NOVEMBER 8, 2020
Worldwide cases of Covid-19 surpassed 50 million and the U.S. reported some 126,000 new infections for the third consecutive day. U.S. deaths remained at more than 1,000 for a fifth day, a streak last seen in August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
President-elect Joe Biden’s victory signals a turning point in the U.S. response to the pandemic with his promise of an aggressive federal effort to contain a virus surge across the country. He plans to name a 12-member virus task force on Monday.
Hospital capacity is a renewed concern in the U.S. and in countries such as France, where cases rose to a record of almost 87,000 after officials added data from earlier in the week. An eastern German protest against virus-related restrictions ended in violence.
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Worldwide Cases Pass 50 Million (11:41 a.m. NY)
Confirmed cases worldwide surpassed 50 million, with the U.S. accounting for the biggest number — 9.9 million — followed by India, Brazil, Russia and France, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
More than 1.2 million people have died of causes related to Covid-19, according to the data.
U.K. Cases Stuck at More Than 20,000 ( 11:11 a.m. NY)
The U.K. reported more than 20,000 cases for the sixth straight day. The 20,572 reported Sunday was below the seven-day average of 22,826.
With 156 new deaths, the toll was less than half of the weekly average. Reporting has lagged on weekends.
Poland Considers Bond Sales to Aid Economy (8:51 a.m. NY)
Poland considers repeating large-scale bond sales by state-run lender BGK SA to aid an economy suffering from a second round of restriction to contain a new wave of the virus. Jaroslaw Gowin, deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, advocated bond issuance to bolster aid to companies and boost public investments at a similar scale to the earlier response, according to said in an interview with Business Insider.
Iran’s Death Toll Climbs to a Record (6:02 a.m. NY)
Iran’s daily deaths from Covid-19 reached a record 459 in the last 24 hours, surpassing the previous high of 440 on Nov. 2 and up from 423 fatalities a day earlier, according to the latest Health Ministry data reported Sunday. The number of cases rose by 9,236, down from a record 9,450 the day before. Total fatalities have reached 38,291 with 682,486 infections, the data showed.
Malaysia’s New Cases Drop (6 a.m. NY)
In Malaysia, new coronavirus cases dropped to 852 on Sunday, down from 1,168 Saturday and a record 1,755 on Friday.
Welsh First Minister Urges Common U.K. Approach for Holidays (5:36 p.m. HK)
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told Sky News on Sunday his government doesn’t expect to impose another national lockdown before Christmas after Wales emerges from just over two weeks of a “firebreak lockdown” on Monday. He urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to initiate a common approach across the U.K. for the holiday period given the number of families with members in different regions.f
Merkel’s Government Condemns Violent Protest (5:22 p.m. HK)
Protests against coronavirus restrictions in Leipzig turned violent on Saturday evening with attacks on police and journalists. The thousands of people who didn’t wear masks or observe social distancing showed “a height of irresponsibility and egotism,” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said. “Such a situation cannot be allowed to happen again in the midst of a pandemic.”
U.K. Government Climbs Down on Meals for Children (5 p.m. HK)
Boris Johnson’s government will spend 396 million pounds ($521 million) on free meals for England’s poorest children, the BBC reported, another significant climb down by the prime minister after coming under intense pressure from a campaign driven by English soccer star Marcus Rashford.
Merkel Says Those at High Risk Likely First in Line for Vaccine (4:31 p.m. HK)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes that vaccines will “soon” be approved for use. The question of who gets the shot first is still under discussion, “but I think I can reveal that care staff, doctors and people who are at risk are right at the top of the line,” she said in a video message on Sunday in Berlin. Germans will have to live with certain restrictions until 60% to 70% of the population is immune to the virus, according to the chancellor.
Italy to Spend Over $3 Billion in Rescue for Businesses (4:20 p.m. HK)
Italy will add over 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in spending with the latest relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown, Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Facebook. Activities hurt by the latest restrictions will receive as much as 200% of the benefits they received during the first lockdown.
With daily cases surging to almost 40,000, Italians are prohibited from leaving or entering cities in high-risk areas, including Milan, Italy’s financial hub, and key northern industrial cities. All non-essential commercial activities are closed in the area.
Some of Belgium’s Metrics Improve; Russia Struggles (3:56 p.m. HK)
Belgium reported fewer hospital admissions amid a slowing infection rate. There were 199 more fatalities were recorded.
Germany enters its second week of “lockdown light” with authorities reporting an increase of 26,615 new cases in the last 24 hours. While that’s below the record 31,480 disclosed on Thursday, it’s notable because numbers at the weekend are depressed by less testing and fewer reports to health authorities.
Russia recorded over 20,000 daily coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told state television that coronavirus numbers haven’t stabilized at a certain level and are growing. Moscow earlier requested firms to switch more employees to work remotely and extended remote learning in secondary schools.
The Philippines saw cases rise by 2,442 to 396,395. Meanwhile, Singapore reported no new local cases, and two imported ones.
India Hits 8.5 Million Milestone (1:18 p.m. HK)
India reached 8.51 million coronavirus cases as of Sunday, keeping it firmly in the number two spot for case count globally behind the U.S.
Worker in China’s Tianjin Tests Positive (11:28 a.m. HK)
A worker in a refrigerated storage facility in northern Tianjin tested positive for coronavirus around 2 a.m. Sunday, according to state broadcaster CCTV, which added that the virus was also found on a door handle at the facility. The case was tracked after active Covid-19 virus was found on the outer packaging of some imported food, CCTV said. Authorities are now testing close contacts of the worker.
Biden Mentions Virus in Speech (10:20 a.m. HK)
In a speech where he declared victory in the presidential election, Biden said his coronavirus plan “will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern.”
Portugal to Limit Movement at Night in Some Regions (8:11 a.m. HK)
Portugal is adding more restrictions and will limit movement in its capital Lisbon and other regions at night, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said. The country on Saturday reported a record number of daily new confirmed virus cases for a second day with 6,640 new cases, bringing the total to 173,540.
Melbourne’s ‘Ring of Steel’ Lifted (7:20 a.m. HK)
The Australian city’s residents will be allowed to travel freely to other areas of Victoria state as the “ring of steel” surrounding the Melbourne will be lifted following more than a week without new coronavirus cases.
Community transmission fell from a daily peak of around 700 in early August, putting a heavy economic and social toll on a state that lost an estimated 1,200 jobs on average a day. The new measures come into effect at 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Some restrictions remain: people must still work from home when they can, and pubs, restaurants and cafes can only operate with strict distancing protocols that restrict capacity. There are also limits on the size and frequency of visits to households.
Biden to Announce Task Force for Coronavirus Response (7:17 a.m. HK)
Biden will announce a 12-member task force on Monday, his first step toward fulfilling one of his biggest campaign promises — to mount an effective response to the pandemic.
The task force will be co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of public health at Yale University, according to a person familiar with his plans. It will also include Ezekiel Emanuel, a former Obama administration health adviser.
The co-chairs of the task force are scheduled to brief Biden on Monday after the members are announced.
New York Cases Top 3,000 for Second Day (5:34 p.m. NY)
New York reported 3,587 cases Saturday, the second day over 3,000 and the most since early May at the tail of the deadly spring outbreak. Governor Andrew Cuomo has focused on reining in “clusters” of the virus that have spread in parts of New York City and upstate, where the positive rate is double the rest of the state.
Overall, hospitalizations remain over 1,000 and the statewide positive rate is over 2%. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City was “really threatened with a second wave.”
“There are several warning flags in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. “As we head into winter months, it’s going to take the work of all New Yorkers to ensure we don’t go back to where we were this spring.”
Idaho Capital Cuts Trash Pickup With Workers Ill (4:21 p.m. NY)
Boise, Idaho, is cutting back on refuse pickup because of a shortage of workers “related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” city authorities said in a statement.
Daily cases in the state reached a record 1,330 and hospitalizations rose to almost 300, also a record.
France Reports Almost 87,000 New Cases (4:20 p.m. NY)
evacuated aboard a civil airplane in Avignon, France on Wednesday. – Photographer: Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images
France reported 86,852 new cases on Saturday, the third consecutive daily record. That’s more than the trailing seven-day average of about 54,000, which itself has doubled in little more than two weeks.
The latest data include cases from the previous three days, according to French health authorities.
France also reported a rise in the number of patients occupying intensive care wards. As of Saturday, 87.2% of intensive-care capacity was occupied by patients infected with the virus, an increase from 85.4% on Friday, health authorities reported.