• As the number of total Covid-19 deaths worldwide approached a grim milestone of one million, mainland China reported 15 new cases on Saturday, all of them imported infections related to travellers.
India recorded 88,600 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, taking the country’s official toll to just under 6 million (5,992,532), according to the country’s official figures. Deaths increased by 1,124 to 94,503.
• The Spanish government and authorities in Madrid are locked in a standoff over how to tackle the second wave of Covid-19 in and around the capital, where more than a third of Spain’s 716,481 cases have been diagnosed.
As the number of infections continues to surge in Spain – by far the worst hit western European country – Madrid is at the centre of a medical, political and economic row.
The conservative regional government has placed 45 areas into a partial lockdown that affects just over a million people in Madrid, but it has rejected calls from Spain’s socialist-led coalition government for the whole of the capital to be placed in limited confinement.
• Fresh restrictions were imposed in new areas of Wales by the devolved administration, as a wider UK focus fell on thousands of students who are self isolating in halls of residence in cities including Glasgow and Manchester.
University students should be able to return home to their families at Christmas if the country “pulls together” and observes the new coronavirus rules, a cabinet minister has said.
• The British government is facing unprecedented challenges to its handling of the pandemic, both from within the ranks of the ruling party but also from the opposition and street protests.
The opposition Labour Party has confirmed it is likely to support a rebel Conservative amendment obliging ministers to seek parliamentary approval for new lockdown restrictions, setting up the government for a possible parliamentary defeat next week.
• The Australian state of Victoria has announced an end to its curfew and easing of some of the months-long lockdown measures. The government also announced further steps out of lockdown will be based on case numbers, not strict dates. Australia reported just 18 new cases on Saturday, and two deaths, and trade minister Simon Birmingham hopes a travel bubble with New Zealand can be put in place by the end of the year.
• In Latin America, Argentina’s coronavirus cases are poised to top 700,000 as new daily infections and deaths hit the top five globally, despite seven months of lockdown that have ravaged the frail economy.
Coronavirus cases in Colombia, which is nearly a month into a national reopening after a long lockdown, surpassed 800,000. Elsewhere, Mexican authorities reported 5,573 new cases along with 399 deaths on Friday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing.