Covid-19: UK deaths pass 61,000 as Victoria state records no cases for second day in row

World round-up: Clashes in Italy over latest restrictions; Germany ‘likely to reach 20,000 cases daily by week’s end’

Firemen pray before sanitizing a building in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday. Photograph: Ahmad Yusni/EPA

More than 43.5 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded worldwide with more than 1.1 million deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned on Monday that abandoning efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic, as suggested by Donald Trump's chief of staff, would be "dangerous" and said countries had to keep trying to beat the spread.

He acknowledged that after months of battling Covid, which has claimed more than 1.1 million lives globally and infected 43 million, a certain level of “pandemic fatigue” had set in.

“It’s tough and the fatigue is real,” Mr Tedros said. “But we cannot give up,” he added, urging leaders to “balance the disruption to lives and livelihoods”.


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


More than 61,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, new statistics show. Figures published on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics show 54,609 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in England and Wales up to October 16 thand had been registered by October 24th. Separate figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland showed 4,376 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to October 18th. A total of 942 coronavirus-related deaths occurred in Northern Ireland up to October 16th and had been registered up to October 21st, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. But since these statistics were compiled, a further 1,189 deaths are known to have occurred in the UK, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.


Police in Italy have fired tear gas to disperse angry crowds in the northern cities of Turin and Milan after protests against the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions flared into violence.

As the head of the WHO urged countries "not to give up" in their fight to contain the virus, luxury goods shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in the centre of Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off firecrackers and lighting coloured flares.

Police responded with volleys of tear gas as they tried to disperse the crowds and there were also clashes in Milan, the capital of the neighbouring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.

“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” crowds chanted as they confronted police in the city centre.

The unrest followed more peaceful demonstrations across Italy on Monday - including in Treviso, Trieste, Rome, Naples, Salerno and Palermo - after the Italian government ordered bars and restaurants to close by 6pm and shut public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to try to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections that is battering much of the country.


There were also street clashes in Spain where hundreds of people gathered in the centre of Barcelona on Monday evening to protest both the Spanish and Catalan governments’ latest Covid-19 restrictions, including a 10 pm to 6 am curfew in place in Catalonia since Sunday.


France alone may be experiencing 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day - double the latest official figures - Prof Jean-Francois Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, has said. France reported its highest number of Covid-19 patients going into hospital since April, registering 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday. The country is considering further tightening of restrictions, sources said.


The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany is likely to reach 20,000 a day by the end of the week, economy minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday as authorities readied new curbs to break the second wave of the pandemic. “We are dealing with exponential growth,” Mr Altmaier told a virtual German-French economic conference in Berlin. “In Germany the number of new infections is rising by 70-75 per cent compared to the week before.” Mr Altmaier’s forecast shows that Germany is contending with a faster upswing in coronavirus cases than previously expected. At the end of September, Chancellor Angela Merkel said there could be 19,200 cases per day by Christmas. On Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 11,409. That compares with 6,868 cases last Tuesday and with the record 14,714 reported on Saturday.

Clashes in Milan, Italy on Monday between demonstrators and police during the protest against the measures implemented to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Matteo Corner/EPA


Coronavirus infections rose by 5,949, data from Swiss health authorities showed on Tuesday, as the government considers tightening restrictions meant to slow the accelerating spread of Covuid-19. Total confirmed cases in Switzerland and tiny neighbouring principality Liechtenstein increased to 127,042 and the death toll rose by 16 to 1,930.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the government on Monday imposed an overnight curfew for the next week as the country continued to record the worst coronavirus figures across the European Union. Exceptions would allow people to travel to work or walk their dogs.

The country has registered more than 260,000 cases and over 2,300 deaths since the March outbreak and now leads the EU in terms of new deaths and cases per 100,000 inhabitants.


Russia on Tuesday ordered people across the country to wear face masks in some public places and asked regional authorities to consider an overnight curfew on bars and restaurants after a surge in coronavirus cases. The consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor told regional authorities to make masks mandatory in parking lots, elevators, taxis, public transport and crowded public places. Some cities, including the capital Moscow, have already made masks mandatory on public transport. It also suggested closing bars, restaurants and late-night entertainment facilities between 11 pm and 6am. Russia, which recorded 16,550 infections on Tuesday, has seen a surge in new cases in recent weeks, prompting the authorities to open temporary hospitals and urge the population to take precautionary measures.


Belgium’s intensive care units will be overrun in a fortnight if the rate of infection continues, a spokesman for country’s Covid-19 crisis centre has said.


Slovakia may be able to avoid harsher anti-coronavirus measures as a result of its plans for nationwide testing scheduled to start this weekend.


Across the Atlantic, the average deaths per day in the United States has risen 10 per cent in the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Newly confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

Deaths are still well below the peak of over 2,200 per day in late April. But experts are warning of a grim winter, with a widely cited model from the University of Washington projecting about 386,000 dead by February 1st.

The US has recorded more than 225,000 fatalities from Covid-19 so far out of a global total of 1.158 million. It has seen 8.7 million cases compared with a global total now standing at 43.4 million.


People in Melbourne will be able to invite two adults and their dependents into their household once per day starting from midnight Wednesday, as Victoria records its second straight day of zero new Covid-19 infections. It is the first time Victoria has recorded two consecutive days of zero new Covid-19 cases since March 5th-6th. Following Monday's announcement of the end of Victoria's 15-week lockdown, and the reopening of retail and restaurants, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced new rules for in-home visitors.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday, people will be able to have two people from one other household plus their dependents (children under 18 or other dependents such as elderly people) over once per day.


In China, officials on Tuesday reported 16 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, down from 20 a day earlier. The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 reported a day earlier amid a fresh wave of symptomless infections being reported in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

A home in Warrington, England is decorated for Halloween with face masks and synthetic cobwebs as the borough enters Covid-19 Tier 3 ‘Very High’ lockdown restrictions on Tuesday. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


Malaysia’s health ministry reported 835 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 28,640 infections. The Southeast Asian country also recorded two new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 238.


Iran on Tuesday reported 6,968 new coronavirus cases and 346 deaths in the past 24 hours, its highest daily tally, pushing the death toll in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country to 33,299. Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state media that the new cases brought the country’s total number of identified cases to 581,824.


The Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he would favour a government-to-government deal for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.


Pope Francis will have to forego meeting Catholics at the annual Advent and Christmas masses in the Vatican owing to the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, the specialist Catholic News Agency reported on Monday.


Fears that the resurgence of the virus will cause greater damage to the global economy have infected stock markets around the world with heavy losses in New York, London and Frankfurt on Monday.

Asia Pacific shares followed suit on Tuesday. In Sydney, the ASX200 was down 1.5 per cent by lunchtime and the markets in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong were also off.–Guardian and PA