Global coronavirus cases cross 42.84 million; India infections drop

More than 42.84 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,151,596 have died.
More than 42.84 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,151,596 have died.

LONDON — More than 42.84 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,151,596 have died, according to a Reuters tally published on Monday.

With 224,980 deaths and around 8.6 million confirmed cases, the United States tops the list of 20 countries with the highest recorded infections and deaths in the world, followed by India, Brazil and Russia.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

In New Delhi, new coronavirus infections reported in India in a span of 24 hours dropped below 50,000 for the second time this month, while the new fatalities registered during the same period fell under 500 after 108 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

India's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 79,09,959 with 45,148 new infections being reported in a day. The deaths climbed to 1,19,014 with 480 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

A total of 71,37,228 people have recuperated from COVID-19 so far pushing the national recovery rate to 90.23 percent while the case fatality rate has dropped to 1.50 percent.

The active cases of coronavirus infections remained below 7 lakh for four days in a row. There are 6,53,717 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as on date which comprises 8.26 percent of the total caseload, the data stated.

In Moscow, Russia's daily tally of new coronavirus cases surged to a record high of 17,347 on Monday, including 5,224 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 1,531,224, Reuters reported. Authorities said 219 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 26,269.

In Berlin, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 8,685 to 437,866, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

More restrictions on people's freedoms have come into force in Europe, as countries battle to combat a resurgent coronavirus pandemic. They come as the second wave of the virus is causing record numbers of cases.

Cinemas, swimming pools and gyms are closed in Italy from Monday and bars and restaurants will have to shut by 6 pm, but shops and most other commerce can remain open.

The new restrictions, agreed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and regional leaders, will also see most secondary school classes taught remotely. Conte said he wanted to avoid another national lockdown and the economic damage caused by the one Italy faced in spring.

Among the regions pushing for stricter measures was Campania, which contains Naples, where hundreds of people have clashed with police as mainly younger people protested against a curfew imposed in the area.

In addition to the Naples region, curfews are in force in Lazio, the region of Rome, and in Lombardy, the region of Milan.

Spain spent its first night under a new nationwide curfew on Sunday into Monday, after the government agreed on Sunday to declare a new state of emergency.

Regions across Spain are subject to a curfew at night from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. CET, although they have the power to modify the start and end times by up to an hour earlier or later. Spain was the first western European country to pass the one million coronavirus cases mark.

Both Spain and Italy were badly affected during the first COVID-19 wave in Europe. New restrictions have also come into force amid a resurgence of the pandemic in Belgium.

Authorities in Brussels announced on Saturday they would bring forward a national curfew to 10 p.m. in the Belgian capital, as well as ordering shops to close at 8 p.m. and banning cultural and sporting activities.

Night-time curfews are being rolled out or considered in a number of European countries to try to deal with the rise in cases.

France continued to report a top division stadium-full of new daily cases at the weekend, beating its own 24-hour record on Sunday with 52,010 more infections.

This came on top of 45,422 coronavirus cases recorded the previous day, itself a record. More than 2,500 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care in hospital.

French lawmakers voted on Saturday to extend until Feb. 16 the health state of emergency, granting the government powers to impose restrictions.

Last week the country extended an overnight curfew to 38 more departments, putting at least 46 million of its residents under extra restrictions. Nine metropolitan areas had already been put under the same constraints the previous week.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday that the government could take stricter measures. On the same day France became the second western European nation to surpass one million reported cases, after Spain.

The Czech Republic has also been particularly impacted by the second wave, which started sweeping the continent in September. Along with Belgium, it has reported a 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 population.

Fearing the Czech health system could be overwhelmed, army field hospitals have been erected in and around the capital Prague. A partial lockdown is in place in the country until Nov. 3.

The Czech Republic logged 15,250 new cases on Friday — its highest ever daily increase. It also recorded 126 deaths overnight, bringing the country's death toll to 1,971.

In Switzerland, university hospitals in Geneva have launched an appeal to medical students and recently retired medical staff to come and help treat new COVID-19 cases, which they fear could become "much more numerous" than last spring.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned hospitals and intensive care units are running close to or above capacity in “too many countries”, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to surge across Europe.

“Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close or above capacity and we’re still only in October,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s Director-General at a briefing on Friday.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced on Facebook on Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that he was experiencing a "general malaise" and would remain at home.

In the rest of eastern Europe, several countries rolled out new measures with cases spiraling out of control. The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, tested positive for the virus, the government said on Saturday.

Faced with a surge in cases, the whole of Poland on Saturday went into a "red zone", a measure that until now only concerned the big cities and their surroundings.

In neighboring Slovakia, a night-time curfew came into force on Saturday, until Nov. 1. A partial containment was put in place from Saturday in Slovenia, where Foreign Minister Anze Logar tested positive for the coronavirus.

Greece's two main cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, also became subject to a night-time curfew from Saturday.

Across Europe, the number of infections since the start of the pandemic is now above 8.2 million and more than 258,000 people have died from COVID-19, according to WHO figures from Friday. — Agencies