clearn.png
Monday September 21st, 2020 5:17AM

The Latest: Spain’s death toll for virus surpasses 30,000

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADRID — Spain’s official death toll for the coronavirus surpassed 30,000. The total cases increased beyond 600,000, becoming the first European country to reach that threshold.

New Health Ministry data added 9,400 new confirmed infections to the total and 156 deaths.

The country has been experiencing one of Europe’s steepest second curves of contagion, with new cases increasing since mid-July. More than half of newly infected didn’t develop symptoms and are largely between 20 and 60 years old who don’t end up requiring treatment.

Health workers in the Madrid region staged small-scale protests in the gates of health centers and smaller clinics on Tuesday, demanding more resources to treat patients with COVID-19.

At least 8.5% of hospital beds in Spain are used for treating nearly 10,000 coronavirus patients and 1,273 in intensive care units.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— 1.8M people tested in massive Hong Kong testing program

— Bill Gates expects a coronavirus vaccine to get regulatory approval by early 2021

— Thailand considers reopening plan for tourists with special visas

— India confirmed more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total caseload to nearly 5 million.

— What are the different types of coronavirus tests? Two use nasal or saliva swabs to diagnose whether you have an active infection, and a blood test indicates if you previously had the virus.

— The pandemic has forced news organizations to rethink how they cover the presidential campaign and some journalists say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vowed he wouldn’t heed the “irresponsible demands” of President Donald Trump and Republicans in the state legislature.

He’s responding after a federal judge appointed by Trump ruled many of Wolf’s coronavirus pandemic shutdown orders were unconstitutional.

The Democratic governor on Tuesday accused Trump and Republicans who control the legislature of promoting conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation about the virus and the status of the Pennsylvania economy.

Wolf spoke at a news conference one day after U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV in Pittsburgh invalidated key parts of his administration’s early pandemic response, including orders requiring people to stay at home and shuttering thousands of businesses deemed “non-life-sustaining.”

Wolf had since eased many of the restrictions, but Stickman also ruled against the state’s current size limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The governor’s lawyers were preparing an appeal.

Wolf says he did what was necessary to mitigate the health effects of the virus, which has infected more than 145,000 people and killed more than 7,800 people statewide.

___

LONDON — Hospitals in England say a shortage of coronavirus tests in Britain is jeopardizing efforts to restore medical services and prepare for a potential surge in coronavirus cases this winter.

National Health Service Providers says inadequate testing is leading to increased absences among NHS workers as they are forced to self-isolate while waiting for test results after possible exposures.

The shortage comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.K. Last week, the U.K. recorded more than 3,000 new cases of the virus for three straight days for the first time since May. In response, the government has imposed new limits on public gatherings.

The government says it can process about 243,000 coronavirus tests a day, up from 220,000 at the end of August. The problem is the “second wave″ of the virus is hitting Britain earlier than anticipated, said John Bell, a professor of medicine at the University of Oxford.

The U.K. is No. 14 in coronavirus cases in the world with 373,559 and No. 5 in deaths with 41,726, according to the Johns Hopkins. On Aug. 20, the reported death count in the U.K. was 41,483.

___

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan is suing to stop a strike by graduate-student instructors after they voted to extend their walkout.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Washtenaw County court, seeks an injunction that would stop the strike by the Graduate Employees’ Organization, which represents 2,000 graduate-student instructors and graduate-student assistants. The university said a strike is illegal under the contract.

The strike began Sept. 8. Union members said the university isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It also wants the campus police budget cut by 50% and an end to cooperation with Ann Arbor police, among other demands.

Approximately 90% of all undergraduate students are enrolled in at least one course that is led wholly or partly by a graduate student, the university said.

___

BERLIN — Germany says it is providing up to $892 million to support three domestic pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines for the coronavirus.

Science Minister Anja Karliczek says the government has already agreed to pay BioNTech and CureVac to develop their mRNA-based vaccines. Talks with a third company are expected to conclude soon, she says.

IDT Biologika is developing a vaccine that delivers a coronavirus protein into cells to stimulate the body’s immune response.

The agreement with the three companies would guarantee Germany 40 million doses of vaccine. The amount comes on top of other vaccine supply agreements concluded through the European Union, of which Germany is a member.

