The curfew in Paris and other French cities should help curb the coronavirus outbreak while averting the damage that comes from a lockdown, said Prime Minister Jean Castex.
Austria’s chancellor urged citizens to curb social contact and observe health measures to avoid a lockdown, echoing comments from Germany’s Angela Merkel a day earlier.
“If all of us do without private festivities, large gatherings, parties, we can slow down the spread and keep open schools, the economy, and large parts of social life,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
Italy approved a draft budget that seeks extended measures to support the economy. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks Saturday about efforts to craft a stimulus package to help the world’s biggest economy. Victoria, the worst-hit state in Australia, announced an easing of restrictions.
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France’s Castex Says Curfew Needed to Avert Lockdown (5:37 p.m. HK)
The curfew that began this weekend in Paris and eight other French cities should help curb the coronavirus outbreak without the damage that comes from a national lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an interview in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
“The challenge is to face up to it without resorting to a broad lockdown, across the whole country and for a long time,” Castex told the paper. “I want to avoid it.”
Thailand Finds New Transmissions at Border (5:26 p.m. HK)
Thailand reported five new local virus transmissions in two days from the Tak province, which borders Myanmar, including that of a one-year-old child. The patients are related and are citizens of Myanmar. Thailand has stepped up its screening process along the border in a bid to prevent the spread of virus. People in Tak have been told to avoid social events and maintain social distance. Religious functions are canceled over the next days, according to the Health Ministry.
German President in Quarantine After Contact (5:06 p.m. HK)
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier entered quarantine after a bodyguard tested positive for the virus Saturday, a spokeswoman said. Steinmeier’s first test result was negative but he will be tested again.
The country reported 4,862 new cases, fewer than in recent days, in a pattern common on the weekend when not all the data gets tallied.
Russia Reports New Cases Amid School Debate (5 p.m. HK)
Russia reported 15,099 new cases, the third day in a row that infections have hovered around 15,000, according to data from the government’s National Virus Response Center.
Russia has so far resisted returning to a lockdown to battle the second wave of infections, but Moscow has introduced new measures. The city also reopened several temporary hospitals and sent schoolchildren on an unplanned two-week vacation.
Any decision to close schools should be made by Russia’s regions based on the local situation, Education minister Sergey Kravtsov said in an interview with the Tass news agency published on Sunday.
Poland Sees Rising Case Numbers (4:35 p.m. HK)
Poland registered 8,536 new coronavirus cases and the death toll continued to climb. The country had 649 respirators in use, compared with 383 a week earlier.
Austrian Chancellor Urges Discipline (4:02 p.m. HK)
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz urged Austrians to curb social contact and observe health measures to avoid a second lockdown in a videotaped message on social media.
“If all of us do without private festivities, large gatherings, parties, we can slow down the spread and keep open schools, the economy, and large parts of social life,” Kurz said.
Austria posted a record increase in new cases Saturday, bringing the countrywide seven-day incidence above 100 for the first time. Kurz is due to meet governors of the country’s nine provinces on Monday to discuss further measures.
Czech Republic Reports Weekend Surge (3:33 p.m. HK)
The Czech Republic recorded 8,713 new coronavirus cases, the highest number ever reported during the weekend since the pandemic began. It’s almost a double of what was reported last Saturday. There is less testing on weekends. The total death toll rose to 1,352 on Saturday, making it the worst-hit European country when adjusted for population.
Wales May Announce Lockdown Measures (2:45 p.m. HK)
Wales will go into a circuit breaker lockdown starting next Friday 6 p.m. London time, Sky reported, citing a letter from the Confederation of Passenger Transport to the union’s members. All but essential retail will have to close. Some schools will reopen on Nov. 2, with details to be determined over the weekend. The Welsh government is expected to announce the measures on Monday, the report said, adding they will be in force until one minute after midnight on Nov. 9. A Welsh government spokesperson told Sky that “no decisions have been made.”
Belgium’s Incident Rate Jumps (2:15 p.m. HK)
The country reported a rising 14-day Covid-19 incident rate, 691 per 100,000, even as new cases grew less than in recent days. The government has boosted measures to battle the virus, introducing a night curfew and ordering all restaurants to close from Monday.
Italian Budget Supports Health Sector (2 p.m. HK)
The “strongly expansionary” budget will focus on the health sector, measures to support families and the extension of a moratorium on loan and mortgage payments, the government said.
The draft budget sets aside 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion) to support the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.
The country reported a record 10,925 new infections Saturday, with 47 deaths. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government may soon approve new restrictions on public life, according to government officials, who asked not to be named.
India’s Virus Fatalities Approach 115,000 (12:45 p.m. HK)
India reported 61,871 new cases in a day, while deaths reached 114,031, the third highest in the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked officials to prepare for speedy distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
Pelosi, Mnuchin Stimulus Talks (12:15 p.m. HK)
The U.S. pair spoke for an hour and 15 minutes on coronavirus stimulus, and have agreed to talk again Monday, Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said in a tweet. Their respective staff will keep discussions going in the meantime.
Before those talks, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will vote on Republican proposals for a roughly $500 billion economic recovery bill and additional funding to aid small businesses, starting Tuesday.
Trump Pushes to Lift Restrictions in Michigan (10:30 a.m. HK)
“You got to get your governor to open up your state,” Trump said at a rally in Muskegon, Michigan, referring to Gretchen Whitmer, who was recently a target of a kidnap plot by right-wing militia. The crowd responded with a “lock her up” chant, to which Trump replied “lock ‘em all up.”
Whitmer responded in a tweet saying, “this is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials’ lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans. It needs to stop.”
Trump also held rallies in Wisconsin. Many aides, recently diagnosed with Covid-19 and now recovered, joined him on Air Force One, including White House advisers Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller.
New Zealand’s First Community Case in Three Weeks (8:48 a.m. HK)
An Auckland man tested positive for the virus Saturday, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield. People the man had contact with in the days prior when he may have been infectious have been placed in isolation.
News of the fresh community case comes hours after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swept to a landslide victory in a general election, largely on the back of her government’s successful response to the pandemic.
Australia’s Victoria Eases Lockdown as Cases Decline (8:42 a.m. HK)
From midnight, the 5 million residents of Victoria state capital Melbourne, who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days, will be allowed to travel as far as 25 kilometers (16 miles) from their homes and time limits on daily exercise will be scrapped, state Premier Daniel Andrews said.
From Nov. 1, the stay-at-home order will be completely lifted and retail and hospitality sectors will largely reopen. That timeframe may be brought forward if case numbers continue to fall.
Brazil’s Weekly Cases Lowest in Five Months (5:44 p.m. NY)
Brazil reported 24,062 cases, ending a week with the fewest new infections in five months, according to the nation’s Health Ministry. Total cases are 5,224,362. Another 461 people died. The week’s toll was the least deadly since the beginning of May, according to the ministry website.
U.S. States Report Jump in Cases, Deaths (4:59 p.m. NY)
The number of U.S. cases increased by 69,276, the highest since July 29, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
The Friday data, 9% higher than the previous day’s, underscores rising Covid-19 cases in most parts of the country less than three weeks before the election in which Trump’s handling of the outbreak is a central issue.
Florida, hit hard this summer, reported the most cases since August. California and Texas both neared 17,000 fatalities. Ohio, a swing state, broke a record for new cases Saturday, the fourth straight day reporting more than 2,000 daily infections.
France Covid Cases Hit Record (2:25 p.m. NY)
France reported a record 32,427 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as tighter restrictions went into effect in the country’s major cities to try to check the outbreak.
The government has put in place a curfew effective Saturday in the Paris region and eight other metropolitan areas, confining people to their homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for four weeks.
The number of new cases surpassed the previous record of 30,621, set Thursday, according to statistics on France’s national health agency website.
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