The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people and infected more than 35 million worldwide. Here are the developments for October 4:

New York has lost almost 24,000 people to the virus.
New York has lost almost 24,000 people to the virus. (Reuters)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

New York mayor announces shutdown plan for nine neighbourhoods

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he planned to put nine neighbourhoods back under tight shutdowns as Covid-19 cases rise in parts of the city, which had largely controlled the pandemic after a catastrophic outbreak.

"Today, unfortunately, is not a day for celebration," de Blasio said, announcing he would ask to close nonessential businesses and all schools in nine neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.

The proposal, which must be approved by state Governor Andrew Cuomo, marks a major setback for the city since it was hit hard by the coronavirus in March. 

The city has lost almost 24,000 people to the virus.

Several of the nine neighbourhoods have large populations of Orthodox Jews, and the virus has been spreading rapidly in that community in recent weeks.

Turkey reports 1,429 new coronavirus patients

Turkey reported 1,429 more patients of the novel coronavirus and 1,182 recoveries over the past 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said.

The overall patient count now stands at 324,443, with recoveries totaling 285,050, according to ministry data.

Some 104,402 more Covid-19 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall tally to over 10.8 million.

The death toll from the virus reached 8,441, with 57 more fatalities.

On Twitter, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reiterated the importance of following measures introduced to curb the outbreak.

The figures also showed that the number of patients in critical condition now stands at 1,475, while 6.4 percent suffer from pneumonia.

Cineworld says considering closing all its US, UK cinemas

Cineworld, the world's second-biggest cinema operator, said on Sunday it was considering a temporary closure of all its sites in the United States and Britain but a final decision had not yet been reached.

"We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our UK and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can," the company said in a statement. 

Italy set to impose new curbs

The Italian government will likely impose new restrictions on the country in the coming week to try to beat back rising numbers of coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday.

The cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday to decide how to respond to an increase in infections, with southern Italian regions for the first time looking vulnerable to the disease.

"The battle isn't over. We don't have the numbers seen in other European countries ... but we are in a phase of significant growth and I hope the country finds a spirit of unity," Speranza told state broadcaster RAI.

Trump could return to White House on Monday

President Donald Trump has "continued to improve" as he is treated for Covid-19 at a military hospital near Washington, his doctors said, adding that he could be discharged as early as Monday.

In a briefing outside Walter Reed medical center, they said Trump's oxygen levels had briefly dropped twice in recent days and that he is being treated with steroids while continuing to provide an upbeat assessment of the 74-year-old's health and outlook.

"The president has continued to improve," said his White House physician, Sean Conley. "As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course."

Conley said the president was flown to Walter Reed on Friday after a "rapid progression" of his illness, with his oxygen levels dropping worryingly low. 

Kenzo founder Kenzo Takada dies from Covid

Japan's most famous fashion designer Kenzo Takada, the founder of the global Kenzo brand, died in Paris after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman said.

Takada, the first Japanese designer to gain prominence in the highly-competitive Paris fashion scene, died in the American Hospital of Paris, the spokesman said in a statement.

He was 81.

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in Paris.

Paris braces for maximum coronavirus alert level

Paris was preparing to be placed under maximum coronavirus alert as alarming Covid-19 infection numbers appeared to leave the French government little choice but to tighten restrictions in and around the capital.

Paris's trademark bars and cafes are threatened with complete closure as early as Monday after Health Minister Olivier Veran announced that only improved Covid-19 infection rates could prevent such a step.

If recent trends were confirmed "we'll have no choice", he warned on Thursday, saying new restrictions would mean "no more family gatherings, no more evenings out, and total closure of bars".

But a reprieve looks unlikely after France reported a 16,972 new coronavirus cases on Saturday alone, the highest daily number since the country began widespread testing. 

US VP Pence tests negative for coronavirus again

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative again for the coronavirus days after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with Covid-19.

A Pence spokesperson confirmed Sunday's negative tests.

Despite the president’s hospitalization, Pence is expected to resume regular campaigning this week with no changes to protocols meant to keep him from getting infected.

Pence is set to debate Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Russia's daily Covid-19 cases top 10,000 

Russia has reported 10,499 new cases on Sunday, the highest number of daily infections since May 15, when the outbreak was at its peak and lockdowns were in place.

Russia's crisis centre said that 107 deaths had been confirmed in the last 24 hours, which took the official national death toll to 21,358.

Russia has a total of 1,215,001 cases so far, the fourth highest in the world.

Poland passes 100,000 confirmed cases milestone

Poland's total number of confirmed cases has passed 100,000 on Sunday, with the country of 38 million reporting 1,934 new daily cases.

Poland has reported a total of 100,074 cases of the coronavirus and 2,630 deaths.

Malaysia reports 293 new cases

Malaysia has reported 293 new cases on Sunday, taking its total number of infections to 12,381. 

Fatalities remained at 137, with no new deaths recorded.

