By MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.
Over 40.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country to country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.
The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.2 million diagnosed cases and at least 220,417 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 880,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 857,000 cases and over 756,000 cases, respectively.
More than 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.
Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
Oct 20, 1:39 pm
Over 299,000 excess deaths in US this year, two-thirds attributed to COVID-19, says CDC
The official COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. “might underestimate the total impact of the pandemic on mortality,” according to a new report from the CDC.
“Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths have occurred in the United States from late January through October 3, 2020, with two thirds of these attributed to COVID-19,” the CDC said.
The largest percentage increase in excess deaths was seen in two groups: Hispanic/Latinos and young adults (ages 25-44).
ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.
Oct 20, 11:53 am
Greece reports record rise in cases
Greece is reporting 667 new COVID-19 cases — the nation’s highest one-day rise.
Greece’s daily increases may appear to be a fraction compared to its European Union neighbors, but the small Mediterranean nation was widely praised in the beginning of the outbreak for containing the spread through strict lockdowns.
Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias has acknowledged pressure is increasing, and according to local media, there’s a fear that a surge in hospitalizations will quickly overwhelm health services.
Greece now has a total of 25,802 COVID-19 cases and at least 520 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.
Oct 20, 11:18 am
Heathrow Airport now offering rapid tests to some passengers
London’s Heathrow Airport announced Tuesday that it will now offer a rapid COVID-19 test service for passengers flying to Hong Kong, as a growing list of countries and territories around the world require travelers from the United Kingdom and other “high-risk” places to provide evidence of a negative test result prior to their departure.
The new pre-departure diagnostic tests, a U.K. first, cost 80 pounds (about $104) and aim to provide departing passengers at Heathrow with their results in around 60 minutes. These tests, which include LAMP and Antigen tests, can be processed quickly and without being sent to a laboratory, but aren’t as sensitive or reliable as RT-PCR tests.
“Ultimately, we need a common international standard for pre-departure testing, and we welcome the U.K. government’s recent announcement that it wants to take a global lead in establishing this,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said in a statement Tuesday.
Oct 20, 10:34 am
India reports lowest daily case count in 3 months
India confirmed another 46,790 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, its lowest daily tally in three months.
An additional 587 deaths from the disease were also registered. The country’s cumulative totals now stand at 7,597,063 confirmed cases and 115,197 deaths, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
India is only the second country in the world to surpass 7 million total cases, after the United States.
The vast country of nearly 1.4 billion people was on track to become the pandemic’s worst-hit nation within weeks and overtake the United States, where more than 8.2 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19. But since hitting a peak of 97,894 new cases registered in a single day in September, India’s average number of daily cases has steadily declined.
Oct 20, 10:05 am
Pakistan sees 140% increase in COVID-19 deaths
The head of Pakistan’s COVID-19 response, Asad Umar, said Tuesday that the country has seen a 140% increase in deaths from the disease in recent weeks due to people “recklessly ignoring” the social distancing rules.
“If we do not change our current path we will lose both lives and livelihoods,” Umar, who also serves as Pakistan’s planning and development minister, warned in a post on his official Twitter account.
Umar’s warning comes after the National Command and Operations Center registered 618 new cases and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours, a significant jump from the previous day.
Pakistan’s cumulative total now stands at 324,077 cases with 6,673 deaths.
Oct 20, 9:40 am
Russia reports over 16,000 new cases for 1st time
Russia confirmed another 16,319 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, its highest single-day tally yet.
It’s the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Russia’s daily case count has exceeded 16,000.
More than 30% of the newly confirmed cases — 4,999 — were reported in the capital, Moscow, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.
An additional 269 deaths from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide in the past 24 hours, just under last week’s peak of 286. The cumulative totals now stand at 1,431,635 cases and 24,635 deaths, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters, which noted that the current growth rate in infections is 1.2%.
Although Russia has been breaking its own records for daily case counts and deaths almost every day since Oct. 9, authorities there are resisting shutting down businesses again. Few measures have been imposed in Moscow, the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak and recent surge.
The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
ABC News’ Alina Lobzina contributed to this report.
Oct 20, 8:21 am
UK to launch controversial vaccine trials where volunteers will be infected
In a bid to speed up the race to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the U.K. government announced Tuesday morning that it will be launching some controversial vaccine studies known as challenge trials.
In a world first for COVID-19, young healthy volunteers will be vaccinated, then intentionally exposed to the potentially deadly virus in order to test vaccines in a controlled environment. Although some medical experts view them as ethically questionable, the benefit of challenge trials is that they can be completed in a much shorter timeframe than typical late-stage studies.
The experiment will take place in a quarantine ward of a hospital in north London. After inhaling a diluted dose of the virus, the trial participants will be closely monitored, thus enabling scientists and doctors to better understand the disease and how a vaccine can fight it.
“Human challenge studies can increase our understanding of COVID-19 in unique ways and accelerate development of the many potential new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines,” said Dr. Chris Chiu of Imperial College London’s Department of Infectious Disease, a lead researcher on the human challenge study.
Oct 20, 8:08 am
Italy’s hard-hit Lombardy region to impose curfew
The Italian region that was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic will soon impose a nightly curfew, following a sharp rise in infections.
A curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time is expected to begin in Italy’s northern Lombardy region on Thursday night and last until at least Nov. 13. All residents must stay home during this period, unless for reasons of health, work or necessity. Non-food shops and retail centers will also be shut on weekends.
Lombardy’s regional government received authorization on Monday from Italian Health Minister Robert Speranza to implement more restrictive measures.
The move comes after Italy reported 10,010 new cases of COVID-19 last Friday, the country’s highest daily tally since the start of its outbreak, shattering a previous record of 8,804 set last Thursday. Lombardy had the greatest number of cases of any other region that day, at 2,419.
Overall, Italy has confirmed at least 423,578 cases with 36,616 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the country’s civil protection agency.
Oct 20, 6:58 am
Columbian cyclist Fernando Gaviria tests positive for second time this year
Colombian cyclist Fernando Gaviria has been withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for COVID-19, his team said in a statement Tuesday.
It’s the second time Gaviria has tested positive for the disease, after contracting it in March.
All other riders and staff members on Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates had negative test results but will be tested again Tuesday.
“Gaviria was immediately isolated following the test result and is feeling well and is completely asymptomatic,” the team said in the statement.
Gaviria, who has won five stages at the Giro d’Italia during his career, is not the first to withdraw from the annual road cycling stage race due to COVID-19. Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, Britain’s Simon Yates and Australia’s Michael Matthews were all forced to pull out last week after testing positive.
The Giro d’Italia, the second Grand Tour of 2020 after the Tour de France took pace between August and September, kicked off on Oct. 3 after initially being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The race concludes on Oct. 25.
Oct 20, 5:30 am
Outbreak at Kansas nursing home kills 10 residents
A COVID-19 outbreak at a privately-owned nursing home in northwestern Kansas has killed at least 10 residents, officials said.
All 62 residents at the Andbe Home in Norton, a four-hour drive from Wichita, have tested positive for COVID-19. Ten have since died, one remains hospitalized and the other 51 are being cared for at the nursing home, according to a press release from the Norton County Health Department.
Some staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19 and the remaining staff are being tested. The Norton County Health Department said it has been working with the Andbe Home, Norton County Hospital and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding the outbreak.
“Steps are being taken to prevent any further outbreak including quarantining residents in their room and not allowing outside visitors into the facility,” the agency said in Monday’s press release. “Family members of the residents have been notified.”
Northwestern Kansas has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks, and Norton County had the greatest number of new cases per 100,000 residents of any county in the United States for the two weeks ending Sunday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Cases in Norton County, which is home to some 5,400 residents, increased from 46 two weeks ago to 340 as of Monday, according to data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Oct 20, 5:06 am
Analysis shows rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 41 US states
An ABC News analysis of COVID-19 trends across all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico found there were increases in hospitalizations over the past two weeks in 41 states.
The analysis also found increases in newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 39 states, increases in the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in 27 states and increases in daily COVID-19 death tolls in 13 states.
Over the last five weeks, cases have been steadily increasing across the nation. The United States is currently averaging over 55,000 new cases a day — the highest that average has been since Aug. 5. New cases have surged by over 61% since Sept. 12. Meanwhile, current COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to hover between 36,000 and 37,000.
In the past week alone, the country has recorded nearly 386,000 new cases, including two days where there were over 60,000 cases reported — the highest daily figures since late July.
Sixteen states reported record weekly increases in new cases. Fourteen states hit a record number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations last week, while two states saw a record number of current hospitalizations in a day. Two states reported their highest weekly death tolls from COVID-19.
This week, the United States is on track to top one million cases for the month of October, making it the fourth month on record to surpass the grim milestone.
The trends were all analyzed from data collected and published by the COVID Tracking Project over the past two weeks, using the linear regression trend line of the seven-day moving average to examine whether a state’s key indicators were increasing, decreasing or remained flat.
Oct 20, 4:36 am
US reports more than 58,000 new cases as death toll tops 220,000
There were 58,387 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The latest daily tally is up by more than 10,000 from the previous day but remains under the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.
An additional 445 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Monday, up by 56 from the previous day’s death toll and down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.
A total of 8,214,754 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 220,133 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks.
The number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in the United States continued to increase by double digits in week-over-week comparisons, while the number of new deaths from the disease also ticked upward, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Monday night.
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