The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than a million people and infected over 37 million worldwide. Here are the developments for October 10:

People hold a banner reading
People hold a banner reading "Against Corona-deniers and right rabble-rousing" against those demonstrating against masks and virus restrictions in Konstanz, Germany, on October 4, 2020. (AFP)

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Brazil surpasses 150,000 deaths

Brazil has registered 559 additional coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 26,749 new cases, the nation's Health Ministry said.

The South American country has now registered 5,082,637 total confirmed coronavirus cases and 150,198 total deaths.

UK reports 15,166 new cases

The United Kingdom has recorded 15,166 new daily cases of Covid-19, a rise on the 13,864 cases reported the day before, government data showed.

A further 81 people died after testing positive for the virus within 28 days, the latest daily figures showed.

French daily cases set new record 

The number of new virus infections in France has jumped over 26,000 in one day for the first time since the start of the epidemic, health ministry data showed.

The ministry reported 26,896 new infections, taking the cumulative total to 718,873 since the start of the year. The number of deaths from the virus increased by 54 to 32,684. 

Lesson not learned: Europe unprepared as new wave hits

Europe's second wave of coronavirus infections has struck well before the flu season even started, with intensive care wards filling up again and bars shut down. 

Making matters worse, authorities say, is a widespread case of "Covid-fatigue."

Record high daily infections in several eastern European countries and sharp rebounds in the hard-hit west have made clear that Europe never really crushed the Covid-19 curve as hoped, after springtime lockdowns.

"When the state of alarm was abandoned, it was time to invest in prevention, but that hasn’t been done," lamented Margarita del Val, viral immunology expert with the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center, part of Spain's top research body, CSIC.

"We are in the fall wave without having resolved the summer wave," she said.

Experts say Europe's high infection rate is due in large part to expanded testing that is turning up far more asymptomatic positives than during the first wave when only the sick could get a test.

But the trend is nevertheless alarming, given the flu season hasn't even begun, schools are open for in-person learning and the cold weather hasn’t yet driven Europeans indoors, where infection can spread more easily.

"We're seeing 98,000 cases reported in the last 24 hours. That’s a new regional record. That's very alarming," said Robb Butler, executive director of the WHO’s Europe regional office. While part of that is due to increased testing, "It’s also worrisome in terms of virus resurgence."

Spanish PM urges end to feud as far-right protests

Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has appealed for unity after the far-right Vox party said it would take legal action against a partial lockdown imposed on Madrid to contain one of Europe's worst coronavirus outbreaks.

Vox, which is echoing the conservative-led Madrid regional authority's opposition to the new restrictions implemented via a state of emergency, has also called for protests.

The measures affecting 3.8 million people in the Spanish capital and eight satellite towns include a ban on non-essential travel except for work, school, or medical reasons.

Around 7,000 police are deployed to ensure compliance.

Vox leader Santiago Abascal said his party, Spain's third-largest, would appeal in the constitutional court against the "illegal" state of emergency. Opponents say the measures in Madrid are excessive and will crush the economy.

Spain said on Friday it had recorded 861,112 coronavirus cases and 32,929 deaths.

Portugal sees over 1,600 new cases

Portugal has reported 1,646 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, according to health authority DGS.

The country of 10 million people surpassed 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since April on Thursday. 

Dutch hit daily record with around 6,500 new cases

The Netherlands has reached a new record in daily coronavirus cases, hitting nearly 6,500 infections in 24 hours, new data has shown.

The government has warned that new restrictions will have to be imposed across the country, one of the worst-hit in Europe's second Covid-19 wave, if the number of infections and hospital admissions does not drop this weekend.

Fury in northern England as UK readies three-tiered curbs

Mayors representing millions across northern England have vented their anger as the government readied to impose a new three-tier coronavirus lockdown regime which critics charge will leave the poorest workers even worse off.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline the new regime on Monday as rates of Covid-19 infection surge particularly in the north, worsening a national death toll of more than 42,000 which is already the worst in Europe.

Under stinging criticism after media leaks detailed the government's plan, Johnson will give a statement to parliament following a weekend of consultations between his staff and leaders of the regions affected.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak on Friday said he would pay up to two-thirds of staff monthly wages to firms forced to close over the winter months under the new system's highest level of lockdown, tier three.

But mayors representing cities including Manchester and Liverpool said the new support fell woefully short for those on minimum wage like bar staff and kitchen workers, and self-employed people such as taxi drivers and security guards.

Top EU official tests positive for virus 

EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has tested positive for Covid-19, the first top Brussels official known to have caught the coronavirus.

