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Coronavirus live news: curfew starts for millions in France; restrictions eased in Melbourne Coronavirus live news: senior PLO figure hospitalised; Swiss prepare for more restrictions
(32 minutes later)
Paris and several other French cities face month of restrictions; numbers soar in Europe amid new lockdowns; Melbourne lockdown eased from midnight with travel distance increased to 25km – follow live Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in hospital; Switzerland to introduce more measures on Monday; some French cities face month of restrictions – follow live
Bulgaria will not need to impose a full lockdown to contain the second wave if it follows protective measures, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva has said.
A further 61 people who tested positive have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,971, NHS England has said.
The patients were aged between 54 and 96 years. All but four patients, aged 56 to 92, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths occurred between 4 and 17 October. Four other deaths were reported with no positive test result.
Differences remain with President Donald Trump’s administration on a wide-ranging relief package, including language on testing provisions that affect minority populations, the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said. She told ABC’s This Week:
The mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has written to political leaders in Westminster urging them to help secure a “fair financial framework” for local lockdowns.
He told the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson, Labour’s Keir Starmer and other party leaders this is “not just a Greater Manchester issue” as he called for a consistent new package for tier 3 restrictions.
Backed by Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram, he called for a “full and fair furlough scheme” covering 80% of wages or at least the national minimum wage, support for the self-employed and improved compensation for businesses.
Erekat has been one of the most high-profile faces of the Palestinian leadership since the early 1990s. He is a senior adviser to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and also worked for Abbas’ predecessor Yasser Arafat.
When Erekat announced he had contracted Covid-19 more than a week ago, he said he was experiencing “difficult symptoms resulting from my lack of immunity as a result of lung transplantation”. The 65-year-old underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017 and has since been in poor health. However, he said at the time that “things are under control, thank God”.
Hanan Ashrawi, another senior PLO figure, announced last week she had also been infected.
Switzerland is stepping up its measures to tackle Covid-19, with new restrictions coming into force tomorrow.Switzerland is stepping up its measures to tackle Covid-19, with new restrictions coming into force tomorrow.
From Monday, gatherings of more than 15 people in public places will be banned while masks must be worn in all indoor public places, including cinemas, shop and churches. Masks will also be mandatory at locations including train stations and airports in addition to being a requirement on public transport. Home working is now recommended, while customers will have to be seated to be served in restaurants and bars.From Monday, gatherings of more than 15 people in public places will be banned while masks must be worn in all indoor public places, including cinemas, shop and churches. Masks will also be mandatory at locations including train stations and airports in addition to being a requirement on public transport. Home working is now recommended, while customers will have to be seated to be served in restaurants and bars.
The restrictions come as the Swiss government takes stock of a rapid rise in Covid cases – current figures reveal that 1,823 people have died from coronavirus in Switzerland so far, while daily reported new infections are up by 150% compared with the past week. On Friday alone there were 3,105 new infections recorded. The restrictions come as the Swiss government takes stock of a rapid rise in cases – current figures reveal that 1,823 people have died in Switzerland so far, while daily reported new infections are up by 150% compared with the past week. On Friday, alone there were 3,105 new infections recorded. The government said:
“The sharp increase in the number of cases in recent days is worrying,” the government said in a statement. “It is evident in all age groups and in all cantons. The number of hospitalizations is also increasing.” A senior figure in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been taken to hospital with coronavirus, it has emerged. According to Reuters, witnesses said the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has been taken to hospital from this home in the occupied West Bank by an Israeli ambulance.
A senior figure in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been taken to hospital with coronavirus it has emerged. According to Reuters, witnesses said Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has been taken to hospital from this home in the occupied West Bank by an Israeli ambulance. Erekat tested positive on 8 October: his Twitter account has since been full of posts thanking officials for their well wishes. However, it now seems his condition has taken a turn for the worse. The PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said:
Erekat tested positive for Covid-19 on 8 October: his Twitter account has since been full of posts thanking officials for their well wishes. However it now seems his condition has taken a turn for the worse. It seems the pandemic is causing some businesses to come up with inventive new ways to keep going: the Michelin-starred Hungarian restaurant Costes has been selling tickets for dinner on the Budapest Eye ferris wheel.
