Global coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 53.4 million people and killed over 1.3 million. Here are the updates for November 13:

A doctor at Strasbourg's university hospital is seen at work while attending a training for new staff to reinforce ICU regular crews who face a second wave of patients suffering from Covid-19 in Strasbourg, France, November 13, 2020.
A doctor at Strasbourg's university hospital is seen at work while attending a training for new staff to reinforce ICU regular crews who face a second wave of patients suffering from Covid-19 in Strasbourg, France, November 13, 2020. (Reuters)

November 13, 2020:

France sees over 900 fatalities

France has reported 932 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official data.

French health ministry reported 23,794 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 33,172 on Thursday and compared to 60,486 last Friday.

New coronavirus infections and hospital admissions for Covid-19 dropped sharply at the end of the second week of a new nationwide confinement in France, the data showed.

The number of people going into hospital with the virus plunged to 24 from 737 on Thursday and the number of people going into intensive care dropped to just four from 96 on Thursday and more than 100 per day every weekday last week.

Italy extends lockdowns

Restrictions aimed at slowing a surge in coronavirus cases will be extended in various Italian regions, with both Tuscany and Campania set to be designated as high-risk "red zones", the health ministry has said.

Looking to limit the spread, the government last week created a three-tier system, with varying degrees of curbs in each area, initially placing four regions in a red zone, two in an orange zone and the rest in a moderate-risk yellow zone.

It tweaked the zoning at the start of this week and revised it again on Friday after reviewing the latest data, including local infection rates and hospital occupancy.

Tuscany and Campania will be added on Sunday to the red list, joining the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta, the province of Bolzano and Calabria in the toe of Italy.

People living in these areas are only allowed to leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies.

Bars, restaurants and most shops must remain closed.

Denmark adds no new mink-related infections

Denmark has not registered any new examples of humans infected with a so-called Cluster-5 mutated coronavirus strain stemming from mink, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Friday.

Denmark last week ordered the culling of millions of mink after finding that the mutated virus, which infected 12 people in August and September, showed decreased sensitivity to antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of future vaccines. 

Turkey registers 3,045 more patients

Turkey reported 3,045 more Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data.

The country's overall tally now stands at 407,939, the ministry announced on Friday.

A total of 2,010 more patients recovered over the past day, bringing the tally to 348,804, while the death toll rose by 93 to reach 11,326.

Almost 150,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted across the country, bringing the total to over 15.8 million.

The figures showed that the number of patients in critical condition currently stands at 3,356, with 4.2 percent this week suffering from pneumonia.

Slovakia to ease Covid curbs

Slovakia will open theatres, cinemas and churches at half capacity from Monday and let fitness centres and pools operate with limited visitors as it starts easing coronavirus curbs, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said.

Slovakia's ice hockey and soccer leagues will also restart, without fans, Matovic said on Facebook on Friday.

The country of 5.5 million is one of the first to ease restrictions as a second wave of coronavirus infections hits Europe.

Slovakia has reported 83,796 total coronavirus cases via standard testing since the pandemic started, including 2,024 new infections on Thursday and close to its seven-day median figure. That is down from a record daily tally of more than 3,000 in late October.

In total, 491 people have died from Covid-19, a fraction of other countries in Western Europe and almost 12 times fewer than in the neighbouring Czech Republic, which has seen Europe's highest per-capita infection and death rates in recent weeks. 

Italy reports record 40,902 daily cases, 550 deaths

Italy has registered a record 40,902 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Friday, up from 37,978 on Thursday.

The ministry also reported 550 virus-related deaths, down from 636 the day before.

Infections in Italy since the disease first came to light in February total 1.107 million, while 44,139 people have now died because of the coronavirus.

There were a record 254,908 coronavirus swabs carried out in the past day, the ministry said, against a previous 234,672.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Friday, reporting 10,634 new cases against 9,291 on Thursday.

UK records 27,301 new cases, down from record high

Britain reported 27,301 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, a slight fall from the previous day's all-time high but the second-highest daily figure recorded, official government statistics showed.

The figure was down slightly on Thursday's case number of 33,470, which was a single day record, although Britain's testing capacity has also grown since the first wave of the pandemic.

There were 376 new deaths reported, down from 563 reported on Thursday.

Liverpool's Salah tests positive 

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah has tested positive for the coronavirus on the eve of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo, the Egyptian Football Association has said.

"The medical swab conducted on the mission of our first national football team showed that our international player, Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool star, was infected with the Coronavirus, after his test came back positive," the federation said in a statement on its Facebook page on Friday.

"The player does not suffer from any symptoms. The other members of the team tested negative. Salah underwent the medical protocol after the team's doctor coordinated with his English club. In addition to his isolation inside his room and also isolating all his contacts."

The federation said he will undergo further checks in the coming hours.

Portugal's cases hit record, health system under pressure

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Portugal pushed past the 200,000 mark on Friday as the number of new daily infections reached a record high, putting increasing pressure on an already fragile health system.

A nationwide state of emergency to combat the spread of the virus came into force on Monday and is due to last until Nov. 23, but it is likely to be extended.

The country of just over 10 million people has recorded a comparatively low 204,664 cases and 3,250 deaths but infections hit 6,653 cases on Saturday, the highest daily figure since the pandemic started. Testing has also increased.

Most of the cases were concentrated in the northern region.

A new record of 2,799 Covid-19 patients are now in hospital, with 388 in intensive care units (ICUs) - more than the first wave peak of 271 in April.

The health system, which prior to the pandemic had the lowest number of critical care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, can accommodate 800 Covid-19 patients in ICUs.

Montenegro introduces curfew, Serbia to issue fines 

Montenegro introduced a two-week overnight lockdown on Friday to rein in a major spike in coronavirus infections, while neighbouring Serbia began fining people who fail to comply with the government's protective measures.

All Montenegrins will be banned from leaving their homes between 11 pm and 5 am except for essential work and "medical and humanitarian needs," the country's health minister Kenan Hrapovic told a news conference.

"These measures will be in force until December 1 with the possibility of an extension," Hrapovic said.

The government of the small Adriatic republic also banned non-essential travel between municipalities at weekends and most public gatherings including religious and family festivities.

So far 26,109 people in Montenegro, which has a population of only 622,000, have fallen ill with the Covid-19 disease and 377 have died from it.

In much larger Serbia, which on Thursday amended legislation meant to combat contagious diseases, authorities will fine anyone not wearing a face mask indoors o r who fails to maintain social distancing indoors or outdoors.

The $50 (5,000 dinars) fine for ordinary citizens is a hefty penalty in a country where the average monthly wage is $570.

Companies, restaurants and shops that fail to comply with sanitary rules imposed by the government, including keeping a distance between employees or customers and the wearing of face masks, could face fines of 50,000-300,000 dinars.

Serbia did not impose restrictions such as curfews and travel bans.

The former Yugoslav republic, with a population of around 7 million, has recorded 77,264 cases of Covid-19 and 972 deaths during the pandemic.

The amended law also allows the health ministry to introduce mandatory vaccination of the entire population or specific groups.

Malaysia reports 1,304 new cases with one new death

Malaysian health authorities have reported 1,304 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 45,095 infections.

The Southeast Asian country also recorded one new death, as total fatalities amounted to 304. 

Indonesia reports 5,444 new cases in record daily rise

Indonesia has reported 5,444 new infections, its biggest daily rise in cases, with 104 more deaths.

The latest figures from the country's Covid-19 task force take the total infection number to 457,735 and fatalities to 15,037, the highest in Southeast Asia.

Austria to close schools in bid to contain spread - OE24

Austria will likely close schools and tighten contact restrictions to slow the spread of the pandemic, news website OE24 has reported.

The government is due to hold a news conference to present the new measures on Saturday, it added.

It also said the retail sector would largely remain open, except for shopping centres where large crowds could gather. 

Russia reports record high of 21,983 new cases

Russia has reported a record high of 21,983 new infections, including 5,974 in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 1,880,551.

Authorities also reported 411 virus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 32,443. 

Mongolia restricts capital after 9 recent cases

Residents of Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar have been told to stay at home as part of nationwide lockdown measures due to remain in place through Tuesday following the detection of new coronavirus cases.

