The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than a million people and infected over 36.4 million worldwide. Here are the developments for October 8:

The biggest increases in coronavirus cases were recorded from India, the US, and Brazil, according to the WHO.
The biggest increases in coronavirus cases were recorded from India, the US, and Brazil, according to the WHO. (Reuters Archive)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

WHO reports global coronavirus cases, up over 338,000

The World Health Organization has reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from India, the United States, and Brazil, according to the agency's website. 

Deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million.

France's cases at record high, new restrictions expected

French health authorities have reported 18,129 new Covid-19 infections, with the daily tally staying above 18,000 for the second day running after Wednesday's all-time high of 18,746.

Hospitals in the Paris region moved into emergency mode on Thursday, cancelling staff holidays and postponing non-essential operations, as coronavirus patients made up close to half of all patients in intensive care units (ICUs).

Meanwhile, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said French cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble, and Saint-Etienne will go on maximum coronavirus alert level from Saturday.

Paris and Marseille were put on maximum alert earlier, which led to the closure of bars in those cities.

Veran said the situation in Toulouse and Montpellier was also worrying and that those cities could also be moved to the maximum Covid-19 alert level from early next week.

Jordan returns to weekend lockdown as cases mount

Jordan will enter a nationwide 48-hour lockdown on Friday for the first time in months as health officials worry a major spike in coronavirus infections could threaten its stretched healthcare system, officials said.

The country has seen what officials say is an "exponential" rise, with around 10,000 cases confirmed in just over a week – a near-doubling of the total number of infections since the first cases in early March and a reversal of what had been among the lowest infection and death rates in the Middle East.

Senior officials are struggling to avoid a broader lockdown that the hard-hit economy can ill afford. 

Daily cases hit a peak of 1,824 last Monday, with the total number of infections now standing at 20,200 and 137 deaths.

Austria hits new high as tourism concerns mount

Austria has recorded its highest-ever one-day total of coronavirus infections, putting the tourism industry under pressure as the ski season approaches.

The Alpine nation of nearly nine million showed 1,209 new infections in 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

Austria escaped the worst of the pandemic earlier in the year, helped by a nationwide lockdown in March and April, but numbers have risen steadily recently and Thursday was the third time in October that more than 1,000 infections were reported.

Measures such as mandatory mask-wearing and restrictions on public events were relaxed over the summer, but have now been toughened again.

Sri Lanka Premier League draft postponed

The draft for Sri Lanka's upcoming Premier League tournament has been postponed, the cricket board has said, as the island nation battles to contain its biggest-ever coronavirus outbreak.

Leading internationals including Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Darren Bravo, Shahid Afridi, and Shakib Al Hasan had been up for grabs at a Friday ceremony ahead of the Twenty20 competition.

But with more than 1,000 workers at one factory near the capital Colombo testing positive in just 72 hours this week, the government has locked down some regions and banned public gatherings.

The 23-match event has already been rescheduled twice. It was due to kick off in August but was moved to November 14 and then November 21.

Sri Lanka has reported almost 4,500 coronavirus infections and 13 related deaths so far.

Turkey proud to help Africa against virus – Erdogan

Turkey is proud to have contributed to African countries in their fight against the novel coronavirus with Turkish-made respirators, masks, and overalls, the country's president said.

"The peoples of Africa were unfortunately left to their fate in the face of the virus while Western developed countries were engaged in mask wars," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the Turkey-Africa Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board.

He underlined that the Turkey-Africa Health Partners Platform could facilitate comprehensive and permanent cooperation between the two sides.

"The essence of our relations with Africa is sincerity, brotherhood, and solidarity," he said, adding that Turkey has never held short-term interests towards the continent.

Ankara does not approve designs to sustain the colonial practices of the past through new methods, he asserted, adding that as a country that has never partaken in colonialism, Turkey refuses to approach the continent in an arrogant or bossy way.

He underlined that Turkey did not see African countries as only markets for Turkish products, but rather sought win-win cooperation.

"We would like to win together, to succeed together, to walk together [with Africa]."

Portugal posts over 1,000 cases in single day, first time since April

Portugal has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time since April, with the government warning the country must gear up for the battle ahead.

