Coronavirus pandemic continued to rampage over the past week across the world with a record average of 476,000 new daily cases, almost 20% more than during the previous seven-day period.
Again it is in Europe that the acceleration is most marked, with a huge 40% increase. The continent is by far the region recording the highest number of cases, ahead of the United States and Canada with 80,000 new cases a day, an increase of 27 percent on the previous week.
Here are the latest updates:
Union Minister Santosh Gangwar’s wife, six family members test positive for COVID-19
Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said on Saturday that his wife and six other family members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The 71-year-old Minister too underwent test for COVID-19 and his report came negative.
Mr. Gangwar, who is the Parliamentarian from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, told reporters that his family members had recently gone to Delhi where they contracted the infection. All of them have been admitted to the ESI Hospital in Faridabad. - PTI
U.K. PM considering lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise: Reports
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a month-long nationwide lockdown amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country with an announcement expected as early as Monday, according to reports quoting government sources.
Mr. Johnson met his most senior Cabinet colleagues on Friday to discuss the possible toughening of restrictions in light of worsening coronavirus infection rate and hospital cases.
Everything except essential shops and education settings could be closed under the new measures, ‘The Times’ newspaper reports, with the hope that measures can be lifted in the lead up to Christmas in December.
But no final decisions are believed to have been made and tougher regional measures under the current three-tier localised lockdown measures are also being considered.
U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove were all understood to be present at the discussion. No.10 Downing Street is yet to issue a response to the reports that Mr. Johnson could hold a news conference on Monday to announce the new measures or that further restrictions are imminent. - PTI
Odisha allows schools to reopen for higher classes from November 16
After a steady decline in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, the Odisha government on Saturday allowed schools to reopen after nine months for Standard IX to XII in a graded manner from November 16.
However, all academic institutions will remain closed till November 30. “The classes of 9th to 12th standard in schools under control of School and Mass Education Department will open from November 16 as per guidelines or standard operating procedure (SOP) to be issued by the department,” says the revised guideline issued by the Special Relief Commissioner for the month of November on Saturday. - Satyasundar Barik
BBMP to take action against seven hospitals
Seven hospitals are in the dock as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to take “exemplary action” against them for allegedly not complying with the direction of the civic body to reserve beds for BBMP-sponsored COVID patients.
According to a BBMP release, the hospitals were to reserve 50% of beds in each category i.e., general ward, HDU, ICU and ICU with ventilators.
“Showcause notices have been issued to the seven hospitals under the KPME Act for suspension of licences. These hospitals have been directed to show cause within the next 24 hours as to why the KPME registrationshould not be cancelled. If no proper explanation is received within 24 hours alongwith compliance, the BBMP will be constrained to close down the OPDs at the first instance and thereafter all the existing patients admitted in these hospitals will be shifted to some other hospitals and subsequently these hospitals will be closed down,” a BBMP release said. - K.C.Deepika
India’s COVID-19 caseload goes past 81 lakh with 48,648 fresh infections
With 48,648 fresh COVID-19 infections, India’s caseload rose to 81,37,119 on Saturday, while the number of recoveries crossed the 74-lakh mark, pushing the recovery rate to 91.34%, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
The country’s COVID-19 death toll climbed to 1,21,641 with 551 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.
A total of 74,32,829 people have recuperated from COVID-19 so far. The case fatality rate has dropped to 1.49%. The number of active COVID-19 cases remained below 6 lakh for the second consecutive day. - PTI
J&J plans to test its COVID-19 vaccine in ages 12-18 soon
Johnson & Johnson plans to start testing its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in youths aged 12 to 18 as soon as possible, and the company's previous experience with the same technology in a vaccine successfully used in children could give it a leg up with regulators.
“We plan to go into children as soon as we possibly can, but very carefully in terms of safety,” J&J's Dr. Jerry Sadoff told a virtual meeting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Friday.
Depending on safety and other factors, the company plans to test in even younger children afterwards, said Dr. Sadoff, a vaccine research scientist at J&J's Janssen unit, without giving a timeline. - Reuters
First international, Chinese expert meeting on virus origin: WHO
The World Health Organization said Friday that international experts had held their first meeting, albeit virtually, with their Chinese counterparts in order to investigate the animal origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO has for months been working to send a team of international experts, including epidemiologists and animal health specialists, to China to help probe the animal origin of COVID-19 and how the virus first crossed over to humans.
17 districts in Karnataka report no deaths on October 30
The State on Friday reported 3,589 new cases taking the total number to 8,20,398. With this, the positivity rate for the day came down to 3.47%.
With 49 new deaths, the toll rose to 11,140. This is apart from 19 non-COVID-19 deaths. With as many as 17 districts reporting zero deaths on Friday, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) touched 1.36%.
COVID tests should play bigger role in international travel: WHO expert
COVID tests should be more widely used in international travel than quarantines, the chair of the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee said on Friday. Didier Houssin, chair of the independent panel of experts advising WHO on the COVID-19 pandemic, said it was important for the U.N. agency to provide fresh guidance on safe international air travel.