US schools suspend classes as COVID-19 cases grow: Live news | United States

A sustained rise in coronavirus cases is pushing governments to adopt strict new measures to fight the pandemic. More than 52 million...

A sustained rise in coronavirus cases is pushing governments to adopt strict new measures to fight the pandemic.

  • More than 52 million people have contracted COVID-19 globally and at least 1,290,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • News about a successful Pfizer vaccine has given people hope, though its price and availability are still being discussed.
  • Governments in the Americas and Europe continue to report alarming infection numbers as lockdown measures increase.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. This is Creede Newton.

Russia begins overnight closure of bars, restaurants as cases grow at record pace

Russia reported a record 21,983 new coronavirus infections on Friday, as Moscow prepared to close restaurants and bars overnight in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite a recent surge, Russian authorities have resisted imposing lockdown restrictions as they did earlier this year, stressing instead the importance of hygiene, social distancing and bringing in targeted measures in certain regions.

Moscow, which reported 5,974 new cases in the past 24 hours, has ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close between 11pm and 6am from Friday until mid-January. Officials warned of raids and fines for establishments that do not comply.

Israel signs deal with Pfizer for potential COVID-19 vaccine

Israel signed a deal with Pfizer to receive eight million doses of the drugmaker’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, enough to cover close to half of Israel’s population.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE’s potential vaccine is likely to be a two-dose course of treatment, meaning that 8 million doses would cover 4 million of Israel’s nearly 9 million population.

Italian construction industry suffers from virus slowdown

Italian infrastructure group Atlantia worsened its outlook on Friday, saying the coronavirus would reduce its 2020 revenue by 3.5bn euros ($4.1bn) compared with last year.

In August the group had indicated a possible drop in sales due to the pandemic of three billion euros.

The group also said that operating cashflow, after capital expenditure, would fall by 2.2 billion euros.

Schools around the world revert to remote learning

Facing grim figures on infection and hospitalisation resulting from COVID-19, school systems around the US and abroad begin to cancel in-person instruction in favour of remote learning.

Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis and Philadelphia are among those closing classrooms or abandoning plans to offer in-person classes later in the school year, and New York City may be next.

Patrons enjoy food and drink at The Brass Rail in Hoboken, New Jersey, as school systems in several states are giving up in-person classes, and some governors are reimposing restrictions on bars and restaurants [File: Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

Virus transmission does not appear to be rampant within schools themselves. Instead, many of the infections that are proving so disruptive are believed to be occurring in the community.

Educators fear things could get worse during upcoming holiday breaks, when students and staff gather with family and friends, or travel to other hot spots.

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Newsrust: US schools suspend classes as COVID-19 cases grow: Live news | United States
US schools suspend classes as COVID-19 cases grow: Live news | United States
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