Covid-19

Regional News • Americas • United States
Dr. Fauci cautions that the US may not be back to normal until 2022
Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that the United States might not return to normal until 2022. Even if a vaccine was available in the next couple of months, there's a chance a "substantial proportion of the people" won't be vaccinated until the second or third quarter of 2021, Fauci said.

"I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality," so Fauci.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU's von der Leyen predicts Covid-19 vaccine for April 2021
EU's von der Leyen predicts Covid-19 vaccine for April 2021
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has stated that a Covid-19 vaccine could be available in April 2021.

"The big numbers of supplies are due to start in April," so von der Leyen, adding that up to 50 million doses could be delivered monthly.

Regional News • Europe
Poland: Coronavirus cases tripled in less than a month
Closed border crossing between the Czech Republic and Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic
Closed border crossing between the Czech Republic and Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic Credit: Darwinek (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland's Coronavirus cases have tripled in less than a month. The country has exceeded 300,000 cases as of Thursday, with a new highest daily count of 20,156.

14,631 hospital beds are currently occupied by Coronavirus patients and 1203 ventilators are in use.

Regional News • Asia
200 days without domestic Covid-19 cases in Taiwan
Taipei
Taipei Credit: Chris (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Taiwan has not reported a domestically transmitted Covid-19 infection since April 12, marking 200 days without any new cases. The country has only recorded 553 Covid-19 cases and seven deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Harvard study finds ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses
Harvard study finds ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses
Credit: unsplash.com / Alev Takil

A study by Harvard University found that the ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses and "effectively counters the proximity travelers are subject to during flights." Thus the risk of contracting Covid-19 on airplanes is lower than in a grocery store if precautions are being followed, including wearing masks and screening passengers for symptoms.

Regional News • Americas • Mexico
Mexico's Covid-19 death toll surpasses 90,000
Jorge Alcocer Varela, Mexico Health Secretary
Jorge Alcocer Varela, Mexico Health Secretary Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Mexico's Covid-19 death toll has surpassed 90,000, with health officials saying that the actual number of people who have died from the virus is likely higher due to a lack of testing. As of Thursday, the country has reported a total of 906,863 cases and 90,309 deaths.

Regional News • Asia • India
India surpasses 8 million Coronavirus cases
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala.
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala. Credit: Javed Anees (Public Domain)

Over 8,040,000 Coronavirus cases have been recorded in India, making it the second-worst hit country. 120,527 people have died due to the Coronavirus.

Regional News • Europe • France
Compulsory masks for schoolchildren aged 6 and over in France
Compulsory masks for schoolchildren aged 6 and over in France
Credit: unsplash.com / Kelly Sikkema

France makes masks mandatory in class for schoolchildren aged six and over, PM Castex said. Up until now, masks were only mandatory for children aged 11 and older.

"From Monday, when children return to school, the sanitary protocol will be made stricter. The requirement to wear a face mask will be extended to primary school children over the age of six."

Technology • Internet & Web
US hospital systems facing 'imminent' threat of cyber attacks, FBI warns
US hospital systems facing 'imminent' threat of cyber attacks, FBI warns
Credit: unsplash.com / Javier Matheu

The FBI and two other federal agencies have warned that the US healthcare system is facing an “increased and imminent” threat of cyberattacks, including data theft and extortion attempts to lock up hospital information systems, and that there is "credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers."

"We are experiencing the most significant cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States,” so Charles Carmakal, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Covid-19 deniers set off explosive device in Berlin

An explosive device detonated in Berlin's Invalidenstraße this weekend. Apparently, the attack was caused by opponents of the Corona measures in Germany. Nobody was injured, the investigations are ongoing.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: 16,282 Coronavirus cases, daily record
Germany: 16,282 Coronavirus cases, daily record
Credit: Courtesy of Risklayer

Germany has reported 16,282 new Coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. This is the country's highest daily case count. Death toll rose by 97. The data comes directly from the regional health authorities and has been aggregated by risklayer.

