President Emmanuel Macron summons top ministers and Prime Minister Jean Castex meets with lawmakers, unions and business lobbies as the government assesses its next steps in tackling the spike in infections. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told France-Inter radio that “we must expect difficult decisions”.
Possible new measures for the hardest hit areas include lengthening existing curfews, complete isolation on weekends or all week, and shutting down non-essential businesses.
Doctors describe increasing pressure on emergency departments and intensive care units, where COVID patients now occupy 54% of beds nationwide.
France now reports more than 350 new cases per 100,000 people each week, and nearly 18% of its widespread tests now come back positive. It reported the third highest number of virus deaths in Europe, with more than 35,000 lives lost.
HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS EPIDEMIC:
– Coronavirus worsens in states where Trump needs to win most
– United States sees coronavirus deaths rise, just as experts predict
– European countries adopt sweeping restrictions such as curfews in an attempt to slow spike in infection rates
– In a year marked by fear and death, Americans struggle to celebrate a holiday linked to turning fear and death into pleasure
– The World Series is played on a neutral venue in front of the smallest crowd in a century, but the Dodgers and Rays are just happy some fans are there
– Follow the AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
MOSCOW – Russian authorities on Tuesday issued a nationwide mask requirement amid a rapid resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak.
Health authorities recorded 16,550 new cases and 320 new deaths on Tuesday, the highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic.
Russia’s public health agency Rospotrebnadzor has ordered all Russians to wear masks in crowded public spaces, on public transport, in taxis, on parking lots and in elevators from Wednesday. The agency also recommended that regional authorities put a curfew on entertainment events, cafes, restaurants and bars from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Russia has the fourth highest number in the world of more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported more than 15,000 new infections every day since last Sunday, which is much higher than in the spring.
Russia has reported more than 26,000 deaths linked to the virus.
Despite the sharp rise in new daily infections, Russian authorities have repeatedly rejected the idea of imposing a second nationwide lockdown or shutting down businesses. Most virus restrictions were lifted over the summer.
BRUSSELS – Former Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes remained hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19 but her condition is improving, her spokesperson said on Tuesday.
In a message to The Associated Press, Elke Pattyn said Wilmes “is getting better every day” although she will remain in intensive care until further notice.
Wilmes, who as the leader of Belgium led the country’s fight against the coronavirus, was hospitalized last Wednesday.
Wilmes, 45, handed the reins to Alexander de Croo earlier this month and is now Belgium’s foreign minister. She was in charge when the first wave of infections hit the country this spring. She says she thought she was infected within her family circle.
NEW DELHI – Indian authorities are reporting 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections. This is the lowest one-day count in more than three months in a continuing downtrend.
In its Tuesday report, the health ministry also listed 488 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 119,502.
The total number of pandemic cases in India is around 8 million, behind the United States, which has more than 8.7 million.
The number of cases reported on Tuesday is the lowest since India recorded 35,065 newly confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country peaked at nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but daily infections have since declined.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The governor of Kentucky is urging residents of counties across the state worst hit by the pandemic to take tougher measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Andy Beshear stressed on Monday that he was only offering recommendations – not warrants.
Beshear says people should avoid hosting or attending gatherings of any size. He says employers should allow employees to work from home when possible, and non-critical government offices should operate virtually. Plus, he says, in-person purchases should be reduced, with people choosing to order online for pickup.
The recommendations target the 55 counties – nearly half of all counties in Kentucky – with the highest infection rates. These counties have a daily average of at least 25 new cases of the virus per 100,000 population.
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is once again imploring residents of his state to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which can cause the sometimes deadly COVID-19.
During his daily briefing Monday, issued by OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Pritzker said there was a “COVID storm on the rise, and we need to prepare.
Pritzker spoke two days after Illinois officials reported 6,131 coronavirus infections, which was a new one-day high for the state.
Its director of public health reported an additional 4,729 new cases on Monday, with 17 deaths from COVID-19.
JACKSON, Mississippi – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is extending a mask mandate to seven more counties to try to control the spread of the coronavirus as cases rise rapidly in some areas.
His new order goes into effect Wednesday and lasts at least until November 11.
Sixteen of Mississippi’s 82 counties will now have a requirement for people to wear masks when indoors away from home. Social gatherings in those 16 counties will also be limited to 10 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
Reeves says the restrictions apply to counties that have recorded at least 200 confirmed virus cases or at least 500 confirmed cases per 100,000 population in a recent two-week period.
WASHINGTON – The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday the capital of North Dakota has the worst COVID-19 protocols it has seen on her travels across the country after spending a day watching around him.
Dr Deborah Birx, whose tour took her to nearly 40 states, said she found the lack of face covering and lack of social distancing in Bismarck “deeply unhappy” and a danger to public health .
North Dakota continues to rank first nationwide for new cases of the virus per capita over the past two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project, and the Bismarck area has been a hot spot in recent months.
North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum did not order a statewide mask warrant, instead urging people to wear masks out of personal responsibility and take care of others.
Burgum said he and Birx “had been on perfect agreement from the start,” local media reported.
MILAN – Protesters traveled to Turin, Milan and other Italian towns and villages on Monday to express their anger, sometimes violently, at the latest COVID-19 rules, which have forced restaurants and cafes to close early and have closed cinemas, gymnasiums and other leisure places.
In the north of the city of Turin, demonstrators broke up a peaceful demonstration, smashing the windows of an elegant shopping street, setting off smoke bombs and throwing bottles at the police in the main square where the Piedmont regional government is based , said state television RAI.
A photographer was injured by a thrown bottle, RAI said. Police fired tear gas to extricate the protesters.
Hours earlier, some 300 taxis lined up peacefully in rows to draw attention to their economic losses.
In the business capital of Milan, police used tear gas on Monday to disperse protesters, and at least two people were arrested, an AP reporter said at the scene.
GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization rejected suggestions from a senior White House official that the COVID-19 pandemic could not be controlled, saying it was dangerous to give up on suppressing the virus.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that U.S. officials would not be able to control the coronavirus because it is a “contagious virus like the flu”.
Asked to respond to Meadows’ comments at a press briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “giving up control is dangerous.”
Tedros said if the United Nations health agency agrees with the United States’ priority to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19, more stringent measures should be taken to stop the coronavirus.
Tedros called on governments and their citizens to each do their part to contain the pandemic.