Berlin Protest Turns Violent; U.S. Cases Pick Up: Virus Update
Police in Berlin clashed with far-right activists after a day of protests against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions that drew an estimated 38,000 people. The U.S. added 47,860 virus cases in a day, slightly more than the average increase over the previous week.
The pace of daily cases in Texas, Florida and Arizona was broadly stable, while New York reported a low for hospitalizations. U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country could face local lockdowns.
More than 220,000 people registered for Hong Kong’s free coronavirus tests. The city began a two-week drive seeking to test a high percentage of its 7 million residents.
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Texas Cases Kept in Check (4:30 p.m. NY)
The number of new coronavirus cases in Texas climbed by 4,732, or 0.8%, to 606,530, the Department of State Health Services said on its website, less than the 0.9% average over the previous week. Deaths increased by 154 to 12,420.
New infections have retreated from records of more than 10,000 a day at the peak of Texas’ outbreak in mid-July.
Berlin Day of Protests Turns Violent (3:45 p.m. NY)
Berlin police clashed with far-right protesters and made about 200 arrests after tens of thousands of people rallied mostly peacefully against German restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Smaller protests were reported in London and Paris.
Demonstrators in Berlin held up signs saying “End the coronavirus dictatorship” and heard a protest leader call for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to resign.
An estimated 38,000 people took part in a march and rally near key federal government buildings on Saturday, broadcaster ARD cited the capital’s interior minister, Andreas Geisel, as saying. Daily cases in Germany are hovering near a four-month high, with 1,555 new infections reported on Saturday.
California Has Fewest Cases in Almost Four Weeks (2:30 p.m. NY)
California reported 4,981 new virus cases, the lowest daily count since Aug. 4 and below the 14-day average of 5,725.
There have been 693,839 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, according to the health department’s website. Deaths climbed by 144 to 12,834.
Illinois Governor Mourns 8,000 Deaths (2:10 p.m. NY)
Governor J.B. Pritzker proclaimed a “solemn day” as Illinois surpassed 8,000 virus deaths, a day after the state increased the number of counties considered to be at a “warning level” to 30 from 20.
“As we mourn the family, friends and neighbors who have been taken too soon, let’s do our part to prevent more senseless tragedy,” the Democratic governor tweeted on Saturday. “Every action counts.”
New infections and hospitalizations have been climbing in Illinois for the past two months. The state reported 11 deaths for a total of 8,008 and 1,889 new cases for a total of 231,363.
Arizona Surpasses 5,000 Deaths (12:54 p.m. NY)
Arizona reported 629 cases Saturday, a 0.3% rise in line with the the average daily increase of the previous week. Total cases are now 201,287.
The state reported 29 deaths, for a total of 5,007. The number of fatalities was fewer than the 49 the previous day.
U.K. Cases Stay Over 1,000 (11:37 a.m. NY)
The U.K. reported 1,108 new coronavirus cases bringing the total number of infections to 332,752. Cases have increasing by more than 1,000 a day for much of the past two weeks, raising concerns about the growing spread of the virus as the country prepares to reopen schools in the coming days.
The surge in cases has not been accompanied by a jump in fatalities, with only 12 new deaths reported Saturday, bringing the total to 41,498, the world’s fifth highest tally.
Italy Surge Eases Slightly (11:25 a.m. NY)
Italy’s new virus cases declined to 1,444 on Saturday, the day after the nation reported its largest increase since May. Anti-migrant politicians have used the late-summer surge to try to drum up support for tighter border controls. The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was forced to clarify that migration policy is controlled from Rome after Sicily’s governor ordered migrant centers closed citing virus risk.
An outbreak on the country’s other main island, Sardinia, has led authorities to draw up a contingency plan for tourists who’ve tested positive to return to the mainland on separate vessels, newspapers reported Saturday.
Florida Cases Stable, Deaths Rise (11:07 a.m. NY)
Florida cases increased to 619,003 on Saturday, a rise of 0.5% in line with the average daily increase of the previous week. Deaths among Florida residents reached 10,957, an increase of 148 and higher than the 89 reported the previous day, according to the state health department report, which includes data through Friday.
New York Hospitalizations at New Low (10:28 a.m. NY)
New York hospitalizations dropped to a record 458, the smallest number since March 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. The state now has 22 straight days with a positive-test rate under 1%, he said in a statement.
The state recorded 635 cases, a 0.1% rise in line with the average daily increase over the previous week, for a total of 433,402. Another seven people died, he said.
Saudi Cases Fall Below 1,000 (9:47 a.m. NY)
Saudi Arabia reported 987 new coronavirus cases and 27 deaths on Saturday, dipping below 1,000 new cases daily for the first time since mid-April.
The country has gradually managed to bring down daily new cases from a peak of nearly 5,000 in June, with masks mandated in public and international flights suspended since March. However its death rate has steadily crept up over the same time period, reaching 1.2% on Saturday -- still among the lowest in the world.
U.S. Has Almost 48,000 New Cases (8:00 a.m. NY)
The U.S. added 47,860 virus cases Friday, a 0.8% rise compared with the average 0.7% daily increase of the previous seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The total is 5,913,913.
Another 975 deaths were reported, after three days of increases over 1,000, the data show. Total fatalities are 181,789.
Iran and Russia Cases (6:45 a.m. NY)
Iran reported 1,905 new cases on Saturday, its lowest daily total in three months and the first time since late May that the number was under 2,000. Fatalities fell for a sixth day to 110, the lowest since late June, according to the latest Health Ministry data.
In Russia, the number of new cases held steady at 4,941. The daily figure has been below 5,000 for the last two weeks. The country recorded 111 deaths.
Hong Kong Tests Front-line Workers (6:15 a.m. NY)
Hong Kong’s government has distributed 160,000 test kits to front-line workers, including security guards and cleaners at property-management companies, it said in a statement. About 97,000 of the voluntary tests have been returned and five were positive for Covid-19.
In total, the city reported 18 new cases, two of which were imported, according to the city’s Center for Health Protection. Fatalities at public hospitals rose to 86.
U.K. Lockdown Warning (4:45 p.m. HK)
U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the country could face “very extensive” local lockdowns in the event of a second wave of coronavirus this winter.
Hancock told the Times he’s working under the “central scenario” that a vaccine will likely be available “some time next year.” Until then, he said the government will have to rely on three “lines of defense” to stop the spread of the coronavirus: social distancing, testing and tracing and local lockdowns.
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