Paris will ban all food delivery and takeouts, as well as the sale of alcohol and the outdoor consumption of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the French capital’s police force said in a Thursday statement. The new restrictions will come into effect on Friday.
Police said the measures are to prevent groups of people from gathering outside restaurants, eateries and stores that sell alcohol — meetings that are in clear violation of France’s health measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Across France, concern is growing over hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. As of Wednesday, 4,080 Covid-19 patients were in intensive care, French health officials said. The last time there was this number of patients in ICU was in late April.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said France had seen a “considerable escalation” in new coronavirus cases. “France accounted for the third-highest number of new cases globally, with more than 275,000 cases reported in the past week (4,200 cases per million population): that is a 27% increase from the previous week,” WHO said Tuesday.
A Houston Texans player has tested positive for Covid-19, the football team said on Thursday. The player has immediately self-isolated and contract-tracing has begun.
The team facility will be closed for the day, with all operations to be conducted virtually and the National Football League’s intensive coronavirus protocols to be followed.
“We were informed last night that a Texans player has tested positive for COVID-19. In consultation with the NFL and medical experts, we have made the decision to close the facility and conduct all operations virtually today,” said the team in a statement. “The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority.”
The Texans are scheduled to face the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida.
The UK government will extend government wage assistance for businesses until March next year in light of the worsening coronavirus pandemic and England’s second lockdown.
“The government will continue to help pay people’s wages up to 80% of the normal amount” in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, announced the British finance minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday.
Sunak said the government would review the “furlough scheme” policy in January “to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”
The government’s highest priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods,” Sunak said. “It is a demonstration of the strength of the union and an undeniable truth of this crisis we have only been able to provide this level of economic support because we are a United Kingdom.
“This Treasury is, has been and will always be the Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom” he added.
The extension to March 2021 will mark one year since the furlough scheme was introduced at the beginning of the UK’s initial coronavirus lockdown.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England is pumping another £150 billion ($195 billion) into the UK economy after warning of a double-dip recession because of the coronavirus pandemic and an uncertain outlook because of Brexit.
England re-entered a national lockdown on Thursday, with restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses closed until December 2. The United Kingdom reported its second-largest daily increase in Covid-19 cases on Wednesday with 25,177 new infections recorded in 24 hours.
As the United States recorded its five highest days of coronavirus cases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said this is the perfect time to develop a strategy to better detect asymptomatic cases.
“Now is the time to develop a testing strategy to maximize our ability to identify the silent epidemic of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections,” Redfield tweeted Wednesday.
By the CDC’s estimate, 40% of people with Covid-19 show no symptoms.
Redfield’s tweet described a weekend meeting with fellow White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to discuss testing and mitigation efforts in Utah. On Tuesday, Utah was among 21 states that saw their peak seven-day average for new daily cases.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thomas Tsai of the Harvard Global Health Institute told CNN in an email the time to develop a national testing strategy to identify asymptomatic Covid-19 infections passed a few months ago.
“The time to develop a national testing strategy to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 infections was a few months ago, but that ship has sailed,” Tsai said. “Now is the time to implement a testing strategy focused on screening of asymptomatic individuals.”
Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:
Austria reported a daily record of 7,416 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
The country entered its second national lockdown this week, with new restrictions including a curfew between 8pm and 6am and the closure of leisure and culture facilities.
The nation has confirmed 132,515 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, according to the Ministry of the Interior. There have been 1,268 deaths due to the virus.
The five highest single-day coronavirus case totals in the US have all come within the past seven days, according to CNN’s tally based on the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
Wednesday marked the first time cases have reached six figures — with 102,831 new infections reported — and it is now the highest single-day reporting since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The US also recorded 1,097 more coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday.
Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:
African countries continue to be spared the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic — with just under two million cases and 43,700 deaths across the continent — but the World Health Organization’s regional director says she’s very concerned by the knock-on effects on other health services.
Even as countries respond to the pandemic, it is vital that other life-saving services continue to be available to communities,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said during a press briefing on Thursday.
Moeti cited preliminary WHO research that shows an extra 1.32 million children missed their first measles vaccination from January to August compared to last year. Highly contagious, measles is particularly worrying to public health officials who say any dropoff in vaccine drives could easily lead to more outbreaks.
Moeti said the biggest gap in health services came during the three-month lockdown period instituted in several countries.
WHO analysis also shows that in Nigeria there were 310 maternal deaths in health facilities in August — nearly double the amount recorded in 2019 — with more than 362,000 pregnant women missing antenatal care between March and August.
Moeti said that as countries have emerged from lockdowns, some delays are being overcome and many routine services, including immunization drives are being restored, urging the work to continue.
“Together, authorities, partners and communities must do more to protect the hard-fought gains made over many years in improving access to care and health outcomes in African countries,” Moeti said.
South Korea will ban organizations from storing facial images on thermal cameras that scan for temperatures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after the government said it found cases of images stored without consent.
Facial images stored in cameras may result in abuse or misuse of personal information and they could be hacked,” South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission Kim Jin-hae said on Thursday.
The new regulation applies to all public and private facilities that have installed thermal cameras, according to government authorities. The storage function should be disabled and, if it cannot be disabled, stored images and personal information must be deleted at least once a day.
Kim asked operators and facilities using thermal cameras to follow the rules while continuing efforts to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
Countries across Europe are reporting record high numbers of new Covid-19 cases, as hospitalizations and intensive care admissions climb. Meanwhile, new lockdown restrictions are imposed in some parts of the continent this week. Here is what you need to know:
Greece will enter a three-week national lockdown starting on Saturday after the country saw almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases in just five days, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Thursday. He said the exponential increase in coronavirus cases and increase in hospitalizations and patients in ICUs made this drastic measure necessary.
England’s new lockdown began at midnight, with the country struggling to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Across the UK, health authorities have recorded more than 1.1 million coronavirus cases and 47,000 virus-related deaths so far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. It has the fifth-highest number of deaths in the world.
Poland on Thursday set another daily record for coronavirus infections, with 27,143 new infections in one day and 367 deaths. The total number of infections in Poland has reached 466,679, with the death toll currently at 6,842. On Saturday, Poland will implement further restrictions on schools and businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Germany has reported 19,990 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the country’s disease control and prevention agency said on Thursday — its highest single-day tally since the pandemic began. The related death toll also rose by 118, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Germany went into a partial lockdown on Monday with entertainment venues, bars, cafés, and restaurants shutting down, apart from takeout and delivery services.
In neighboring Czech Republic, the health ministry reported 15,729 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday — the country’s highest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began. Health authorities also reported 220 more virus-related deaths.
As of Wednesday, 4,080 Covid-19 patients were being treated in intensive care units in France, according to data from health officials. The last time there was this number of patients in ICU was in late April.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said France has seen a “considerable escalation” in new coronavirus cases. “France accounted for the third-highest number of new cases globally, with more than 275,000 cases reported in the past week (4,200 cases per million population): that is a 27% increase from the previous week,” WHO said Tuesday.
Russia reported more than 19,000 coronavirus cases for the first time on Wednesday — a new record for daily increases — according to the latest data from the country’s coronavirus response center. Russia has recorded a total of 1,693,454 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with at least 29,217 deaths officially reported by authorities.