- General

WHO: World Sets One-day Record of Over 350,000 New Coronavirus Cases

The world has set a record for the number of new daily coronavirus cases confirmed across the globe with more than 350,000, according to the World Health Organization.

In a press briefing from Geneva on Friday, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan acknowledged that even as COVID-19 cases increase worldwide, “there are no new answers,” and he stressed that governments must ensure the most vulnerable people are protected.

The tally showed that nearly a third of the new daily reported coronavirus cases were from Europe at more than 109,000.

More than 36.8 million people in all have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus worldwide and more than 1 million have died, according to statistics from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

On Saturday, India reported more than 73,000 new COVID cases in the previous 24-hour period.

European outbreaks

In Spain, the government declared a state of emergency to reimpose a partial lockdown for several million people in and around Madrid after a regional court struck down the restrictions.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government took the step Friday at a special Cabinet meeting. Spain has more than 860,000 confirmed cases, the highest in Europe. It has had nearly 33,000 deaths, the third-highest total in Europe after Britain and Italy.

Italy recorded one of its highest single-day totals of coronavirus infections, adding 5,372 cases and 28 more deaths.

In France, health ministry data Friday showed that the number of new coronavirus infections jumped more than 20,000 in one day for the first time since the start of the epidemic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced new COVID-19 restrictions Friday in response to a surge in coronavirus cases across the nation.

The new restrictions are centered in cities where coronavirus case counts are high and include curfews, stricter mask-wearing rules, limits on the size of gatherings and restrictions on alcohol purchases.

“We have proven we can stick together against all this. And we must do it again,” Merkel said.

Russia reported a record for coronavirus cases Friday — 12,126 — bringing its total of confirmed cases to 1,272,238. The previous daily high was in May.

Ukraine reported a record 5,804 new cases Friday. Authorities are expected to extend the Eastern European country’s lockdown until the end of October.

China vaccine

China said Friday that it was joining a World Health Organization international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the developing world.

Like Russia and the United States, China previously had said it was not joining the alliance to help two-thirds of world’s population receive the vaccines by 2022.

China’s reversal made it the largest country to participate in what is known as the COVAX deal.

“We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that his country was at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of cases. Most of the recent cases have been recorded in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces.

The Ontario government announced Friday that it would prohibit indoor dining in restaurants and would close gyms and theaters throughout the province.

In the United States, where infections of coronavirus have topped 7.6 million cases, New York’s Broadway theaters announced they would stay dark until at least June. The Broadway shutdown, which began in March, had been due to end in early January until Friday’s announcement.

U.S. President Donald Trump credited an experimental antibody drug for helping him recover from the coronavirus. He told radio show host Rush Limbaugh on Friday that he was not in “great shape” before taking the antibody but that one day later he felt fine. The president said he was trying to get quick federal approval for emergency use of the antibody drug produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Health departments in the U.S. capital, Washington, and the states of Maryland and Virginia sent letters Thursday to individuals who worked at the White House in the past two weeks or attended an event Sept. 26 in the Rose Garden for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, urging them “to contact their local health department for further guidance/questions regarding their potential need to quarantine.”

The event has become the possible source for several COVID-19 cases after Trump, several lawmakers and the president of Notre Dame University were diagnosed with COVID-19 several days after attending the function. Photos of the event showed the mostly maskless crowd not observing social-distancing protocols, including sitting shoulder to shoulder in chairs placed on the lawn.

Source: Voice of America