US deaths up 10% in a fortnight
Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the US are on the rise again, just as health experts had feared, and cases are climbing in practically every state, despite assurances from President Donald Trump over the weekend that “we’re rounding the turn, we’re doing great.”
AP: With Election Day just over a week away, average deaths per day across the country are up 10% over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Newly confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.
Deaths are still well below the US peak of over 2,200 per day in late April. But experts are warning of a grim fall and winter, with a widely cited model from the University of Washington projecting about 386,000 dead by 1 February. A vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until mid-2021.
The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases hit a record high on Sunday of 68,767, according to Johns Hopkins, eclipsing the previous mark of 67,293, set in mid-July. The US recorded more than 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday — the highest marks ever — though testing has expanded dramatically over the course of the outbreak, making direct comparisons problematic.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m Helen Sullivan, you can get in touch with me here, and this is the place to be for the latest global developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Protests against Covid-19 restrictions are intensifying in Northern Italy. Witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in central Turin as police responded with volleys of tear gas as they tried to restore order in the city. There were also clashes in Milan, the capital of the neighbouring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization chief warned Monday that abandoning efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic, as suggested by a top US official, was “dangerous”, urging countries not to “give up”.
“We must not give up,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing.
He acknowledged that after months of battling the new coronavirus, which has claimed more than 1.1 million lives globally, a certain level of “pandemic fatigue” had set in.
Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:
- France alone may be experiencing 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day – double the latest official figures – Prof Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, said. Tougher coronavirus containment measures could be announced in the country later this week.
- Czech government tightens coronavirus measures with curfew and retail curbs. The Czech government has ordered a 9pm curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays, as part of tighter measures adopted to stem a surge in Covid-19 infections.
- Germany is on the verge of losing control of its fight against the coronavirus, Angela Merkel has reportedly warned colleagues. In an indication of the growing concern, Merkel brought forward a meeting on additional coronavirus restrictions with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states from Friday to Wednesday.
- Belgium’s intensive care units will be overrun in a fortnight if the rate of infection continues, a spokesman for country’s Covid-19 crisis centre has said. Dr Yves Van Laethem said the 2,000 intensive care beds would be full with patients without a change of course. On Monday morning, new regulations came into force in Brussels.
- Italians have been advised against trips to other European countries because of surging coronavirus cases, with the foreign ministry warning they could get trapped overseas if travel bans became necessary.