The Latest: Czech health minister resigns amid virus surge
PRAGUE — The Czech Republic’s health minister has resigned amid a record rise of coronavirus infections.
Adam Vojtech says his move should create space for a new approach to the pandemic.
The country coped well with infections in the spring but has been facing a record surge of new confirmed cases over the past week.
On Thursday, the day-to-day increase of new cases was higher than 3,000.
It is not immediately clear who will replace Vojtech, who was under pressure from the opposition to resign.
The Czech Republic has reported a total of 49,290 infected and 503 deaths since the pandemic began, according to government figures released on Monday.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— Analysis: U.S. to hit 200,000 dead; Trump sees no need for regret
— New Zealand to begin lifting all remaining coronavirus restrictions
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
LONDON — Britain’s top medical and scientific advisers are set to give a sobering assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic to the public on Monday, amid expectations the government is preparing to announce new measures to control rising infection rates.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance are scheduled to hold a televised briefing at 11 a.m. BST (1000 GMT) during which they are expected to warn that infection rates are going in the wrong direction and the U.K. faces a challenging winter.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson huddled with ministers over the weekend to discuss the government’s reaction. Analysts expect the government to announce a slate of short-term restrictions that will act as a circuit breaker to slow the spread of the disease.
NEW DELHI — India has recorded nearly 87,000 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with another 1,130 deaths.
With the Health Ministry announcement Monday, India now has more than 5.4 million reported cases since the pandemic began and within weeks is expected to surpass the United States, currently the country with the most reported cases.
India’s total deaths in the pandemic now stand at 87,882.
More than 60% of the active cases are concentrated in five of 28 Indian states: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Despite the steady increase in cases, the government has continued to relax virus restrictions in order to help an economy that contracted 24% in the second quarter.
On Monday, the Taj Mahal will reopen after a six-month closure. There will be some restrictions such as compulsory mask-wearing, thermal screening of visitors and physical distancing at the monument.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — All remaining virus restrictions will be lifted across much of New Zealand from late Monday with the exception of the largest city, Auckland, which will continue to have some restrictions for at least another 16 days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement Monday after meeting with top lawmakers.
The nation of 5 million re-imposed some restrictions last month after an Auckland outbreak that now appears to be under control.
Under the plan, maximum gathering sizes in Auckland will be increased from 10 to 100 on Wednesday and then caps removed two weeks after that.
“Auckland needs more time,” Ardern told reporters in the city. “Whilst we have reasonable confidence we are on the right track, there is still a need in Auckland for that cautious approach.”
Health authorities reported no new cases on Monday. The number of active cases is 62, with 33 from community spread and 29 among quarantined returning travelers.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s daily virus tally has stayed below 100 for a second consecutive day, maintaining a slowing trend in fresh infections.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Monday the 70 new cases added in the past 24 hours took the country’s total to 23,045 with 385 deaths.
South Korea on Sunday counted 82 new cases, marking the first time for its daily jump to fall to double digits in about 40 days.
South Korea conducts fewer tests on weekends. But South Korea’s recent virus resurgence has recently been on a downward trajectory amid strong social distancing rules since its daily tally surpassed 400 in late August.
MEXICO CITY — Health authorities in Mexico say the coronavirus pandemic has been declining for at least three weeks in 26 of the country’s 32 states.
Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s point man for the coronavirus pandemic, said in a press conference Sunday the downward trend was seen in most of the country and that there has also been a decrease in mortality, similar to what has occurred in Europe despite outbreaks on that continent.
However, Mexico remains the fourth country with the most deaths from COVID-19, with at least 73,493 killed, behind only the United States, Brazil and India.
López-Gatell also said national hospital occupancy remains below 40 percent but added that they expect an increase in the month of October due to both the coronavirus and because it is flu season.
Mexico already has more than 697,000 officially confirmed infected.