October 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020
23 Posts
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8:17 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

European countries agree to "traffic light" virus reporting and travel measures

From CNN's James Frater

Travelers queue to take coronavirus tests at Duesseldorf airport in Germany on October 13.
Travelers queue to take coronavirus tests at Duesseldorf airport in Germany on October 13. Roberto Pfeil/picture alliance/Getty Images

European Union countries have agreed to a set of criteria to make the reporting of coronavirus cases and travel restrictions easier to understand.

The EU hopes they will make travel more predictable, and help prevent further disruption caused by the pandemic. 

The recommendations adopted Tuesday include a new weekly "traffic light" map that will be published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showing countries' different epidemiological situations. 

The three categories for countries are:

  • Red: High risk -- quarantine on arrival/take a test (some countries may require a negative test in advance)
  • Orange: Medium risk -- quarantine on arrival/take a test (some countries may require a negative test in advance)
  • Green: Low risk -- no restrictions when traveling to another part of the EU.

The categories will be based on a clear set of comparable data from each country. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives in many ways," Michael Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Europe, said in a statement, adding that "travel restrictions have made it difficult for some of our citizens to get to work, to university or to visit their loved ones."

The new guidelines also set out how much notice should be given when travel restrictions are to be applied when a country moves from one category to another.

A member state intending to apply restrictions should inform the affected country and the European Commission at least 48 hours in advance. Members of the public and businesses should then be given clear, comprehensive and timely information at least 24 hours before new restrictions come into place. 

"It is our common duty to ensure coordination on any measures which affect free movement and to give our citizens all the information they need when deciding on their travel," said Roth.

The recommendations are not legally binding, and the decision whether to implement them remains up to each member state.

These European countries are seeing rises in Covid-19 cases:

5:59 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Swiss firm aims to launch Covid-19 antigen lab tests by end of year

From CNNs Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche plans to launch a Covid-19 antigen test to support high-volume testing for laboratories by end of 2020, according to a news release from the company on Tuesday. 

"These fully automated systems can provide test results in 18 minutes for a single test (excluding time for sample collection, transport, and preparation), with a throughput [rate of production] of up to 300 tests per hour from a single analyzer," Roche said in the release.

Roche also agreed to obtain an emergency tax approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

5:53 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Covid continues to spread in France as government considers new measures

From CNNs Pierre Bairin in Paris

Medical personnel work on October 12 in a sports arena, which was converted into a screening center to test people for Covid-19, in Lyon, France.
Medical personnel work on October 12 in a sports arena, which was converted into a screening center to test people for Covid-19, in Lyon, France. Jean-Philippe Kziazek/AFP/Getty Images

France's Covid positivity rate -- the percentage of tests that come back positive -- is continuing to rise and has now reached 12.8%, the country's health authority said on Monday evening.

The rate, a key indicator of how fast the virus is spreading, now stands at more than double what it was a month ago -- 5.4% on September 12.

As of Monday night, 1,539 Covid patients were in intensive care in French hospitals. The last time the country had more than 1,500 Covid patients in the ICU was May 27, when the tally reached 1,501.   

Paris: The capital is faring worse that the rest of the country, with an incidence rate of 413.2 cases per 100,000 in the city versus a national average of 166, according to the Paris region health authority.

More than 40% of ICU beds in the Paris region are occupied by Covid patients, well above the 30% threshold used to decide when areas or cities should be placed in the "maximum alert" category. 

The Defense Council – a meeting of key ministers chaired by President Emmanuel Macron – is due to meet later Tuesday to discuss the next measures to be taken to slow the spread of the virus. 

Government ministers have reiterated that all measures should be considered while the circulation of the virus continues to increase, including curfews and localized lockdowns.

No options are to be excluded, considering the situation we see in hospitals," France's Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said in an interview with CNN affiliate BFM-TV on Monday.

President Macron is expected to give a primetime television interview on Wednesday evening local time.

5:46 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

 El Salvador is in second wave of Covid-19 amid "national outbreak," its president says

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias in Atlanta

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a press conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, on September 24.
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a press conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, on September 24. Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said a second wave of coronavirus was sweeping the country, describing it as a "national outbreak" in a tweet early on Tuesday.­

"We have confirmed a resurgence of #COVID19 cases. Although hospitals remain relatively empty and the pandemic is still relatively under control, the number of consecutive days with an increase in cases indicates that a national outbreak has begun," Bukele said on Twitter.

Cases of Covid-19 in El Salvador reached a peak on August 9, when the country reported a record number of 449 new daily cases.

"Whether or not this resurgence turns into an upturn in the epidemiological curve will depend on our behavior and compliance with the protection measures (wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, washing of hands and isolating ourselves when symptoms are detected)," Bukele wrote.

As of Tuesday, El Salvador has recorded 30,480 cases of coronavirus and 899 virus-related deaths, according to official data. 

5:21 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Russia reports another record-high daily increase in coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

A medical worker disinfects a colleague after escorting a patient by ambulance to a hospital for COVID-19 patients in St.Petersburg, Russia, on October 1.
A medical worker disinfects a colleague after escorting a patient by ambulance to a hospital for COVID-19 patients in St.Petersburg, Russia, on October 1. Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

Russia reported 13,868 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday -- another record-high daily increase, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

Moscow is the worst affected city with 4,618 new cases -- also a record-high daily increase.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Russia as of October 13 is 1,326,178.

Russian officials have previously indicated that growing numbers might "require additional action" from the government, but so far haven't clarified whether they will reinstate measures similar to those imposed in the spring, when the country was officially reporting 10,000-12,000 cases a day.

Anna Popova, the head of Russia's health and consumer rights agency Rospotrebnadzor, said Tuesday the regulator sees "no sense" in shutting down the economy.

"Despite the fact that we see growth figures, today in Russia we are not talking about shutting down the economy or hitting a pause on some activities or some enterprises, some sectors of the economy, because today we do not see any sense in this," Popova said, according to state-run news agency RIA Novosti.  

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said Friday that this week would be "crucial" in any decisions to impose stricter coronavirus restrictions.

4:52 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Physically, but not socially distant: How to reach out in the time of Covid

From CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Amanda Sealy

"Social distance." It's a phrase that's become a mantra of the pandemic. We see the signs everywhere telling us to stay six feet apart, emphasizing the need for physical separation. While this is an important message to help keep us all safe, the phrase has it all wrong. We don't need to be socially distant. Physically apart, yes, but that social connection is exactly what we all need during this pandemic.

"It's an extremely challenging time with mental distress," Kevin Hines tells me. He has been an advocate for mental health for almost 20 years and knows how even a single moment of connection could change someone's life.

On September 25, 2000, when Hines was 19 years old, he walked to the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and as he stared down into the water, he waited for someone, anyone to offer a kind word or even a friendly glance. That never happened. Hines jumped.

Hines says even though we may not be able to physically reach out, put our hand on someone's shoulder, we can still offer those moments of support that could change the trajectory of someone's life.

"We have got to think of the people in our lives that don't have someone physically next to them to, to hold on to," he said. "And we've got to be the people to make that phone call and make it on a regular basis."

Here are ways Hines says we can all make sure we stay in this together:

  • Call three to five people a day and use video
  • Ask for advice
  • Remember, it's not just about what you say
  • Never accept the first answer

How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

Read the full story:

4:25 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Peru opens Machu Picchu for a single tourist after a nearly 7-month wait

From CNN's Lilit Marcus

Like many travelers around the world, Jesse Takayama found his dream trip thwarted by the spread of Covid-19. But after an unexpected seven-month stay in Peru, he is finally crossing "visit Machu Picchu" off of his bucket list.

Takayama, a native of Osaka, Japan, arrived in the Peruvian town of Aguas Calientes on March 14. He already had his entry ticket and permit to enter the UNESCO World Heritage site on March 16.

Then, the Peruvian government opted to close the site -- and Takayama was stranded.

Since then, Takayama has become a local in Aguas Calientes, where he has been renting an apartment for the past seven months. However, as he started to run out of money, it looked like Takayama would have to head back home without ever having used his Machu Picchu ticket.

Enter Andean Roots Peru, a local tour company. With help from the national Ministry of Culture, Takayama was given special permission to enter Machu Picchu -- and to have the normally crowded site nearly all to himself. He was accompanied by two photographers who documented the experience.

In a celebratory Instagram post, Takayama wrote, "I thought I never make it (to Machu Picchu) but everyone asked the government and the town and they game me super special permission." He added: "Peruvians are soooo kind. Thank you soooo much!"

"The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country," Peru's Minister of Culture Alejandro Neyra told reporters.

3:41 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

A "second wave" of mental health devastation due to Covid-19 is imminent, experts say

From CNN's Naomi Thomas and Sam Romano

While the world struggles to manage the initial waves of death and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is mounting evidence accumulating that "a second wave" linked to rising rates of mental health and substance use disorders could be building, according to an article published Monday in the medical journal JAMA.

"A second wave of devastation is imminent, attributable to mental health consequences of Covid-19," wrote authors Dr. Naomi Simon, Dr. Glenn Saxe and Dr. Charles Marmar, all from New York University's Grossman School of Medicine.

"The magnitude of this second wave is likely to overwhelm the already frayed mental health system, leading to access problems, particularly for the most vulnerable persons."

This second mental health wave, the researchers suggested, will bring further challenges, such as increased deaths from suicide and drug overdoses, and will have a disproportionate effect on the same groups that the first wave did: Black and Hispanic people, older adults, lower socioeconomic groups and health care workers.

"This magnitude of death over a short period of time is an international tragedy on a historic scale," the authors said. "This interpersonal loss is compounded by societal disruption."

Of central concern, the authors wrote, is "the transformation of normal grief and distress into prolonged grief and major depressive disorder and symptoms of posttraumatic health disorder."

Read the full story:

3:05 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

UK government accused of ignoring scientists' advice to lock down 3 weeks ago

From CNN’s Nic Robertson

The UK government is accused of ignoring its own scientists, who three weeks ago suggested considering a so-called “circuit-breaker,” a short lockdown to bring coronavirus incidence levels down.

The governmental advisory body SAGE group -- the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies -- said in a document on September 21 that "a package of interventions will need to be adopted to prevent this exponential rise in cases."

The group also warned that other measures would be required if schools stayed open.

Its recommended actions included the circuit-breaker lockdown, widespread work-from-home practices, and the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and other personal services.

This document wasn't published until after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out new coronavirus regulations in parliament on Monday.