International update: Global Covid cases pass 30.1 million – deaths near 950,000

18 September 2020 (Last Updated September 18th, 2020 11:44)

18 September

Global: Worldwide Covid-19 cases have now passed 30.1 million, with deaths exceeding 946,000 according to Johns Hopkins University tracker. The global death toll is expected to pass one million by 1 October. The US accounts for than 22% of global cases, at 6.67m, and nearly 200,000 fatalities.

Europe: Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, said the region is showing “alarming rates of transmission.” The September case numbers “should serve as a wake-up call for all of us,” he added.

India: India's coronavirus cases jumped by another 96,424 infections in the past 24 hours to more than 5.2 million and showing little sign of levelling. It said 1,174 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 84,372 fatalities. India is expected to have the highest national total of confirmed cases within weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than 6.67 million people have been infected.

US: Reports emerged late on Thursday that guidance about the novel coronavirus testing posted last month on the website of the US CDC was not written by the agency’s scientists and was posted despite their objections.

US manufacturers are sharply increasing production of cheap, fast, but less accurate Covid-19 tests, aiming for 100 million per month by year-end that will enable schools and workplaces to significantly expand testing, Reuters reported.

France: France confirmed a new 24-hour record late on Thursday, registering 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and pushing the cumulative number to 415,481.

Germany: Germany recorded more than 2,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since late April, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were 2,179 new infections in the 24 hours through Friday morning, up from 1,855 a day earlier and the most since 14 April.

Greece: Greece reported 135 cases of coronavirus infections among migrants and refugees made homeless by a fire at a large refugee on the island of Lesbos.

China: China reported 32 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, marking the highest daily increase in more than a month and up sharply from nine cases reported a day earlier, the Chinese health authority said on Friday. The National Health Commission said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections among returned travellers.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus for the first time in more than five weeks as hopes rise that an outbreak discovered in Auckland last month has been stamped out.

Australia: The coronavirus hot spot of Victoria reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections in more than a week as the state began relaxing lockdown restrictions. The state reported five deaths from Covid-19 and 45 cases in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan: Pakistan reported 752 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the most in five weeks. The country, which has the third-most cases in Asia, had seen new cases drop gradually over the past three months. Pakistan opened schools and marriage halls this month after it recently reopened most industries, including tourism.

South Korea: South Korea added 126 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, down from 153 a day earlier, the 16th straight day the caseload was lower than 200, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. The total number of confirmed cases reached 22,783, while the death tally rose by five to 377.

Mexico: Mexico reported 3,182 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 684,113, according to data released by the Health Ministry on Thursday night. Deaths rose 201 to 72,179. The increases in cases and deaths were both below the seven-day average, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Argentina: Argentina reported 12,701 new Covid-19 cases and 232 deaths on Thursday, according to the government. Total Covid-19 cases now stand at 601,713, with 12,460 fatalities.

Brazil: New cases and deaths are slowing in all regions of Brazil, according to the Health Ministry. Confirmed cases increased by 36,303 in the last 24 hours to almost 4.46 million. Deaths rose by 829 to 134,935, Thursday’s data showed.

Lockdown updates

Israel: Israel is preparing to enter a second national coronavirus lockdown on Friday, becoming the first country to re-enter nationwide restrictions. The unpopular lockdown is expected to last at least three weeks, upending a normally festive period filled with Jewish holidays.

Canada: Ontario, Canada's largest province, will fine people who hold social gatherings in defiance of new limits amid a spike in cases in the cities of Toronto and Ottawa, as well as a region just outside Toronto. Starting on Friday in those three areas, only 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors - down from the current limit of 25. The number for outdoor gatherings will drop to 25 from 100.

China: The Chinese city of Wuhan, ground zero for the coronavirus outbreak, is reopening for international flights, ending an eight-month moratorium. China stopped international flights in March as Covid-19 swept the world, but has now largely brought the disease under control at home through travel restrictions, testing and lockdowns.

Australia: The Australian government is expected to announce an increase in the number of citizens able to return home after a National Cabinet meeting later on Friday, where states will be asked to boost quarantine capacity. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seeking to raise the cap on the number of people allowed into Australia each week by 2,000 from next Friday.

Serbia: Serbia will require all travellers returning from areas it considers high-risk for Covid-19 to fill in an online form ahead of time. The measure will help authorities quickly trace returnees who develop symptoms of the coronavirus, Serbian media reported. It comes into effect at 6pm local time on Friday.

Economic updates

Europe: Leaders of Europe's coronavirus-stricken travel and tourism industries have appealed to the EU's chief executive to press governments to end quarantine requirements and instead embrace coordinated restrictions and testing.