International update: Global Covid cases top 32.2 million – deaths top 983,000 – second wave swamps Europe

25 September 2020 (Last Updated September 25th, 2020 11:09)

25 September

Global: The global Covid-19 death toll passed 983,000 on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. With the number of deaths confirmed daily averaging more than 5,000, it looks likely the toll will pass one million within days. There are 32.2 million Covid-19 cases worldwide.

The virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, according to new research, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious. The study did not find that mutations of the virus had made it more lethal or changed its effects.

US: In the US, all Midwest states except Ohio reported more cases in the past four weeks as compared with the prior four weeks, led by South Dakota and North Dakota. South Dakota had the biggest percentage increase at 166% with 8,129 new cases, while North Dakota’s new cases doubled to 8,752 as compared to 4,243 during the same time in August, Reuters reports.

India: India’s coronavirus case tally surged to 5.82 million after it recorded 86,052 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed on Friday.

Brazil: Brazil recorded 32,817 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 831 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

France: France set a new record for daily new cases. Health authorities reported 16,096 new confirmed cases on Thursday, a significant increase on the previous record of 13,498 and setting a fourth all-time high of daily additional infections in eight days.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,153 to 280,223, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

Spain: Hospitals in Madrid are filling up with seriously-ill Covid-19 patients again, raising the spectre of a healthcare collapse similar to the grim scenes southern Europe experienced last spring.

UK: The UK reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic, breaking a record set at the peak of the first wave. A further 6,634 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Thursday by Public Health England, the agency tracking the data.

Italy: Italy reported 1,786 new cases Thursday, compared with 1,640 the previous day and amid increased screening, with more than 108,000 tests in one day. Patients in intensive care units rose to 246 and 23 deaths were reported.

China: Two port workers in Qingdao tested positive, the first local asymptomatic cases reported in China since August 20. The workers were responsible for unloading frozen seafood, so the infections are likely to intensify concern about the virus being transmitted on imported seafood, meat and their packaging.

Lockdown updates

Europe: In Europe, the pandemic is worse now than at the March peak in several member countries, the European Union warned, as governments re-impose drastic measures.

Israel: Israel further toughened its lockdown measures on Thursday after existing restrictions failed to bring down the infection rate. The country has 212,115 cases out of a population of just under nine million: roughly equivalent to one case per 23 people.

South Korea: South Korea on Friday said it would impose tighter restrictions during the Chuseok autumn holiday weeks when people traditionally reunite with families, flagging the risks of new clusters of coronavirus infections.

Ireland: Ireland’s government moved to tighten restrictions in a second county and signalled more limits may follow. Travel to and from Donegal in the north-west of the country will be limited, while restaurants will be restricted to outdoor service only. That mirrors restrictions placed on Dublin six days ago.

Australia: Coronavirus hot spot, Victoria, looks set to ease restrictions over the weekend. The two-week average of new infections in Melbourne dropped below 26, well below the 30-50 level which the state has set as a precondition to relax its strict curbs.