November 3 coronavirus news

By Zamira Rahim, Lauren Kent, Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 12:22 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020
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11:06 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

New York City's coronavirus case numbers are "cause for concern," says mayor

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City's seven-day average of new coronavirus cases is "cause for concern," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

The city recorded 605 new cases on a seven-day average.

"We are watching that very carefully," de Blasio said. "Some of that again is because of a lot more testing, but it's still cause for concern."

The daily number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in New York City is at 83.

Meanwhile, the percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 across the city is "clearly aberrant" at 0.38%, Mayor de Blasio said. 

"We've seen that from time to time when surprisingly low number of test results have come in for the day. That can vary by day, that number will change and go upwards as more test results come in," said de Blasio, adding that the truest number is the 7-day rolling average, which is at 1.59%.

New York -- once the epicenter of the pandemic as the largest and densest city in the US -- began gradually reopening in June. 

In total, New York City has recorded 256,881 coronavirus cases, 19,355 confirmed deaths and 4,662 "probable deaths" related to Covid-19, according to figures released Monday by the city's public health agency.

9:54 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Brussels’ ICUs have hit maximum capacity as Belgium sees record high patient levels

From CNN's James Frater and Niamh Kennedy 

Intensive care units in the Belgian capital, Brussels, hit maximum capacity on Monday night, meaning all new patients will have to be sent to hospitals in other parts of the country for treatment, the city's health inspectorate has announced.

Brussels is asking all hospitals in the capital to create extra capacity and hopes "to increase the number of beds in ICU by 40% in the coming days, for Covid and non-Covid cases," Inge Neven, Head of the Brussels Health Inspectorate, told CNN.
"We are increasing the beds to 266 for COVID patients," and, "we are able to absorb the new patients at this moment in time ourselves," she said.
Neven added that increasing capacity was a challenge for health authorities.

There are 1,302 patients in intensive care units across Belgium -- a record high. The previous high was during the first wave of coronavirus in the spring, when Belgium reported 1,285 patients in intensive care on April 8.

There are currently 7,231 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals across Belgium -- also a record high.

An average of 586 people have been admitted to hospital each day over the past two weeks.

In the city of Brussels alone there are 1,175 people in hospital with Covid-19 -- 188 of whom are receiving intensive care.

Three coronavirus patients were transferred from Liege in Belgium to German hospitals in Munster and Bonn earlier on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the German Presidency of the EU said on social media. 

Meanwhile, Switzerland's intensive care units could reach capacity in five days, Virginie Massere, the country's head of infection control, warned Tuesday

Massere was speaking after hospitalizations in the country doubled over the past week, according to data from the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health.

"The evolution is rather rapid in the number of people in intensive care," Massere said at a press conference.

There are currently 363 people in intensive care in Switzerland, meaning 45% of the country's ICU beds are full, according to Masserey.

Over the weekend Switzerland recorded 21,926 new cases of coronavirus, according to the Federal Office for Public Health. A further 6,126 new cases were recorded Tuesday.

Masserey said Switzerland was witnessing a "small slowdown in the number of cases" but that it was still too early to see the results of new coronavirus restrictions announced by the government on October 28.

9:33 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Washington Post: Deborah Birx calls for "much more aggressive action" to fight Covid-19

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Dr. Deborah Birx sounded an alarming note about the state of the coronavirus in an internal White House report, warning that the US was entering its "most deadly phase" yet, one that requires "much more aggressive action," according to The Washington Post.

The dire warning from Birx, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, is at odds with public comments made by President Donald Trump in the closing days of the presidential election campaign. Trump is falsely claiming that the US is "turning the corner" on the pandemic, while pressuring Democratic governors to open their states despite surging cases nationwide.

"We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic ... leading to increasing mortality," Birx wrote Monday, in an internal report obtained by the Post.
"This is not about lockdowns -- It hasn't been about lockdowns since March or April. It's about an aggressive, balanced approach that is not being implemented."

In her report, Birx calls for "much more aggressive action from messaging, to testing, to surging personnel around the country before the crisis point," the Post reported. She notes that the country will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week, according to the Post.

Read more:

9:16 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Argentina's president says the country expects to buy 25 million doses of Russia's vaccine

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

A health worker tests a teacher for COVID-19 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday, October 13.
A health worker tests a teacher for COVID-19 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday, October 13. Victor R. Caivano/AP

Argentina expects to buy 25 million doses of Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine between December and January, President Alberto Fernández has announced on Twitter. 

Fernández previously appointed two government officials to travel to Russia to learn more about the vaccine's progress, and to check that all the right steps are followed in order to "ensure that it is properly registered," the president added in a series of tweets.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has funded the vaccine's production, has announced deals to supply hundreds of millions of doses of Sputnik-V to countries around the world.

The CEO of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, said on Monday that the vaccine supplies for Argentina "will be produced by RDIF partners in India, Korea, China and a number of other countries that are setting up a production of the Russian vaccine," according to a statement.

In October, Dmitriev announced that RDIF expected to begin sending shipments to Latin America in December.

Argentina reported 9,598 new Covid-19 infections on Monday evening, bringing the country's total case count to 1,183,131. Its death toll reached 31,623 on Monday, according to the Health Ministry.

The country has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America, following Brazil and Colombia, according to John Hopkins University data.

9:12 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Here's how US election battleground states are dealing with Covid-19

From CNN’s Amanda Watts)

It's Election Day in the United States and the nation's 7-day average of new daily coronavirus cases is at a peak -- 83,806 -- according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

Several battleground states are seeing their highest averages of new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are surging across many swing states, data from The Covid Tracking Project shows.

Here is a quick look at how each key battleground state is dealing with Covid-19:   


Arizona is averaging 1,311 new Covid-19 cases a day. New cases are up 30% from last week, according to Johns Hopkins University, and hospitalizations are surging, according to The Covid Tracking Project. Arizona is averaging 884 hospitalizations a day, up 7.5% from last week. Arizona has no statewide mask mandate in place.   


Florida is averaging 4,293 new Covid-19 cases a day. New cases are up 19% from last week, according to Johns Hopkins University. Florida has now averaged more than 1,000 new daily cases for 150 days in a row, since June 6. The state has the third highest cumulative case count and the fourth highest death count in the nation, according to JHU. Florida has no statewide mask mandate.       


Michigan is at a peak for new cases, reporting roughly 3,522 new infections a day over the last seven days – up 59% from last week. Hospitalizations across the state are nowhere near their height back in April, but they have surpassed 1,000 a day since mid-October, according to The Covid Tracking Project. On Monday, 1,966 people across the state were being treated in hospital for coronavirus – the highest number since May. Michigan requires face masks to be worn in public places statewide.    

North Carolina

North Carolina has reported roughly 2,327 new cases a day over the past seven days – up 12% from last week. Hospitalizations average 1,176 patients a day, according to The Covid Tracking Project. The state's governor says North Carolina will remain in Phase 3 of reopening as cases and hospitalizations rise. North Carolina requires face masks to be worn in public places statewide.       


Pennsylvania is averaging 2,285 new coronavirus cases a day, according to JHU. This is the highest new daily cases ever been – up 24% from last week. Hospitalizations have been sharply increasing across the state since the end of September, according to The Covid Tracking Project. The state is averaging 1,245 current hospitalizations -- up 19% from last week. Pennsylvania requires face masks to be worn in public places statewide.       


Wisconsin is averaging 4,464 new cases a day – up 15% from last week, according to JHU data. Deaths across the state are also at their highest since the pandemic began, with an average of 37 deaths a day over the last seven days. Hospitalizations in the state are also the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic -- a seven-day average of 1,478 patients, up 19% from last week. Wisconsin requires face masks to be worn in public places statewide. 

Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:


8:54 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Hungary considers tightening coronavirus restrictions amid record cases and deaths

From Amy Cassidy in Glasgow

Hungary is considering tightening its Covid-19 restrictions, after the country reported a record 3,989 cases and 84 deaths in the past 24 hours. 

Ministers are weighing up the prospect of reintroducing the same lockdown measures as those in place during the first wave of the virus.

The government is closely watching Austria's response to the virus, according to a statement on its website. Austria entered a second, partial lockdown on Tuesday.

Hungary's family affairs minister Katalin Novák said the similarities between the neighboring countries mean the government expects the epidemiological situation in both to be similar, adding that circumstances are expected become "more dramatic" in Hungary in the coming days.

Hungary, which has a population of 9.7 million, has 358.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people as of Monday, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 

Hospitality businesses, universities and cultural venues such as libraries and theatres are currently open across Hungary. Masks are mandatory in public places, and visits to care homes are banned. 

8:46 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Danish PM delays parliamentary questions after minister develops Covid-19 symptoms

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in Pisa

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen postponed a parliamentary question time session on Tuesday after Nick Hækkerup, the country's justice minister, developed coronavirus symptoms, her spokesperson told CNN.

Hækkerup has been self-isolating since Monday with symptoms and is waiting for test results, his press officer told CNN Tuesday, adding that several members of the Danish parliament, known as the Folketing, had recently tested positive for the virus.

"Considering that the Minister of Justice last week attended a meeting with members of the Folketing, who have since tested positive for Covid-19, that the Minister of Justice yesterday went into self-isolation with clear symptoms of Covid-19 and that I myself attended a meeting with Minister of Justice, I do not find it appropriate for the parties in the Folketing to appear physically in the Folketing today," Frederiksen said in a letter to the parliament's speakers on Tuesday.

Frederiksen and other ministers who have come into contact with Hækkerup will work virtually until his test result is available.

7:30 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Ajax and Dynamo Kiev soccer squads hit by multiple positive Covid-19 tests

From CNN's Ben Morse

Football teams Ajax and Dynamo Kiev have been hit by a number of positive Covid-19 cases ahead of their respective Champions League matches.

Ajax announced on Monday that 11 of its players had tested positive before the side's tie against Danish side FC Midtjylland on Tuesday.

As a result, the Dutch club will travel to Denmark with just 17 players for its third game in Group D.

Under UEFA rules, Ajax must play the game if 13 or more first-team players are available.

"There are [a] few players who can play in the Netherlands but did not get permission to enter Denmark and it's a bit strange," Ajax manager Erik ten Hag said during a press conference on Monday.
"They have no symptoms or complaints. If they might still be able to play rests in the hands of the medical personnel and the authorities," he said, adding: "I have strong hope that they can play, but I am not sure."

Read more:

7:18 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Iran sets another daily coronavirus record with 8,932 new cases

From CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim and Kareem Khadder

Iranians walk past a vendor selling face coverings at a bazaar in Tehran on October 31, as the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country.
Iranians walk past a vendor selling face coverings at a bazaar in Tehran on October 31, as the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country. Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto/AP

Iran broke another daily coronavirus record on Tuesday as 8,932 new infections were reported -- surpassing the previous day's record of 8,293 cases. 

The country also recorded 422 Covid-19 related deaths on Tuesday, bringing its death toll to 36,160, according to a Health Ministry spokesperson.

On Monday, Iran recorded 440 deaths -- the highest number since the outbreak began.

Iran is the worst-hit country in the Middle East, with a total of 637,712 coronavirus cases.

In mid-October, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the country was going through its third wave of the pandemic.