BERLIN – Germany has confirmed more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections for the first time, a second consecutive daily record.
The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national center for disease control, said Friday morning that 7,334 new cases were confirmed in the preceding 24 hours. That compared to 6,638 the day before.
As of this week, Germany’s highest figure was recorded at nearly 6,300 at the end of March, although testing has grown rapidly since then. The figures are likely to peak around the end of the week, but the latest reading underscores the sharp upward trend in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the federal and state governments agreed to tighten rules on wearing masks and early closing bars in areas where infections are high.
Germany has confirmed a total of more than 348,000 cases since the pandemic began, including 9,734 deaths – an increase of 24 compared with Thursday.
HERE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OUTBREAK VIRUS:
– Europe, the US reel as viral infections soaring at high speed, immediately implement new restrictions
– The White House locates political operations at the CDC to try to control virus information
– Thousand arrived in Hawaii on the first day of pre-travel testing that did not allow quarantine
HERE WHAT ELSE HAPPENED:
MILAN – The Campania region in Italy, which includes Naples, is closing schools until the end of the month as the number of infections there jumps above 1,000.
Italian health officials have declared the country in an “acute phase” after it recorded a new daily case record higher than during the March-April peak, when the death toll jumped by more than 900 in a single 24-hour period.
Thursday’s death toll rose to 83, a third of those in Lombardy, after days of reaching half nationwide.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed his displeasure at Campania’s decision to close the school, which opened only a month ago.
However, other areas have urged the government to allow distance learning for the upper classes of middle school to reduce public transport pressure which remains a major concern due to overcrowding.
LONDON – A top UK scientist says the continuing argument about how and when to impose stricter restrictions to fight COVID-19 is damaging public health and causing more economic hardship.
An infectious disease specialist who sits on the government’s scientific advisory committee said the UK needed to immediately implement stricter restrictions nationally to slow the spread of the virus and limit wider damage to society.
Jeremy Farrar, director of research funding charity Wellcome Trust, said the restrictions under the government’s current three-tier strategy are not harsh enough to contain the virus and debate where and when to enact measures risks confusing the public.
“I think we have to unite as a country,” Farrar told the BBC’s Newscast podcast. “Divisions and, to be honest, make this a matter of north-south politics or the party which is a very, very dangerous road to go on.”
PRAGUE – Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic have set a new one-day record for the second day in a row.
Health Ministry figures showed the daily increase of 9,721 on Thursday, 177 more than the previous record set the day before.
The country of more than 10 million has had a total of 149,010 cases since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 50,000 of them have registered last week. It has also seen 1,230 deaths.
Hospitals across the country have postponed planned nonvital operations to focus on increasing the number of COVID-19 patients. The government said their full capacity could be reached around the end of October.
The Czech military will start building a field hospital in the Prague exhibition center at the weekend for 500 patients. Similar plans have been put in place for the second largest city in Brno, while the government is negotiating with neighboring Germany and several other countries to have the Czechs treated there if the local health system becomes overwhelmed.
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation health officials on Thursday reported 31 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but no deaths for two straight days.
The latest figures bring the total number of cases to 10,819. The known death toll remains at 571.
Tribal health officials say 114,515 people on the sprawling reservation covering parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
On-site protection orders, mask mandates, daily curfews and weekend closings remain in effect in the Navajo Nation.
BEIJING – Authorities say they have completed coronavirus tests on more than 10 million people in the northern Chinese port city of Qingdao following an outbreak of a hospital there blamed for “improper disinfection”.
Testing is set to continue to cover 11 million people.
Authorities say a total of 13 cases have been found in the city, but not since a mass testing program was launched earlier this week.
Health officials said the infection cluster, the first reported case of localized transmission in China in about two months, appeared to be linked to “improper disinfection” in the CT room at Qingdao Chest Hospital. Officials said the possibility of community transmission outside the hospital had been ruled out.
The National Health Commission on Friday reported 24 new cases, all imported.
Chinese hospitals are currently treating 253 people for COVID-19, with another 381 people being monitored in isolation because they have tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms or as suspected cases.
NEW DELHI – Deaths from India’s new coronavirus surged to 895 in the past 24 hours, a day after recording a low of 680 daily deaths in nearly three months.
The Ministry of Health on Friday also reported 63,371 new cases, increasing India’s total since the pandemic started to more than 7.3 million.
According to the Health Ministry, India’s average daily number of cases fell to 72,576 last week from 92,830 during the week of September 9-15, when the virus peaked. It recorded an average of about 70,000 cases each day throughout this month.
Health officials have warned about the potential spread of the virus during the religious festival season which starts later this month.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan authorities have ordered the closure of all cinemas in a bid to contain the outbreak that has infected 1,791 people on the outskirts of the capital so far.
The cluster at a garment factory in a densely populated Western province was discovered last week, and is the first in more than two months.
Authorities have also tightened curfews in parts of the country.
Apart from those infected, more than 2,000 others were asked to be quarantined at home. The majority of those infected were co-workers of the first patient.
Schools and main public offices were also closed, public gatherings banned and restrictions imposed on public transportation.
Sri Lanka has reported a total of 5,170 confirmed cases with 13 deaths since the pandemic began.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s coronavirus daily tally fell below 50 for the first time in more than two weeks despite reports of small-scale local infections.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Friday said the 47 cases added in the past 24 hours brought the country’s total to 25,035 with 441 deaths.
This is a decrease from the 110 reported a day earlier, about half of whom were tied to a hospital for the elderly in the southeastern city of Busan.
Health official Son Youngrae said South Korea’s caseload is currently showing a downward trend. But he said the public should remain vigilant as cluster infections have also been detected sporadically in hospitals and other high-risk facilities.
Earlier this week, South Korea relaxed its social distancing rules, allowing high-risk venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and spectators to return to sports stadiums.
SALEM, Ore. – Coronavirus cases in Oregon continue to increase.
State health officials announced 374 new and suspected COVID-19 cases on Thursday and three additional deaths from the pandemic.
The figure brings the state’s case tally since the pandemic starting to 38,525 infections and 611 deaths, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
Officials also reported 21 cases of outbreak Thursday in Georgia Pacific in Linn County, a company that makes tissue, packaging and building products.
SYDNEY – Australia’s largest city, Sydney, lifted quarantine restrictions for travelers from New Zealand on Friday, while the second largest city, Melbourne, marked the 100th day of one of the world’s longest pandemic lockdowns.
More than 350 passengers are scheduled to take three flights from Auckland on Friday and will not need to undergo hotel quarantine upon arrival in Sydney.
New South Wales state Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said: “This is great news for tourism. This is also great news for grateful family and business reunification. “
New Zealand will continue to urge travelers from Australia to quarantine their hotels for 14 days upon arrival.
The Victorian state government has resisted pressure from businesses and the federal government to ease a second lockdown that began when stay-at-home orders went into effect in Melbourne on July 9.
Victoria recorded only two new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hour period. The state last posted such a low number on June 8, with the daily tally peaking at 725 on August 5.