World News in Brief: October 27

Tuesday, 2020-10-27 15:09:35
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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 11,409 to 449,275 and the death toll rose by 42 to 10,098, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.
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More than 43.32 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,156,285 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

* Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday (October 27), suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community.

* A leading experimental COVID-19 vaccine produces an immune response in both young and old adults, said AstraZeneca Plc, which is helping to manufacture it.

* The largest party in Malaysia's ruling coalition declared its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, providing some respite for the premier who has faced calls to resign after a failed bid to impose a state of emergency.

* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would favour a government-to-government deal for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.

* Republic of Korea's economy returned to growth in the third quarter, climbing out of the slump brought about by the coronavirus as its major trading partners began lifting pandemic restrictions.

* The Republican-led US Senate handed President Donald Trump a major pre-election political victory on Monday by confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as he delivered a dramatic conservative overhaul of the nation's top judicial body.

* A lack of contact-tracing capacity in Europe, despite very high rates of positive tests, will drive the coronavirus further into the "darkness", the World Health Organization's top emergency expert told an online briefing on Monday.

* Mainland China reported 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Oct. 26, down from 20 a day earlier, the country's health authorities said on Tuesday. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,826, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

* The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States is at a two-month high, straining health care systems in some states. In Europe, France led a string of countries reporting record increases in infections.

* Brazil registered 15,726 new cases of coronavirus and 263 new COVID-19 deaths, the health ministry said on Monday. Brazil has registered more than 5.4 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 157,397 according to ministry data.

* Russia recorded 16,550 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 4,312 in Moscow, pushing the national tally to 1,547,774. Authorities said 320 people had died in the last 24 hours, raising the official death toll to 26,589.

* Protests flared across Italy against a new round of government restrictions aimed at curbing a resurgent coronavirus, with violence reported in at least two major northern cities, Milan and Turin.

* 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 Philippine health ministry on Tuesday reported 1,524 new coronavirus infections and 14 more deaths, the lowest daily number of confirmed fatalities in two weeks. The ministry said total confirmed cases have risen to 373,144 while COVID-19 deaths have reached 7,053.

* The Czech government ordered a 9 p.m. curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays as part of tighter measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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

* The Spanish government faced a backlash over its plans to put the country, one of Europe's worst COVID-19 hotspots, under a state of emergency for six months.

* Iran extended COVID-19 curbs in Tehran and across the country as health authorities said they were recording a COVID-19 death every four minutes.

* A Portuguese-flagged container vessel collided with a Greek navy minehunter off the Greek port of Piraeus early on Tuesday, authorities said. Two people were slightly injured, a coast guard official said, adding that the Greek navy vessel's 27-member crew had been transferred to safety.

* A bomb blast at a religious seminary in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday killed at least seven people and wounded more than 80, police and hospital officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb in the northwestern city, near the border with Afghanistan, which has long been plagued by Islamist violence.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry has summoned the French charge d'affaires over alleged insults against Islam's Prophet Mohammad, Iranian state broadcaster IRIB reported on Tuesday.

* Heavy winds pounded Mexico's Caribbean coast overnight, with Hurricane Zeta set to cause havoc on the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday before moving towards the US Gulf Coast, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Coming only weeks after Hurricane Delta ravaged the Yucatan region earlier this month, Zeta was expected to disrupt oil installations and barrel towards southern US states on Wednesday.

* Dubai airport, the world's busiest for international travel before the coronavirus crisis, could see passenger traffic fall by as much 70% this year, its chief executive said. A wave of new infections around the world ahead of the typically busy Christmas and year-end travel season has brought further uncertainty to an industry already decimated by the pandemic.