What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ronda
·2 min read

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Russia reports record daily death toll

Russia reported a record high of 439 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus and authorities in Moscow said they could consider imposing additional restrictions if the situation worsened.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he did not expect the surge in cases in the capital, which reported nearly 6,000 new infections on Thursday, to subside any time soon. He said about 12,000 coronavirus patients were currently hospitalised.

The sprawling city of nearly 13 million people has already ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close at 11 p.m. and moved university and college students to online learning.

China says it faces rising risks from imported infections

China is facing an increased risk of local transmission in the winter due to imported coronavirus cases as the spread of the global pandemic accelerates, a senior official at the country's health authority said.

In winter, there might be sporadic cases in some areas in China and some pocket cluster cases in others, Li Bin, vice minister of the National Health Commission, told a news conference.

Countries such as India, Brazil and France are reporting tens of thousands of new infections daily. In contrast, China has largely controlled the spread of the virus since early summer, although clusters of community infections have periodically hit parts of the country.

Germany sees COVID-19 restrictions through winter

Germany's health minister said he expects restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic will continue through winter, with life unlikely to get back to normal in December or January even if infections fall.

"I don't see events with more than 10 or 15 people happening this winter," Jens Spahn told RBB broadcaster.

Germany reported 21,866 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 727,553 and jumping back above 20,000 after four days below that figure.

Gates Foundation adds $70 million more funding for vaccines

The Gates Foundation added another $70 million of funding to global efforts to develop and distribute vaccines and treatments, saying it hoped other international donors would now also pledge more.

An extra $50 million will go to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment led by the GAVI vaccine alliance and another $20 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is co-funding development of several vaccine candidates.

"We have to ensure that everyone gets equal access to tests, drugs, and vaccines when they are available -- no matter where you live in the world," the foundation's co-chair Melinda Gates said.

Olympic athletes exempted from 14-day isolation

Athletes arriving in Tokyo for next year's Olympic Games will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period Japan has imposed on anyone arriving from overseas.

Olympic organisers said measures for athletes are likely to include testing within 72 hours before arriving in Japan. But they warned decisions on spectators from overseas have yet to be made, saying a 14-day quarantine was "impossible".

"Athletes, coaches and Games officials that are eligible for the Tokyo Games will be allowed to enter the country, provided significant measures are made before they get to Japan," Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto told a news conference.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Catherine Evans)