Coronavirus pandemic has killed over 922,000 people and infected more than 28.8 million worldwide. Here are the coronavirus-related developments for September 12:
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Cuba shuts down interprovincial transportation
Cuban state media has reported that interprovincial transportation would be shut down and a curfew in Havana extended until the end of the month as a surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital spreads to other areas.
While most of the country remains at a new normal with schools and retail activity open, local authorities have been tightening enforcement wherever cases appear.
While just under 4,700 cases have been reported since the first one in March and only 108 deaths, the US embargoed Caribbean nation has been all but bankrupted by the pandemic’s toll on tourism, remittances, investment and trade.
Economic growth is now forecast to drop by close to 10 percent this year according to various international organisations and there are long lines for basic goods and shortages of certain foods and medicines.
Antarctica still free of Covid-19
At this very moment a vast world exists that’s free of the coronavirus, where people can mingle without masks and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away.
That world is Antarctica, the only continent without Covid-19. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered over on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks or months, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues who start arriving as soon as Monday don’t bring the virus with them.
No more contact with tourists, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs warned. “No cruise ships should be disembarking.” And for Antarctic teams located near each other, “mutual visits and social events between stations/facilities should be ceased.”
Some research programmes are deferring Antarctic operations to next year or even 2022, said Nish Devanunthan, South Africa’s director of Antarctic support while the US is sending a third of its usual summer staff and New Zealand is sending 100 people to the ice instead of 350.
Gateway cities such as Cape Town, Christchurch, Hobart in Australia, Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentin, each have quarantine and testing protocols for workers boarding planes or ships heading south.
Istanbul introduces limits to gatherings
The governor of Istanbul has banned boating companies from hosting weddings and similar gatherings as part of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 in Turkey’s most populous city.
The governor’s office also reintroduced a ban on concerts and festivals in open spaces.
The bans were to go into effect on Saturday but were postponed until Monday.
On Saturday, Turkey reported 1,509 new cases of the virus, and more than 1,200 recoveries. The country’s overall infection count reached 289,635, according to Health Ministry data.
The ministry data showed that 1,207 more patients recovered over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 257,731.
The virus-linked death toll, meanwhile, rose to 6,999 as 48 more people succumbed to the disease.
UK records 3,497 more confirmed cases
The United Kingdom reported 3,497 confirmed new cases of Covid-19, according to government data published on Saturday, compared with 3,539 a day earlier.
It also reported a further nine new deaths from the coronavirus.
Friday’s figure was the largest number of daily cases to be reported since mid-May, and Britain is to bring in a new ban on social gatherings on Monday in a bid to curb the increasing rise in infections.
Covid-19 deaths, cases falling in South Africa
Cases of the novel coronavirus and deaths related to the disease have started to decline in South Africa, the country’s health minister said Saturday.
“Today, we cautiously but optimistically breathe a sigh of relief as we continue to see our detected cases, hospital admissions, deaths and even excess deaths declining,” Zweli Mkhize said at a nursing conference, where his statements were posted on Twitter.
He said the country’s recovery rate was now almost at 90 percent and the mortality rate was stable at around 2 percent.
South Africa, which has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in Africa and is the eighth most affected country globally, has 646,398 cases and 15,378 deaths.
The daily case rise dropped to less than 3,000 compared to June and July, when infections hovered between 8,000 and 10,000 a day.
South Sudan to reopen schools after Covid-19 closure
Authorities in South Sudan on Saturday ordered all schools to reopen across the country after nearly six months of closure to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, the decision was made in a cabinet meeting on Friday to reopen primary and secondary schools, as well as universities, following a presentation by Health Minister Elizabeth Achuei that indicated a significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and infections.
In her report, Achuei said the number of coronavirus cases had fallen in the country in recent weeks.
The exact date of the reopening is to be determined by the ministries of higher education and general education.
The General Education Ministry said an assessment was ongoing to determine how many schools needed to be disinfected before classes started, as well as the general hygiene and safety rules that would be enforced.
UAE reports 1,007 new cases, highest since outbreak
The United Arab Emirates has reported 1,007 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest daily number since the pandemic broke out.
Until last month, there had been a generally falling trend after the UAE’s new daily cases peaked at 994 in May, but numbers have surged from 164 cases on August 3.
Philippines reports 186 more deaths
The Philippines’ health ministry has reported 186 more deaths related to the novel virus, a new daily record and the highest single-day fatality rate recorded so far in Southeast Asia.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have increased to 4,292, while confirmed cases rose by 4,935 to 257,863.
The Philippines has the most Covid-19 infections in the region.
Russia reports 5,488 new cases, 119 deaths
Russia has reported 5,488 new virus cases, bringing the tally to 1,057,362, the fourth largest in the world.
Authorities said 119 people had died in the past 24 hours, pushing official total fatalities to 18,484.
Indonesia reports 3,806 new cases
Indonesia has reported 3,806 new virus infections and 106 new deaths, data from the health ministry website showed.
Saturday marked the fifth consecutive day that Indonesia registered daily infections of more than 3,000, bringing the total number of cases to 214,746.
Total Covid-19 deaths rose to 8,650, the highest in Southeast Asia.
Czech Republic reports record one-day rise in cases
The Czech Republic has reported its largest one-day rise so far of new coronavirus infections, recording 1,447 cases, according to Health Ministry data.
The country has seen one of the biggest spikes in cases among European countries in recent weeks.
It tightened restrictions on mask wearing this week although it aims to avoid bringing back measures that would hurt businesses.
Australia coronavirus deaths pass 800
Deaths related to the novel coronavirus in Australia have reached 803, but new daily infections in the country’s largest hot spot continued to fall.
Victoria state, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported six new deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 716, or more than 90 percent of all deaths in Australia.
However, new cases in the country’s second-most populous state continued to fall from a peak of more than 700 in a single day in early August. It reported 37 new cases on Saturday, its lowest since late June.
The lockdown, which was initially to end on Sunday, has been extended for another two weeks.
India reports record daily jump in Covid cases for second straight day
India reports new record daily jump in virus cases
India has reported a record daily jump virus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections.
With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world’s second worst affected country, trailing only the United States, which has more than 6.4 million cases.
But the growth in infections in India is faster than anywhere else in the world, with cases surging through urban and rural areas of some large, populous states.
Germany cases rise by 1,630
Germany has reported 1,630 new coronavirus cases and five deaths.
The country’s total number of infections now stand at 258,480 and deaths at 9,347, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
Canada reports zero Covid-19 deaths for first time since March
Canada reported zero Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 15, according to public health agency data released late on Friday.
Canada’s death toll from the pandemic stood at 9,163 as of September 11, the same as the number of the deaths reported on September 10, government data showed.
But the number of positive cases rose by 702 to 135,626 on September 11 from the previous day, the data showed.
Mexico tops 70,000 deaths, but toll likely far higher
The confirmed coronavirus death toll in Mexico on Friday topped 70,000 after the government reported more than 500 new deaths, a grim milestone for a country among those most affected by the pandemic.
Making matters worse, excess mortality data from mid-March through early August indicates that the total number of deaths beyond the official count is likely tens of thousands higher.
Health officials late on Friday reported 534 new deaths linked to the virus, bringing the total to 70,183. Another 5,935 cases bring the total to 658,299.
The spread of the virus has ravaged an already ailing economy, which is now seen contracting by up to 13 percent this year, the deepest recession since the 1930s-era Great Depression.
Based on official data, Mexico is the nation with the fourth highest number of deaths globally, and the 13th highest on a per capita basis, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
But earlier this month, the health ministry said it recorded more than 120,000 “extra” deaths from mid-March through August 1. The measure compares mortality figures this year with a four-year average from 2015 to 2018.
Brazil remains No. 1 in Latin America, the region with the most infections globally, for both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. It has posted a total of 4.2 million infections and more than 128,000 deaths so far.
In a sliver of good news, the rate of new cases in Peru, Colombia and Mexico has fallen slightly in recent weeks.
Overall, more than 900,000 people have died worldwide from the pandemic, with the deadliest outbreaks in the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
Cardinals place WR KeeSean Johnson on Covid list
The Arizona Cardinals have placed receiver KeeSean Johnson on the Reserve/Covid-19 list two days before their season opener.
The Cardinals announced the move on Friday without giving any details. The list is used for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with an infected person. Johnson is the first player put on the Covid list by the Cardinals this season.
Johnson had 21 catches for 187 yards and one touchdown as a rookie last season.
Arizona opens the season Sunday at the San Francisco 49ers.
Colombia cases pass 700,000, deaths nearing 23,000
Coronavirus cases in Colombia, which ended more than five months of lockdown at the start of the month, surpassed 700,000 on Friday as deaths from the virus climbed toward 23,000.
The Andean country has 702,088 confirmed cases of the virus according to the health ministry, with 22,518 reported deaths. Active cases number 95,398.
Colombia began its months-long lockdown in March. It is now in a much-looser “selective” quarantine phase and making plans to restart international flights.
Intensive care units in Bogota are at about 62% capacity, according to local health authorities.
The capital is home to a third of Colombia’s cases.
DCGI orders suspension of Serum’s India trials of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine – ANI
India’s drug regulator has asked Serum Institute of India to suspend recruitment in its clinical trials of AstraZeneca Plc’s potential Covid-19 vaccine in the country until further orders, Reuters partner ANI reported on Friday.
V.G. Somani, the drugs controller general of India, has also asked for increased safety monitoring of those already vaccinated with the experimental vaccine, ANI reported, citing an order issued by the regulator.
The move places further restrictions on the trials, which have already been put on hold by Serum on Thursday after the DCGI had asked the vaccine maker for details on the suspension of trials overseas, in a show-cause notice that was reviewed by Reuters.
Friday’s order has been issued after Serum responded to the show-cause notice, according to ANI.
Somani had warned that Serum could face action if it did not offer an explanation for why the trials should not be suspended until patient safety is established, after AstraZeneca decided earlier in the week to pause global trials in the wake of an unexplained illness in a study participant.
Brazil deaths rise above 130,000
Brazil registered 874 novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 43,718 additional cases, the nation’s health ministry said on Friday.
The country has now registered 130,396 coronavirus deaths and 4,282,164 confirmed cases in total.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies