Global coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 44 million people and claimed over 1.1 million lives. Here are the updates for October 27:

Hospital staff treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease in Geneva, Switzerland, October 27, 2020.
Hospital staff treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease in Geneva, Switzerland, October 27, 2020. (Reuters)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Global cases reach 44M mark

Worldwide number of coronavirus cases surpassed the grim milestone of 44 million mark, according to a tracking portal.

The United States is the worst affected country, in terms of infections, followed by India and Brazil.

France reports over 500 deaths

France reported 523 new deaths from coronavirus over the past 24-hours, the highest daily toll since April 22, health ministry data showed.

Tuesday's death toll data included hospital deaths, which are reported on a daily basis, and 235 retirement home deaths over the past four days.

The health ministry also reported 33,417 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, from 26,711 on Monday and record 52,010 on Sunday.

US CDC reports 225,084 deaths 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 8,680,611 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 63,589 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 483 to 225,084.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as Covid-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on October 26 compared with its previous report a day earlier.

Bulgaria shuts high schools, nightclubs 

Bulgaria is closing nightclubs and discos and students from high schools and universities will study online for two weeks as of October 29 as it grapples to contain a surge in coronavirus infections, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry also banned the public at sports events and said cinemas and theatres should work at 30 percent of their capacity until November 12, while restaurants should limit the number of people at one table to six, among other restrictions.

The Balkan country reported 2,243 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, its highest daily tally.

Some 40,143 Bulgarians have tested positive for the disease since March and 1,146 have died.

Greece sees 1,200 daily infections for first time

Greece recorded a single-day record of 1,259 confirmed coronavirus infections on Tuesday, health authorities said, while the education minister tested positive for the virus.

Tuesday's jump followed 715 new cases recorded on Monday. Greece has been reporting a steady increase in cases since early October. There were also 12 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday.

Night-time curfews from 12:30 am to 5 am were enforced in the capital Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki last week end.

Tuesday's data put Greece's total tally of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic at 32,752, with 593 deaths.

Russia's Lavrov in quarantine

Russia’s foreign minister has self-isolated after contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Foreign Ministry says Sergey Lavrov was feeling well but will postpone his official trips and meetings. It didn’t identify the infected person.

Russia has the world’s fourth-largest tally with more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases. There’s been more than 26,000 reported deaths.

Mexico City mayor contracts coronavirus

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, a close ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on Tuesday she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus but was feeling well and had not developed symptoms of the Covid-19 disease.

Writing on Twitter, Sheinbaum said she had been informed on Monday night of her positive test and would continue to work and coordinate all activities from a safe distance.

Turkey's coronavirus tests near 13.5M mark

To date Turkey has done nearly 13.5 million coronavirus tests, according to Health Ministry data released.

A total of 1,511 more people won their battle against the novel pandemic over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally of recoveries to 317,519, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Turkey reported 76 new Covid-19 fatalities over the past day, bringing the total death toll to 9,950 , the data showed.

The country's healthcare workers did 127,651 tests for the virus in the past 24 hours nationwide, raising the total count to more than 13.47 million.

EU warns not enough vaccines for all in Europe until 2022

Only part of the European Union population can be inoculated against the new coronavirus before 2022, EU officials said in an internal meeting, as the vaccines the bloc is securing may not prove effective or may not be manufactured in sufficient doses.

The 27-nation bloc, with a population of 450 million, has booked more than 1 billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from three drugmakers. It is negotiating the advance purchase of another bill ion vials with other companies.

"There will not be sufficient doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021," a European Commission official told diplomats from EU states in a closed-door meeting on Monday, a person who attended it told Reuters.

Italy's daily cases hit new record, deaths jump above 200

Italy has registered 21,994 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday, the highest daily tally since the start of the country's outbreak and up from the previous record of 21,273 posted on Sunday.

