One in 7 coronavirus cases is among health workers – WHO: Live | News
- One in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health worker and in some countries that figure rises to one in three, according to the organisation.
- United States President Donald Trump continues to claim there will be a coronavirus vaccine in weeks, contradicting the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The World Bank’s chief economist Carmen Reinhart says the global economic recovery from the crisis originated by the pandemic may take as much as five years.
- More than 29.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 941,541 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 20.3 million people have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, September 17
16:27 GMT – England adds Slovenia to quarantine list, Singapore and Thailand removed
Slovenia and Guadaloupe have been added to the list of countries from which travellers must quarantine when entering England, British transport minister Grant Shapps has said.
Anybody arriving in England from the two countries after 4am on Saturday will need to self-isolate for 14 days, he said on Twitter.
However, travellers from Singapore and Thailand have been added to England’s Travel Corridor list meaning they will no longer have to quarantine on arrival.
16:24 GMT – Mexico requests month-long extension on US-Mexico border restrictions
Mexico’s foreign ministry has said it has requested another month-long extension on land-crossing restrictions at the US-Mexico border.
The restrictions, first implemented last March, would be in place until October 21, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
15:44 GMT – Family and friends are major sources of infections: French minister
Gatherings of family are a major source of COVID-19 infections, French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said.
“If everyone reduced his number of social contacts, this would help reduce the spread of the virus”, he said during a press conference.
Five people out of 100 tested for COVID-19 are today positive, versus one in a 100 at start of summer, Veran also said.
15:35 GMT – Airline CEOs plead with White House to avert looming US job cuts
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has met with major airline chief executives as the industry braces for thousands of job cuts in two weeks, and has urged lawmakers to embrace a $1.5 trillion coronavirus aid package proposed by a bipartisan congressional group and endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Meadows told reporters “if (House) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi was willing to move a bill to keep people from being laid off in the airline industry that’s stand-alone, that the president would certainly support it”.
How should workers’ rights be protected during the pandemic? | Inside Story
15:27 GMT – UK’s 500,000 daily test target will have to grow after October: official
The UK will need more than the current target of 500,000 daily COVID-19 tests after October, the head of the test and trace system in England has said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government was working hard to increase testing capacity, saying he aimed to be able to do 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
“I am certain that we will need more as we go beyond the end of October,” Dido Harding, interim chair of the new National Institute for Health Protection, told lawmakers.
“We have plans to go beyond the 500,000 a day (target).”
15:05 GMT – NYC again delays in-person learning for most students
New York City has again delayed the planned start of in-person learning for most of the more than 1 million students in its public school system.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that most elementary school students would do remote-only learning until September 29. Middle and high schools would stay remote through October 1.
Pre-kindergarten students and some other special education students will be the only ones who resume in-person instruction on Monday, as originally planned.
14:36 GMT – Jakarta plans to double virus testing as cases soar
Indonesia’s capital plans to double its COVID-19 testing capacity in the near future, its governor told Reuters.
Jakarta alone has seen more than 1,000 new daily cases on average this month, more than double the average in the first half of August.
Governor Anies Baswedan said in an interview that the city of 10 million was conducting about 50,000 weekly tests and hopes to “at least reach double from where we are today”.
According to the WHO Jakarta’s weekly testing rate of 5.5-6 people per 1,000 population in the past three weeks was five times the WHO’s minimum benchmark.
14:21 GMT – Cases in Netherlands hit record daily high: health authorities
The number of cases in the Netherlands have hit a record high for the third consecutive day at 1,753, data released by national health authorities have showed.
On Wednesday 1,542 new infections were reported.
Total number of cases have increased to 88,073.
14:15 GMT – Ireland to quarantine people travelling from Greece, Italy
Ireland has added Greece and Italy to the list of countries from which travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
A new “Green List” which goes into effect on Monday allows travelers arriving from just seven countries to avoid quarantine: Cyprus, Finalnd, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Toronto, Canada taking over the live updates from my colleague Umut Uras in Doha, Qatar.
12:20 GMT – One in 7 reported virus cases is among health workers: WHO
One in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health worker and in some countries that figure rises to one in three, the agency said on Thursday.
The WHO called for frontline medical workers to be provided with protective equipment to prevent them from being infected with the novel coronavirus, and potentially spreading it to their patients and families.
“Globally around 14 percent of COVID cases reported to the WHO are among health workers and in some countries it’s as much as 35 percent,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He added data was limited however and it was hard to know if people were infected at work or in their communities.
11:40 GMT – WHO’s Ryan: don’t turn COVID-19 into ‘political football’
The World Health Organization’s top emergency expert, asked about contradictory remarks by President Donald Trump and US health officials on COVID-19, said it was important for all countries to have “consistent messaging” for their public.
Trump took exception on Wednesday to comments from the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, who said a vaccine could be broadly rolled out in mid-2021 and masks might be more effective.
Trump, at a news conference, said he believed a vaccine will be rolled out much sooner. He said he called Redfield after his testimony to question him about it, and that Redfield appeared to have been confused by the question.
11:00 GMT – International arrivals to Abu Dhabi must wear tracking device
International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to COVID-19, according to state-owned Etihad Airways.
Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates rose this month to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely blamed on people not practicing social distancing.
Those arriving at Abu Dhabi airport would be fitted with a medically approved wristband, which is removed after the 14-days of home quarantine, according to Etihad’s latest travel update.
10:30 GMT – Philippines considers relaxing travel ban for nurses
The Philippines is considering allowing more nurses and other medical professionals to leave for jobs abroad after banning them from travel so they can fight coronavirus at home, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said.
Health care workers from the Philippines are on the front lines of the pandemic at hospitals in the United States, Europe and the Middle East as well as back home.
The labour minister has proposed to expand exemptions to those who had contracts abroad as of August 31. So far it is only those with contracts as of March 8 who have been allowed to travel.
10:05 GMT – Belarus planning 100-person clinical trial of Russia’s vaccine
Belarus is considering conducting a 100-person trial of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said, adding that potential participants can now apply online at eight local clinics that have been selected to conduct the trial.
The trial, one of several that Russia hopes to conduct abroad, is still pending regulatory approval, the ministry said, adding it had received paperwork from Russia and was inspecting it.
Large-scale trials of the ‘Sputnik-V’ vaccine, known as Phase III trials, are ongoing in Russia and involve at least 40,000 people. Initial results are expected in October or November, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), has said.
09:20 GMT – Philippines sees 3,375 new coronavirus cases
The Philippines’ health ministry reported 3,375 new coronavirus infections and 53 additional deaths.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases in the Philippines have reached 276,289, the most in Southeast Asia, while deaths have increased to 4,785.
08:45 GMT – World financial recovery may take 5 years: World Bank chief economist
The global economic recovery from the crisis originated by the coronavirus pandemic may take as much as five years, the World Bank’s chief economist Carmen Reinhart said.
“There will probably be a quick rebound as all the restriction measures linked to lockdowns are lifted, but a full recovery will take as much as five years,” Reinhart said in a remote intervention during a conference held in Madrid.
Reinhart said the pandemic-caused recession will last longer in some countries than in others and will exacerbate inequalities as the poorest will be harder hit by the crisis in rich countries and the poorest countries will be harder hit than richer countries. For the first time in twenty years, global poverty rates will rise following the crisis, she added.
8:10 GMT – Red Cross warns virus is driving discrimination in Asia
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that the novel coronavirus is driving discrimination towards vulnerable communities in Asia, including migrants and foreigners.
The humanitarian agency surveyed 5,000 people in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan and found about half blamed a specific group for spreading the coronavirus, with many mentioning Chinese people, immigrants and foreigners.
“It is particularly concerning that both national migrant and foreign workers are blamed for the spread of COVID-19 as they are quite vulnerable already,” Dr Viviane Fluck, one of the lead researchers and the agency’s Asia Pacific community engagement and accountability coordinator, told the Reuters news agency.
She said there should be more focus on combating “rumors that are linked to underlying power dynamics and structural issues of inequality”.
07:40 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus death toll passes 19,000
Russia’s death toll from the novel coronavirus passed 19,000, as the country reported 144 new deaths in the previous 24 hours.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre registered 5,762 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally of infections to 1,085,281, the world’s fourth-highest caseload.
07:00 GMT – Hurtigruten cancels remaining 2020 cruises
Norway’s Hurtigruten has called off its remaining cruises this year due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the Americas, the company said.
The decision affects Hurtigruten’s so-called expedition cruises, which often take passengers into Arctic or Antarctic waters, though its business of shipping goods and people between ports along the Norwegian coast will continue.
The company was the first cruise operator worldwide to return an oceangoing cruise ship to service in mid-June, touting reduced passenger capacity, social distancing and strict rules on hygiene.
06:40 GMT – UK faces bottleneck on testing due to lab capacity: minister
Britain faces difficulties in carrying out COVID-19 tests due to shortages of lab capacity, said junior health minister Edward Argar.
“Lab capacity is one of the bottlenecks, or one of the challenges in significantly increasing that capacity,” Argar told Sky News.
Britain can avoid further local restrictions and another national lockdown by sticking to the rules such as not meeting in groups of more than six people, minister added.
06:15 GMT – Czech Republic’s daily jump in COVID-19 cases exceeds 2,000
The Czech Republic reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day for the first time as it battles a surge in infections that is among the fastest in Europe.
The health ministry recorded 2,139 cases of the new coronavirus on Wednesday, up from a previous record 1,675 reported for the previous day.
05:45 GMT – Ukraine sets daily record with 3,584 new cvirus cases
Ukraine set a daily record with 3,584 new coronavirus infections, the national security council said, up from a figure of 3,144 on Sept. 11.
Ukraine has a total of 166,244 cases, with 3,400 deaths and 73,913 recoveries, the council added.
Hello, this is Umut Uras in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
05:15 GMT – Survey finds people in Asia blame certain groups for COVID-19
Nearly half of people in four Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan – blame certain groups for spreading COVID-19 including foreigners, people attending religious ceremonies and those who do not follow the rules on matters such as mask wearing or physical distancing.
Viviane Fluck, the community engagement and accountability coordinator at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Asia Pacific, which carried out the survey, described the findings as alarming.
“We are very concerned that vulnerable groups such as migrants and those who cannot afford protective equipment may be discriminated against due to stigma and fear,” she said in a statement. The survey also found nearly four out of five people distrusted social media, despite it being one of the leading sources of information about the virus.
05:00 GMT – The journey not the destination, airlines offer flights to nowhere
More of the Asia Pacific’s embattled airlines are offering “flights to nowhere” as the pandemic grounds international travel, according to Reuters news agency.
Qantas is the latest to join the trend, offering a seven-hour flight over Australia’s Outback and Great Barrier Reef, which apparently sold out in 10 minutes despite a starting price of 787 Australian dollars ($575). Taiwan’s EVA Airways and Japan’s ANA have also offered special sightseeing flights.
Tough border restrictions to keep the coronavirus under control have led to a 97.5 percent plunge in international travel in the region, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
04:40 GMT – Syria cases may be much higher than figures suggest: UN
The United Nation’s top humanitarian official says coronavirus could be much more widespread in Syria than official figures suggest.
Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday that it would only be possible to get a clearer picture of the situation when testing was stepped up. He noted that the source of nearly 90 percent of confirmed cases could not be traced to a known source, suggesting widespread community transmission.
Syria has confirmed 3,618 cases of the virus.
— Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) September 16, 2020
04:30 GMT – India breaks daily record for coronavirus cases – again
India has reported another record jump in daily coronavirus cases confirming 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry.
Deaths, which have been relatively low so far, are also climbing. The country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths every day for the last two weeks.
04:10 GMT – Burberry to kick off first virtual London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week is due to get underway later on Thursday with a livestreamed show from the luxury British brand Burberry.
The show will be broadcast online at 12:00 GMT with Riccardo Tisci, its Italian designer, promising an uninhabited wilderness show in a collaboration with German artist Anne Imhof that has been described as a “radical meeting of fashion and art”.
Around 80 designers will present their latest collections during the six-day event, but only a handful will stage the kind of physical shows that in pre-COVID times drew hordes of industry insiders, celebrities and journalists from around the world.
Exploring the work of Anne Imhof, the internationally acclaimed artist invited by Riccardo Tisci to partner on the upcoming #BurberrySpringSummer21 show experience
. #BurberryShow #Burberry pic.twitter.com/1yTo1bRNLV
— Burberry (@Burberry) September 15, 2020
03:50 GMT – World’s biggest glovemaker to report record profit
Malaysia’s Top Glove is due to report record profits later on Thursday, thanks to a surge in sales as a result of the coronavirus.
Analysts are expecting the company – the world’s biggest manufacturer of rubber and nitrile gloves – to announce a profit of at least 1 billion Malaysian ringgit ($241 million) for the three months ended August 31, its fiscal fourth quarter.
Top Glove is benefitting from higher prices and a surge in demand as a result of the coronavirus, but it has also been criticised over its treatment of migrant workers. US customs imposed an import ban on its products in July over forced labour concerns.
03:40 GMT – Relief for Australian sport as NSW relaxes restrictions
Crowds of as many as 40,000 people will soon be able to attend major sporting events in Sydney after the New South Wales government announced a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
The new rules – allowing stadiums to be filled to 50 percent capacity – come into effect on October 1 as the National Rugby League and Rugby Championship approach the end of their seasons.
Stadium Australia, the arena built for the 2000 Olympics, will be able to welcome 40,000 fans, the new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta 15,000 and the Sydney Cricket Ground 23,000.
Fans will have to wear facemasks going into the stadiums, but will be able to take them off inside, where they will be seated in “chequerboard” arrangements to allow physical distancing, the NSW government said.
02:45 GMT – ‘Punched, hit, kicked, shoved, deliberately spat at’
New research shows holders of temporary visas in Australia suffered increasing racist abuse after they were left out of the government’s economic support schemes and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was time to go home.
In a survey of more than 6,000 temporary visa holders, a quarter said they had experienced racist abuse, and a quarter reported people avoiding them because of their appearance.
“Over 1,600 participants described being targeted with xeonphobic slurs, treated as though they were infected with COVID because they looked Asian or haraassed for wearing a face mask,” said Professor Bassina Farbenblum, an associate professor at UNSW Law, who worked on the study with Laurie Berg, an associate professor at UTS Law. The two are co-directors of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. “Many reported that because off their Asian appearance they were punched, hit, kicked, shoved, deliberately spat at or coughed on by passers-by in the street and on public transport.”
More than one million people live in Australia on temporary visas including international students, backpackers, and refugees. The survey found 70 percent of respondents lost all or most of their work as a result of the pandemic, with one in three international students expecting their funds to run out by next month.
The government’s failure to support these vulnerable people has the potential to profoundly impact Australia’s global reputation – Latest research from UTS Law’s Laurie Berg and @UNSWLaw‘s Bassina Farbenblum on COVID’s impact on international students: https://t.co/el0EZqPC4F pic.twitter.com/2SKtwF86Ho
— UTS Faculty of Law (@UTSLaw) September 16, 2020
02:15 GMT – Brazil’s Bolsonaro appoints general as new health minister
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has apppointed a general with no experience in health as the country’s new health minister.
General Eduardo Pazuello was given the job on a temporary basis four months ago, but will now be made permanent. He has been more willing to go along with Bolsonaro’s approach to the pandemic than his predecessors, including recommending doctors prescribe hydroxycholoroquine to treat COVID-19 despite there being no evidence of it being effective.
Bolsonaro, who’s dismissed the virus as a “little flu”, brandished a box of the drug as Pazuello was sworn into office in Brasilia.
01:35 GMT – Australia tensions rise over citizens stuck overseas
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison says the number of people allowed into Australia will rise by 2,000 from next Friday, according to public broadcaster ABC.
The states, who will have to house the arrivals in hotel quarantine have yet to give their approval.
About 4,000 people are currently allowed into Australia each week, but at least 25,000 are stranded overseas because of the cap on arrivals. Many Australians also say they have been bumped from flights home repeatedly.
The govt should leave no stone unturned; on top of increasing the cap they can charter additional flights, employ RAF resources, use airports other than Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, or use federal quarantine facilities to increase capacity for people to isolate themselves.
— Joel Clark 🕯️🏳️🌈 (@JoelM_Clark) September 17, 2020
00:30 GMT – New Zealand reports record fall in GDP
New Zealand has just released economic data for the second quarter when the country was in lockdown, and it’s not pretty.
The figures show gross domestic product shrank by 12.2 percent compared with the previous quarter, the biggest drop on record. The country is now in its worst recession since 2010.
00:00 GMT – Trump contradicts CDC chief over vaccine
US President Donald Trump has directly contradicted Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the timing of any coronavirus vaccine.
While Redfield told a US Senate committee a vaccine was unlikely to be ready until mid to late 2021, Trump said it would be much sooner and accused the CDC chief of making a “mistake” and being “confused”. He told the news conference a vaccine could be announced as soon as October.
Trump has been pushing for a vaccine ahead of the November election, raising concerns about safety. Vaccine development usually takes years, and there is no guarantee of success. The process has been accelerated for the coronavirus and there are a number of candidates currently in large-scale phase three human trials, which are designed to test efficacy and safety.
COVID-19 vaccine: Safety concerns as countries rush for protection
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (September 16) here.