Russia and Czech Republic report record numbers of new coronavirus infections

Russia and Czech Republic report record numbers of new coronavirus infections
Medical workers wearing protective gear helps a man, suspected of having coronavirus out of an ambulance at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Moscow authorities are extending school holidays by a week amid a surge of new coronavirus cases. Health officials on Tuesday reported over 8,000 new virus cases, with over 2,000 in Moscow, the highest daily number in the Russian capital since late May. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Russia has reported more than 12,000 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

The government taskforce dealing with the outbreak said the 12,126 infections reported on Friday took the country’s total close to 1.3 million.

Russia has the world’s fourth-largest number of confirmed cases and has reported more than 22,000 deaths.

Authorities insist there is no immediate plan to impose a second lockdown in the country, which has lifted most virus-related restrictions imposed in the spring.

(PA Graphics)

But authorities in Moscow, which has seen a quick rise in new cases, with 3,701 infections reported over the past 24 hours, have encouraged businesses to have at least a third of their employees work from home and recommended that the elderly self-isolate at home.

This month’s school holidays in the capital were extended from one to two weeks.

Meanwhile, new reported infections in the Czech Republic and Slovakia were the highest for a third straight day.

The Czech Republic registered another 5,394 cases, taking the country’s total to more than 100,000.

The government has responded by imposing further restrictions.

All theatres, cinemas, zoos, museums, art galleries, fitness centres and public swimming pools will be closed for at least two weeks.

A man wearing a face mask crosses the Charles Bridge in Prague (Petr David Josek/AP)

All indoor sports activities will be banned. Outdoors, only up to 20 people will be allowed to participate in sport activities, a measure that will hit professional competitions such as football leagues.

Restaurants and bars will have to close at 8pm and only four people will be allowed at each table.

Infections in Slovakia reached 1,184 on Thursday, up from 1,037 set a day earlier.

The government announced on Friday that it will deploy 267 service members to help health authorities with contact tracing, conduct tests and distribute protective equipment.

Prime minister Igor Matovic said more restrictive measures will be imposed next week if the surge does not slow down over the weekend.

Slovakia has had 16,910 reported cases since the start of the pandemic, with 57 deaths.

India has reported another 70,496 new infections in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s total since the pandemic began to more than 6.9 million.

The Health Ministry reported 964 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total to 106,490.

Covid antigen testing at an agricultural institute in New Delhi (Altaf Qadri/AP)

India is seeing infections spread at a slower pace than last month, when daily infections touched a record high of 97,894 cases. The country is averaging more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month.

Since the pandemic began India has reported the second most total cases in the world behind the US.

Health experts have warned that congregations during major festivals later this month and in November have the potential for the virus to spread.

Sri Lankan health authorities are working to contain a growing cluster of new infections, ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs and spas.

The Indian Ocean island nation over the weekend reported its first locally transmitted infection in more than two months, which led to the discovery of a cluster centred around a garment factory in a densely populated western province.

By Friday the number of infections linked to the cluster had climbed to 1,053, with more than 2,000 more people asked to quarantine at home.

The majority of infected people are co-workers of the first patient, who is an employee at the garment factory.

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