trump's tone was "incompatible with the general atmosphere" of the world body.

"If we do have to hold anyone accountable, it should be the United States held accountable for losing so many lives with their irresponsible behaviour", he says.

Stricter measures for Paris

The French government prepares to announce stricter measures for Paris, where infections have exploded since an end to lockdown.Ministers will hold two meetings - including one of the defence council - during the day to analyse the worsening situation.

Anti-flu drug

The maker of anti-influenza drug Avigan says it will apply for the medication to be approved for treating coronavirus patients after trials show it can shorten recovery time.

Manufacturer Fujifilm Toyama Chemical says its phase three trial in Japan, which began in March, is now complete.

- AFP

Covid-19 wrap: Tokyo Olympics to require tests for athletes, UK's new measures met with scepticism

Here is the latest coronavirus news from around the world.

GET THE LATEST UPDATES

Covid-19 travel restrictions ravaged Spain hotel bookings in August

Travel restrictions around Europe aimed at curbing coronavirus contagion ravaged Spain's tourism industry during the crucial month of August, depriving it of millions of tourists.

The occupancy rate in Spanish hotels fell 64% last month from a year ago, data from the National Statistics Institute showed on Wednesday.

In the first eight months of the year, hotel bookings slumped 70% from the same period in 2019.

- Reuters

Russia reports 6 431 new coronavirus cases, 150 deaths

Russia on Wednesday reported 6 431 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, its highest daily increase since 13 July.

The authorities said 150 people had died in the day, bringing the official death toll to 19 799.

The new figures pushed Russia's national tally of cases to 1 122 241, the fourth-largest in the world.

- Reuters

It's official: you can now have 500 people at your wedding – if you keep it outdoors

As of Wednesday morning, weddings – and other functions, such as birthday parties – have gathering limits similar to those of concerts under Alert Level 1.

GET THE DETAILS FROM BUSINESS INSIDER

Memories of Italy's brutal first wave have caused people to follow protocols and keep Covid-19 cases low

Italy's first wave of coronavirus was so distressing that many in the country are still following protocols six months later, while other European countries, which have been laxer about protocols, now face a second wave.

READ THE BUSINESS INSIDER STORY

Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases

Indonesia reported 4 465 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the country's biggest daily rise, taking the total number of infections to 257 388, data from the country's health ministry showed.

The data added 140 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 9 977, the biggest death toll in Southeast Asia.

- Reuters

UK finance firms revert to home working as government advice shifts

Banks and insurers in Britain have ordered hundreds of staff to work from home home again, just days after many tried to encourage employees back to the office, following fresh guidance from the government.

Up to 1 000 Barclays staff who had returned to office-based working in recent weeks will revert to working from a spokesperson for the bank told Reuters on Tuesday.

French lender Societe Generale said it is also "adapting its position in line with UK government guidance", without stating the number of workers recently returned to work in its London offices who will now stay home.

Two other big British lenders told Reuters they would also likely reverse recent return-to-work moves for non-essential staff.

- Reuters

India's coronavirus infections surge again after dip

India's coronavirus infections surged again on Wednesday, a day after falling to their lowest figure in almost a month.

In the last 24 hours, there were 83 347 new cases, with 1 085 deaths, federal health data showed.

India, with a population of about 1.4 billion, is consistently reporting the world's highest daily tally of infections, as it grapples with overstretched health services in the effort to control the pandemic.

Its 5.6 million infections rank second only to the United States, and more than 90 000 people have died.

- Reuters

Japan may ease virus entry restrictions next month: reports

Japan is considering easing strict coronavirus border restrictions from October to allow more foreign nationals to enter, local media reported Wednesday.

Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, the reports said, as the nation looks to rebuild its economy and prepare for the postponed Olympics next year.

Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries, but has been negotiating the gradual resumption of cross-border business travel.

Business visitors are already allowed from seven places - including Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

- AFP

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus deaths approach 75 000 - health ministry

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus caseload rose to 705 263 on Tuesday, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a reported death toll of 74 348.

Authorities reported 4 683 new cases along with 651 deaths on Tuesday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing.

- Reuters

Australia's virus hotspot may speed up easing curbs as cases drop

Australia's coronavirus hot spot of Victoria is considering easing more curbs from 26 September than previously flagged, the state's premier said on Wednesday, as the two-week average of new infections in the city of Melbourne fell below 30.

Melbourne, Australia's second most populous city, has been the epicentre of the country's second wave of Covid-19. The city has been under a hard lockdown, including a nightly curfew, since 2 August.The state reported 15 new cases and five deaths on Wednesday.

The 14-day average in Melbourne dropped below the 30-50 band which the state set as a precondition for allowing around 100 000 people to return to work in construction, manufacturing, warehouses and child care from 28 September.

- Reuters

Pandemic panners: Indonesians hunt for gold in desperate times

With the coronavirus devastating jobs across the country, desperate Indonesians are flocking to illegal gold mines as the soaring price of the precious metal overrides the risk to their lives and the environment.

Spooked by the economic destruction wrought by the pandemic, consumers and investors around the world have been snapping up gold, which is seen as a hedge against volatility, sending its price to a record above $2 000 an ounce last month.

- AFP

Tracking Africa's coronavirus cases

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has reached every nation in Africa, a continent of 1.2 billion people.

As of 20 September, the confirmed coronavirus death toll on the continent was 33 818, with deaths including the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango, and Somalia's former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein.

There are 1 399 186 confirmed infections and 1 148 578 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

- Al Jazeera

FACTBOX | Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 31.44 million, death toll at 966 487

More than 31.44 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 966 487 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.

- Reuters

Coronavirus morning recap: Covid transmission, stroke scans, and 500 000 people download SA app

Latest science on Covid transmission; stroke scans may reveal coronavirus infection; and more than half a million South Africans have now downloaded the Covid-19 tracing app.

LATEST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

The case for wearing masks and doing everything we can to protect ourselves and others may be less effective than believed, as we might carry – and unknowingly spread – the novel coronavirus before we are even aware of being ill.

According to a new study from the University of Oxford, a large portion of transmissions are from people who carry the virus before symptoms appear, or very shortly after they start experiencing symptoms.

Luca Ferretti and his colleagues, all from the University of Oxford, investigated 191 cases of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from an infected person to an uninfected person to determine the timing of the initial infection and onset of symptoms, and exactly when infection of the other person occurred.

READ MORE ON HEALTH24
SA's Covid-19 death toll tops 16 000

The Covid-19 death toll in SA has increased by 126, taking it to 16 118.

The number of cases now sits at 663 282. The number of recoveries is at 592 904 - a recovery rate of 89.4%.

UK imposes tight curbs for next 6 months, top athlete tests positive - International Covid-19 news

The Covid-19 pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost 2 million even as new deaths decreased, World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19 with restrictions lasting probably six months.

Jordan reported 634 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, its highest daily count since the start of the pandemic in March, and health officials warned Covid-19 was spreading fast across the country.

Snooker World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was handed a bye to the second round of the European Masters on Tuesday after Welsh opponent Daniel Wells tested positive for Covid-19.

Sweden, which so far has decided against lockdowns as a means to contain Covid-19, is seeing early signs that the number of coronavirus cases are rising again and could impose new measures in the capital, its chief health officials said on Tuesday.

strongUK imposes tight curbs for next 6 months, top athlete tests positive - International Covid-19 news/strongbr /br /The Covid-19 pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost 2 million even as new deaths decreased, World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show.br /br /British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19 with restrictions lasting probably six months.br /br /Jordan reported 634 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, its highest daily count since the start of the pandemic in March, and health officials warned Covid-19 was spreading fast across the country.br /br /Snooker World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was handed a bye to the second round of the European Masters on Tuesday after Welsh opponent Daniel Wells tested positive for Covid-19.br /br /Sweden, which so far has decided against lockdowns as a means to contain Covid-19, is seeing early signs that the number of coronavirus cases are rising again and could impose new measures in the capital, its chief health officials said on Tuesday.
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Record rise in weekly Covid-19 cases, but deaths down: WHO

The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost 2 million even as new deaths decreased, World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show.

In its latest global update late on Monday, the UN health body said 1 998 897 new cases of the novel coronavirus had been registered around the world during the week ending on 20 September.

That marked a 6% increase from the week before and "the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic," the WHO said.

Since the novel coronavirus first surfaced in China late last year, it has infected more than 31 million people globally, while nearly 965 000 have died, according to the latest figures released on Tuesday.

Nearly all regions of the world saw new cases rise last week, WHO said, with Europe and the Americas seeing new cases swell by 11% and 10% respectively.

In countries such as the United Kingdom and Spain, restrictions were announced this week in fears of another outbreak as cases surged back to levels seen earlier in the year.

The United States continued to have the highest number of cases in the world, with more than 6.8 million infections, followed by India and Brazil.

Only Africa, which has remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic, dodged the upward trend, reporting a 12% drop in new cases from a week earlier.

- Al Jazeera

UK government tells people to work from home just weeks after warning home-workers they risk the sack

Boris Johnson will today urge people to work from home if they can in order to stop a spike in coronavirus infections, just weeks after launching a back to work drive.

READ THE BUSINESS INSIDER STORY

South Korea suspends flu shots in setback for winter Covid-19 preparations

South Korea suspended free flu shots on Tuesday after reports of problems in storing the vaccinations during transportation, disrupting plans to pre-emptively ease the burden on a healthcare system already strained by coronavirus outbreaks.

