The Latest: Italy's daily record nears 38,000 virus cases
ROME – Italy registered a one-day record of nearly 38,000 coronavirus cases.
The Health Ministry reported 37,809 cases on Friday, about 9% higher than the previous day. There were more than 234,200 swab tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
On Friday, some 16 million people in a swath of northern Italy and in one southern region were under “red zone” measures, unable to leave their towns and all but essential shops closed.
Lombardy, one of the regions, reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Friday. As opposition lawmakers and local politicians railed against the new rules, Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza pleaded in Parliament for the nation to pull together in the fight against the coronavirus crisis.
Italy has reported a total of 862,681 coronavirus cases. With 446 more deaths, the confirmed death toll stands at 40,638, sixth highest in the world.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Italy shuts down 4 regions, hits daily record cases; Europe tries lighter lockdowns
— Russia daily coronavirus cases top 20,000, adds record deaths
— Poland registers 27,100 new daily virus cases
— An AP analysis shows in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority voted for Donald Trump.
— Malaysia’s government is proposing a larger national budget in 2021 to help the coronavirus-hit economy rebound and provide increased help for the poor.
— Indonesians collect old phones to help students get online to learn at home
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
ATHENS, Greece — Cars streamed out of Athens and long lines formed at retail stores on Friday, the last day before Greece goes into a second nationwide lockdown for three weeks.
Greece announced 2,448 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths on Friday. All retail stores except those selling essential items such as food, medication and fuel will be shut.
In Thessaloniki, which went into lockdown earlier this week, about 200 people gathered to protest the measures, shouting slogans and throwing eggs at police and journalists. Clashes broke out with riot police, who responded with tear gas and percussion grenades.
Greece’s confirmed total stands at 52,254 cases and 715 deaths.
PHOENIX — Arizona reported nearly 2,000 daily coronavirus cases and 22 deaths on Friday.
The Department of Health Services registered 1,996 confirmed cases, increasing the state’s totals to 254,764. There have been 6,109 confirmed deaths.
Arizona, a national hot spot in June and July, has seen a gradual increase in cases and hospitalizations.
The COVID-19-related hospitalizations stood at 1,082 on Thursday. The hospitalizations topped 1,000 on Tuesday for the first time since late August.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities will impose a mini-lockdown in selected areas of major cities, sealing off hot spots to contain the rising coronavirus.
The government says the restrictions will start Saturday. Indoor weddings will be banned but outdoor gatherings will be allowed if guests adhere to social distancing rules.
Authorities will fine those not wearing masks and violating social distancing rules.
The development comes hours after Pakistan reported 1,376 new cases and 30 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday.
The country has registered 340,251 confirmed cases and 6,923 deaths since February.
PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo authorities ordered a weekend lockdown following a spike in daily coronavirus cases.
There were a record 728 new coronavirus cases on Friday, 12 times more than a month ago, and 12 deaths. The Health Ministry ordered the stoppage of most activities and businesses from Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 5 a.m.
Only bakeries, pharmacies, small retail shops, fuel stations, health clinics and other supply lines can operate. People and private cars will be prohibited from traveling in seven communes, including the capital, Pristina.
Kosovo reached up to 266 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks compared to 50 cases a month ago, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The National Institute of Public Health reports Kosovo has a total of 22,934 confirmed cases and 732 deaths.
WARSAW, Poland — Poland registered 27,100 new coronavirus cases and a record 445 deaths on Friday. It’s using a soccer stadium as a field hospital.
The first patient was brought to a temporary COVID-19 hospital at Warsaw’s National Stadium, offering 300 beds with a capacity of some 1,200.
The giant stadium was built for the EURO 2012 soccer championships. It’s served as a conference center and concert hall, but never as a hospital.
Most positive cases were in southern Poland and in the Warsaw province, among the nearly 83,000 daily tests.
According to the Health Ministry, Poland has nearly 494,000 cases and 7,287 confirmed deaths in a nation of 38 million.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Oslo has shut down restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, cinemas and theatres to help curb the coronavirus.
Officials in the Norwegian capital introduced Friday what they called a “social closure of Oslo.”
Mayor Raymond Johansen says to bring down the infection rates, “we must shut down where people gather.” However, schools will remain open.
Oslo has 1,456 confirmed cases, up 129 from the previous day. Norway has a total of 23,225 cases and 285 confirmed deaths.
MOSCOW — Russia’s daily number of new coronavirus infections topped 20,000 on Friday, setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic.
Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases — currently the fourth largest in the world —has exceeded 1.7 million following a quick spread of contagion since September. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported 29,887 deaths since March.
Of 20,582 new cases reported Friday, Moscow accounted for 6,253 infections, the capital’s highest number since May.
Despite new daily records, authorities insist there is no need to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide. They argue that the health care system is capable of handling a surge in infections.
Russian media, however, have reported on overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers in some regions, indicating the health care system is under significant strain.
GENEVA — The United States is urging the head of the World Health Organization to invite Taiwan to attend the U.N. health agency’s annual assembly next week, pointing to its “resounding success” against COVID-19.
China has effectively blocked Taiwan from attending the World Health Assembly in recent years since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Her pro-independence administration has run afoul of Beijing, which considers Taiwan as part of China.
The U.S. appeal to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus comes after the Trump administration over the summer took action toward pulling the United States out of the U.N. health agency next year. Taiwan is not a U.N. member state.
Taiwan, a country of some 23 million people, has tallied just 569 confirmed COVID-19 cases and just seven deaths from the pandemic, according to a compilation of global figures by Johns Hopkins University.
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenian police say they have detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Several hundred angry protesters on Thursday threw bottles, flares and rocks at the police who used tear gas and water cannon to disperse them in a rare riot in what in the usually calm Alpine nation.
The gather was organized in violation of a ban on gatherings that is in place in Slovenia as part of anti-virus rules. Public broadcaster RTV Slovenia says some of the protesters attacked media crews, hitting a photojournalist on the head.
Slovenia’s authorities have introduced an overnight curfew and a set of restrictive rules after facing a surge in infections in the nation of 2 million people.
BERLIN — Germany’s health minister has warned of hard times ahead unless the country can “break” the rising trajectory of coronavirus cases.
Jens Spahn told lawmakers in Parliament on Friday that “the situation is serious,” noting that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the country’s intensive care units has doubled in the last 10 days.
“As of today the health system can cope with this,” he said. “But a doubling every 10 days is something the best health system in the world can’t cope with in the long term.”
Germany’s disease control agency reported a new record of over 21,500 confirmed infections in the country in the past day, and 166 further deaths.
Laboratories in Germany are also warning that they are reaching capacity, and urging stricter criteria for which people can be tested.
BEIJING — China has temporarily banned the entry of foreigners from at least eight countries as COVID-19 cases rise in Europe and elsewhere.
Non-Chinese can no longer enter from Russia, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh, even if they hold a valid visa or residence permit for China.
Embassies in those countries have posted online notices in recent days announcing the temporary suspension of entry.
China has enacted strict measures to guard against new infections from abroad.
Health authorities on Friday reported 30 imported cases in the most recent 24-hour period, including 15 in Shanghai. That brought the total number of imported cases during the pandemic to 3,510.
NEW DELHI — India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million.
Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, the health ministry data showed.
India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States. Even though the country has seen a steady dip in cases since mid-September, its capital is witnessing a surge in infections.
New Delhi recorded nearly 6,700 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the second-highest single-day spike since the pandemic began.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s highest court has upheld a state’s border closure and dismissed a case arguing the pandemic measure was unconstitutional.
All Australian states and territories have used border restrictions to curb infections, and a ruling against Western Australia's closure could have impacted the others.
The High Court judges ruled the state's border closure to non-essential travel during “a hazard in the nature of a plague or epidemic” complied with the constitution.
The state shut its border to the rest of Australia on April 5 and hasn’t recorded any COVID-19 community transmission since April 11. It will ease the restriction next week for people from states and territories deemed low risk..
Separately, an inquiry into quarantine troubles in Melbourne has recommended that police guard hotels where returning overseas travelers stay. The Victoria state government’s decision to use private security firms instead of police and the military to enforce the quarantines has been widely blamed for lax controls that led to a virus surge in Australia’s second-largest city.