(Reuters) – The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States is at a two-month high, straining health care systems in some states. In Europe, France led a string of countries reporting record increases in infections.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* The Czech government ordered a 9 p.m. curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays as part of tighter measures to curb the spread of the virus.
* Protests flared across Italy against a new round of government restrictions aimed at curbing a resurgent coronavirus, with violence reported in at least two major northern cities, Milan and Turin.
* France reported its highest number of COVID-19 patients going into hospital since April, registering 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday. The country is considering further tightening of restrictions, sources said.
* Slovakia may be able to avoid harsher anti-coronavirus measures as a result of its plans for nationwide testing scheduled to start this weekend.
* The Spanish government faced a backlash over its plans to put the country, one of Europe’s worst COVID-19 hotspots, under a state of emergency for six months.
* A lack of contact-tracing capacity in Europe, despite very high rates of positive tests, will drive the coronavirus further into the “darkness”, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert told an online briefing on Monday.
* U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House has refused to sign on to Democratic lawmakers’ plan for a coronavirus testing strategy, despite earlier public statements to the contrary by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
* The Trump administration will this week announce a plan to cover out-of-pocket costs of COVID-19 vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid, Politico reported.
* Tumbling numbers of pregnancies and marriages in Japan during the coronavirus pandemic are likely to intensify a demographic crisis in the rapidly ageing nation.
* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would favour a government-to-government deal for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Iran extended COVID-19 curbs in Tehran and across the country as health authorities said they were recording a COVID-19 death every four minutes.
* Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community.
* A leading experimental COVID-19 vaccine produces an immune response in both young and old adults, said AstraZeneca Plc, which is helping to manufacture it.
* Asian stocks markets fell on Tuesday as soaring global coronavirus cases and slow progress on a U.S. stimulus deal hammered investor sentiment and took a toll on Wall Street.[MKTS/GLOB]
* South Korea’s economy returned to growth in the third quarter, climbing out of the slump brought about by the coronavirus as its major trading partners began lifting pandemic restrictions.
(Compiled by Vinay Dwivedi and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila)