Coronavirus cases cross 35m globally as countries consider increased measures.

More than 35.11 million people have been reported to be infected by coronavirus globally and 1,035,247 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Here are the latest updates on the virus from around the world:

US

Doctors not involved in treating US president Donald Trump for Covid-19 said the fact that he has been started on dexamethasone - a steroid widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammation - is the strongest evidence yet that his case may be severe.

Mr Trump’s medical team on Sunday said the president was started on the steroid after experiencing low oxygen levels, but his condition was improving and he could be discharged from the hospital on Monday.

Mr Trump’s diagnosis, less than five weeks before the November 3rd election, has raised questions about what happens if a presidential candidate or the president-elect dies or becomes incapacitated.

Nine US states have reported record increases in Covid-19 cases over the last seven days, mostly in the upper Midwest and West where chilly weather is forcing more activities indoors.

Health experts have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside could promote the spread of the virus.

Kentucky is the first Southern state to report a record increase in cases in several weeks. Governor Andy Beshear said last week was the highest number of cases the state has seen since the pandemic started. State health experts have not pinpointed the reason for the rise but point to fatigue with Covid-19 precautions and students returning to schools and colleges.

UK

A new three-tier lockdown is being planned for England, The Guardian reported, citing leaked government documents which revealed tougher measures that could be implemented locally or nationally if the government fails to get Covid-19 cases under control.

In an interview on Sunday, British prime minister Boris Johnson denied a suggestion that the local restrictions were not working given infection rates were still rising in the affected areas and there was no end in sight to the measures.

Britain reported a jump in daily Covid-19 cases to a record 22,961 on Sunday, after authorities said a technical issue meant that more than 15,000 test results had not been transferred into computer systems on time, including for contact tracers.

New Zealand

Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand’s largest city will be lifted this week, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday as she expressed confidence a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Auckland has been almost eliminated.

The city will move to alert level 1 from 11.59pm on Wednesday, joining the rest of the country, after reporting no new cases in the Auckland cluster for 10 consecutive days. The easing of measures means there will be no 100 person-limit on gatherings in Auckland, and no physical distancing rules in bars and restaurants.

“There is now a 95 per cent probability of the cluster being eliminated,” Ms Ardern said at a news conference. “Covid-19 will be with us for many months to come. But we should still mark these milestones.”

France

Paris is to be placed on maximum Covid-19 alert, meaning bars will be forced to close for two weeks from Tuesday and restaurants will have to put in place new sanitary protocols to stay open, the prime minister’s office said.

Prime minister Jean Castex’s office said there had been no improvement in the Paris region since the capital passed all three of the government’s criteria for being put on the highest level of alert mid last week.

Working from home should be prioritised “now more than ever” in the Paris area and university lecture halls should be no more than half full, Mr Castex’s office said in a statement.

The reinforced restrictions will take effect from Tuesday.

“These measures, indispensable in the fight to curb the virus’ spread, will apply to Paris and the three departments immediately surrounding it, for a duration of two weeks,” it said.

For a city to be placed on maximum alert, the incidence rate must exceed 100 infections per 100,000 among elderly inhabitants and 250 per 100,000 among the general public, while at least 30 per cent of intensive care beds are reserved for coronavirus patients.

A week ago, restaurants and bars were shut down for a fortnight in Marseille, the southern city at the epicentre of the second wave, prompting protests and an unsuccessful legal challenge.

Restaurants in Marseille will be allowed to reopen early under the same new protocols.

France on Sunday reported 12,565 new cases of coronavirus, while 893 Covid-19 patients had been admitted into intensive care over the past week.

Germany

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,382 to 300,619, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

Thousands of demonstrators in southern Germany protested against coronavirus restrictions over the weekend, police said on Sunday, although organisers failed to mobilise enough people for a planned human chain around Lake Constance. – Reuters

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