September 29 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Adam Renton, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Zamira Rahim and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020
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7:51 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Coronavirus rates are rising sharply in Paris

From Pierre Bairin in Paris 

A lab technician processes nasal swab samples to test for Covid-19 at a laboratory north of Paris, on September 28.
A lab technician processes nasal swab samples to test for Covid-19 at a laboratory north of Paris, on September 28. Thibault Camus/AP

Coronavirus rates are surging in Paris and the surrounding region, according to the French regional health authority.

France is trying to control a second wave of Covid-19, with cases rising nationally.

The Ile-de-France region, which includes the French capital, has reported 156.8 cases of diseases per 100,000 people. In Paris itself, that rate increases to 254 cases per 100,000.

France has established three tests for declaring a “zone of maximum alert" in an area.

The city of Paris has already met the threshold for the first test, which is if the incidence rate reaches 250 cases per 100,000 people.

The second criteria is whether 30% of ICU capacity is occupied by Covid-19 patients. The health authority said 344 beds were currently occupied by coronavirus patients in the region. This accounts for 30.7% of total ICU beds.

The third criteria is the incidence rate of the virus among the elderly. The regional health authority says that number is now at 94.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, with 100 per 100,000 being the trigger level.

While the Paris region remains in dangerous territory, France's Marseille region is already on maximum alert -- meaning bars and restaurants have had to close.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting representatives of bars and restaurants Tuesday, who are protesting tougher restrictions for their establishments.

"We monitor the indicators; If the situation in a territory deteriorates too much, it is our responsibility to take measures to curb the epidemic and protect the population, in conjunction with local elected officials," the Prime Minister’s office told CNN.
"For the moment the thresholds in Paris have not been crossed, but we remain extremely attentive to the evolution of the indicators.” 
"So far, no area has been placed in the highest possible category, 'State of Emergency.'" 

France has reported 581,821 Covid-19 cases overall.

7:29 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Northern Irish bars and restaurants to close early

From CNN's Amy Cassidy

People socialize at the Dirty Onion Bar & Restaurant in Belfast on July 3, as pubs reopened their doors following the enforced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
People socialize at the Dirty Onion Bar & Restaurant in Belfast on July 3, as pubs reopened their doors following the enforced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes in Northern Ireland must close by 11 p.m., the country's government announced Tuesday. 

The restriction follows a similar 10 p.m. curfew imposed on hospitality venues in Scotland, England and Wales last week. 

The new rules will come into force from midnight on Wednesday, with “no exemptions” for weddings and social events. 

“No alcohol or food will be served after 10.30 p.m. and all customers must leave by 11.00 p.m.," the country's First Minister Arlene Foster said Tuesday. 
"In practice this brings the normal closing times forward by half an hour and there will be no late licenses."
Foster added: “The intention behind the earlier closing time is that socializing later in the evening is considered to increase the risk of virus spreading because people adhere to the rules less strictly after consuming alcohol and in venues where they are used to mixing freely."

The First Minister also said that her government recognizes the risk of the curfew driving people to house parties. But she warned that under current restrictions, social gatherings are illegal.

Northern Ireland has reported more than 10,949 cases and 578 deaths.

6:30 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

100 million extra doses of future Covid-19 vaccine will made available to poorest countries

From CNN's James Frater

A collaboration between the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will see an extra 100 million doses of a future vaccine delivered to low- and middle-income countries in 2021, Gavi said in a statement Tuesday.

Gavi is an organization focused on vaccinating children in low-income countries.

The deal means the world's poorest countries have secured 200 million doses, Gavi said.

Seth Berkley, the company's CEO, said the collaboration would help "ensure no country is left behind when it comes to access to a Covid-19 vaccine.”

No country, rich or poor, should be left at the back of the queue when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines; this collaboration brings us another step closer to achieving this goal,” Berkley said.

The collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, to help it increase manufacturing capacity so that, once a vaccine, or vaccines are available, doses can be distributed at scale. 

The vaccines will have a ceiling price of $3 per dose for 92 of the world’s low income countries. 

Seventy-five countries have formally committed to providing funding to meet part of the cost for procuring the vaccine for poorer nations.

5:59 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

EU adds four more countries to "red list"

From CNNs James Frater

People sit at cafe terrace in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on September 26.
People sit at cafe terrace in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on September 26. Ramon van Flymen/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has added four more countries to its red list on its coronavirus map, meaning those nations have crossed the threshold of 120 infections per 100,000 people in the last two weeks.

The Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark and Hungary were added to list on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has registered 2,921 new infections in the last 24 hours. The country introduced a series of additional measures to fight a second wave, including the closing of all bars and restaurants at 10 p.m.

Iceland reported over 80 new infections during the weekend according to the ECDC, but given the country's small population even the slightest increase in cases can have a significant impact on the infection rate.

Denmark has seen the highest number of new cases in four months, according to the ECDC's data.

The full list of "red" countries, with more than 120 cases per 100,000 people:

  • Spain (320)
  • Czech Republic (267)
  • France (235)
  • Luxembourg (189)
  • Belgium (171)
  • The Netherlands (171)
  • Iceland (128)
  • Denmark (128)
  • Hungary (127)
5:34 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Russia signs deal to supply Sputnik-V vaccine to Nepal

From CNN's Zahra Ullah

A nurse prepares to inoculate a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10.
A nurse prepares to inoculate a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Russia's Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced a deal on Tuesday with Nepal’s Trinity Pharmaceuticals to supply 25 million doses of the Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine.

The agreement will enable 90% of Nepal’s population to get access to the Russian vaccine, according to the RDIF.

“We are excited to announce our cooperation with Russian Direct Investment Fund," Kishor Adhikari, Director of Trinity Pharmaceuticals, said.

Russia approved the controversial Sputnik-V shot before it went to crucial Phase 3 trials, and its early approval was met with widespread concern worldwide.

"Trinity is waiting for results of the final trial of Sputnik V," Adhikari said.

"As soon as the vaccine is approved by Government of Nepal we will make it available for the population of Nepal,” he added.

5:14 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

The US ranks top of the global 1 million death toll, and virus cases are rising in 23 states

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

The global Covid-19 death toll has crossed 1 million -- and the United States accounts for more than 20%.

It took less than eight months to go from the first reported coronavirus-related death in Wuhan, China, on January 9 to a global death toll of 1,001,800 on early Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 7.1 million reported infections and 205,085 deaths.

And with recent spikes in cases, health experts warn things could soon get worse in the US.

Twenty-three states are reporting more new daily cases on average than they did last week, while 20 are holding steady. Only 10 states show downward trends in new cases -- Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

Read more here:

4:44 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Dentists are seeing more cracked teeth. Pandemic stress is to blame

From CNN's Kristen Rogers

Shingles, maskne, migraines and quarantine fatigue: The stress of the pandemic has manifested in a variety of physical ailments. The latest evidence of this is a rise in cracked teeth.

"We have seen an increasing amount of fractured teeth in probably the past six months," said Dr. Paul Koshgerian, an oral surgeon with The Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists of San Diego.

For Koshgerian's office, before the pandemic, treating one cracked tooth per day or every other day was normal. These days, two visits per day for fractured teeth have been the norm; on the worst days, he might see five cases.

Derek Peek -- leader of Eastern Iowa Endodontics and diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics -- found that in August and September, his office had already treated twice as many cracked teeth in comparison to those respective months last year, even with fewer patients this year.

Covid-19 doesn't make teeth more fragile, but the "anxiety that surrounds everything that's going on -- Covid, the rioting, the protesting, the looting (and) the general state of the country -- has gotten everybody's thermostat dialed up a couple notches," Koshgerian said.

"In the oral surgery or dental realm, often that translates to people bruxing their teeth," he added, describing the condition in which people involuntarily gnash, grind or clench their teeth. Bruxing can damage fillings or crowns, or crack teeth.

Read the full story:

4:16 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Moscow to extend school holidays because of coronavirus

From CNN's Anna Chernova in Moscow

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin gives a speech during an event marking Moscow City Day on September 5.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin gives a speech during an event marking Moscow City Day on September 5. Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has announced the extension of the fall school break from one to two weeks due to seasonal illnesses and the rise in coronavirus cases in the city, according to his official website.

Moscow’s kindergartens and preschool groups will continue to work as usual while all school students will be on holiday from October 5-18.

“On the recommendation of sanitary doctors, taking into account the autumn increase in colds and the growth of the number of identified cases of Covid, I decided to prolong the duration of the autumn holidays to two weeks and to hold them at the same time in all schools – on 5-18th of October,” Sobyanin’s message said.

The mayor advised children against spending this time in shopping malls and riding public transport “for fun”, urging parents to explain to their kids that “it is best to spend holiday time at home or in the countryside.”

"Today, a significant part of those infected, often asymptomatic, are children. When they come home, they very easily transmit the virus to adults and elderly family members, who suffer much more severely from the illness," Sobyanin added.

Rising cases: On Monday, Moscow recorded 2,217 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily jump since early June and more than double the amount just four days earlier. That brings the capital's total to 287,993, according to its coronavirus headquarters.

Nationwide, 1,159,573 people have been infected, and 20,385 people have died of coronavirus in Russia, according to the country’s anti-coronavirus center.

3:47 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Angela Merkel will meet with German state leaders today to discuss tougher Covid-19 restrictions

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Bundestag for the meeting of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in Berlin, on September 28.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Bundestag for the meeting of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in Berlin, on September 28. Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet top ministers from the country’s 16 federal states today to discuss additional nationwide measures to curb rising coronavirus numbers.

Merkel will meet with the state ministers at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET) Tuesday via video conference behind closed doors. She will hold a news conference with the Bavarian prime minister and the Hamburg mayor afterwards to discuss results.

On the table: new limits of up to 25 people for private gatherings nationwide, according to the draft of a government paper obtained by CNN affiliate NTV and widely reported in German media.

Also to be discussed are fines if restaurant or bar visitors register wrong information for the track and trace system.

Meanwhile, bars in hard-hit areas may see a ban on alcohol sales, NTV said.

Warning system: Bavaria's prime minister had previously suggested an early-warning system for areas with a stark increase of the virus, a so-called traffic-light system. While this is not explicitly on the table, according to NTV, a nationwide warning strategy will be discussed.

So-called temperature ambulances for quick Covid 19 testing will be discussed for nationwide rollout. German Health Minister Jens Spahn has previously said he wants to introduce them.

Numbers: The Robert Koch Institute -- Germany's agency for disease control and prevention -- recorded an additional 475 coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing the national total to 285,332. A total of 9,460 people have died as a result of the virus in Germany.