Thousands of maskless protesters gathered in London, clashing with police as they demonstrated against the government’s expanded anti-coronavirus restrictions. As Europe’s second wave persisted, Germany posted its highest daily number of new cases since April.
• Global Tracker: Cases top 32.6 million; deaths exceed 991,200
• Covid immunity remains low with under 10% of U.S. adults exposed
• Early Covid treatments could be ‘bridge’ to vaccine, Fauci says
• Modi offers Indian vaccine production capacity to help humanity
• American CEO living in Sweden has Covid lesson to share
• Who’s succeeding against the coronavirus and why?: QuickTake
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Early Covid Treatments Could Be ‘Bridge’ to Vaccine, Fauci Says (7:28 a.m. HK)
Monoclonal antibodies that stop the coronavirus from spreading in the body are among promising strategies for averting severe illness from Covid-19 before vaccines arrive, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Antibody-based medications, other blood products from recovered patients and antivirals are being investigated as early treatments, Fauci said. The aim is to prevent patients from developing the serious lung damage for which Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone are administered.
“We are focusing very heavily now on treatment of early infection and, or prevention of infection,” Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association in an interview Friday. “And that’s the bridge to the vaccine.”
Johnson Trails in Opinion Poll as Virus Policies Anger Britons (5:50 p.m. NY)
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party trails the main opposition Labour Party in an opinion poll for the first time in months, with half of those surveyed saying they disapprove of how government has handled the coronavirus crisis.
According to an Opinium survey for the Observer, a left-leaning newspaper, Keir Starmer’s Labour rose 3 points to 42% with Johnson’s party dropping by the same amount to 39%. At the end of March, soon after the government imposed a lockdown on the economy and four months after winning the election in a landslide, the Conservatives had 54% support.
While the survey comes years before the country is obliged to hold a general election, it’s a reminder that Johnson’s administration has become bogged down in a series of missteps. Thousands of protesters, some with placards such as “This is tyranny,” took to the streets of central London on Saturday, angered by the government’s expansion of coronavirus restrictions.
Hawaii Care Home Operator Ousted After Veterans’ Deaths (5:35 p.m. NY)
A state-owned health care organization in Hawaii will take over a veterans care home where 26 residents have reportedly died of Covid-19.
Hawaii’s Health Systems Corp will become the operator of the Yukio Okutsu Veterans State Home in Hilo on the Big Island, taking over from Avalon Health Care, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Associated Press and local media reported.
The veterans home deaths comprise a large proportion of the state’s total coronavirus fatalities. Hawaii has had over 12,000 cases. A federal team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, revealed failures to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, Hawaii News Now reported this week.
Most of the 89 residents living at the home before the outbreak have contracted the virus, along with dozens of employees.
North Dakota Cases High, Hospitals Sound Alert (5:23 p.m. NY)
North Dakota reported 497 cases, its second highest in the pandemic, as local hospitals warned they were reaching capacity.
“People don’t quite understand until they have a loved one who needs health care or hospitalization just how stretched our resources are right now,” said Raumi Kudrna of CHI Alexius Health in Bismarck, the capital, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
The 2% increase was in line with the average daily increase of the last seven days, but the number is nearly double that of a month ago as a surge began around the Midwest. Eight deaths were reported for a third consecutive day, the highest daily number of the state’s outbreak, for a total of 227.
Texas Cases Steady (4:45 p.m. NY)
Texas reported 3,283 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, in line with recent increases. The total number of confirmed cases is 733,438, the Department of State Health Services said on its website. The state reported 121 additional deaths, increasing the number of fatalities there to 15,485.
South Dakota Breaks Case Record (4:23 p.m. NY)
South Dakota reported a record 579 cases, more than a 100 higher than the previous record. The 3% increase was above the average 2% daily increase of the previous week. The positive-test rate was 27%, compared with 1% in New York. Total cases are now 21,133.
On a day when Wisconsin and Minnesota also hit milestones in the Midwest’s Covid surge, South Dakota reported two more deaths for a total of 218.
New Jersey Records Most Cases Since June (4:10 p.m. NY)
New Jersey reported more than 700 Covid-19 cases in a day for the first time since early June.
Nearly one-third of the reports were in Ocean County, the site of Jersey Shore house parties as well as the town of Lakewood, whose large Hasidic Jewish community is in the middle of the high holy days.
The 760 new positive cases push the state’s total of 202,850.
Wisconsin Hits Daily Record (3:47 p.m. NY)
Wisconsin reported a record 2,817 cases Saturday, as the outbreak there and around the Midwest showed little sign of abating. That compared to an average of 2,011 average daily cases in the last week, according to the state’s Department of Health Services. Positive tests jumped to over 22%, compared with a 17% average over the last two weeks. Total cases are now 113,645.
Another seven fatalities were reported for a total 1,281.
California Cases Exceed Average (2:05 p.m. NY)
California added 4,197 new cases, bringing the total to 798,237. An additional 134 deaths were reported, with the fatality count at 15,532. The one-day increase in cases and deaths exceed the 14-day average.
The state said Friday it’s seeing early signs of rising virus case counts and emergency-room visits after several weeks of improvement, with forecasts showing that hospitalizations may jump 89% in a month. California has 2,717 ICU bed available — about 900 more than its low two months ago.
Italy Vows No National Lockdown (12:45 p.m. NY)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said there won’t be a new national lockdown as the country is “in a completely different situation” compared with the beginning of the year. Saying that the government has strengthened the health system, he added that there may be more stringent measures in specific clusters or areas “but in a limited, circumscribed way.”
Minnesota Passes 2,000 Deaths (12:40 p.m. NY)
Minnesota surpassed 2,000 virus deaths, a day after it was reported that a door-to-door testing survey was halted because racial slurs were yelled at the federal canvassers.
Ten more deaths were added Saturday, for a total of 2,004 fatalities amid a recent spike in cases. The state reported 1,470 new cases Saturday, a 2% rise compared with an average 1% increase from the previous seven days. Total cases are 95,659.
Surveyors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were forced to end their work this week around Minnesota after being threatened and yelled at, at times with ethnic or racial slurs, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state epidemiologist, called the behavior “totally irresponsible” and that it was “especially galling when there is a taint of racism. There is no justification for this.”
France Cases Fall Again From Record (1:10 p.m. NY)
France reported a drop in the number of new cases for the second day to 14,412, retreating from a record 16,096 set on Thursday. The seven-day average rose to 12,179. Another 39 fatalities were reported, for a total of 31,700.
London Virus Protesters Clash With Police (2:13 p.m. NY)
Thousands of maskless demonstrators took to the streets of central London to protest against the government’s expanded anti-coronavirus restrictions, sparking clashes with police.
Some in the crowd threw bottles at police, who used their batons against protesters and left some with visible injuries, according to Sky News. Many held placards with anti-lockdown and anti-mask messages, such as “This is Tyranny.” Sky showed images of a man with a bloodied head and said conspiracy theorists had addressed the crowd.
As of evening, as the crowds began dispersing, the authorities reported nine officers injured, including two hospitalized for head wounds, and 16 arrests.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted:
U.K. Adds More Than 6,000 Cases for Fourth Day (11:42 a.m. NY)
The U.K. added more than 6,000 cases for a fourth consecutive day. Another 6,042 people tested positive, about 800 fewer than reported Friday, and 34 people died. The number of people needing hospital care also increased by 266 to 1,727. Of those, 262 are on ventilators.
Italy Cases Down Slightly (11:35 p.m. NY)
Italy reported 1,869 new cases on Saturday, from 1,912 on Friday, with 104,387 daily tests. The country reported 17 deaths, lower than the 20 deaths reported on Friday. Patients in intensive care units rose to 247, from 244 a day earlier. Total cases reported since February increased to 308,104.
Dutch Deaths Rise by Most Since June (11:35 a.m. NY)
Deaths caused by Covid 19 rose by 38 on Friday in the Netherlands, the highest jump since May 15, national press agency ANP reported on Saturday.
The infection rate has also been increasing recently, with capital Amsterdam as one of the biggest contributors. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday the new surge is “worrisome” and extra regional measures in cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are likely needed. Soccer stadiums risk a ban on supporters again if visitors don’t adhere to the rules, Tamara van Ark, minister for Sport and Medical Care, said on Saturday.
Denmark Plans Widespread Random Testing (11:30 a.m. NY)
Denmark plans to randomly test as many as 1 million residents — almost a fifth of the population — for Covid 19 antibodies to get a handle on the virus’ spread.