The ministry also reported 221 Covid-related deaths on Tuesday, against 141 the day before - the first time Italy has registered more than 200 fatalities in a single day since mid-May.

A total 37,700 people have now died in Italy because of coronavirus, while 564,778 cases of the disease have been registered to date.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 5,035 new cases on Tuesday. The southern region of Campania was the second-worst affected, chalking up 2,761 cases. 

Belgium becomes EU nation with highest rate of infections

The Belgian government will convene on Friday to decide on a potential new national lockdown with the country now suffering the highest rate of coronavirus infections per 100,000 citizens, according to official data.

The nation of 11 million people had 1,390 new Covid-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed on Tuesday.

The Czech Republic is next with 1,379 per 100,000, while many other European countries are reporting soaring infection rates in a second wave of the global pandemic abetted by the onset of cold, damp winter weather.

New daily infections in Belgium, where the European Union and NATO have their headquarters, hit a peak of more than 18,000 on October 20, almost a 10-fold rise from the high of a spring wave of the pandemic.

The number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) is doubling every eight days - to 809 as of Monday - with 5,260 people in hospitals, which risk running out of beds. Belgian foreign affairs minister and former PM Sophie Wilmes was still in intensive care in Brussels, after testing positive to Covid-19 last week.

With 10,899 total deaths, Belgium has one of the highest per capita Covid-19 fatality rates in the world.

UK records 22,885 cases and 367 deaths

The United Kingdom has recorded a further 22,885 new Covid-19 cases and 367 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, government data showed on Tuesday.

The daily case number compares with the 20,890 positive cases recorded on Monday.

FIFA chief tests positive

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has tested positive for Covid-19, global soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

Infantino, who is 50 years old, has reported mild symptoms and is in self-isolation and will quarantine for at least 10 days, FIFA added in a statement.

Sweden reports record daily rise in new cases

Sweden, whose light-touch pandemic strategy has gained global attention, registered 1,870 new coronavirus cases on October 23, the highest since the start of the pandemic, Health Agency statistics showed on Tuesday.

The increase compares with a high of 1,698 daily cases recorded in late June. The Health Agency has said the peak during the spring probably ran far higher but went unrecorded due to a lack of testing at the time.

New Covid-19 deaths remain low and Sweden's official death toll had decreased by 15 cases since Friday, taking the total to 5,918 deaths.

Iran reports record 6,968 new cases

Iran on Tuesday reported 6,968 new coronavirus cases and 346 deaths in the past 24 hours, its highest daily tally, pushing the death toll in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country to 33,299.

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state media that the new cases brought the country’s total number of identified cases to 581,824.

Switzerland reports 5,949 new infections

Coronavirus infections rose by 5,949, data from Swiss health authorities showed on Tuesday, as the government considers tightening restrictions meant to slow the accelerating spread of Covid-19.

Total confirmed cases in Switzerland and tiny neighbouring principality Liechtenstein increased to 127,042 and the death toll rose by 16 to 1,930.

Germany's Scholz calls for targeted, temporary curbs 

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday that the jump in coronavirus infections over the past few days was "very worrying" and authorities had to quickly implement decisive steps to halt this second wave in the pandemic.

"The additional measures should be targeted, temporary and focussed. And they should be taken as uniformly as possible across Germany and be generally understandable," Scholz said.

"So far, our country has fared quite well during the coronavirus pandemic and it will be decided in the coming weeks whether it will stay that way. It's in our hands," he added.

Malaysia reports 835 new cases, two deaths

Malaysia's health ministry reported 835 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 28,640 infections.

The Southeast Asian country also recorded two new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 238.

Japan's to provide free vaccines to public - media

Japan's cabinet approved a plan on Tuesday to use public funds to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the public for free, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to provide enough Covid-19 vaccines for the population by mid 2021. 

The country has struck deals for hundreds of millions of doses from companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Pfizer Inc.

Poland reports record rise in daily cases

Poland reported 16,300 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, a daily record, as Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned that people attending mass protests over abortion rights were disregarding "massive" infection risks.

