• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: President Trump returns to White House; COVID-19 disrupting mental health services in most countries; IMF calls for infrastructure spending.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 35.4 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1 million.

Mexico has reported a record daily rise in cases and deaths - 28,115 and 2,789, respectively. The sharp increase is due to a change in methodology, according to the government.

Confirmed cases in India have risen by 61,267 to 6.69 million. Deaths have risen by 884 to 103,569.

Victoria, Australia - the epicentre of the country's outbreak - has reported a slight increase in new cases. But authorities said they could link most to known outbreaks.

A combination of antiviral drugs normally used to treat HIV has no beneficial effect in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, according to the results of a peer-reviewed study and large-scale randomized trial.

Ireland has increased its restrictions to Level 3, meaning indoor dining is banned, and pubs can only serve a limited number of customers outside. The National Public Health Emergency Team had called for the highest level of restrictions.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday that COVID-19 can spread by the virus lingering in the air.

The International Monetary Fund has called on members to take advantage of low interest rates to invest in infrastructure as a means to drive the economic recovery and a shift towards greener energy.

France has reported a slowing of new cases, but hospitalizations increased by more than 300 for first time since April.

Research suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 9 hours on human skin - but is completely inactivated in just 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol. The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, and its authors say it's a reminder of the importance of proper hand hygiene.

coronavirus COVID-19 daily new confirmed cases
How different countries compare.
Image: Our World in Data

2. President Trump returns to White House

US President Donald Trump has returned to the White House after a three-night stay at Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment for COVID-19.

On his return, he said he was feeling "real good", according to a pool report by a journalist covering his return on behalf of other media. In a tweet, the President urged people to not let the virus "dominate your life".

3. COVID-19 hitting mental health serivices

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical essential mental health services in more than 9-in-10 countries, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) survey.

“Good mental health is absolutely fundamental to overall health and well-being,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. “COVID-19 has interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they’re needed most. World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes - during the pandemic and beyond.”

The survey looked at 130 countries from June to August of this year, with 93% reporting some sort of disruption. Services for vulnerable people, counseling and psychotherapy, harm reduction and school and workplace programmes were hardest hit, according to the survey.

Some 89% of countries reported that mental health and psychosocial support is part of their national COVID-19 reponse, but less than 20% of these countries have full additional funding for these activities.