The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 958,000 people and infected over 30.86 million worldwide. Here are the coronavirus-related developments for September 19:

People wearing protective face masks walk in a busy street in Paris on September 18, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks walk in a busy street in Paris on September 18, 2020. (Reuters)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

France reports new daily record in infections

French health authorities have reported 13,498 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, setting another record in daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country.

The number of people in France who have died from the infection was up by 26, at 31,274, and the cumulative number of cases now totals 442,194 as of Saturday.

Canada's Ontario cracks down on parties

Canada's most populous province is cracking down on private social gatherings as cases surge, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said in a surprise news conference.

Ontario reported 407 new cases on Saturday compared with about 80 per day two weeks ago. 

Canada on Friday recorded 1,044 new cases from a day earlier, making it the third time in five days that new daily infections have topped 1,000.

Ontario is scrambling to tamp down a recent spike in coronavirus cases as children return to school and the province struggles to increase its testing capacity, forcing many in cities to wait in line for hours this week to get swabbed.

Private parties are a "significant contributor" to the recent rise, provincial health minister Christine Elliott said.

UK risks new lockdown as cases hit highest since May

Britain is likely to need to reintroduce some national coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a leading epidemiologist said on Saturday, as new cases rose to their highest level since early May.

Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London's Imperial College and a former government adviser, told the BBC the country was facing a "perfect storm" of rising infections as people return to work and school.

Government data on Saturday showed 4,422 new cases, 100 more than on Friday and the highest daily total since May 8, based on positive test results.

Turkey's coronavirus cases exceed 300,000

The total number of coronavirus cases in Turkey has risen to more than 300,000, the health ministry said.

The ministry said there were 1,538 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 301,348. The death toll rose by 68 to 7,445 on Saturday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday the government needs to ramp up measures to curb the rise in cases, which has also prompted protests from doctors who say official data underplays the scale of the outbreak.

Iran's death toll climbs above 24,000

Iran's death toll has risen by 166 to 24,118, a health ministry spokeswoman told state TV.

The total number of identified cases spiked by 2,845 in the last 24 hours to 419,043 in Iran, one of the Middle East's worst-hit countries, spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying. 

Poland reports record daily cases

Poland has reported 1,002 new cases, according to the Health Ministry's Twitter account, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.

The new record comes days after the authorities tightened conditions under which doctors are obliged to send patients for testing. 

Critics say the new rules may limit the number of people going for tests.

Indonesia reports its biggest daily rise in infections

Indonesia has reported its biggest daily rise in infections, with 4,168 new cases, taking the total to 240,687, data from the country's health ministry showed.

The data added 112 new deaths, taking the total to 9,448, the biggest death toll in Southeast Asia.

Philippines confirms 3,962 new cases, 100 more deaths

The Philippines' health ministry has reported 3,962 new coronavirus infections and 100 additional deaths, with both numbers the highest in five days.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have risen to 283,460, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 4,930.

Russia's new cases surpass 6,000

Russia has reported 6,065 new cases, the first time the daily tally has been higher than 6,000 in two months. The national tally of infections rose to 1,097,251.

The coronavirus crisis centre said 144 people had died of the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the Russian death toll to 19,339.

India maintains surge, adds 93,300 new cases

India has maintained its surge in coronavirus cases, adding 93,337 new confirmed infections in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry raised the nation’s caseload to more than 5.3 million out of the nearly 1.4 billion people. It said 1,247 more people died in the past 24 hours for a total of 85,619. 

The country has over a million active cases with about 80 percent recovery rate.

India has been reporting the highest single-day rise in the world every day for more than five weeks. 

It's expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States.

New UK lockdown likely sooner rather than later

Britain is likely to need to reintroduce some coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a former senior government health advisor said.

"I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later," Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London's Imperial College told the BBC.

Czech Republic's new cases slow after 4 days  

The Czech Republic's daily count of new cases has slowed to 2,111 after four days of growth, data from the health ministry showed.

The overall number of confirmed cases reached 46,262 in the country of 10.7 million, the ministry said.

The Czechs have seen the illness spreading at a record pace. Adjusted for population, only Spain and France within the European Union have seen a bigger jump in the last two weeks, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 

Canada opposition party head tests positive

The new leader of Canada's main opposition party has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Conservative party announced late on Friday that its leader, Erin O'Toole, received a positive test and was feeling well. His family tested negative.

The party elected him as its new leader last month. He will face Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next general election.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 2,297 to 270,070

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,297 to 270,070, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by six to 9,384, the tally showed.

Mainland China reports 14 cases 

Mainland China reported 14 new coronavirus cases, down from 32 cases reported a day earlier, the Chinese national health authority said.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. 

It also reported 24 new asymptomatic cases, up from 20 a day earlier, though China does not classify these patients without symptoms as confirmed cases.

The total number of virus cases for mainland China now stands at 85,269, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634. 

Australia's Victoria state records lowest cases since June

The Australian state at the centre of the country's virus outbreak reported its lowest daily increase of infections in three months, putting it on course to relax a hard lockdown in the capital city by the end of the month.

Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state and home to a quarter of its 25 million people, recorded 21 new virus cases of in the prior 24 hours, less than half the previous day's number and its lowest since June 24.

None of the seven other Australian states and territories had reported new case numbers but all except Victoria have reported single-digit or no case increases for weeks.

It comes as state Premier Daniel Andrews urged anti-lockdown protesters not to gather following reports of more planned protests in Melbourne. It was unclear exactly where the demonstrations would be, with protesters taking caution not to make their plans easily accessible on social media. 

There have already been a number of rallies over the past several weekends, with police responding with a heavy presence, handing out dozens of fines and making arrests. “People should be positive and optimistic this strategy is working, and therefore, let’s not any of us do anything to undermine that,” Andrews said.

Mexico reports 4,841 cases

Mexico's health ministry reported 4,841 new confirmed cases of the virus in the country, bringing the total to 688,954 cases, and 624 new deaths, for a cumulative death toll of 72,803.

Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell has said the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.

Brazil registers 858 deaths

Brazil registered 858 new deaths, bringing the total to 135,793, the health ministry said.

Virus cases rose by 39,797 to 4,495,183.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies