More than 1.1 million deaths from the new coronavirus have been officially recorded worldwide, according to a count made by Agence France-Presse, from official sources on Saturday, October 17. In total, more than 39.7 million cases have been reported. For the day of October 16 alone, 6,118 new deaths were recorded. In Europe, the second region worst hit by the pandemic, more than 8,000 deaths have been recorded over the past seven days, the heaviest toll over a week in the region since mid-May.
First curfew evening in France
In France, a dozen large cities, including Paris and its suburbs, are now subject to a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for at least four weeks. This measure concerns the inhabitants of ten large cities including Paris and its suburbs, or 20 million people in total.
The positivity rate (proportion of positive tests in relation to the total tests carried out) continues to increase rapidly, at 13.2%, against 9% only 11 days ago and around 4.5% in early September. The number of deaths attributable to the disease stands at 85 (compared to 90 on Saturday) for Sunday, bringing the total death toll since the start of the epidemic to 33,477. The number of patients with the form la most severe of the disease and currently hospitalized in an intensive care unit is 1,939, 71 more than the day before.
More than 250,000 dead in Europe –
In total, 250,030 deaths from Covid-19 have been declared in Europe (for 7,366,028 cases), according to an assessment carried out by AFP from official sources on Sunday at 5.30 p.m., of which more than two thirds in the United Kingdom. United (43,646 deaths), Italy (36,543), Spain (33,775), France (33,392) and Russia (24,187).
More than 8,000 deaths have been recorded in the last seven days (8,342), the heaviest toll over a week in the region since mid-May.
Wearing a mask is compulsory in closed public places in Switzerland
Wearing a mask will be compulsory from Monday in closed public places throughout Switzerland, the federal government announced on Sunday. “This last week, infections have doubled”, the growth of cases is now “Exponential”, declared the president of the confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, justifying the seriousness of the situation so that the Confederation imposes national measures, when the management of the pandemic was since the summer the sole responsibility of the cantons. They can continue to adapt to the local situation, some having imposed in recent days more drastic measures than the announcements of the Confederation.
“The second wave is here, earlier and stronger than we thought, but we are prepared for it”, said the Federal Minister of Health, Alain Berset, during the same press briefing. He pointed out that the test positivity rate is currently very high, around “Of 15, 16%”.
New restrictions in Poland
Warsaw and other large cities in Poland are enforcing new restrictions: middle and high schools, closed, will have to practice distance education, restaurants will have to close at 9 p.m. In addition, wedding ceremonies will be prohibited and the number of people admitted to shops, public transport and religious services will be limited.
Israel eases restrictions
Israel began on Sunday the first stage of its gradual deconfinement, which will run until February 2021. This decision was taken after noting a drop in the number of cases of people infected with the new coronavirus, a month after entry restrictions.
Nurseries, kindergartens, national parks and beaches have reopened, businesses that do not cater for the public have been able to resume work and Israelis are now allowed to travel more than 1 kilometer from their homes. Gatherings are however limited to less than 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.
New Zealand records Covid-19 case
New Zealand reported a new case of Covid-19 on Sunday. The announcement comes two weeks after a statement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who welcomed her country for “Conquered the virus again”, and in the aftermath of the Labor Party’s resounding victory in the general election, largely attributed to the government’s success in tackling the pandemic.
Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield announced that a port worker tested positive on Saturday afternoon. “As this person was tested the day she developed symptoms, the health ministry was able to place contact cases in isolation”, Mr Bloomfield said.
Relaxation of measures in Melbourne
The 5 million inhabitants of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, have been under drastic restrictions for more than a hundred days to fight the virus. After a steady decline in the number of new contaminations, the authorities on Sunday lifted the measure which limited to two hours the time that people could spend outside their homes in order to engage in authorized activities.
They have also extended to 25 kilometers the distance Australians can travel to exercise, buy basic necessities and work in professions deemed essential to society. Daniel Andrews, Prime Minister of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, said “Do not do what is popular, but what is safe”. It is on the date of 1is November that the measure requiring residents to stay at home could be lifted, and restrictions on businesses relaxed, only if cases of contamination remain under control.
Coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours
The coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours (5 times longer than the flu), Japanese researchers have found who confirm the need for frequent hand washing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. In comparison, the pathogen that causes influenza survives on the skin for about 1.8 hours, says study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
However, both the coronavirus and the influenza virus are inactivated within fifteen seconds by the application of ethanol, used in hand sanitizers.
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