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Brazil registers 461 deaths in 24 hours

Brazil has reported 24,062 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 461 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said

The global coronavirus pandemic has infected almost 40 million people and claimed over a million lives around the world. Here are updates for October 18: Ariel view of the Kaaba at the Grand mosque in Mecca September 6, 2016. (Reuters) Sunday, October 18, 2020

Thailand reports three more local infections

Thailand reported three additional locally transmitted cases of the virus, a day after reporting its first local infections in more than a month.

The three new patients are family members of two Myanmar nationals who previously tested positive for the virus this week in the country's northern province bordering Myanmar, the government's coronavirus taskforce said.

Before this week's five cases, Thailand last reported a confirmed local transmission on September 11. In total, Thailand has reported 3,686 cases of the virus and 59 deaths. 

Coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu: study

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes Covid-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic,” it said.

The research team tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 5,587 to 361,974

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 5,587 to 361,974, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 10 to 9,777, the tally showed. 

Navajo Nation reports 53 new cases, no deaths

The Navajo Nation, which sprawls across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, reported 53 new cases and no new deaths on Saturday.

The total number of cases on the reservation is now 10,913. The total number of deaths remains at 571.

Daily prayers now allowed in Mecca's Grand Mosque

Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents living in the kingdom to perform prayers in one of Islam's most religious sites, Al-Haram Grand Mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months, state television reported.

Earlier this month Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, after a seven-month pause due to virus concerns. 

Mainland China reports 13 new cases vs 13 a day earlier

China reported 13 new cases in the mainland for October 17, the same as a day earlier, the health commission said.

All of the new infections were imported, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

China reported 34 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 11 a day earlier.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 85,672 confirmed cases, the health authority said. The death toll stands at 4,634.

Outbreak infects 33 inmates at Alaska prison

State officials say an outbreak has infected 33 inmates at a prison in Fairbanks, causing the facility to go into quarantine for 14 days.

 The Alaska Department of Corrections says 32 of the cases at the Fairbanks Correctional Center are men and one is a woman. All of those infected were housed in the general population. Other inmates are being tested for virus, with results expected by Monday.

The inmates with coronavirus are being isolated in a separate unit of the prison. The facility serves northern Alaska and has male and female inmates, some o f whom are serving sentences and others of whom are awaiting trial.

Global coronavirus rise by one-day record of 400,000

Global cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time, a record one-day increase as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak.

Europe, which successfully tamped down the first surge of infections, has emerged as the new coronavirus epicentre in recent weeks and is reporting on average 140,000 cases a day over the past week.

As a region, Europe is reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined.

Of every 100 infections reported around the world, 34 were from European countries, according to a Reuters analysis. The region is currently reporting a million new infections about every nine days and has reported more than 6.3 million cases since the pandemic began.

Latin America is the worst-affected region with about 27% of total cases followed by Asia, North America and Europe, according to a Reuters analysis.

India is reporting fewer cases this month compared with September, with 69,000 cases per day, according to Reuters analysis.

In the United States, which has the largest total number of cases and deaths in the world, new infections are edging higher along with the most hospitalised patients since early September.

Brazil registers 461 deaths in 24 hours

Brazil has reported 24,062 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 461 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

The South American country has now registered 5,224,362 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 153,675, according to ministry data, in the world's most fatal outbreak outside the United States.

New Zealand reports one new case in community

New Zealand has reported one new case of coronavirus in the community, as the virus re-emerged in the country after many days of no transmission within its borders.

The Health Chief Ashley Bloomfield said in a news conference that the infected person was identified early, and risk of transmission was contained.

Mexico reports 5,447 more cases, 355 more deaths

Mexico's health ministry has reported 5,447 more cases of the novel coronavirus and 355 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 847,108 and the death toll to 86,059.

Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

India gives nod for Russian virus vaccine trials

India has given a go-ahead for clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the country.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a pharmaceutical firm based in the southern Hyderabad city, and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have been allowed by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to begin phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials in the South Asian country.

The Indian firm and Russian body reached an agreement for clinical trials in September, but the country’s drug regulator had earlier denied permission.

“As part of the partnership, the RDIF shall supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr. Reddy’s upon regulatory approval in India,” the RDIF tweeted on Saturday.

India is the second worst-hit country in the world, with over 7.4 million Covid-19 cases, including over 113,000 deaths.

Australia's virus hotspot to partially lift restrictions

Australia's state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country's coronavirus outbreak, will see some of its months-long restrictions eased as of Monday but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, the state's premier said.

After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown, the five million people living in Melbourne, Victoria's capital, will be able to spend as much time outdoors as they wish, but must stay within a 25-kilometre radius from their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by Nov. 1, Andrews said.

On Sunday, Victoria recorded two new cases of Covid-19, extending its streak of single-digit infections to five days and down from more than 700 cases a day in early August.

With 816 deaths, Australia's second-largest state accounts for more than 90 percent of all lives lost to the Covid-19 in Australia this year. 

Australia has recorded just over 27,300 infections, according to health ministry data, a fraction of what has been seen in some other countries. 

Paris, other French cities go under nighttime curfew

Paris and several other French cities have gone under a nighttime curfew that will last at least a month. 

The need for action in France was underlined as the country recorded another record for new cases, with over 32,000 registered in 24 hours.

About 20 million people in the Paris region and eight other French cities were facing a 9 pm-6 am curfew from Saturday after cases surged in what has once again become one of Europe's major hotspots.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies