Nearly 46 million people have now been infected with the coronavirus world-wide, and nearly 1.19 million have died.
U.K.: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet was due to meet Saturday to discuss plans for a new nationwide lockdown in England to curb the virus’s spread, according to a government official, who stressed a final decision hasn’t been made. Scientists at Imperial College London estimate infections are running at almost 100,000 a day in England, and hospitalizations and deaths are creeping up. The seven-day average for deaths hit 213 on Tuesday, its highest tally since May.
The government has been experimenting with localized restrictions in England but cases have continued rising. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own public-health policies and have already closed some businesses and imposed curbs on household mixing. Mr. Johnson is due to hold a televised press conference at 4:00 p.m. London time on Saturday.
Greece: New restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing indoors and outdoors, will be take effect in Greece starting Tuesday. Other measures include a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew, and university courses will revert to online learning. In the Athens region and northern Greece, where the virus is circulating at higher levels, the government has also ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, theaters, museums and gyms.
While Greece has among the lowest infection rates in Europe, new cases are rising rapidly. Announcing the new measures, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the goal was to prevent the virus from spreading out of control.
“We must act now, before the intensive-care units are overwhelmed by people fighting for their life. Now, while we still have the ability to detect and track cases,” he said in a televised address.
India: The new-case count was below 50,000 for the sixth day in a row, with the country reporting 48,268 cases over the preceding 24 hours, and 551 deaths. Confirmed cases now exceed 8.1 million, with a death toll of 121,641.
Japan: The 778 new cases reported Saturday pushed the total past 100,000, and the 11 deaths brought the toll to 1,755. Starting Sunday, the government will allow business travelers returning from trips of seven days or less to any country to skip the two-week quarantine, provided they meet conditions including a negative test result.
The government has also lowered travel alerts on nine countries including China, South Korea and Australia. From Sunday onward, travelers from those countries won’t be required to take a coronavirus test upon arrival.
South Korea: With 127 new Covid-19 cases reported, it was the fourth consecutive day above 100. Locally transmitted infections have been rising this week, with new clusters around workplaces and social gatherings. Local authorities are on high alert this weekend, concerned that Halloween festivities could prompt a fresh wave.
China: Mainland Chinese authorities reported six new locally transmitted symptomatic cases, all in and around the city of Kashgar in the far western Xinjiang region and previously classified as asymptomatic. Chinese health authorities typically highlight and focus on positive cases showing symptoms.