Malaysia has seen record daily increases in virus cases this week, partly because of clusters linked to an election in its second-largest state of Sabah. 

Myanmar virus volunteers struggle

As Myanmar's infections soar, the work never seems to stop for volunteers who have stepped in to help carry those suspected of symptoms to quarantine centres or hospitals.

Myanmar's thousands of volunteers are a crucial element of the virus response in a country with one of the world's weakest health systems.

Myanmar appeared to have avoided the worst of the pandemic with only seven deaths a month ago - but a surge of infections has sent now the death toll to 371 from more than 16,500 cases.

India records over 75,800 new cases

India has registered 75,829 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, a day after crossing 100,000 fatalities.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 6.5 million on Sunday and said at least 101,782 people have died.

India is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally but with the recovery rate at more than 83 percent, the number of those cured has surpassed 5.5 million, the Health Ministry said.

Indonesia reports 3,992 new cases

Indonesia reports 3,992 new cases and 96 deaths according to Health Ministry.

This was the lowest daily increase in six days, taking its total number of infections to 303,498 and death toll rose to 11,151.

South Korea reports fourth consecutive day under 100

South Korea has reported 64 new cases, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths.

Israel's fourth minister tests positive

A fourth member of Israel’s Cabinet has tested positive for the virus as the country remains under lockdown while battling a second wave of infection.

Gila Gamliel, Israel’s environmental protection minister and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, announced on Twitter Sunday that she had tested positive. 

According to Health Ministry figures, Israel has recorded over 264,000 cases and almost 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Navajo Nation reports 17 new cases

The Navajo Nation, which sprawls across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, has reported 17 new cases and no new deaths Saturday.

The total number of deaths related to the virus on the huge reservation remains at 558, and the total number of cases is now 10,421.

Spain reopens flamenco shows in Madrid

The passion and drama of live flamenco shows are back on stage in Madrid, but the performers are dancing behind plastic screens and keeping their distance from audiences.

Torres Bermejas, a flamenco show venue in Spain's capital, was the first to reopen its Moorish-style front door to customers after spending seven months closed due to the pandemic. 

Madrid region has become Europe's virus hot spot during the pandemic's second wave. As of Saturday, the capital region has the highest 2-week infection rate in Europe with a national total of 810,807 thus far.

Australia reports a dozen cases in hotspot state

Australia's second-most populous state, Victoria, has climbed back to double digits on Sunday with 12 new infections.

The dozen cases follow eight infections reported on Saturday and single-digit numbers for most of the past week. 

The total infections now sits at just over 27,000.

According to health ministry data, Australia has a total of 894 fatalities with Victoria accounting for 90 percent.

Germany reports 2,279 new cases

The number of confirmed  cases in Germany increased by 2,279 to 299,237, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,529, the tally showed. 

Saudi Arabia reopens Islam's holiest sites to Muslim pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has announced citizens residing inside the country will now be able to participate in the Umrah pilgrimage, after a seven-month pause due to virus concerns.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina undertaken at any time of the year, attracting over 19 million people during 2019.

Saudi Arabia reported 419 new cases on Saturday bringing the country's total to 325,824 infections and 4,850 deaths.

Mexico reports 4,863 new cases

Mexico's confirmed virus cases rises to 757,953, according to the health ministry, with a total reported death toll of 78,880.

Authorities reported 4,863 new cases and 388 deaths, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to limited testing. 

Britain reports record daily coronavirus cases

Britain has reported 12,872 new Covid-19 cases, a record daily figure for the country, with the government blaming the jump on a reporting delay and saying the numbers in coming days would include additional cases.

The government's website said a technical issue had delayed publishing a number of new cases.

At 12,872, the number of daily cases reported almost doubled from the 6,968 reported on Friday, smashing the previous biggest daily toll of 7,143, which was recorded on Tuesday.

South Africa records 1,883 new cases

South Africa has recorded 1,883 new virus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the number of infections to 679,716.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that 29 people died from the virus during the same period, bringing fatalities to 16,938.

The minister said the nation has conducted 4.2 million tests since the virus was first detected in the country.

Juve players in isolation after two staff test positive

Italian champions Juventus have announced that their entire squad have gone into isolation after two staff members tested positive for the virus.

Juventus, who are scheduled to host Napoli on Sunday, confirmed those returning positive tests were "neither players nor members of the technical or medical staff".

"This procedure will allow all members who tested negative to the controls to carry out regular training and match activities, but will not be allowed contact with outside the group," the club said in a statement. 

Nepal Prime Minister's advisers test positive

Three advisers to Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli say they have tested positive for the virus, which has claimed the lives of 528 people in the country.

Oli's press, political and foreign affairs advisers told Reuters they had been infected and were isolating themselves.

An assistant working for Oli also tested positive, they added.

Oli has previously tested negative but had yet to take a test after his associates tested positive, press adviser Surya Thapa said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies