Indonesia’s confirmed cases of the coronavirus have breached half a million as the government of the world’s fourth most populous nation scrambles to procure vaccines to help it win the fight against the pandemic.
The Health Ministry reported 4,442 new cases on Monday to bring the country’s total to 502,110, the highest toll in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s more than 9.1 million confirmed cases.
The ministry said that the death toll from the virus is 16,002, and that it has been adding 3,000-5,000 daily cases since mid-September.
President Joko Widodo said his administration is working on a mass vaccination program for the vast archipelago nation, home to more than 270 million people.
Over the past few months, the government has made all-out efforts to secure the procurement and supply of potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through a bilateral and multilateral cooperation scheme as part of its fight against the disease, which has posed a serious threat to public health and the economy.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Cut off: School closings leave rural students isolated
— Jury duty? No thanks, say many, forcing trials to be delayed
— Inequality ‘baked into’ virus testing access as cases surge
— New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern offers virus know-how to Joe Biden
Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s government has warned that several “super-spreader” gatherings in the country recently may force it to impose a full lockdown amid a spike in coronavirus cases.
Pakistan recorded 2,756 new cases on Monday, one of the sharpest spikes since the outbreak began.
On Sunday, tens of thousands of supporters of an alliance of opposition political parties gathered in the province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, on the border with Afghanistan. Last week, thousands gathered to bury a radical religious cleric in Lahore, the capital of eastern Punjab province.
At both gatherings, masks were worn by only a few people, and there was no social distancing, with crowds of mostly men jammed into limited spaces.
Pakistan has recorded 376,929 cases of the virus, including 7,696 deaths.
BERLIN — Germany’s health minister is stressing the importance of dealing with multiple vaccine developers amid prospects that the country’s first coronavirus vaccinations could happen as early as December.
Jens Spahn noted during a visit Monday to IDT Biologika, a German company developing a vaccine that it hopes will be ready next year, that European Union and German officials “are not just counting on one technology, on one company and one team of researchers … with vaccines, you can never know whether there might yet be setbacks, whether perhaps one won’t reach the finish line for whatever reason.”
Three developers have now published promising preliminary results. Spahn said there is good reason to believe “that we can begin vaccinating at the beginning of next year at the latest, perhaps even already at the end of this year.” Germany aims to have specialized vaccination centers ready in mid-December.
BEIJING — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.
As temperatures drop, large-scale measures are being enacted in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, despite the low number of new cases compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.
Many experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater during the cold weather. Recent flare-ups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.
On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 total cases and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
In Tianjin, health workers have collected more than 2.2 million samples for testing from residents in the Binhai new district, after five locally transmitted cases were discovered there last week.
In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 people, local health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family are quarantining after three of his children were exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Newsom, his wife and four children, ages 4 to 11, all tested negative for the virus on Sunday, spokesperson Jesse Melgar said in an emailed statement.
The governor was notified Friday evening that a California Highway Patrol member who had contact with three of his children later tested positive for the virus. The California Highway Patrol provides security for Newsom and his family.
The family is quarantining at their home in Sacramento County. They will be tested regularly, Melgar said.
The governor’s quarantine comes as California experiences a rise in virus cases and as he’s imposed a fresh round of restrictions on people and businesses. Los Angeles County on Sunday announced that bars and restaurants would be restricted to takeout starting Wednesday.
A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew took effect over the weekend and officials are warning people about getting together with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Newsom, meanwhile, has faced criticism for attending a dinner party with a dozen people on Nov. 6 as he was warning people to limit gatherings.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka has reopened some of the thousands of schools that have been closed for more than a month due to a second wave of the coronavirus.
The Education Ministry said that 5,100 of 10,165 state-run schools were reopened Monday.
The government did not reopen schools in the capital, Colombo, and its suburbs, where cases are still surging. Schools in some areas that are still under lockdown also were not reopened. Schools were reopened only for students in grades 6 to 13.
Sri Lanka closed schools last month when two new clusters — one centered at a garment factory and the other at a fish market — emerged in the Colombo area.
There have been 16,639 confirmed cases from the two clusters. Overall, Sri Lanka has had 20,170 cases, including 87 deaths.
SEATTLE — Health officials in Washington state said the number of people who were hospitalized to receive treatment for the coronavirus has reached a record high.
KOMO-TV reports there were 762 people receiving hospital care for the virus in Washington as of Saturday.
At the Swedish First Hill campus of Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, 10 coronavirus patients were admitted within a span of five hours Wednesday.
Leaders from hospitals statewide met last week to consider strategies to ensure they have room to care for COVID-19 patients as the hospitalization rate climbs.
Washington State Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer says the cancellations of elective procedures under consideration to make room for coronavirus patients include joint and heart valve replacements and some cancer surgeries.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Steve Sisolak announced plans Sunday to tighten restrictions on casinos, restaurants and private gatherings such as Thanksgiving dinner in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The new restrictions, which are scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday, come amid an unprecedented surge that has broken records in the state in terms of cases, deaths and infection rates throughout November.
The virus has surged throughout the United States and prompted governors to issue a patchwork of area-specific restrictions. California has curfew order in effect in the majority of its counties and, earlier Sunday, Los Angeles County moved to only allow outdoor dining.
Sisolak, who has avoided tightening mandates throughout the fall due to the havoc they could wreak on Nevada’s tourism-based economy, said the trends led to an “inescapable conclusion.”
“We are on a rapid trajectory that threatens to overwhelm our health care system, our frontline health workers, and your access to care. So it’s time to act,” said Sisolak, who recently contracted COVID-19.
The new restrictions reduce the capacity limits for high-risk areas including restaurants, bars, gyms, places of worship and casinos.
They will also be applied to public and private gatherings, which case investigators have identified as a major source of spread in Nevada. That includes on Thanksgiving, when home celebrations will be limited to no more than 10 people, from no more than two households.
PORTLAND, Ore. — New confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 have reached a record high for the third straight day in Oregon.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,517 new infections Sunday, bringing the state total to 65,170.
The state reported one additional death from COVID-19 on Sunday, a 65-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive Nov. 15 and died the same day. That brings the state’s death toll to 820.
The director of the state health department urged residents to cancel indoor Thanksgiving plans and those that involve large groups of family and friends.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County officials have announced new coronavirus-related restrictions that will prohibit in-person dining for at least three weeks as cases rise throughout the holiday season.
The new rules will take effect Wednesday at 10 p.m.
Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive-through and delivery services.
Officials had warned that these restrictions could come into play if the county’s five-day average of new cases was above 4,000. Sunday’s five-day average was 4,097 cases.
Most of California, including Los Angeles County, has been under a curfew since Saturday night at 10 p.m.