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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 31.3 million infected globally; more than 964,000 dead, over 21.5 million recovered
  • 307,080 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,430 dead, 293,159 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
9:32 PM

US surpasses grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths

9:00 PM

Helsinki Airport to use dogs to identify passengers infected with Covid-19

8:32 PM

Trump says UN must 'hold China accountable' for Covid-19

7:57 PM

Turkey's Erdogan says Covid-19 vaccine must be for everyone

6:24 PM

Sindh reports 194 Covid-19 cases, six deaths

5:05 PM

World sees record weekly number of Covid-19 cases, deaths down: WHO

4:06 PM

India trials for Russia's Covid-19 vaccine could start in next few weeks

2:28 PM

India's new coronavirus infections at lowest in almost a month

1:36 PM

Chinese state-backed firm expects coronavirus vaccine approval for public use within months

1:11 PM

In Tel Aviv Covid-19 ward, warnings of dwindling hospital capacity

12:45 PM

Middle schools in KP to reopen from tomorrow: education minister

12:21 PM

Coronavirus dampens seasonal cheer in China's Christmas production hub

11:55 AM

UK says people should work from home if they can as Covid-19 spreads

11:35 AM

Nearly 300 more people recover from virus in Pakistan

11:30 AM

Punjab records 59 coronavirus cases, 1 fatality

11:24 AM

Islamabad, federal territories collectively report 92 Covid-19 cases

10:29 AM

WATCH: High-flying dining in Brussels adapts amid Covid pandemic

9:50 AM

US closes in on 200,000 virus deaths

9:00 AM

Mexico surpasses 700,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Sep 21, 2020
11:00 PM

Greece reports 453 new coronavirus infections, new daily record

10:41 PM

Taj Mahal reopens for visitors after 6 months amid surge in Covid-19 cases

10:03 PM

Madrid adopts virus restrictions exposing poor-rich divide

9:01 PM

Sindh reports 296 new cases, 3 more deaths

8:25 PM

UK reports 4,368 new cases of Covid-19

7:15 PM

Dutch daily new coronavirus cases top 2,000 for first time

6:27 PM

Iran records highest daily coronavirus cases since early June

5:26 PM

Study suggests Covid-19 may enter body through the eyes

4:30 PM

Covid-19 a six-month problem as UK enters colder seasons, top medic says

4:10 PM

UK could hit 50,000 Covid cases per day by mid-October if rise continues unabated

3:44 PM

Coronavirus cases surpass 1.4 million in Africa

3:15 PM

India records nearly 87,000 new infections in last 24 hours

2:00 PM

Czech health minister resigns amid surge in Covid-19 cases

1:30 PM

In pictures: Taj Mahal reopens after months-long closure

1:07 PM

UK ponders second Covid-19 lockdown as outbreak accelerates

12:29 PM

Covid-19 has 'devastating' impact on people displaced by conflict: report

12:00 PM

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot reports lowest daily rise in infections since June

11:40 AM

Seoul schools resume in-person classes as South Korea coronavirus cases dip

11:17 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 87 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

11:14 AM

Punjab reports 60 virus cases

11:10 AM

Pakistan reports 566 Covid-19 recoveries

10:51 AM

Taj Mahal reopens even as India coronavirus cases soar

10:00 AM

London Mayor Khan urges swift action to halt Covid-19 spread

8:59 AM

New Zealand ends all pandemic restrictions outside main city of Auckland

Sep 20, 2020
11:00 PM

$13,000 fine for breaking virus rules in England

10:15 PM

Saudi Arabia records 483 new cases, 27 deaths

9:07 PM

US sets record with over 1 million coronavirus tests in a day

8:25 PM

Coronavirus found on imported squid packaging in China

7:30 PM

Indonesia reports 3,989 new coronavirus infections, 105 deaths

6:45 PM

Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges

6:15 PM

UK residents with Covid-19 symptoms will be bound by law to self-isolate

Sep 22, 2020 09:32pm

US surpasses grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths

The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States has exceeded 200,000, by the far the highest number of any nation.

The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally. That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15.

During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.

“The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering and in some respects stunning,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, told CNN.

Fauci said that it was not inevitable that the United States will fall into another dire situation with coronavirus cases surging during cold weather months, but that he was worried about parts of the country where public health measures were not being implemented.

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Sep 22, 2020 08:32pm

Trump says UN must 'hold China accountable' for Covid-19

US President Donald Trump has told the UN General Assembly that China must be held accountable by the world for its actions over the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a recorded message played to the annual meeting of the UN, Trump accused Beijing of allowing the coronavirus to “leave China and infect the world”.

“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,” he said.

US President Donald Trump is seen on a screen as he delivers a pre-recorded address to the 75th annual UN General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York. — Reuters
US President Donald Trump is seen on a screen as he delivers a pre-recorded address to the 75th annual UN General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York. — Reuters

Know more here.

Sep 22, 2020 07:57pm

Turkey's Erdogan says Covid-19 vaccine must be for everyone

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has said in an address to the United Nations any future Covid-19 vaccine should be universally available, regardless of where it is produced.

“I am calling from here once again for the procurement of medical equipment and medicine, and vaccine efforts not to be made into a topic of competition,” Erdogan said in a video address to the UN General Assembly.

“No matter what country they are produced in, vaccines that are made ready to be administered should be presented to the common use of humanity,” he said.

Sep 22, 2020 06:24pm

Sindh reports 194 Covid-19 cases, six deaths

Sindh has reported 194 coronavirus cases and six deaths during the last 24 hours, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

In a statement, he said 13,056 tests were carried out during this period. With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 134,437 while the death toll is 2,469.

Sep 22, 2020 05:05pm

World sees record weekly number of Covid-19 cases, deaths down: WHO

The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost two million, even as new deaths decreased, WHO statistics showed.

In a fresh global update, the World Health Organisation said that during the week ending on September 20, 1,998,897 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered around the world.

That marks a six per cent increase over a week earlier and “the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic,” the UN health agency said, according to AFP.

Nearly all regions of the world saw new cases rise last week, WHO said, with Europe and the Americas seeing new cases swell by 11 and 10pc respectively.

Sep 22, 2020 04:06pm

India trials for Russia's Covid-19 vaccine could start in next few weeks

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd could begin late-stage Indian clinical trials of Russia’s potential coronavirus vaccine in the next few weeks, an executive at the Indian drugmaker said.

Indian trials of the Sputnik-V vaccine candidate, being developed by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, will enroll 1,000 to 2,000 participants and be conducted at multiple government and private hospitals across the country, Deepak Sapra, CEO for API and pharmaceutical services at Dr Reddy’s, told Reuters.

“We want to get to the first step which is the commencement of the clinical trials by getting the necessary approvals from the Indian regulators — within the next few weeks,” Sapra said.

Sep 22, 2020 02:28pm

India's new coronavirus infections at lowest in almost a month

India has reported 75,083 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to federal health data, the lowest daily tally in almost a month.

There were 1,053 deaths over the same period.

There have been 5.6 million cases in total in the country, second only behind the United States.

Sep 22, 2020 01:36pm

Chinese state-backed firm expects coronavirus vaccine approval for public use within months

State-backed vaccine maker China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is hopeful of two of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidates receiving conditional regulatory approval for general public use within the year, Reuters reported quoting the company's vice president.

China has inoculated hundreds of thousands of people under an emergency programme authorised in July for essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection, to stave off a resurgence of the coronavirus, even as clinical trials of vaccines are still underway to prove their efficacy and safety.

Sep 22, 2020 01:11pm

In Tel Aviv Covid-19 ward, warnings of dwindling hospital capacity

Inside a fast-filling coronavirus ward in a Tel Aviv hospital, doctors rush to treat critical-care patients amid a surge in new cases that has forced Israel into a second nationwide lockdown, Reuters reported.

