(Reuters) - Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Positive test rates top 25% in some U.S. states
The number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 is topping 25% in several states in the U.S. Midwest as cases and hospitalizations also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis.
North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with 6% the prior week. The rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The COVID Tracking Project.
Minnesota and Montana are averaging 7% of tests coming back positive, but Montana’s positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, according to the analysis.
Herd immunity hopes dashed in Brazil
The largest city in Brazil’s Amazon has closed bars and river beaches to contain a fresh surge of coronavirus cases, a trend that may dash theories that Manaus was one of the world’s first places to reach collective, or herd, immunity.
University of Sao Paulo researchers suggested that a drastic fall in COVID-19 deaths in Manaus pointed to collective immunity at work, but they also believe that antibodies to the disease after infection may not last more than a few months.
Local authorities on Friday enforced a 30-day ban on parties and other gatherings, and restricted restaurant and shopping hours, a setback for the city of 1.8 million after the worst of the pandemic seemed to be behind them.
Travel rebound in China
China expects a significant rebound in domestic travel over the upcoming Golden Week holiday after the sector was pummelled by the novel coronavirus for months, with some flights selling out and travel platforms reporting a surge in hotel bookings.
The pent-up demand is fuelling optimism the Chinese travel industry has reached a turning point, with hopes the eight-day holiday from Oct. 1 will supercharge a tentative pickup seen in recent months, even as some trepidation over the virus lingers.
Few people, however, are expected to venture abroad due to various quarantine requirements around the world and a dearth of overseas flights.
Open for Christmas
Australia’s city of Melbourne, its hotspot in the second wave of coronavirus infections, is on track to return to near normal by Christmas, strengthening hopes for major summer sporting events to go ahead amid a general economic revival.
Southeastern Victoria state recorded a single digit rise in new cases for the first time in three months on Monday, with the lifting of some of the toughest curbs in its capital of Melbourne, such as a night-time curfew, Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“That is a very, very significant set of numbers. We are well ahead of schedule,” Andrews told a daily news conference, anticipating a move to “COVID normal”, with most curbs eased.
UK eyes tougher restrictions
The British government is mulling tougher restrictions in England to tackle a swiftly accelerating second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, possibly outlawing more inter-household socialising.
“We don’t want to bring on new restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what is going on with the COVID rate,” Junior Health Minister Helen Whately told Sky News. “We were looking at what we might be able to do.”
“This is the moment when we have an opportunity - we have a choice for the country - to get this back under control,” Whately said. “We have to break these chains of transmission.”
Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Tomasz Janowski
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