U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country is at a “tipping point” and more measures will be taken unless people comply with rules to contain the resurgent coronavirus. He didn’t rule out national action.
The increase in India’s new infections continued, with 92,605 cases added in the past 24 hours. That’s taken the nation’s total to 5.4 million, second only to the 6.8 million in the U.S. A major isolation facility in Indonesia is nearing maximum capacity as cases surge.
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said Sunday that a Cathay Dragon service between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong will be suspended until Oct. 3 after some connecting passengers on a flight from India were found infected.
Global Tracker: Cases approach 30.8 million; deaths exceed 957,000Fewer people are dying of Covid as doctors gain practice, drugs improveA rash of infections on trading floors threatens Wall Street’s return to workThe virus is putting Britain’s next industrial revolution on iceThreat of lethal autumn looms in Europe after Covid-19 reprieve
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U.K. at ‘Tipping Point,’ Hancock Tells Sky TV (4:41 p.m. HK)
The U.K. is at a “tipping point” in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and the government is ready to impose new restrictions to try stem the accelerating numbers of new infections, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a television interview on Sky TV.
The government isn’t ruling out new national measures, but for now will stick with more localized efforts to tamp the outbreak, he said.
Hancock said he was “very worried” about a second wave. Anyone who tests positive “must be isolated,” he said. The government announced that people breaking self-isolation rules could face fines of up to 10,000 pounds ($12,917).
The country reported a further 4,422 new cases on Saturday, the biggest daily increase since early May.
Indonesian Isolation Facility Nears Capacity (4:40 p.m. HK)
A major isolation facility in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has almost reached maximum capacity and the government is preparing additional rooms to treat coronavirus patients, according to the nation’s Covid-19 task force.
Occupancy at Wisma Atlet’s Tower 5 is now at 91.8% and the government plans to open Tower 4 as a new isolation ward next week, the task force said in a statement on Sunday. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently ordered people found positive with the virus to be treated at official facilities to prevent infections between family members living at the same house.
Jakarta remains one of the outbreak epicenters, accounting for more than 25% of nationwide infections. Indonesia reported 3,989 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total tally 244,676, while fatalities from the disease surged to 9,553.
Hungary Cases Hit Record as Government Steps Up Measures (4:19 p.m. HK)
New coronavirus cases in Hungary reached a record 1,070 in the past day. The government is selectively ramping up regulations to slow the spread of the virus, by stricter mask usage and 11 p.m. curfews but sporting events like football matches are still open for spectators. Hungary, which has a population of almost 10 million, has had 17,990 cases from 615,999 tests.
Germany New Cases Subside at Elevated Level (4:16 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded 1,685 new coronavirus cases as per Saturday, a daily drop of 23% although that’s still the highest level since April. A total of 9,390 deaths have been recorded to date along with 241,125 recoveries.
South Korea to Strengthen Distancing Rules for Chuseok (4:07 p.m. HK)
South Korea plans to strengthen social-distancing restrictions for two weeks around the nation’s Chuseok holidays in early October to cap the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a briefing on Sunday. Details will be released this week.
The government will also extend Level 2 distancing rules placed in regions outside the Seoul metropolitan area by one week to Sept. 27.
Indonesia Fish Exports Continue to China After Virus Discovered (3:55 p.m. HK)
Indonesia is continuing to sell fish to China after the coronavirus was discovered on the packaging of a local seafood exporter’s products, the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry said.
China suspended imports from the company for one week, but that doesn’t apply to other Indonesian fish exporters, the ministry said in a statement Saturday. The affected business’s health certificate services have been suspended and the government is investigating, it said.
The ministry only identified the exporter by the initials PI. Chinese customs officials said on Sept. 18 that it found virus particles on the packaging of frozen fish exported by PT Putri Indah.
Russia Registers Most New Cases in Two Months (3:54 p.m. HK)
Russia reported 6,148 cases of Covid-19 in the past day, the most new cases registered in two months. The number of new infections is up 30% since Sept. 1, when schools opened nationwide, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.
Russia has had 1,103,399 cases, the fourth highest total globally, after the U.S., India and Brazil. Moscow reported 860 new infections overnight, the most since June 25.
No ‘Trans-Tasman Bubble’ in 2020, Air NZ CEO Tells Newspaper (3:44 p.m. HK)
Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia is unlikely to resume for at least another six months, according to the head of New Zealand’s biggest airline.
“I certainly do not believe we will see anything across the Tasman this calendar year,” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s hard to believe it would be before March next year, and could well be longer.”
Plans for a safe-travel corridor to stimulate tourism and help both economies recover from the pandemic were put on hold after renewed outbreaks in both countries.
New Zealand Opposition Slams Government’s Virus Response (12:46 p.m. HK)
New Zealand’s main opposition National Party kicked off its election campaign, accusing the Labour Party-led government of making mistakes in its coronavirus response and failing to deliver on policy promises.
National Party leader Judith Collins attacked the government over the fresh outbreaks of coronavirus in the community, saying if the contact tracing and testing program had been up to scratch, Auckland’s Covid-19 resurgence would have been stamped out by now. Collins faces a tough battle to replace Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Oct. 17 election.
Australia’s Morrison Expects Jobs Rebound (10:30 a.m. HK)
New virus cases in Victoria –Australia’s worst-hit state — fell to 14 on Sunday, the lowest in more than three months. The 14-day rolling average declined to 36.2 in metropolitan Melbourne, comfortably below the 50 level the local administration has set as the benchmark for a slight easing of restrictions on Sept. 28.
With the country in its first recession in almost three decades and interest rates already at a record low, the budget will include “a range of measures” to help revive the economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“There will be hundreds of thousands of more jobs come back in between now and Christmas,” Morrison told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday. “Victoria will bounce back and that will add to the level of jobs growth.”
Cathay Flight Suspended After Infections Found (9:20 a.m. HK)
Cathay Pacific said in a statement that five passengers from India who were on a Cathay Dragon flight between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong on Sept. 18 tested positive for Covid-19, even after they submitted negative nucleic acid tests before their trip. The passengers were earlier on an India Express flight.
Hong Kong authorities will bar Cathay Dragon passenger flights from Kuala Lumpur for two weeks, leading the airline to suspend the service until Oct. 3, according to the statement. The carrier had been scheduled to operate three flights a week on that route, it said.
South Korea Cases Decline (8:49 a.m. HK)
The country reported 82 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, below 100 for the first time since Aug. 12. Total infections reached 22,975. Level 2 social-distancing rules should remain in force in regions outside the Seoul metropolitan area where restrictions will end Sunday unless the government announces an extension, Yonhap reported, citing Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.
Brazil Cases Steady (5:48 p.m. NY)
Brazil reported 33,057 cases, a 0.7% rise in line with the average daily increase in the previous seven days. Total cases are 4,528,240. The nation reported 739 more deaths, for a total of 136,532.
California Cases, Deaths Rise (2:25 p.m. NY)
California’s latest numbers climbed above the 14-day averages for both new cases and deaths, according to the health department’s website. The state reported 4,304 new coronavirus cases, versus the 14-day average of 3,350. The number of deaths increased by 100, compared with a 91 average. There have been 14,912 fatalities in all.
Healthcare workers perform Covid-19 testing for students and faculty at University Prep Value High School in Los Angeles on Sept. 18.
Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
France Hits Another Record Since Lockdown (2:15 p.m. NY)
France’s daily coronavirus cases surged to the highest since the national lockdown ended in May. Another 13,498 cases were reported on Saturday, the second straight day over 13,000.
The higher numbers reflect to some degree increased testing, now five times the level performed in May to over one million a week. But the pace of infections is at its highest since the start of the outbreak, based on rolling 7-day data that smooths out reporting spikes.
Authorities have been calling on the population to step up social distancing measures as the number of clusters has been increasing in past weeks, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire became on Friday the country’s most senior official to become infected.
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