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US death toll 220,000; global cases pass 40 million


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R-0 may be the most important scientific term you’ve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

More than 220,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19,  Johns Hopkins University reported Monday, and global cases surpassed 40 million.

The United States has about 4.3% of the world’s reported population and 19.7% of the world’s reported coronavirus deaths, USA TODAY data shows.

The actual worldwide total is most likely considerably higher: Testing hasn’t been widely available, many have been asymptomatic, and certain governments have concealed numbers.

The U.S., Brazil and India are reporting the highest numbers of cases.

Meanwhile, in a Sunday night interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “absolutely not” surprised President Donald Trump contracted an infection after attending what he described as a “superspreader event” in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26. He also said the White House has blocked him from speaking to the media on a number of occasions.

In Washington, the clock is ticking for a stimulus relief bill ahead of the Nov. 3 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday set a 48-hour deadline for the White House, insisting that a second round of $1,200 checks for Americans, expanded unemployment benefits and additional financial aid for the Paycheck Protection program “depends on the administration.”

Some significant developments:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed the idea of a nationwide lockdown on “60 Minutes,” saying the U.S. is “fatigued” by coronavirus restrictions. He also said he’d take a vaccine upon approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • More than 6 million households failed to make their rent or mortgage payments in September, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America.
  • Amid a surge in cases, Italy implemented a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions but stopped short of curfews such as those imposed in France.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.1 million cases and 220,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

📚 Read this:The latest in USA TODAY’s Deadly Discrimination series looks at how systemic racism in the San Francisco Bay area is making COVID especially lethal for Asian Americans. 

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

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California to independently review FDA-approved vaccines before distribution

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state won’t allow distribution of coronavirus vaccines until it is reviewed by the state’s own panel of experts — no matter who wins the presidential election next month.

The governor named 11 doctors and scientists to review any rollout of vaccines by the federal government or vaccine developers. The board members hail from top California top universities and medical providers, along with state and local public health officials.

Newsom’s position pledge raises the possibility that California’s 40 million residents might not receive a vaccine as distribution begins in other states.

Fargo becomes first city in North Dakota to issue mask mandate

Fargo became the first city in North Dakota to issue a face mask mandate on Monday amid the state’s rising coronavirus caseload. The mandate applies to every person, family, business and store in the state’s largest city.

“As a community, we must all do our part to greatly reduce the spread of this deadly COVID-19 disease,” Mayor Tim Mahoney said in a news release. Mahoney, who is a general surgeon, has supported Gov. Doug Burgum’s handling of the pandemic but said it “would be great” if the governor issued a statewide mandate.

Cass County, which includes Fargo, has been one of the state’s hardest-hit areas. Health officials reported 200 new positive cases on Monday, bringing the toll to nearly 8,000.

CDC: Travelers who won’t wear face masks should get the boot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed Monday what has already become a required practice around the country, recommending that anyone traveling on airlines, trains, subways, buses or other public transport wear a mask.

If passengers don’t comply, those who won’t put on masks should be ordered to get off when possible, the CDC said in its interim guidance on the issue. Airlines or other transportation providers should, “at the earliest opportunity, disembark any person who refuses to comply.”

The CDC’s “strong recommendation” could be a boost to airlines, ride-hailing drivers and others that have seen resistance by some passengers to rules requiring they wear masks while traveling in close proximity to strangers to ward off the spread of the coronavirus.

“Wide use of masks especially helps protect those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as well as workers who frequently come into close contact with other people,” the CDC said in justifying its advice.

– Chris Woodyard

States finalize their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans

State public health departments say they’re ready to leap into action as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved but caution so many things are still unknown that exactly what that leap looks like is hard to say right now.

For example, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said it’s like planning an outdoor picnic for 1.3 million of his closest friends (the population of Maine) without knowing how much food he has, who’s coming, how he’s going to invite them and what they can and can’t eat.

“We plan for things we have knowledge around and move forward from there,” he said.

The good news is that the earliest date a vaccine is expected to arrive is now around Thanksgiving so that gives states a little breathing room. 

On Friday, state public health departments submitted vaccination distribution plans to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plans were as detailed as they could be given the many things that are still unknown, such as when a vaccine or vaccines will become available and which groups will be first in line to get it and who comes next. 

