October 29 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton and Luke McGee, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020
23 Posts
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7:16 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Poland's total number of coronavirus cases tripled in less than a month

From CNN's Antonia Mortensen and Lauren Kent

A medical worker in Warsaw, Poland, waits at a Covid-19 testing center on October 22.
A medical worker in Warsaw, Poland, waits at a Covid-19 testing center on October 22. Czarek Sokolowski/AP

Poland's total number of coronavirus infections has tripled in less than a month, reaching 319,205 total cases, according to the Polish Ministry of Health on Thursday. 

The death count in Poland has reached 5,149 -- more than double the total deaths reported by the Ministry of Health at the start of October (2,543 deaths).

Poland reported another record-high number of new coronavirus infections on Thursday, with 20,156 cases, according to government data. Poland also reported a record-high number of daily deaths, with 301 deaths on Thursday.

10:20 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

More than a million sign Marcus Rashford's free school meal petition for children in England

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok and Aimee Lewis in London

Marcus Rashford, England and Manchester United striker, speaks at a press conference in Surrey, England, on October 13.
Marcus Rashford, England and Manchester United striker, speaks at a press conference in Surrey, England, on October 13. Eddie Keogh for The FA/Shutterstock

More than a million people have signed England and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford's online petition, which proposes that free school meals for low-income families in England are provided over school holidays.

The petition was launched by Rashford on 15 October.

"Covid-19 has been tough on us all but Government should ensure children don’t pay the price," the footballer wrote in the petition, explaining that 14% of parents and 10% of children in the UK had experienced food insecurity in the past 6 months.
"32% of families have lost income as a result of Covid-19," Rashford went on to say.

The striker had called for the UK government to extend a scheme to provide 1.5 million children with food vouchers during holidays until Easter 2021, but the proposal was voted down last week by lawmakers in the House of Commons.

Rashford, who was recently awarded an MBE for his work tackling food poverty, has promised to keep pressuring politicians to back his campaign.

On Wednesday night, Rashford came off the bench to score his first senior hat-trick for Manchester United in their 5-0 victory of RB Leipzig in the Group Stages of this season’s UEFA Champions League. The 22-year-old tweeted minutes after the game was over:

"3 goals, 16 minutes, 1,030,000 signatures. Can’t stop smiling, I’ve waited a long time for that. Just wish the fans were in to experience it with me."

6:20 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Russia reports new record daily increase in coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Zahra Ullah and Anna Chernova in Moscow 

Medical staff at a hospital in Moscow work to treat Covid-19 patients on October 28.
Medical staff at a hospital in Moscow work to treat Covid-19 patients on October 28. Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images

Russia has reported 17,717 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, setting a new record in daily increases since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

Russia also reported a new record number of coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, with 366 people dying.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Russia as of October 29 is 1,581,693 with an overall death toll of 27,301.

Russia’s coronavirus situation continues getting complicated, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Wednesday in a video conference meeting with President Vladimir Putin and senior government officials.

Golikova said there was a critical situation in 16 Russian regions, where hospital beds were at more than 90% capacity and in five regions, more than 95% of the bed capacity is occupied.

Russia announced a nationwide mask mandate earlier this week as daily increases in Covid-19 cases remain high. People across the country must wear masks in public spaces, public transport, parking lots and elevators.

Russia’s health and consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor also recommended that restaurants and bars close between 11pm and 6am.

6:02 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

A second lockdown in the UK is not inevitable, claims government minister

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

A second national coronavirus lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus is not "inevitable," the UK's housing minister Robert Jenrick told the BBC on Thursday.

When asked whether the UK will be going towards a national lockdown as France and Germany announced on Wednesday, Jenrick said, "I don't think anything is inevitable," adding that "if we all take action in our own daily lives that will help to tilt the balance in favor of our current approach, which is taking action in places where the virus is most concentrated and avoiding some of the actions you see happening in continental Europe."

The minister defended the UK government's "regionalized approach" to try and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, saying that a national lockdown "should be reviewed as a last resort."

"The judgement that we're making today is that if we follow the regionalized approach, we've got a good prospect of getting this under control," Jenrick said. "Because the alternative, we know, is very destructive and damaging to people's livelihoods."

"If we go for a full national lockdown, it may not be for a short period of time as someone has suggested," he added.

The UK government introduced a three-tier system of restrictions this month, with the worst affected areas facing the tightest measures to control the spread of the virus.

5:50 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Angela Merkel slams populists who call virus harmless

From CNN's Claudia Otto in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks on October 29 in Berlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks on October 29 in Berlin. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Populists who call coronavirus harmless are "dangerous and irresponsible," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, adding that disinformation damages the fight against coronavirus.

Merkel's latest comments follow her announcement that Germany is set to impose impose a partial lockdown, which will see restaurants, bars and clubs closed as COVID-19 cases grow in order to avoid a national health emergency.

"Lies and disinformation, conspiracy, and hatred damage not only the democratic debate, but also the fight against the virus," Merkel said on Thursday. "It is only with solidarity and transparency that we will be able to confront the pandemic."

Merkel's speech on Thursday was disrupted by shouts from opposition parliamentarians, with lawmakers from Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party interrupting several times.

Merkel also warned the coronavirus situation in Germany is worsening and if the current trajectory continues, intensive care units could be overwhelmed in the coming weeks. She added that schools and kindergartens should remain open with increased hygiene measures.

"The measures we take now are suitably necessary and proportionate," Merkel said.

"Freedom is not doing what everybody wants but freedom is responsibility," she said. "We are in a dramatic situation -- it affects us all."

5:32 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Analysis: Trump bet against science, and voters are casting judgment

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at iG Flight Services, in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, on October 26.
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at iG Flight Services, in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, on October 26. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The failed bet laid by President Donald Trump to ignore science and prioritize his political goals early in the pandemic, revealed Wednesday in fresh detail by new Jared Kushner tapes, is backfiring in devastating fashion at the critical moment of his reelection bid.

Dark warnings by scientists and new data showing a nationwide explosion in a virus Trump says is going away, crashing stock markets and real-time examples of the White House's delusions about its failed response are consuming the President as tens of millions of early voters cast judgment.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden, leading in the polls with five days of campaigning to go, is accusing the administration of surrendering to the virus and offering to shoulder the nation's grief in the grim months to come.

The extent to which the country's worsening trajectory has overtaken the final days of the campaign emphasizes how the election has become a personal referendum on Trump and how he mishandled the worst domestic crisis in decades.

The roots of his current difficulties were bedded down months ago.

"Trump's now back in charge. It's not the doctors," the first son-in-law and White House adviser, Kushner, said back in April in tapes of interviews with Bob Woodward, obtained by CNN.

To win next Tuesday, the President will have to convince sufficient Americans to build an Electoral College majority that his populist anti-Washington message, cultural themes, hardline "law and order" rhetoric and claimed expertise in rebuilding the ravaged economy are more important than his botched choices on a pandemic that is getting worse every day.

Read the full analysis:

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.