Gabriel, the EU commissioner for research and innovation, had already announced on Monday that she would self-isolate after a member of her team tested positive for the virus.

"After a first negative #COVID19 test on Monday, my second one is positive," said Gabriel, who is Bulgaria's representative to the 27-member EU executive.

"I have been in self-isolation since Monday and continue staying at home, following the established regulations. Keep yourself healthy and stay safe!" she said.

Poland's daily coronavirus cases top 5,000

Poland has announced new measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic after reporting record infections for a fifth straight day, but it stopped short of introducing mandatory distance learning for schools.

Seniors would now have special shopping hours every morning from 10 am to noon, and care homes would receive an extra 38 million zlotys in government funding, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference.

However, Morawiecki said that there was no need to shut schools yet after he had indicated the government might do so earlier this week.

"For today we don't see the need to introduce mandatory distance learning," Morawiecki said, adding the government would hold a weekly re-evaluation to decide if further restrictions were needed to curb the pandemic.

Germany's coronavirus cases up by 4,721

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 4,721 to 319,381, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has shown.

The reported death toll has risen by 15 to 9,604, the tally showed.

Nurses suffer burn-out, psychological distress in virus fight

Many nurses caring for Covid-19 patients are suffering burn-out or psychological distress, and many have faced abuse or discrimination outside of work, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said.

Supplies of personal protective equipment for nurses and other health workers in some care homes remain insufficient, it said, marking World Mental Health Day.

"We are extremely concerned about the mental health impact on nurses," Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the ICN's chief executive, told Reuters Television at the association's headquarters in Geneva. 

"Our most recent survey of national nurses' associations shows that more than 70 percent of them (the associations) were saying that nurses have been subject to violence or discrimination and as a result of that they are very concerned about extreme cases of psychological distress and mental health pressure," he said.

The figure was based on responses from roughly a quarter of its national nurses' associations in more than 130 countries.

Russia reports its highest number of daily infections

Cases in Russia rose by 12,846, a new daily record since the start of the outbreak early this year, pushing the overall total number of infections to 1,285,084.

The previous record of 12,126 new cases was registered on Friday.

Russia's coronavirus crisis centre said 197 more deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 22,454.

Britain readies three-tiered Covid curbs next week

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected next week to outline a new three-tier lockdown system as rates of infection surge particularly in northern England.

Under stinging criticism after media leaks detailed the government's plan without consultation with local leaders, Johnson will give a statement to parliament on Monday after stepping up contacts with regions affected.

His chief strategic adviser Edward Lister on Friday wrote to MPs representing seats in northern England, following a meeting with regional leaders, to warn them it was "very likely" the region will have to submit to tougher rules.

Poland reports record daily increase in cases

Poland reported a record 5,300 new virus infections, according to health ministry data published on Twitter, as new restrictions including wearing masks outside at all times go into effect.

Poland has now recorded 121,638 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,972 deaths.

Indonesia reports 4,294 new infections

Indonesia reported 4,294 new infections to bring the total tally of 328,952, data from the country's Covid-19 task force showed.

The Southeast Asia country also reported 88 more people have died from the virus, the lowest daily number in a week. Indonesia's total number of coronavirus deaths now stands at 11,765. 

Philippines records 2,249 new cases, 87 more deaths

The Philippines' health ministry recorded 2,249 new virus infections and 87 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases in the Philippines have increased to 336,926, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 6,238.

Ukraine reports record daily jump in coronavirus deaths

The number of daily deaths in Ukraine has exceeded 100 for the first time since the epidemic began, jumping to 108, the national security council said.

The previous record of 93 deaths was registered on October 8.

The council said a total of 256,266 cases had been registered in Ukraine as of October 10, with 4,887 deaths and 112,570 people recovered.

The government said it would open more hospitals to accept coronavirus patients amid a recent spike in cases.

It is also mulling ways to toughen lockdown measures, which have been gradually eased since June to help the economy, which plunged 11.4 percent in the second quarter.

India cases approach 7 million amid slower pace

India’s confirmed virus cases are nearing 7 million with another 73,272 reported in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry also reported 926 additional deaths, taking total fatalities to 107,416. The deaths have remained below 1,000 for the seventh straight day.

India is seeing a slower pace of spread since mid-September when the daily infections touched a record of 97,894 cases. 

It’s averaging more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month, while the recovery rate has exceeded 85 percent.

But health experts have warned that congregations during major festivals later this month and in November have the potential for the virus to spread.

Experts say India’s fragile health system has been bolstered in recent months but could still be overwhelmed by an exponential rise in cases.

