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Coronavirus live news: senior PLO figure hospitalised; Swiss prepare for more restrictions Coronavirus live news: senior PLO figure hospitalised; Swiss prepare for more restrictions
(32 minutes later)
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in hospital; Switzerland to introduce more measures on Monday; some French cities face month of restrictions – follow live Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in hospital; Switzerland to introduce more measures on Monday; nine French cities face month of restrictions – follow live
The Czech Republic, which has the highest infection rate in Europe, will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic, its deputy prime minister Karel Havlíček has said.
In the past week, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close except for takeaway orders, and schools have been shifted to distance learning. Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already been shut, but shops have remained open.
On Saturday, the Czech Republic reported 8,713 new cases; its largest daily total at a weekend. And the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it had registered 828 cases per 100,000 population in the last two weeks; more than 10 times the rate in neighbouring Germany. Havlíček said:
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.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.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.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.
In Wales, a further 950 cases have been diagnosed, bringing the total to 35,628. Public Health Wales said three further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic rising to 1,711.
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: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.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.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.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.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”.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.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 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 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:
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 the 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 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:
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.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.
Apparently, the tickets cost 48,000 forints (almost £120) each for a four-course meal and rapidly sold out.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.
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 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:
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.