Nikkei Asia is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Global cases have reached 43,979,777, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 1,167,124.
To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:
Wednesday, October 28 (Tokyo time)
6:10 p.m. Voters in the Indian state of Bihar lined up on the first day of a three-phase election for a new legislature. Health authorities face a big test in one of India’s most populous regions with the country’s first state assembly election to be held since the onset of the pandemic.
6:00 p.m. Swiss hospitals scramble to cope with a surge in new COVID-19 patients, bringing back retired staff to replace sick frontline workers and closing other wards as officials warn they could reach breaking point in about 10 days. Case numbers in Switzerland have risen to record levels this month, exceeding 127,000, with infection rates far exceeding those in neighbours Germany and Italy.
5:47 p.m. Indonesia’s coronavirus infections pass the 400,000 mark, with 4,029 new cases confirmed on Wednesday. With the addition of 100 more COVID-19 deaths, it has recorded 13,612 fatalities.
5:41 p.m. French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline will supply 200 million doses of their COVID-19 candidate vaccine to a global inoculation scheme backed by the World Health Organization.
5:00 p.m. The Philippines’ health ministry records 2,053 new coronavirus infections and 61 additional deaths.
3:49 p.m. Malaysia’s king urges federal lawmakers to give their full support to the 2021 budget to be unveiled next week, as Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a leadership challenge.
3:42 p.m. Sony reports a 103% increase in net profit to 692 billion yen ($6.6 billion) for April-September as the conglomerate’s video game business enjoyed strong demand thanks to coronavirus-related lockdowns and social distancing.
3:07 p.m. Tokyo reports 171 new infections, up from 158 a day earlier and bringing the capital’s total to 30,456.
2:53 p.m. Cancer antibody developer Hummingbird Bioscience has received approval from Singapore health authorities to start a clinical trial for a COVID-19 antibody therapy.
1:59 p.m. As the pandemic weighs on Asia’s pension systems, concerns percolate about whether some countries will be up to the task of allowing future retirees to live comfortably.
1:46 p.m. India’s total cases are on the edge of crossing the 8 million mark as the country reports 43,893 new infections for the past 24 hours, up from 36,470 the previous day. The country’s death toll climbed by 508 to 120,010.
1:03 p.m. Japan’s Finance Ministry upgrades its overall assessment of the country’s regional economies for the second consecutive quarter, another indication that the pandemic’s impact is waning. Regional economies are “showing signs of picking up,” the October report says, with the evaluation revised upward from July, when the economies were said to have had “recently stopped worsening” amid “some signs of picking up can be seen in parts.” Tempering the upgrade, however, the ministry repeated an expression used in the July report, assessing that the economies as remaining “in a severe situation.”
1:00 p.m. Malaysian exports jumped 13.6% in September from a year earlier, rising at their fastest pace in nearly two years amid a surge in demand for manufactured and agricultural goods, particularly palm oil and rubber, government data shows. It was the largest gain since October 2018, when exports rose 17.7%, and also beat analysts’ expectations of a 5.5% spurt in a Reuters poll. In August, exports fell by 2.9%. Imports in September shrank by 3.9% from a year earlier, slowing from the 6.5% decline the prior month. Analysts had expected a fall of 3.8%.
12:03 p.m. Thailand’s manufacturing production index dropped a smaller-than-expected 2.75% in September from a year earlier due mainly to lower production of cars, petroleum and sugar amid the pandemic, the industry ministry said. That compares with a forecast for a decline of 4.71% in a Reuters poll, and against August’s revised contraction of 9.05%.
10:09 a.m. Mainland China reported 42 new COVID-19 cases for Tuesday, the highest daily toll in more than two months due to a rise in infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region. Of the new cases, 22 in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar were previously asymptomatic patients, the country’s health authority said. The region’s health authorities also reported another 19 symptomless infections, which China does not recognize as confirmed COVID-19 cases. They accounted for half of the new asymptomatic cases reported nationwide.
9:49 a.m. Australian consumer prices surged in the last quarter as one-time rebates linked to the coronavirus ended and gasoline prices rebounded — yet the annual inflation rate stayed stubbornly below the target that would give a green light for further easing of monetary policy. The headline consumer price index rose a steep 1.6% in the July-September quarter, but that merely undid the previous quarter’s record 1.9% plunge.
9:23 a.m. Britain’s Vaccine Taskforce Chair Kate Bingham said on Tuesday that the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines are “likely to be imperfect” and “might not work for everyone.”
“We do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism,” Bingham wrote in a piece published in The Lancet medical journal.
8:02 a.m. Australia’s coronavirus hotspot of Victoria state reported two new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday after posting no infections in the previous two days as the state capital, Melbourne, emerged from more than three months of a hard lockdown.
Restaurants and cafes in Melbourne — home to 5 million people — can now reopen, and limits on social gatherings at homes have been eased, allowing two adults and dependents from one house to visit another household.
5:38 a.m. The French government is envisaging a monthlong national lockdown that could take effect from midnight on Thursday, France’s BFM TV reported on Tuesday. The country reported 523 new coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April 22, health ministry data showed.
4:28 a.m. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for an emergency-use listing and prequalification of its Sputnik V vaccine, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday.
4:26 a.m. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday predicted a “tough winter” as a second wave of infections engulfed much of the country, and he channeled public frustration, saying the pandemic “sucks” and calling it a horrific national tragedy after deaths topped the 10,000 mark.
1:30 a.m. Italy has registered 21,994 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday, the highest daily tally since the start of the country’s outbreak and up from the previous record of 21,273 posted on Sunday.
1:20 a.m. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tests positive for COVID-19 but says she is feeling well with no symptoms. “I will continue to work and coordinate all activities from a distance, with the same commitment as usual,” she said on Twitter, where she announced her positive test.
1:00 a.m. Eli Lilly says it is ending a clinical trial of its antibody drug in hospitalized COVID-19 patients after federal researchers concluded the therapy produced no marked improvement.
The study of the monoclonal antibody called bamlanivimab has been paused since Oct. 13 due to a potential safety concern.
12:35 a.m. Japanese bicycle parts maker Shimano revises up its 2020 earnings forecast as demand recovers, driven by consumers gravitating toward bikes as a safer transportation alternative to public transit.
Tuesday, October 27
11:10 p.m. U.S. biotech company Novavax says it expects a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to begin in the U.S. and Mexico “by the end of November.”
“The company has made significant progress in large-scale manufacturing, with delays experienced versus original timing estimates,” according to a statement.
Novavax says the trial will involve production from a U.S. contract manufacturing site under Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings.
10:15 p.m. The governor of Japan’s Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo, says that dinner and drinking parties are responsible for around 10% of new COVID-19 infections.
As the year-end party season approaches, Gov. Motohiro Ono urges people to avoid large, raucous gatherings.
“When people drink, they get loud and talk a lot,” Ono tells reporters.
“We want people to avoid binge drinking and pub crawls,” the governor adds.
8:24 p.m. The number of new infections in Germany is likely to reach 20,000 a day by the end of the week, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. “In Germany, the number of new infections is rising by 70% to 75% compared to the week before,” Altmaier told a virtual conference. On Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases rose by 11,409. That compares with 6,868 cases last Tuesday and with the record 14,714 reported on Saturday.
8:00 p.m. Iran reports 6,968 new cases and 346 deaths in the past 24 hours, its highest daily tally, pushing the death toll in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country to 33,299. The new cases brought the country’s total number of identified cases to 581,824.
7:01 p.m. Malaysia’s health ministry reports 835 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 28,640 infections. The country has also recorded two new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 238.
6:27 p.m. Japan’s cabinet has approved a plan on Tuesday to use public funds to provide vaccines for COVID-19 to the public for free. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to provide vaccines for all by mid-2021. Japan has struck deals for hundreds of millions of doses from companies including AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
6:10 p.m. Italy’s main medicines regulator has given the go-ahead for human clinical trials on raloxifene, a generic osteoporosis drug that researchers hope may also help reduce COVID-19 symptoms and make patients less infectious, Reuters reports. The drug was identified as a potential COVID-19 treatment by researchers using supercomputers to screen more than 400,000 molecules for chemical characteristics that might inhibit the virus, focusing on those already approved for use in humans.
5:50 p.m. Indonesia reports 3,520 new infections, taking the total to 396,454. The country records another 101 deaths, bringing the total to 13,512.
5:05 p.m. The Philippines reports1,524 new infections, a lower number than the 1,607 a day earlier and taking the country total to 373,144. The country also reports 14 more deaths, the lowest daily number of fatalities in two weeks, bringing its total to 7,053.
3:40 p.m. Tokyo reports 158 new infections, up from 108 a day earlier and bringing the capital’s total to 30,285.
3:07 p.m. ANA Holdings expects its biggest-ever net loss of 510 billion yen ($4.8 billion) this fiscal year through March 2021, the Japanese airline says, as it struggles with plunging air travel demand with no quick rebound in sight.
3:00 p.m. Global foreign direct investment plunged 49% in the first half of 2020 from the same period a year ago and is on course to fall by up to 40% for the year, driven by fears of a deep recession, the U.N. Conference for Trade and Development says. FDI flows to European economies turned negative for the first time ever, reaching -$7 billion, versus $202 billion for the same period last year, while investment into the U.S. fell 61% to $51 billion.
2:20 p.m. HSBC Holdings is trying to flip its main source of income from interest rates to fee-based businesses. The group also accelerated plans to downsize and will slash costs further than forecast. The plans were unveiled as the bank posted a less-than-expected 35% drop in quarterly profit and eased procedures for dealing with bad loans, citing expected improvement in its main markets.
1:17 p.m. India reports 36,470 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily count in more than three months, bringing the national total to 7.95 million. The death toll rose by 488 to 119,502.
11:50 p.m. Profits at Chinese industrial firms in September rose 10.1%, year-on-year, to 646.43 billion yuan ($96.34 billion), government data shows, up for the fifth straight month. But the pace slowed as factory-gate deflation and rising raw materials costs undercut a recovery in the manufacturing sector.
11:30 a.m. South Korea confirms 88 new cases, down from 119 a day ago. Total infections reach 26,043 with 460 deaths.
10:30 a.m. Japan’s cabinet approves a plan to use public funds to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the public for free. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to provide enough COVID-19 vaccines for the population by mid 2021. The country has struck deals for hundreds of millions of doses from companies including AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
9:50 a.m. China reports 16 new confirmed cases for Monday, down from 20 a day earlier. The number of new asymptomatic cases also fell to 50, from 161 reported a day earlier amid a fresh wave of symptomless infections being reported in the northwestern Xinjiang region. Xinjiang authorities separately report 26 new asymptomatic cases for Monday, down from 137 a day earlier.
9:10 a.m. Antibodies against the new coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study finds, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community. Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population after the first wave of COVID-19 infections in March and April. Their study found that antibody prevalence fell from 6% of the population around the end of June to just 4.4% in September.
8:00 a.m. The South Korean economy rebounded from a COVID-induced recession in the third quarter as demand for exports grew following the relaxing of lockdowns in the region. Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew a seasonally adjusted 1.9% during the July-September period from the previous quarter, the Bank of Korea says.
5:10 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial average closes down 650 points, or 2.3%, after bouncing off session lows. The broader S&P 500 falls 1.9%, while the Nasdaq drops 1.6%. All eyes will be on earnings reports from Caterpillar and other blue chips this week.
3:31 a.m. The executive committee of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats decides to postpone a party congress planned for Dec. 4 to elect a new leader, reports Reuters. The committee agreed it could not hold the meeting, which it had planned to stage in Stuttgart, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The timing of the election of a new CDU leader by 1,001 delegates is now unclear.
2:30 a.m. The Dow Jones stock index falls 950 points as investor worries deepen over surging U.S. coronavirus cases. The market is also disheartened by the lack of progress on stimulus talks.
Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of infections surpassed a record 80,000 on both Friday and Saturday, signaling accelerated infections. The rising case number has fueled concerns about the reopening of the U.S. economy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have accused each other of “moving the goalposts” in stimulus talks, signaling that the two sides remain far apart on the issue just nine days before the election.
Issues sensitive to the economy, such as Boeing and Caterpillar, come under heavy selling in the market, while Apple, which just released iPhone 12 models, and biotech company Amgen remain firm.
1:45 a.m. The average number of new coronavirus cases reported daily over the past week in the U.S. reaches an all-time high of 68,767, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis based on Johns Hopkins University tallies.
The stark number signals that the country is experiencing a fresh surge of infections as the weather turns cool.
1:30 a.m. American stock markets continue their declines in afternoon trading, with the Dow shedding 740 points, or 2.6%, and the S&P 500 down 2.1%.
12:40 a.m. U.S. stocks plunge as coronavirus cases surged in the U.S. and Europe, dimming the economic outlook after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a fiscal stimulus deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 688 points, or 2.4%, and the S&P 500 is trading 2% lower in morning trading.
Monday, October 26
11:30 p.m. Japan’s government has called on local authorities to tighten coronavirus precautions on unsponsored events ahead of Halloween — still a relatively new phenomenon in the country, but one that has brought out large crowds in past years.
Monday’s guidelines tell local governments to urge voluntary restraint on large gatherings and to ensure police are deployed to prevent overcrowding in public spaces.