Previously the highest recorded number of new cases had been 14,964.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US reports half a million Covid-19 cases in the past week
US reports half a million Covid-19 cases in the past week
Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The United States have reported over half a million Covid-19 cases over the past week, as much as the country recorded in the first three months of the pandemic (January 21 to April 11). While many states resort to stricter Covid-19 measures, the Trump administration has released its first-term scientific accomplishments which included the line “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC” written in bold, capital letters.

Health
First coronavirus vaccines 'may not prevent infection', UK task force head warns
First coronavirus vaccines 'may not prevent infection', UK task force head warns
Credit: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute

Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK's vaccine task force, has warned that a first-gen Covid-19 vaccine "is likely to be imperfect" and "may not prevent infection."

"The Vaccine Taskforce aims to ensure that the UK population has access to vaccines as soon as possible, while working with partners to support equitable access for populations worldwide, whether rich or poor," Bingham wrote on The Lancet. "However, we do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism. The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long."

Regional News • Europe • France
Macron orders France into second national Covid-19 lockdown
French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron Credit: Twitter Reproduction

"Hospitals won’t manage if we don’t take drastic measures,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a prime-time televised address Wednesday, when he announced new lockdown measures for France.

Macron said that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons, that EU borders would still be open. Still, travel between regions in the country is banned.

The French government had been loath to impose a new lockdown that will pummel the economy even harder, and business chiefs have warned a total shutdown will force another wave of layoffs and bankruptcies.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared and forcing people on to packed public transport to get to work.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Credit: Screenshot live stream Bundespressekonferenz

The German federal and state governments agreed on extended restrictions following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The restrictions will take effect in all of Germany from next Monday on and last for four weeks.

Only members of two households - a maximum of ten people - will be allowed to meet in public. "Groups of people celebrating in public places, homes and private institutions are unacceptable in view of the seriousness of the situation in our country", the decision states. Schools and shops will remain open, restaurants and other activities for personal entertainment or leisure will be forced to close.

Regional News • Europe
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Credit: Silar, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland reported 18,820 new Coronavirus cases. This is the country's highest daily case count. 236 people died in the past 24 hours. 13,931 hospital beds are occupied by Coronavirus patients and 1,150 ventilators are in use.

Regional News • Europe • France
PM Castex: French hospitals at capacity by Nov 11th
André Chassaigne
André Chassaigne Credit: André Chassaigne

The ICU of French hospitals will be at capacity levels with Coronavirus patients by November 11th, assuming the current surge in cases can't be contained.

Lawmaker André Chassaigne told reporters: "He [PM Jean Castex] told us that on 11 November, our hospitals will be at a saturation level equivalent to that of the first wave, so a level of extreme saturation. So the situation is particularly serious. If we can’t flatten the curve, in the next 15 days, our hospitals won’t be able to treat patients."

No measures were discussed.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
After Strand Bookstore asked for help, online orders surged
After Strand Bookstore asked for help, online orders surged
Credit: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Strand Bookstore, one of New York's oldest bookstores, recently asked its customers for help on social media after sales have gone down during the pandemic, writing "for the first time in The Strand’s 93 year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine."

After Strand's call for help, the store received over 25,000 online orders over the weekend and made a total of $170,550 in in-store sales on Saturday and Sunday.

Regional News • Europe
Slovakia to test almost entire population for Covid-19
Slovakia to test almost entire population for Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / chloe

Slovakia has started mass testing its entire population for Covid-19, the first country to do so. During a trial phase on the weekend of October 23-25, a total of 140,945 people participated and 5,594 infectious cases were detected, defence ministry spokeswoman Martina Koval Kakascikova said.

Regional News • Europe
Italy: Protests against Coronavirus measures

Following new Coronavirus restrictions, protests broke out across Italy on Monday. Clashes involving petrol bombs happened in both Milan and Turin. In Naples, protestors called for the resignation of its governor. Italy has imposed a curfew in many Italian regions and has ordered the closure of eateries, gyms and cinemas after 6pm.