Ireland Returning to Lockdown; Trump Rips Fauci: Virus Update
Global coronavirus cases exceeded 40 million, with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing. In the U.S., surges in Wisconsin and other battleground states pose a challenge for President Donald Trump two weeks before he stands for re-election.
Millions of Europeans are facing tighter restrictions on movement, with London, Paris and Vienna enforcing stricter curbs and Ireland enacting some of the region’s toughest measures. Iran again reported a record number of daily deaths linked to the virus, while Wales announced a two-week ‘fire-breaker’ lockdown.
China’s economic recovery accelerated, aided by aggressive virus containment that has allowed factories to quickly reopen.
- Global Tracker: Cases top 40 million; deaths exceed 1.1 million
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- Getting vaccine doubters to roll up their sleeves won’t be easy
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- How do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say: QuickTake
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Ireland to Close Stores, Bars in Lockdown (4:20 p.m. NY)
Ireland’s government imposed some of the most sweeping pandemic restrictions in Europe to rein in the virus. Non-essential stores, bars and restaurants will close their doors for at least six weeks, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said. Travel will be further restricted, with people told to stay within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from home.
“These are the toughest of times,” Martin said in a televised address in Dublin.
Like the rest of Europe, Ireland is grappling with a new surge as the winter months approach. The 14=day incidence of cases per 100,000 of population has surged to about 240 from 88 at the start of October.
California to Review Vaccine Before Distribution (4 p.m. NY)
California will require a panel of health experts to review any coronavirus vaccine before allowing it to be distributed to the state’s 40 million residents, Governor Gavin Newsom said. The 11-member panel -- which includes scientists and doctors from California universities and public-health departments -- will verify the safety and efficacy of any shot even after it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“This vaccine will move at the speed of trust,” Newsom said at a news briefing.
The state also is working on guidelines to ensure the equitable distribution of what’s expected to be a limited early supply of the vaccine, Newsom said, noting that the “overwhelming majority” of people won’t see shots readily available until well into 2021.
While the race to develop a vaccine has become a political issue, Newsom said the group will review the shot regardless of the outcome of the November presidential election.
Battleground Cases Pose Challenge for Trump (1:50 p.m. NY)
Wisconsin is the most extreme example, a swing state that Trump won in 2016 that now has America’s fourth-worst outbreak by per-capita cases in the past week. Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan have all seen difficult stretches, and cases have been creeping back up in recent weeks.
In North Carolina, counties with large Black communities -- which helped former President Barack Obama win the state in 2008 and 2012 -- are facing their hardest stretch of the pandemic.
New Hampshire Hospital Group Goes Bankrupt (1:35 p.m. NY)
LRGHealthcare filed for Chapter 11 on Monday, the latest hospital chain to succumb to disruptions from the novel coronavirus.
The company is luckier than other medical groups that have been forced to shutter. It has a so-called stalking horse offer from Concord Hospital Inc. for Lakes Region General Hospital, Franklin Regional Hospital and the hospitals’ ambulatory sites, according to a statement on its website and court papers. The group plans to conduct a sale process and auction for the assets.
WHO Says Lack of Quarantine Spurred Cases (12:46 p.m. NY)
Officials at the World Health Organization reiterated the importance of adhering to quarantine rules for those who test positive and those who have come in contact with a positive case, as Europe faces a surge in numbers.
“One thing that could really change the game here, it’s making sure each and every contact of a confirmed case is in quarantine for the appropriate period of time so as to break chains of transmission,” Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at a media briefing. “I do not believe that has occurred systematically anywhere, and in particular in countries that are experiencing large increases now.”
The question for Europe is how to get the case numbers back to manageable numbers again, in order to fully re-engage on case identification, contact tracing and full quarantine of contacts, Ryan said.
Trump Complains About Fauci (12:30 p.m. NY)
President Donald Trump complained to his campaign staff about the government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, including him among people he considers “idiots,” but said he couldn’t fire him because of public perception.
“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said Monday in a call intended to boost morale at a campaign running well behind his challenger, Joe Biden. Trump’s campaign invited reporters to listen.
“Anytime he goes on television” there’s a “bomb,” Trump said, adding that if he fired Fauci it would be a “bigger bomb.”
India May Contain Spread by February, Panel Says (11:40 a.m. NY)
India has already seen a peak in the number of new coronavirus infections and may be able to contain the world’s second-largest outbreak by February, according to a government panel of scientists that attributed a recent slowdown to a harsh national lockdown earlier this year.
