Coronavirus cases rising in Spain, France and Greece

Doctors in Turkey’s coronavirus hotspots say hospitals are filling up with more cases than are reflected in the official nationwide count, which resurged above 1,000 this week.

Intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency rooms in hospitals set aside for COVID-19 patients are at capacity in the capital Ankara and the southeastern city of Gaziantep, medics associations from those regions told Reuters this week.

Doctors say Turkish Covid-19 outbreak worse than reported as hospitalisations swell

The government, which lifted a partial lockdown in June to restart the economy, sounded its own warning on Tuesday when the health minister described the 1,083 new Covid-19 cases as a “severe” rise after a four-day holiday weekend.

In response, authorities rolled out new inspections and enforcement measures, including fines for not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. New cases had hovered just below 1,000 for more than three weeks, according to official figures.

But Aysegul Ates Tarla, head of the Gaziantep-Kilis Medics’ Chamber, said a single hospital in the region logged 200 new cases in one day recently, with the infection rate among health workers especially high.

In Ankara, Ali Karakoc, general secretary of its Medics’ Chamber, said roughly 1,000 people test positive in the capital each day and he blamed what he called a premature easing of lockdown measures in June.

“Patients are being made to wait on gurneys for hours or are being sent home. Even those who have pneumonia are sent home because they cannot find a place,” he said, adding Covid-dedicated beds were now full.

Boris Johnson has one month to fix test and trace system, warns Labour, as global death toll surpasses 700,000

Here are the main stories from across the globe:

– Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has criticised Boris Johnson’s government for being “too slow to act” throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He warned the nation is at a “crucial point” in the fight against coronavirus and that Britain faced “a long and bleak winter” if immediate steps were not taken to ensure the country was better prepared for a second wave.

– The UK has agreed a multi-million pound joint investment with French speciality vaccines company Valneva to upgrade a manufacturing facility and increase production capacity for a possible Covid-19 vaccine. 

– A group of MPs has said that the lack of quarantine restrictions for people arriving into the UK during the earlier stages of the pandemic was a “serious mistake”.

– Virgin Atlantic could run out of money by the end of September if creditors do not approve a £1.2 billion bailout package, a court has heard.

– The global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average. That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds.

– Australia’s Victoria state reported a record rise in new Covid-19 cases and deaths on Wednesday, as it prepared to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country.

– The US says Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will visit Taiwan in the coming days in the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official since the break in formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in 1979.

– The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 741 to 212,022, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,168, the tally showed.

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