The novel coronavirus has infected almost 62 million people and killed over 1.4 million. Here are the updates for November 28:

People crowd central shopping area of via del Corso on Black Friday, in Rome, November 27, 2020.
People crowd central shopping area of via del Corso on Black Friday, in Rome, November 27, 2020. (AP)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Italy reports 686 deaths in last 24 hours

Italy's Health Ministry has reported 686 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 54,363.

Italy's confirmed cases rose to 1,564,532 with 26,323 new cases, the eighth highest in the world.

Turkey reports over 30,000 new infections

Turkey's death toll has hit a record high for a sixth consecutive day with 182 new fatalities bringing the total number of deaths to 13,373, according to Health Ministry data.

Turkey also recorded a new high of 30,103 coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours, including asymptomatic ones which raised the overall count to 487,912.

UK reports over 15,000 daily cases

UK has reported 15,871 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the national total toll to 1,605,172, according to Health Ministry data.

The country's death toll rose to 58,030 with 479 new deaths.

Number of new cases in France steadies

France has reported 12,580 new cases, nearly unchanged from Friday's 12,459, Health Ministry data showed.

The number of people in intensive care fell by 106 to 3,777, after falling by 135 on Friday. 

The number of people who died in hospital rose by 213 to 52,127, the smallest increase in a week

UK testing error wrongly shows 1,300 people positive

Over 1,300 people in Britain have been inaccurately informed they were infected with coronavirus after a laboratory error at the government's NHS Test and Trace system, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

"NHS Test and Trace has contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of Covid-19 tests, taken between November 19 and November 23, were positive. An issue with a batch of testing chemicals meant their test results were void," a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"Swift action was taken to notify those affected and they have been asked to take another test and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms."

The laboratory error that led to the problem was an "isolated incident" and was being investigated, the statement said.

Gambian tourism struggles with virus' impact

Normally a popular draw for global tourists, these days the beaches, winding rivers and wildlife sanctuaries in the tiny West African country of Gambia see hardly any visitors.

Just as the country’s tourism industry was recuperating from last year’s collapse of British travel operator Thomas Cook, the Covid-19 outbreak dried up further tourist arrivals, forcing hoteliers, tour operators, guides, and others associated with the trade to look for alternatives to earn a living.

According to figures from the Gambian Tourism Board, the tourism industry has lost $108 million in 2020. Tourism contributes one-fourth of the country’s gross domestic product.

Merkel says virus measures 'will be worth it'

Chancellor Angela Merkel is appealing anew to Germans to adhere to virus restrictions as the Christmas period begins, telling her compatriots that “it will be worth it.”

Federal and state leaders this week decided to extend a partial shutdown that started November 2 until at least December 20 and tighten some restrictions. The measures so far have succeeded in halting a rise in new cases, but haven’t pushed them down significantly.

Merkel said in her weekly video message that Germans can be proud of their discipline and thoughtfulness over the past 10 months and encouraged them to keep to the rules and reduce their contacts over the festive season.

She said: “Let us continue to show people what we’re made of by sticking to the rules that apply to all of us now, in winter, before Christmas, over the new year. Because we will see that it will be worth it.”

Europe virus toll crosses 400,000, shops reopen in France

Virus deaths have topped 400,000 in Europe, the world's second worst-hit region, as parts of the continent began to reopen shops for the holiday season.

Most nations hope to ease their virus rules for Christmas and New Year, allowing a respite before bracing for what the world hopes is one last wave of restrictions until a clutch of promising new vaccines kick in.

Europe crossed a grim barrier, registering 400,649 deaths according to an AFP tally at 0800GMT.

Britain accounted for almost two-thirds of the fatalities at 57,551, followed by Italy with 53,677, France at 51,914 and Spain with 44,668.

German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

Germany's partial lockdown measures could be extended until early Spring if infections are not brought under control, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a newspaper interview.

Altmaier told Die Welt it was not possible to give the all-clear while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.

"We have three to four long winter months ahead of us," he was quoted as saying. "It is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first months of 2021."

Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany's 16 federal states on Wednesday to extend and tighten measures against the virus until at least December 20.

England's hospitals could be overwhelmed without new tier system 

Hospitals in England risk being overwhelmed if lawmakers do not support the government's new plan for restrictions, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said.

More than 20 million people across large swathes of England will be forced to live under the toughest category of virus restrictions when a national lockdown ends on December 2. 

Lawmakers are due to vote on the restrictions the day before.

But a growing number of lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative party have voiced opposition to the tiered restrictions plan.

Some argue that the areas they represent have low infection rates but the toughest rules, while others say the new measures will cause unnecessary economic harm to local businesses.

Russia reports 27,100 new cases, 510 deaths

Russia has reported 27,100 new coronavirus cases, including 7,320 in Moscow, taking the national total to 2,242,633 since the pandemic began.

Authorities also confirmed 510 deaths related to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing the official national death toll to 39,068. 

Speed of viral spread causes concern in South Korea

South Korea has reported more than 500 new virus cases for the third straight day, the speed of viral spread unseen since the worst wave of the outbreak in spring.

The 504 cases reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention brought the national caseload to 33,375, including 522 deaths.

Around 330 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million population, where health workers are struggling to stem transmissions linked to hospitals, schools, saunas, gyms and army units.

Ukraine's total virus cases exceed 700,000

The total number of virus cases in Ukraine has climbed to 709,701 as it registered a record daily tally of 16,294 new infections in the past 24hours, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said.

He said 184 patients had died of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 12,093.

Pakistan sees another day of over 3,000 virus cases

Pakistan has recorded more than 3,000 new virus infections Saturday for the fourth day in a row, pushing the overall tally to 392,326, official data showed.

Another 45 people died because of the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 7,942.

The number of new infections and deaths were, however, slightly less than what was recorded.

The recovery ratio dropped from 95 percent to 86 percent as active cases rose to 46,861. A total of 337,553 patients have recovered.

South Africa records 3,370 new virus cases

South Africa has recorded 3,370 new virus cases, bringing the number of infections to 781,941, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

He said 89 people died from the virus, pushing the number of fatalities to 21,378 but 722,876 patients have recovered.

Earlier on Friday, Mkhize told a news briefing in the Eastern Cape Province, which has the highest numbers of infections, that parts of the country are witnessing a resurgence of the virus.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 21,695 

The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany has increased by 21,695 to 1,028,089, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 379 to 15,965, the tally showed. 

Mexico's death toll rises to 104,873

Mexico's Health Ministry has reported 12,081 additional cases of the coronavirus and 631 more deaths, bringing the official number of infections to 1,090,675 and the death toll to 104,873.

China reports six new virus cases vs five a day earlier

China reported six new virus cases in the mainland for November 27, compared with five cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

All of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement. There were no new deaths.

China also reported four new asymptomatic patients, compared with eight a day earlier.

Los Angeles County to impose new restrictions

All public and private social gatherings of individuals from different households will be banned in Los Angeles County for at least three weeks starting on Monday under new restrictions local health officials unveiled, citing a continued surge in Covid-19 infections.

The latest public health order, affecting some 20 million people living in and around the nation's second-largest city, specifically exempts religious services and protests as constitutionally protected rights. 

Peru secures future coronavirus vaccine doses 

Peru has secured enough coronavirus vaccine to give nearly three-quarters of its population at least one dose when the immunization is available.

The agreements announced with Pfizer Inc and global vaccine distribution program COVAX will provide 23.1 million doses for a population of 31.9 million. Some vaccine regimes will require two doses.

The Peruvian Ministry of Health said it had signed a binding agreement with Pfizer for the purchase of 9.9 million doses of its vaccine which is in testing. Another 13.2 million doses will be bought through COVAX, which is led by the GAVI vaccines alliance and the World Health Organization and aimed at promoting equitable access.

COVAX has signed agreements to buy vaccines from French drugmaker Sanofi, Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Brazil registers 514 new deaths

Brazil has registered 34,130 additional coronavirus cases 514 new deaths, the nation's Health Ministry said.

The South American country has now registered 6,238,350 total confirmed coronavirus cases and 171,974 deaths.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies