The Latest: Israel's environment minister tests positive
JERUSALEM — A member of Israel’s Cabinet has tested positive for the coronavirus as the country remains under lockdown while battling a second wave of infection.
Gila Gamliel, Israel’s environmental protection minister and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, announced on Twitter Sunday that she had tested positive. She was the fourth minister in Israel’s government to test positive for COVID-19 since March.
“I feel good and hope to recover quickly with God’s help,” she wrote on social media.
The Israeli government imposed a nationwide lockdown on Sept. 18 ahead of the Jewish High Holidays in an effort to rein in a runaway outbreak of the coronavirus. The country has one of the highest daily infection rates per capita in the world.
According to Health Ministry figures, Israel has recorded over 264,000 cases and almost 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Doctor: Trump improving, but not ‘out of the woods’ yet
— Analysis: Trump faces credibility crisis over health scare
— Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused
— South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Madrid has started its first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital. The Madrid region has become Europe’s most critical hot spot in the second wave of the coronavirus.
— Pope Francis has traveled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation, which sprawls across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, reported 17 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths Saturday.
The total number of deaths related to the virus on the huge reservation remains at 558, and the total number of cases is now 10,421.
NEW DELHI — India has registered 75,829 confirmed coronaviruses cases in the past 24 hours, a day after crossing 100,000 fatalities.
The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 6.5 million on Sunday and said at least 101,782 people have died of COVID-19.
India is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally but with the recovery rate at more than 83%, the number of those cured has surpassed 5.5 million, the Health Ministry said.
India also has the low fatality rate of 1.56%, which is nearly half the global one.
The Health Ministry credited the increased testing in the country for a sustained low death rate. India has conducted nearly 79 million tests so far, according to official data.
India is preparing to reopen cinemas and entertainment parks with limited capacity beginning Oct. 15, in an effort to revive the economy. Health experts warn the move has the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival and winter season.
MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has called on citizens to “stay the course” after large groups flooded beaches and parks at the weekend in defiance of strict lockdown regulations.
Victoria, emerging from a major winter spike in coronavirus cases, relaxed lockdown regulations last weekend but still allowed only five people from up to two households to congregate outside.
Many ignored those regulations on Saturday and crowded parks and beaches, causing Premier Daniel Andrews to remind Victorians not to be selfish and maintain social distancing. Victoria reported only 12 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, well down on the peaks of winter.
“We are so, so close,” Andrews said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again if we don’t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.”
Andrews said the situation in Victoria is “delicately poised” as the state moves toward further easing of lockdown rules.
“It’s sunny, yes, and people love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on,” he said. “Surely, there’s a greater urge to see this thing, to defeat it and to have a normal summer and have a COVID normal Christmas and 2021.”
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year.
The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths.
Thirty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since August. Health workers have struggled to track transmissions tied to churches, hospitals, schools and offices.
Seventeen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, mostly from other Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh.
There are concerns that infections could rise in coming weeks because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that continues through Sunday.
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico officials have reported 298 additional known COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 30,296 cases with 890 deaths.
The additional cases reported Saturday included 75 in Bernalillo County, 67 in Dona Ana County, 32 in Chaves County, 22 in Lea County and 20 in Curry County.
The three deaths occurred one each in Bernalillo, Curry and Dona Ana counties and involving people in their 70s or 80s with underlying conditions.
PHOENIX — Numerous inmates say Arizona’s prison system has failed to provide necessary testing, supplies and treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Arizona Republic reports that dozens of letters from inmates in recent months said the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry wasn’t protecting staff and inmates during the outbreak.
The Republic reports inmates’ letters describing fears and frustrations, asking for help while others provided graphic details in personal narratives of surviving the virus.
A department spokesperson denied many allegations by inmates, including that sick inmates weren’t tested. Department spokesperson Judy Keane also cited health and safety protocols announced during the pandemic.
LONDON — Britain has recorded 12,872 new coronavirus infections, by far the highest daily total since the outbreak began, though the figure includes a backlog of previously unreported cases.
The government says the figure includes an unspecified number of deaths over the past week that have not been reported because of a now-resolved “technical issue.”
Saturday’s total is more than 5,000 cases more than the previous high, recorded earlier this week.
Britain is seeing a second spike in coronavirus cases, though the daily number can’t directly be compared to the outbreak’s U.K. peak in April because many more tests are now being performed now.
The number of hospitalizations and deaths is also rising but remains far below the U.K.’s springtime peak. Another 49 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Saturday. Britain’s official coronavirus death toll is 42,317.
The government has imposed restrictions on social gatherings to try and curb the spread of the virus, and almost a third of the country’s population of 66 million is under tighter local lockdown measures.
NEW YORK — New York state’s daily count of new coronavirus cases is continuing to rise.
The state reported on Saturday that there were more than 1,700 new confirmed cases on Friday, up slightly from the day before with case totals not seen since May. Some of the hot spots in the state included the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where more than 350 people tested positive, and in suburban Rockland County, which saw at least 120 new cases.
The hardest hit regions of the state, on a per capita basis, were the Southern Tier area along the Pennsylvania border and the Mid-Hudson Valley.