“Following his contraction of COVID-19, and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr Erekat’s condition now requires medical attention in a hospital. He is currently being transferred to a hospital in Tel Aviv,” the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said in a statement. Apparently, the tickets cost 48,000 forints (almost £120) each for a four-course meal and rapidly sold out.
It seems the coronavirus pandemic is causing some businesses to come up with inventive new ways to keep going: the Michelin-starred Hungarian restaurant Costes has been selling tickets for dinner on the Budapest Eye ferris wheel.
Apparently the tickets cost 48,000 forints (almost £120) each for a four-course meal and rapidly sold out.
“Now that there are not many people either on the wheel or in the restaurant because there are no tourists, the opportunity arose that we could do this,” said Costes owner Karoly Gerendai.“Now that there are not many people either on the wheel or in the restaurant because there are no tourists, the opportunity arose that we could do this,” said Costes owner Karoly Gerendai.
Ireland is set to experience new Covid restrictions, although will not face a full lockdown as seen in the Spring, it has been confirmed. Ireland is set to experience new Covid restrictions, although will not face a full lockdown as seen in the spring, it has been confirmed.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, who is the former Minister for Health, has said the new measures will be unveiled on Monday. The higher education minister Simon Harris, who is the former minister for health, has said the new measures will be unveiled on Monday. He told national broadcaster RTÉ on the Week in Politics:
“The Government will act tomorrow, the action will be decisive and the action will be right across the country, it’ll be nationwide action,” he told national broadcaster RTE on The Week in Politics.
“It’s clear now that the virus is at such a level within all our communities, the county-by-county approach will not be sufficient. So tomorrow we will have to bring in more restrictions.”
Hi everyone, Nicola Davis here while Kevin takes a well-deserved break. You can reach me on Twitter where I am NicolaKSDavis.Hi everyone, Nicola Davis here while Kevin takes a well-deserved break. You can reach me on Twitter where I am NicolaKSDavis.
Here’s a summary of the most recent developments:Here’s a summary of the most recent developments:
Globally, there have been 39.7m confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 1.1m deaths. The US has nearly 8.1m confirmed cases, followed by India 7.4m, and Brazil 5.2m.Globally, there have been 39.7m confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 1.1m deaths. The US has nearly 8.1m confirmed cases, followed by India 7.4m, and Brazil 5.2m.
England will not go into a two or three-week “circuit-break” lockdown, a senior cabinet minister said. Michael Gove insisted the government was right to ignore its scientific advisers and pursue a plan they have said is insufficient to stop the spread if not enhanced.England will not go into a two or three-week “circuit-break” lockdown, a senior cabinet minister said. Michael Gove insisted the government was right to ignore its scientific advisers and pursue a plan they have said is insufficient to stop the spread if not enhanced.
It is not too late to introduce an effective national lockdown in England, a senior adviser said. Sir Jeremy Farrar said the worst thing to do would be to wait until November to act.It is not too late to introduce an effective national lockdown in England, a senior adviser said. Sir Jeremy Farrar said the worst thing to do would be to wait until November to act.
Europe is the emerging epicentre of the current wave: a third of all new cases worldwide are being detected in western European countries. Europe is recording more new cases than India, Brazil and the US combined.Europe is the emerging epicentre of the current wave: a third of all new cases worldwide are being detected in western European countries. Europe is recording more new cases than India, Brazil and the US combined.
Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak.Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak.
Italy had a record daily rise in cases of 10,925 and is considering toughening nationwide restrictions in response to the increase. The Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Malaysia also recorded their highest daily totals since the pandemic began.Italy had a record daily rise in cases of 10,925 and is considering toughening nationwide restrictions in response to the increase. The Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Malaysia also recorded their highest daily totals since the pandemic began.
The number of deaths in Iran from Covid-19 now exceeds 30,000, with the country’s health ministry saying the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic was now 30,123.The number of deaths in Iran from Covid-19 now exceeds 30,000, with the country’s health ministry saying the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic was now 30,123.
A two week “circuit breaker” lockdown is expected to commence in Wales on 23 October that will see all but essential retail outlets close, according to a leaked letter.A two week “circuit breaker” lockdown is expected to commence in Wales on 23 October that will see all but essential retail outlets close, according to a leaked letter.
Thailand has recorded its first locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 in more than a month.Thailand has recorded its first locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 in more than a month.
The foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium have both tested positive for Covid-19.The foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium have both tested positive for Covid-19.
New Zealand, which has twice eliminated the virus, reported its first local case for 22 days.New Zealand, which has twice eliminated the virus, reported its first local case for 22 days.
The French Collectivity of Wallis and Futuna in the South Pacific recorded its first case for the entire pandemic.The French Collectivity of Wallis and Futuna in the South Pacific recorded its first case for the entire pandemic.
Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months.Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months.
Malaysian health authorities have reported 871 new cases on Sunday; the nation’s worst daily count. It raises its total infections to 20,498. The Southeast Asian country, which imposed targeted lockdowns this month as infections surged, also recorded seven new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 187.
The health ministry’s director general Noor Hisham Abdullah told reporters the infection rate had dropped since a third wave of infections in the country began four weeks ago.
Israel will require incoming travellers from the UK to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, information on an Israeli government website shows.
The infection rate in the UK has risen sharply in recent weeks, prompting the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson to introduce tighter restrictions and local lockdowns.
The UK has been one of 31 “green” countries from which travellers who meet a series of special requirements could enter Israel without a mandatory quarantine period.
The UK’s status will change to “red” on 23 October, Israeli health ministry information shows.
The health ministry identifies some 185 other countries and localities as red, implying high infection rates. Incoming Israeli travellers are also subject to mandatory self-isolation.
Israel has begun rolling back a second-wave lockdown that has helped reduce new cases. The country has closed its borders to most non-Israelis, with exceptions including foreign workers and Jewish yeshiva students.
The Philippines’ health ministry has reported 2,379 new confirmed cases and 50 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 356,618 cases and 6,652 deaths. It also said 14,941 more individuals had recovered, bringing total recoveries to 310,158.
Gove has defended police in the UK being given data from the NHS’s test and trace system, saying that officers are operating in a “very proportionate way”.
Reacting to news, the director of the Open Rights Group, Jim Killock, said:
Doctors’ haste to mechanically ventilate patients at the start of the pandemic might have contributed to the higher rate of death in spring compared to now, a senior medic has said.
Dr Alison Pittard, the dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in London, said doctors’ evolving understanding of the virus had dramatically upped the survival rate.
At the start of the pandemic, just 66% of people in hospital with the virus survived, compared to 84% in August. Dr Pittard told Sky News:
She said intensive care teams now use a variety of interventions to help patients breathe, and full mechanical ventilation is a last resort.
Pittard said there’s no evidence to suggest Covid-19 has become less dangerous despite falling death rates in the UK. She said that, although treatment is improving, social distancing is also having an impact on transmission and viral load.
Keeping critical care facilities open to non-Covid patients will be vital to minimising the collateral damage of the next wave of the pandemic, Pittard added.
She said that minimising transmission within the community was the best way to prevent urgent care units becoming overburdened. Pittard said the focus of the next wave of the pandemic “isn’t going to be on Covid patients getting access to healthcare, it is going to be for those patients that don’t have Covid”.
The UK government’s cabinet office minister Michael Gove has defended the £7,000 day rates paid to some executives from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) who are helping the government set up and run its testing system.
He insisted the spend was a good use of public money, adding:
Here’s a little more from Prof Jeremy Farrer, who has been laying bare the scale of the national crisis. The “worst-case scenario” of 50,000 cases per day across the UK is “almost exactly where we are at”, he has told Sky News.
Burnham called for MPs in Westminster to intervene and ensure tier 3 restrictions come with an adequate financial package.
He reiterated his call for the 80% furlough scheme to be reintroduced to support workers in firms that are forced to close.
And Burnham criticised a letter from 20 Tory MPs who called on him to work with the government’s approach to regional lockdowns.
The mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he will be having a call with the UK prime minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister over lockdown restrictions on Sunday.
Asked if he was going to be speaking with Boris Johnson, Burnham told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:
Burnham, who is resisting the highest level of controls without more financial support for workers and businesses, accused Johnson of having exaggerated the severity of the situation in the region.
Here’s a little more detail on those comments from Prof Jeremy Farrer, the member of the UK government scientific advisory group who is still recommending a short national lockdown in England. He told Sky News: