Covid-19 has infected more than 242 million people and killed more than 4.9 million worldwide. Here are the virus-related developments for October 20:
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Daily number of Covid cases in Poland exceeds 5,000
Poland has reported more than 5,000 daily cases for the first time since May Wednesday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
The country of about 38 million people has reported 5,559 new cases of coronavirus and 75 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Since the start of the pandemic, Poland has reported 2,950,616 cases and 76,254 deaths.
Russia’s healthcare system collapses as deaths hit new record
The Russian healthcare system is operating under great pressure, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday, as the national death toll from Covid-19 reached an all-time high for the second day in a row.
Russia has reported a record 1,028 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours along with 34,073 new infections, an increase in cases that has led authorities to push for tighter health restrictions.
The mayor of Moscow on Tuesday announced four months of stay-at-home restrictions for unvaccinated over-60s and the Russian government proposed a week-long workplace closure to deal with rapidly rising cases as the Kremlin blamed on a slow vaccination campaign.
WHO: only European region with an increase in Covid-19 last week
The World Health Organization said there was a 7% increase in new coronavirus cases in Europe last week, the only region in the world where cases have increased.
The health agency said there were around 2.7 million new cases and more than 46,000 deaths last week, similar to figures reported the week before. Britain, Russia and Turkey accounted for the largest number of cases.
The largest drop in cases was seen in Africa and the Western Pacific, where infections fell by around 18% and 16%, respectively.
The death toll in Africa has also fallen by around a quarter, despite the continent’s severe vaccine shortage. Other regions, including the Americas and the Middle East, reported numbers similar to the previous week, the WHO said.
But for the third week in a row, coronavirus cases have jumped in Europe, with around 1.3 million new cases. More than half of countries in the region have reported an increase in their numbers, the WHO said.
Over the past week, Russia has repeatedly broken new daily case records and the number of infections in the UK has reached levels not seen since mid-July.
Singapore extends borders – Ministry of Health
Singapore will extend its social restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19 for about a month to ease the strain on the health system, its health ministry said on Wednesday.
At the end of September, the city-state reimposed restrictions, limiting social interactions and dining out to two people, in order to slow the transmission of the virus.
However, daily cases continued to rise and hit a record high of 3,994 on Tuesday.
Brazilian President to be Charged with ‘Intentional’ Crimes Following Covid Response
The Brazilian Senate committee will demand Wednesday that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with “intentional” crimes for his management of the pandemic which has left 600,000 dead among his compatriots.
After six months of hearings, with moving testimonies and frightening revelations about the use of ineffective drugs on “human guinea pigs”, the commission of inquiry will deliver its eagerly awaited report.
Renan Calheiros, the senator who is the lead author of the 1,200-page report, has already revealed that he has brought at least nine charges against the far-right president, including “charlatanism” and “crimes against the ‘humanity’.
But he announced a last-minute withdrawal of the charges of “homicide” and “genocide”, after some internal quarrels within the panel.
Australia Reaches 70% Covid-19 Vaccination Target
Australia has reached its goal of full vaccination against Covid-19 for 70% of its population aged 16 and over, an important milestone set by the government for its plan to reopen the country.
According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, so far 33 million vaccines have been administered and 70 percent of Australians aged 16 and over have received both doses.
Travel restrictions between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s largest cities, have eased as Victoria opened its borders to fully vaccinated residents of New South Wales amid rapidly rising levels of vaccination.
Tokyo aims to lift restaurant restrictions as cases fall – media
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government aims to ease restrictions on bars and restaurants next week as infections continue to decline, the Jiji news service said.
The easing will be announced as early as Thursday and would apply to companies certified as complying with anti-infective measures, Jiji reported, citing knowledgeable sources.
Tokyo and much of Japan on October 1 lifted the Covid-19 emergency measures that had been in place for almost six months. Despite this, restaurants and bars in the capital have been asked to stop alcohol sales at 8 p.m. and close at 9 p.m.
New daily cases in Tokyo fell to 29 on Monday, the lowest since June last year. Infections have declined dramatically after a surge of more than 5,000 a day in August that hit the capital’s medical infrastructure.
Mexico records 446 new deaths
Mexico has reported 446 additional deaths from Covid-19 in the country, bringing the total death toll since the start of the pandemic to 284,923.
The government has previously said the numbers are likely significantly higher than reported.
Brazil reports more than 2,459 new deaths
Brazil has recorded more than 115,515 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 2,459 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry said.
The South American country has recorded 21,664,879 cases since the start of the pandemic, while the official death toll has risen to 603,855, according to ministry data.
It is the third worst epidemic in the world outside of the United States and India and the second deadliest.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies