Covid-19: Global cases pass 50m as Victoria records eighth day of no new infection

World round-up: US cases near 10m; Portugal, Hungary become latest EU countries to impose curfews

Drive-through coronavirus testing in Milwaukee, US over the weekend. Photograph: Taylor Glascock/The New York Times

More than 50.5 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded worldwide with more than 1.2 million deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The US, Brazil and India have recorded the most fatalities, followed by Mexico and the UK.

A Reuters tally calculated that October was the worst month of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with its second wave in the past 30 days accounting for a quarter of all cases.

The last month saw the spread of the virus accelerate at a rapid pace: while it took 32 days for cases to rise from 30 million to 40 million, it only took 21 days to add another 10 million.

The following is a summary of the latest developments on the virus around the world:



Portugal and Hungary have become the latest European countries to impose curfews against the resurgent tide of coronavirus infections and deaths lashing the continent and filing its emergency wards.

But glimmers of hope emerged from France, the Czech Republic and Belgium that tough restrictions might be starting to work.

Portugal, which like other European countries has seen cases and hospital admissions surge in recent weeks, imposed a state of emergency and ordered some seven million people — around 70 per cent of its population — to stay home on weekday nights from 11pm to 5am for at least the next two weeks.

The restrictions are ramped up at the weekend, with people allowed out only in the mornings until 1pm, unless to buy essentials at supermarkets.

Hungary also imposed its strictest measures so far as prime minister Viktor Orban announced an 8pm-5am curfew, except for commuters going to work. All businesses must close by 7pm.

Other measures in Hungary mirrored those becoming familiar across Europe as the virus surges, including limits on eateries, sports events and family gatherings, and remote learning for school and university students. The restrictions kick in on Tuesday at midnight and will remain in place for at least 30 days.

“I know, we all know, that this will not be easy. The next weeks will be difficult. But the vaccine is within sight, we’ve got to hold out until then,” Mr Orban said.

Last week, Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto announced that a small shipment of a Russian coronavirus vaccine would arrive in Hungary in December to undergo final tests, and that larger deliveries are expected in mid-to-late January.

The French government has gradually ratcheted up from localised curfews and closures of bars and other targeted businesses to what is now a full-blown nationwide lockdown, albeit with schools and essential businesses open.

Health minister Olivier Veran said early indications are that the measures may be starting to slow the latest surge in France and that it would “have flared up faster and stronger” without them.

Belgian health authorities are confident that the hard-hit country's partial lockdown has seen the peak of hospital admissions come and go.

Speaking at a news conference, virologist Yves Van Laethem said about 400 people were in hospital due to coronavirus complications on Sunday, compared with 879 on November 3rd.

“Subject to an unpleasant surprise,” the peak in hospital admissions was reached that day, Mr Van Laethem said.

Some 6,948 virus patients are being treated in Belgian hospitals now, down by about 500 patients from November 3rd.

To break the chain of transmission, Belgium has returned to partial lockdown measures including closing non-essential shops, bars and restaurants, as well extending the autumn school holiday.

Infections in the Czech Republic have started to decline after a two-month rise to record high levels and the number of people in hospital also dropped below the 8,000-mark.

Russia reported a record number of new daily infections on Monday with 21,798 cases, over 1,000 more than the previous daily tally.

The daily death toll of 256 was well below its highest count and officials say they are not considering imposing any national lockdown.

The number of new coronavirus cases registered in the Netherlands fell sharply on Monday, continuing a decline that began in early November after entering a second near-lockdown on October 13th. There were 4,680 new cases reported on Monday, according to official data from the National Institute for Health (RIVM), compared to 5,664 on Sunday and less than half the all-time high of 11,119 registered on October 30th.

There are initial signs that the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in Germany is flattening, but it is still too early to say whether this is a trend, German health minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.

“We are seeing that the dynamic is levelling off, that the increase is not as strong, but of course that is not the goal (...) we have to reduce the numbers,” Spahn told a news conference.

He said it would only be possible to see by the middle or end of this week at the earliest the impact of the restrictions on daily life that came into effect last week to try and contain the virus.

Ukraine may introduce a lockdown at weekends in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus and such a move would not have a serious negative impact on the economy, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday. "A temporary lockdown at weekends, for about a few weeks, can help

us to avoid a harder lockdown,” presidential press service quoted Zelenskiy as saying.


The US confirmed 126,480 new coronavirus cases on Friday, a record number for a third day in a row. At the White House, the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19. On Saturday morning, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland put the total US coronavirus caseload at 9,731,198, with 235,925 deaths.

The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in the US was approaching 100,000 for the first time, while the seven-day rolling average for daily deaths had risen from 772 on October 23rd to 911 on Friday. Those numbers were higher in the spring and August. States recording record daily highs on Friday included Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Utah.

News of Mr Meadows's test came days after he appeared with Donald Trump at a White House event at which numerous people did not wear masks. The president himself was previously treated for Covid-19, spending three days in hospital, after attending a White House event at which Covid mitigation measures were not enforced.


Australia’s Victoria state, which ended a three-month lockdown in its capital Melbourne last week, recorded an eighth straight day with no new coronavirus cases. The stringent restrictions, which shuttered hospitality and retail and included a nighttime curfew, have seen new Covid-19 infections drop from a daily peak of around 700 in early August. The economic and social impact of the lockdown has been enormous, with the government estimating 1,200 jobs have been lost on average a day across Victoria state, and demand for mental health services has surged.


China said it found 33 new cases for November 6th, with all of them being imported. South Korea confirmed a further 89 cases, bringing its total to 27,284.

Mink farms

The World Health Organisation weighed in on the outbreak of Covid-19 in minks, which has prompted Denmark to announce a cull of its farmed population of the animals. The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the US have all reported finding the virus in farmed minks, the WHO said. The WHO said more study is needed of the "cluster 5" variant found in the Danish outbreak, but that preliminary findings indicate it "has moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies." It called for all countries to enhance surveillance for Covid-19 at the "animal-human interface" where susceptible animal reservoirs are identified. – The Guardian/PA