Aussies reminded of rules amid weekend crowds

MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has called on citizens to “stay the course” after large groups flooded beaches and parks at the weekend in defiance of strict lockdown regulations.

Victoria, emerging from a major winter spike in coronavirus cases, relaxed lockdown regulations last weekend but still allowed only five people from up to two households to congregate outside.

Many ignored those regulations on Saturday and crowded parks and beaches, causing Premier Daniel Andrews to remind Victorians not to be selfish and maintain social distancing. Victoria reported only 12 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, well down on the peaks of winter.


“We are so, so close,” Andrews said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again if we don’t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.”

Andrews said the situation in Victoria is “delicately poised” as the state moves toward further easing of lockdown rules.

“It’s sunny, yes, and people love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on,” he said. “Surely, there’s a greater urge to see this thing, to defeat it and to have a normal summer and have a COVID normal Christmas and 2021.”

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical’

— Trump’s diagnosis shows US vulnerability to the coronavirus

— Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused

— South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Madrid has started its first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital. The Madrid region has become Europe’s most critical hot spot in the second wave of the coronavirus.

— Pope Francis has traveled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths.

Thirty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since August. Health workers have struggled to track transmissions tied to churches, hospitals, schools and offices.

Seventeen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, mostly from other Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh.

There are concerns that infections could rise in coming weeks because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that continues through Sunday.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico officials have reported 298 additional known COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 30,296 cases with 890 deaths.

The additional cases reported Saturday included 75 in Bernalillo County, 67 in Dona Ana County, 32 in Chaves County, 22 in Lea County and 20 in Curry County.

The three deaths occurred one each in Bernalillo, Curry and Dona Ana counties and involving people in their 70s or 80s with underlying conditions.

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PHOENIX — Numerous inmates say Arizona’s prison system has failed to provide necessary testing, supplies and treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arizona Republic reports that dozens of letters from inmates in recent months said the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry wasn’t protecting staff and inmates during the outbreak.

The Republic reports inmates’ letters describing fears and frustrations, asking for help while others provided graphic details in personal narratives of surviving the virus.

A department spokesperson denied many allegations by inmates, including that sick inmates weren’t tested. Department spokesperson Judy Keane also cited health and safety protocols announced during the pandemic.

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LONDON — Britain has recorded 12,872 new coronavirus infections, by far the highest daily total since the outbreak began, though the figure includes a backlog of previously unreported cases.

The government says the figure includes an unspecified number of deaths over the past week that have not been reported because of a now-resolved “technical issue.”

Saturday’s total is more than 5,000 cases more than the previous high, recorded earlier this week.

Britain is seeing a second spike in coronavirus cases, though the daily number can’t directly be compared to the outbreak’s U.K. peak in April because many more tests are now being performed now.

The number of hospitalizations and deaths is also rising but remains far below the U.K.’s springtime peak. Another 49 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Saturday. Britain’s official coronavirus death toll is 42,317.

The government has imposed restrictions on social gatherings to try and curb the spread of the virus, and almost a third of the country’s population of 66 million is under tighter local lockdown measures.

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NEW YORK — New York state’s daily count of new coronavirus cases is continuing to rise.

The state reported on Saturday that there were more than 1,700 new confirmed cases on Friday, up slightly from the day before with case totals not seen since May. Some of the hot spots in the state included the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where more than 350 people tested positive, and in suburban Rockland County, which saw at least 120 new cases.

The hardest hit regions of the state, on a per capita basis, were the Southern Tier area along the Pennsylvania border and the Mid-Hudson Valley.

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The news of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis serves as a reminder of the pervasive spread of the coronavirus in the United States.

U.S. infections have been rising for several weeks, a worrying sign with colder weather approaching. The response to the crisis rests largely with governors, which has meant a patchwork of approaches. Only a handful of countries rank higher in COVID-19 deaths per capita.

The Midwest is the new hotspot. Wisconsin reported a record daily death toll Wednesday, and hospitals in multiple cities said they were running out of space. A 530-bed field hospital that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April can be used if the situation worsens.

Iowa reported more than 1,000 new cases for the third consecutive day on Friday.

The U.S. leads the world with 7.3 million cases and more than 209,000 dead.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota health officials announced 11 new deaths in the last day, increasing the total to 248 since the start of the pandemic.

There were about 617 cases per 100,000 people in South Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks second in the country for cases per capita, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Officials say there have been 464 new cases since Friday’s report and nearly 24,000 have tested positive statewide. There were 1,758 tests processed in the last day.

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BEIRUT — Lebanon has registered a new record 1,321 daily cases of coronavirus amid a sharp increase around the country.

The Health Ministry reported 12 deaths, a day before authorities were to impose an eight-day lockdown in 111 towns and villages around Lebanon.

The new cases raise the total to 43,480 since the first was reported in small tiny of 5 million people in late February. The death toll has risen to 398.

The numbers rose following a massive blast in Beirut on Aug. 4 that resulted in many deaths and injuries. The blast led to people searching through the rubble and crowding at hospitals.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s doctors say the president is doing well, is fever-free and isn’t having difficulty breathing after contracting the coronavirus.

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, says while he had fatigue, nasal congestion and coughing, his symptoms are resolving and improving. He says Trump had not been on oxygen Saturday or when he was with their medical team Friday.

Conley adds Trump said he felt he could walk out of a military hospital. Conley says the typical range of monitoring is seven to 10 days.

Trump was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday afternoon in what doctors say was a precaution after he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

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BOSTON — The NFL has postponed Sunday’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after positive coronavirus tests on both teams.

ESPN reported on Saturday that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was among those contracting the disease. The NFL says the game will be played Monday or Tuesday.

The league says the move followed “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” The Patriots confirmed a player has tested positive but didn’t reveal his name.

This week, the matchup between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was postponed because of an outbreak on the Titans.

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MILAN — New coronavirus cases in Italy maintained a trajectory above 2,500 on Saturday, with about 119,000 people tested.

Twenty-seven people died in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry of health, bringing known deaths to 35,968. There have been 322,751 total infections.

Nearly 300 people are in intensive care and 3,205 hospital beds in COVID-19 wards are occupied. Those number have been increasing with a surge in new cases in recent weeks, following dips to only 100 new cases a day in July.

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SKOPJE, North Macedonia — North Macedonia has recorded 243 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began. There were also four new deaths.

Total number of confirmed cases exceed 18,600 with 753 deaths in the country of 2.1 million.

Facing a recent spike in cases, health authorities are considering imposing new restrictions, including banning public gatherings and limiting working hours for bars.

Schools in North Macedonia were opened on Thursday, but only for students in kindergarten and the first three grades. All other students attended classes online.

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ATHENS, Greece — Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says authorities would use local lockdowns to keep a recent surge in coronavirus cases under control.

Health authorities announced another 267 coronavirus cases Saturday and seven deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases is 19,613, about 80 percent recorded in the past two months. A daily record of 460 new cases were reported Friday, attributed to people not wearing masks and failing to keep social distancing.

In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest, people participated in a 2-kilometer (1.25 mile) fast walk to debunk speculation that wearing face masks causes shortness of breath. Participants measured oxygen and carbon dioxide levels after the walk, finding all within the normal range.

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