COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 29 October

A man wearing a protective mask is seen among people at a crowded market amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas - RC24SJ9M7M7C
Confirmed cases in India have passed 8 million.
Image: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
  • This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: France and Germany to enter new lockdowns; India passes 8 million confirmed cases; Italy with record one-day increase in cases.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 44.4 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1.17 million.

Italy has registered a one-day record number of new coronavirus cases - 24,991. Cases are spreading especially quickly in the northern Lombardy region.

Colombia will extend its so-called selective quarantine until at least the end of November.

Cases are doubling every nine days in England, according to a new study by Imperial College.

A poll of economists has warned there is a high risk that the recent rise in cases will halt the global economic recovery by the end of the year.

Gold demand has fallen to its lowest in 11 years.
Demand is down 19% from the third quarter of last year.
Image: Reuters

2. France and Germany introduce new lockdowns

New lockdowns have been announced in France and Germany as a result of surging cases, with restrictions almost as severe as earlier in the year.

Germany will shut bars, restaurants and theatres throughout November. Schools will remain open, but shops will only be allowed to operate with strict limits on access.

“We need to take action now,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infections, it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks.”

Confirmed cases in France and Germany
Cases have accelerated in both countries.
Image: Our World in Data

In France, people will be required to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical care or exercise for up to one hour a day. As in Germany, schools will remain open.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address. “Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus.”

“We are all in the same position: overrun by a second wave which we know will be harder, more deadly than the first,” he said. “I have decided that we need to return to the lockdown which stopped the virus.”

Global stock markets slumped on the news.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 82 global leaders, hosted by the World Economic Forum and supported by GHR Foundation and Porticus. Its mission: Join hands in support of social entrepreneurs everywhere as vital first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.

Its COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda, outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including funders and philanthropists, investors, government institutions, support organizations, and corporations. These corporations are called on to stand with social entrepreneurs within their supply chains and the broader ecosystem, fulfil their agreements and extend their support to build a more inclusive & resilient economy and to:

  • Honour existing relationships by standing by existing supplier commitments and extending credit lines to social entrepreneur suppliers/partners
  • Forge new partnerships by using a mix of different types of financial and non-financial support to both social entrepreneurs and their constituents
  • Facilitate capital connections so that social entrepreneurs can re-emerge and rebuild after the pandemic
  • Invest in capacity building through individual or multi-company pro-bono/low-bono programmes
  • Deepen and widen corporate’s footprint by committing to sustainable sourcing practices and by building local “shock resilient” ecosystems

For more information see the full action agenda here.

3. India passes 8 million confirmed cases

India has passed the milestone of 8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, after reporting a rise of 48,881 new infections. New cases have fallen from a peak in September.

It's the second highest cumulative total in the world, after the United States, although the death toll has been low relative to the number of infections.

120,527 deaths have been reported in total.