International update: Global Covid cases pass 46.6 million – Trump blamed for US infection spikes

2 November 2020 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2020 14:01)

2 November

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 46.6 million, meanwhile, the global coronavirus death toll exceeds 1.2 million according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Sunday that he had been identified as a contact of someone who tested positive for Covid-19, but added that he was feeling well and did not have any symptoms. Tedros said in a tweet that he would be self-quarantining “over the coming days”.

US: US Covid-19 infections have passed 9.2 million. The US coronavirus death toll is 230,996 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump threatened to fire the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci. At Trump’s rally in Florida, a “Fire Fauci” chant broke out when Trump defended his handling of coronavirus. Trump said: “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election.”

President Trump broke a curfew at rally in Miami-Dade County. Trump spoke until well after midnight in Miami-Dade county, breaking a midnight coronavirus cufew intended to mitigate infections.

Donald Trump’s campaign rallies may have led to 30,000 additional confirmed cases of Covid-19, and likely resulted in more than 700 deaths overall, according to a Stanford University paper posted online this weekend.

In the US average daily cases in the last week of October were about 35,000 higher than in the last week of September, an indication of the virus’s spike at the close of the presidential race, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, blamed President Trump’s stance on Covid-19 precautions for helping trigger the state’s spike in cases. Wisconsin’s recent outbreak is one of the most severe in the nation. “We need to do the basic things in Wisconsin and frankly some people aren’t doing them because they’re listening to Donald Trump,” Evers said on CNN on Sunday.

The Supreme Court of Texas denied a Republican effort to render more than 120,000 votes in Harris County invalid because they were cast by drive-thru – a measure aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 while voting.

North Dakota, ranked with the US’s biggest outbreak per capita, recorded a fourth day with cases more than 1,000. The state reported 1,128 new infections Sunday. Health officials have warned the medical system is being overwhelmed.

North Carolina, a battleground state in Tuesday’s US election, reported its sixth day of more than 2,000 cases.

Utah health officials have warned of possibly rationing medical care as infections, deaths and hospitalizations all hit a high over the last week. On Sunday, the state reported 1,854 cases, higher than the average daily 1,648 in the worst week of the outbreak so far. Another ten people died, the third time that number was reached since Wednesday, for a total of 614 fatalities.

Two large Halloween parties in New York City, attracting almost 1,000 people, were broken up this weekend in violation of anti-virus measures. Nine organizers were charged.

Japan: Japan has used new technology to determine if large crowds can watch sports events in safety, less than a year before Tokyo is due to host the coronavirus-postponed Olympics.

The trial over the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack has been delayed for at least a week after two more defendants tested positive for coronavirus, Agence France-Presse reports.

Brazil: The Brazilian health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, who is ill with Covid-19, will stay in a military hospital overnight on Sunday, after having been discharged from a civilian facility earlier in the day.

UK: The Duke of Cambridge tested positive for coronavirus in April, according to reports. The BBC said it had been told by Buckingham palace sources that Prince William had contracted Covid-19 that month.

There have been a further 23,254 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, according to government data. This compares to 21,915 new cases registered on Saturday. Infections have now passed 1.03 million.

Iran: Iran’s true death toll is likely to be at least three times higher than the reported figure, the head of Iran’s medical council has said.

Greece: Greece has reported a further 1,678 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total to 40,929. It comes after a record daily increase of 2,056 was announced on Saturday.

France: France reported 46,290 further coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to over 1.4 million cases. Infections rose by 35,641 the previous day.

Slovakia: Slovakia tested almost half of its entire population yesterday, as part of a two-day mass testing programme designed to bring coronavirus under control without implementing further lockdown measures. Of the 2.58 million people tested, 1% were positive and will have to quarantine.

Russia: Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases hit a record high of 18,665 taking the national total to 1,636,781.

India: India reported an additional 45,231 infections on Monday, as new cases remained within a narrow range after peaking at almost 100,000 a day in September. India’s total infections rose to 8.23 million, the second-highest in the world behind the US. The nation’s death toll is at 122,607.

China: A testing blitz in China’s far west region of Xinjiang uncovered the country’s worst Covid-19 outbreak since the summer, even as authorities said all infections have been found.

Italy: Italy reported 29,907 new cases on Sunday, a slight decline from Saturday’s record of 31,758 but amid slower testing on the weekend. The positivity rate continued to increase, with 16 positive cases for every 100 tests.

Vaccine news

More than 300 Brazilians gathered on São Paulo’s main commercial thoroughfare on Sunday to protest state Governor João Doria’s support for mandatory Covid-19 immunization and testing the potential vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac.

Lockdown updates

South Korea: South Korea will fine people for not wearing masks from later this month, as the country expands its rules on mandatory face coverings.

UK: England’s lockdown could be extended. The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday.

Nigel Farage plans to rebrand the Brexit Party as an anti-lockdown party called Reform UK, the party leader has announced in an article in the Telegraph where he says “it is time to redirect our energies”.

China: China is doubling down on safeguards to ensure people traveling from abroad don’t harbor the coronavirus. Statements posted on websites of Chinese embassies in countries including the US, UK, France, Italy and New Zealand over the weekend ask for negative antibody test results in addition to negative results from nucleic acid tests within 48 hours of boarding flights. The requirement for double negative results will be effective on 7 November, according to the statements.

Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is set to update parliament Monday and according to local media is set to sign off on stricter restrictions on Monday that will stop short of a nationwide lockdown. He wants localized curbs depending on virus transmissions – something some regional authorities are resisting.