Swiss authorities say infections rose by 12,839 cases since Friday. The total confirmed cases in Switzerland and the neighbouring principality Liechtenstein increased to 269,974 and the death toll rose by 198 to 3,158 while hospitalisations went up by 483.
Malaysia has reported 1,103 new cases, raising the total number of infections to 48,520. The health ministry also recorded four new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 313.
As Russia reports its own worst daily increase, authorities in Moscow have turned to a temporary hospital built inside an ice rink.
The country of about 145 million people has started opening temporary clinics and repurposing hospitals in the capital and other cities to relieve the strain on its medical system.
In Moscow, the Krylatskoe Ice Palace, known for hosting international speed skating competitions, is now on the frontline after being converted into a temporary hospital. It opened last month.
Though better resourced than other regions, authorities in Moscow are under severe pressure. They reported 6,360 new infections in the Russian capital on Monday.
More than 1,300 hospital beds equipped with oxygen tanks cover the former ice rink’s 400-metre speed skating track, with more than 100 doctors and nurses deployed.
“Only its design differentiates it from a regular hospital,” the chief doctor Andrei Shkoda told Reuters. The facility, he said, is equipped with all necessary equipment to treat and diagnose the illness, including a CT scanner. It is currently treating about 600 people, with between 60 to 80 new patients being admitted and released every day.
We prepared very well, which wasn’t the case in the spring. Since then, we have prepared clinical protocols, gained experience in the fight against the coronavirus.
Iran suffers worst daily caseload increase
Iran has reported its greatest daily increase in infections, with another 13,053 recorded, while 486 more people died over 24 hours, the country’s health ministry has said.
The government has said it will impose stricter restrictions, with a health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari telling state TV the total number of infected cases has reached 775,121, while the country’s total number of fatalities has increased to 41,979.
The latest surge of infections in the Indian capital, New Delhi – which has swamped its intensive care wards and killed hundreds of people – has passed its peak, the city’s top health official has claimed, dismissing fears of another lockdown.
Pointing to a decline in the city’s positivity rate, New Delhi’s minister of health, Satyendar Jain, told the ANI news agency:
I can definitely tell you that the peak is gone and cases will slowly come down now.
He said there was “no chance” of another lockdown, even as authorities prepared hundreds of additional intensive care beds and increased capacity to conduct more than 100,000 tests a day.
“We are analysing the data daily and keeping a watch on the positivity,” Jain said. Delhi has been carrying out an average of 55,000 tests a day.
The city’s positivity rate – the percentage of people who test positive of all those tested – has declined since early November. But it rose again on Sunday, when fewer people were tested owing to a major festival on the weekend, possibly skewing the findings, an official said.
New Delhi has seen what authorities have called a third wave that has killed more than 600 people in the past week, even as cases in other parts of the country have declined.
India has confirmed more than 8.8m cases; the word’s second-highest number. But the number of new daily cases has fallen since a peak in mid-September. India has recorded 129,635 deaths.
at 10.42am GMT
It is too early to claim victory, even if recent data show some encouraging signs, the French health minister Olivier Véran has warned. He told reporters that authorities are in the process of gradually regaining control over the epidemic. But he added:
We haven’t defeated the virus yet.
Pakistan has recorded its highest daily numbers of coronavirus infections since July on each of the last four days as a second wave gathers momentum.
There were 2,128 new cases registered on Sunday, the fourth day that the daily increase has been above 2,000. More than 7% of people tested on Sunday were found to have contracted the virus, compared with between 2% and 3% during most of the last four months.
Dr Seemin Jamali, the executive director of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, which deals with Covid-19 cases in the country’s largest city of Karachi, told Reuters:
No one followed safety precautions, and we are seeing the results. It is high time people realise, or we will continue to suffer.
After a peak of more than 6,800 daily infections in June, the number fell to a low of 213 in August, and remained below 700 for most of the last three months. The country has registered 359,032 cases in total and 7,160 deaths.
Earlier this month, the government ruled out a complete lockdown and decided to continue the “smart lockdown” policy with strict implementation of safety guidelines given by the national command and operation centre (NCOC) – the federal government’s central body dealing with the pandemic.
The country’s last comprehensive lockdown was lifted in May. Several huge religious and anti-government public rallies have been held in major cities in recent weeks.
at 9.58am GMT
Indonesia has reported 3,535 new infections, taking the total number to 470,648. Data from the country’s health ministry website also shows 85 new deaths, bringing the total to 15,296.
Indonesia has the highest numbers of both cases and deaths in south-east Asia.
at 9.58am GMT
Angela Merkel to push for more curbs in Germany
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will push for tougher curbs, including masks in all schools, smaller class sizes and drastic limits on contacts, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Outside work or school, contact between people should also be “restricted to those from another fixed household”, according to a proposal by Merkel’s office that is due to be put to regional leaders of Germany’s 16 states on Monday.
Europe’s biggest economy began a new round of shutdowns in November, closing restaurants, cultural venues and leisure facilities. But, while new cases are plateauing, the daily numbers are still too high for officials to determine the infection chain and thereby break the transmission.
As part of the proposals, all private parties should be cancelled until Christmas and children should pick just one specific friend to meet up with outside school hours.
To ensure schools are kept open as long as possible, the chancellery has also suggested that, without exception, classes be “broken up into fixed groups, where the size of groups in classrooms are halved compared to normal operations”.
An alternative is to use larger rooms for classes, according to the draft, AFP reports.
at 10.03am GMT
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who later tested positive, was pictured standing next to Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, inside Downing Street on Thursday. The men appear to be less than 2 metres apart and neither is wearing a mask.
Quizzed about why neither man was wearing a face covering, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has told Sky News:
They are socially distanced, and the critical thing is, of course, as prime minister you do meet people.
Pressed on the absence of face coverings, Hancock eventually said they were not always worn around No 10. Asked if he used one when there, he said:
Not always, no, because the Covid-secure guidelines for that building don’t require it at all times. Different workplaces have different rules, according to what is appropriate there.
at 8.56am GMT
The Philippines’ health ministry has recorded 1,738 new infections and seven additional deaths; the lowest daily increase in casualties in nearly three months.
The ministry has said total confirmed cases increased to 409,574, while deaths reached 7,839. Despite a downward trend in the number of cases in more recent weeks, this was not the time to be complacent, the health ministry undersecretary, Maria Rosario Vergeire, has told a news conference.
at 8.18am GMT
Russia reports worst daily increase
Moscow has recorded its greatest daily increase in caseload; confirming 22,778 new infections across Russia on Monday. They include 6,360 in the capital, bringing the national tally to 1,948,603.
Authorities also reported 303 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 33,489.
The UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, is well after coming into contact with someone with Covid-19 and will drive the government forward via Zoom, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has said. He told Sky News:
He’s well, he’s absolutely full of beans. He’ll be, I’ve got no doubt, driving things forward this week by Zoom.
Johnson said on Sunday the NHS’s test and trace scheme had ordered him to self-isolate for two weeks.
When Johnson was infected in March, he tried to work through the illness “in denial” – but ended up wearing an oxygen mask in an intensive care unit and was ultimately out of action for almost a month.
He later said he had fought for his life as the state prepared for the unthinkable: the possible death in office of a prime minister.
at 8.19am GMT
That’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, from planet earth.
My colleague Kevin Rawlinson will be bringing you the latest for the next few hours.
If you’d like to read about the SpaceX mission today, the launch pad is below:
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- The White House is coming under growing pressure to allow transition talks to begin amid a terrifying surge in coronavirus cases that is pushing hospital systems across the US to the brink of collapse. As Donald Trump insisted he would not concede defeat – despite tweeting that Biden “won” last week’s election – Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said on Sunday it was essential that a “seamless transition” begins quickly, given the severity of the pandemic.
- UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, is self-isolating after coming into contact with an MP who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, Downing Street said on Sunday.The prime minister was present at a 35-minute meeting with a small group of Conservative MPs on Thursday morning. One of them, Lee Anderson, subsequently developed symptoms of Covid-19 and has tested positive. Downing Street said the prime minister was “well” and insisted that No 10 was a Covid-secure workplace but that test and trace had advised the prime minister that, because of factors including the length of the meeting, he should self-isolate as a precaution.
- The US passed 11m coronavirus cases just one week after confirming its ten-millionth case. More than a million cases were recorded in the country over the last week, which saw four days in a row of world record infection totals.The current US total, according to Johns Hopkins University, is 11,003,469. At least 246,000 people have died in the country.The global case total is 54m and the death toll stands at 1.3m.
- Michigan and Washington on Sunday joined several other states in announcing renewed efforts to combat the coronavirus, and as many Americans prepare to observe a Thanksgiving holiday marked by the pandemic. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration ordered high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, closed restaurants to indoor dining and suspended organized sports — including the football playoffs — in an attempt to curb the state’s spiking case numbers. “We are at the precipice and we need to take some action,” said Whitmer.
- Covid-19 testing capacity in the UK is to be more than doubled, with major new laboratories to open early next year in a sign the government is planning for the pandemic to persist despite hopes for a number of vaccine candidates.
- China’s retail sales continued a general recovery in October, official data showed Monday, on the back of a national holiday and policies aimed at boosting spending. Although China has largely brought the coronavirus under control, spending has been slower to recover as the world still grapples with the impact of the pandemic.Retail sales in the world’s second-largest economy rose 4.3% on-year last month, Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.