COVID-19: Coronavirus news and updates for Sunday, October 18, 2020

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“The government will act tomorrow, the action will be decisive and it will be nationwide action,” Harris, who was the health minister during one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns from the end of March to mid-May, told national broadcaster RTE.


Italy has approved a new stimulus package in its 2021 budget to foster an economic rebound from the recession caused by the coronavirus crisis, a government statement said on Sunday after a late-night cabinet meeting. Among measures to support the health and education system, the government will set up a 4 billion euro ($6.1 billion CAD) fund to compensate companies worst hit by coronavirus lockdowns.

One of the European countries worst hit by the pandemic, Italy has forecast a 9% economic contraction for 2020 and a budget deficit equating to 10.8% of gross domestic product.


Russia on Sunday recorded 15,099 new coronavirus cases, pushing the national tally to 1,399,334, officials said. They also said 185 people had died in the previous 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 24,187, and that 1,070,576 people had recovered from the virus.

A pro-democracy protester attends an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva ORG XMIT: GDN
A pro-democracy protester attends an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand October 18, 2020. Photo by JORGE SILVA /REUTERS


Thailand reported three additional locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, a day after reporting its first local infections in more than a month. Before this week’s five cases, Thailand last reported a confirmed local transmission on Sept. 11. In total, Thailand has reported 3,686 cases of the virus and 59 deaths.


Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen announced on Saturday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Mullen is the sixth known FBS football coach to test positive for COVID-19 this season. Blake Anderson (Arkansas State), Les Miles (Kansas), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Nick Saban (Alabama) and Kevin Sumlin (Arizona) also have tested positive since Labor Day.

-With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and Postmedia.