Italy reopens schools despite coronavirus concerns: Live news | News


  • The World Health Organization has reported a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases worldwide, with at least 307,930 cases confirmed in just one day. 

  • Victoria, the second-most populous state in Australia and the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, has reported 35 new cases – the lowest daily rise in three months.

  • More than 28.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and more than 922,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 19.5 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, September 14

09:48 GMT – Sweden drops travel restrictions to Britain despite pick up in cases 

Sweden took Britain off its red-list of countries it advises citizens not to travel to, despite a pick-up in new coronavirus cases and restrictions on public gatherings.

Swedes can now travel freely to most European destinations, though Finland, Ireland, the Baltic countries and Malta remain on the red-list.

Britain recorded its highest daily rate of new infections since mid-May last week and gatherings of more than six people were banned across most of the country from Monday. 

09:28 GMT – Italy’s schools finally reopen after six-month closure

After a six-month shutdown, the longest in Europe, Italy reopened most of its schools, testing the organisational skills of the government, the nerves of teachers and the self-control of excited students.

Schools in 13 of the country’s 20 regions cautiously resumed face-to-face lessons, calling back 5.6 million students to their desks. The remaining seven regions have decided to delay for another week.

Battling to halt the spread of coronavirus, the government shut the nation’s schools in early March. Efforts to make classrooms safe again and limit the possibility of fresh contagion have been mired in controversy.

“At the beginning there are going to be problems,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

In Italy, about 35,500 people have died of COVID-19, the largest death toll in the European Union, and the number of new cases has picked up recently raising fears of a second wave.

Students sit in their classroom at the San Biagio primary school in Codogno, Italy, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The morning bell Monday marks the first entrance to the classroom for the children of Codogn

The morning bell Monday marks the first entrance to the classroom for the children of Codogno since February 21, when panicked parents were sent to pick up their children after the northern Italian town gained notoriety as the first in the West to record local transmission of the coronavirus [Luca Bruno/AP Photo]

08:47 GMT – Indonesia reports 3,141 new infections, 118 deaths

Indonesia reported 3,141 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 221,523, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.

The data added 118 new deaths, taking the total to 8,841, the highest death toll in Southeast Asia.

Jakarta To Reimpose Restrictions As Coronavirus Cases Rise

An Indonesian nurse walks through a football stadium which is being converted into a hospital for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta [Ed Wray/Getty Images]

08:46 GMT – Philippines reports another record spike in daily coronavirus deaths

The Philippines reported a record daily increase in new coronavirus deaths for the second time in three days, adding 259 more fatalities to bring the total to 4,630.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said the Southeast Asian country also recorded 4,699 newly-confirmed cases, taking its total infections to 265,888, the highest in the region.

07:38 GMT – Spain to extend furlough scheme into 2021, Labour Minister says

The Spanish government is considering extending the nationwide ERTE furlough scheme that guarantees workers part of their income into 2021, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said.

“The date is open, but likely [December 31] would not be the most adequate and we have to extend a little beyond,” Diaz said in an interview on Spanish state TV station.

She added the extension might be longer for different industries. She said for instance the tourism industry would benefit from the scheme so long as they need it. 

07:28 GMT – Crowded Marseille soccer celebrations condemned by French minister 

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin criticised Olympique Marseille’s (OM) fans for celebrating en masse on the streets of the city after Marseille beat Paris Saint Germain (PSG), given the risks from the COVID-19 virus in France.

“One can only condemn the images that we are seeing,” Darmanin told LCI television, when shown TV footage of hordes of Marseille supporters partying after the win in close proximity to one another, with many not wearing masks.

Last week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex singled out Marseille and Bordeaux as among the mainland French cities hardest hit by the resurgence of the COVID virus in France.

Marseille’s hospitals have also been put back on a crisis footing as the virus has started to spread again in France, which has the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll. 

06:43 GMT – Japan will not play again in 2020 due to COVID-19 – JRFU

Japan’s national rugby union team will not play again this year because of safety fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese Rugby Football Union (JRFU) said.

Japan, who had games against England and Wales cancelled earlier this year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, were due to play Scotland and Ireland in November. 

06:20 GMT – Scheffler out of US Open after positive COVID-19 test

Scottie Scheffler has withdrawn from this week’s US Open after testing positive for COVID-19, the United States Golf Association (USGA) said.

The 24-year-old American, who is a contender for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, finished fourth at last month’s PGA Championship and fifth two weeks ago at the Tour Championship.

The world number 29 shot a sizzling 59 en route to a fourth-place finish in the FedExCup playoffs opener at TPC Boston.

“We are sorry to lose a member of the USGA family in this year’s field,” said the USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer. “We look forward to welcoming him back to the US Open for many years to come.”

Scheffler will be replaced in the field by South African Branden Grace. 

06:18 GMT – Czech Republic’s daily count of cases drops below 1,000 after 5 days

The Czech Republic recorded 792 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a drop after five consecutive days with more than 1,000 cases each, Health Ministry’s data showed.

The ministry has not yet updated the daily number of tests. There are usually fewer tests done at weekends.

The overall number of confirmed cases rose to 36,188 in the country of 10.7 million. 

06:15 GMT – Oct, Nov to be ‘tougher’ with more coronavirus deaths: WHO Europe

The World Health Organization expects Europe to see a rise in the daily number of COVID-19 deaths in October and November, the head of the body’s European branch told AFP news agency.     

“It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said, as the continent currently experiences a surge of cases though the number of deaths has remained relatively stable.

Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.

05:45 GMT – India reports 92,071 new coronavirus cases; deaths near 80,000

India’s health ministry reported on Monday at least 92,071 new cases of the coronavirus, taking total cases to 4.85 million.

The figure is slightly lower than the more than 94,000 cases reported on Sunday, but India continues to report cases over 90,000 for days.

More than 1,100 deaths were also reported, taking the death toll to almost 80,000.

05:18 GMT – Ethnic groups in Myanmar’s Rakhine fear army more than COVID-19

Amid the coronavirus virus pandemic, which has infected almost 3,000 people in Myanmar, ethnic groups in Rakhine state are fearing the miliary onslaught more than the spread of the disease.  

According to reports obtained by Al Jazeera, more than 100 houses in two villages had been razed, forcing as many as 8,000 villages to flee their homes.

An estimated three million people of Rakhine are caught in the intensifying armed conflict between the military – known as the Tatmadaw – and the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group.

To read more details, click here.

05:00 GMT – Doctors in Indonesia fight spread of fake news on COVID-19

The Doctors Without Borders (also known as MSF) has called on the Indonesian government to step up education regarding the spread of the coronavirus in the country, saying that the spread of rumours and fake news is creating “panic” in many communities.

“We needed to help them find a way to educate and inform the community quickly and on a large scale. Fear can be just as harmful as COVID-19,” said Dr Dirna Mayasari, the MSF deputy medical coordinator in Indonesia.

MSF said that in one community in South Jakarta, for example, villagers “were so confused” after receiving inaccurate information, some of which are “defined as fake news” regarding the spread of the deadly disease.

04:40 GMT – 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in China

China’s National Health Commission has reported 10 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s confirmed cases to 85,194. 

In a statement on Monday, the commission also said that there were no additional fatalities reported keeping the death toll unchanged at over 4,600.

China also reported 39 new asymptomatic cases, which the government does not include in its total count.

04:10 GMT – Coronavirus panel slams failure to head warnings

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, a panel reviewing the response of the coronavirus pandemic, has denounced the collective failure by political leaders that led to the current “disorder”.

“Financial and political investments in preparedness have been insufficient, and we are all paying the price,” according to the report prepared by the panel organised by the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

“It is not as if the world has lacked the opportunity to take these steps,” it added. “There have been numerous calls for action … over the last decade, yet none has generated the changes needed.”

03:35 GMT – Doctors oppose easing of social-distancing rules in the Philippines

Doctors in the Philippines have expressed opposition to the government’s plan to easing physical distancing regulations in the country, saying it is too early to relax the rules.

In an online forum on Monday, Dr Antonio Dans, a leading expert on the country’s university health care law, said that the department of transportation should not change its rule of one metre between passengers, as it could lead to more transmission. 

The government plans to gradually reduce social distancing rules on public transportation to just half a metre on September 28 and 0.3 meters on October 12 to increase capacity of trains and buses. The country has over 261,000 cases and at least 4,371 deaths due to the pandemic.

Commuters - Philippines

Medical experts say that the government’s plan to reduce the social distancing rules in public transport from the current one metre could accelerate the transmission of the disease [Rolex dela Pena/EPA]

03:05 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 927 to 260,355

Germany’s monitor for infectious diseases has reported that the country’s COVID-19 cases have gone up by 927 to 260,355.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also reported on Monday that the death toll rose by one to 9,350.

02:50 GMT – Israel to reinstate lockdown

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the country will reinstate a strict new countrywide lockdown this week amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Starting on Friday, schools, restaurants, malls and hotels among other businesses will shut down and restrictions on movement will be imposed.

The lockdown is expected to last at least three weeks, when measures may be eased depending on the rate of increase of cases and fatalities. Israel has over 155,000 cases and around 1,100 deaths.

02:01 GMT – Saudi to lift international restrictions Tuesday

Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry has announced that it will partially lift restrictions on international flights beginning on Tuesday, six months after travel curbs were imposed due to the pandemic.

After January 1, Saudl will also end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport for Saudi citizens, but the exact date will be announced later in December.

According to Saudi Press Agency, non- Saudi residents with valid travel documents can enter Saudi as long as they are free of the virus.

01:42 GMT – New Zealand to lift most of coronavirus curbs on September 21

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that coronavirus restrictions across the country will be lifted on September 21, except in its biggest city of Auckland which is the epicentre of a second wave of infections.

Ardern said Auckland’s restrictions would be reviewed next week.

01:25 GMT – Trump indoor rally plan prompts virus warning

Trump rally

Supporters of US President Donald Trump, many not wearing masks, gather for an indoor rally in Henderson, Nevada despite warnings about mass gatherings [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

US President Donald Trump was due to hold his first fully indoor rally in months in the state of Nevada, but authorities warned the gathering could violate coronavirus restrictions on crowd sizes.

Indoor rallies during the pandemic have proven problematic for Trump, who was heavily criticised after one in June that was later linked to a spike in virus cases.

Plans for the rally in the Nevada city of Henderson on Sunday drew a rebuke from local authorities who noted events with more than 50 people are not allowed due to the coronavirus, according to Reuters news agency.

01:02 GMT – South Korea reports decline in new cases with 109 testing positive

South Korea’s coronavirus monitoring agency reported on Monday at least 109 COVID-19 cases – the 12th straight day that infections stayed below 200.

Yonhap quoted the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency as saying that of the new cases reported, 98 were of domestic origin, with the overall total hitting 22,285.

Five more deaths were also reported, compared to three on Sunday, raising the death toll to 363.

00:45 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus deaths near 71,000

Mexico’s health ministry has reported reported 4,408 new coronavirus cases and 217 additional deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 668,381 and the death toll to 70,821 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely higher than the confirmed cases, and the country has also reported over 120,000 in excess deaths in recent months.

00:10 GMT – Australia’s Victoria sees lowest rise in COVID-19 cases

Victoria, the second-most populous state in Australia and the centre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, has reported its lowest number of new cases in three months.

The state reported 35 new cases on Monday, and seven deaths.

Melbourne has begun to ease some of the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease. Residents are now allowed to spend an additional two hours outside every day, and the city’s controversial overnight curfew has been shortened by one hour.

00:05 GMT – WHO reports record one-day increase in cases, up over 307,000

The World Health Organization has reported another record-breaking number of coronavirus cases, worldwide with at least 307,930 cases in just one day. 

The previous record reported by WHO was 306,857 on September 6.

India, the United States and Brazil posted the highest number of cases, with India reporting over 94,300 cases on Sunday. Europe has also seen a resurgence of cases.

India - coronavirus

India, the United States and Brazil posted the highest number of cases, with India reporting over 94,300 cases on Sunday [Divyakant Solanki/EPA]

00:01 GMT – Greece reports 207 new COVID-19 cases as it prepares to reopen schools

Greek health authorities have reported 207 new coronavirus cases including 29 infections from abroad, with three more fatalities, as the country prepares to reopen its schools on Monday.

The total cases now stand at 13,240 and 305 deaths. Of the total number of cases, about three-quarters were recorded in August, with a median age of 39. Meanwhile, among the fatalities, the average age is 78.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

For all the key developments from yesterday, September 13, go here.



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