Poland has seen five days of widespread protests following a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal last Thursday that amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation.

South Korea begins preliminary review of AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate

South Korea's food and drug ministry said on Tuesday it had begun a preliminary review of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC for potential fast-track approval.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a statement that it had formed a screening team to review the vaccine candidate, with an application for formal approval expected in 90 days under its rapid approval programme for Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

The team is reviewing the vaccine's non-clinical test data, the ministry said.

The ministry added that it had given a green light to some 26 clinical trials for Covid-19 treatments and vaccines as of Monday, by entities such as pharmaceutical companies Celltrion Inc and Genexine Inc, with seven completed and 19 ongoing.

Antibodies decline rapidly among Britishers during summer – study 

Antibodies declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study has found, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community.

Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of Covid-19 infections in March and April.

Their study found that antibody prevalence fell from 6 percent of the population around the end of June to just 4.4 percent in September. 

That raises the prospect of decreasing population immunity ahead of a second wave of infections that has forced local lockdowns and restrictions in recent weeks.

Mexico reports 4,166 new cases, 247 more deaths

Mexico's Health Ministry has reported 4,166 additional cases and 247 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 895,326 and the death toll to 89,171.

Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

On Sunday, the ministry said the true death toll from Covid-19 may be around 50,000 higher.

Philippines' Duterte wants government-to-government deal for vaccines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would favour a government-to-government deal for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.

"Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay," Duterte said in a weekly televised address. 

"To the Chinese government, you need not look for partners, we can make it government-to-government."

The Philippines has the second-highest number of infections and deaths in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia.

Mainland China reports 16 new cases vs 20 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 16 new confirmed cases, down from 20 a day earlier, the country's health authorities have said.

The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 reported a day earlier amid a fresh wave of symptomless infections being reported in the northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region.

Xinjiang's authorities said separately that 26 new asymptomatic cases were reported on October 26, down from 137 a day earlier.

China does not classify asymptomatic infections as confirmed cases.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China now stands at 85,826, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634. 

Australia's hotspot state records two days without new cases for first time in seven months

The Australian state of Victoria, the epicentre of infections, has said it had gone 48 hours without detecting any new cases for the first time in more than seven months.

Victoria, the second most populous state, will allow restaurants and cafes in Melbourne to reopen from Wednesday after more than three months under a stringent lockdown.

Despite case numbers dwindling and businesses poised to reopen, Victoria will only ease limits on social gatherings in the home, allowing two adults an d dependents from one house to make one daily visit to one other household.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the highest risk of spreading the virus remained in the family home where social distancing protocols were often not applied.

Australia has recorded just over 27,500 infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.

Victoria, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the 905 deaths nationally, did not record any new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.

Air pollution linked to 15 percent of virus deaths

Long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to 15 percent of virus deaths globally, according to a research that highlights the health risks posed by greenhouse gas emissions.

Previous research has showed how air pollution from exhaust fumes and factories takes two years off the life expectancy of every man, woman and child on Earth.

Now experts in Germany and Cyprus say they have estimated the proportion of deaths from coronavirus that can be blamed of the exacerbating effects of air pollution.

Their study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, drew on health and disease data from the US and China relating to air pollution, Covid-19 and SARS, a serious lung disease similar to Covid.

They combined this with satellite data of global exposure to particulate matter, microscopic particles, as well as ground-based pollution monitoring networks, to calculate to what extent air pollution can be blamed for Covid-19 deaths.

In East Asia, which has some of the highest levels of harmful pollution on the planet, the authors found that 27 percent of Covid-19 deaths could be attributed to the health effects of poor air quality.

In Europe the proportion was 19 percent, compared with 17 percent in North America.

Specifically, the team noted that particulate matter appeared to increase the activity of a receptor on lung cell surfaces, ACE-2, which is known to be involved in the way Covid-19 infects patients.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies