October 29 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton and Luke McGee, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020
17 Posts
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4:56 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

More than 40 US states are reporting an increase in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

The US is adding an average of more than 74,000 new Covid-19 cases to the national total every day -- a record high in a pandemic that experts say is likely to worsen.

The seven-day average is part of a fall surge that has brought the national case count to more than 8.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the past seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday. And 41 states are reporting at least 10% more cases compared to the week before.

When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is "not in a good place," director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up "a bad recipe for a tough time ahead," Fauci said.

Rising hospitalizations: In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.

Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Read the full story:

4:34 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Czech Republic records highest rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths per capita in EU

From CNN's Tomas Etzler in Brno, Czech Republic and Lauren Kent

The Czech Republic now has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths per capita in the European Union, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The country recorded 1,448.7 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, according to a ECDC report released Wednesday. That surpasses Belgium, which recorded 1,424.2 new infections per 100,000 people.

The Czech Republic is also leading the EU for deaths per capita over the past 14 days, with 13.5 Covid-19 fatalities per 100,000 people. 

On Wednesday, which was a public holiday in the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Health recorded 12,977 new coronavirus cases. That's down from Tuesday's record high of 15,663 new cases.

As of Wednesday, there were 174,965 active infections in the Czech Republic, including 6,624 patients in hospital. The total death toll stands at 2,675, according to the Ministry of Health.

New health minister: Czech President Milos Zeman will appoint Jan Blatný, the deputy director of the Faculty Hospital in the southeastern city of Brno, as the new Minister of Health on Thursday, according to the President's spokesman. Blatný will be the country's third health minister in the past six weeks. Earlier this year, Blatný tweeted that Covid-19 is just a "worse flu."

4:22 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Taiwan just went 200 days without a local coronavirus transmission

From CNN's Meenketan Jha in Hong Kong

Taiwan on Thursday marked 200 straight days without recording any locally transmitted Covid-19 infections, according to the Taiwanese Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

The island, which last saw a new local case on April 12, has recorded 554 total coronavirus infections -- just 55 of them locally transmitted, according to the CDC.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) asked the public to continue to adhere to virus prevention measures, such as washing hands, wearing masks, and observing social distancing.

"If you have suspected symptoms, please be sure to contact the health bureau or each county's care center, and follow the instructions for medical treatment; do not take public transportation," an official with the center said in the news conference. 

Success story: Taiwan, a self-governing island of more than 23 million people, is a world leader in its handling of the coronavirus. The government sprang into action after word of the virus' emergence in the Chinese city of Wuhan began to spread on social media last December.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told CNN earlier that health officials began screening passengers arriving from Wuhan and put in place additional travel restrictions before Beijing public acknowledged the gravity of the outbreak.

As much of the world waited for more information, Taiwan activated its CECC, which coordinates different ministries in an emergency, and the military was brought in to boost the production of face masks and other personal protective equipment.

3:54 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Immunity to coronavirus lingers for months, study finds

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Immunity to Covid-19 infection lingers for at least five months, researchers reported -- and probably longer than that.

While the report may seem confusing and contradictory to a similar report out of Britain this week, it really isn't. People's bodies produce an army of immune compounds in response to an infection and some are overwhelming at first, dying off quickly, while others build more slowly.

The new report out Wednesday shows 90% of people who recover from Covid-19 infections keep a stable antibody response.

"While some reports have come out saying antibodies to this virus go away quickly, we have found just the opposite -- that more than 90% of people who were mildly or moderately ill produce an antibody response strong enough to neutralize the virus, and the response is maintained for many months," Florian Krammer, a professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who led the study team, said in a statement.
"This is essential for effective vaccine development."

Read more:

3:27 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Analysis: As most countries struggle to plan weeks ahead, China just set its agenda for the next 15 years

Analysis from CNN's James Griffiths in Hong Kong

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on October 14.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on October 14. Ju Peng/Xinhua/Sipa USA

The coronavirus pandemic has left governments in disarray and made planning even weeks ahead difficult. In Beijing this week, however, China's leaders met to set specific policy for much of the coming decade.

In a series of closed-door meetings in the capital, top Chinese Communist Party officials hashed out the country's next five-year plan -- and even drew up a "vision" for 2035, a long-term proposal for the year which President Xi Jinping has set as a deadline for China to "basically achieve socialist modernization."

Whatever is agreed at the plenum, by a tiny cohort of leaders, will shape policy for the entire country of 1.3 billion people, implemented at all levels by Communist Party bureaucrats, state-controlled enterprises, and the all-powerful security state.

While full details of the fresh five-year plan may not be unveiled until China's rubber-stamp parliament meets next year, key goals that have been previewed in state media include a pivot away from GDP growth at all costs, cutting carbon emissions and achieving self-sufficiency in technology and science, amid increasing pressure from the United States on that front.

This kind of long-term planning is in contrast to the often flip-flopping nature of democracies, where promises and plans set in place by one government are vulnerable to being undone by the next -- a point often highlighted in Chinese state media to defend the legitimacy of Beijing's authoritarian system.

Few American presidents have put this into starker relief than Donald Trump, who upon taking office scrapped a major trade deal, withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord, and set about dismantling the Iran nuclear agreement, essentially reversing all the long-term policy established by the Obama administration.

Read the full analysis:

2:24 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Sisters charged for allegedly stabbing store security guard 27 times after he told them to wear a mask

From CNN's Lauren M. Johnson and Kay Jones

Two sisters are being held on attempted first-degree murder charges in Illinois for allegedly stabbing a store security guard after being told they needed to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

The sisters entered a retail store and got into a verbal altercation with the victim, a 32-year-old man who was working as a security guard, Chicago Police said.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said the man had told the sisters they had to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

Their argument became physical when Jessica Hill, 21, pulled out a knife and stabbed him in his back, neck, and arms 27 times, according to the criminal complaint.

Her sister, 18-year-old Jayla Hill, held the victim down by his hair while the attack occurred, according to the complaint.

Police said the victim is in stable condition.

Read more:

3:28 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Germany reports new daily high in coronavirus infections

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Berlin

A man provides a nasal swab at a Covid-19 test station in Cologne, Germany, on October 23.
A man provides a nasal swab at a Covid-19 test station in Cologne, Germany, on October 23. Marius Becker/picture alliance/Getty Images

Germany reported 16,774 new coronavirus infections for the past 24 hours, the highest since the pandemic began, according to the country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

This is the second consecutive day the number of new infections have reached a new high in Germany. Yesterday, 14,964 cases were reported.

Germany's total caseload now stands at 481,013. The country's coronavirus death toll also rose by 89 on Wednesday to reach 10,272, according to the RKI.

Stricter lockdown: On Wednesday night, the German government decided to implement wide-ranging lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

Starting from Monday, bars, restaurants and cafes will be shut except for takeout services. Theaters and concert halls will stop operating, as will amateur and recreational sports facilities. 

“We have to act and we have to act now”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as she announced the new measures.
1:43 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

US reports nearly 79,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The United States reported 78,981 new Covid-19 cases and 994 deaths on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The nationwide totals now stand at 8,856,413 confirmed Covid-19 infections and at least 227,685 virus-related fatalities.

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 US cases:

3:26 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

India's coronavirus cases surge past 8 million

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

A health worker works with test slides for coronavirus testing at a government office, in New Delhi, on October 27.
A health worker works with test slides for coronavirus testing at a government office, in New Delhi, on October 27. Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

India surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases Thursday after reporting 49,871 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The country's total caseload now stands at 8,040,203, which includes more than 7.3 million recoveries and 120,527 deaths. Globally, India is behind only the United States in the number of infections.

Daily case numbers in India have been dropping to the lowest levels in three months, with a slower than expected rise in recent weeks. 

It took 18 days for India to go from 7 million recorded cases to the 8 million mark, compared to the 13 days it took to reach 6 million and 11 days to hit 7 million cases, according to a CNN tally of figures from India’s health ministry.

More than 106.5 million coronavirus tests have been conducted as of Wednesday, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Capital surge: New Delhi, however, is going against the national downward trend, as authorities reported 5,673 new Covid-19 cases there on Wednesday – the highest single-day rise to date that took the capital's total caseload to 370,014, according to the Delhi government’s health department. 

The total for New Delhi includes more than 334,000 recovered patients and 6,396 deaths.

Patients with mild and moderate symptoms in India 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.