Israel to impose three-week nationwide coronavirus lockdown: Live

Schools, malls and hotels, among other businesses, will shut down, and restrictions on movement will be imposed.


Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, September 13

23:07 GMT - Lebanon peacekeepers infected

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has announced that 90 of its peacekeepers in south Lebanon tested positive for the coronavirus.

A UNIFIL spokesman said that of that of the 90, 88 belong to the same nationaltiy, although their country of origin is unknown.

20:15 GMT - Turkey's coronavirus death toll exceeds 7,000

The death toll in Turkey due to the novel coronavirus reached 7,056 on Sunday as 57 people died in the last 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The total number of cases in the country rose by 1,527, for a total of 291,162 cases, the data showed, with 258,833 people recovered from COVID-19.

Both daily deaths and cases have risen to mid-May levels in recent days. The government has ruled out widespread lockdowns but has announced new measures recently, including banning weddings and other events and limiting the number of passengers allowed on public transport.

19:15 GMT - US CDC reports 193,195 deaths from coronavirus

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 6,467,481 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 40,423 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 807 to 193,195.

The CDC's tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, was at 4pm EDT (20:00 GMT) on September 12 versus its previous report a day earlier.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

18:10 GMT - French daily COVID-19 cases fall after Saturday record

France's health authorities reported 7,183 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from a record 10,561 new infections.
Like other European countries, France has faced a resurgence of the novel coronavirus, leading the government to promise steps to speed up tests and toughen measures [Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg]

In a daily website update, the French health ministry also reported the number of arrivals in hospital for COVID-19 over the past week had risen to 2,464 compared with 2,432 recorded.

These included 427 admissions to intensive care units over the past seven days, up from 417 in Saturday's count, it said.

17:05 GMT - Israel to impose a three-week nationwide lockdown

Israel will reinstate a strict new countrywide lockdown this week amid a stubborn surge in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement in a televised speech.

Beginning Friday, the eve of the Jewish New Year, 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 morbidity.

16:20 GMT - India considers emergency authorisation of vaccine

India said it was considering granting an emergency authorisation for a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces, as the country's number of reported infections passed 4.75 million.

India, which has consistently reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths daily this month, has now recorded 78,586 fatalities from the disease.
Migrants wait for transportation to a railway station during an extended lockdown [Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters]

It lags only the United States globally in the overall number of infections, but it has been adding more daily cases than the US since mid-August. The comments came as the Ministry of Health reported 94,372 new COVID-19 cases and 1,114 deaths on Sunday.

15:50 GMT - Saudi Arabia to lift some international flight restrictions

Saudi Arabia will partially lift its suspension of international flights as of September 15 to allow "exceptional categories" of citizens and residents to travel, the state news agency SPA said.

The kingdom will lift all travel restrictions for citizens on January 1, 2021, it said.

15:20 GMT - UK records 3,330 more confirmed cases of COVID-19

The United Kingdom reported 3,330 confirmed new cases of COVID-19, according to government data published, compared with 3,497 a day earlier.

It also reported five more deaths from the coronavirus.

The UK is to bring in a new ban on social gatherings on Monday in a bid to curb the rise in infections.

14:30 GMT - Ninety Lebanon peacekeepers contract coronavirus

Ninety UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokesman for the UNIFIL force said, the first reported cases of the illness.

The confirmed cases were transferred to a special UNIFIL facility equipped to deal with COVID-19 cases, UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said in a statement.

The country has recorded a total of 23,669 COVID-19 cases, including 239 deaths since an outbreak began in February.

13:50 GMT - Ethiopia opens facility to make coronavirus test kits  

With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ethiopia has opened a facility to produce kits to test for the coronavirus and says its researchers are working to develop and test a vaccine.

The company producing the testing kits is a joint venture with a Chinese company, called BGI Health Ethiopia.

Ethiopia's number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to nearly 64,000, causing almost 1,000 deaths, according to government figures.

On Sunday, Ethiopia also opened a field hospital to hold up to 200 severely affected COVID-19 patients, which will start admitting patients immediately.

12:30 GMT - ECB's Lagarde urges 'no complacency' in virus fightback

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has said there could be "no complacency" in the battle to recover from the pandemic-induced downturn, urging governments to support central bank efforts with fiscal spending.

Although the eurozone was bouncing back from the lockdowns that devastated economic activity earlier this year, Lagarde said the recovery remained "uneven" and "uncertain" as several nations grapple with a renewed rise in coronavirus infections.

The ECB "continues to stand ready to adjust all of its instruments" to help steer the 19-nation currency club through the crisis, Lagarde said in an online speech addressing a meeting of Arab central bankers.

