(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Russia reports record daily COVID-19 death toll
Russia’s healthcare system is operating under great strain, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday, as the national death toll from COVID-19 hit a daily high for the second consecutive day.
Russia reported a record 1,028 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours as well as 34,073 new infections, a surge in cases that has led authorities to press for stricter health restrictions.
Moscow’s mayor announced four months of stay-home restrictions for unvaccinated over-60s on Tuesday and the Russian government proposed a week-long workplace shutdown to cope with fast-rising cases that the Kremlin has blamed on Russia’s slow vaccination campaign.
COVID cases spike in Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic
Poland reported more than 5,000 daily COVID-19 cases for the first time since May on Wednesday.
The country of around 38 million people reported 5,559 new cases and 75 deaths. Since the beginning of the pandemic Poland has reported 2,950,616 cases and 76,254 deaths.
Slovakia reported 3,480 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, its highest daily tally since March 9. The Czech Republic reported 3,246 new cases, spiking above the 3,000 level for the first time since late-April.
UK hospitals close to being overwhelmed, health lobby says
Britain’s hospitals are close to be being overwhelmed by a new wave of COVID-19 infections so tougher restrictions are needed, the health service’s lobby group said on Wednesday, but the government said now was not the time for a new lockdown.
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, called for measures that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding in reserve such as mask-wearing and working from home.
“I talk to health leaders every day, and I have literally not spoken to any leader who doesn’t say that their service is under intense pressure now. This is the middle of October. Things are only going to get worse,” Taylor told BBC radio.
New York to require COVID shots for all public employees – WSJ
New York City will require that all of its municipal workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to announce an order on Wednesday, the report said, adding that city workers needed to get their first shot by Oct. 29 or potentially lose their jobs.
China’s COVID-19 outbreak grows as cities race to trace infections
China reported a fourth day of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in a handful of cities across China, prompting alarmed local governments to double down on efforts to track potential carriers amid the country’s zero-tolerance policy.
A total of 17 new local cases were reported for Oct. 19, up from nine a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission showed on Wednesday.
Among the cases was one in Beijing, which is busy gearing up for the 2022 Winter Games in February.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro should face homicide charge for COVID-19 errors, says Senate report
The senator leading a congressional probe into Brazil’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with homicide for alleged government errors that led to the deaths of thousands.
Bolsonaro has dismissed the probe as politically motivated. It is highly unlikely that he will face trial on any such charges, which would have to be brought by Brazil’s prosecutor general whom Bolsonaro appointed.
(Compiled by Nick Macfie)