Accueil International Coronavirus live news: Germany records second highest daily cases since April; New...

Coronavirus live news: Germany records second highest daily cases since April; New Zealand sees record drop in GDP | World news

4.29am BST04:29

Germany’s cases second-highest since April

Germany’s cases today are the second highest since mid-April according to Our World in Data.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,194 to 265,857 on Thursday. The last time daily cases were over 2,000 was 21 August, and before that, the last time cases were higher than 2,194 was on 24 April.

Our World in Data, Germany’s daily cases.

Our World in Data, Germany’s daily cases. Photograph: Screengrab

4.15am BST04:15

South Africa to reopen for tourism in October

South Africa will reopen its borders to most countries next month, the president said Wednesday, part of a wider easing of anti-coronavirus measures announced as figures continue to improve, . reports.

The continent’s most industrialised economy shuttered its borders at the start of a strict nationwide lockdown on March 27 to limit the spread of the virus.

Restrictions on movement and business have been gradually eased since June, but borders stayed sealed to avoid importing the virus from abroad.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said most remaining rules will be rolled back from September 20, and that international travel would “gradually and cautiously” resume on October 1st.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photograph: .

“We have withstood the coronavirus storm,” Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation.

“It is time to move to what will become our new normal for as long as the coronavirus is with us.”

Under the new measures, most gatherings will be permitted at 50 percent of a venue’s capacity, with a cap of 250 people for indoor events.

A 10:00 pm curfew will be scaled back to midnight and a 50-person limit at recreational facilities will be lifted.

Restrictions on sporting events remain in place, however, and face-masks will still be required in public.

Travel may also be restricted to and from countries with “high infection rates”, Ramaphosa added, explaining that a list would be determined based on “latest scientific data… from those countries”.

4.00am BST04:00

The premier of the Australian state of Victoria has issued a stern warning to Melburnians not to travel to regional Victoria, saying the “odds are very poor” for city dwellers thinking of escaping the city’s “ring of steel” .

The state will be effectively divided from Thursday, as regional Victoria gradually reopens from Covid-19 restrictions, while Melbourne remains in a tight lockdown.

“Anyone who thinks they might take a punt on heading to regional Victoria and not get caught, I think your odds are very poor,” the premier said.

The warning comes as Victoria recorded 28 new Covid-19 cases overnight, along with eight deaths, six of those linked to aged care. The last time new case numbers were in the 20s was on 24 June.

3.37am BST03:37

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,194 to 265,857, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

The reported death toll rose by three to 9,371, the tally showed.

3.32am BST03:32

The full story on New York City mayor Bill de Blasio furloughing everyone in his office – including himself:

3.10am BST03:10

Podcast: Brexit, Covid and u-turns – why Tory backbenchers are getting restless

The PM has been attempting to quell disquiet on several fronts, says the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot, with backbench Conservative MPs rebelling over the government’s latest Brexit plans, Covid-19 restrictions and a series of damaging U-turns:

2.57am BST02:57

An official said Wednesday that Mexico City suffered 20,535 excess deaths attributable to Covid-19 between April and August, almost double the number reported in the official death toll of 11,318, AP reports.

The head of the city’s Digital Innovation Agency, David Merino, said there were 30,462 excess deaths in the city between 1 April and the end of August, about two-thirds of which were determined to be due to coronavirus. Excess deaths are computed by comparing the number of deaths in previous years and comparing them to 2020.

Medical workers who tend to Covid-19 patients and who received a medal from the government as recognition for their efforts pose for a photo with an Army mascot during the annual Independence Day military parade in Mexico City’s main square of the capital, the Zócalo, Wednesday, 16 September 2020.

Medical workers who tend to Covid-19 patients and who received a medal from the government as recognition for their efforts pose for a photo with an Army mascot during the annual Independence Day military parade in Mexico City’s main square of the capital, the Zócalo, Wednesday, 16 September 2020. Photograph: Marco Ugarte/AP

Merino wrote in his Twitter account that 92% of those deaths were in hospitals and 7% at private residences. The city of almost 9 million inhabitants, like the rest of Mexico, has had an extremely low testing rate and officials have acknowledged that the numbers of test-confirmed cases and deaths probably underestimate the real figures.

These are figures that describe a tragedy, Merino wrote.

Merino did specify how the city had assigned that number of excess deaths to Covid-19, but city officials have been leading an effort to review death certificates to determine how many untested people had probably died of coronavirus.
It was also unclear whether test-confirmed cases were included in the excess-death figures.

2.37am BST02:37

Here is the full story on New Zealand:

New Zealand has entered a recession with the economy contracting 12.2% in the June quarter – the largest drop since such records began in 1987.

Paul Pascoe at Stats NZ said the GDP fall was “by far the largest on record in New Zealand” and reflected months spent in lockdown.

Industries such as retail, accommodation, restaurants and transport saw significant declines; as did construction and manufacturing at 25.8% and 13% respectively.

Household domestic spending dropped by 12%.

Annually, GDP fell by 2% – the first annual decline since the March 2010 quarter.

New Zealand’s economic retraction is higher than Australia’s 7% and Canada at 11.5%, but much less than in India, Singapore and the UK:

2.19am BST02:19

Hospitalisations of 15-49-year-olds infected with Covid-19 increasing, says WHO

The average age of people infected with Covid-19 is coming down, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) expert, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove.

She has told a Q&A that incidences of hospitalisation among those aged 15 to 49 years are increasing.She also said it was possible for the same person to be infected with influenza and Covid-19, adding that the WHO was looking into the prevalence of that.

Appearing alongside her, Dr Mike Ryan said the flu season in the southern hemisphere had been relatively light, though he stressed it could easily worsen. “It may offer some hope in the north”, but there is no guarantee, he said.Ryan said we were seeing a “stabilisation” in South America, though numbers were still high, and a “stable pattern” in Africa.

The virus is still taking a heavy toll and we do not yet know its full effects, he said.

2.07am BST02:07

New York mayor to furlough all staff – including himself – for one week

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to furlough everyone in his office, including himself, for week without pay in order to close a budget shortfall created by the pandemic, . reports.

The coronavirus outbreak had caused the city to lose $9 billion in revenue and forced a $7 billion cut to the city’s annual budget, de Blasio told reporters.

The furloughs will save only about $1 million, the mayor said, but may serve as a useful symbol as he continues to negotiate with labor unions representing municipal employees over broader payroll savings. De Blasio plans to work without pay during his own week-long furlough, the New York Times reported.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

“It was not a decision I made lightly,” he told reporters. “To have to do this is painful for them and their families, but it is the right thing to do at this moment in history.”
With the furloughs and other savings, the mayor’s office budget this fiscal year will be 12% smaller than it was last year, de Blasio said, though he did not provide absolute totals.

The policy will affect 495 staff, the Times reported, and the week-long furloughs will be staggered among them between October and March 2021. De Blasio has warned he may have to lay off 22,000 city employees if savings cannot be found in the negotiations with the labor unions.

1.47am BST01:47

Josh Halliday and Jessica Elgot report:

New restrictions on social contact between households and a 10pm curfew on pubs are expected to be introduced in parts of north-east England in an attempt to curb rising coronavirus cases.

Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle city council, confirmed that “additional, temporary restrictions” were being planned to prevent another full lockdown for the region.

Multiple sources confirmed that the measures, due to be announced on Thursday morning, will include a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars and a ban on mixing between households. They will come into effect from midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning.

The restrictions are expected to apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland, but not Teesside. They will cover a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

The new measures are expected to include a ban on care home visits for all but “essential visitors” – the first such measure since the UK-wide lockdown in spring:

1.25am BST01:25

Thousands of stroke patients have suffered avoidable disability because NHS care for them was disrupted during the pandemic, a report claims.

Many people who had just had a stroke found it harder to obtain clot-busting drugs or undergo surgery to remove a blood clot from their brain, both of which need to happen quickly.

Rehabilitation services, which are vital to help reduce the impact of a stroke, also stopped working normally as the NHS focused on Covid, the Stroke Association said. It is concerned “many could lose out on the opportunity to make their best possible recovery”:

1.01am BST01:01

Dr Robert Redfield, testifying before a Senate subcommittee, suggested face masks may be even more effective than a vaccine in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said face masks are ‘the most important, powerful public health tool we have’:

‘Face masks are our best defence,’ says CDC director Redfield – video

12.33am BST00:33

CDC director says coronavirus vaccine won’t be widely available until late 2021

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told a Senate panel that he thinks it will take one year before a coronavirus vaccine will be “generally available to the American public”.

That estimation contrasts with recent bullish messaging by Donald Trump, who on Tuesday repeated his assertion that “we’re going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks” even though a successful vaccine has yet to be unveiled from ongoing US trials.

Trump did not specify whether he was talking about a “generally available” vaccine or a limited number of doses, but he has suggested during his re-election campaign that a vaccine solution to the pandemic crisis in the United States was imminent.

Robert Redfield of the CDC testified before the Senate on Wednesday as his agency issued a paper with impressionistic advice for state and local jurisdictions on how to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine – when and if a vaccine is approved:

12.20am BST00:20

Trump appointee to take leave after rant likening CDC scientists to ‘resistance’

A Trump health appointee is taking a leave of absence after allegations of political interference in the federal coronavirus response, followed by a personal video that warned of election violence and all but equated science with resistance.

Michael Caputo has decided to take 60 days “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family”, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Fiercely loyal to Donald Trump, Caputo had been serving as the department’s top spokesman, a post that usually is not overtly political. He was installed by the White House in April during a period of tense relations with the president’s health secretary, Alex Azar:

12.05am BST00:05

New Zealand sees record fall in GDP

New Zealand’s Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2% in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since 1987, as the Covid-19 restrictions impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said today.

National accounts senior manager Paul Pascoe said: “The 12.2% fall in quarterly GDP is by far the largest on record in New Zealand.”

Annually, GDP fell by 2.0%. This is the first annual decline since the March 2010 quarter.

Throughout the quarter New Zealand’s borders remained closed.

“Industries like retail, accommodation and restaurants, and transport saw significant declines in production because they were most directly affected by the international travel ban and strict nationwide lockdown,” Mr Pascoe said.

Household spending also dropped by just over 12%.

11.48pm BST23:48

WHO warns Latin America opening up too early

Latin America has started to resume normal social and public life at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic still requires major control interventions, World Health Organization regional director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.

Coronavirus cases in Colombia’s border area with Venezuela have increased ten-fold in the last two weeks, Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington with other Pan American Health Organization directors.

Death rates are climbing in parts of Mexico, and similar trends are seen in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Bolivia, with similar patterns also emerging in areas of Argentina, she warned.

Although the entire world is racing to develop new tools to prevent and cure Covid-19, a safe and effective vaccine that can be manufactured and delivered at scale is not around the corner.

We must be clear that opening up too early gives this virus more room to spread and puts our populations at greater risk. Look no further than Europe.

Etienne said governments must monitor travel very carefully because reopening to tourism can lead to setbacks. That has happened in the Caribbean, where several countries that had virtually no cases have experienced spikes as tourism resumed.

According to a . tally, Latin America has recorded around 8.4 million coronavirus cases, and over 314,000 deaths, both figures being the highest of any region.

11.37pm BST23:37

Summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage.

My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next few hours. As always, it would be great to hear from you. Send news from your part of the world and jokes that are universal to me on Twitter @helenrsullivan or email: [email protected]

Latin America has started to resume normal social and public life at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic still requires major control interventions, World Health Organization regional director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.

Coronavirus cases in Colombia’s border area with Venezuela have increased ten-fold in the last two weeks, Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington with other Pan American Health Organization directors.

Death rates are climbing in parts of Mexico, and similar trends are seen in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Bolivia, with similar patterns also emerging in areas of Argentina, she warned.

Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:

Tighter restrictions are set to be imposed on large parts of the north-east of England from Friday as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. The restrictions – which will reportedly apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland – are expected to include a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises, and a ban on different households mixing, whether indoors or outdoors. A full announcement is expected on Thursday morning. Our story is here.
The average age of people infected with Covid-19 is coming down, according to a WHO expert. Dr Maria Van Kerkhove told a Q&A that incidences of hospitalisation among those aged 15 to 49 years are increasing.
France reported it third-highest number of daily additional infections on record. Health authorities reported new 9,784 confirmed cases and 46 more deaths.
Hungary expects a second wave of the pandemic to peak in December or January, its prime minister Viktor Orbán said. The country will maintain border closures and make the wearing of face masks mandatory in cinemas, theatres and social institutions.
For the second successive day, the Netherlands recorded its worst increase in the number of new infections. The country saw 1,542 more on Wednesday after an increase of 1,379 on the previous day.
The Madrid region is to introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions on movement. The measures will come into effect in one of the worst-hit areas of Spain on Friday.
The US government plans to begin distributing a vaccine within one day of any regulatory authorisation. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will decide how initial, limited vaccine doses will be allocated and distributed.
India’s coronavirus cases passed 5 million, testing the country’s feeble health care system in tens of thousands of impoverished towns and villages. The health ministry reported 90,123 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising the nation’s confirmed total to 5,020,359, about 0.35% of its nearly 1.4 billion population. It said 1,290 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 82,066. India’s total coronavirus caseload is closing in on the US’s highest tally of more than 6.6 million cases and expected to surpass it within weeks.
In the US, at least seven people have died in connection to an outbreak in Maine following a wedding reception held over the summer that violated state virus guidelines, public health authorities said.
US president Donald Trump said Covid-19 would go away without a vaccine. This would happen because of “herd mentality”, he said in an ABC town hall. It is unclear whether he meant herd immunity, as he repeated the phrase several times. “It would go away without the vaccine, George,” he said speaking to ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos. “With time it goes away. And you’ll develop like a herd mentality. It’s going to be herd developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.”
New Zealand reported a second consecutive day of no new community cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Half the world’s schoolchildren are still unable to attend classrooms due to the pandemic. Around 872 million – more than half of whom have not been able to study remotely – are not allowed to attend school in person, Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore said.
Dáil reconvenes after Irish minister tests negative for Covid-19. Ireland’s minister for health, Stephen Donnelly, has told RTE that his Covid-19 test has come back negative.Earlier today, Irish cabinet ministers were told to restrict their movements as a precaution after Donnelly contacted his GP to request a test after feeling unwell.However, ministers no longer need to do this following the negative test result and were back in the chamber by 8pm.
Nearly a fifth of South Africans may have contracted coronavirus, the country’s health minister has said. South Africa has recorded 650,749 cases, but the actual number of infections could be “about 12 million”, Zweli Mkhize said.

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