12:00 GMT - Ireland plans to join common EU system of COVID-19 travel restrictions

Ireland plans to replace its current system of travel quarantines with the European Union's proposed coordinated system as soon as it is ready, Prime Minister Micheal Martin has said. 

The European Commission earlier this month proposed a common traffic light system for EU member states to coordinate border controls and remedy the current, confusing patchwork of coronavirus restrictions on travellers across Europe.

Ryanair, Ireland's dominant airline, on Friday called on Martin's government to commit to implementing the EU plan.

11:30 GMT - Lufthansa's Swiss unit could cut 15 percent of jobs: Report

Lufthansa's Swiss unit could cut up to 15 percent of its 9,500 jobs if it cannot agree on salary cuts with staff as it seeks to meet strict savings targets in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Swiss weekly Sonntagszeitung said.

"It is our target to get through the crisis with as many employees as possible," the paper quoted a spokesman for Swiss as saying. "We have to cut costs by around 20 percent. We are not only focusing on personnel costs, but on every unit of the company."

10:00 GMT - Israeli minister quits as coronavirus lockdown looms over holidays

An Israeli cabinet minister has tendered his resignation in protest against a looming coronavirus lockdown that he argued would unfairly impede religious celebrations of Jewish holidays.

The restrictions - the most extensive Israel is imposing since a lockdown that ran from late March to early May - are expected to go into effect on Friday, the Jewish new year Rosh Hashana, and span into the Yom Kippur fast day on September 27.

"This wrongs and scorns hundreds of thousands of citizens," Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative coalition, said in his resignation letter.

09:30 GMT - Iran's confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 400,000

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran rose by 2,089 to 402,029, a health ministry spokeswoman has said, as the country reported 128 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Sima Sadat Lari said the official death toll stood at 23,157 in Iran, one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East.

09:15 GMT - Scores arrested at protests in Australia's coronavirus hotspot

Police in Australia's Victoria state have arrested 74 people and fined 176 for breaching public health orders as scattered protests against a weeks-long coronavirus lockdown continued for a second straight day across Melbourne.

A riot squad marched through fruit and vegetable stalls at the city's landmark Queen Victoria Market before the scuffling with protesters erupted, with some people throwing fruits at the police, television footage showed.

Victoria Police said in a statement that there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protests, but there were no immediately known injuries to the police.

09:00 GMT - Greece has financial flexibility for tax relief package: Minister

Greece has the financial flexibility to implement 6.8 billion euros ($8bn) of tax relief measures, and the package has been agreed with EU institutions, its finance minister said.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis unveiled the package on Saturday saying it would boost jobs amid an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The country can afford it because it has the financial flexibility," Christos Staikouras told Real FM radio on Sunday. "Cash reserves stand at 37.8 billion euros [$44.77bn]."

08:45 GMT - Philippines reports 3,372 new coronavirus cases, 79 more deaths

The Philippines has recorded 3,372 new coronavirus cases and 79 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the Department of Health said the Southeast Asian country's confirmed cases of infection had risen to 261,216, the highest in the region, while its death toll had climbed to 4,371.

08:30 GMT - Indonesia sees sixth consecutive day of 3,000 infections

Indonesia has reported 3,636 new coronavirus infections and 73 new deaths, data from the Health Ministry's website showed.

The latest report brought the total number of infections to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723, the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia.

The country's capital Jakarta will reimpose stricter wide-scale restrictions starting on Monday to control the spread of the virus in the megacity.

08:15 GMT - India interior minister back in hospital after recovering from COVID-19

India's Home Minister Amit Shah has been hospitalised again nearly two weeks after he was treated for coronavirus.

Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the virtual number two in his cabinet, was admitted to the government-run All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, the hospital said in a statement.

As per advice given at discharge, Shah "has now been admitted for complete medical checkup before parliament session" for one or two days.

08:00 GMT - Austria experiencing second virus wave: Chancellor

Austria is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections, its chancellor has said, as cases spike in line with other EU countries.

From Friday to Saturday, the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases - more than half of those in the capital Vienna.

"What we are experiencing is the beginning of the second wave," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, appealing to people to stick to anti-virus measures and reduce social contacts.

07:45 GMT - Russia reports 5,449 new coronavirus cases, 94 deaths 

Russia has reported 5,449 new coronavirus cases, pushing its national tally to 1,062,811, the fourth largest in the world.

Authorities said 94 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 18,578.

07:30 GMT - S Korea eases social distancing for two weeks

South Korea has eased its tough social distancing policy for the next two weeks in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, with new daily cases hovering stubbornly within triple digits.

The government lifted a ban on onsite dining after 9pm though still requires restaurants and cafes to restrict seating and record patrons' names and contact details.

While leisure facilities such as gyms and internet cafes are also allowed to reopen, under so-called phase two restrictions, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, while spectators are banned from sporting events.

07:00 GMT - Czech Republic sees record rise in cases for third straight day

The Czech Republic has reported its largest single-day increase in new coronavirus infections for a third straight day, recording 1,541 cases, according to Health Ministry data.

It was the fifth day in a row with new infections above 1,000 as the country of 10.7 million sees a surge in cases that is among the fastest in the European Union.

The government has tightened rules requiring face mask but aims to avoid harsh lockdowns.

06:30 GMT - India's cases rise to 4.75 million with another spike

India has registered a single-day spike of 94,372 new confirmed coronavirus cases, driving the country's overall tally to 4.75 million.

The Ministry of Health reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 78,586.

Even as infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply. The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.77 percent and nearly 70,000 recoveries have been reported every day in the month of September, according to the Ministry of Health.

Hi, this is Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha taking over the live updates from my colleague Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur.

04:45 GMT - AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said.

"On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators," AstraZeneca said in a statement.

04:15 GMT - Italy reports 1,501 new coronavirus cases

Italy's health ministry has reported 1,501 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths, bringing the total number of cases to more than 286,000 and at least 35,603 deaths.

According to the ministry data, infections have been steadily increasing for the past six weeks, mostly among Italians returning from vacation. The number of people in intensive care has also increased from 121 to 182.

03:50 GMT - Domestic air travel recovers in Wuhan

Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities said on Sunday.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals.

Since re-opening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport. It said 64,700 passengers were transported on 500 domestic flights on Friday.

03:20 GMT - Australia's Victoria takes small step in easing virus restrictions

Lockdown restrictions in Australia's state of Victoria will ease very slightly as of Monday, state officials said, as the number of new daily coronavirus cases continued to fall in the country's hotspot, according to Reuters news agency.

Announcing a 3-billion Australian dollar ($2.2bn) package in financial aid to businesses in Victoria, home to a quarter of Australia's population, officials also said there were 41 new coronavirus infections on Sunday and seven more deaths.

The numbers confirm a steady downward trend from a peak of more than 700 cases in a single day in early August. Victoria accounts for about 75 percent of Australia's more than 26,600 COVID-19 cases and its capital, Melbourne, has been under strict lockdown for several weeks.
A person is detained during a planned anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday [Erik Anderson/EPA]

02:15 GMT - Germany reports 947 new coronavirus cases

Germany has reported 948 new coronavirus cases.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also reported that as of Sunday, two more fatalities. Germany has more than 260,000 cases and about 9,352 deaths linked to COVID-19.

01:35 GMT - South Korea reports 121 new COVID-19 cases

South Korea reported on Sunday at least 121 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to 22,176.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 99 of the new infections were from local sources. Three more deaths were also reported, raising the total to 358.

Later on Sunday, the country will decide whether to extend stricter antivirus curbs in the greater Seoul area by another week, according to Yonhap news agency.

00:45 GMT - Mexico's confirmed coronavirus deaths rise to 70,604

Mexico's health ministry has reported 5,674 new confirmed coronavirus cases, as well as 421 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 70,604 and 663,973 infections.

The government says the real number of infected people is likely to be significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

The virus has ravaged an already slumping economy, which is now seen contracting by up to 13 percent this year, the deepest downturn since the 1930s-era Great Depression, according to Reuters news agency.

00:15 GMT - UN steps up COVID-19 measures at Syrian refugee camps in Jordan

The UN refugee agency is stepping up efforts to combat COVID-19 among tens of thousands of Syrians in camps in Jordan after the first five cases were confirmed last week, the head of the agency in the country said.

The infections in Zaatari and Azraq camps, which house approximately 120,000 refugees, were the first since the pandemic was first reported in the kingdom last March.

"The developments this week have obviously been a worrying situation for all, but especially for refugees living in the camps. Crowded spaces and cramped living conditions make social distancing difficult," said Dominik Bartsch, the UNHCR representative in Jordan.

00:05 GMT - Brazil reports 814 new coronavirus deaths, more than 33,500 cases

Brazil's health ministry has reported 814 new coronavirus-related deaths and 33,523 additional cases, bringing the death toll to 131,210 and the infection count to 4,315,687.

Brazil has the third-highest number of cases worldwide and the second-highest number of fatalities.


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 12, go here