The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people and infected more than 33.9 million worldwide. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for September 30:

Lab technicians test samples of suspected Covid-19 patients at the Clinical Virology Laboratory of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on September 30, 2020.
Lab technicians test samples of suspected Covid-19 patients at the Clinical Virology Laboratory of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on September 30, 2020. (AFP)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Travel slump threatens 46 million jobs – aviation group

The impact of the coronavirus on travel may cost as many as 46 million jobs globally, according to projections by an aviation industry group.

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) predicted that the travel slump and a slow recovery will threaten 4.8 million aviation workers and more than half of the 87.7 million total jobs supported directly or indirectly by the sector, in related leisure industries and supply chains.

"We know that a lot of jobs in air transport and the wider economy relying on aviation are at risk," said Michael Gill, who heads the group representing airlines, airports, aircraft makers and other sector players.

The warning came after airlines cut their 2020 traffic forecast amid renewed coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions that darkened the outlook. ATAG said its findings drew on research by forecaster Oxford Economics.

Airlines are pressing governments to abandon quarantines and other travel curbs blamed for worsening the slump, and instead roll-out rapid Covid-19 testing at airports.

Turkey reports 1,391 new cases 

Turkey has reported 1,391 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,245 recoveries over the past 24 hours. 

The country's overall case count now stands at 318,663, with recoveries totalling 279,749, according to Health Ministry data. 

Nearly 112,098 more coronavirus tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall tally to over 10.38 million. 

The death toll from the virus reached 8,195, with 65 more fatalities.

During a press conference, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca noted that the number of patients in the capital Ankara dropped by half in two weeks. 

Turkey will increase the number of tests daily to around 200,000, the minister said.

Covid-19 accelerating in parts of UK – chief medic 

Outbreaks of Covid-19 are accelerating quite rapidly in the northwest and northeast of England and there has been a significant uptick in the number of people being admitted to intensive care, according to England's chief medic.

Presenting charts at a news conference tracking the growth of the virus, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the pattern of growth was different from the first wave in March, with younger people getting the virus.

Britain is also seeing heavy concentrations of outbreaks in particular areas.

South Africa says tourists from high-risk countries still barred entry from Oct 1

Leisure travellers from countries with coronavirus infection rates higher than South Africa, including Britain, the United States, France, India, The Netherlands and Russia, will still not be permitted to enter when South Africa's borders open up on October 1.

But business travellers from these "high-risk" countries with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons and investors will be allowed to enter, Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said. 

Jordan reports record 1,767 daily cases

Jordan has registered 1,767 new cases of Covid-19, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak, the health minister said.

The country's total number of confirmed infections now stands at 11,816 with 61 deaths since the first case surfaced in early March, Saad Jaber said in a statement.

Czech government limits gatherings as cases surge

The Czech government will limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor ones to 20 as part of new measures taking effect for two weeks from Monday to combat a surge in coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roman Prymula said.

Sports matches will continue but without spectators and theatres and cinemas can still operate, but concerts, musicals and operas will be banned, Prymula said.

Germany pledges $100M for Covid-19 vacine for poor countries

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged $100 million to help developing countries access a Covid-19 vaccine as World Bank President David Malpass said "broad, rapid and affordable" access to vaccines "will be at the core of a resilient global economic recovery that lifts everyone."

Merkel also called on "those who are still dithering" to commit to the global vaccine effort.

Iran death toll surpasses 26,100

At least 183 additional fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic have raised the death toll in Iran to 26,169, the country's Health Ministry said.

Some 3,582 more people tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, pushing the overall count up to 457,219, ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari said.

She added that 380,956 patients have recovered so far, while 4,093 are hospitalised in critical condition.

Lari warned that 30 of Iran’s 31 provinces are in the red zone with high risk of coronavirus.

Healthcare system prepared to handle any worsening  -Kremlin

Russia's healthcare system is well-prepared to handle the potential worsening of the situation in the country, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, after authorities reported 8,481 new cases, the biggest daily rise since June 14.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia had learned lessons from the first wave and saluted what he described as the titanic efforts of the country's federal and regional governments. 

Thailand to welcome tourists, with restrictions

Thailand is preparing to receive the first group of foreign tourists since scheduled commercial passenger flights into the country were halted in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonsiew on Wednesday inspected the international airport at the popular southern resort island, where a new system including testing and transport facilities has been installed to welcome the first 150 Chinese from Guangzhou province on October 8.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said at least three groups of foreign tourists will arrive in October — two from China and one from Scandinavia.

All will be subject to a 14-day quarantine and other restrictions on their movements.

Thailand has had 3,564 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 59 deaths. Regular commercial air traffic remains limited.

No signs yet that Dublin restrictions can be eased- official

There are no signs yet of a fall in infection rates that would justify the removal of restrictions in Dublin, Ireland's chief medical officer said on Wednesday.

"We do need to see a significant improvement over the coming days in Dublin and we are not seeing it yet," Ronan Glynn told a parliamentary committee when asked about restrictions introduced on September 18 banning indoor restaurant dining and non-essential travel.

Poland reports 1,552 new cases

Poland reported 1,552 new cases on Wednesday, close to last week's record high, as it is imposing restrictions on bars and restaurants in its most affected regions.

For the past week Poland has seen more than 1,000 new cases per day. The authorities announced a record 1,587 new infections on Friday.

The biggest rise in cases was in southeast Poland, the health ministry said.

Slovakia reports its largest single-day count of new cases

Slovakia has reported 567 new cases, the largest single-day tally since the pandemic started this year, health ministry data showed.