"We have to prepare for what is coming," State Secretary of Health Antonio Lacerda Sales told reporters during a visit to a hospital in Braga, a city in the country's northern region.

According to health authority DGS, a total of 1,278 new infections and 10 deaths were reported on Thursday. The last time Portugal posted over 1,000 daily infections was on April 10 during the country's six-week lockdown. 

Dutch report over 5,800 daily cases in new record

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has jumped by a record of more than 5,800 in 24 hours, data released by health authorities have shown.

The rapid rise is putting pressure on authorities to impose new restrictions in the country, which has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the world 

Italy tops 4,000 daily cases for first time since mid-April

Italy has registered 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said, the first time the country has exceeded 4,000 cases in a single day since mid-April.

There were also 22 Covid-related deaths on Thursday against 31 the day before – far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April.

Italy was the first country in Europe to be slammed by COVID-19 and has the second-highest death toll on the continent, with 36,083 dying since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures.

The last time Italy saw more than 4,000 cases in a day was on April 12, with 4,092 infections reported around a month before the government allowed restaurants, bars and shops to reopen. 

On that same day, some 431 people died. 

Britain reports 17,540 new cases

The United Kingdom has recorded 17,540 new daily cases of Covid-19, up from the 14,162 it reported the day before, government data has shown.

A further 77 people died after testing positive for the virus within 28 days, the data showed. 

Croatian PM urges discipline as cases reach peak

Croatia's Prime Minister has urged discipline in respecting measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, as the country reached a record number of daily cases.

Belittling the coronavirus results in "non-compliance with protective measures... which endangers both health and economy," Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told a government session.

"The economy must go on ... but to ensure that, the personal responsibility of every citizen and discipline are key," he said, stressing the need for "responsible behaviour".

Croatia braved the first few months of the pandemic with less than 100 cases daily and then almost no new infections by mid-May.

But new cases have spiked since the Adriatic nation of 4.2 million people opened its borders to tourists for the summer season, hitting a record 542 Thursday.

Croatia has confirmed nearly 19,000 infections and 310 deaths from the respiratory disease.

Russia's new daily case tally near May peak

Russia has reported 11,493 new cases, just short of the most confirmed in a single day during the pandemic, pushing the overall total to 1,260,112.

Officials said 191 people had died in the last 24 hours. The official death toll now stands at 22,056. 

Russia confirmed 11,656 cases, its biggest one-day tally, on May 11. 

Indonesia reports daily record 4,850 new cases

Indonesia confirmed a record high 4,850 new cases, bringing its total to 320,564, the country's Covid-19 task force said.

There were also 108 new deaths reported, taking the total to 11,580, the highest coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia. 

Poland's daily cases surge to 4,280

Poland reported a new record of 4,280 daily cases as well as a new daily record of 76 deaths related to the coronavirus, according to the health ministry's Twitter account.

Earlier Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska confirmed to public radio that the Polish capital Warsaw would be added to a list of areas with additional restrictions due to high numbers of cases.

In total, the country of 38 million has reported 111,599 cases and 2,867 deaths.

Austria's daily cases break record set in March

Austria's daily number of confirmed cases has surpassed the record set in March when the initial wave of infections was at its peak, newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported.

The number of cases in the past 24 hours was "more than 1,200", the tabloid said. The daily figure had recently come close to the peak of 1,050 cases set on March 26, according to an online dashboard by public health agency AGES. 

Russian church leader isolates after contacting someone with Covid-19

Patriarch Kirill, the leader of Russia's Orthodox Church, said he had gone into isolation after coming into contact with someone with the virus.

The 73-year-old said he was unable to join church prayers with his congregation because of medical guidelines requiring him to isolate. He did not mention having any symptoms in a statement on the church's website.

Russia reported 11,493 new cases earlier, just short of the most confirmed in a single day during the pandemic, pushing the overall total to 1,260,112.

Philippines confirms 2,363 cases, 144 more deaths

The Philippines' health ministry reported 2,363 new cases and 144 more deaths, the largest daily increase in casualties in more than three weeks.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections have reached 331,869, while deaths have increased to 6,069.

Slovakia reports over 1,000 new daily cases for first time

Slovakia's daily tally of new cases rose to 1,037, the highest since the pandemic reached the country, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said.

"Let's all be extra-cautious, please," Matovic said in a post on his Facebook profile.

His government introduced new curbs to contain the virus and approved a state of emergency from October 1.

UK considering more local curbs, minister says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is considering additional local restrictions for parts of northern England as the second wave of the novel coronavirus accelerates, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said.

New cases are rising by about 14,000 a day in the United Kingdom and millions of people are living under a patchwork of different restrictions, though there is growing alarm about the economic cost of such rules.

"The virus is rising, in terms of the number of cases, quite significantly in the north west, in the north east and in a number of other cities like Nottingham," Jenrick told Sky.

"We are currently considering what the right action would be to take in those places," he said. Asked if the actions would be similar to those in Scotland, he said a range of actions were being considered - including a more consistent approach. 

New daily virus cases top 4,000 in Germany, not seen since April

New daily cases of coronavirus infections in Germany have soared past 4,000, official data showed, reaching a daily level not seen since April 11 when the country was still in lockdown.

The alarming jump in numbers came with autumn school holidays about to begin, prompting calls from Chancellor Angela Merkel's government for citizens to avoid travel abroad during the usually busy period for tourism.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany reached 310,144 after increasing by 4,058, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 16 to 9,578, the tally showed.

India's Covid-19 infections rise to 6.84M

India's total coronavirus cases have risen by 78,524 during the past 24 hours to 6.84 million.

Deaths from the infections rose by 971 to 105,526, data from the health ministry showed.

India's death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone, after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.

Last week, India further eased restrictions and permitted states to open schools and movie theatres.

Bulgaria reports new daily record of 437 cases

Bulgaria reported a daily record of 437 coronavirus cases, as the country grapples with a rising number of infections, data from the national information platform on the disease showed.

The Balkan country now has 22,743 confirmed cases, including 873 deaths.

The country's chief health inspector has said new restrictions, such as closing restaurants may be imposed if the confirmed cases continue to rise, but ruled out a full lockdown.

Seoul remains hotspot for South Korea

South Korea reported 69 new confirmed coronavirus cases, most of them in the Seoul region area where health workers are struggling to track transmissions tied to hospitals, churches, schools and an army unit.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national total to 24,422 cases, including 427 deaths.

Forty-nine of the new cases were reported from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million people. The region has been at the center of a coronavirus resurgence since mid-August.

Brazil hits 5M cases

Brazil passed the mark of 5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases on Wednesday as it approached 150,000 deaths in the second most deathly coronavirus outbreak outside the United States.

Though the number of daily cases has come down from a peak in July, public health experts warn that Brazil is ignoring social distancing precautions and faces the danger of a second wave by returning to normal everyday life too quickly.

The Health Ministry reported on Tuesday 31,553 new cases, raising the total to 5,000,694, and 734 deaths, bringing the toll to 148,228 dead.

The rolling daily average for last week was 658 deaths a day, down from 1,073 deaths per day in the last week of July. Average new cases were 26,140 day, almost half the rate of late July.

Mexico's cases rise to almost 800,000

Mexico's health ministry has reported 4,580 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 378 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 799,188 cases and 82,726 deaths. 

The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

US Marine general tests positive

The assistant commandant of the Marine Corps has tested positive for the coronavirus, days after he and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were in a Pentagon meeting with a Coast Guard leader who was infected with the virus. 

The Marine Corps said on Wednesday that General Gary L. Thomas, tested positive for Covid-19. 

He attended a meeting of the Joint Chiefs on Friday, when the commandant was not able to be there. U.S. officials said none of the other top military leaders in the meeting, including General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have so far tested positive.

Czech Republic reports record cases

The Czech Republic reported 5,335 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, its highest one-day tally since the pandemic started, Health Ministry data showed on Thursday. 

The rise surpassed a previous record of 4,457 reported the previous day as the country of 10.7 million had Europe's fastest per-capita spike in cases in the past two weeks. In total, it has recorded 95,0360 cases since March, along with 829 deaths.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies