International update: Global Covid cases pass 40 million – Trump claims US is ’rounding the turn’

19 October 2020 (Last Updated October 19th, 2020 10:50)

19 October

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed a staggering 40m cases, reaching 40,050,902. The global coronavirus death toll is 1,113,750 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Europe: Europe’s death toll has passed 250,000 according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

US: US Covid-19 infections exceed 8.1 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 219,674 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the Trump administration’s current coronavirus strategy “is just to endure the spread until we get a vaccine.” Gottlieb spoke on CBS on Sunday as many states are seeing a rising rate of infection, including more severe cases.

At his rally in Nevada, Trump claimed that the US was “rounding the turn” of the pandemic, a common claim at his appearances, despite the weekly case average rising in 48 of the country’s 50 states.

Dr Anthony Fauci said he was “absolutely not” surprised that Donald Trump contracted coronavirus. In an interview with 60 Minutes aired on Sunday, shortly before Trump held a rally in Nevada, the top US infectious diseases expert and sidelined White House coronavirus taskforce member said: “I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.”

Poland: Poland has started construction of the first field hospital for Covid-19 patients at Warsaw’s national stadium, Wp.pl reported. The facility should initially have 500 beds and be ready this week.

Thailand: Thailand reported five imported cases of Covid on Monday, which took the nation’s total infections to 3,691. All the new cases were found in state quarantine.

India: India added 55,722 coronavirus cases on Monday, the lowest in almost a week as officially reported infections continue an easing trend. Monday’s tally brings India’s total infections to more than 7.55 million.

Brazil: Brazil reached a total of 5,224,362 after reporting 10,982 new cases, the fifth-lowest daily increase since the early days of the pandemic last spring, according to Health Ministry data. Daily deaths rose by 230, the second-fewest since late April.

Italy: Italy reported a record figure of 11,705 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the health ministry has said, up from the previous peak of 10,925 posted on Saturday.

France: France reported 29,837 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, according to statistics on the website of France’s national health agency.

South Africa: South Africa reported 1,928 new cases on Saturday, pushing the total to just over 700,000 and 18,408 deaths.

South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize announced that he and his wife had tested positive and were quarantining at home.

China: China’s eastern port city of Qingdao said it conducted 10.9 million coronavirus tests in five days, managing to test its entire population after a cluster of 13 infections surfaced. All of the tests came out negative.

Slovakia: The Slovak army will carry out mass testing in November, aiming to test all of Slovakia’s 5.4 million people, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad told reporters. He said Slovakia would be the first country ever to do so.

Vaccine news

US: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the National Governors Association is sending the White House a letter asking for specific guidance about how to distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it is available.

Lockdown updates

Italy: Italy’s mayors were given new coronavirus powers amid a record case rise. Among the powers is the ability to impose 9pm curfews in their towns and cities.

Ireland: Ireland is set to introduce some of the toughest curbs in Europe in a renewed effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. The cabinet is due to meet Monday to finalize the restrictions, after health authorities recommended a move to the tightest lockdown tier, Level 5.

UK: Britain needs an immediate three-week national lockdown as opposed to more limited regional restrictions, said Jeremy Farrar, a scientific adviser to the government.

Slovenia: Slovenia’s prime minister has said on Twitter that a 30-day epidemic would be declared on Monday, with stricter measures to be imposed nationally.

Australia: Restrictions have eased in the Australian city of Melbourne, which has been under a strict lockdown for more than 100 days. On Monday, hairdressers, dog grooming businesses and real estate inspections reopened.

Economy updates

China: China became the first major economy to recover from Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese economy grew 4.9% between July and September, according to government data, as China becomes the first major economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global: The International Air Transport Association is working to set up a testing system. The IATA, which represents about 290 airlines globally, is working with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Organization to put in place scalable, affordable and fast testing systems, Conrad Clifford, IATA’s regional vice president for Asia Pacific, said.