The country, which has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases since August, planned to procure 20% more flu vaccines for the winter than the previous year to jab 30 million people. It had planned to start free inoculation on Tuesday for some 19 million eligible people.

The head of South Korea's disease prevention agency said on Tuesday that some doses of the vaccine, which need to be refrigerated, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported to a medical facility.

It was not immediately known how many doses were affected, and authorities are looking into the entire batch of five million doses that were scheduled for distribution on Tuesday.

"I want to make it clear that the problem is not with the manufacturer's vaccine production, rather it is an issue raised about the refrigerated temperature maintenance in the distribution process," Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) chief Jeong Eun-kyeong told reporters.

- Reuters

China reports 6 new Covid-19 cases vs 12 a day earlier

China reported six new Covid-19 cases on 21 September, down from 12 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Tuesday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement all of the new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas.It also reported 15 new asymptomatic cases, also down from 25 reported a day earlier, though China does not classify these symptomless patients as confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The total number of confirmedinfections for mainland China is now 85 297, while the total death toll remained unchanged at 4 634.

- Reuters

All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across the whole of England must start closing at 22:00 from Thursday as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tackles a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Johnson, who will address both parliament and the nation on Tuesday, will also say the hospitality sector will be restricted by law to table service only, according to excerpts of his remarks provided by his Downing Street office on Monday.

- Reuters

US closes in on 200 000 virus deaths, weeks before election

The United States edged close to registering 200 000 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if US President Donald Trump will stay in office.

According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 199 743 Americans have died and 6.8 million have been confirmed infected.

The US has had the world's highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 136 895 and 87 882 deaths respectively.

Overall, the US accounts for 4% of the world's population and 20% of its coronavirus deaths, while its daily fatality rate relative to the overall population is four times greater than that of the European Union.

Critics say the statistics expose the Trump administration's failure to meet its sternest test ahead of the 3 November election.

- AFP

Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against Covid-19

A new study that analysed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19.

The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, and shared exclusively with Reuters, compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.

Places with lower coronavirus infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.

- Reuters

39 more Covid-19 deaths

39 new deaths take SA's Covid-19 fatalities to 15 992. New infections are up by 725, taking the number of cases to 661 936.

The number of recoveries sits at 591 208 - a recovery rate of 89.3%.

Coronavirus morning recap: See how Covid-19 infects, repurposed vaccine, and damage to the brain

Recap of the latest coronavirus research, science, and news: Images of how Covid infects the lungs; repurposed measles vaccine trial; and how the brain is affected.

LATEST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

The lungs are the organs most commonly affected by Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, and researchers from the UNC School of Medicine have published striking images of cells infected by the virus.

The high-powered microscopic images generated by Dr Camille Ehre from UNC (done in collaboration with two other researchers), show high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread infection in infected individuals and transmit infection to others.

In a laboratory setting, the researchers inoculated the SARS-CoV-2 virus into human bronchial epithelial cells. Using scanning electron microscopy, they examined the cells 96 hours later.

READ MORE ON HEALTH24
UK faces 'soaring' rise in deaths, Uganda opens borders after 6 months - International Covid-19 news

Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from Covid-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said.

Reuters reports on a new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19. 

More than 240 asylum seekers at a new temporary camp on the Greek island of Lesbos are infected with the novel coronavirus, the public health agency said Monday. 

As in many other countries, the crisis has hit people in the pocket in Russia - some have lost jobs, others have seen their wages fall, and businesses have encountered difficulties.

Uganda has reopened to international visitors bearing a negative Covid-19 certificate, President Yoweri Museveni has said, six months after the country sealed its borders to contain the pandemic.   

strongUK faces 'soaring' rise in deaths, Uganda opens borders after 6 months - International Covid-19 news/strongbr /br /Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from Covid-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said.br /br /Reuters reports on a new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19. br /br /More than 240 asylum seekers at a new temporary camp on the Greek island of Lesbos are infected with the novel coronavirus, the public health agency said Monday. br /br /As in many other countries, the crisis has hit people in the pocket in Russia - some have lost jobs, others have seen their wages fall, and businesses have encountered difficulties.br /br /Uganda has reopened to international visitors bearing a negative Covid-19 certificate, President Yoweri Museveni has said, six months after the country sealed its borders to contain the pandemic.   
Read the wrap here
Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against Covid-19

A new study that analysed the Covid-19 outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19.

The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, and shared exclusively with Reuters, compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.

Places with lower coronavirus infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.

"This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue's Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2," the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel coronavirus.

"If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection" against the coronavirus, it added.

Nicolelis told Reuters the results are particularly interesting because previous studies have shown that people with dengue antibodies in their blood can test falsely positive for Covid-19 antibodies even if they have never been infected by the coronavirus.

"This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected, because the two viruses are from completely different families," Nicolelis said, adding that further studies are needed to prove the connection.

The study was being published ahead of peer review on the MedRxiv preprint server and will be submitted to a scientific journal.

It highlights a significant correlation between lower incidence, mortality and growth rate of Covid-19 in populations in Brazil where the levels of antibodies to dengue were higher.

Brazil has the world's third highest total of Covid-19 infections with more than 4.4 million cases - behind only the United States and India.

- Reuters 

European stocks tank on fears of second coronavirus wave

Europe's top equity markets tumbled by 3% on Monday, as investors fretted over mounting fears of a second wave of coronavirus and a lack of fresh central bank stimulus, dealers said.

The banking sector was also rocked by the findings of an international journalism investigation that claimed massive sums of allegedly dirty money have flowed for years through some of the world's largest banking institutions.

In late morning deals, London stocks dived by 3.0% after Health Minister Matt Hancock warned Britain's coronavirus crisis was at a "tipping point", fueling expectations of more restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19.

In midday eurozone trade, Frankfurt and Paris had each shed 3.0%, Milan dropped by 3.3%, and Madrid sank by 3.5% after a partial virus lockdown began in the Spanish capital's densely-populated south.

The European single currency was pushed under $1.18 as dealers sought the traditional safety of the dollar, while oil prices shed almost 2.0 percent on weak energy demand concerns.

Travel stocks again face severe turbulence amid the rising fears over new restrictions - with British Airways owner International Airlines Group the top FTSE 100 faller.

IAG stock spiralled 14.2% lower to stand at 94.82 pence and no-frills rival EasyJet lost 9.3% to 489.70 pence.

Most Asian bourses also fell following a disappointing performance Friday on Wall Street, on growing alarm over an uptick in coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States - as well as the lack of movement in Washington on a new stimulus.

Britain's government, noting hospitalisation rates are doubling every eight days, said fresh restrictions could be put in place across England, with several cities already seeing some measures.

France has seen fatalities creep back up, and a million people in and around Madrid were under new "stay-at-home" orders.

Shares in major banks dived after Buzzfeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published findings over dirty money allegedly flowing through institutions.

- AFP

Ghana's football is back, but borders still closed, says president

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday announced the return of professional football as part of a loosening of restrictions following a fall in the number of coronavirus cases.

But the West African country's land and sea borders remain closed, and its beaches, bars, cinemas and night clubs will also stay shut for the time being, he said in a televised address.

"Now more than ever, we must be even more disciplined in our adherence to the personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing measures that have become part of our daily routines," he warned.

The loosening of restrictions means training in contact sports can resume, while Premier League and Division One football will resume on October 30, he said. Players and support staff will be regularly tested, he added.

But the wearing of masks will remain mandatory until 14 December.

- AFP

Covid-19 wrap | Taj Mahal reopens in India, US to surpass grim milestone of 200 000 virus deaths

Here are the latest coronavirus global updates

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Near normal Christmas depends on controlling Covid now, UK health minister says

Britain needs to control the coronavirus now in order for Christmas to be as normal as possible, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday.

"The more we can control the virus now and stop the spread now, the easier it's going to be to have a Christmas that's as close to normal as possible," he said during an interview on ITV.

"I really hope we can get there."

"If this runs out of control now, we'll have to take heavier measures in the future," he said.

- Reuters

UK chief scientific adviser warns: As Covid-19 spreads, deaths will rise

There will be more hospitalisations and deaths as Covid-19 spreads, the British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said on Monday.

"As it spreads across age groups we expect to see an increase in hospitalisations and unfortunately those increases in hospitalisations will lead to an increase in deaths."

- Reuters

Czech health minister resigning amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Monday he had submitted his resignation following criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as the central European country sees a surge in cases.

- Reuters

Repurposed measles vaccine trials to fight Covid-19 set to kick off in SA - report

An international trial which will test whether a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine will protect frontline healthcare workers from Covid-19 is set to kick off in South Africa, according to a report in Business Day on Monday.

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Nehawu set to protest outside Union Buildings for frontline workers

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union's (Nehawu) NECis set to protest outside the Union Buildings on Monday to get President CyrilRamaphosa to respond "adequately and positively" to their demands,detailed in a memorandum submitted earlier this month.

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New Zealand to ease coronavirus restrictions in Auckland, rest of country

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the coronavirus restrictions in its biggest city Auckland will be eased, while all restrictions will be lifted in the rest of the country.

Auckland will move to alert level 2 from Thursday, Ardern said at a news conference on Monday, which will limit gatherings to 100 people.

The rest of the country will move to level 1 from midnight on Monday, she said.

- Reuters

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