Karliczek says Germany wouldn’t cut safety corners when it comes to testing vaccines, meaning most of the population may have to wait until mid-2021 to be inoculated.

“We need 55-60% of the population to be vaccinated,” he said. “I’m firmly convinced we will achieve this voluntarily.”

Health Minister Jens Spahn added Germany intends to share vaccines it doesn’t need.

___

BANGKOK — Thailand’s Cabinet has approved in principle a plan to reopen the country to tourists by issuing special renewable 90-day visas and limiting their numbers to 1,200 a month.

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul says the program, proposed to begin next month, is an effort to boost the coronavirus-battered economy, especially the tourism sector.

Under the plan, visitors would stay in quarantine at a hotel or hospital for 14 days on arrival and show confirmation they’ve made arrangements for long-term accommodations. The cost of the “special tourist visa” would be 2,000 baht ($64), with the same charge for each of two allowed renewals.

Thai health officials on Tuesday reported five new cases, from people arriving from abroad. That brings the confirmed total to 3,480 cases and 58 dead.

___

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A county in North Carolina incorrectly told nearly 7,000 residents they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Charlotte Observer reports the messages were sent by text messages to more than 6,700 residents in Mecklenburg County on Friday. More than 500 people also received a county email with the notice.

The county said Friday on Twitter the messages went out due to a technical glitch. The county’s manager told county commissioners on Monday they were sent through HealthSpace Data System, a company based in Canada. The county has been using the company’s software to help with contact tracing efforts in the pandemic.

HealthSpace CEO Silas Garrison apologized for “any alarm this caused citizens who were not supposed to be sent an alert or survey.”

A corrected text or email was sent to those who received the incorrect messages, Diorio said.

___

COPENHAGEN, Denmark —Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke says face masks will become mandatory Thursday in restaurants, cafes and bars in greater Copenhagen after a recent coronavirus spike.

Those places, private parties and gatherings must close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup added that police could hand out fines to those who fail to follow the rules.

Heunicke says the spike was chiefly reported among young people between the ages of 20-29.

The announcement came hours after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that medical authorities in Denmark “are warning that we stand on the brink of something that could develop into another wave.”

Earlier this month, authorities lowered the size of gatherings from 100 to 50 in greater Copenhagen.

Denmark has seen 20,237 cases — up 347 — and reported 633 deaths.

Meanwhile, Sweden is lifting a national ban on visiting elderly care home as of next month.

Sweden has recorded 87,345 cases and 5,851 confirmed deaths, mostly those over age 70 and in nursing homes.

___

HONG KONG — Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified, the government said Tuesday.

The two-week testing program, which ended Monday, was aimed at identifying silent carriers of the coronavirus to cut the transmission chain in a wave of cases that began in July.

Although the total number of people tested fell short of the government’s initial estimate of four to five million, officials say the program met its objectives.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says, “We have identified confirmed cases, we’ve isolated them and given them treatment to cut the transmission chain.”

China’s central government provided resources and staff for the testing program in the city, and many Hong Kong residents expressed fear that DNA might be collected despite the Hong Kong government dismissing such concerns.

Since the outbreak’s peak in July, cases have steadily dwindled. Hong Kong reported no new local coronavirus infections on Tuesday for the first time in more than two months.

The government also said it would further relax social-distancing measures, allowing bars, amusement parks and swimming pools to re-open. Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers until midnight. However, a ban on public gatherings of more than four people remains in place.

Hong Kong has recorded 4,976 infections and 101 confirmed deaths.

___

LONDON — The group that represents hospitals in England says a shortage of COVID-19 testing is jeopardizing efforts to restore medical services and prepare for a potential surge in coronavirus cases this winter.

NHS Providers said Tuesday that inadequate testing is leading to increased absences in the National Health Service as staff members are forced to self-isolate while they and their family members wait for test results after possible exposure to the virus.

CEO Chris Hopson said that last weekend hospital leaders in Bristol, London and Leeds all raised concerns about the lack of testing.

He said hospitals “are working in the dark – they don’t know why these shortages are occurring, how long they are likely to last, how geographically widespread they are likely to be and what priority will be given to healthcare workers and their families in accessing scarce tests.’’

Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC it was “unacceptable” that some people were struggling to get tests, and “much more work needs to be undertaken with Public Health England.”

She says more testing slots and home testing kits were being made available as demand had risen.

___

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Tuesday that medical authorities in Denmark “are warning that we stand on the brink of something that could develop into another wave.”

“Right now, we are dancing with the corona. And there is no indication that it will be easy,” she said on Facebook. “The (overall) infection numbers are at a high level. The number of people being admitted has increased.”

Her comments come as Copenhagen has seen a recent spike and her government is expected to present new measures for the Danish capital that “will include a special look at the nightlife” but also is likely to make face masks in crowded places like supermarkets mandatory.

Denmark has reported 20,237 cases including 633 deaths.

___

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal is adopting new nationwide restrictions to contain a rising number of coronavirus infections.

From Tuesday, social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Drinking alcohol in the street -- which young people have done in groups because bars are closed -- is banned.

Health authorities said Monday that 51% of the 613 new infections over the previous 24 hours were in people between 20 and 49 years old, with just 10% among people over 70.

Under the new rules, rapid response teams are on standby to attend outbreaks at nursing homes, while sports events are still not allowed to have spectators.

The daily number of new cases in Portugal dropped below 100 at the end of May, following a lockdown, but has risen significantly this month.

___

BERLIN — Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates expects a coronavirus vaccine to get regulatory approval by early next year.

In a series of interviews with German media published Tuesday, the Microsoft co-founder suggested several vaccines might be available in 2021, but cautioned that the pandemic may not be over until 2022.

Gates, whose foundation supports vaccine development efforts, told the weekly Der Spiegel that he sees a slim chance that drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna might get enough data by the end of October to apply for emergency approval for their COVID-19 vaccines.

But he expressed confidence that of the vaccines being developed by the two companies and rivals AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Sanofi, “three or four” would get emergency regulatory approval by the beginning of 2021.

___

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s virus hot spot, Victoria state, says it will relax pandemic restrictions in most areas from Wednesday night.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Tuesday that people who live outside the state capital, Melbourne, would have no restrictions on leaving their homes and all shops will be able to reopen.

Andrews also urged Melbourne residents not to get discouraged about staying in lockdown as the rest of the state opens up.

People are not allowed to leave Australia’s second-largest city without approved reasons and police would tighten checkpoints on routes from Melbourne as the rest of the state opens up.

Australia on Tuesday recorded its first day without a single reported COVID-19 death since July 13.

___

ISLAMABAD — Millions of Pakistani schoolchildren have returned to their classrooms as education institutions reopen after a closure of about six months to fight COVID-19.

Students in wearing masks were seen entering school buildings Tuesday, greeting each other from a reasonable distance instead of shaking hands or hugging.

The government has asked teachers, school staff and students to wear masks and regularly use sanitizers.

Pakistan closed schools in March when the government enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Authorities lifted curbs on most businesses in May, but schools remained closed across the country.

On Tuesday, Pakistan reported six new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, one of the lowest number tolls in more than five months. Pakistan has reported 302,424 infections and 6,389 deaths since the pandemic began.

___

NEW DELHI — India has reported its lowest daily jump in new coronavirus infections in a week, logging another 83,809 infections in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 1,054 deaths, driving total fatalities up to 80,776 since the pandemic began.

With 4.93 million confirmed infections, India has reported the second most cases in the world behind the United States. India also has the highest number of recovered patients in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.8% and nearly 3.8 million people have recovered from the virus so far, according to the Health Ministry.

Maharashtra state with more than 1 million cases remains the worst affected region in India, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

___

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Capitals hire Stanley Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette
The Washington Capitals have hired Peter Laviolette, who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, as coach
1:41PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Colorado city bans ketamine use amid Elijah McClain probe
A suburban Denver city council has voted to temporarily ban the use of a powerful sedative by first responders in reaction to the death of Elijah McClain last year
1:31PM ( 32 minutes ago )
'Work like the devil': Biden visiting Florida to woo Latinos
Joe Biden is making his first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee, while his campaign is acknowledging concerns about his appeal with Latinos
1:25PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
3 more COVID cases linked to American's bar crawl in Bavaria
German authorities in the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen say they've recorded three more cases of COVID-19 infection in people who frequented bars visited by a 26-year-old American woman suspected of flouting quarantine rules
1:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Hospitals in England face virus test shortages
Hospitals in England say a shortage of coronavirus tests in Britain is jeopardizing efforts to restore medical services and prepare for a potential surge in coronavirus cases this winter
10:59AM ( 3 hours ago )
Petalo, not Charmin: Virus brings Mexican toilet paper to US
Toilet paper is back on store shelves
10:32AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Health
John Boyega quits perfume ambassador role over Chinese ad
Black actor John Boyega has stepped down from his role as a global ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone after the company decided to hire a Chinese actor to replace him in an ad he created
12:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
US tariffs on China are illegal, says world trade body
The World Trade Organization has ruled that the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods worth more than $200 billion are illegal
12:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
France fast-tracks citizenship for foreign virus fighters
France is to reward foreign health care-workers and other front-line personnel who distinguished themselves in the fight against COVID-19 by fast-tracking citizenship for those who want to become French
11:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
US stocks rise again as tech makes up more lost ground
Wall Street is strengthening again on Tuesday as big technology stocks wrest back more of their losses from their sudden belly flop earlier this month
12:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pelosi: House to stay in session until COVID-19 rescue pact
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will remain in session until lawmakers deliver another round of COVID-19 relief
12:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
As MLB plays on, the businesses it feeds fight for survival
While the major league baseball season presses on amid the coronavirus pandemic, the ban on fans at games has created a perilous situation for businesses who rely on fans for survival
12:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: 1.8M tested in massive Hong Kong testing program
Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified
6:15AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: England hospitals warn of virus test shortages
The group that represents hospitals in England says a shortage of COVID-19 testing is jeopardizing efforts to restore medical services and prepare for a potential surge in coronavirus cases this winter
6:02AM ( 8 hours ago )
Japan begins trial of Nissan, ex-executive over Ghosn's pay
The financial misconduct trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly has begun with Kelly saying he committed no crimes and was only trying to keep his star boss Carlos Ghosn from leaving
5:49AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
US industrial production up modest 0.4% in August
U.S. industrial production slowed to a modest 0.4% increase in August, far below the strong rebounds in recent months
9:30AM ( 4 hours ago )
Navalny posts hospital photo of himself; plans Russia return
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has posted a picture of himself in a hospital in Germany and says he’s breathing on his own
8:40AM ( 5 hours ago )
Navalny posts photo of himself online, says he can breathe
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has posted a picture of himself in a hospital in Germany and says he’s breathing on his own
7:44AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Russian opposition leader Navalny able to leave hospital bed
Doctors treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny say his condition has improved, and he is able to breathe on his own and briefly leave his bed at the Charite hospital in Berlin
12:37PM ( 1 day ago )
Stocks move higher on Wall Street following burst of deals
Stocks are solidly higher on Wall Street Monday following a burst of big corporate deals
11:38AM ( 1 day ago )
Stocks open higher on Wall Street following burst of deals
Stocks are solidly higher on Wall Street Monday following a burst of big corporate deals
11:36AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Trump presides as Israel, 2 Arab states sign historic pacts
President Donald Trump is presiding over the signing of historic diplomatic deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that could herald a dramatic shift in Middle East power dynamics
2:01PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Capitals hire Stanley Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette
The Washington Capitals have hired Peter Laviolette, who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, as coach
1:41PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Colorado city bans ketamine use amid Elijah McClain probe
A suburban Denver city council has voted to temporarily ban the use of a powerful sedative by first responders in reaction to the death of Elijah McClain last year
1:31PM ( 33 minutes ago )
'Work like the devil': Biden visiting Florida to woo Latinos
Joe Biden is making his first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee, while his campaign is acknowledging concerns about his appeal with Latinos
1:25PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Belarusian opposition condemns Russia for backing Lukashenko
The Kremlin says a $1.5 billion loan offered to Belarus carried no political conditions, while the Belarusian opposition is condemning Russia for trying to shore up the nation’s authoritarian president amid post-election protests
1:25PM ( 39 minutes ago )