5.57am BST

Germany’s confirmed cases increased by 2,143 to 278,070, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll rose by 19 to 9,428, the tally showed.

5.51am BST

The Australian airline Qantas has been ordered by the federal court to pass on the government’s jobkeeper coronavirus wage subsidy in full to its workers.

A group of unions, including the Transport Workers Union and the Australian Services Union, brought the case after accusing Qantas of manipulating shifts to avoid paying workers anything on top of the $1,500 a fortnight jobkeeper payment.

My colleague Ben Butler has the full story:

5.26am BST

In Italy, the memory of the desperate days of March and April when the virus ripped through the north of the country, is keeping the public vigilant against a second wave.

Angela Giuffrida, our correspondent in Rome, writes that Italy has been more successful than others in containing a resurgence. On Tuesday, it recorded 1,392 new cases compared with 10,799 in Spain, 10,088 in France and 4,926 in the UK.

A soldier disinfects an intensive care unit at Saronno hospital in northern Italy. Photograph: Andrea Fasani/EPA

Morena Colombi, from near Milan, suffered a mild dose of Covid but still suffers the lingering impact. She told Angela:

I don’t know what the impact of the outbreak was like on people in other countries, but in Italy it was devastating,” said Colombi. “Yes, you do have virus deniers here too, but I think this is why most people are being careful – what we experienced was so strong that nobody wants to go through that ever again.

Full report here:

5.02am BST

Israel tightens lockdown

Israel is tightening its coronavirus lockdown after an alarming spike in new cases, the cabiney decided on Thursday morning.

Bejamin Netanyahu, prime minister, has voiced alarm that a surge in infections was pushing the nation to “the edge of the abyss”.

Israel went back into lockdown, its second during the pandemic, on 18 September but ministers have ordered a total lockdown to stem the rise which has seen 7,000 cases a day in a country of 9 million.

Fewer businesses will be allowed to operate and there will be further curbs on travel, YNet said.

4.43am BST

Rarely can there have been a more low-key beginning to the cricket season in Australia. It’s usually a time of optimism as spring blooms and sports grounds are transformed from hosting football codes of different types into cricket ovals.

But of course 2020 is different and, as Australia’s Megan Schutt explains here, it’s all a bit surreal knowing that the teams have to put on a big show despite the lack of ceremony or razzamatazz in the Covid-era.

4.17am BST

China reported seven new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, down from 10 the day before, the country’s national health authority said on Thursday.

The national health commission said all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas.

Global Times

Chinese mainland reported 7 new confirmed #COVID19 cases, all imported, and 20 new #asymptomatic COVID-19 patients pic.twitter.com/z84KK0OU8v

September 24, 2020

There were 20 new asymptomatic cases. The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China now stands at 85,314, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

4.04am BST

Hello, I’m Martin Farrer taking over from the indefatigable Helen Sullivan.

There has been some heavy selling of stocks on markets across Asia Pacific today as investors followed on from a gloomy session on Wall Street caused by doubts about the strength of the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.35% in the morning session on broad losses across the region, Reuters reports.

David Ingles

Risk off. Markets with bigger exposure to tech, resources leading this pullback. pic.twitter.com/gEFy9PeSTj

September 24, 2020

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.72%, Seoul’s Kospi sank 1.73% and Australian shares were 1.18% lower. In Japan the Nikkei was off by 0.74% and Chinese blue chips were down 1%.

“Have we overpriced the rebound in the economy? I say we have,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AXI.

“I think the market was interpreting a bounce from the bottom as a cyclical recovery, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I still think there’s a lot of blood on the street, especially on Main Street.”

3.32am BST

Global deaths pass 975,000

The number of coronavirus-related deaths worldwide has passed 975,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 975,038 currently confirmed.

The tracker relies on official government data.

If deaths continue to occur at roughly the same rate, the world will have suffered a million dead before 1 October – or within the next week.

3.10am BST

Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus caseload rose to 710,049 on Wednesday, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a reported death toll of 74,949.

Authorities reported 4,786 new cases along with 601 deaths on Wednesday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing:

A Mexican flag flies over the grave of 26-year-old soldier Mario Marin San Agustin, in a section of the Valle de Chalco Municipal Cemetery which opened early in the coronavirus pandemic to accommodate the surge in deaths, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday, 22 September 2020. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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