In a presentation, the Covid-19 Supermodel Committee led by M. Vidyasagar said a peak in active cases came in late September. The scientists looked at a number of hypothetical scenarios where lockdowns had been avoided or delayed. They concluded that the restrictions imposed in March saved “a lot more misery and lives” and signaled that Covid-19 could be tamed in a few months.
Italy Urges Mayors to Shut Piazzas (11:25 a.m. NY)
Italy’s coronavirus cases declined on Monday, falling to 9,338, compared with a daily record of 11,705 the previous day. About 99,000 tests were carried out, and 73 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, bringing the total to 36,616.
Patients in intensive-care units rose by 47 to 797, compared with an early April peak of more than 4,000.
The Italian government’s new decree -- approved on Sunday night only five days after a previous package -- urged mayors to close piazzas and streets at 9 p.m. to stop crowds gathering, and imposed a maximum of six people per table at restaurants, which must close at midnight. Amateur and school competitions for contact sports are banned.
Philippines Cuts Curfew Hours (10:35 a.m. NY)
The Philippines shortened curfew hours in Manila and eased the stay-at-home order to further reopen its economy.
The curfew in most of the capital region will now be from midnight to 4 a.m., having previously been from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Interior Secretary Eduardo Anosaid in a televised briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
Delta CEO Sees Case Surge Slowing Trans-Atlantic Travel Plan (8:25 a.m. NY)
Europe’s recent surge in coronavirus cases threatens to upset efforts to kick-start trans-Atlantic business travel, according to Delta Air Lines Inc.’s chief executive officer.
Government officials and airline executives have been hoping to test so-called travel bridges between the U.S. and Europe that open up flying by requiring passengers to get screened before departure. The idea is considered the best solution, absent a vaccine, to avoid quarantines for travelers. But recent events are delaying the plan.
“It’s probably not an ideal time to be opening up experimental routes,” Delta’s Ed Bastian said Monday on Bloomberg Television.
Wales to Try ‘Fire-Break’ Lockdown (8:15 a.m. NY)
The government of Wales announced a two-week lockdown designed to curb the spread of coronavirus, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 9. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home, with all non-essential retail outlets closing. “A fire-break period is our best chance of regaining control of the virus and avoiding a much longer and more damaging lockdown,” said Drakeford.
CVS Adds 15,000 Workers Readying to Administer Covid Vaccines (8 a.m. N.Y.)
CVS Health Corp. said it will hire about 15,000 workers to help with flu season, coronavirus testing and possibly administering Covid-19 vaccines. Two-thirds of the new hires will be pharmacy technicians, the company said Monday.
Iran Deaths Hit Record (7:05 a.m. NY)
Iran reported its highest number of daily deaths, with 337 fatalities. That’s fifth time in two weeks that Iran has reported a record number of deaths. The number of cases rose to 534,631 with 4,251 new infections, the Health Ministry said.
Slovenia Imposes Curfew (6:55 a.m. NY)
Slovenia will impose a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, while also limiting public gatherings to a maximum of 6 people to try to halt the spread of the virus. The Alpine state reported 537 new cases with a record positivity rate of 20.4%.
Ireland Weighs Some of Europe’s Toughest Curbs (6:30 a.m. NY)
Ireland is set to introduce some of the toughest curbs in Europe to curtail the coronavirus.
The cabinet is due to meet Monday in Dublin, after health authorities recommended a move to the tightest lockdown tier, Level 5. That would see non-essential stores shuttered, all bars closed and travel restricted to within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of one’s home. Amid concern about the implications of a near-total lockdown, the government may opt for a mix of Level 4 and Level 5 measures, meaning people can travel about 10 kilometers from home. The new restrictions will likely be announced after 6 p.m. in Dublin.
Austria Curbs Gatherings in Bid to Avoid Full Lockdown (6:15 a.m. NY)
Austria is limiting gatherings to 6 indoors and 12 outdoors and tightening rules for events such as soccer matches, theatre performances and Christmas markets to try a second lockdown, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday following a meeting with the country’s 9 provinces. The gathering limit applies from Friday to everything “from restaurants to yoga classes,” Kurz said. Provinces can go beyond the national rules where necessary.
Moscow Resists Lockdown as Cases Soar (6 a.m. NY)
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin resisted returning to a lockdown even as he warned the city is on track to filling its 15,000 beds devoted to treating Covid-19.
A curfew, banning movement around the city or closing most businesses would be “absolutely unacceptable and impossible,” Sobyanin wrote on his blog Monday. The mayor’s stance mirrors the Russian government, which has shied away from harsh restrictions during the pandemic’s second wave despite record numbers of new cases.
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