The pandemic has killed over 972,000 people and infected over 31.65 million worldwide. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for September 22:

Customers sit at tables outside a restaurant, near a sign reminding members of the public to
Customers sit at tables outside a restaurant, near a sign reminding members of the public to "Observe Soical Distancing" to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19, in London, United Kingdom, September 22, 2020. (AFP)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

UK reports 37 Covid-19 deaths, highest since July

Britain reported the highest number of Covid-19-related deaths since July 14, government statistics showed, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson toughened restrictions in a bid to contain a second wave of infections.

There were 37 people who died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, up from 11 reported on Monday. 

Johnson told people to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of with restrictions lasting probably six months.

Turkey reports 1,692 new cases

A total of 1,692 new coronavirus cases and 1,261 recoveries have been reported in Turkey.

The country's overall case count now stands at 306,302, with 269,696 recoveries, according to Health Ministry data on Tuesday.

A total of 114,311 more coronavirus tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, pushing the total past 9.49 million.

The death toll from the outbreak in Turkey rose to 7,639, with 65 new fatalities, said the data.

The figures also showed that the number of patients in critical condition now stands at 1,522, while 6.7 percent suffer from pneumonia.

France again reports over 10,000 cases

France has again registered more than10,000 new confirmed coronavirus infections over 24-hours, for the sixth time in 12 days.

The health ministry reported 10,008 new cases on Tuesday, compared to 5,298 on Monday - which usually sees a dip due to weekend data delays - and 10,569 on Sunday, but below the 13,498high set on Saturday. 

The new cases pushed the total to 468,069.

The ministry also reported the number of deaths increased to31,416, an increase of 78, compared to a seven-day moving average of 60 deaths per day.

Spain adds 10,800 new infections, total at 682,267

Spain's cumulative tally of confirmed coronavirus infections rose by nearly 10,800 from the previous day to reach 682,267, health ministry data has showed.

That included 3,125 cases diagnosed in the last 24 hours, but these daily figures tend to end up much higher after retroactive updates of the infection tally, having exceeded 10,000 cases per day for most of last week.

With 21 deaths from the virus in the last day, the total number of Covid-19 fatalities has reached 30,904. 

Scotland to limit household gatherings

Scotland will introduce additional nationwide restrictions on household gatherings that go further than UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new rules, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, to halt the second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"We intend, as Northern Ireland did yesterday, to also introduce nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings, similar to those already in place in the west of Scotland," Sturgeon said. 

Dutch coronavirus cases hit new weekly record

The Netherlands posted a record weekly number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in the week through September 22, hitting 13,471 cases, an increase of more than 60 percent from the week before, health authorities said.

In the week through Sept. 15 the National Institute for Health (RIVM) had registered 8,265 Covid-19 cases.

The RIVM recorded 33 deaths from the disease in the past seven days, up from 19 deaths a week earlier. 

Iran daily coronavirus cases highest since February

Iran's health ministry has reported 3,712 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily tally recorded since February, pushing the national cumulative total to 429,193.

On February 19, the Iranian government publicly announced its first two cases of – and deaths from - the novel coronavirus.

Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 178 people had died from the disease in the previous 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 24,656 in Iran, one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East.

Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in deaths

Indonesia has reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths with 160 fatalities, data from the country's Covid-19 task force showed.

Indonesia has reported 9,837 deaths overall, the highest death toll in Southeast Asia.

It also reported 4,071 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 252,923. 

Nigeria's death toll hits 1,100

Nigeria’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 1,100 with a total of 57,437 cases, authorities said.

Two more Covid-19 fatalities and 195 infections were registered in the West African country over the past day, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

With over 18,900 cases, the commercial capital Lagos remains Nigeria’s worst-hit city.

Myanmar newspapers halt printing 

Private media houses in Myanmar are suspending production of newspapers after its commercial hub Yangon was placed under partial lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Authorities imposed stricter stay-at-home orders from Monday in Yangon, forcing employees of nearly all private businesses, including journalists, to work from home.

With all private national newspapers based in the city, the new restrictions have had a serious impact on Myanmar’s media industry.

Four national newspapers – Standard Times, 7 Day Daily, the Myanmar Times, and the Voice Daily – have decided to suspend circulation of their print editions from Wednesday.

Journalists will, however, keep working from home and news will continue to be published online.

State-owned newspapers will keep publishing their print editions.

As of Tuesday, Myanmar has registered a total of 6,571 coronavirus cases, including 100 deaths.

Philippines reports 1,635 cases, 50 more deaths

The Philippine health ministry has reported 1,635 novel coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase in infections in two weeks, and 50 new deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections in the Philippines have increased to 291,789, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 5,049. 

Pakistan launches Phase III trials for CanSinoBIO's vaccine

Pakistan has launched Phase III clinical trials for Chinese company CanSinoBIO's Covid-19 vaccine candidate, a government minister and an official at the pharmaceutical company said on Tuesday.

"Just launched the Phase III trials for a Covid-19 vaccine in Pakistan," said the minister for planning, Asad Umar.

The trials have begun, said Dr Hasan, an official with the pharmaceutical company.

Russia's cases at highest since July 18

Russia has reported 6,215 new coronavirus cases, the most recorded over 24 hours since July 18, pushing its national tally to 1,115,810, the fourth largest in the world.

Authorities also reported 160 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 19,649 in a nation with a total population of around 144 million.

India's infections at lowest in almost a month

India has reported 75,083 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily tally in almost a month.

There were 1,053 deaths over the same period, according to the federal health data.

There have been 5.6 million cases in total in the country, second only behind the United States.

EU drugs regulator in contact with 38 potential vaccine makers

The European Medicines Agency has been in contact since the beginning of September with 38 makers of potential virus vaccines, an official at the EU drugs regulator said. 

"As of early September the EMA has been in contact with developers of 38 potential Covid-19 vaccines," Fergus Sweeney, Head of Clinical Studies and Manufacturing Task Force at EMA, told a hearing in the European Parliament.

Vaccines must be authorised by EMA before they can be used in the European Union

Schools should remain open during second wave - UK minister

British schools should remain open, and workplaces which need their staff on the premises should do so in a Covid-secure way, senior cabinet minister Michael Gove says. 

His remarks came ahead of an address by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on new restrictions to curb a second wave of infections.

"We're trying to strike a balance. We're trying to say that schools, of course, should remain open. We want workplaces where people have to be in the factory or in the shop in order to do their job to remain open in a Covid-secure way," he said in an interview on BBC television. 

Czech Republic reports 1,476 virus cases

The Czech Republic has recorded 1,476 virus cases, up from 985 on Sunday.

Weekend numbers are typically lower due to fewer tests done than on weekdays.

The overall number of confirmed cases rose to 50,764 in the country of 10.7 million.

Germany's virus cases rise to 274,158

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany have increased by 1,821 to 274,158.

The reported death toll rose by 10 to 9,396, the data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

South Korea suspends flu shots

South Korea has suspended free flu shots after reports of problems in storing the vaccinations during transportation, disrupting plans to pre-emptively ease the burden on a healthcare system already strained by coronavirus outbreaks.

The country, which has seen a spike in virus cases since August, planned to procure 20 percent more flu vaccines for the winter than the previous year to jab 30 million people. It had planned to start free inoculation on Tuesday for some 19 million eligible people.

The head of South Korea's disease prevention agency said some doses of the vaccine, which need to be refrigerated, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported to a medical facility.

Authorities are looking into the entire batch of five million doses that were scheduled for distribution.

Mexico cases surpass 700,000

Mexico reached over 700,000 confirmed cases, though authorities acknowledge the true number of infections in the country ranked number six in cases globally, is higher.

Mexico has the fourth-highest number of deaths attributed to the pandemic.

On Sunday, the health ministry reported 3,542 new confirmed cases in the country, bringing the total to over 700,000, as well as a cumulative death toll of 73,493.

But authorities including Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, who has been the public face of the government's coronavirus strategy, has conceded that the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.

"We've now seen seven consecutive weeks of a downward-sloping trend," Lopez-Gatell said at a news conference on Sunday, referring to the rate of infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

Global stocks tank on fears of second coronavirus wave

World equity markets suffered heavy losses as investors reacted to mounting fears of a second wave and diminishing odds of another US stimulus bill as partisanship intensifies ahead of the presidential elections.

Crude oil prices plunged, owing to expectations for less demand just as more supply from Libya becomes available, traders said.

The banking sector was also rocked by an international media probe that claimed massive sums of allegedly dirty money had flowed for years through some of the world's largest banks.

London stocks fell by 3.4 percent after Health Minister Matt Hancock warned Britain's coronavirus crisis was at a "tipping point", fueling expectations of more restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19 as government experts said cases could mushroom.

Australia's Victoria state reports slight rise in new cases

Australia's second-most populous state of Victoria reported on Tuesday three deaths from the virus and 28 cases, compared with two deaths and 11 cases a day earlier.

Average cases over the last two weeks in Melbourne, the epicentre of country's second wave of the outbreak, fell below 33, state health authorities said.

Melbourne, the state capital, is on an extended hard lockdown until September 28 and if the two-week average number of infections is below 50 by then, restrictions may be eased.

Three positives in latest round of Premier League tests

The Premier League's latest round of tests produced three positive results.

There were 1,574 players and staff tested for the virus from September 14 to 20 at the top-flight clubs.

The identity of those testing positive was not revealed, although Manchester City said that their German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan had the virus.

The first two rounds of tests this season produced three positives from 1,605 tests and four from 2,131 respectively.

US economy to recover only when people feel 'safe' from virus

The US economy will only recover from the virus downturn when people feel safe to resume their normal activities, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in remarks released Monday ahead of congressional testimony.

The central bank chief is set for three days of testimony before House and Senate committees starting Tuesday on the response to the coronavirus downturn, which has caused tens of millions of job losses and a record plunge in annualised GDP in the second quarter due to business shutdowns to stop the virus's spread.

Though some sectors of the economy, such as retail sales and housing, have seen sharp rebounds, viral infections remain rife and Congress is deadlocked on additional spending to help the recovery.

UK to outline early pub closing as virus alert level raised

The UK government will announce new measures to curb rising cases across England, hours after upgrading the virus alert level with top advisers warning of a surging death toll within two months without immediate action.

Under new rules to come into force on Thursday, English pubs, bars and other hospitality venues will be required to close at 2100GMT while food and drink outlets will be restricted to table service only.

"We know this won't be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus," a Downing Street spokes person said.

Similar restrictions are already in place across swathes of northern and central England.

Devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to unveil their own nationwide rules imminently.

The ramped-up response follows warnings on Monday that the country could see up to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October, and a month later exceed 200 deaths every day.

Brazil reports over 13,000 new daily cases

Brazil recorded 13,439 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, as well as 377 deaths from the disease.

Brazil has registered more than 4.5 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 137,272, according to ministry data.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies