Coronavirus live updates: Italy introduces strict new nationwide measures as cases rise


Posted on: October 13th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1 million people worldwide.

Over 37.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 215,086 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 857,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 821,000 cases and over 736,000 cases, respectively.

More than 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.

Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:

Oct 13, 10:39 am
Europe reports highest weekly incidence of COVID-19 cases

The World Health Organization said more than 2.2 million new cases of COVID-19 and 39,000 deaths from the disease have been reported across the globe in the past week, the highest number of reported cases so far in a single week since the start of the pandemic.

According to the WHO’s weekly epidemiological update published Monday, Europe registered the highest weekly incidence of COVID-19 cases of any region since the start of the pandemic, with almost 700,000 new infections reported. The region’s weekly incidence in cases and deaths increased by 34% and 16% respectively in comparison to the previous week. The United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain account for over half of all new cases reported in the region.

Africa reported a substantial rise in deaths from COVID-19, with a 27% increase compared to the previous week. South Africa continues to register more than half of all confirmed cases reported in the region, the WHO said.

Still, nearly half of the world’s cases and deaths continue to be reported in the Americas region, with the United States, Brazil and Argentina accounting for the greatest numbers, according to the WHO.

All regions showed an increase in cases during the reporting period, except Southeast Asia. Countries reporting the highest number of cases in the last seven days include India, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France, the WHO said.

Oct 13, 8:28 am
Iowa becomes latest US state to surpass 100,000 cases

Iowa has tallied more than 100,000 positive cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The midwestern U.S. state reached the grim milestone on Monday amid a surge in new cases. More than half of all 50 states have now passed the 100,000 mark.

As of Tuesday morning, the Iowa Department of Public Health had recorded a total of 100,507 positive cases out of 867,124 individuals tested so far, with a positivity rate of 11.6%.

U.S. President Donald Trump is heading to the Hawkeye State, where he will host a campaign rally Wednesday following his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

Oct 13, 7:58 am
Chinese city tests more than 3 million residents amid outbreak

The eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao has tested more than a third of its nine million residents for COVID-19 since launching a citywide testing campaign amid the country’s first reported domestic outbreak in months.

The Qingdao Municipal Health Commission said in a statement Tuesday that it had collected over three million samples for COVID-19 tests and that no new cases have been found among the more than 1.1 million results returned thus far. The entire city will be tested this week, the commission said.

A total of 12 cases of COVID-19 — six with symptoms and six without — have been recorded in Qingdao, since an outbreak linked to the city’s Municipal Chest Hospital was discovered over the weekend, according to the commission.

The Chinese mainland, where the coronavirus pandemic began last December, has so far reported 85,591 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,634 deaths. The country does not count asymptomatic infections as confirmed cases.

Oct 13, 7:16 am
Italy introduces strict new nationwide measures

The Italian government imposed strict new measures nationwide on Tuesday in a bid to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Under the new rules, parties in public spaces and discos, both indoors and outdoors, are banned. Parties can be held in restaurants but with no more than 30 attendees. Bars, ice cream parlors, pastry shops and restaurants with table service must close by midnight, while those without must shutter by 9 p.m. Drinks can only be consumed while sitting at tables — not while standing at the bar or outside — after 9 p.m.

Also banned are school trips, guided tours and any contact sports not organized by an association that can maintain social distancing rules. Gyms, however, remain open.

The government’s new measures are limited to “strong recommendations” against private gatherings and parties in homes with more than six people who don’t share a household. There’s also no obligation to wear a face mask inside a home but it’s “strongly recommended” when guests are over.

Last week’s nationwide mandate to wear masks outdoors remains in place.

The move comes as Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, sees a sharp uptick in infections after gradually loosening restrictions during the spring and summer, following a nearly three-month lockdown that helped get its COVID-19 outbreak under control.

Earlier this month, the European country confirmed more than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day for the first time since the peak of its outbreak in late March. On Monday, Italy’s civil protection agency registered 4,619 new cases and 39 deaths, bringing the cumulative totals to 359,569 cases and 36,205 deaths.

Oct 13, 5:51 am
Russia sees record rise in cases and deaths but ‘no reason’ for lockdown

Russia confirmed 13,868 new cases of COVID-19 and 244 deaths over the past 24 hours, setting new records for its daily tallies of both infections and fatalities.

It’s the third straight day that Russia has registered over 13,000 new cases. The country’s previous record of 13,634 new cases was set over the weekend. Meanwhile, the latest single-day death toll shatters the previous record of 232 deaths, which was set at the end of May.

The cumulative totals now stand at 1,312,310 confirmed cases and 22,727 deaths, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.

Russian authorities have said there’s no immediate plan to impose a second nationwide lockdown, even as the country’s outbreak grows after most coronavirus-related restrictions were lifted over the summer.

“In spite of the fact that we are seeing growing numbers, today in the Russian Federation we are not talking about blocking the economy, halting any activities, enterprises or any sectors of the economy because we see no reason for that today,” Anna Popova, head of Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnazor, told reporters Tuesday.

But officials in Moscow, the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, have recommended that the elderly self-isolate at home and also encouraged businesses to have at least one-third of their employees work from home. School holidays in the capital this month were extended from one to two weeks.

More than 33% of the newly confirmed cases — 4,618 — and nearly 24% of the newly reported deaths — 58 — were registered in the capital. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has said that this week will be “largely decisive” in the fight against the city’s outbreak.

Oct 13, 5:33 am
India records lowest daily tally of cases since August

India confirmed another 55,342 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, it’s lowest daily tally since mid-August.

An additional 706 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded. The country’s cumulative totals now stand at 7,175,880 confirmed cases and 109,856 deaths, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India is only the second country in the world to surpass seven million total cases, after the United States. Since hitting a peak of 97,894 new cases registered in a single day in September, India’s average number of daily cases has steadily declined, falling to under 73,000 cases a day.

The vast country of nearly 1.4 billion people is still on track to become the pandemic’s worst-hit nation within weeks, overtaking the United States, where more than 7.8 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Oct 13, 5:08 am
Four Vatican Swiss Guards test positive for COVID-19

Four members of the Vatican Swiss Guard have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.

The test results came in over the weekend and the four guards, who are showing symptoms, were placed in isolation.

“During these hours, the necessary checks are being carried out among those who may have been in direct contact with them,” Bruni told reporters Monday. “In the meantime, in accordance with the provisions issued last week by the Governorate of Vatican City State, all the guards, whether on duty or not, wear masks, both outdoors and indoors, and observe the prescribed health measures.”

They are believed to be the first to test positive for the virus among the Vatican Swiss Guard, the elite, colorfully-dressed corps that protects the pope. It’s unknown what direct contact — if any — the infected guards had with Pope Francis, who doesn’t wear a mask at his general audiences or when meeting with worshippers, sometimes coming into relatively close contact to mingle and shake hands.

The COVID-19 infections among the four guards are in addition to three other positive cases discovered in recent weeks among residents and citizens of Vatican City, the tiny city-state surrounded by Rome that is home to the pontiff and serves as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. All cases have mild symptoms and the necessary measures of isolation and contact tracing have been taken, according to Bruni.

Oct 13, 4:31 am
US reports more than 41,000 new cases

There were 41,653 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily tally is down by less than 3,000 from the previous day and falls well under the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 317 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Sunday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 7,804,336 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 215,086 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks.

Week-over-week comparisons show the number of new cases reported across the nation continues to go up, as does the usage of intensive care units, but the number of new deaths are down, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News last week.

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