London’s Heathrow Airport has launched a rapid Covid-19 test service for passengers flying to Hong Kong and Italy. The saliva swab costs $104 and aims to provide results in an hour. Hong Kong and Italy are among the destinations requiring passengers travelling from UK and other ’high risk’ countries to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before their departure.
With 12,982 new infections in just a day, Argentina has joined four other countries that have recorded one million or more coronavirus-positive cases. Argentina’s health ministry said it has now recorded a total of 1,002,662 confirmed Covid-19 cases. The other countries to have crossed the one million-mark are the US, India, Brazil, and Russia – nations with much larger populations than Argentina.
The White House quietly asked Tennessee gov. Bill Lee (R) to implement a state-wide mask mandate in the face of growing numbers of COVID cases across the state. Lee encouraged Tennesseans to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines, but has maintained that local mandates are more efficient than mandates that are state-wide.
The Government Accountability Office announced that it would be probing whether the alleged interference of the White House with the coronavirus work of the CDC and FDA ’has violated the agencies’ scientific integrity and communication policies.’ Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Gary Peters and Senator Patty Murray wrote to the GAO earlier this month asking for the review.
China has overtaken the US in movie ticket sales for the first time ever. Now, China is the world’s biggest box office. According to Artisan Gateway data, Chinese year-on-year ticket sales touched $1.99 billion this week, beating the US total of $1.94 billion. A big reason for this is that the Covid-19 pandemic forced US theaters to run below capacity in some states and completely shut in others.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world has surpassed 40M. The US, India and Brazil have reported the highest numbers of cases — 8.1M, 7.5M and 5.2M respectively. The global increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe. So far, the death toll from the virus globally stands at 1.1M with 224K of those registered in the US.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that the land borders of the United States between Canada and Mexico will remain closed for all non essential travel until November 21. The extension has been announced as the US remains one of the worst affected countries due to the novel coronavirus, and is also reporting the second highest number of daily new cases.
Wales is set to put in place a full ’firebreak’ lockdown for two weeks from Friday to try to reduce a soaring number of new coronavirus cases. Under the new rules, people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes. Non-food retailers, cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels and services such as hairdressers and beauticians have all been ordered shut.
Authorities in China investigating a recent Covid-19 outbreak say they have discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging. Scientists from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it had found traces of Covid-19 on the outer packing of frozen cod in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao. This is alarming as it suggests that the virus can survive in cold supply chains.
Wales on Monday announced a 2-week lockdown from Friday as the UK recorded 16,982 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, up from 16,717 the previous day. The lockdown will be ’sharp’ and ’deep’ and will see everybody, apart from essential workers, stay at home. All non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality, and tourist businesses will have to close. Places of worship will also be closed.
At least half of India’s 1.3bn population will likely have infected with COVID-19 by Feb., said a government committee. It added that the projected scenario will help India stop the spread of the virus as already half of the nation would have had infected by it. The committee said 30% of the country’s population is currently infected with the virus, however, the official figure stands at 7.55mn.
Iran on Mon. reported 337 deaths from COVID-19 in last 24 hours, the highest daily count since Feb, touching death toll to 30,712. Health ministry spokeswoman told state TV that 4,251 new cases were detected in past 24 hours, taking total no. of official cases to 534,631. The present situation is a result of neglecting health protocols, reduced use of masks and ignorance of social behavior.
Belgium health minister said that country is witnessing a ’tsunami’ of Covid-19 cases. The Bars & restaurants have closed for a month and hospitals are delaying surgeries to deal with exponential growth of Covid-19. Belgium’s infection rate is second highest in EU after Czech Republic and cases have doubled in a month to over 222,000, however the deaths stood far higher than its neighbor Germany.
Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank, has warned that the economic recovery from the pandemic ’risks losing momentum’ due to the second wave of infections and that more stimulus could be added if necessary. She asked the block to spend its 750 billion-euro recovery fund for the pandemic-hit economy promptly and think about creating a permanent fiscal tool.
Health organizations warn that Hong Kong is in the grip of an alarming rise in the number of young people struggling with emotional distress and suicidal thoughts. This comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has driven school closures, feelings of isolation, family arguments, and uncertainty over the future. A survey in August found about 75% of city residents showing signs of depression.
Dr. Fauci has said he is ’absolutely not’ surprised President Trump contracted COVID-19 after seeing him surrounded by people not wearing face masks. ’I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation,’ Fauci said referencing the Rose Garden event. Fauci added that it didn’t make sense to him why Trump ’equates wearing a mask with weakness.’
As per a New York Times database, the US recorded more than 70,000 cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, with this being the highest figure since July 24. More than 900 new deaths were also recorded. Nine states also set single-day case records on Friday. Epidemiologists have warned that more than half of the states are seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic.
Joe Biden on Sunday criticized Trump at a drive-in rally in Durham, North Carolina, for saying that the US had ’turned the corner’ in the pandemic. ’Things are getting worse, and he continues to lie to us about circumstances,’ Biden said referring to the recent surge in cases. Trump, meanwhile, reached Nevada Sunday and is scheduled to campaign every day leading up to Thursday’s debate in Florida.
Grieving family members who lost their loved ones to the novel coronavirus in the nursing homes of New York are reportedly planning on staging a ’funeral’ for the ’leadership and integrity’ of Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York. The family members are expected to demand an apology from Gov. Cuomo for what they claim has been a botched response in nursing homes during the pandemic.
Twitter decided to delete a tweet from one of President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus advisers, Scott Atlas, that alleged widespread use of masks was not effective to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of Sunday, Twitter had removed the tweet and replaced it with a note that reads ’This Tweet is no longer available.’ A spokesman for Twitter confirmed that the tweet was deleted.
Hundreds of protestors who had gathered to protest against lockdown measures introduced in Prague were attacked with teargas and water cannons by the Czech police. The clashes led to at least 20 people getting injured. The people had collected in order to call for the resignation of Roman Prymula, the Health Minister, as he was the main mind behind the restrictions set to battle COVID-19.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, hospitalized in Israel with COVID-19, was placed on a ventilator on Monday. Erekat was rushed to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center on Sunday from his home in the occupied West Bank after his condition deteriorated. Erekat contracted the virus on Oct 8. Erekat, 65, is especially vulnerable because he underwent a lung transplant in 2017.
The crowd at President Trump’s Sat. evening rally in Mich. chanted ’lock her up,’ after the president demanded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) re-open the state amid the coronavirus pandemic. ’Lock ’em all up,’ Trump responded, after which the chants from the crowd continued. The chant from the crowd comes just a little more than one week after the FBI said it had foiled a plan to kidnap the governor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she and Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin must reach an agreement within 48 hours if they want to pass a coronavirus stimulus relief bill before Election Day. ’The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,’ Pelosi said in an interview on ABC’s ’This Week.’ She said she and Mnuchin needed to freeze some issues to reach agreement