Statens Serum Institut, the agency that tracks infectious diseases, will contact Danes over 15 years old to answer questions about symptoms and risk factors, and send home tests to those who respond. The agency says it has 500,000 tests available, and if demand exceeds that, it’ll distribute more on a first come, first serve basis.
New York Cases Pass 1,000 for First Time Since June (10:34 a.m. NY)
New York state reported more than 1,000 new cases for the first time since early June. Governor Andrew Cuomo reported 1,005 cases as the New York City battles outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens.
The 0.2% increase was, however, in line with the daily average increase over the last seven days. Another four deaths were reported.
New York, hit early in the pandemic, was reporting more than 10,000 cases a day during its peak and in mid-April almost 800 daily deaths. More than 25,000 residents have died from the virus. Cuomo has said to expect higher cases during the reopening process, and has urged residents to wear masks and remain socially distant. Testing has also increased significantly since June.
“It’s vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight Covid-19 as we move into the fall and flu season,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We’ll continue to closely monitor the data and keep New Yorkers updated so they can make educated decisions for themselves and their families.”
U.S. Cases, Deaths Rise (8 a.m. NY)
The U.S. added 55,074 cases, a 0.8% gain above the average 0.6% increase in the previous seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Total cases are now 7,032,595.
Another 948 people died, the fourth straight day over 900. Total fatalities are 203,746.
Emiratis Shut Entertainment Early (7:27 a.m. NY)
The United Arab Emirates reported 1,078 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, marking the fourth day in a row of infections rising above 1,000. The country’s fatality rate remains among the lowest globally, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Dubai, a sheikdom in the UAE, issued a circular on Thursday directing entertainment activities in the city to conclude by 1 a.m. as a new measure to spread the curb of the virus, according to a report in the Khaleej Times.
Iran Fatalities Climb (7:25 a.m. NY)
Coronavirus fatalities in Iran rose to 25,394 with 172 more deaths overnight, down from 207 a day earlier. The number of daily new cases also eased to 3,204 from 3,563 the day before, taking the total to 443,086, the latest Health Ministry data showed.
Iran has struggled to curb the spread of the virus in the past few weeks. The country saw an average of 182 deaths and 3,332 new cases per day over the past seven days, a significant jump from an average of 113 deaths and 2,009 new infections daily in the last week of August.
U.K. Professor Warns Grim Weeks Ahead (7 a.m. NY)
Britain could see 100 coronavirus deaths a day as soon as three weeks from now, according to a scientist who advises the government. Professor Graham Medley, of Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said on BBC Radio 4 that his assumptions were 10,000 new infections being reported every day and a death rate of 1%.
Russia Deaths Reach 2-Month High (5:37 p.m. HK)
Russia reported 7,523 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with Moscow posting the most new infections since June 8. There were 169 fatalities nationwide, the most since July 29, taking the total to 20,225.
New cases in Moscow rose by 1,792, up 15% from the previous day. On Friday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin asked people over 65 and those with chronic illnesses to stay home from Sept. 28. He also advised companies to switch as many employees as possible back to working from home.
S. Africa Disbands Adviser Group (5:20 p.m. HK)
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize disbanded a group of 51 scientific pandemic advisers after many of them were critical of the government’s measures to curb the spread of the virus. Members of the Ministerial Advisory Council were informed of the dissolution in a one-paragraph notification, according to News24, a South African Internet news site.
Poland Cases Hover Near Record (4:13 p.m. HK)
Poland reported 1,584 coronavirus cases on Saturday, the second-highest number after the record of 1,587 on Friday, according to the nation’s health minister. As a result, a total of 85,980 cases were confirmed since the outbreak of the pandemic. Altogether 2,424 deaths were confirmed, including 32 deaths reported on Saturday.
Highest Number of German Cases Since Spring (3:45 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 cases since late April. Still, with 2,366 new infections in one day, the number is well below the additional cases reported by some other European countries.
After the start of the new school year in Germany, around 50,000 students are currently in quarantine, Bild-Zeitung reported, citing a survey of local authorities.
More Hungary Virus Fatalities (3:06 p.m. HK)
Hungary reported 12 coronavirus deaths Saturday, continuing the increase in fatalities observed in the past two weeks. There were 950 additional confirmed infections, with 589 people currently being treated in hospitals.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a Facebook video that he expects a further increase in cases. The country has enough hospital capacity and has more beds in dedicated epidemiological units in reserve, Orban added.