Health officials fear that the three-week lockdown, imposed on Friday, may not be long or restrictive enough to slow the daily case toll and relieve hospitals that they warn could soon reach capacity.

Guy Choshen, director of Ichilov's coronavirus ward, said the hospital has begun admitting patients from Jerusalem and districts in northern Israel “because of (their) incapacity to handle this increase in numbers”.

Sep 22, 2020 12:45pm

Middle schools in KP to reopen from tomorrow: education minister

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Minister Shahram Tarakai has said that middle schools in the province will be reopened from tomorrow.

He said that the decision was taken in line with a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre. "Middle school classes will be allowed to resume with proper standard operating procedures (SOPs)," he said.

"If conditions get better, primary schools will also be allowed to resume classes soon," he added.

Sep 22, 2020 12:21pm

Coronavirus dampens seasonal cheer in China's Christmas production hub

Yiwu is a city dedicated to Christmas all year round, filled with factories, showrooms and stores that deliver decorations and toys to destinations all around the world. The city last year exported around 1.92 billion yuan ($278.02 million) worth of Christmas products between January and October, up 23.9pc from the previous year, according to government data.

Data for this year has not yet been released, but the anecdotal evidence is bleak after the global pandemic all but halted international business travel when many countries placed entry bans on foreigners.

Sep 22, 2020 11:55am

UK says people should work from home if they can as Covid-19 spreads

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Tuesday advise that people should work from home if they can as part of a package of measures aimed at halting the swiftly accelerating second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.

“One of the things we are going to emphasise is that if it is possible for people to work from home, we are going to encourage them to do so,” Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove told Sky. “There is going to be a shift in emphasis.”

Sep 22, 2020 11:35am

Nearly 300 more people recover from virus in Pakistan

The government's database on coronavirus shows that another 290 people have recovered in Pakistan, taking the country's total recoveries to 293,159.

According to the database, 570 patients are in critical condition.

Sep 22, 2020 11:30am

Punjab records 59 coronavirus cases, 1 fatality

Punjab has recorded 59 new coronavirus cases, according to the government's Covid-19 portal, taking the provincial total to 98,487.

It has reported one additional fatality from the virus, taking the provincial death toll to 2,227. According to the portal, 94,917 people have recovered from the coronavirus in Punjab so far.

Sep 22, 2020 11:24am

Islamabad, federal territories collectively report 92 Covid-19 cases

Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 92 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

According to the government's database on coronavirus, the capital reported 45 new cases, up from 38 a day earlier. GB recorded 30 cases while AJK confirmed 17 new infections.

They reported no additional fatalities from the virus.

Sep 22, 2020 09:50am

US closes in on 200,000 virus deaths

The United States has edged close to registering 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in office.

According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 199,743 Americans have died and 6.8 million have been confirmed infected. The US has had the world's highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 136,895 and 87,882 deaths respectively.

Overall, the US accounts for four per cent of the world's population and 20pc of its coronavirus deaths, while its daily fatality rate relative to the overall population is four times greater than that of the European Union.

Sep 22, 2020 09:00am

Mexico surpasses 700,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Mexico has surpassed 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases even as health authorities cited what they described as nearly two months of slowing infection rates.

According to Reuters, the Health Ministry reported 2,917 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the Latin American country, bringing the total to 700,580 as well as a cumulative death toll of 73,697.

In Mexico, senior health authorities like Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the public face of the government’s coronavirus strategy, have conceded that the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher that the official figures indicate

Sep 21, 2020 11:00pm

Greece reports 453 new coronavirus infections, new daily record

Greece reported 453 new cases of Covid-19 infections on Monday, a new daily record since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Reuters reports.

The latest jump in cases brought the total number of infections in Greece to 15,595 and 344 deaths since its first case surfaced in late February.

Of the new cases, 184 were due to an outbreak of Covid-19 infections at Greece’s biggest migrant camp on Lesbos island, with 174 recorded in the greater Athens area, health authorities said.

In a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus following a steady increase in Covid-19 cases, Greek authorities tightened restrictions for two weeks effective on Monday.

Sep 21, 2020 10:03pm

Madrid adopts virus restrictions exposing poor-rich divide

A woman wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus walks in the southern neighbourhood of Vallecas in Madrid, Spain on Monday, September 21. — AP
A woman wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus walks in the southern neighbourhood of Vallecas in Madrid, Spain on Monday, September 21. — AP

Heightened restrictions to stem Europe’s fastest coronavirus spread in some of Madrid’s working-class neighbourhoods has brought a heated debate over the prevalence of inequality in Spain back into the spotlight, AP reported.

The measures, including a requirement to justify trips out of the neighbourhoods and reduced occupancy in shops and restaurants, affect some 860,000 residents and have been met with protests because many of those affected feel that authorities are stigmatising the poor.

21st Sep, 9:01 PM

Sindh reports 296 new cases, 3 more deaths

Sindh has reported 296 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the provincial tally to 134,243.

Moreover, the statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office confirmed the deaths of three more persons due to the virus. The death toll stands at 2,463.

21st Sep, 8:25 PM

UK reports 4,368 new cases of Covid-19

Britain reported 4,368 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, compared to 3,899 on Sunday, the government reported on its website, according to Reuters.

The daily numbers of cases have risen sharply in recent weeks to levels last seen in early May, when the pandemic was starting to abate in Britain.

21st Sep, 6:27 PM

Iran records highest daily coronavirus cases since early June

The number of novel coronavirus infections in Iran has risen by 3,341 in the past 24 hours, the highest daily tally since early June, taking total cases to 425,481, the health ministry spokeswoman told state TV.

According to Reuters, Sima Sadat Lari said 177 people had died in the past day, pushing the official death toll to 24,478 in Iran, one of the hardest-hit countries in the Middle East.

Iranian health officials have warned about a third wave of the pandemic, while the government has blamed the spike in infections partly on a decline in public adherence to health protocols.

21st Sep, 4:30 PM

Covid-19 a six-month problem as UK enters colder seasons, top medic says

Covid-19 is a six-month problem that Britain has to deal with collectively as the country enters colder seasons which help viruses and before science can “ride to our rescue”, Reuters reported, quoting the government’s chief medical officer.

“We should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively,” Chris Whitty said during a televised briefing.

21st Sep, 4:10 PM

UK could hit 50,000 Covid cases per day by mid-October if rise continues unabated

The Covid epidemic in Britain is doubling roughly every seven days and if it continues to do so there would be about 50,000 new cases per day by the middle of October, the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said.

“At the moment we think the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days,” he said during a televised briefing.

“If that continues unabated [...] by mid-October you would end up with something like 50,000 cases per day,” he said, adding that this would lead to more than 200 deaths per day, Reuters reported.

21st Sep, 3:44 PM

Coronavirus cases surpass 1.4 million in Africa

Coronavirus cases in Africa have risen to 1,407,680, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said in a daily update.

At least 33,951 people died of the virus across the continent, the update said, while 1,153,967 patients have recovered.

According to Anadolu Agency, Southern Africa recorded 719,200 cases, North Africa 299,700, West Africa 172,100, East Africa 159,700 and Central Africa 57,000.

21st Sep, 3:15 PM

India records nearly 87,000 new infections in last 24 hours

India has recorded nearly 87,000 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours as it edged closer to the United States in having the most reported cases in the world.

According to AP, the Health Ministry also recorded 1,130 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total reported fatalities to 87,882.

India now has over 5.4 million reported cases, and the nation of 1.3 billion people is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States, which has 6.8 million.

21st Sep, 2:00 PM

Czech health minister resigns amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech has said he had submitted his resignation following criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as the central European country sees a surge in cases.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis thanked Vojtech for his work in a message on his twitter account, saying he could have been remembered as the country’s best health minister if he did not have to use all his energy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Reuters, the Czech Republic has reported growth in coronavirus confirmed cases at Europe’s second fastest pace in recent weeks, behind Spain, after the country lifted just before summer almost all measures taken during the first wave of the pandemic.

21st Sep, 1:30 PM

In pictures: Taj Mahal reopens after months-long closure

Tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sept 21. The Taj Mahal reopened to visitors in a symbolic business-as-usual gesture even as India looks set to overtake the US as the global leader in coronavirus infections. — AFP
Tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sept 21. The Taj Mahal reopened to visitors in a symbolic business-as-usual gesture even as India looks set to overtake the US as the global leader in coronavirus infections. — AFP

Tourists have their pictures taken at the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sept 21. — AFP
Tourists have their pictures taken at the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sept 21. — AFP

A man sanitises railings in the premises of Taj Mahal after authorities reopened the monument to visitors, amidst the coronavirus. — Reuters
A man sanitises railings in the premises of Taj Mahal after authorities reopened the monument to visitors, amidst the coronavirus. — Reuters

21st Sep, 1:07 PM

UK ponders second Covid-19 lockdown as outbreak accelerates

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pondering a second national lockdown as an accelerating coronavirus outbreak threatens to destroy any shoots of economic recovery and send millions back into isolation, Reuters reports.

The United Kingdom already has the biggest official Covid-19 death toll in Europe — and the fifth largest in the world — while it is borrowing record amounts in an attempt to pump emergency money through the damaged economy.

But new cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day in Britain, according to week-old data, hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, and the testing system is buckling.

21st Sep, 12:29 PM

Covid-19 has 'devastating' impact on people displaced by conflict: report

The coronavirus pandemic is having a “devastating” impact on people displaced and affected by conflict, tipping many into hunger and homelessness, a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) shows.

The report, titled “Downward Spiral”, is based on assessments and survey in 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia and Yemen.

According to NRC, nearly three quarters of the 1,400 people surveyed said they had seen a clear deterioration in their conditions since the pandemic broke out, AFP reported.

For instance, 70 per cent “had to cut the number of meals for their household,” 77pc had lost a job or income from work, and 73pc said they were less likely to send their children to school due to “economic hardship”.

21st Sep, 12:00 PM

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot reports lowest daily rise in infections since June

Australia’s coronavirus hotspot of Victoria has reported its lowest daily rise in infections in three months, although state Premier Daniel Andrews said there were no plans yet to ease restrictions sooner than expected.

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state and home to a quarter of its 25 million people, reported 11 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the smallest one-day jump since June 16. It also reported two deaths due to the virus.

“This is not just a good day. This is a great day,” Andrews told reporters in the Victorian capital, Melbourne.

21st Sep, 11:40 AM

Seoul schools resume in-person classes as South Korea coronavirus cases dip

Schools in the South Korean capital Seoul and nearby areas have resumed in-person classes for the first time in almost a month after daily coronavirus cases dropped to the lowest levels since mid-August.

Students returned to schools under a hybrid schedule of in-person and online classes to limit the number of people at schools at any given time. Students will attend in-person classes once or twice a week.

High school students arrive at a high school, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Seoul, South Korea on Monday. — Reuters
High school students arrive at a high school, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Seoul, South Korea on Monday. — Reuters

South Korea managed to contain the virus and avoid a full lockdown earlier this year, but infections at a church and political rally in August sparked the country’s largest outbreak forcing authorities to impose social distancing curbs. Many schools closed on Aug 26, though high school seniors facing a key test were allowed to continue in-person classes.

21st Sep, 11:17 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 87 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir collectively reported 87 Covid-19 cases and three deaths during the last 24 hours.

Here is a breakdown of the cases and deaths reported during this period:

  • Islamabad: 38 cases
  • GB: 33 cases, 1 death
  • AJK: 16 cases, 2 deaths
21st Sep, 11:14 AM

Punjab reports 60 virus cases

Punjab has reported 60 coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 98,428.

However, no new deaths were reported during this period and the death toll remains 2,226.

21st Sep, 11:10 AM

Pakistan reports 566 Covid-19 recoveries

Pakistan has reported 566 coronavirus recoveries during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

The total has risen to 292,869 while the recovery rate is 95.6 per cent.

21st Sep, 10:51 AM

Taj Mahal reopens even as India coronavirus cases soar

India's famed Taj Mahal and some schools have reopened as authorities press ahead with kickstarting the nation's coronavirus-battered economy despite soaring infection numbers.

India, home to 1.3 billion people and some of the world's most crowded cities, has recorded more than 5.4 million Covid-19 cases, second only to the United States which it could overtake soon.

Officials said strict social distancing rules were in place and visitors were not allowed to touch the marble. The famous bench where visitors sit for a photo — most memorably Princess Diana in 1992 — has been specially laminated so that it can be regularly sanitised without damage.

21st Sep, 10:00 AM

London Mayor Khan urges swift action to halt Covid-19 spread

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants fast action to halt the worsening spread of Covid-19 in London, a spokeswoman for Khan has said, adding that it was better to move too early than too late.

“The situation is clearly worsening,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Khan would meet council leaders today and any London-specific lockdown measures would be recommended to ministers following that.

“The Mayor wants fast action as we cannot risk a delay, as happened in March. It is better for both health and business to move too early than too late,” the spokeswoman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

21st Sep, 8:59 AM

New Zealand ends all pandemic restrictions outside main city of Auckland

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has lifted all coronavirus restrictions across the country, except in second-wave hotspot Auckland, as the number of new infections slowed to a trickle.

Some restrictions were also eased in Auckland to allow gatherings of up to 100 people, but the country’s biggest city needed more time before all curbs could be lifted, Ardern said.

“Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control,” she told reporters in Auckland. “This was the centre of the outbreak and that’s why that caution is needed here.”

20th Sep, 11:00 PM

$13,000 fine for breaking virus rules in England

People in England who refuse to self-isolate to stop the spread of coronavirus could face fines of up to $13,000 under tough new regulations announced on Saturday to tackle a surge in cases, according to AFP.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week that Britain was seeing a second wave of Covid-19, and introduced new restrictions for millions of people across northwest, northern and central England.

In a further measure announced late Saturday, he said that from September 28, people will be legally obliged to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to by the National Health Service (NHS) tracing programme.

“The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they're at risk of passing on coronavirus,” Johnson said in a statement.

“And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.”

20th Sep, 9:07 PM

US sets record with over 1 million coronavirus tests in a day

The United States set a one-day record with over 1 million coronavirus diagnostic tests being performed, but the country needs 6 million to 10 million a day to bring outbreaks under control, Reuters quoted various experts as saying.

The country performed 1,061,411 tests on Saturday, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

The record comes after testing has fallen for several weeks.

The United States tested on average 650,000 people a day in the week ended September 13, down from a peak in late July of over 800,000 people a day.

Since the start of the pandemic, testing shortages have hampered efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

20th Sep, 8:25 PM

Coronavirus found on imported squid packaging in China

Authorities in China's northeastern Jilin province have found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported squid, Reuters reported, quoting health authorities in the city of Fuyu.

The health authority asked people who had bought and eaten imported squid at the local Sanjia Deda frozen seafood wholesale shop between August 24-31 to report to neighbourhood authorities and seek a Covid-19 test.

The Changchun Covid-19 prevention office said the squid had been imported from Russia by a company in Hunchun city and brought to the provincial capital.

20th Sep, 6:45 PM

Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges

Nearly a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19, AFP reports.

The restrictions, which kick off Monday for two weeks, affect 850,000 people living mainly in densely-populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south — or 13 per cent of the population in and around the capital.

Like many countries in Europe, Spain is battling a coronavirus surge and, once again, Madrid is the worst-hit region.

“We're concerned with the data we're seeing, because the number of cases is double that of the national average and the number of hospital admissions ... is triple the national average,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a television interview on Saturday.

But he stressed he was not contemplating a national lockdown.