According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 43.5 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded worldwide, with more than 1.1 million deaths.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned Monday that abandoning efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, as suggested by Donald Trump’s chief of staff, would be “dangerous”, saying countries must keep trying to conquer the spread.
He admitted that after months of fighting Covid, which killed more than 1.1 million people around the world and infected 43 million, a certain level of “pandemic fatigue” had set in.
“It’s tough and the fatigue is real,” said Tedros. “But we cannot give up,” he added, calling on leaders to “make up for the disruption to life and livelihood.”
The following is a recap of the latest developments on the virus around the world:
Italian police have fired tear gas to disperse angry crowds in the northern cities of Turin and Milan after protests over the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions sparked violence.
When the WHO chief urged countries not to “give up” in their fight against the virus, luxury goods stores, including a Gucci fashion store, were raided in central Turin as many youths took to the streets after dark. Let go of fireworks and light colored torches.
Police responded with bursts of tear gas as they tried to disperse the crowd, and clashes also broke out in Milan, capital of the neighboring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.
“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” sang the crowds as they faced the police in the city center.
The riots followed more peaceful demonstrations across Italy – including in Treviso, Trieste, Rome, Naples, Salerno and Palermo – on Monday after the Italian government ordered bars and restaurants to close at 6 p.m. and public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to close to try to slow down a second wave of coronavirus infections that has ravaged much of the country.
There was also street fighting in Spain, with hundreds of people gathered in central Barcelona on Monday evening to protest recent Covid-19 restrictions by the Spanish and Catalan governments, including a 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. curfew in Catalonia since Sunday .
In France alone, 100,000 new coronavirus cases could occur every day – twice as many as in the last official figures – said Prof. Jean-Francois Delfraissy, chairman of the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic. France reported the highest number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized since April and registered 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday. The country is considering tightening restrictions further.
The fight against Covid-19 was particularly acute in Europe, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that her country was on the verge of losing control over it. She told members of her Christian Democratic Union party that “the situation is threatening” and “every day counts”.
In the Czech Republic, the government imposed a curfew for next week on Monday as the country continued to have the worst coronavirus numbers in the entire European Union. Exceptions would allow people to travel to work or take their dogs for a walk.
The country has recorded more than 260,000 cases and over 2,300 deaths since the March outbreak and is now the EU leader in new deaths and cases per 100,000 population.
Hopes that countries may be able to build greater herd immunity have been hampered by data in England showing the number of people with Covid antibodies is falling.
The numbers were based on test results from random participants. When the results were first analyzed in August, around 6 percent of the population of England had the antibodies. However, the most recent data collected in September shows that only 4.4 percent of those tested had detectable coronavirus antibodies.
Belgian intensive care units will be congested in two weeks if the infection rate persists, according to a spokesman for the country’s Covid-19 crisis center.
Slovakia may be able to avoid stricter measures against corona virus as nationwide tests are scheduled this weekend.
Across the Atlantic, the average daily deaths in the US rose 10 percent in the past two weeks from 721 to nearly 794 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Newly confirmed infections per day are increasing in 47 states and deaths in 34.
The number of deaths at the end of April is still well below the high of over 2,200 per day. However, experts warn of a gloomy winter. A much-cited model from the University of Washington predicts about 386,000 deaths by February 1.
The U.S. has so far recorded more than 225,000 Covid-19 deaths out of a total of 1.158 million worldwide. There have been 8.7 million cases compared to a global total of 43.4 million.
In China, officials reported 16 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, up from 20 the day before. The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 that had been reported the day before, amid a new wave of symptom-free infections reported in the northwest region of Xinjiang.
There was some better news in Australia, where the worst-hit state, Victoria, had no cases for the second straight day. State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced further easing of restrictions in Melbourne, the state capital, which has been under one of the heaviest and most permanent lockdowns in the world.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he would be in favor of a government agreement to buy coronavirus vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.
Because of the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has to forego meeting Catholics at the annual Advent and Christmas masses in the Vatican, the Catholic news agency reported on Monday.
Fears that the virus resurgence could damage the global economy more infected stock markets around the world on Monday with heavy losses in New York, London and Frankfurt.
Stocks from the Asia-Pacific region followed on Tuesday. In Sydney, the ASX200 was down 1.5 percent at lunchtime, and markets in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong were also closed. – Guardian and PA
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