30 November

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 62.7 million.  Meanwhile, the global coronavirus death toll exceeds 1.45 million according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

US: Covid-19 infections exceed 13.3 million, meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 266,875 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The top infectious disease expert in the US has warned that the country may record a “surge upon a surge” of the virus in coming weeks.

California reported 15,614 new cases, pushing the 14-day average to a record. The total number of infections in the state now stands at almost 1.2 million. Another 32 new deaths were reported, with fatalities at 19,121.

Former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration  Scott Gottlieb said he thought it would be “prudent” if federal health officials reduced the recommended quarantine time from 14 days to 10 or even 7 days for people exposed to those carrying the virus.

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France: The rate of positive Covid-19 tests fell to 11.1%, just over half of where it was in early November. The number of patients in intensive care continued to decline from a peak almost two weeks ago. Deaths linked to the virus increased by 198 to 52,325, the smallest daily increase in a month.

Turkey: Turkey’s daily coronavirus death toll hit a record high for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday, with 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Spain: Doctors and nurses are protesting in Madrid, against cuts that they say have left them struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK: There have been a further 12,155 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, according to government data. This compares to 15,871 cases registered on Saturday.

Cases of coronavirus in England fell 30% after lockdown measures were rolled out in November, according to a study by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI UK Ltd. The findings show cases were rising as the country entered a four-week lockdown on Nov. 5 and that a sharp decrease followed as national restrictions were rolled out, according to the report published on Monday.

Italy: Italy reported on Sunday 541 virus deaths and 20,648 new daily cases, in a declining trend compared with the previous day. The number of patients in intensive care units across the country continued to fall for the fourth day, while the total number of hospitalized patients fell for the sixth day.

Taiwan: Taiwan added 24 imported Covid-19 cases, the biggest daily increase since March 23, according to Bloomberg data. The government will hold a briefing on 24 new imported cases later Monday, according to a text message from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.

Vaccine news

Poland: Poland sees vaccine purchase and distribution costs at a minimum of 5 billion zloty ($1.3 billion), Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported, without saying where it got the information. The government plans to vaccinate about half of the 38 million population by mid-2021. The vaccine will be free of charge.

US: Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the federal government hopes to quickly review and approve requests from two drug makers for emergency approval of their Covid-19 vaccines. Pfizer Inc. is scheduled to submit an Emergency Use Authorization request on 10 December for the vaccine it developed with Germany’s BioNTech, followed by Moderna on 18 December, Adams said.

UK: The UK government hopes to begin rolling out vaccination program before Christmas if regulators approve the shots in time, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “We hope, subject to the regulatory approvals, to be in a position to be able to have rolled out the vaccine sufficiently by, say, the spring to enable us to have a big change in the way we approach things,” Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show. Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London and a government adviser, said he would be “surprised” if a vaccine becomes available as soon as next week.

Lockdown updates

Hong Kong: Chief Executive Carrie Lam sees room for tougher measures on people and businesses to control the coronavirus epidemic, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Lam in an interview.

Indonesia: President Joko Widodo ordered the home minister to warn local leaders to step up health protocol enforcement. Movement restrictions in cities bordering Jakarta were extended until 23 December, the head of West Java Task Force Daud Achmad said in a statement. The government confirmed 6,267 new cases in the 24 hours through midday Sunday, the most since the outbreak began, with Central Java accounting for a third of them.

US: New York City’s state schools will start to reopen on 7 December, beginning with primary schools, the mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced on Sunday.

Iraq: Children in Iraq have started returning to school for the first time since late February, with social distancing measures in place and schools operating six days a week.

Lebanon: Lebanon will begin to slowly relax coronavirus restrictions imposed two weeks ago from Monday, as it looks to boost its struggling economy ahead of Christmas.

France: France’s highest administrative court has ordered the government to loosen coronavirus rules allowing no more than 30 people at religious services, in the face of angry objections from church leaders.

Economy updates

Italy: Italy’s government has approved a fourth stimulus package to support businesses hit by the latest restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The package is worth 8 billion euros ($9.6 billion), according to a statement published Monday. It delays tax deadlines for companies and expands cash handouts for workers in tourism and the arts, which have been severely disrupted by the pandemic.

Canada: Justin Trudeau will deliver another dose of stimulus to shore up an economic recovery that’s starting to creak amid a second wave of Covid-19 in Canada. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to announce billions of additional funding in a fiscal update Monday, with dozens of new measures that could include topping up existing benefits to families and business along with teeing up money for infrastructure, daycare and climate change.