September 28 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Tara John, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020
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4:27 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

US reports nearly 37,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Alta Spells

The United States recorded 36,919 new coronavirus infections and 266 virus-related deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The nationwide totals now stand at 7,115,338 cases, including 204,758 fatalities, per JHU's tally.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

CNN is tracking the cases:

3:50 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

Opinion: Trump team using $300 million in taxpayer dollars to make us feel better about Covid-19

Opinion from Dean Obeidallah

Editor's Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio's daily program "The Dean Obeidallah Show" and a columnist for The Daily Beast. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

Over the past two weeks, an alarming 24% rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases confirmed on a daily basis in the United States has raised the daily infection average to nearly 43,000. Twice last week the US broke 50,000 new cases confirmed in a day. While that's below the daily average of 65,000 in July's deadly spike, it's still well above the 35,000 daily new cases seen just a few weeks ago.

Does that mean Donald Trump is now going to stop having rallies where he jams thousands on top of each other with few wearing masks -- as he did Saturday night in Pennsylvania -- and instead promote social distancing to prevent any further upticks in the virus? Stop laughing. Of course it doesn't.

Trump typically only does what he believes benefits himself personally and, in this case, he apparently believes the optics of holding packed rallies will somehow help his flailing campaign close the nine-point gap between him and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Instead, Trump's latest ploy is to try to convince voters into believing he did a great job handling the virus -- and the worst part is he's using our tax dollars to do this. As Politico recently reported, Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is moving quickly to roll out a $300 million-plus advertising campaign to "defeat despair" about Covid-19. The campaign will include celebrities like actor Dennis Quaid and singer CeCe Winans and Politico reported that HHS is said to be pursuing television host Dr. Mehmet Oz and musician Garth Brooks to take part as well.

Read the full opinion:

3:33 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

Beijing asks frozen food importers to avoid importing goods from coronavirus hotspots

From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong and CNN’s Beijing bureau

Beijing’s Municipal Commerce Bureau on Monday called on frozen food importers to avoid importing goods from coronavirus hotspots.

“All relevant enterprises shall strengthen prevention and control from overseas sources, take the initiative to avoid importing cold chain foods from areas severely hit by the pandemic,” the bureau said in a statement. 

The bureau added that companies should “strengthen the management of imported cold chain foods and establish and improve early warning and reporting mechanisms for preventing the import of the novel coronavirus.”

The bureau said the actions were necessary because customs and local authorities across the country have repeatedly detected coronavirus on imported frozen foods, “proving that cold chain foods are indeed at risk of contamination.”

On Saturday, China Customs said that samples taken from the outer packaging of imported Russian aquatic products in Shandong province tested positive for coronavirus. A day earlier, China Customs said the inner packaging of a batch of frozen fish from Brazil also tested positive for the virus.

Read more about coronavirus and food:

2:33 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

Melbourne lifts curfew after nearly 2 months of lockdown as coronavirus cases fall

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

Five million residents in Melbourne, Australia, emerged from a long lockdown on Monday, with stringent restrictions loosening after nearly two months as the state continues to see a drop in coronavirus cases.

Victoria state's Premier Daniel Andrews announced late Sunday night that the city would enter "the second step toward reopening," which included lifting a nightly curfew that had mandated residents stay home from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

"Seven weeks ago, our average case numbers were peaking at more than 400 every single day," Andrews said in a statement on Sunday. "Today, Melbourne's rolling case average is 22.1. It's a remarkable thing -- and an achievement that belongs to every single Victorian."

On Monday, Victoria only recorded five new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours -- the lowest daily increase in 108 days, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Services.

The loosened restrictions include: reopening outdoor pools and childcare centers, and allowing outdoor public gatherings between two households as long as the group is capped at five people. Food distribution centers, supermarkets, meat processing plants and other workplaces will be allowed to return to full working capacity.

In total, 127,000 people will now be able to return to work under the reopening plan, according to Andrews.

Read the full story:

1:58 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

Mother of teacher who died of Covid-19 dies from it weeks later

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The mother of a South Carolina teacher who died from Covid-19 earlier this month has died after she was infected by the virus, according to a relative.

Shirley Bannister, 57, died from complications from Covid-19 on Sunday, according to her brother, Dennis Bell.

Bannister is the mother of Demetria Bannister, a 28-year-old elementary school teacher who died earlier this month, just a few days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Bannister "got really sick about two, three days after her daughter died" on September 7, Bell told CNN in a phone interview.

Bell said his sister was "overwhelmed" after her daughter died just weeks before.

Bannister had a history of asthma and diabetes, and after testing positive for Covid-19, "she actually went to the hospital twice, the second time they decided to keep her," said Bell.

"She had so much to give, so this is like an unexpected gut punch for the whole family," Bell said.

Read the full story:

1:34 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

The G20 Summit in November will be held virtually

From CNN's Nic Robertson 

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud attends an oath ceremony on March 8, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud attends an oath ceremony on March 8, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held virtually on November 21-22, Saudi Arabia said in a statement on Monday.

The summit, to be held under the theme of "realizing opportunities of the 21st Century for all," will be chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. 

The virtual meeting will "focus on protecting lives and restoring growth, by addressing vulnerabilities uncovered during the pandemic and by laying down the foundations for a better future," the statement said.
1:31 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

India has now reported more than 6 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

Medical workers conduct Covid-19 testing on September 26, in Mumbai, India.
Medical workers conduct Covid-19 testing on September 26, in Mumbai, India. Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India surpassed 6 million coronavirus cases Monday, becoming only the second country in the world to do so.

The country recorded 82,170 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The only other country to report more cases is the United States, which now has more than 7.1 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

India's case numbers have been rising swiftly over the past few months.

From the first Covid-19 case recorded in India on January 30, it took six months for the country to reach 1 million infections. However, it took just two more months for India to reach 6 million cases.

The country’s death toll stands at 95,542, with 1,039 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours. 

Nearly 72 million tests have been conducted as of Sunday, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. Recoveries make up 82% of cases.

In India, patients with mild and moderate symptoms are considered no longer active after 10 days of symptom onset if they meet certain conditions. A test to confirm that they no longer have the virus is not required. Severe cases can only be discharged after one negative coronavirus test.

12:02 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020

Australia's Victoria state records lowest daily increase in coronavirus cases in over 100 days

From CNN's Isaac Yee and Sophie Jeong

Australia’s Victoria state recorded five new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, marking the lowest daily increase in infections in 108 days, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The last time Victoria recorded daily infection numbers this low was on June 12, when the state reported four new cases of the virus, according to data from the department.

Victoria also recorded three new coronavirus fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide death toll to 787. The state has now reported a total of 20,150 cases, according to the department.

Lockdown eased: On Sunday, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced a slight easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including the end of a nightly curfew as the state continues to see a drop in cases.

9:51 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

21 US states are reporting increased Covid-19 cases as experts warn of a fall surge

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone

Almost half the US is reporting increased numbers of new Covid-19 cases as health experts warn of a potential coronavirus surge in the fall and winter.

As of Sunday, the number of new coronavirus cases has increased by at least 10% or more compared to the week before in 21 states, most of them in the West, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Cases are rising in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Eighteen states were holding steady. Only 11 -- Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire -- saw decreases of new cases of more than 10% compared to the week prior.

The US could see an explosion of Covid-19 cases in the fall and winter as people exercise less caution and spend more time indoors, where there is a greater likelihood of transmission, according to Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Murray says the IHME model shows a "huge surge" expected to take off in October "and accelerate in November and December." The IHME model indicates that the country is currently seeing about 765 daily deaths from Covid-19, but that number could jump to 3,000 daily deaths by late December.

Read the full story: