Northern ireland set for tough new restrictions
Northern Ireland is set to re-enter a tough lockdown after executive ministers agreed to closures of schools, pubs and restaurants, Press Association reports.
The UK news agency says it “understands pubs and restaurants will close for four weeks, with the exception of takeaways, while schools will close for two, one of which will cover the half-term Halloween break”.
Some shops will remain open, as will churches and gyms for individual training, so the measures will not be as severe as those imposed in March and April.
PA said an announcement is expected to be made during a special sitting of the Northern Ireland assembly in Belfast later on Wednesday.
It comes after Derry and Strabane council area recorded the highest infection rate in the UK and Ireland, with a seven day average of 970 cases per 100,000 people.
But the move amount to some of the harshest measures in the UK which is battling with a severe spike in cases. Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour opposition, has piled pressure on Boris Johnson’s government by calling for a national “circuit-breaker” lockdown for two weeks to stem the rise in daily cases which reached 15,000 on Tuesday alone.
Germany has recorded another 5,132 cases, taking its total to 334,585, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.
The reported death toll rose by 40 to 9,677, the tally showed.
People queue for a test at a doctor’s surgery in Berlin. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Reuters
Like many other countries in Europe such as france, Russia and the Netherlands, Germany is fighting to contain a second wave of the virus.
Stock markets in Asia Pacific are down today after Wall Street took fright at the suspension of two treatments in the US – but not as much as first was feared.
Sydney is off 0.1%, Tokyo about the same, and Shanghai has lost 0.46% and Hong ong 0.23%.
The wider tory is that the US dollar held on to gains it made when stocks fell in New York. The British pound wa strading above $1.30 on Tuesday but slipped to $1.294, while the Australian dollar is down about half a percent at US71.65c. The euro is also down at $1.17.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 leading economies will hold virtual talks on Wednesday to figure out how to reboot the world economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.
They will also consider a proposal to extend debt relief for crisis-hit poor countries when they begin the talks hosted by the current G20 president, Saudi Arabia.
The discusson comes a day after the International Monetary Fund warned that global GDP would contract 4.4% this year and that the damage inflicted by the pandemic would be felt for years.
An Indian fan of Donald Trump has reportedly died of a heart attack after he stopped eating when the US president was stricken with coronavirus.
Bussa Krishna, a 33-year-old farmer from Telangana state, has apparently worshipped Trump like a deity for years, according to the Indian Express newspaper’s online edition.
But relatives became concerned when he stopped eating after learning of his hero’s illness and he died after collapsing on Sunday, the paper said.
Bussa Krishna, 33, with his life-sized model of Trump in February 2020. Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP via Getty Images
Australia might have an enviably low number of coronavirus cases, but that does not mean that the country is immune to economic hardship from the pandemic as news from South Australia today shows.
The historic West End brewery in Adelaide is to close after catering to thirsts for 160 years.
Although the inner-city brewery had been operating under-capacity for some time, decliniung demand for draught beer in pubs during the pandemic was the final straw, according to its owners Lion.
Here’s the full story:
In Australia, where the number of new cases could be counted on your fingers and two toes, the premier of New South Wales has expressed concern about the number of people coming forward for testing.
Gladys Berejiklian said she wants to see about 20,000 people to get tested per day to ensure they are picking up every chain of transmission. On Monday the number was 7,000. There are 8.2 million people in NSW, so that’s one in 410 people.
Follow all the developments in Australia, where NSW actually recorded more cases (12) in the past 24 hours than Victoria (7), the worst hit state.
Mexico has reported 4,295 new cases of Covid-19 and 475 more fatalities.
The country has racked up 825,340 cases and 84,420 deaths.
People with poor numerical literacy are more susceptible to misinformation about Covid-19, a survey conducted in five countries says.
Researchers at Cambridge University found that the most consistent predictor of decreased susceptibility to misinformation about Covid-19 was numerical literacy – the ability to digest and apply quantitative information broadly.
The study involved putting sample groups from Ireland, Spain, Mexico, the US and the UK through three different numeracy tests, writes our science correspondent, Natalie Grover.
Here’s her full story:
On the same theme, a survey of journalists covering the pandemic has found that Facebook is the biggest source of misinformation about the crisis.
My colleague Amanda Meade has the details:
Global cases pass 38 million
The number of infections worldwide has passed 38 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
There have now been 38,032,320 infections around the world since the virus emerged at the end of last year. Millions have recovered from the virus but 1,084,336 have died.
A health worker takes a nasal swab in Mumbai. Photograph: Divyakant Solanki/EPA
The rise in new cases is being driven by spikes in Europe, the US and India, although the latter’s tally of 55,342 on Tuesday was its lowest single day total since August. The country has 7,175,880 cases, second only to the US with 7,852,008.
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The World Bank has given a boost for treatments in the developing world after approving $12bn in new funding to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, tests and treatments.
The money, part of a $160bn package pledged by the organisation to developing countries, will include technical support to recipient countries so they can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale.
The funding is aimed at signalling to drug makers that there will be demand for the treatments and the infrastructure to distribute them.
Today our Board approved up to $12b in financing to support developing countries with the purchase and distribution of #COVID19 #vaccines, tests, and treatments. This builds on our emergency response programs already reaching 111 countries https://t.co/coPQFGmLU0
October 13, 2020
Market confidence dented by treatment setbacks
The setbacks with the Eli Lilly antibody drug and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have dented confidence among investors in the world’s financial markets.
Wall Street’s three major indices closed down on Tuesday night – the S&P500 fared worst losing 0.63% – and markets in Asia Pacific have begun Wednesday in the red.
Australia’s ASX200, which reached a seven-month high on Tuesday, has been open for about 30 minutes and is off 0.2%, although that is not as much as forecast earlier.
APAC Opening Calls:#ASX 6162 -0.72%#NIKKEI 23530 -0.23%#HSI 24650 +0.19%#NIFTY 11906 -0.22%#A50 15943 +0.27%#TWSE 12917 -0.02%#IGOpeningCall
October 13, 2020
Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking in Sydney, said the recent optimism in the markets was predicated on scientists finding a viable vaccine.
The v-shaped recovery scenario that has driven risk markets higher is dependent on the availability of an effective vaccine. While there are many other groups in the race for this vital development, the withdrawal of two major players raises concerns.
Eli Lilly pauses trial of antibody treatment
The US drugmaker Eli Lilly has suspended its clinical trial of its Covid-19 antibody treatment because of a safety concern.
The announcement comes one day after Johnson & Johnson said it was forced to pause a high-profile trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because a volunteer fell ill.The compnay does not yet know if that person was given the vaccine or a placebo.
Lilly said earlier this month it was applying for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the antibody drug, LY-CoV555, for patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 based on data from another clinical trial.
Donald Trump touted the Lilly drug, along with the antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that he received for his Covid-19, as tantamount to a cure in a video he posted last week.
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In the United States, Joe Biden has been using Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic to woo older voters in the key swing state of Florida.
Speaking to about 50 people at a community center in Broward county in southern Florida, Biden said the president had recklessly dismissed the threat that the virus had posed to their at-risk population.
Biden supporters at a drive in rally in Miramar, Florida on Tuesday. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
“To Donald Trump, you’re expendable. You’re forgettable. You’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors. That’s how he sees you,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, a poll by Opinium Research and the Guardian shows that the Democratic challenger is 17 points ahead – one point more than shown in a CNN poll earlier this month.
Our man in Washington, David Smith, has the full story:
The world’s number golfer, Dustin Johnson, has become the latest sports star to test positive for the virus.
Dustin Johnson, the world’s top golfer. Photograph: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports
Johnson, who is American, tested positive at the weekend and has withdrawn from this week’s US PGA Tour event in Las Vegas. He joins footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis star Novak Djokovic among the top sportspeople to catch the virus.
Here’s the full story:
Emmanuel Macron to give national TV address
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is expected to make a significant announcement about additional national lockdown measures when he gives a televised address to the country on Wednesday.
New Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths all spiked further in France on Tuesday it is expected that Macron could unveil new restrictions.
The Restonsouvert (Stay Open) collective protest in Paris on Tuesday calling for bars, clubs, restaurants, sports halls, caterers, nightclubs, restaurants and hotels to remain open. Photograph: Isa Harsin/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock
France’s five largest cities – Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille – are among nine metropolitan areas already on maximum alert, meaning bars and gyms are closed and restaurants operate under strict sanitary conditions.
French health authorities reported 12,993 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up on Monday’s 8,505, but down from Saturday’s record of 26,896 and Sunday’s 16,101.
Good morning/afternoon/evening. I’m Martin Farrer and this is the new global coronavirus blog. These are the main developments in the past few hours.
Global cases of coronavirus are set to pass 38 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Deaths around the world stand at 1.083 million.
UK opposition leader Keir Starmer has for national “circuit-breaker” lockdown of at least two weeks in England as the death toll from Covid-19 soared to a four-month high. The Labour leader said the prime minister Boris Johnson had “lost control of the virus”. Full story here.
Dutch bars and restaurants ordered to close to stem surge in coronavirus cases. The Dutch government announced the new round of measures on Tuesday as the number of cases in this country surged in recent weeks to a daily record of nearly 7,400.
Italy announces new restrictions. Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, sports and school activities in an attempt to slow a surge in novel coronavirus infections.
Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for coronavirus. The 35-year-old is said to be “doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation”, with no further positive tests reported in the squad before Portugal’s Nations League match against Sweden on Wednesday.
Dustin Johnson, the world’s number one golfer, has also tested positive and has withdrawn from this week’s US tour event in Las Vegas.
Facebook is the greatest source of misinformation about the virus around the world, according to a survey of journalists covering the story around the world.
Russia’s regulator has granted approval for a trial of its controversial Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine on people aged over 60. In August Russia approved the vaccine for use after less than two months of human testing, including a dose administered to one of Vladimir Putin’s daughters.
The Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki tested negative for Covid-19. Morawiecki went into quarantine after he had contact on Friday with a person who has tested positive. A government spokesman said the prime minister had no coronavirus symptoms and continued to fulfil his duties.
Ireland’s government offered more support on Tuesday to those hit hardest by some of Europe’s toughest Covid-19 restrictions. The budget stimulus package was described as “unprecedented in the history of the state” by Reuters.
Russia reports record daily coronavirus cases and deaths. On Tuesday, the country’s coronavirus crisis centre said 13,868 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours, pushing the overall number of infections to 1,326,178.
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