New Zealand reports zero new coronavirus cases
Global death toll passes 996,000
The number of tests coming back positive for Covid-19 is topping 25% in several states in the US Midwest as cases and hospitalisation also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis.
North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota, up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The Covid Tracking Project. Minnesota and Montana are averaging 7% of tests coming back positive, but Montana’s positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, according to the analysis.
The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered. Several states such as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have positive test rates of less than 1%.
At the same time that positive test rates are climbing in the Midwest, cases and hospitalisations are setting records in those states.
In the last week, five Midwest states have reported record one-day rises in new infections - Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Northern Britain and possibly London facing new lockdown
The UK government is planning to impose a total social lockdown across most of northern England and potentially London, to combat a second coronavirus wave, the Times reports.
Under the new lockdown measures being considered, all pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks initially, the report said.
The report added that households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under the order.
Britain had last week imposed new measures that required people to work from home where possible and had ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.
Merseyside, the northeast and Lancashire are expected to be included in the new measures alongside London, according to the newspaper.
Schools and shops will be allowed to remain open, as will factories and offices at which staff could not work from home, the Times added, citing a senior government source.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest from around the world for the next few hours.
Questions, comments, jokes and news from your part of the world are welcome on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
India will soon pass 6m coronavirus cases, after it recorded 88,600 new infections on Sunday, taking the country’s official toll to just under 6 million (5,992,532), according to the country’s official figures. Deaths increased by 1,124 to 94,503.
India has the second highest cases worldwide, with roughly 1m cases fewer than the US.
Meanwhile the coronavirus death toll is approaching the grim milestone of one million fatalities, with 995,465 deaths reported globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:
- There have been a further 5,693 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, according to government data, taking the total to 429,277. Government figures show a further 17 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus as of Sunday. This brings the official UK toll to 41,988.
- Greece has recorded its first coronavirus fatality among its large migrant community. Health authorities described the victim as a 61-year-old Afghan man, saying the father-of-two succumbed to Covid-19 in Athens’ Evangelismos hospital after being moved from Malakassa, a refugee camp east of the capital.
- Bosses at Manchester Metropolitan University have said students under a Covid-19 lockdown are free to leave their student hallsbut “trust they will do the right thing” and self-isolate, following a number of students saying they were being falsely imprisoned.
- The Scottish government has issued updated guidance that students can return to their family homes (previously clinical director Jason Leitch said they couldn’t) either to self-isolate or permanently.
- The Spanish government and authorities in Madrid are locked in a standoff over how to tackle the second wave of Covid-19 in and around the capital, where more than a third of Spain’s 716,481 cases have been diagnosed.
- The Australian state of Victoria has announced an end to its curfew and easing of some of the months-long lockdown measures. Australia reported just 18 new cases on Saturday, and two deaths, and trade minister Simon Birmingham hopes a travel bubble with New Zealand can be put in place by the end of the year.
- Argentina’s coronavirus cases have topped 700,000 as new daily infections and deaths hit the top five globally, despite seven months of lockdown that have ravaged the frail economy.