BERLIN — Germany has recorded nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, its highest level yet.
The national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, on Thursday said 19,990 infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours. That tops the previous record of 19,059 set on Saturday.
It brought the total case tally in Germany, a nation of 83 million people, since the pandemic began to 597,583. Another 118 deaths raised the total to 10,930.
Like other European countries, Germany has seen a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. A four-week partial shutdown took effect on Monday, with bars, restaurants, leisure and sports facilities being closed and new contact restrictions imposed. Shops and schools remain open.
Although Germany’s situation is alarming officials, many other European countries are in worse shape. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said Wednesday that Germany has 237 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days — some seven times lower than in Belgium.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Residents in England hit the town, visiting bars, restaurants and hairdressers before a month-long lockdown began Thursday to curb a surge in coronavirus cases
— US sets record number of daily infections as cases surge 45% in two weeks
— Germany hits record number of new daily coronavirus infections, nearly 20,000
— India sees a surge of infections in New Delhi, officials blame the festival season
— Head of Serbian Orthodox Church is hospitalized with COVID-19, days after leading prayers at a huge public funeral for head of the church in Montenegro
Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/virus-outbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BELGRADE, Serbia — The patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been hospitalized after testing positive for the new coronavirus, days after leading prayers at a large public funeral for the head of the church in Montenegro, who died after contracting the virus.
The Serbian Orthodox Church said late Wednesday that the 90-year-old Patriarch Irinej was hospitalized, but has no symptoms and is in “excellent general condition.”
Patriarch Irinej last Sunday led the prayers inside a packed church for the church head in Montenegro, Bishop Amfilohije, who had died after contracting COVID-19.
Many of those inside the church did not wear protective face masks or keep their distance from each other, in violation of coronavirus-fighting restrictions. Many kissed the bishop’s body in an open coffin.
Among those in the church were Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and the Montenegrin Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Krivokapic.
BEIJING — China is suspending entry for most foreign passport holders who reside in Britain, reacting to a new surge of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom.
The suspension covers those holding visas or residence permits issued prior to Nov. 3, with exceptions for diplomats and some others. Foreign nationals wishing to visit China for emergency needs may apply for special case visas.
The Chinese Embassy in London says the suspension will be “assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly.”
China has largely contained the spread of coronavirus within the country but continues to record imported cases, including another 20 reported Thursday. Chinese officials require all people arriving in China to undergo two weeks of quarantine.
BRUSSELS — Belgium’s Brussels Airlines has reported record losses of 233 million euros ($273.8 million) during the first nine months of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hard-hit by the worldwide restrictions on travel, the Lufthansa subsidiary said Thursday that its revenues fell by 70% compared with last year, to 339 million euros ($398.3 million). From January to September, the airline said it transported 73% fewer passengers.
To weather the crisis, the company has set up a plan to reduce the fleet by 30% and its workforce by 25%. By the end of September, the number of employees had dropped by 14% compared with 2019, Brussels Airlines said.
The airline industry hopes that pre-flight testing programs will help relaunch air traffic.
PRAGUE — After a week, coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic have climbed to record levels again.
The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase of new confirmed cases hit a new record high of 15,729 on Wednesday. That is 65 more than the previous record set on Oct 27.
The country of 10.7 million had 378,716 cases since the start of the pandemic, with almost 170,000 of them in the last two weeks.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 92.88 new cases per 100,000 people on Oct. 21 to 108.99 new cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday.
A total of 4,133 people have died, including a daily record of 223 on Tuesday.
NEW DELHI, India — India is reporting 50,209 new coronavirus cases for the previous 24 hours amid a surge in the capital of New Delhi, which officials now say is in its third wave of infections.
The Health Ministry on Thursday also reported 704 deaths from COVID-19 across the country, raising its toll for the pandemic to 124,315.
Nerves are frayed in New Delhi, which reported a record-high 6,842 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, giving the city 37,369 active confirmed cases. The city has had 6,703 people die from COVID-19 so far.
The Health Ministry has attributed the surge in New Delhi to the festival season and warns that the situation can worsen due to people crowding markets for festival shopping.
NEW YORK — The United States has set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as several states posted all-time highs Wednesday, underscoring the vexing issue confronting the winner of the presidential race.
Public health experts fear potentially dire consequences, at least in the short term.
Daily new confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged 45% over the past two weeks, to a record seven-day average of 86,352, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths are also on the rise, up 15% to an average of 846 deaths every day.
The total U.S. death toll is already more than 232,000, and total confirmed U.S. cases have surpassed 9 million. Those are the highest totals in the world, and new infections are increasing in nearly every state.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota hospitals are under pressure and ICU beds are nearing full capacity as coronavirus cases reach a new high and hospitalizations continue to surge.
The state Department of Health said that as of Wednesday afternoon, 887 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 219 in intensive care.
Officials said ICU bed use is at 98% capacity in the Twin Cities area and 92% statewide. The vast majority of ICU beds are occupied by patients with ailments unrelated to COVID-19, but the rise in hospitalizations is straining capacity.
Minnesota reported a record-high 3,844 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday and 31 deaths. The state has seen 160,923 cases and 2,530 deaths since the pandemic began.
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus is bringing back an island-wide, overnight curfew in a bid to curb a surge of new COVID-19 infections that authorities worry could overburden the country’s health care system.
The curfew, which is to take effect Friday, orders bars, restaurants, shopping malls and cafes to shut by 10:30 p.m.
The only exceptions to the curfew will be for anyone who’s on the job and for emergency medical reasons. A 10-person maximum for gatherings at home or any public space — except in bars and restaurants — is part of the effort.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou also announced a ban on all kids’ sports and social activities, and the closure of indoor and outdoor playgrounds as well as gyms.
ROME — Four regions in Italy are being put under severe lockdown, forbidding people to leave their homes except for essential reasons, in an effort to slow surging COVID-19 infections and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
Premier Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday night announced what he described as “very stringent” restrictions on the so-called “red zone” regions of high risk: Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta in the north and Calabria, the region forming the “toe” in the south of the Italian peninsula.
Except for few circumstances, no one will be allowed to enter or leave “red zone” regions or even travel between their towns, although people can exercise by themselves and while wearing masks near home. Non-essential stores will be closed, although barber shops and hair salons can stay open, and only nursery, elementary and the first year of middle school will have in-class instruction.
Conte said the lockdown will begin Friday to allow time to organize. Designations will be reviewed every two weeks.
PHOENIX — Arizona’s total coronavirus cases surpassed 250,000 and state health officials reported more than 1,000 hospitalized patients for the first time since late August.
The Department of Health Services reported 814 cases and 39 deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 250,633 confirmed cases and 6,059 deaths.
Hospitalizations statewide reached 1,065 on Tuesday, the highest since late August after the state was a national hot spot in June and July.
O’FALLON, Mo. — Missouri’s statewide hospitalizations reached a record seven-day average of 1,672 on Wednesday.
Hospitals in the St. Louis region are among those with record numbers of patients.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,599 daily coronavirus cases, bringing the confirmed state total to 193,023.
Missouri added 24 deaths, increasing the total to 3,088.
OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska had a record 673 hospitalizations and reported more than 1,400 new cases of the coronavirus.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases increased from 854 per day on Oct. 20 to 1,160 on Tuesday.
Nebraska officials say 29% of the intensive care beds across the state remained available Tuesday. Hospital officials have said the recent surge in cases is straining capacity.
EL PASO, Texas — An El Paso health official says hospitals are near the “breaking point,” with 3,100 new cases of the coronavirus reported Wednesday.
There were 1,041 hospitalizations Wednesday, health officials said.
Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the health authority for the city and county, say “Our hospitals are near breaking point, we need everyone to do their part to stop this virus.”
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is sending additional medical personnel and equipment to the city. Local officials ordered a two-week shutdown of nonessential activities
Texas, which recently surpassed California with the most coronavirus cases in the nation, has 950,345 total cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.