– Elizabeth Weise

Wales locks down as COVID-19 cases spike

Wales has become the second nation in the United Kingdom to lock down large swaths of its economy to combat rising coronavirus infections, even as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is resisting loud calls to do the same throughout England.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said Monday that his administration was backing a short, sharp “firebreak” to slow the spread of COVID-19. All non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses will close for two weeks beginning at 6 p.m. Friday – a lockdown similar in scope to the U.K.-wide measures imposed in March.

“This is the moment to come together to play our part in a common endeavor to do everything we can together to protect the (National Health Service) and to save lives,” Drakeford said.

Drakeford said the Welsh lockdown will definitely end Nov. 9. “The benefit will be seen in the weeks that follow,” he said.

TSA screens 1M daily passengers for first time since beginning of pandemic

The Transportation Security Administration crossed a long-awaited threshold Sunday, screening 1 million passengers at airport checkpoints for the first time since March 17, spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said.

TSA also screened 6.1 million passengers at checkpoints nationwide during the week of Oct. 12, its highest weekly number since the start of the pandemic.

“Although passenger volumes remain well below pre-pandemic levels, the 1 million single-day passenger volume is a noteworthy development that follows significant TSA checkpoint modifications in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Farbstein said, citing precautions such as plexiglass barriers and having passengers screen their own travel documents.

The TSA screening figures have been climbing slowly but steadily since hitting their lowest point in April when several days were under 100,000. At that point, many states had instituted coronavirus lockdowns, air traffic from Europe, the U.K. and Ireland had ceased because of travel bans and U.S. airlines were still several weeks away from requiring all passengers to wear masks.

– Jayme Deerwester

Improving indoor air quality: Ventilation and air filtration play a key role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 indoors

Switzerland implements nationwide mask mandate, other new restrictions 

A nationwide mask mandate and new restrictions on gatherings went into effect in Switzerland on Monday.

The Swiss Federal Council announced Sunday an order that requires people to wear masks in all publicly accessible indoor areas including shops, banks, libraries, cinemas, restaurants, bars, gyms, schools and child-care facilities. The country has required people over the age of 12 who are not exempt for medical reasons to wear masks on public transportation since July 6, but the order now extends to subway platforms as well.

No more than 15 people will be allowed at public gatherings and the government recommends people work from home. At private gatherings of more than 15 people, masks are now required for anyone who is not sitting down and eating.

The new measures were put in place because of a recent “rapid rise in coronavirus cases,” according to a press release from the Swiss authorities.

Switzerland has had more than 83,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 2,132 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

People wait in line to register for rapid COVID-19 testing at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday. (Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

Latinos only ethnic group to see increase in COVID-19 deaths over the summer

Latinos were the only ethnic group who saw a statistically significant increase of deaths from COVID-19 over the summer, according to a report published Friday by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An analysis of 114,411 COVID-19-associated deaths published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report found the percentage of deaths among Latinos increased from 16.3% to 26.4% from May to August. In the same time period, decedents who were white decreased from 56.9% to 51.5%, and the percentage who were Black decreased from 20.3% to 17.4%.

The report notes there was a geographic shift in COVID-19-related deaths from the Northeast to the West and South, where Latinos account for a higher percentage of the population. However, the shift alone doesn’t explain the increase in deaths as disparities among Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups have been well-documented during the pandemic.

More in the series:Racism is a pre-existing condition | Toxic neighborhoods | Segregated housing

– Adrianna Rodriguez

41 states had more cases in the last week than the previous week

A USA TODAY analysis of John Hopkins University data shows 41 states had more cases in the latest week than in the week before. New case records were set in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and  Wyoming.

According to an analysis of COVID Tracking project data found 36 states had a higher rate of people testing positive on testing than the week before. Those states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The U.S. has reported 8,154,594 cases and 219,674 deaths.

– Mike Stucka

COVID resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Coronavirus live news: Iran’s death toll exceeds 21,000; India passes 3.2m cases | World news


A 61-year-old man has died in the Gaza Strip after contracting the coronavirus, Palestinian authorities said on Wednesday as they clamped down on an outbreak in the enclave.

The man had suffered previous illnesses and had been on a respirator, the health ministry said. It was the first death among the general population since an infected woman died at a quarantine centre in March.

A Palestinian baker wearing a protective mask prepares the dough for fresh bread at a bakery in Gaza City during lockdown in the Palestinian enclave due to increasing cases of coronavirus infections.

A Palestinian baker wearing a protective mask prepares the dough for fresh bread at a bakery in Gaza City during lockdown in the Palestinian enclave due to increasing cases of coronavirus infections. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Health officials said nine more cases were discovered on Wednesday. Six of them were in the isolated Maghazi refugee camp where a first four cases had been confirmed on Monday, prompting Gaza’s Hamas authorities to impose a full lockdown.

