Italy records largest daily increase in coronavirus cases in more than five months
From Nicola Ruotolo in Rome
Italy has recorded at least 3,678 new coronavirus cases – the largest daily increase in more than five months.
According to data from Italy’s Health Ministry, there have now been at least 333,940 cases since the outbreak began.
The last time there was a larger daily increase than today was on April 16, when 3,786 cases were reported. However, authorities are now processing twice as many coronavirus tests.
11:38 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
New England Patriots player Stephon Gilmore tests positive for Covid-19
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for Covid-19, according to ESPN and NFL Network, citing league sources.
The Patriots tell CNN that the team has canceled Wednesday's practice, and players are meeting virtually as an added precaution.
New England's last game against the Kansas City Chiefs — originally scheduled for this past Sunday — was rescheduled to Monday following positive Covid-19 tests on both teams, including quarterback Cam Newton.
Gilmore, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, had three total tackles in the team's 26-10 loss.
CNN has reached out to the NFL for comment.
The Patriots are scheduled to play at home against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
12:01 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Boston delays in-person learning for most students
With a city-wide positivity rate just over 4%, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pausing the school reopening plan.
Phase three was set to begin on Oct. 15 and will now be pushed back to Oct. 22. That means kindergarten students through third grade students will not begin in-person learning as planned.
Grades four through eight and the high school start dates for in-person learning will be determined at a later date.
Special needs students will be able to return to in-person learning starting tomorrow.
“This decision is based on the guidance of our public health experts and in consultation with state officials in public health and education. It is consistent with our decision to prioritize our highest needs students in this plan,” Walsh said on his verified twitter account.
Walsh addressed residents in a news conference along with superintendent Brenda Cassellius Wednesday.
8:04 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Iceland introduces new restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge
From CNN’s Arnaud Siad
Iceland is introducing new restrictions in the capital Reykjavík and nearby areas amid a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the country’s Ministry of Health has announced.
From Wednesday, any activities or services that requires close physical contact, including hair dressers and beauty parlors, are required to close.
Swimming pools and gyms are also being closed, restaurants will be required to close by 9 p.m., and face masks will now be compulsory in shops where the two-meter social distancing rule cannot be observed.
The new rules will be in effect until October 19, the Icelandic Ministry of Health says.
On Monday, the Icelandic government introduced a 20-person gathering restriction and ordered the closure of fitness centers, bars, night-clubs and gaming establishments nationwide until October 19.
Iceland has seen a significant jump in domestic infections in the past two weeks, with 99 new infections confirmed on Tuesday and 87 confirmed on Wednesday. Of particular concern for the health authorities has been the number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 but not in quarantine. Since June 15, only 52% of those who tested positive were already in quarantine, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
There are currently 18 people hospitalized and 4 in intensive care due to Covid-19.
Speaking to the press on Monday, Chief Police Superintendent Víðir Reynisson stressed how important it is for people who become infected to inform the disease tracing team who they’ve been around and where they’ve been. “There is only one way to approach this and that’s through solidarity,” he added
Iceland has had a total of 3,172 confirmed cases and 10 deaths since the pandemic began. The record for new infections was reached on March 24 with 106 confirmed cases for a total population of 364,134.
10:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Indonesian man escapes from South Korean quarantine facility by digging a hole under a wall
An Indonesian man escaped from quarantine in South Korea by digging a hole underneath a wall of the government quarantine facility one day before he was due to be released, a South Korean health official said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
"There was a case of an Indonesian national escaping his [quarantine] facility in Seoul. He escaped the facility by digging a hole next to a temporary wall on the lobby floor of the government facility building on Oct 4,” Son Young-rae said.
Son said that the man entered South Korea on a sailor visa and began his quarantine on September 21. He was due to be released on October 5. His Covid-19 result at the time of entry tested negative, and he did not show any abnormal symptoms of coronavirus, Son said.
The South Korean police are currently looking for this person by analyzing security-camera footage.
Son added that additional security cameras have been installed at the quarantine facility after the incident, and more forces have been dispatched.
10:51 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Georgia officials warn of "Twindemics" as flu season approaches
From CNN's Tina Burnside
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says while the state of Georgia has made great progress in protecting lives from the coronavirus, he is urging all Georgians to continue to protect themselves during the fall and winter seasons.
During a press conference on Wednesday, both Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said it is more important than ever this year to get a flu shot.
"We are trying to prevent "twindemics" of both Covid and influenza which could be devastating," Toomey said.
Toomey said they don't know what the presence of influenza could do to a person infected with Covid-19.
Children, the elderly and everyone in between are at risk, Toomey said. "We encourage everyone six months of age and older to get a flu shot." Toomey said.
Kemp is encouraging all Georgians to wear a mask, watch their distance, wash their hands, and follow guidance from public health officials during the fall and winter seasons.
10:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Jordan will impose a weekend lockdown as coronavirus cases reach "unprecedented" levels, government says
Jordan will impose a strict two-day lockdown every Friday and Saturday “until further notice," as coronavirus cases start reaching “unprecedented” levels, the government said on Tuesday.
Schools in the country have been suspended and on Wednesday, the Jordanian military will be deployed across the country to help impose the upcoming curfew.
The country was initially commended for its efforts in combating the spread of coronavirus, however over the past week, Jordan has recorded its highest numbers since the beginning of the pandemic with cases breaking 1,800 daily infections on Monday.
The government’s Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said that the virus is also starting to put pressure on the country’s medical system, which has so far been able to withstand the number of infections, he told reporters on Tuesday.
“During the past days, we have witnessed a significant acceleration in the rate of recording infections with the Coronavirus, reaching unprecedented levels, in addition to a remarkable increase in the number of deaths,” Adaileh said.
“The increase in the number of cases to this extent constitutes a great pressure on our health system, which is still able - thank God - to absorb this level of injuries,” he added.
The Jordanian government decided against imposing a total lockdown throughout the week to avoid the “difficult” effects it may have on the economy, however, it will continue imposing the two-day weekend lockdowns over the next few weeks.
“This is what we did not hope for, and we constantly warned of it, as it now necessitates making difficult decisions,” Adaileh said.
Cases began re-surging in August after the virus was largely contained under strict lockdown measures that began in March. The government has since announced what it calls a “new wave” of the pandemic.
10:06 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
More than 1,000 people infected with coronavirus from one garment factory in Sri Lanka
From CNN's Eric Cheng and Sandi Sidhu
More than a thousand people have been infected with Covid-19 after a huge virus outbreak at a garment factory in Sri Lanka's Western Province, says the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
In a statement on state-run Sri Lanka News Agency, Silva said that at least 190 new cases had been detected today and linked to Brandix, one of the country’s leading apparel export firms.
This brings the total number so far to 1,022 infections.
According to a wire published on Sri Lanka's News Agency, all of the employees of the Brandix factory in the town of Minuwangoda have been ordered to report to police stations in 14 designated areas, before 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
A police curfew has been imposed "in the Gampaha Police area, Ja-Ela and Kandana Police areas in the Negombo Division with immediate effect," Silva said.
The outbreak is the highest tally in Sri Lanka which had all but stamped out community transmission of the virus until Monday, when the first case was reported. Following the announcement, on Tuesday, the government banned public gatherings including religious events.
Acting Police Chief Chandana Wickremeratne said in a statement on Tuesday that transport services will not operate in affected areas northeast of Sri Lanka, which have been placed under indefinite curfew.
The areas include the towns of Minuwangoda, near the international airport in Negombo, the coconut growing area of Minuwangoda, and the adjoining town of Veyangoda.
This is the first time since April 30 indefinite curfews have been imposed.
8:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020
Billionaires have never been richer despite the pandemic
From CNN's Hanna Ziady
The wealth of the world's billionaires reached a new record high in the middle of the pandemic as a rebound in tech stocks boosted the fortunes of the global elite.
Billionaire wealth increased to $10.2 trillion at the end of July, up from a previous peak of $8.9 trillion in 2017, according to a report from Swiss bank UBS and PwC. The total number of billionaires has increased by 31 to 2,189 since 2017.
Some billionaires are getting richer much faster than others, however. The pandemic has accelerated a growing divergence in wealth between innovators in technology, healthcare and industry, and entrepreneurs in areas such as entertainment, financial services and real estate, the report said.
That contrasts with most of the past decade "when steady growth and buoyant asset prices lifted billionaire wealth in all sectors," it added. Now, billionaires "on the wrong side" of technological and social trends are becoming relatively less wealthy.
The report comes amid rising concerns that the pandemic is only going to deepen economic inequalities, including in areas such as income, education and healthcare.