The US president Donald Trump has tweeted that he will leave Walter Reed hospital on Monday at 6.30pm, adding that he felt “really good”. He was hospitalised on Friday.
For more updates from across the pond, you can head to our US politics live blog. It’s here.
The US CDC has reported 7,396,730 cases of coronavirus, an increase of 36,778 from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 378 to 209,199.
The CDC reported its tally of Covid-19 as of 4pm ET on 4 October versus its previous report a day earlier. The figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.
Good evening from London! I’m Lucy Campbell, I’ll be bringing you the latest global developments on the coronavirus pandemic for the next few hours. If you have a story or tips to share, please feel free to get in touch with me – your comments are always welcome.
Here’s a quick recap of the main coronavirus developments over the last few hours:
- French patients in ICUs for Covid-19 above 1,400 for first time since 28 May. French health authorities reported that the number of patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) for Covid-19 has gone beyond the 1,400 threshold for the first time since 28 May.
- White House press secretary tests positive for Covid-19. Kayleigh McEnany said she has tested positive for Covid-19, adding that she would begin quarantining and that the White House medical unit does not list any members of the press as close contacts.
- England Covid cases error means 50,000 contacts may not have been traced. More than 50,000 potentially infectious people may have been missed by contact tracers and not told to self-isolate because of the data blunder that meant nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases went unreported in England.
- One in 10 may have caught Covid, as world heads into “difficult period” – WHO. Roughly one in 10 people may have been infected with the coronavirus, leaving the vast majority of the world’s population vulnerable, the World Health Organization said.
- New York governor closes schools in coronavirus hot spots. Andrew Cuomo ordered schools to close from Tuesday onwards in several coronavirus “hot spots” around the state, including parts of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
- Spain tops 800,000 coronavirus cases after weekend jump. Spain became the first western European nation to surpass 800,000 total coronavirus cases after registering 23,480 new infections over the weekend.
- Ireland’s government ‘to reject new lockdown’. Ireland’s government has rejected a surprise recommendation by its health chiefs to go into lockdown and will instead tighten current Covid-19 restrictions, government sources said.
- Paris bars to close as Covid infections rise among young people. Bars in the Paris region have been ordered to close from Tuesday after health authorities reported a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections among the 20-30 age group.
- Iran hits record high 235 virus deaths in 24 hours. Iran has announced 235 new fatalities from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, a figure equalling the record high set nearly 10 weeks ago.
- Malaysia PM quarantines after contact with minister who has Covid-19. Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin will self quarantine for 14 days after a minister who attended a high-level government meeting to discuss coronavirus developments on Saturday tested positive for Covid-19.
And that’s it from me Jessica Murray today, I’m now handing over to my colleague Lucy Campbell.
French health authorities have reported that the number of patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) for Covid-19 has gone beyond the 1,400 threshold for the first time since 28 May.
The latest figure comes the day before Paris is to be placed on maximum Covid-19 alert, meaning bars will be forced to close for two weeks, partly because of the sharp rise of the number of people in ICUs.
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona has been tested for the coronavirus, his lawyer said on Twitter on Monday.
The results of the former striker’s test are expected within 24 hours, his lawyer Matias Morla said. Morla shared a photo of a medical worker swabbing Maradona at his home.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered schools to close from Tuesday onwards in several coronavirus “hot spots” around the state, including parts of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
The announcement brings forward a plan by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to close schools in eleven ZIP codes beginning on Wednesday after coronavirus test positivity rates rose above 3% in those areas for seven days in a row.
“I am not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldn’t send my child,” Cuomo said at a news conference on Monday.
He said the state would take over enforcement of social distancing rules from local authorities in the hot spots.
Cuomo said he was also concerned about similar rising coronavirus rates in Rockland and Orange counties north of New York City.
New York faced one of the earliest and most devastating outbreaks of coronavirus in the spring, but has since managed to largely curtail its spread. On Monday, 1.22% of coronavirus tests statewide were reported to be positive, Cuomo said.
EU rules that set limits on government borrowing will remain suspended in 2021 as the 27-nation bloc strives to support a recovery from the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, economic commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.
The European Commission, which is in charge of enforcing the fiscal rules, earlier this year suspended EU requirements to keep government deficits below 3% of GDP and to reduce public debt every year as the EU economy entered a record recession.
“In terms of fiscal policy, we sent a letter last week to EU finance ministers to provide guidance as they are preparing their national budgets for 2021,” Gentiloni told a news conference after a meeting of euro zone finance ministers.
“The General Escape Clause will remain active in the year 2021 and fiscal policies should continue to support the recovery next year, both at the level of the euro area and in individual member states,” he said.
Euro zone countries must send their draft budget assumptions for 2021 to the European Commission by 15 October for checks to ensure they are in line with EU rules.
Gentiloni said that governments should carefully choose the fiscal measures they want to use to sustain the recovery because they would have to be well-targeted and temporary.
“There is, of course, a difference between a fiscal policy aimed at tackling the emergency and one that is focusing on achieving a durable recovery,” he said.
“Agility and flexibility will be key in designing and implementing fiscal policies for and during 2021.”
The International Monetary Fund has told its member governments they can create millions of jobs and boost recovery prospects if they use higher public investment to respond to the severe economic challenge posed by Covid-19.
Ahead of its annual meeting this month, the Washington-based fund said historically low interest rates meant it was a good time to borrow for long-term infrastructure projects and said the spending would help tackle rising unemployment.
The IMF said the boost to jobs would be especially strong if governments planned for a green recovery.
Its analysis – contained in a chapter from its forthcoming fiscal monitor – showed that increasing public investment by 1% of national output would create seven million jobs directly and between 20m and 33m jobs via the knock-on effects on the rest of the economy.
British health secretary, Matt Hancock, said he is working on proposals to simplify England’s patchwork of local Covid-19 restrictions and would present them to parliament.
Asked if he had considered simplifying the framework for local restrictions, Hancock said: “The short answer is yes. I think that the proposals that we are working through and that I’ll bring to this House … (are) to have a more simplified approach to the local actions needed.”
Spain became the first western European nation to surpass 800,000 total coronavirus cases after registering 23,480 new infections over the weekend, health ministry data showed.
The cumulative tally hit 813,412, while the death toll reached 32,225, up 139 on Friday.
Daily deaths are now at their highest level since early May but are well below the late March record of nearly 900.
Democratic presidential contender, Joe Biden, said he is willing to participate in next week’s scheduled debate with the president, Donald Trump, if health experts say it would be safe.
Trump’s medical team is weighing whether the president can leave hospital later on Monday after being admitted last week with Covid-19.
“If the scientists say that it’s safe and the distances are safe, then I think that’s fine. I’ll do whatever the experts say is the appropriate thing to do,” Biden, who tested negative for Covid-19 over the weekend, told reporters in Delaware before heading to Florida on a campaign trip.
White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said she has tested positive for Covid-19, adding that she would begin quarantining and that the White House medical unit does not list any members of the press as close contacts.
“Moreover, I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday,” McEnany said in a statement, referring to president Donald Trump’s adviser whose positive test results were revealed last Thursday, hours before Trump announced he and his wife also had contracted coronavirus.
An initiative from Germany’s Social Democrat labour minister to give people the right to work from home is facing opposition from chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and business groups, though a survey shows most workers like the idea.
The coronavirus pandemic has interrupted work flows in many companies in Europe’s largest economy, accelerating a trend to work partly from home and speeding up the digitisation of business organisation and communication.
But it has also created new problems such as working longer hours and pushing up stress levels, especially among parents juggling childcare and working from home.
Hubertus Heil from the co-governing, centre-left SPD told Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday that his draft law would give employees the right to work from home or somewhere else at least 24 days per year if the profession and work flows allow.
With the draft law, Heil wants to increase job satisfaction among employees and avoid home working automatically leading to longer working hours.
Employers must ensure that employees record their entire working time at home, or else face a fine of up to €30,000.
In addition, accidents that happen while working from home should be regarded as work accidents which means the employer’s insurance must fully cover the costs.
A survey conducted by several economic institutes showed that roughly two thirds of German employees welcome the proposal for such a legal right.
But a spokeswoman of economy minister Peter Altmaier from Merkel’s conservatives said during a regular news conference that there were many unanswered questions and that Altmaier remained sceptical of the idea.
“Above all, we need less bureaucracy and not new state guarantees for everything,” the spokeswoman cited Altmaier as saying.
Merkel’s spokesman said the draft law would now be discussed between the labour ministry and the chancellery, adding that there were still a lot of issues to be resolved.
The VDMA engineering association said there was no need for a legal right to work from home.
“It only raises hopes that cannot be fulfilled in every case,” VDMA managing director Thilo Brodtmann said.