November 4 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Steve George, Zamira Rahim, Lauren Kent, Ed Upright, Rob Picheta and Hira Humayun, CNN

Updated 1:01 AM ET, Thu November 5, 2020
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11:07 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Europe saw 43% increase of Covid-19 deaths in past week, says WHO

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite

A medical worker waits for a patient's arrival outside a hospital in Lorient, western France, on Wednesday, the sixth day of the country's coronavirus lockdown.
A medical worker waits for a patient's arrival outside a hospital in Lorient, western France, on Wednesday, the sixth day of the country's coronavirus lockdown. Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

Europe has seen a 22% increase in new coronavirus cases and a 43% increase in deaths in the past seven days compared with the previous week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday in their latest weekly Covid-19 update.

France, Italy and the UK reported the highest numbers of new cases in that time, although Andorra, Czech Republic and Belgium reported the highest per population incidence. 

"France accounted for the third-highest number of new cases globally, with over 275,000 cases reported in the past week... that is a 27% increase from the previous week," the WHO said.

The report also highlights that while cases in France rose in line with much of Europe since August, the country saw a significant surge in infection during October.

The WHO added that the number of Covid-19 patients in ICU beds was "rising rapidly" in the country.

The report is based on the data received from national authorities, as of 5:00 a.m. ET on Sunday.

10:48 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Kenya extends coronavirus curfew until January 2021

From CNN's Bethlehem Feleke in Nairobi 

People stand on social distancing markers as they wait to be tested for Covid-19 in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, on October 18.
People stand on social distancing markers as they wait to be tested for Covid-19 in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, on October 18. Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

Kenya will extend its nightly Covid-19 curfew until January 3, 2021, with an additional hour of curfew -- from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. -- as cases in the country surge, President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address on Wednesday. 

When Kenya's coronavirus restrictions were eased at the end of September, the positivity rate of tests conducted was 4%, and hospital bed occupancy was down 60% since June. Meanwhile, after restrictions were eased in October, the testing positivity rate shot up to 16%, with hospital bed occupancy rates up 140%, said Kenyatta adding: "We have without a doubt experienced a reversal and a serious one at that." 

"October has been our most tragic month in the fight against Covid," Kenyatta said, as the Ministry of Health reported approximately 300 deaths and 15,000 new cases last month. 

Additionally, Kenya suspended all political rallies and gatherings for two months, but town halls will be allowed to continue to operate. Restaurants, bars and eateries are required to close by 9 p.m. local time from Wednesday, the president said.

Kenya has recorded a total of 57,093 coronavirus cases and 1,039 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. 

10:31 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Netherlands reports drop in new virus cases for fifth day in a row, as other European nations surge

From CNN's James Frater

A woman looks on in front of Rotterdam's Central station in the Netherlands on November 4.
A woman looks on in front of Rotterdam's Central station in the Netherlands on November 4. Phil Nijhuis/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The Netherlands is reporting a drop in coronavirus cases for a fifth day in a row, as many other European countries face new lockdowns and surges in infections.

The number of new daily cases in the Netherlands has consistently fallen from a record-high 11,097 cases on Friday October 30 to 7,657 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, according to the latest data from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

Dutch health authorities have recorded a total of 383,525 coronavirus cases and 7,682 deaths since the pandemic began.

9:37 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Belgian military deployed to overwhelmed hospital amid record-high virus admissions

From James Frater, CNN London

The Centre Hospitalier du Bois de l'Abbaye, in Seraing, Belgium, pictured in April 2020. 
The Centre Hospitalier du Bois de l'Abbaye, in Seraing, Belgium, pictured in April 2020.  Eric Lalmand/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images

Belgian military personnel have been deployed to a new emergency hospital unit to “help relieve congestion in all hospitals in the Liège region,” the country's military announced Wednesday.

The emergency unit of 17 personnel has been created in a disused surgical wing, which had been closed due to the pandemic, of Liège's Centre Hospitalier du Bois de l'Abbaye.

The unit “will be able to accommodate 26 patients in [an] intermediate term,” with the aim of being able to accommodate 30 patients in the long term, according to the Belgian military, La Défense.

“The 26 patients the military personnel will be looking after are recovering with a stable state of health, not requiring intensive care," hospital spokesperson Nicolas Petterle told CNN.

Additionally, La Défense is deploying two doctors, five nurses and seven paramedics as Covid-19 cases surge across Belgium.

Belgium reported a record number of hospitalizations on Wednesday, with 877 Covid-19 patients admitted in the last 24 hours, according to the Belgian health authority. At the previous height of the pandemic in March, daily hospitalizations peaked at 629.

The number of people currently in hospital across Belgium has reached 7,485, with 1,351 patients requiring intensive care, according to health authorities. On average in the last two weeks, 619 people have been admitted to hospital each day.

The number of new cases has been consistently dropping since October's record high of 22,132 daily infections. On average in the last week, Belgium reported 14,610 new cases each day — that's down from 16,098 average daily new cases the previous week.

8:53 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Hungary in talks with China, Russia and Israel to buy vaccine as Covid-19 cases rise

From Amy Cassidy

A Hungarian soldier disinfects an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26.
A Hungarian soldier disinfects an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26. Janos Meszaros/MTI/AP

Hungary is in talks with China, Russia and Israel to buy a Covid-19 vaccine, according to its government website, as the country announced tighter coronavirus restrictions Wednesday. 

Foreign minister Péter Szijjártó spoke with his Russian counterpart and the Russian health minister on the phone, Budapest said. The Hungarian government website says the ministers agreed to “stay in contact” about potentially purchasing a vaccine, noting the prospect of China and Russia having a vaccine ready for commercial use “within weeks or months.” 

This comes as Hungary reported another coronavirus case record, with 4,219 new daily cases and 90 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has asked lawmakers to reinstate the pandemic “special legal order,” which would allow the government to rule by decree for 90 more days. He also ordered a nationwide curfew between midnight and 5 a.m., forcing nightclubs to close. 

Orban warned hospitals could exhaust their capacities by mid-December if Hungary continues to follow the trend of being five to seven days behind the epidemiological situation in Austria, which currently has 567.8 cases per 100,000 people, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Hungary has recorded almost 91,000 coronavirus cases and more than 2,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

8:33 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

European countries hit record high case counts as new lockdowns are imposed

A patient arrives from a hospital at a recovery center in Spa, Belgium, on November 3.
A patient arrives from a hospital at a recovery center in Spa, Belgium, on November 3. Virginie Lefour/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images

Countries across Europe are reporting record high Covid-19 case counts, as concern grows over intensive care unit (ICU) capacity and new lockdown restrictions are imposed throughout the continent. Here's what you need to know:

Belgium

Hospitals in some areas of Belgium are in crisis, as officials warn of congested ICU units and a lack of beds.

Seventeen military personnel were deployed Wednesday to a new emergency unit in the Centre Hospitalier du Bois de l'Abbaye in the city of Liege to “help relieve congestion in all hospitals in the Liège region,” the Belgian military announced.

It comes a day after hospitals in Brussels hit maximum ICU capacity.

England

England is expected to enter a new national lockdown from midnight, following a vote in parliament Wednesday. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the new period of restriction will last until December 2. His decision follows similar measures imposed in France and Germany.

Poland

Poland reported a record 24,692 cases Wednesday. Cases in the eastern European country have risen rapidly over the past several days and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is expected to give a press conference later to announce further measures.

Hungary

In nearby Hungary, the picture is similar. The country has reported a record 4,219 cases in the last 24 hours and Prime Minister Viktor Orban has asked lawmakers to reimpose a "special legal order" which allows the government to rule the country by decree.

Orban also warned that hospitals could exhaust their capacities by mid-December if Hungary continues to follow the trend of being five to seven days behind Austria, which is currently under lockdown.

Austria

Austria recorded 6,211 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, the first time the daily tally of cases has topped 6,000, according to the nation's Ministry of Interior.

The country entered a new partial lockdown on Tuesday.

8:44 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Austria records more than 6,000 new infections for the first time

From Nina Avramova

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gives a press conference on the new restrictions in Vienna on October 31.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gives a press conference on the new restrictions in Vienna on October 31. Hans Punz/APA/AFP/Getty Images

Austria recorded 6,211 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the first time the country's daily coronavirus tally has topped 6,000, according to the country's Ministry of Interior.

The new high comes a day after Austria entered its second national lockdown. Under the new restrictions leisure and culture facilities are closed and residents are subject to a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time.

Austria has reported a total of 125,792 coronavirus infections, according to its health ministry. The country's death toll stands at 1,277.

In October, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the aim of the new restrictions was to prevent intensive care units from being overwhelmed. 

8:09 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Vatican museums will close under Italy's new restrictions

From CNN's Delia Gallagher

The sculptures of the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican's Chiaramonti Gallery on June 8.
The sculptures of the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican's Chiaramonti Gallery on June 8. Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

The Vatican Museums will be closed from tomorrow under new pandemic restrictions imposed by the Italian government.

The museum at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence outside Rome and tours of the tombs and excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica will also be suspended, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

The sites will remain closed until December 3.

On Wednesday, the Italian government ordered the closure of all museums in the country as part of a comprehensive package of Covid-19 measures.

Italy has reported more than 750,000 cases of Covid-19 and 39,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

7:44 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Indonesia wants to vaccinate 9 million people with China's experimental vaccine in late December 

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu

A engineer takes samples of monkey kidney cells as he tests an experimental Covid-19 vaccine at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing on April 29.
A engineer takes samples of monkey kidney cells as he tests an experimental Covid-19 vaccine at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing on April 29. Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Indonesia plans to vaccinate 9 million people with an experimental vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech in December, a senior government minister announced Wednesday.

Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said vaccinations "would likely start in the third week of December 2020." 

The Indonesian government will give vaccinations to "nine million people in specific areas that we believe contribute greatly to handling the high number of Covid-19 cases," Pandjaitan said. "In Jakarta, for instance, there are several areas that we believe contribute significantly to the tally of Covid-19 cases, and (we will) give them a shot." 

The vaccination drive is separate from Phase 3 clinical trials for Sinovac, taking place in West Java in conjunction with Indonesia's state-owned biotechnology company Bio Farma. 

Indonesian authorities said the vaccinations will put the country on track to lift restrictions in popular tourist destination Bali -- planned to reopen in early 2021.

"We are keen to see Bali become a green zone, which is our target. We are optimistic that Bali is becoming a green zone at the start of next year, as we will commence vaccinations in the third week of December," Panjaitan remarked.

Indonesia has recorded a total of 421,731 coronavirus cases and 14,259 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.