The New York Times reported on 12 August 2020 that the US toll had likely already passed 200,000 as excess deaths – or the number of deaths that have happened in a given period compared to the same period a year earlier – showed that 60,000 more people had died than the number officially linked to Covid-19.
On 29 March, Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading US government infectious diseases expert, warned that the toll could get as high as this – at the time, 2,188 Americans had died from the virus:
The official death toll in the US is likely to pass 200,000 today. It is the highest toll in the world – and more than 60,000 deaths higher than the next worst, which is Brazil’s. According to Johns Hopkins University, the toll currently stands at 199,474.
It took five months for the virus to kill the first 100,000 Americans and just over three months for the next 100,000. Here is our story from May:
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday announced the return of professional football as part of a loosening of restrictions following a fall in the number of coronavirus cases, AFP reports.
But the West African country’s land and sea borders remain closed, and its beaches, bars, cinemas and night clubs will also stay shut for the time being, he said in a televised address.
“Now more than ever, we must be even more disciplined in our adherence to the personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing measures that have become part of our daily routines,” he warned.
The loosening of restrictions means training in contact sports can resume, while Premier League and Division One football will resume on October 30, he said. Players and support staff will be regularly tested, he added.
But the wearing of masks will remain mandatory until December 14.
“No spectators will be allowed at the training centres, and, when actual competition resumes, seating at all stadia will be limited to twenty-five percent capacity to ensure social distancing,” the president said.
The resumption of other sports would be discussed on a case-by-case basis between the sports ministries and the federations concerned, he added.
Ghana has recorded around 46,000 cases of coronavirus and 297 deaths.
New Zealand eases restrictions in Auckland
Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, further eased restrictions on the country’s largest city, Auckland, and completely removed domestic restrictions on the rest of the nation, after Covid-19 case numbers continued to fall.
A community outbreak in Auckland – after New Zealand earlier eliminated the virus in June – had prompted a second lockdown in August, which has now been eased further. From 11:59p.m. on Wednesday, social gatherings in Auckland are now limited to 100 people, rather than the current limit of 10.
Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and on any planes going to or from Auckland.
Ardern said that from 11:59p.m. on Monday, the rest of the country would fall to so-called level 1 restrictions – meaning there are no rules in place except for strict border restrictions.
There has been no community transmission of the virus outside of Auckland.
“Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control,” Ardern said.
Zero new cases in New Zealand
Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:
There were no new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand on Monday, health officials said.
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern will shortly reveal whether moderate restrictions on the largest city, Auckland, will be further eased, and whether domestic restrictions on the rest of the country will be jettisoned altogether.
The country has recorded a total of 1,464 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 25 deaths.
There are 62 active cases in New Zealand, 33 of them transmitted in the community and the remaining 29 diagnosed in managed isolation facilities for travelers returning to New Zealand.
Three people are in hospital.
Mexico’s health ministry on Sunday reported 3,542 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, bringing the total to 697,663, and 235 new deaths, for a cumulative death toll of 73,493.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell has said the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.
Australian state of Victoria seeing steady downward case trend
The state of Victoria in Australia is reporting a steady downward trend in daily coronavirus cases, putting the it on course to ease more restrictions by next week.
The two-week average rise in cases in Melbourne, the state capital, dropped below 35 on Monday, on track to meet a target of below 50 cases by 28 September when the authorities have said they may relax restrictions in the city.
Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is on an extended hard lockdown until 28 September, but authorities lifted some restrictions last week allowing residents to leave their homes for longer periods for exercise and shortened a nightly curfew.
The strict restrictions on movement have brought the daily coronavirus cases in the state down to double digits after it touched highs of 700 in early August.
“It’s welcome news for Victorians and welcome news for Australians,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth told the Australian Broadcasting Corp television on Monday.
Victoria reported two deaths from Covid-19 and 11 cases in the last 24 hours. A day earlier, the state reported five deaths and 14 new cases, its lowest rise in daily infections in three months. Australia has so far recorded a total of just over 26,900 novel coronavirus infections and 851 deaths, with Victoria accounting for the bulk of both.
Mainland China reported 12 new Covid-19 cases on 20 September, up from 10 cases a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Monday.
The National Health Commission said in a statement all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. It also reported 25 new asymptomatic infections, up from 21 a day earlier, though China does not classify these symptomless patients as confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in mainland China now stands at 85,291, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
A very pandemic Emmy Awards will be starting soon – follow the latest on our live blog:
Air New Zealand CEO says Trans-Tasman travel bubble unlikely in next six months
Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:
Australians and New Zealanders have long pinned their hopes on an eventual trans-Tasman bubble that would allow travel between the two countries to resume without a fortnight in government-run quarantine at either end.
But the chief executive of Air New Zealand has told an Australian newspaper he doesn’t expect the “bubble” to be in place for at least six more months.
Greg Foran, who heads New Zealand’s flag carrier airline, made the comments to the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that he “certainly do[es] not believe we will see anything across the Tasman this calendar year.”
“It’s hard to believe it would be before March next year and could well be longer,” he said.
The prime ministers of both countries have frequently been asked about the proposed “bubble” since the idea was first floated, but neither would commit to a timeline before the coronavirus is brought under control.
There are 909 active cases of the virus in Australia and Melbourne remains in lockdown. New Zealand has 71 active cases.
UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public
Britain’s most senior government scientists will make a direct appeal to the public on Monday, warning that the coronavirus trend is “heading in the wrong direction” and “a critical point has been reached”.
As Downing Street considers imposing nationwide curbs to contain a sharp jump in cases, the chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, will make a rare live televised address alongside the UK chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
The scientists will set out the latest data on the spread of the disease, and urge people to exercise caution. Whitty is expected to warn: “We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”
London could become the latest area to be subject to regional restrictions, with the mayor, Sadiq Khan, meeting council leaders on Monday. A spokesperson for Khan said: “The situation is clearly worsening … it is better for both health and business to move too early than too late”:
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest, as the US nears the devastating milestone of 200,000 dead.
The number of deaths currently stands at 199,481 on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The US case total stands at 6,792,075.
Britain meanwhile is at a critical point in the Covid-19 pandemic and faces a very challenging winter, one of the government’s top medical advisers will warn at a public briefing on Monday.
“The trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic,” England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is expected to say in an address set for 10am on Monday.
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- Cases in Britain are on the increase in what Boris Johnson has labelled a second wave of the virus, with large areas of the country subject to restrictions on social freedom and London expected to be next in line. The UK reported 3,899 new cases on Sunday after four-month high of 4,422 on Saturday.
- Tens of thousands of private renters in England and Wales could be at risk of losing their homes when the ban on evictions ends on Monday, campaign groups say.Renters in England and Wales have been protected from eviction during the Covid-19 outbreak by a ban announced in March which was then extended, meaning anyone served with an eviction notice since August 29 has been given a six-month notice period.
- Lebanon on Sunday said it confirmed 1,006 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths from the disease in 24 hours, in a new record for the crisis-hit country, according to AFP.
- Thousands of demonstrators calling for Benjamin Netanyahu to resign have gathered in Jerusalem, despite an Israeli national lockdown that went into force on Friday.
- The French health ministry has reported 10,569 new cases in 24 hours, down from the previous day’s record increase of 13,498. 12 more deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, with the death toll rising to 31,585. The latest increase in deaths from yesterday’s toll may reflect late-arriving data for earlier fatalities, according to Reuters.
- The US performed a record one million tests on Saturday – but experts say the country needs to be hitting targets of between six and ten million a day to get the outbreak under control.
- Myanmar has announced a stay-at-home order for its largest city, Yangon, from Monday, following a record daily rise in new coronavirus cases on Sunday.
- The UK has reported an additional 3,899 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases. This brings the total to 394,257. The death toll has risen by 18 to 41,777, according to government data.
- Authorities in China’s northeastern Jilin province have found the coronavirus on the packaging of imported squid, health authorities in the city of Fuyu said on Sunday, urging anyone who may have bought it to get themselves tested.
- Russia has reported 6,148 new cases. It was the second straight day when the daily number of cases exceeded 6,000, taking the national tally of infections to 1,103,399.
- Indonesia has reported 3,989 new cases, taking the total to 244,676. Data from the country’s health ministry also showed 105 new deaths, taking the total to 9,553, the biggest death toll in Southeast Asia.