Additional reporting by Ciaran McGrath
10.28pm update: Brazil’s dead toll closing in on 100,000
Brazil reported 57,152 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,437 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
Brazil has registered 2,859,073 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 97,256, according to ministry data, in the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States.
9.48pm update: France second wave panic as nation ‘could lose control at any time’ after COVID cases rise
Coronavirus second wave fears are spreading throughout France following a huge spike in new cases, with the Health Ministry warning the country could easily quickly lose control of the dangerous situation.
France has recorded more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths, with the number of infections from the pandemic quickly approaching 200,000.
The Health Ministry has published a worrying report, warning that while COVID-19 is is under control, for now, it “could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control”.
The report from the country’s top scientific committee comes after a huge spike in new coronavirus cases, with more than 7,000 new infections officially recorded over the last week
9.30pm update: Tens of millions of doses of vaccine by early 2021, says Fauci
Drug manufacturers will likely have tens of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the early part of next year, with production ramping up so that it hits a billion doses by the end of 2021, Anthony Fauci, the top US government official on infectious diseases, said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday.
Fauci said he has not seen any pressure from the White House to announce a vaccine close to the November 3 election, in the hopes of boosting President Donald Trump’s re-election chances.
He added that regulators have promised “they are not going to let political considerations interfere” with the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine and “safety and efficacy” will be primary considerations.
8.25pm update: Sturgeon confirms Aberdeen pub closures
Bars, cafes and restaurants have been ordered to close as lockdown restrictions are reimposed in Aberdeen over a coronavirus cluster in the area.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 54 cases have now been reported in the outbreak.
She said the rise in cases heightens fears the Scottish Government is “dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission”.
A five-mile travel rule has been put in place and residents are being told not to enter each other’s houses.
All indoor and outdoor hospitality venues have been told to close by 5pm on Wednesday.
7.53pm update: Don’t go to Belgium, says Germany
Germany’s Foreign Ministry revised its travel guidance for Belgium on Thursday, warning against all non-essential travel to the province of Antwerp because of the high incidence of the coronavirus epidemic in the region.
In parallel, Germany’s public health agency declared the region centered on Belgium’s largest port and second city as a high-risk area, meaning returnees from there can be forced to enter 14 days of quarantine.
The Foreign Ministry wrote: “Numbers of new infections and deaths have been rising since the end of July, especially in Antwerp province, where the number of new cases currently exceeds 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days.”