More than 31.21 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 962,705 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across the whole of England must start closing at 10 p.m. from Thursday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tackles a second wave of infections.
* Madrid’s regional government chief requested the army’s help to fight the coronavirus surge in the Spanish capital.
* Greece reported 453 new cases of COVID-19 infections, a new daily record since the start of the outbreak in the country.
* India reopened the Taj Mahal after six months, with the first visitors trickling into the famous monument as authorities reported 86,961 new infections across the country, with no signs of a peak yet.
* South Korea suspended free flu shots, disrupting plans to pre-emptively ease the burden on a healthcare system already strained by the coronavirus outbreak.
* Australia’s virus hotspot of Victoria reported a more than doubling in new infections, likely as a result of increased testing, while other states said border restrictions would be relaxed as case numbers dwindled.
* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.
* Optimism that vaccines are on the way to end the pandemic has been a major factor in this year’s U.S. stock resurgence. That will face a critical test in coming weeks, as investors await clinical data on whether they actually work.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Nigerian health workers who went on strike in mid-September for a hazard allowance for treating coronavirus patients returned to work, their union said, without their demands being met.
* Iraq is to bar entry to religious pilgrims, its government health committee said, just weeks ahead of a Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage which is the largest annual religious gathering in the world.
* Some 156 nations have joined a global scheme for fair distribution of future vaccines against COVID-19, an alliance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) said, but superpowers China and the United States did not sign up.
* The Federal Reserve remains committed to using all the tools at its disposal to help the U.S. economy recover from the blow delivered by the pandemic, Chairman Jerome Powell said.
* The pandemic will darken the U.S. long-term fiscal outlook for decades to come, the Congressional Budget Office said, releasing new forecasts that show federal government debt in 2050 will be nearly twice U.S. economic output.