10:32 p.m. Russia’s daily tally of new COVID-19 cases soars to a record high of 17,347 as the Kremlin warned the pandemic was beginning to inflict a greater toll outside the capital Moscow, reports Reuters.
Authorities say Russia has enough hospital beds and medication to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “extremely energetic” efforts from both the federal and regional governments were now needed to cope with rising case numbers.
7:15 p.m. Malaysia reports its biggest jump in daily cases since the start of the pandemic, with 1,240 new infections, and extends a partial lockdown on its capital Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding state of Selangor for another two weeks.
6:10 p.m. The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford produces a similar immune response in both older and younger adults, and adverse reactions were lower among the elderly, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc says.
“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman told Reuters.
5:00 p.m. The Philippines reports 1,607 new infections and 62 more deaths. Total cases had increased to 371,630, while deaths had reached 7,039. The Philippines has the second highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.
3:50 p.m. Global infections have exceeded 43 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. As the U.S. continues to be the worst-affected country, many European nations are tightening their virus-control measures as case numbers repeatedly set new daily records.
3:20 p.m. Malaysia says it will host the first-ever virtual summit of leaders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations in November, amid political uncertainty faced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Doubts had arisen earlier as to whether the summit would go ahead due to the pandemic. New Zealand, which is hosting next year’s APEC summit, has said it will use virtual platforms.
3:08 p.m. Tokyo reports 108 new infections, down from 124 a day earlier and bringing the capital’s total to 30,127.
1:20 p.m. India reports 45,148 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 50,129 the previous day, bringing the country total to 7.91 million. The death toll jumped by 480 to 119,014.
1:00 p.m. Social distancing and lockdowns in Australia not only slowed the spread of COVID-19, they also saved the lives of about 400 people in the country who would have been expected to die in June from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, a research paper shows. The Actuaries Institute said there was a shortfall between verified deaths and the number expected during the midwinter month, which it concluded was due to a decline in respiratory illnesses.
10:07 a.m. South Korea confirms 119 new cases, up from 61 a day ago. Total infections reach 25,955 with 457 deaths.
9:40 a.m. China reports 20 new confirmed and 161 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases for Sunday, following a surge in symptomless infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region. All new confirmed cases originated overseas. Of the 161 new symptomless infections, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, 137 were locally transmitted. Xinjiang’s Kashgar on Saturday started testing its 4.75 million people after detecting an asymptomatic infection at a garment factory. Another 137 asymptomatic cases were reported on Oct. 25 amid that testing.
8:15 a.m. Australia’s state of Victoria, the country’s new coronavirus hot spot, reports zero cases for the first time since June, according to Reuters. The state on Sunday delayed the easing of COVID-19 restrictions because of a fresh outbreak in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
4:50 a.m. France registers a record 52,010 new confirmed infections over the past 24 hours on the heels of a previous all-time high of 45,422 on Saturday, as a second wave of cases surges through Europe. The new infections took France’s total to 1,138,507, with the country pushing past Argentina and Spain to register the world’s fifth-highest number after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.
Sunday, October 25
11:39 p.m. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and would stay at home. He met Keith Krach, U.S. undersecretary of state for economic affairs, on Friday.
11:00 p.m. Multiple other senior aides to U.S. Vice President Pence have tested positive for COVID-19, the White House chief of staff said.
10:30 p.m. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a new state of emergency that imposes local nighttime curfews and bans travel between regions in certain cases.
6:49 p.m. U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told the BBC it would be clear whether a COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective by early December, but that more widespread vaccination would not be likely until later in 2021.
11:57 a.m. Marc Short, the chief of staff for U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, a spokesman for the vice president says. Vice President Pence and his wife tested negative.
10:38 a.m. China’s health commission reported 15 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Friday, down from 28 cases the previous day. All of the new infections were imported, according to a statement by the commission.
Saturday, October 24
7:49 p.m. Istanbul’s mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said he has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus and suffering a fever, Reuters reported. Istanbul’s American Hospital said in a statement that Imamoglu, an opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was admitted to the hospital after displaying symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection.
7:16 p.m. Malaysia reported 1,228 new coronavirus cases, a record daily jump since the start of the pandemic, bringing the total number of cases to 25,742. The health ministry also said seven new deaths were recorded across the Southeast Asian country.
5:15 p.m. Indonesia reported 4,070 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 385,980, official data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed. It also reported 128 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 13,205.
5:12 p.m. The Philippines’ health ministry recorded 2,057 new coronavirus infections and 19 additional deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 367,819 while deaths have reached 6,934. The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.
To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.