The central European country of 5.5 million people has one of Europe's lowest death tolls from the disease and kept case numbers low during an initial wave in March and April. 

But like other countries it has recently faced a spike in cases and has limited public events and taken other measures to fight the spread of the virus.

Belgium death toll passes 10,000

Belgium, one of Europe's hardest-hit countries, reported its death toll from the pandemic had surpassed 10,000.

The country, which has a population of 11.5 million, recorded 10,001 deaths by Wednesday, 14 more than in the previous 24 hours.

Reported infections rose to 117,115 from 115,353, the Sciensano research institute said.

Since the start of the pandemic seven months ago, Belgian authorities have included as wide a number of cases as possible in the toll, adding fatalities in hospitals and care homes, and those people whose deaths may have been caused by the virus but were not tested.

Russia to supply vaccine doses to Egypt

Russia's sovereign wealth fund said it had agreed to supply 25 million doses of its potential vaccine to Egypt via Pharco, which it described as one of the country's leading pharmaceutical groups.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund has struck several deals to supply the Sputnik V vaccine abroad, including 100 million doses to India where it also expects to hold clinical trials.

Ukraine reports record daily high of 4,027 new cases

Ukraine registered a record 4,027 cases in the past 24 hours, the national security council said, up from a previous record of 3,833 new cases reported on September 26.

The daily tally of infections spiked in September above 3,000, prompting the government to extend lockdown measures until the end of October.

The council said a total of 208,959 cases were registered in Ukraine as of Sepember 30, with 4,129 deaths. 

Czech Republic reports 1,965 new cases

The Czech Republic reported 1,965 new cases, the fourth straight day below 2,000 after a recent surge, Health Ministry data showed.

The country has seen one of Europe's largest spikes in September, prompting the government to reimpose some measures such as wearing masks to slow the spread. 

Germany reports 1,798 new cases

Germany reported 1,798 new cases, a tally from the Robert KochInstitute for infectious diseases showed.

India caseload shows decline, VP tests positive

India recorded 80,472 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, showing a decline from a record high two weeks ago.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 6.2 million on Wednesday with 2.5 million in September alone. It also reported 1,179 fatalities in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 97,497.

India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu tested positive on and was advised home quarantine. His office said in a tweet that Naidu, 71, is asymptomatic and in good health. Home Minister Amit Shah had tested positive last month and recovered in a hospital.

India’s recovery rate crossed 83% on Tuesday and the number of cases under treatment were less than 1 million. The daily testing covered more than 1 million people, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, a serological survey showed that the infections were more prevalent in urban centers with high population density. The survey by the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research also found that 6.6% of the population above 10 years old have been exposed to the coronavirus.

South Korea has virus jump before holiday period

South Korea has reported 113 new cases, its first daily increase over 100 in five days, as the country entered a holiday break that officials fear would possibly worsen transmissions.

The numbers released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday brought the caseload to 23,812, including 413 deaths.

Officials have called for citizen vigilance ahead of the Chuseok harvest festival that began Wednesday and continues through the weekend.

While millions of South Koreans travel during Chuseok every year to visit relatives, officials have pleaded that people stay home to help stem transmissions. 

Nightclubs, bars, buffet restaurants and other establishments deemed as “high-risk” will be shut in Seoul d uring the holiday period to reduce gatherings.

Israel limits protests in new lockdown law

Israel's parliament approved a government-backed edict on Wednesday likely to stifle protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption and his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The legislation, ratified after an all-night debate in the Knesset, bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their homes, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing Covid-19 infections.

Israel's lockdown, which closed schools and limited business operations, was imposed after new cases climbed to around 7,000 a day in a population of 9 million, overtaxing some hospitals.

Israel has reported 234,060 infections and 1,516 deaths.

Australia's Victoria marks steady downward trend

Australia's hotspot of Victoria state maintained its steady downward trend in new infections, as states began easing internal border closures, fuelling optimism about a return to normal.

Victoria's quick containment of a second wave of the outbreak prompted Western Australia state to relax its travel restrictions, allowing travelers from the southeastern state to quarantine at home rather than in a hotel from Monday.

Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, said cases rose slightly from the previous day but the key indicator of 14-day average cases in the state capital of Melbourne fell below 17.

Victoria on Wednesday reported 13 new cases, sharply down from a peak of more than 700 cases logged in early August.

Brazil reports over 850 deaths

Brazil recorded 32,058 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 863 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry has said.

Brazil has registered more than 4.7 million cases of th evirus since the pandemic began, while the official death tol lhas risen to 142,921, according to ministry data released on Tuesday.

Mexico confirms over 550 deaths

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 738,163 on Tuesday, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a total  reported death toll of 77,163. 

Authorities reported 4,446 new cases along with 560 deaths on Tuesday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing.

China sees 19 new cases

Mainland China reported 19 new Covid-19 cases on Sept. 29, up from 12 a day earlier, the country's national health authority has said. 

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Wednesday that all new cases were imported infections originating from overseas.

The number of new asymptomatic infections fell to 22 from 26 a day earlier, though China does not classify these symptom less patients as confirmed cases. 

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the mainland now stands at 85,403, while the death toll remained unchanged at4,634.

Disney to lay off 28,000 US employees 

Disney has announced it will cut 28,000 jobs from its US parks and experiences division, pointing to depressed demand caused by the coronavirus and uncertainty on when it will recover. 

The cuts were needed in light of social distancing requirements, exacerbated by tough restrictions imposed by the California state government, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. About two-thirds of the affected employees are part-time staff.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies