The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Lauren Kent, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright and Hira Humayun, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, November 6, 2020
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12:54 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

New Jersey releases more than 2,200 inmates under public health crisis sentencing law

From CNN's Lauren del Valle and Leah Asmelash

In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, more than 2,200 prisoners in New Jersey were released on Wednesday under a new law.

The law, passed by the state legislature in September, allows for sentencing credits to be rewarded to inmates within a year of completing their sentence during a public health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

Another 1,167 people will be released on a rolling basis before March 4, 2021, New Jersey Department of Corrections spokesperson Matt Schuman told CNN.

How it works: Under the bill, inmates -- including eligible juveniles -- are awarded public health emergency credits that can cut up to eight months off their sentence during any declared emergency period.

Inmates serving sentences for murder, aggravated sexual assault or who have been deemed a repetitive, compulsive sex offender are not eligible for early release, according to the law.

This is the first bill of its kind in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Read the full story:

12:53 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

South Korea approves single test which can detect both Covid-19 and seasonal flu

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a new test that can detect both Covid-19 and seasonal flu from one sample, the country's health authority announced in a briefing yesterday. 

Through this method, patients can get results on COVID-19 and seasonal flu from a single test within three to six hours, said South Korean health official Yoon Tae-ho.

“This is expected to reduce both burden on the medical workers and inconvenience [of waiting] for patients,” Yoon said.

South Korea's cases: On Thursday, South Korea reported 125 cases of coronavirus -- the highest daily increase since Oct 23, according to the Korea Disease Control Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Of these 125 cases, 17 were imported.

The new figures raised the country's total to 27,050 confirmed infections and 475 deaths, according to KDCA.

12:51 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

China's Xinjiang province reports 10 new cases in latest cluster

From Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

A medical worker collects a sample from a person for nucleic acid testing in Shufu County of Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on October 26.
A medical worker collects a sample from a person for nucleic acid testing in Shufu County of Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on October 26. Hu Huhu/Xinhua/Getty Images

China's far western Xinjiang region reported 10 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, according to the Xinjiang Municipal Health Commission.

The new cases include eight symptomatic cases and two asymptomatic cases, and were all reported in Shufu county in Kashgar city, the office said in a statement.

China keeps a separate count of symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and does not include asymptomatic carriers of the virus in the official tally of confirmed cases.

The latest figures follow a recent cluster in the region; on Tuesday, Shufu county alone reported 118 new cases, according to the Xinjiang Information Office. 

The outbreak began in late October, when an asymptomatic case was identified in Kashgar, prompting the city to launch a citywide mass testing program for millions of residents.

As of Wednesday midnight, Xinjiang has reported 339 asymptomatic cases and 72 symptomatic cases since October.

12:46 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Australia secures 50 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccine, totaling 134 million 

From CNN's Eric Cheung

Australia has secured another 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, bringing the country’s total purchase to more than 134 million doses, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in a press release on Thursday. 

Forty million of the new doses will be supplied by Novavax, while Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 10 million doses, he said. 

Australia has now secured access to a total of four Covid-19 vaccines, and the total amount of investment has reached more than AU$3.2 billion (US$2.3 billion), he said. 

Prime Minister Morrison said investing in different vaccines will be crucial to ensure the country gains early access to a vaccine.

“We aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket and we will continue to pursue further vaccines should our medical experts recommend them,” he added. 

Supply deals between countries and vaccine makers have so far favored developed countries and territories including Australia, the UK, US, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Switzerland and Israel, as well as the European Union.

Developing countries including India, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico have also secured vaccine deals, but the Serum Institute of India (SII) recently predicted it will take four to five years for the vaccine to reach everyone around the globe.