12 November

Global: Global coronavirus infections have passed 52.1 million, meanwhile, the global coronavirus death toll exceeds 1.28 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

US: Covid-19 infections have passed 10.4 million. The US coronavirus death toll is 241,800 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The US confirmed its highest 24-hour infection total to date – with a world record of 136,000 cases recorded in one day. The US also suffered its highest death toll since early May, with 1,984 coronavirus deaths.

Texas on Wednesday became the first US state with more than 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, and California closed in on that mark as a surge of coronavirus infections engulfs the country.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is toughening a mask mandate and said restaurants, bars and fitness centers will be forced to close if virus trends don’t improve. The state, which has reported record infections in recent days, will review the situation one week from tomorrow.

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Hospital beds are filling up across the US, bolstered by a surge in coronavirus cases in the Midwest, government data show. Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Iowa are among states recording the biggest increases in Covid-19 hospitalizations over the past week, according to Department of Health and Human Services data analyzed by Bloomberg News. In North and South Dakota, more than one in five hospital patients has the pandemic disease.

At least three more people in President Donald Trump’s orbit – including White House political director Brian Jack, and one of his aides – have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the diagnosis who requested anonymity to discuss private medical information.

Mexico: Mexico has a total of 986,177 cases, according to data released by the Health Ministry Wednesday night. Deaths rose 588 to 96,430. The ministry says 35% of general Covid-19 beds are occupied.

UK: Covid cases have surged to more than 1.2 million, while Covid related deaths now number more than 50,000 – the fifth highest in the world and the highest in Europe, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil: Brazil reported a total of 5,748,375 Covid-19 cases, of which 48,331 were in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said. The tally may not include all pending cases that have not been reported in the last few days due to technical issues, it added. The death toll rose by 544 to 163,373, excluding the latest fatalities in Minas Gerais state, whose numbers were last updated on 7 November.

New Zealand: The department of health has asked all New Zealanders who live or work in Auckland central city to stay home tomorrow after further details emerged of the mystery case of Covid-19, whose point of infection is as yet unknown.

Spain: Spain’s coronavirus death toll surged to over 40,000 with infections passing the 1.4 million mark, while the rate of new cases continued to grow, health ministry data showed. A further 349 people died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 40,105 in Spain – the fourth-highest within the European Union after the United Kingdom, France and Italy.

Germany: Germany recorded 22,401 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, down from the previous days’ figure of 26,547, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number of fatalities rose Thursday by 213 to 11,994, down from Wednesday’s gain of 373, which was the most since mid-April. Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday warned of a tough winter ahead as she expects the coronavirus to hit stronger than it did in the spring. “We must continue to keep precautionary measures in place,” the German leader said.

Vaccine news

China: Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical says clinical trial application for the licensed mRNA vaccine product BNT162b2 in preventing Covid-19 was accepted by China’s National Medical Products Administration, according to stock exchange filing. As at the date of this announcement, BNT162b2 is at phase III clinical trial in the US, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey.

Brazil: health agency Anvisa authorized Sinovac Biotech Ltd. to resume its vaccine trials less than 48 hours after halting the tests, which are being conducted in the state of Sao Paulo. In a statement posted on its website Wednesday, Anvisa said it initially got “precarious data” on a “grave” event, which led it to suspend the study late Monday. The agency added that it reversed its previous ruling after receiving new information and that it will keep monitoring the case.

US: Moderna Inc. said its vaccine trial has accumulated enough infections to allow for a preliminary analysis of the shot’s effectiveness to begin.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister overseeing the country’s coronavirus response, said more stringent steps may be needed amid a clearer rising trend in cases, Jiji reported, the strongest indication yet from the national government that tougher action may be needed in a country that has largely escaped the worst of the pandemic.

Athletes arriving in Tokyo for next year’s Olympic Games, postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period Japan has imposed on anyone arriving from overseas to help stop the virus spreading.

The International Olympic Committee is “more and more confident” that there will be “reasonable amount of spectators” at the Tokyo Olympics next year, President Thomas Bach said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Mongolia: Mongolia has extended its lockdown to five days from three, as the government has characterized the risk of an outbreak in as “very high.” Ulaanbaatar has mobilized state agencies for “disaster preparedness” response efforts and limited the hours for public transportation, according to a statement on the government’s official website.

Cyprus: Cyprus has announced partial lockdowns in the towns of Limassol and Paphos to curb a surge in Covid-19 cases. The local measures, which include a ban on travel into and out of the towns and a nightly curfew, will take effect from Thursday and last until the end of November.

Sweden: PM, Stefan Lofven, said his government plans to ban nationwide the sale of alcohol after 10pm in bars, restaurants and night clubs from 20 November in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Sweden has witnessed record numbers of new coronavirus infections in past weeks, which is burdening the country’s health care system and intensive care wards.

South Africa: South Africa will open up travel to all countries and restore normal trading hours of alcohol, despite having the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the continent, in an effort to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, the president Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Pakistan: Officials and doctors in Pakistan urged people to stay at home as the air quality in Lahore deteriorated to hazardous levels, putting an additional burden on the fragile healthcare system amid a surge in coronavirus deaths and new infections.

US: New York governor Andrew Cuomo imposed a new round of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as the infection rate climbed and hospitalisations soared in the state. Taking effect on Friday, Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants and gyms in the state to shut down on-premises services at 10pm nightly, and capped the number of people who could attend private parties at ten.

Turkey: Turkey banned smoking in crowded public places to slow a recent surge in symptomatic patients with coronavirus, as the government warned citizens to abide by protective measures. It comes as daily cases surged to 2,693 on Wednesday.

Greece: Greek authorities announced stricter restrictions on movement, extending a curfew nationwide after infections broke fresh records, reporting 2,752 new cases on Wednesday. Four days after the country went into a second lockdown to curb the surge in cases, the government said all circulation would be banned between 9pm and 5am.

Spain: Spain will demand a negative Covid-19 test for all travellers arriving from countries with a high risk for coronavirus from 23 November. Visitors will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test result within the previous 72 hours to be granted entry and officials will be allowed to ask for proof of the test results.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong ordered the city’s kindergartens and child-care centers to stop in-person classes for two weeks after an apparent outbreak of the common cold, though none of the cases tested positive for Covid-19.