Coronavirus digest: UK at a 'perilous turning point'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons to act after announcing tighter restrictions amid a surge in in

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons to act after announcing tighter restrictions amid a surge in infections. Meanwhile, the Philippines extended its 'state of calamity' by one year. DW rounds up the latest.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a package of new coronavirus-related restrictions Tuesday as the United Kingdom faces a fresh surge in infections.

"We have reached a perilous turning point," Johnson told Parliament, saying the measures were aimed at easing pressure on the National Health Service and limiting economic damage from the pandemic.

Pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues across England will have to close at 10 p.m. local time from Thursday, while people across several regions will be banned from socializing with people outside of their households. People will have to wear face masks in taxis and public transit, and a plan to bring spectators back to sports stadiums in October has also been shelved.

"This is the moment when we must act," Johnson said, warning the restrictions could remain in place for six months.

In a later televised address to the country, the embattled prime minister urged discipline and togetherness in sticking to the new rules. 

The new rules come after the country's chief scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance, warned that the UK could face up to 50,000 new infections every day by next month unless it implemented stricter measures to curb the spread of the disease.

Read more: Coronavirus: Can European countries avoid a second lockdown? 

Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands hit a new weekly record of coronavirus cases. The country reported 13,417 new infections for the seven-day period ending September 22, a 60% increase from the week before.

The German state of Bavaria has announced new restrictions for communities that reach a certain threshold of new infections. In areas with more than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven day period, masks will be required in public spaces, alcohol sales will be restricted and a curfew will be instituted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Bavaria is seeing a spike in infections. "Quite a few" of those new cases are attributable to returning travelers, said state premier Markus Söder.

Here's a round up of the latest developments around the rest of the world.

Middle East

Iran's top official in the fight against COVID-19, Alireza Zali, has warned the country faces a "third wave," saying it could be worse than the first two. The country's Health Ministry reported a record 3,712 new infections on Tuesday amid a rapid rise in cases in recent weeks.

"The statistics show that we will possibly soon experience a third coronavirus wave," Zali said.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has extended a "state of calamity" by a year to allow the government to draw emergency funds faster to manage the pandemic. The country has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia, with over 290,000 confirmed infections and nearly 5,000 deaths.

Read more: Coronavirus: Philippine doctors wary of Duterte's 'militaristic' response 

Australia's virus hotspot of Victoria reported more than twice the number of daily infections on the previous day, likely as a result of increased testing. Additionally, the northeastern state of Queensland is set to open its borders to parts of neighboring New South Wales, amid growing confidence that Australia's second wave of infections has been contrained.

Read more: Coronavirus: Australian police crack down on anti-lockdown rallies


The weekly number of new cases in the United States rose by 17%, while deaths rose by 5.5% last week. That marks the first weekly rise after infection tallies fell for eight straight weeks. New cases to about 287,000 for the week ended Sept. 20, while deaths rose to about 5,400 people.

Mexico's confirmed virus caseload hit 700,580 after officials reported 2,197 new cases. Additionally, the death toll reached 73,697 after the health ministry reported 204 deaths.

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lc,dr/msh (dpa, AP, Reuters)
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