Residents of the city of 1.4 million will be permitted to leave for necessary errands, such as to purchase groceries and medications, the official Montsame news agency reported.

Social distancing measures must be maintained at all times when leaving home, and employees of hospitals and other essential facilities must show identification when commuting, the report said.

Police and military personnel were being deployed to ensure compliance, it said.

Philippines reports 1,902 new cases, 31 more deaths

The Philippines' health ministry recorded 1,902 new  infections and 31 additional deaths.

The ministry said total confirmed cases increased to 404,713 while deaths reached 7,752. 

Spain's Reig Jofre to have capacity for 50 mln vaccine doses

Spanish pharmaceuticals company Reig Jofre will be able to produce 50 million doses of vaccine a year at its new factory without cancelling any existing contracts, it said.

The company's new plant in Barcelona is under construction and due to start operating in the second quarter of 2021, Reig Jofre said in a statement.

As part of a contract the European Commission is negotiating with drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech for their  vaccine, which has proven more than 90% effective in trials, Spain would receive 20 million doses.

Reig Jofre CEO Ignasi Biosca had said in the summer that the company was ready to invest an additional 2-3 million euros to adapt its new plant for the final step in the production process of putting the vaccine into vials or syringes, such as guaranteeing the low temperature needed to preserve the vaccine.

New Delhi records its highest deaths, hospitals swamped

Indian capital New Delhi's Covid-19 deaths rose by a record high and it also reported the most number of infections in the country, an increase attributed to the city's toxic air and a lack of physical distancing in public places around a major festival.

While daily case additions have come down significantly in the country as a whole since a mid-September peak, the capital city of 20 million people is going through its worst phase in the pandemic.

Delhi reported 104 new deaths and 7,053 new infections. Data from the federal health ministry early on Friday showed that infections in the country rose by 44,789 in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 8.73 million, only behind the US tally. India's deaths increased by 547 to 128,668.

As Delhi's cases rise in its third-wave of infections, many hospitals have already run out of intensive care beds and even normal Covid-19 beds are getting occupied fast.

The federal government has asked Delhi to prepare resources to handle cases of up to 15,000 a day during the winter season, when pollution peaks in the city and respiratory issues jump.

The air is only likely to worsen on the weekend due to thousands of firecrackers ignited during the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. Its residents have already swarmed markets to buy gifts for family and friends.

Australia scraps plans to allow foreign students back

Australia will not allow foreign students to return as Canberra prioritises the return of locals stuck overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Australia has since March closed its borders to all non-citizens and permanent residents in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

With foreign students worth about A$35 billion ($25.3 billion) a year to the Australian economy, Canberra had hoped to slowly allow overseas students to return in 2021. Trials began earlier this year.

But with thousands of Australians wanting to return, Morrison said there is not enough quarantine facilities.

Australia caps the numbers of locals allowed to return home each week in order to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19. Once locals arrive, they enter hotel quarantine for two weeks.

Australia is on course to record a sixth straight day without any locally acquired infections. Australia has recorded about 27,700 Covid-19 infections and 907 deaths, far fewer than many other developed nations.

Czech Republic reports 7,874 new cases, deaths rise by 185

The Czech Republic has reported 7,874 new cases for November 12, Health Ministry data showed, extending a decline in new infections as the country seeks to push down Europe's highest per-capita infection rate.

Thursday's tally was 5,358 lower than the same day a week ago and brought the total number of infections in the country of 10.7 million to 446,675.

Deaths rose by 185, which included 91 on Thursday and revisions to previous days. In total, 5,755 have died after testing positive for the virus.

Ukraine again reports record high number of daily new cases

Ukraine registered a record 11,787 new cases in the past 24 hours, its health minister said, up from a high of 11,057 reported on November 12.

Maksym Stepanov said the new cases had taken the total confirmed infections to 512,652, with 9,317 deaths.

Musk says took four tests, two were positive, two negative

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that he took four coronavirus tests on the same day with two returning negative and two producing positive results.

"Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD," Musk said in a tweet.

South Korean firm to produce Russian vaccine 

Russia's sovereign wealth fund said it had inked a deal with South Korea's GL Rapha for the biotechnology firm to produce over 150 million doses per year of the Sputnik V virus vaccine.

The South Korean firm is expected to begin production next month, with a roll-out to start in January 2021, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a statement. The doses, produced in South Korea, will be intended for global distribution, it said.

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 23,542 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 23,542 to 751,095, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 218 to 12,200, the tally showed.

South Korea sees biggest daily case jump in 70 days

South Korea has reported its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 cases in 70 days as the government began imposing fines for people who fail to wear masks in public.

The 191 cases added to the country’s caseload Friday represented the sixth consecutive day of over 100 and the highest daily increase since September 4.

Most of the cases were from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have struggled to stem transmissions tied to various places, including hospitals, nursing homes, churches, schools, restaurants and offices.

The new cases brought the country's total number of infections to 28,133 as of Thursday midnight with deaths reaching 488, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

New Zealand mulls masks mandatory on public transit

New Zealand’s government could soon make wearing masks mandatory on public transit in Auckland and on planes nationwide as it continues to investigate a new community case of the coronavirus.

Virus Response Minister Chris Hipkins says there are no plans at this point to raise the nation’s alert level after genome testing linked the latest case, a student who also works at a clothing store, with a military worker who caught the virus at a hotel where infected passengers returning from overseas are being quarantined.

Hipkins says he will recommend the mask mandate to the government Cabinet on Monday for its approval.

New Zealand has been largely successful in its efforts to stamp out community spread of the virus.

Mexico reports 5,658 new cases, 626 deaths

Mexico's health ministry reported 5,658 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the country and 626 deaths, bringing the official totals to 991,835 cases and 97,056 dead.

Health officials have previously said that the real number of cases is likely significantly higher than that. 

Ethnic minorities disproportionately affected by virus - The Lancet

Ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus, with Blacks and Asians at increased risk of Covid-19 infection compared to white individuals, according to an analysis published in The Lancet medical journal.

About 18.7 million patients from 50 studies were included to establish the findings, the analysis said.

Forty-two of the studies were from the United States and eight from the United Kingdom.

China suspends fish imports from Indian firm after virus detected

China's customs office said it will suspend imports from India's Basu International for one week after detecting the virus on three samples taken from the outer packaging of frozen cuttlefish.

Imports will resume automatically after one week, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement. 

Panama's Copa Airlines to resume flights to Venezuela late November

Panama's Copa Airlines said that it would resume flights to Venezuela on November 24 following an eight-month suspension because of measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Copa Airlines will initially operate three flights a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Panama to Caracas but is waiting to receive authorisation for other destinations, it said in a statement.

Mainland China reports eight new virus cases 

Mainland China reported eight new virus cases, down from 15 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority reported.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections originating from overseas, down from 14 imported infections a day earlier.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 15 from six reported a day earlier.

The total of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 86,307, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634. 

Japan not in situation to declare state of emergency over virus

Japan is not in a situation that requires a state-of-emergency declaration again over the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, adding that experts backed that view.

Speaking to reporters, he said the government's initiative to boost domestic tourism with subsidies also did not need to be revised.

Virus infections reached the highest-ever 1,634 cases in Japan on Thursday, topping a previous record set on August 7, according to public broadcaster NHK.

California 2nd state to see 1 million infections

California has become the second state to record 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections. Texas reached the mark earlier this week.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed that California surpassed the grim milestone. It comes nearly 10 months after the first cases were confirmed in the most populous state.

California was the first in the nation to implement a statewide stay-at-home order on its nearly 40 million residents in March.

Chicagoans told to stay home, Detroit moves schools online amid Covid-19 surge

Chicago issued a stay-at-home advisory and Detroit stopped in-person schooling on to staunch the coronavirus outbreak as more than a dozen states reported a doubling of new Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.

Officials in the Midwestern cities along with New York, California, Iowa and other states were reimposing restrictions this week that had been eased in recent months. 

The moves were driven by surging infection rates and concern that the onset of winter, when people are more likely to gather indoors, will worsen the trends.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies