Trump holds rally in Arizona
Ireland announces six-week national lockdown
Ireland has become the first European Union country to to re-enter lockdown, with the Taoiseach (prime minister), Micheál Martin, issuing a nationwide “stay at home”.
Measures coming into effect for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday and will see all non-essential retail businesses close and bars and restaurants limited to takeaway service only.
Martin said Ireland’s latest restrictions were “probably Europe’s strictest regime” but that “further action is now required”.
“Everyone in the country is being asked to stay at home,” Martin said in a televised national address.
Only essential workers will be “permitted to travel to work”, he said, and citizens will be allowed out to exercise only within 5km of home.
Schools and childcare facilities are to remain open “because we cannot and will not allow our children and young people’s futures to be another victim of this disease”.
A ban on visits between different households and indoor events will also be extended, although elite and professional level sports will be permitted to take place behind closed doors.
“If we pull together over the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way,” Martin said.
Health officials reported 1,031 new infections on Monday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 50,993. The death toll remained unchanged at 1,852.
Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 261, less than Britain’s, France’s and Spain’s, and around the middle of Europe’s table. But Ireland’s health service has little spare capacity, especially for intensive care.
WHO: failure to quarantine drives case numbers up
The World Health Organization’s emergencies director, Michael Ryan, has linked soaring transmission rates in the northern hemisphere to the failure to quarantine people exposed to the virus.
He said if he could have one wish, it would be to ensure “every contact of a confirmed case is in quarantine for the appropriate period”.
“I do not believe that has occurred systematically, anywhere,” Ryan said, adding it was “a good part of the reason why we’re seeing such high numbers”.
Ryan said that about half of the 48 countries in the UN health agency’s European region had seen roughly 50% increases in cases within the past week – and hospitalisations and death rates were beginning to track those rises.
Some moderately good news is that the average age of sufferers was now much younger, treatment has improved and those infected may have been exposed to lower doses of the virus because of physical distancing and mask wearing.
Worldwide cases of the virus passed 40 million on Monday.
The WHO says 42 potential vaccines are now being tested on humans, of which 10 have reached the third and final stage. A further 156 are being worked on in laboratories with a view to human testing.
But the WHO’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said that while one or two trials may report data by the end of the year, most would start to do so in early 2021.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, with me, Alison Rourke.
The World Health Organization’s emergencies director, Michael Ryan, has blamed soaring transmission rates in the northern hemisphere on a failure to enforce quarantines rigorously. He said the fact that self-isolation measures were not being enforced systematically was “a good part of the reason why we’re seeing such high numbers”.
It comes as Ireland announced a return to coronavirus lockdown, with the prime minister, Micheal Martin, issuing a nationwide “stay at home” order, but insisting schools will stay open. Measures coming into effect for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday will see all non-essential retail businesses close and bars and restaurants limited to takeaway or delivery service only. “Everyone in the country is being asked to stay at home,” Martin said in a televised national address.
In other coronavirus developments:
- Trump says Americans ‘tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots’ discuss Covid. President once again attacked his top public health expert, using a call with campaign staff to call Anthony Fauci “a disaster” and to claim “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss ways to combat the coronavirus.
- Belgium closed bars and restaurants on Monday for a month and has reinforced a curfew. Hospitalisations have risen 100% in the last week.
- Wales is to go into a two-week “firebreak” lockdown, under which schools, shops, pubs and hotels will close and citizens will be told to stay at home. The government said it was needed to prevent thousands more deaths and the NHS becoming overwhelmed.
- Covid vaccine will not be available in UK until spring, says Vallance. A vaccine against coronavirus will not eradicate the disease or be widely available before the spring, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser has cautioned, following reports that a jab could be available as early as the new year.
- Iran on Monday announced 337 deaths from the coronavirus, a record high for a single day in the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the region.
- In Poland the government said the national stadium would double as a field hospital to help ease the strain on overwhelmed health facilities. Around half the country is now designated as a coronavirus “red zone”.
- Greater Manchester given midday deadline for tier 3 deal. The UK government has told Greater Manchester leaders that it will impose the country’s strictest coronavirus restrictions on nearly 3 million people if no deal is reached by midday on Tuesday, in a dramatic escalation of the standoff.