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What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, October 28

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, October 28

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But the Trump administration seems to be in denial about just how desperate the situation has become. On Tuesday, when the record was broken, the White House announced in a press release that "ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC" was among its crowning first-term scientific achievements.

As the coronavirus rages unchecked in the American heartland, President Donald Trump made a final election blitz across three midwestern swing states where cases are on the rise. His final sprint to shore up votes led him Tuesday to Wisconsin, the epicenter of the country's worsening surge, as the state saw record single day spikes in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

While Trump complained in Wisconsin that all the media talks about is "Covid, Covid, Covid," the state's Governor Tony Evers warned Tuesday: "There is no way to sugarcoat it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you and your family."

The crisis is widening in the rest of the world too. A record number of Covid-19 cases have been reported globally by the World Health Organization in the past week: 2.8 million.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Why aren't deaths rising as fast in Covid-19's second wave?

A: Europe is drowning in the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Infection rates are skyrocketing. Governments are imposing strict lockdowns. Economies are shutting down again. But there is a glimmer of hope: The virus, while still deadly, appears to be killing fewer people on average. And the lower death rate isn't unique to the continent, Ivana Kottasová reports.

Researchers tracking Covid-19 fatality rates say the trend is probably driven by age -- in the first wave of the pandemic, elderly people were hit particularly hard, but with the virus now circulating more widely among younger people, deaths have dropped (Note: that doesn't mean the virus itself has become any less deadly). Treatments for the coronavirus have also improved, and healthcare providers are now more experienced in dealing with Covid-19 patients, which could be another factor keeping rates lower.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you're facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY

These are the somber signs of the second wave in the US

In Utah, hospitals could be days away from using a patient's age, health and other factors to decide who can remain in overcrowded intensive care units. In El Paso, Texas, funeral homes are preparing additional refrigeration units. In Wisconsin, a hospital facility has been set up in the state fair grounds to deal with an overflow of patients.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit its first peak in the spring, it took a dramatic toll on the US: States ordered their residents to stay at home to control the surge. Patients packed into overcrowded hospitals. And millions lost their jobs. Now, six months later, it seems history may be repeating itself, with cities ordering curfews, hospitals reaching their capacity and cases continuing to surge.

Europe is again the epicenter of the global pandemic

In Europe, the picture of the pandemic gets grimmer by the day. The continent is reporting the highest number of new cases for the second week in a row at more than 1.3 million -- an increase of 33% compared to the previous week, WHO said, and contributing to 46%, or nearly half, of all new cases globally this week.

The outbreak is so bad in Belgium that some Covid-positive health workers are being asked to keep working. French intensive care units could reach record saturation in two weeks time without new measures, according to the government. In Italy, where anger over new restrictions overflowed in street protests this week, the death toll has reached levels not seen since the spring. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to push for a "lockdown light" to slow a second wave.

Concerns over efficacy and safety linger over Putin's much-hyped Covid-19 vaccine

In August, Russian state media rolled out the red carpet for a bombshell announcement -- President Vladimir Putin, from his residence outside Moscow, unveiled what he said was the world's first registered coronavirus vaccine, meant to bring Russia closer to the end of a devastating pandemic.

Now, as the second wave of Covid-19 hits the country -- with record numbers of new infections and deaths -- the vaccine, named Sputnik V, is far from being widely available to the general public, Mary Ilyushina and Frederik Pleitgen report.

ON OUR RADAR

  • Flying can be safer than grocery shopping or eating out, a new Harvard study suggests.
  • A Dodgers player was yanked off the field in the middle of their World Series championship-winning game due to a positive Covid test -- and then he returned to celebrate with the team afterwards.
  • Hawaii will soon allow travelers from Japan to enter without undergoing quarantine, as long as they present a negative Covid-19 test before flying.
  • The South Korean capital Seoul will ramp up Covid-19 control measures ahead of Halloween to prevent cluster infections.
  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has gone into quarantine after a guest at a dinner he attended at the weekend tested positive for the coronavirus.

TOP TIPS

As the weather gets colder and we face the double threat of the flu and a surge in Covid-19 cases, now is a prime opportunity to stock up on food and supplies. Here's what you need to have on hand in your pantry, freezer, medicine cabinet and more to limit errands and in case of sickness, quarantine or disaster this season.

TODAY'S PODCAST

"If you are going to host a Thanksgiving dinner, the CDC recommends doing it outdoors, with friends and family from your neighborhood." -- CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but as coronavirus cases surge, many families are wondering whether to get together or forgo traditional festivities. Whether you're hosting a feast or keeping it virtual, Dr. Gupta has some tips. Listen Now.

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