The three other cases were in northern Gaza Strip, indicating the virus has begun to spread into different areas of the enclave of 2 million people.

A Palestinian man shops at a mini-market in Gaza City amid restricted movement due to increasing cases of Covid-19. The new cases raised alarm bells this week in the sealed-off enclave that has weathered the pandemic relatively well so far.

A Palestinian man shops at a mini-market in Gaza City amid restricted movement due to increasing cases of Covid-19. The new cases raised alarm bells this week in the sealed-off enclave that has weathered the pandemic relatively well so far. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The outbreak outside Maghazi remains slow but it cemented concerns by local and international health organisations over the territory’s potentially disastrous combination of poverty, densely populated refugee camps and limited hospital capacity.

With local authorities maintaining a lockdown in all cities, people were instructed to stay home at all times and to wear face masks if, in cases of extreme necessity, they had to go out.

A Palestinian boy and girl wearing protective masks in Gaza City.

A Palestinian boy and girl wearing protective masks in Gaza City. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which helps over half of Gaza’s population, said it was looking into alternative plans to continue health, education and food services to beneficiaries should the lockdown be extended.

Adnan Abu Hasna, UNRWA spokesman in Gaza, said clinics remained open but physical presence was prohibited, instead staffers were providing medical consultation over the phone and some medication was delivered to patients at home.

Abus Hasna said:


We are in constant consultation with the health ministry and we are also in discussion over the implementation of our own alternative plans in order to ensure the continuation of delivering services to refugees.

Monday’s cases were uncovered after a woman traveled to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where she tested positive, the Gaza health ministry said.

A ministry spokesman urged everyone who might have visited a supermarket outside a hospital in central Gaza to quarantine themselves and report to medics immediately.

A police officer speaks with Palestinians riding a donkey-drawn cart during lockdown after Gaza reported its first cases of Covid-19 in the general population.

A police officer speaks with Palestinians riding a donkey-drawn cart during lockdown after Gaza reported its first cases of Covid-19 in the general population. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters



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Brazil virus death toll hits 28,834, surpassing hard-hit France


Brasília (AFP) – Brazil on Saturday reached 28,834 coronavirus fatalities, authorities said, surpassing hard-hit France and becoming the country with the world’s fourth-highest death toll.

At the epicenter of South America’s coronavirus outbreak, Brazil also saw an increase of 33,274 cases in the past 24 hours — a new daily record, the Health Ministry said.

That number brings Brazil’s total caseload to 498,444, the second-highest in the world, lagging only behind the United States.

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro remain the hardest-hit states in Brazil in terms of sheer numbers, while per capita rates are higher in the country’s impoverished north and northeast, where health facilities are reaching capacity.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health has indicated “there is no way to foresee” when the country’s outbreak will peak, and experts say the number of cases could be 15 times higher than the confirmed figure because there has been no widespread testing.

The pandemic is spreading across Brazil under a cloud of confrontation, as governors and mayors implement restrictive measures while President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pinned his hopes of re-election on a booming economy, has berated them for imposing what he calls “the tyranny of total quarantine.”

The US death toll now stands at 103,685. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, has a toll of 38,376 and Italy stands at 33,340, according to a latest count by AFP.



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Coronavirus live news: confirmed deaths in Brazil surpass known Chinese toll | World news






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Doctors on the frontline also widely believe that the real numbers are much higher – one factor being people dying at home.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one medic in Rio de Janeiro state said three patients who were intubated after testing positive using faster, less accurate serological tests died during his overnight shift last weekend at a public hospital in the town of Nova Iguaçu.


If one doctor saw this (in one night) I think it’s unlikely the number for the whole of Brazil is 474.





Confirmed deaths in Brazil surpass known Chinese toll

Brazil’s total number of confirmed deaths has now overtaken the WHO’s figure for China as cases accelerate in Latin America’s biggest country.

On Tuesday, the Brazilian health ministry reported 474 deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 5,017 – more than China, where the virus was first reported and which has seen 4,643 deaths so far, according to the WHO.

Brazil now has 71,886 confirmed cases after adding 5,385 in the last 24 hours, though widespread underreporting and a generalised lack of tests means numbers are almost definitely much higher. The G1 news site reported on Tuesday that deaths in São Paulo are 168% more than the official number of 2,049.

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Streamed films to be eligible for Oscars









In the UK, leading BAME campaigners have said the credibility of an inquiry into why black, Asian and minority ethnic people are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19 is being undermined among those it seeks to serve by the appointment of Trevor Phillips.

The former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission was selected despite being suspended from the Labour party last month for alleged Islamophobia, including a reference to UK Muslims as being “a nation within a nation”.

The first four UK doctors with Covid-19 known to have died were all Muslim.

And Labour’s former shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has said:


We need a public inquiry. Very sadly, the public health executive have chosen to make Trevor Phillips one of their advisers on their inquiry, which I think means that their inquiry is dead on arrival.









The US vice-president Mike Pence has been heavily criticised for failing to wear a face mask on a visit to the Mayo Clinic’s facilities in Minnesota.

Pence leads the US government’s coronavirus taskforce, though he is typically overshadowed by Donald Trump or medical experts at the regular press briefings.

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UK coronavirus death toll rises by 917 in 24 hours, including 11-year-old


The number of coronavirus deaths has risen by 917 to 9,875 across the UK in 24 hours, as NHS medics beg the public to stay home and save lives.

The youngest victim was an 11-year-old child, Public Health England said.

There were 823 deaths in England and 47 in Scotland.

NHS England said the patients who died were aged between 11 and 102 years old.

They said 33 of the 823 patients, aged between 29 and 94 years old, had no known underlying health condition.

The tragic figure rose from yesterday’s UK-wide figure of 8,958.

The death toll from the pandemic has risen again (file image)

Earlier today it was announced that nineteen NHS workers have died during the coronavirus outbreak.

Brits were urged to resist the temptation to go out as temperatures soared in order to prevent the killer bug spreading still further.

Medics have voiced their frustration as people defy calls to stay home.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has today come under fire after suggesting NHS staff are “overusing” protective equipment, leading to shortages.

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Unions have blasted Mr Hancock, while Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has labeled the claim “insulting”.

Britons yearning for a return to normal life may have to wait until a vaccine is ready as government advisers have said social distancing measures may need to stay in place “indefinitely” to prevent new waves of infections.

British scientists are hopeful that a vaccine could be ready as soon as September, with Oxford University Professor Sarah Gilbert saying she is “80% confident” a jab developed by her team will be proved effective by the autumn.

Read More

Coronavirus outbreak

NHS staff on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 still don’t have the personal protective gear they need when treating infected patients as exclusive pictures obtained by the Mirror show desperate medics cutting up hospital curtains to make gowns and using bits of plastic as makeshift masks due to kit shortages.





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UK Coronavirus death toll rises by 569, bringing total to 2,921


UK Coronavirus death toll rises by 569, bringing total to 2,921 | The Independent




Coronavirus: ‘It is time to ramp up the tests,’ says prime minister

The UK death toll for coronavirus has risen to 2,921 up by 569 from the day before.

Meanwhile, more than 33,700 people have tested positive for the virus as of Thursday, according to government figures.

The new death toll, which counts the number of hospitalised patients who have died, was a daily increase of 24 per cent.

More than 163,100 people have been tested for Covid-19 in the UK as of Thursday morning, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

More follows…







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Coronavirus: China death toll reaches 212 after WHO declares global emergency – live news | World news






Coronavirus has been declared notifiable disease in Queensland, Australia

Updated





I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who sent in information, it’s been extremely helpful.

Here’s a summary of some key updates before I hand over to the Australia team, who’ll continue the coverage from Sydney:

  • The virus has spread to at least 9,320 people around the world, surpassing that of the SARS epidemic over a year long period (2002-2003).
  • 212 people have died, all in China.
  • There are 98 confirmed cases of infection outside mainland China in at least 18 countries.
  • The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission, joining Germany, Vietnam and Japan in recording similar incidents.
  • BA has suspended all flights to and from mainstream China until the end of February. Other countries have also implemented a flight ban, most recently Italy.
  • Almost 200 US citizens have been evacuated and have arrived at a military base in California. They will be isolated for a minimum of 72 hours. The US is said to be planning another airlift in the coming days.
  • France have evacuated 200 citizens who are currently flying back to southern France where there’ll be quarantined for 14 days. The European Commission has said it is planning a flight to evacuate more European nationals.
  • The Chinese Football Association has postponed its domestic games in 2020, and the World Athletics Indoors Championships, due to take place in the Chinese city of Nanjing in March, have been moved to 2021.
  • Google and IKEA became the latest franchises to shut their Chinese shops and offices.

Updated





In Australia, confirmed cases of the virus have climbed to 9, but two people have been released and are “post-viral” according to the country’s health minister, Greg Hunt.

Authorities have been tracking down passengers that were on a plane with a Chinese tourist who flew from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on 27 January.

The 44-year-old man, from Wuhan, was diagnosed with coronavirus and was being treated in isolation in hospital on the Gold Coast.

The Guardian understands that at least one passenger who was on that plane to the Gold Coast has been asked to stay home from work. The passenger is not believed to be at high risk but as a precaution has been asked to remain at home for the time being.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have confirmed that following a last-minute decision from China, dependents of British nationals and dual nationals will be allowed on to the evacuation flight.

Previously, restrictions imposed by China meant those with Chinese passports were not permitted to leave the country, and China does not recognise dual nationality.

The U-turn meant that Matt Raw and his 75-year-old mother Hazel were given permission to fly along with Raw’s wife Ying, who holds a Chinese passport.

It’s uncertain whether other families in similar situations have been given the go-ahead to board the plane, or whether they have been able to make it to the airport in time.

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Coronavirus live updates: WHO considers global emergency declaration as death toll hits 170


The World Health Organization is set to meet Thursday, for the third time in a week, to determine if the deadly coronavirus outbreak should be declared a global emergency.

Such a declaration would trigger tighter containment and information-sharing guidelines, but may disappoint Beijing, which had expressed confidence in defeating the “devil” virus.

Some 6,000 people are being kept on board an Italian cruise ship as tests are carried out on two Chinese passengers suspected of having caught coronavirus, a spokesman for the Costa Crociere cruise company said on Thursday.

Jump to live updates

The couple arrived in Italy on Jan. 25 and boarded the ship, the Costa Smeralda, in the port of Savona that same day. They subsequently came down with a fever and are suffering breathing difficulties

The liner has visited Marseilles in France, and the Spanish ports of Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca this week before docking on Thursday at Civitavecchia, north of Rome.

No one was being allowed off the ship while medical checks were carried out to see if the pair had the potentially deadly coronavirus, the company spokesman said.

He said it might take “a few hours” before the situation became clearer.

On Thursday countries began isolating hundreds of citizens evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 170 people.

Follow along below for live updates on the coronavirus outbreak from around the world and Canada:

Read more about the Wuhan coronavirus:

Why a mask won’t protect you from the Wuhan coronavirus

There is a website that tracks and displays the spread of the coronavirus in real time

Coronavirus conspiracy theories: Sorting fact from fiction as speculation reaches fever pitch

Coronavirus outbreak active and spreading, WHO says: ‘Why wouldn’t people be concerned?’



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Death toll rises after Typhoon Phanfone hits Philippines



Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 28 people in central Philippines on Christmas Day and left 12 missing, while thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

The locally known as Typhoon Ursula ravaged three provinces, as it fist made landfall on Eastern Samar province on Tuesday and continued to sweep west across the Eastern Visayas region, southern Luzon and Western Visayas the next day.

The typhoon tore roofs off houses and destroyed water and power lines, and led to severe floodings and landslides in many cities, according to the government’s office of civil defence.

Flights and ferries were canceled, leaving behind thousands travelling on their way home, while many major roads remain impassable and internet and mobile networks are cut in badly damaged areas.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 58,400 people were pre-emptively evacuated ahead of the typhoon, forced to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in temporary evacuation shelters at school gymnasiums and bus terminals.

“Ursula”, that touched gusts of 95 kilometres per hour, was reported to be easing in strength on Thursday, as it moved over the western Philippines toward the South China Sea .

“I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because of the Typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, for the injured and for their families,” said Pope Francis.

Rescue operations in flooded communities are still taking place, while the death toll is constantly rising.

Philippines are struck by more than 20 typhoons annually with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 being the deadliest, leaving more than 6,000 victims behind. Typhoon Kammuri hit Philippines just three weeks ago, killing at least 17 people, as it ripped the capital Manila and neighbour areas.



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Australian bushfires continue to rage as death toll rises – Channel 4 News



21 Dec 2019

Australia’s bushfires are taking more lives and communities. As temperatures in western Sydney climb towards 47 celsius.

 

Out of control across several states now – Australia’s bushfires are taking more lives and communities. As temperatures in western Sydney climb towards 47 celsius – officials in New South Wales are urging people to delay any Christmas travel plans – warning strong winds could push the flames in unpredictable directions.

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison finally returned from his controversial holiday in Hawaii – to a political firestorm over his handling of a national crisis.

 



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