October 8 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 1:12 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020
24 Posts
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9:01 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Another 840,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Paper covers the windows of a closed storefront on Madison Avenue in New York, on September 26.
Paper covers the windows of a closed storefront on Madison Avenue in New York, on September 26. Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The pace of America's jobs recovery continues to slow.

Another 840,000 workers filed for initial unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.

That was down from 849,000 in the previous week.

California has halted the processing of its initial claims for a second-straight week to work on its benefit backlog and fraud prevention. Thursday's report includes an estimate based on previous claims for the state.

Claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance stood at 464,437. PUA is targeted as those workers who aren't eligible for regular benefits, such as the self-employed.

Together, regular and PUA first-time claims stood at 1.3 million last week, on an unadjusted basis.

Continued claims, which count people who have filed for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 11 million, down almost 1 million.

8:08 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Canadians encouraged to stay home as second wave of Covid-19 worsens

From CNN's Paula Newton and Susannah Cullinane

People queue at a coronavirus testing station in Toronto on September 15.
People queue at a coronavirus testing station in Toronto on September 15. Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Canadian public health officials are warning residents to stay home as much as possible, saying the next few weeks will be critical to the country's efforts to contain Covid-19.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that a second wave of the coronavirus was already underway in most of the country.

The national daily case counts continue to increase sharply, with an average of about 2,000 new cases every day for the past week. That's a 40% rise in the last week alone, according to government statistics.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak started, Canada has had a total of 175,380 cases and 9,593 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Hospitalizations and deaths continue to creep upward as well, with more than 600 patients currently in hospitals in Canada with Covid-19 and an average of about 18 deaths reported daily.

More than 80% of new infections are from Ontario and Quebec, and those under 40 account for 60% of the cases.

The province of Quebec is of particular concern, with urban hotspots in Montreal and Quebec City. Dine-in restaurants and bars were closed in those cities last week as new daily cases continue to climb.

Quebec reported 1,364 new cases of the virus on Tuesday alone, the highest daily case total since the pandemic began. That prompted a blunt warning to young people in Quebec to take the virus seriously and stay home.

"The young people that are not respecting the rule, they will have an impact on the system," Christian Dube, Quebec's health minister, said during a press conference in Quebec City on Tuesday. "Don't take the risk, please don't test the hospital system."

Read more here.

7:26 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

The pandemic killed 107,000 oil and gas jobs. Most aren't coming back anytime soon

From CNN's Matt Egan

The oil and gas industry is laying off workers at an unprecedented pace to cope with a pandemic that crashed energy prices and raised doubts about the future of fossil fuels.

A staggering 107,000 jobs vanished from the US oil, gas and chemicals industry between March and August 2020, according to an analysis published this week by Deloitte. That's the fastest rate of layoffs in the industry's history -- and it doesn't even include the untold number of people on furlough or taking pay cuts.

The vast majority of those energy jobs are unlikely to return anytime soon.

Even if US oil prices stay at $45 a barrel until the end of 2021, 70% of the jobs lost during the pandemic in the oil, gas and chemicals industry may not come back by the end of next year, the Deloitte analysis found.

"Such large-scale layoffs are challenging the industry's reputation as a reliable employer," the Deloitte report said.

Part of the problem is that the fortunes of the notoriously boom-to-bust oil and gas industry have become even more closely tied to commodity prices than in the past.

A $1 change, up or down, in US oil prices can potentially impact 3,000 upstream and oilfield services jobs, compared with 1,500 jobs in the 1990s, Deloitte found. In other words, the link between jobs and prices is twice as powerful as it was then.

Read the story in full:

7:15 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

British Airways retires its final Boeing 747 airplanes amid pandemic

From CNN's Amy Woodyatt in London

British Airways retired the last of its huge Boeing 747 airplanes on Thursday when the final two planes still in service departed from London Heathrow -- a poignant event hastened by the coronavirus pandemic.

BA said that the jumbo jets, one dressed in "Negus" design and the other bearing Chatham Dockyard livery, took to the skies "one after the other" from Heathrow's 27R runway.

One of the airplanes, G-CIVY, circled back over the runway before flying to St. Athan, Wales, to be retired, while the other, G-CIVB, will be kept at Kemble, England. 

In July, the British airline announced that it was grounding its fleet of 747s following the damaging impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on both the airline and aviation sector. 

Known as "Queen of the Skies" and popular among aviation fanatics, the Boeing airplane has fallen out of favor in recent years as airlines switch to more efficient, smaller passenger jets.

BA said it was already "slowly" phasing out the "fuel-hungry" aircraft in order to help meet a commitment to "net zero by 2050." 

But earlier this year, the company released a statement to say that the planes had likely flown their last scheduled commercial service -- despite recently refreshing the interiors of the planes having expected them to remain in service for several years.

Read more here:

6:32 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Coronavirus killed 3 times more people in England and Wales this year than flu and pneumonia combined, figures show

Luke Jerram's "In Memoriam" artwork installation on Sandbanks beach in Poole, England pays tribute to those who died during the pandemic, as well as health care workers and volunteers.
Luke Jerram's "In Memoriam" artwork installation on Sandbanks beach in Poole, England pays tribute to those who died during the pandemic, as well as health care workers and volunteers. Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Coronavirus killed three times more people in England and Wales than pneumonia and influenza combined in the first eight months of this year, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

“More than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year where COVID-19 was the underlying cause compared to influenza and pneumonia," said Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS.

“The mortality rate for COVID-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average."

The highest number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia occurred in January 2020, according to the ONS. However, deaths from influenza and pneumonia were below the five-year average, from 2015 to 2019, in every month of 2020.

“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of Covid-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020,” said Caul.

The figures also reveal the toll that coronavirus has taken on care home residents, with the proportion of deaths due to Covid-19 almost double that due to influenza and pneumonia, according to the ONS figures.

The agency's analysis of Covid-19, influenza and pneumonia deaths focuses on deaths where people died due to these conditions, rather than deaths where the conditions were either the underlying cause or mentioned as a contributing factor.

4:44 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Czech Republic reports highest daily case count since pandemic began

From CNN's Tomas Etzler in Prague and Hilary McGann in London 

The Czech Republic recorded 5,335 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the country's highest daily case count since the pandemic began.

The central European country has now overtaken Spain as the EU nation with the highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

There has now been a total of 95,360 cases, and 829 coronavirus deaths in the Czech Republic, according to John Hopkins University. 

4:21 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Singapore introduces "cruises to nowhere" for travel-starved locals

From CNN's Lilit Marcus

Move over, flights to nowhere -- cruises to nowhere may be the next big thing in Covid-safe travel.

Singapore has announced that it will launch pleasure cruises that don't actually visit any ports in November 2020.

The city-state's national tourism board has partnered with two cruise lines for the initial journeys, with Genting Cruise Lines' World Dream and Royal Caribbean International's Quantum of the Seas chosen as the first two ships to take part.

This cruise, though, will look quite different than your typical seagoing experience.

In order to ensure hygiene protocols, ships will depart from and return to the same spot, with no port calls in between. The ships will operate at no more than 50% capacity and are for Singapore residents only.

Read the full story:

5:34 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Analysis: Pence does his best but Harris won't let him explain away Trump's failures

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Morry Gash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Morry Gash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence tried his best on Wednesday to recast the reality of Donald Trump's presidency, but Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic pick for his job, refused to let him spin away the nation's current dire plight during their single debate.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," the California senator said in her first answer in Salt Lake City, pinning Pence with the deaths of more than 210,000 Americans from Covid-19.

"They knew what was happening, and they didn't tell you," Harris said. "They knew and they covered it up. ... The President said you're on one side of his ledger if you wear a mask, you're on the other side of his ledger if you don't. And in spite of all of that, today they still don't have a plan."

Harris -- from a multi-racial, immigrant family from the liberal West Coast -- and Pence -- the white, male conservative, evangelical product of the heartland -- were an apt representation of the two Americas disputing the election and whose divergent paths and belief systems are at the root of the country's current political estrangement.

Read the full analysis:

5:31 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Delhi eases regulations to boost pandemic-hit restaurant industry

From CNN’s Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Teddy bears are seen at tables at a restaurant to maintain social distancing in New Delhi, India, on September 25.
Teddy bears are seen at tables at a restaurant to maintain social distancing in New Delhi, India, on September 25. Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Deli is loosening regulations on restaurant opening hours and liquor licenses in an effort to help the industry recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.  

Restaurants in the city will now be allowed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, contrary to pre-pandemic conditions when establishments would close at night.

Delhi chief minster Arvind Kejriwal announced several measures Wednesday to boost business after the easing of pandemic restrictions following a meeting with representatives of the National Restaurants Association of India.

"Delhi's restaurants are the pride of Delhi and provide employment to lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of people. I have directed all the respective departments to remove unnecessary hassles in the smooth running of restaurants in Delhi," Kejriwal said. 

Several licensing reforms were introduced, including removing several "archaic" rules pertaining to serving liquor in restaurants. Restaurants will be allowed to serve liquor in open areas without additional fees and licenses for all types of music will be permitted.

India announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, forcing its 1.3 billion people indoors. On June 8, restaurants were allowed to reopen in Delhi amid an easing of restrictions. Delhi has reported 298,107 cases of coronavirus including 5,616 deaths, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.

Nationwide campaign: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign to promote Covid-19 appropriate behavior "in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy," a government news release issued Wednesday said. 

Social media posts, banners, wall paintings and electronic display boards will be put up in public spaces to convey the message to "wear (a) mask, follow physical distancing, maintain hand hygiene," the release added. 

In total, India has recorded at least 6.8 million Covid-19 cases, including more than 105,000 deaths, according to Health Ministry data.