Global Covid report: Italy set to introduce national restrictions; record deaths in Greece – The Guardian

Italy is planning to introduce new restrictions nationwide as infections climb to levels last seen in March.

Italian experts meet on Monday to consider new restrictions, expected later in the week, as the country’s daily infections surpassed 5,000 in recent days for the first time since March. Deaths linked to the virus, however, are far lower than at the peak of the pandemic in spring.

The health minister, Roberto Speranza, said he had proposed a nationwide ban on private parties, while Rome would also target opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“Now we need a change of pace, and to intervene with measures, not comparable to those adopted in the past, which could allow us to put the contagion under control and avoid tougher measures later on,” he said in an interview with RAI state TV.

Earlier on Sunday, the foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, ruled out another national lockdown, saying the economy could not afford it.

Health authorities in Greece announced a daily record of 13 deaths from Covid-19, along with 280 new confirmed infections. The country’s total number of cases since the pandemic started stands at 22,358, with 449 deaths.

New restrictions on the number of people allowed inside restaurants, museums and archaeological site are being imposed on Monday in Athens and several regions around Greece where the incidence of new cases is considered particularly high.

More than half of France’s nurses are close to burning out, according to a survey of nearly 60,000 of them, which found they were struggling with cancelled holidays and increased work due to coronavirus.

The British prime minister, Boris, Johnson is expected to unveil a three-tier alert system of Covid restrictions for England. The first tier is expected to include existing restrictions limiting gatherings to six people and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, and existing rules on masks and social distancing.

The second tier is likely to include bans on home visits and indoor socialising with other households in bars or restaurants, while the final tier could force bars and pubs to close. Places such as Merseyside, Manchester and Newcastle – the worst-affected areas – are expected to face the toughest restrictions.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is understood to be alarmed at the spread of the virus throughout the city and is warning that additional restrictions soon are now highly likely.

The new measures, follows the UK’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan van-Tam, warning Britain was at a “tipping point” in its battle against coronavirus.

In China, the city of Qingdao in the eastern Shandong province announced plans to test each of its nine million residents, after six new cases emerged linked to a hospital treating infections in returning international travellers. The exercise is expected to take place over five days.

The city reported six new cases and six asymptomatic cases as of 11 October. Most of the cases were linked to the Qingdao chest hospital.

Qingdao has locked down the hospital, as well as the emergency department of its central hospital. Buildings the infected individuals live in have also been locked down.

The National Health Commission’s (NHC) tally of 21 confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China for 11 October was published after Qingdao’s announcement, but did not include any confirmed infections in the city and it was not immediately clear why.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not count as confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier, the NHC said. It did not offer a breakdown on where the new asymptomatic cases were reported, though it said 29 of these cases were imported infections.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,578, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

Global coronavirus cases are nearing 37.5m, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, as surging infections in India as well as the US and Europe contribute to higher daily totals that show no sign of slowing. The death toll worldwide stands at 1,075,848.

  • South Korea confirmed 97 new cases, a modest rise from the daily levels reported last week, just as officials eased social distancing restrictions after concluding that transmissions have slowed after a resurgence in mid-August.

  • A second case has been confirmed in Solomon Islands, the Pacific archipelago that had, until this month, remained Covid-free. The first case, confirmed on 3 October, was a student who had been repatriated from the Philippines in late September. The second confirmed case is another student who was on the same flight.

  • French Polynesia’s president, Edouard Fritch, has tested positive on returning to Tahiti from France, where he met the French prime minister, Jean Castex, and the president, Emmanuel Macron.

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Global Covid report: Italy set to introduce national restrictions; record deaths in Greece – The Guardian

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