• Belgium overtakes Netherlands as worst hit country last week
  • India sees lowest new cases in 3 months
  • Kansas nursing home sees all its patients infected
  • Moderna CEO says expects to apply for FDA EUA in December
  • Australia sees another shipborne outbreak
  • Russia outbreak worsens
  • Argentina tops 1 million cases, 5th country to do so
  • Singapore Airlines to resume non-stop flights to NY
  • Chinese officials in Qingdao claim to have detected live virus on frozen food packaging

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Update (0945ET): DB is back with its weekly ranking of worst-hit countries. This week, Belgium and the Netherlands came out on top in the crucial metric of most new cases per 10,000 people.

Notably, European countries occupied 7 of the 8 top spots, underscoring just how badly the European outbreak has worsened over the past few weeks.

* * *

Perhaps the biggest news overnight, aside from Ireland adopting the most restrictive lockdown across Europe after announcing plans to return to its highest level of COVID-19 alert, is that the number of new cases diagnosed in India is finally starting to slow, even as PM Narendra Modi continues to reopen the country.

India logged the fewest new cases in 3 months, reporting just 46,790 cases in the last 24 hours. The numbers brought its countrywide total to 7,597,063. India is now within 750,000 cases of the US.

Circling back to Ireland, the government has ratcheted up the coronavirus alert level to 5, the highest level on a scale of five introduced in September. People are being asked to stay at home, while those who can work from home must do so. There will be a penalty for anyone traveling beyond 3 miles of their home, unless they’re doing so for essential work, or an essential purpose.

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People will be able to meet up outdoors with one other household away from their home for the likes of exercise, within the 3-mile limit. No social or family gatherings are allowed in homes or gardens, but visits on compassionate grounds and for the purposes of caring for a relative can continue.

Finally, in the US, the New York Post reported overnight that a Kansas nursing home saw every single one of its 62 residents test positive, while 10 died.

On the vaccine front, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Tuesday that the company expects to file for emergency use approval with the FDA by the end of the year, a comment that sent the company’s stock up by double-digits in premarket trade. Moderna has officially stepped up to become one of the front runners as mRNA vector vaccines overtake adenovirus vector vaccines in the race to be the first to receive FDA EUA.

A total of 72,968 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Kansas, while 872 deaths have been attributed to the illness.

Global cases hit 40,327,407 after Johns Hopkins counted 439,890 new cases in a single day, the second daily record in four days.

Meanwhile the worldwide death toll hit 1,117,252 after reporting another 4,981 deaths. Even has hospitalizations have risen around the world, COVID-19 deaths – at least on a global scale – have shown little adherence in to trend in cases and deaths.

Here’s some more COVID-19-related news from overnight and Tuesday morning:

Pfizer and BioNTech SE announce the Japan start of combined Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of their mRNA vaccine candidate. The study will recruit 160 people 20 to 85 years old. The pharmaceuticals earlier agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their now experimental coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021 (Source: Nikkei).

A Kuwaiti-flagged livestock ship docked off Australia’s west coast is evacuated after at least half the 52 crew test positive for COVID-19, Reuters reports. The cluster is the fourth detected aboard a ship arriving at a Western Australia port over the past month, in a state that has otherwise been free of the virus for weeks (Source: Nikkei).

South Korea confirms 58 cases, marking the fifth straight day of fewer than 100 cases. Of the new infections, 41 were locally transmitted (Source: Nikkei).

Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases surges to a new high of 15,982, including 5,376 in the capital, Moscow, pushing the national case total to 1,415,316. Authorities reported 179 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 24,366 (Source: Nikkei).

Officials in Qingdao, where 12 cases have surfaced this month, say they have found sufficient evidence for the first time showing the virus can survive for long periods on the outer packaging of frozen food, then be transmitted. To prevent further infections, Qingdao will test every package of frozen goods, and handlers will be required to stay in designated areas and be tested every three to five days (Source: Nikkei).

Singapore Airlines will next month resume non-stop flights between the city state and New York to cater to cargo traffic as well as a growing number of transfer passengers travelling via the island (Source: FT).

Greater Manchester is seeking an extra £90m in financial aid in return for tighter coronavirus restrictions as a noon deadline for talks with the UK government approaches (Source: FT).

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Argentina has become the fifth country to record more than 1m coronavirus infections after it added almost 13,000 cases on Monday. The South American country reported 12,982 new cases on Monday, taking its overall tally to 1,002,622. The US leads the global count of coronavirus cases with more than 8m, followed by India with 7.6m, Brazil with 5.3m and Russia’s 1.4m, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Argentina also reported 451 new deaths, taking Covid-related fatalities to 26,716 or the ninth-highest in the world (Source: FT).

Via Zerohedge