Covid-19 has infected more than 247M people and killed over 5M globally. Here are the virus-related updates for October 31.

A medical worker prepares a shot of Russia's Sputnik Lite coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre amid a surge in infections, with the St. Basil Cathedral in the background.
A medical worker prepares a shot of Russia's Sputnik Lite coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre amid a surge in infections, with the St. Basil Cathedral in the background. (Pavel Golovkin / AP)

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Russia hits new high in daily coronavirus cases

Russia has recorded a new daily high number of coronavirus cases as much of the country's businesses remain closed in an effort to counter a weeks long surge in infections.

The national coronavirus task force reported 40,993 new infections over the previous day, up more than 700 on the previous record of a day earlier. Russia has tallied new record of infections or deaths almost daily during October.

The death toll reported was 1,158, just slightly down from Friday's record 1,163. That brought Russia’s official Covid-19 death count to 238,538, by far the largest in Europe.

More than 8.51 million infections have been recorded in the country of 146 million during the pandemic.

Authorities have blamed soaring infections and deaths on Russia’s lagging pace of vaccinations. About 51 million Russians, just over a third of the country’s people, were fully vaccinated.

US gives 1.5 million more vaccine doses to Taiwan

The United States is delivering an additional 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official said.

With the new batch of Moderna Inc doses, the total number of shots donated by Washington to the self-ruled island increased to 4 million.

"Our vaccines do not come with strings attached" and were not donated to "secure favours or extract concessions," the Biden administration official said, in an apparent reference to criticism that Beijing is trying to strengthen its geopolitical clout through so-called vaccine diplomacy.

UK cases down 13.5% over past week

UK has reported 38,009 new cases of Covid-19, government data showed, meaning cases reported between October 25 and October 31 were down by 13.5% compared with the previous seven days.

A further 74 people were reported as having died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, meaning the seven-day total was up by almost 16% from the previous week.

Changes in the number of deaths typically lag those for cases.

China stamping on virus outbreaks across country

China is working all-out to contain fresh coronavirus outbreaks across the country.

Strict measures are being imposed on tourists and travellers, including relocations and two weeks of quarantine. 

Other measures include mass testing in an effort to cut the transmission chain.

Yanshan, a county in China's Jiangxi Province, organised overnight mass testing after reporting one case. It aimed to test all its 386,000 residents within two days.

The city of Harbin reported its first case in months, in someone who had travelled to Heihe in the past week. The city has imposed a lockdown on the residential communities where the patient and close contacts have visited.

Italy reports 26 coronavirus deaths, 4,526 new cases

Italy reported 26 coronavirus-related deaths, compared with 37 the day before, the health ministry said. The daily tally of new infections fell to 4,526 from 4,878.

 Singapore reports 3,163 new cases

Singapore has reported 3,163 Covid-19 cases, up from 3,112 infections the previous day. In addition, 13 deaths were reported.

Mexico gets 6M AstraZeneca vaccine doses

Mexico's health ministry said it had received nearly 6 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses against Covid-19 as pressure grows on the government to widen its vaccination roll-out to include children. 

The shipment of 5,993,700 doses followed the arrival of almost 6.5 million Sputnik V vaccine doses on Tuesday, easily the two biggest vaccine consignments Mexico has received, according to data on the ministry's website. 

Mexico has fully vaccinated against Covid-19 around 56 million people, or over 43 percent of the population, according to Our World in Data, a research group at Oxford University.

The country reported 3,478 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 325 more fatalities on Saturday, bringing the country's overall death toll from the pandemic to 288,276 and the total number of cases to 3,805,765.

Germany adds nearly 17,000 cases

Germany has reported 16,887 new Covid-19 infections and 33 additional fatalities.

Brazil sees 232 more deaths

Brazil has recorded 232 new Covid-19 deaths and 10,693 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

More than 607,000 people have now died from the virus in Brazil, the data show, the world's second highest official tally after the United States.

US says unvaccinated young foreign travellers do not need to quarantine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that unvaccinated foreign nationals under the age of 18 travelling to the United States by air do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Saturday signed a revised order clarifying that foreign national children who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to isolate for seven days upon arrival in the United States. 

A CDC order issued on Monday had raised alarm among some foreign travellers that their children would need to quarantine for that long after arriving.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies