News World Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 30.35 million, death toll at 947,400

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 30.35 million, death toll at 947,400

More than 30.35 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 947,400 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.

At the same time, European countries from Denmark to Greece announced new restrictions on Friday to curb surging coronavirus infections in some of their largest cities, while Britain was reported to be considering a new national lockdown.

EUROPE

* The regional government of the Spanish capital Madrid ordered a lockdown from Monday in some of the poorer areas of the city and its outskirts that are home to about 850,000 people, after a surge in coronavirus infections there.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he did not want another national lockdown but that new restrictions may be needed because the country was facing an “inevitable” second wave of COVID-19.

* France reported 13,215 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, a new record since the start of the epidemic, while the daily death toll jumped to a four-month high.

* French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he had tested positive for coronavirus, but had no symptoms and would continue to carry out his duties while quarantined at home.

* The Irish government announced strict new COVID-19 restrictions for the capital Dublin, banning indoor restaurant dining and advising against all non-essential travel, after a surge in cases in recent days.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* India ordered its states not to hoard oxygen supplies and allow free movement amid reports of shortages, as coronavirus infections hit 5.2 million.

AMERICAS

* President Donald Trump said on Friday he expects to have available enough doses of a coronavirus vaccine for every American by April.

* The Trump administration reversed guidance on COVID-19 testing for a second time, urging those exposed to people with the virus to get tested even if they are not displaying symptoms.

* The Canadian province of Quebec said police would target more than 1,000 bars and restaurants to enforce rules curbing the spread of coronavirus, as authorities raised the alarm over a possible second wave.

* Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei revealed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, just as the Central American country was easing draconian travel restrictions imposed months ago to contain infections.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Morocco signed a deal with Russia’s R-Pharm to buy a COVID-19 vaccine produced under a licence from Britain’s AstraZeneca, the health ministry said, as its total number of cases approached 100,000.

* Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Moderna Inc said it was on track to produce 20 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, while maintaining its goal of readying 500 million to 1 billion doses in 2021.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Global equity markets slid as investors sought direction after this week’s US Federal Reserve meeting and a jump in coronavirus cases in Europe rattled sentiment, while gold rose and safe-haven buying lifted the Japanese yen.

* Germany plans to take on net new debt of nearly €96.2 billion ($113.90 billion) next year to fight the coronavirus pandemic, finance ministry sources said.

(Reuters)

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