NEW DELHI —India has maintained its surge in coronavirus cases, adding 93,337 new confirmed infections in the past 24 hours.
The Health Ministry on Saturday raised the nation’s caseload to more than 5.3 million out of the nearly 1.4 billion people. It said 1,247 more people died in the past 24 hours for a total of 85,619. The country has over a million active cases with about 80% recovery rate.
India has been reporting the highest single-day rise in the world every day for more than five weeks. It’s expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has faced scathing criticism from opposition lawmakers in India’s Parliament for its handling of the pandemic amid a contracting economy leaving millions jobless.
More than 10 million migrant workers, out of money and fearing starvation, poured out of cities and headed back to villages when Modi ordered the nationwide lockdown on March 24. The migration was one key reason that the virus spread to the far reaches of the country while the lockdown caused severe economic pain. The economy contracted nearly 24% in the second quarter, the worst among the world’s top economies.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups
— Guatemalan president tests positive for coronavirus
— Madrid sets up emergency tents, adds restrictive measures as cases spike
— U.S. health officials are dropping a controversial piece of coronavirus guidance and telling all those who have been in close contact with infected people to get tested.
— Can mandatory masks offer enough protection in lecture halls so packed that late arrivals have to sit on the floor? That’s what worries many students at the centuries-old Sorbonne University in Paris with the coronavirus on the rebound across France.
— Fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions in England appear to be on the cards soon as the British government targeted more areas Friday in an attempt to suppress a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections.
— Hungary’s prime minister says that the government has drawn up a “war plan” to defend against the new wave of the coronavirus pandemic and that the country’s health care system is prepared to handle to rising number of new virus cases.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
DENVER — The University of Colorado has forced some students to move out of their dorms to create more isolation housing for students with coronavirus infections as case numbers continue to increase at the Boulder campus.
The Denver Post reported that the university said in an email to affected students that those living in the Darley North tower at the Williams Village complex must move to other residence halls within the complex by 5 p.m. Sunday.
The announcement came as the university reported 130 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 671 cases since classes began about a month ago.
Officials say two-thirds of on-campus isolation space at the university is already full, with 151 beds in use out of 267 available as of Thursday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s unemployment rate fell to 11.4% in August amid its slow recovery from the pandemic’s damage to the economy.
The Employment Development Department says the state added 101,900 jobs during the month. Most were government jobs, including temporary positions for the U.S. Census.
California lost more than 2.6 million jobs in March and April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The state has regained nearly a third of those jobs. But experts warn that other indicators show the state’s economy has stalled with no quick recovery in sight.
Restaurants and other hospitality businesses have been the hardest hit. The sector lost 14,600 jobs just in August with coronavirus restrictions still in place across much of the state.
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho will remain under current restrictions of the final stage of Gov. Brad Little’s economic reopening plan for at least another two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor said Friday that intensive care unit hospitalizations of those infected remain too high.
Little says Idaho residents have done well in their precautions, such as wearing face coverings, but virus infections have continued. John Hopkins University says that through Thursday, Idaho had more than 36,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 434 deaths.
Most Idaho businesses are open in the state’s stage 4 restrictions. The governor says the unemployment rate is now at 4.2%, after reaching nearly 12% during spring when the virus entered Idaho and businesses started shutting down.
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Department of Education says a public school canceled a scheduled visit from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
The McKelvie Intermediate School in Bedford informed the department Friday morning that it had a positive test. DeVos did go on to visit Riddle Brook Elementary School in Bedford.
A state education spokesperson says the decision on McKelvie Intermediate was made by school officials in Bedford. According to a school board meeting this week, the schools had been chosen for visits because of how they notified families about earlier cases of the virus.
The U.S. Department of Education did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
ROME — Public health authorities in Italy are warning that the average age of coronavirus patients is creeping up as young people infect their more fragile parents and grandparents, risking new strain on the hospital system.
The Superior Institute of Health issued its weekly monitoring report Friday as the country where COVID-19 hit first in the West recorded the highest number of new infections — 1,907 — since May 1. Another 10 people died over the past day, bringing Italy’s official death toll to 35,668.
While Italy hasn’t seen the thousands of daily new infections other European countries have seen recently, its caseload has crept up steadily over the past seven weeks. Initially, most new infections were in young people who returned from vacation hotspots. The health institute said Friday that they are now infecting their older and more fragile loved ones in home settings, with the average age of positive cases last week at 41 versus the low 30s in August.
The institute warned that while the health system isn’t overwhelmed, it risks further strain if Italians don’t rigorously adhere to mask mandates and social distancing norms.
SALT LAKE CITY — A spike of coronavirus cases in Utah that began after schools and colleges resumed classes has reached a new peak and led the state’s Republican governor to say again that he’s considering new measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday he will meet with his command team on Monday after what he described as an “alarming” spike that makes him question if previous warnings and public education are enough.
He said one day earlier he’s considering a state mask mandate — a move he’s stopped short of making despite making repeated pleas for residents to use face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible. He has instead allowed counties to decide if they needed bans.
The 1,117 cases reported Friday in Utah surpassed the previous record of about 875 hit twice in July, according to state data. That tally raised the state’s rolling average number of daily new confirmed coronavirus cases to 726, more than double 381 just one week ago. The state’s positive rate hit 12.5% Friday, up from 8.2% one month
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says a second wave of the coronavirus is coming, on a day when the government reported 4,322 new confirmed cases, the highest since early May.
Speaking at a vaccine manufacturing center under construction near Oxford, Johnson says: “We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe — it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”
The weekly survey released Friday by the Office for National Statistics revealed an average of 6,000 people in England were estimated as newly infected between Sept. 4-10, about double from the previous week.
England is preparing for more restrictions on gatherings and other activities in several areas of the country. There is growing speculation Britain may be sliding toward a lockdown in the coming weeks, partly because the testing regime is struggling to cope with higher demand.
The U.K. recorded 27 deaths on Friday, bringing the government’s official tally of deaths from COVID-19 to 41,732.
PARIS — France’s health agency has recorded 13,215 new coronavirus cases and 123 additional deaths in the last 24 hours.
Public Health France says the country surpassed the 10,000 mark in cases last weekend for the first time since May. In the Paris region, Ile-de-France, the agency reports 2,311 new hospitalizations and 86 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Many health officials believe France is in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The French government has said it will tighten restrictions in certain virus hotspots in the cities of Nice and Lyon.
The virus hot spots include academies in the cities of Lille, Toulouse, Aix-Marseille, Bordeaux and Versailles. Some 891 students tested positive for the virus in the 24 hours, bringing the weekly rolling tally to 5,056 students. Another 284 more staff tested positive, bringing the weekly rolling tally to 1,307 staff.
LONDON — The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief says new global cases of the coronavirus appear to have plateaued at about 2 million and 50,000 deaths every week.
Dr. Michael Ryan says while the global COVID-19 caseload was not rising exponentially, the weekly number of deaths was still very unsettling.
“It’s not where developing countries want to be with their health systems under nine months of pressure,” Ryan said.
He says there have been recent surges in Europe, Ecuador and Argentina. He adds a lack of large increases in African countries and other nations might reflect a lack of testing.