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“It is hard to see how nightclubs will open until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus,” she told Sky News

The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people and infected more than 33.5 million worldwide. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for September 29: Relatives mourn the death of a man due to the coronavirus disease, at a crematorium in New Delhi, India September 28, 2020. (Reuters) Israel's virus lockdown likely to be extended

Israel's health minister says the country’s nationwide lockdown is likely to be extended.

The Israeli government imposed a second countrywide lockdown ahead of the Jewish High Holidays earlier this month in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The lockdown was initially slated to be lifted on October 11, but in a radio interview on Tuesday Health Minister Yuli Edelstei said that “there is no scenario that in another 10 days we will lift everything and say ‘It’s all over, everything is ok.’”

Israel has recorded more than 233,000 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began and more than 1,500 deaths from the disease, according to the Health Ministry.

While Israel garnered praise for its swift response to the arrival of the pandemic in March, the country’s reopening of the economy in May saw new infections skyrocket over the summer, and now it has one of the highest infection rates per capita in the world.

UK nightclubs could stay shut until vaccine arrives -minister

Britain's nightclubs may have to stay shut until a vaccine is developed, junior skills minister Gillian Keegan said.

“It is hard to see how nightclubs will open until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus,” she told Sky News.

UN chief says pandemic toll is 'mind-numbing'

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the loss of 1 million people is an “agonising milestone” that has been made worse by the “savageness of this disease.”

In a statement released after the global death toll from the pandemic crossed 1 million, Guterres called it a “mind-numbing figure.”

They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues,” he said. 

The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease. Risks of infection kept families from bedsides. And the process of mourning and celebrating a life was often made impossible.”

Guterres warned “there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to our lives.”

Still he said he said the pandemic could be overcome with responsible leadership, cooperation and science, as well as precautions such as social distancing and wearing face masks. He said any vaccine must be “available and affordable to all.”

Germany reports 2,089 new cases

Germany reported 2,089 new cases and 11 more deaths, a tally from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. 

UK students may go home for Christmas – junior minister

British students are expected to be able to go home for Christmas, a junior minister said, amid concern that the second wave could strand them at university over the festive period.

“We would expect students to be able to go home for Christmas of course that is something that absolutely we'll be working towards,” junior skills minister Gillian Keegan told BBC Radio.

Moscow extends school holiday over coronavirus

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says the Russian capital would extend a planned school holiday in October to two weeks in bid to stem the virus.

The move follows a recommendation from Sobyanin last week for anyone with chronic health problems or those older than 65 to stay home.

On Tuesday, Sobyanin said students would be off from school from October 5-18, and urged parents to ensure their children remained home during that period.

“Today a significant proportion of the sick – who are often asymptomatic – are children,” Sobyanin said on his website.

“When they come home, they easily transmit the virus to adults and elderly family members who get much more sick.”

Spain to extend Covid furlough scheme until Jan 2021

The Spanish government is due to approve an extension of the furlough scheme that supports hundreds of thousands of workers in the country until January 31, a labour ministry source told Reuters.

The ministry has reached an agreement with the unions to extend the ERTE scheme, as the furlough scheme is known, but still lacks the support of representatives of businesses, the source said.

Thailand to slowly restart tourism with flight from China

Thailand will receive its first foreign vacationers when a flight from China arrives next week, marking the gradual restart of a vital tourism sector battered by coronavirus travel curbs, a senior official said.

The first flight will have about 120 tourists from Guangzhou, flying directly to the resort island of Phuket, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.

Thailand has kept coronavirus infections low with just 3,559 cases and 59 deaths, but its economy has taken a hit from a ban on foreign visitors since April and is expected to contract 8.5% this year.

Government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul expects 1,200 tourists in the first month, generating about 1 billion baht ($31.55 million) in revenue and 12.4 billion baht over one year, drawing in 14,400 tourists.

Nationalities permitted to enter will be from countries deemed low risk by the government, which will keep tabs on them.

Czech Republic reports 1,287 new  cases

The Czech Republic reported 1,287 new cases, its lowest daily tally since September 20, Health Ministry data showed.

The country has had one of Europe's highest infection rates in September as its total tally of cases jumped by more than 40,000. As of the end of Monday, which was a state holiday, it had reported a total 65,883 cases, with 618 deaths.

India reports lowest daily deaths since August 3

India reported its smallest daily rise in deaths since August 3 of 776, data from the health ministry showed, as global fatalities crossed 1 million and infections surged in several countries.

The South Asian country's case tally rose to 6.15 million after it reported 70,589 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data, while total deaths stood at 96,318.

Though India's death toll is a relatively low 1.6% of total cases, the country, along with the United States and Brazil, account for nearly 45% of global Covid-19 fatalities. 

South Korea's daily virus cases at another low

South Korea’s daily increase was the lowest in about 50 days Tuesday as new infections trend lower.

Many experts have warned, however, that the virus could spread again after this week’s traditional Chuseok autumn holidays, when people usually travel to visit their relatives. 

Health authorities have urged people to refrain from travelling this year because of the risk of spreading the virus. 

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the 38 cases added in the last 24 hours took the country’s total to 23,699 with 407 deaths.

Seventeen of the new cases were reported in the Seoul area, which has seen a resurgence that forced more stringent social distancing rules.

Philippine province to go under mild lockdown

Only one southern Philippines province and its war-battered capital will be placed under a mild lockdown and the rest of the country will be put under more relaxed quarantine restrictions next month to boost the battered economy despite the country having the most number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the quarantine restrictions for October in televised remarks Monday night.

Lanao del Sur province and its capital, Marawi city, will fall under a lockdown starting Thursday due to infection spikes in recent weeks.

Metropolitan Manila and five other cities will remain under general quarantine restrictions with more businesses and public transport allowed to partially operate on condition people wear face masks and shields and stay safely apart.

Classes in public schools are scheduled to resume online belatedly on October.

Brazil sees over 300 deaths

Brazil recorded 13,155 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and 317 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry has said.

Brazil has registered more than 4.7 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 142,058, according to ministry data released on Monday.

Mexico reports over 170 deaths

Mexico's confirmed cases rose to 733,717, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a total reported death toll of 76,603. 

Authorities reported 3,400 new cases along with 173 deaths on Monday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing.

China reports 12 new cases

Mainland China had 12 new cases on September 28, down from 21 a day earlier, the country's national health authority has said.

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. 

The number of asymptomatic patients, who are not counted as confirmed cases in China, rose to 26 from 14 a day earlier. 

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China now stands at 85,384, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634

US to distribute 150M rapid test kits

US President Donald Trump announced the distribution of 150 million rapid coronavirus tests ordered from Abbott Laboratories that are able to deliver a result in 15 minutes in a similar format to a home pregnancy kit.

“Here's our plan: 50 million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities,” such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, said Trump. 

He added that the other 100 million tests would go to states and territories to assist them in opening their economies. 

Each of the kits cost the federal government $5.

Millions in Chile capital emerge from lockdown

Chile has lifted strict lockdown measures for millions of people in the capital Santiago, a month ahead of a key referendum to amend the dictatorship-era constitution.

Most of the capital's seven million population moved on Monday to phase three of a five-step de-confinement plan, allowing the reopening of bars and restaurants as well as regional transport links.

However, fears are widespread that a new outbreak in infections could drive parts of the capital back into confinement.

“It's like I agree and don't agree at the same time,” said Gabriela Flores, a 21-y ear-old student in Puente Alto, Santiago's most populous district.

“What's happening now is that they are acting as if nothing happened. What they want to do is to increase trade and get back to work so they don't have to worry about people.”

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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