Consumer activity is gradually rebounding and millions of factory workers who had fled cities when India imposed a 2-month-long rigorous lockdown on March 25 are returning.

Brazil nears milestone of 150,000 deaths

Brazil registered 682 additional deaths over the last 24 hours and 27,444 new virus cases, the nation's Health Ministry said.

The South American country has now registered 5,055,888 total confirmed virus cases and 149,639 total deaths.

Lockdown tests faith in virus-hit Philippines

After months of live streaming mass to millions of faithful from behind closed doors, churches in the Catholic-majority Philippines are beginning to reopen.

But strict rules mean worship is still far from normal, and the contagion spreading across the deeply religious country has forced churches to get creative to meet the spiritual needs of their congregations.

Social distancing rules limit three people to pews that normally sit 10 and every second bench is left empty in the cavernous church where thousands of worshippers once flocked for mass.

Face coverings must be worn at all times, even when believers take the piece of bread given to them during the Holy Communion by a priest or minister who is not exempt from the protocols.

In Brooklyn, Orthodox Jews defiant in face of virus shutdown

In an Orthodox Jewish area of Brooklyn, community members vowed to defy government attempts to restrict their worship over rising concerns as they marked a religious holiday.

Borough Park saw angry protests by Hasidic Jews this week after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was partially shutting down the neighbourhood to stem a second wave of Covid-19.

Citywide on Thursday, the rate of positive tests was 1.16 percent but in a Borough Park zip code 8.7 percent of tests came back positive, according to government statistics.

Many of the neighborhoods recording high rates include large Orthodox Jewish communities, where residents recently celebrated the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.

Cuomo said the targeted shutdowns are necessary to stop the virus spreading, blaming the surge on a let-up in social distancing.

Czech Republic reports 8,618 new cases in one day

The Czech Republic's daily count of new cases rose to 8,618, the fourth record tally in a row, Health Ministry data showed.

The total number of cases rose to 109,374 in the country of 10.7 million. 

The government has announced tighter anti-pandemic measures this week, while trying to avoid a lockdown. 

Second US presidential debate set for October 15 cancelled 

The Commission on Presidential Debates has cancelled next week's showdown between Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden after the president said he would not participate in a virtual format.

The commission announced on Thursday it was converting the October 15 town hall debate to a virtual affair out of an abundance of caution because Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.

But the president, who has been eager to return to the campaign trail and hold live events, refused to participate in the virtual format and sought unsuccessfully to return it to an in-person debate.

Biden had said earlier this week he would not debate Trump in person if he still had the virus, and his campaign called Trump's refusal to adapt to a virtual format "shameful."

Trump stops taking medications to combat virus

US President Donald Trump said in an interview on Fox News that he stopped taking medications to combat the virus eight hours ago.

Trump, eager to get back on the election campaign trail after being sidelined by a Covid-19 infection, will begin by giving remarks to supporters outdoors at the White House on Saturday and then hold a rally in Florida two days later. 

Libyan capital's mosques open after seven-month closure

Mosques have reopened in and around the Libyan capital almost seven months after they were ordered to close as part of strict curbs to rein in the pandemic.

Libya, ravaged by a complex web of conflicts since the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising, has seen a surge in infections since its first coronavirus case in March.

According to the latest official figures, there have been more than 41,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 621 deaths in Libya, a country of less than seven million people.

US, AstraZeneca strike deal for antibody treatment

The US government has awarded $486 million to AstraZeneca to develop and secure supplies of up to 100,000 doses of Covid-19 antibody treatments. 

The agreement, under the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, is for developing a monoclonal antibody cocktail that can prevent the virus, especially in high-risk populations like those over 80 years old, the US Department of Health and Human Services said.

The treatment came into the spotlight after Trump was treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' antibody-drug last week.

The president has also released a video on Twitter touting its benefits.

North Korea to defy virus with parade

Nuclear-armed North Korea is expected to parade its latest and most advanced weapons through the streets of Pyongyang, as the virus-barricaded country celebrates the 75th anniversary of leader Kim Jong-un's ruling party.

South Korea's unification minister told parliament that a "large-scale parade" was anticipated, and satellite imagery on the respected 38North website has also suggested the cavalcade could be huge.

The anniversary comes during a difficult year for North Korea as the pandemic and recent storms add pressure to the heavily sanctioned country.

Mexico reports 5,263 new cases, 411 more deaths

Mexico's Ministry of Health has reported 5,263 new virus cases and 411 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 809,751 cases and 83,507 deaths.

The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies