The number of Covid-19 infections in Tokyo fell to 144 on Sunday, down from 270 a day earlier, with the number of cases holding steady over the past month.
Melbourne eased its curfew and other restrictions ahead of schedule, with Australia targeting the creation of a “travel bubble” with New Zealand by the end of the year as the pace of coronavirus infections in the two countries eases.
Antibodies that stop the coronavirus from spreading in the body are among promising strategies for averting severe illness from Covid-19 before vaccines arrive, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Thousands of maskless protesters gathered in London, clashing with police as they demonstrated against the government’s expanded anti-coronavirus restrictions. As Europe’s second wave persisted, Germany posted its highest daily number of new cases since April.
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Tokyo Cases Remain Near Recent Levels (2:01 p.m. HK)
The metropolitan government said 144 people came back positive out of 4,807 tested. The total number of infected stood at 24,257, with 29 in serous condition, the local government’s health agency said in a statement.
Melbourne Lifts Curfew as Pace of Infections Slows (12:55 p.m. HK)
While some curbs are being eased earlier than expected, fines will be hiked for people who continue to break the social restrictions that remain in place, Daniel Andrews, premier of the southern state of Victoria, said.
The changes in Melbourne came as New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, reported no new cases over the past 24 hours, its best day since June 10.
Australia Targets Travel Corridor With New Zealand by Year-End(10:57 a.m. HK)
New South Wales, most populous state, reported no new infections over the past 24 hours, the first time since June 10 that there were no new cases. New Zealand reported two new virus cases on Sunday.
“Ultimately whether New Zealand opens up to Australia will be a matter for New Zealand,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s tourism minister, said in an interview on television broadcaster Nine Network.
Early Covid Treatments Could Be ‘Bridge’ to Vaccine, Fauci Says (7:28 a.m. HK)
Antibody-based medications, other blood products from recovered patients and antivirals are being investigated as early treatments, Fauci said. The aim is to prevent patients from developing the serious lung damage for which Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone are administered.
“We are focusing very heavily now on treatment of early infection and, or prevention of infection,” Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association in an interview Friday. “And that’s the bridge to the vaccine.”
Johnson Trails in Opinion Poll as Virus Policies Anger Britons (5:50 p.m. NY)
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party trails the main opposition Labour Party in an opinion poll for the first time in months, with half of those surveyed saying they disapprove of how government has handled the coronavirus crisis.
According to an Opinium survey for the Observer, a left-leaning newspaper, Keir Starmer’s Labour rose 3 points to 42% with Johnson’s party dropping by the same amount to 39%. At the end of March, soon after the government imposed a lockdown on the economy and four months after winning the election in a landslide, the Conservatives had 54% support.
While the survey comes years before the country is obliged to hold a general election, it’s a reminder that Johnson’s administration has become bogged down in a series of missteps. Thousands of protesters, some with placards such as “This is tyranny,” took to the streets of central London on Saturday, angered by the government’s expansion of coronavirus restrictions.
Hawaii Care Home Operator Ousted After Veterans’ Deaths (5:35 p.m. NY)
A state-owned health care organization in Hawaii will take over a veterans care home where 26 residents have reportedly died of Covid-19.
Hawaii’s Health Systems Corp will become the operator of the Yukio Okutsu Veterans State Home in Hilo on the Big Island, taking over from Avalon Health Care, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Associated Press and local media reported.
The veterans home deaths comprise a large proportion of the state’s total coronavirus fatalities. Hawaii has had over 12,000 cases. A federal team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, revealed failures to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, Hawaii News Now reported this week.
Most of the 89 residents living at the home before the outbreak have contracted the virus, along with dozens of employees.
California Cases Exceed Average (2:05 p.m. NY)
California added 4,197 new cases, bringing the total to 798,237. An additional 134 deaths were reported, with the fatality count at 15,532. The one-day increase in cases and deaths exceed the 14-day average.
The state said Friday it’s seeing early signs of rising virus case counts and emergency-room visits after several weeks of improvement, with forecasts showing that hospitalizations may jump 89% in a month. California has 2,717 ICU beds available — about 900 more than its low two months ago.
Italy Vows No National Lockdown (12:45 p.m. NY)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said there won’t be a new national lockdown as the country is “in a completely different situation” compared with the beginning of the year. Saying that the government has strengthened the health system, he added that there may be more stringent measures in specific clusters or areas “but in a limited, circumscribed way.”
A healthcare worker collects a swab sample from a passenger at the Covid-19 rapid test facility at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Sept. 25.
Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg
France Cases Fall Again From Record (1:10 p.m. NY)
France reported a drop in the number of new cases for the second day to 14,412, retreating from a record 16,096 set on Thursday. The seven-day average rose to 12,179. Another 39 fatalities were reported, for a total of 31,700.
Dutch Deaths Rise by Most Since June (11:35 a.m. NY)
Deaths caused by Covid 19 rose by 38 on Friday in the Netherlands, the highest jump since May 15, national press agency ANP reported on Saturday.
The infection rate has also been increasing recently, with capital Amsterdam as one of the biggest contributors. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday the new surge is “worrisome” and extra regional measures in cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are likely needed. Soccer stadiums risk a ban on supporters again if visitors don’t adhere to the rules, Tamara van Ark, minister for Sport and Medical Care, said on Saturday.
Denmark Plans Widespread Random Testing (11:30 a.m. NY)
Denmark plans to randomly test as many as 1 million residents — almost a fifth of the population — for Covid 19 antibodies to get a handle on the virus’ spread.
Statens Serum Institut, the agency that tracks infectious diseases, will contact Danes over 15 years old to answer questions about symptoms and risk factors, and send home tests to those who respond. The agency says it has 500,000 tests available, and if demand exceeds that, it’ll distribute more on a first come, first serve basis.
New York Cases Pass 1,000 for First Time Since June (10:34 a.m. NY)
New York state reported more than 1,000 new cases for the first time since early June. Governor Andrew Cuomo reported 1,005 cases as the New York City battles outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens.
The 0.2% increase was, however, in line with the daily average increase over the last seven days. Another four deaths were reported.
Passengers sit apart from one another on the deck of a NY Waterway ferry on Sept. 25.
Photographer: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
New York, hit early in the pandemic, was reporting more than 10,000 cases a day during its peak and in mid-April almost 800 daily deaths. More than 25,000 residents have died from the virus. Cuomo has said to expect higher cases during the reopening process, and has urged residents to wear masks and remain socially distant. Testing has also increased significantly since June.
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