The Latest: U.N. Cancels Meetings After Reported Virus Cases | Business News

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations canceled all in-person meetings after a U.N. member nation reported five coronavirus cases among its staff.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir sent a letter to the 193 U.N. member nations announcing Tuesday’s cancellation on the advice of the U.N. Medical Unit.

He didn’t identify the country. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because there hasn’t been a public announcement, says it was the African nation of Niger. Niger’s U.N. Ambassador Abdou Abarry has a staff of 17, according to the latest U.N. directory.

Assembly spokesman Brenden Varma says contact tracing is expected “to be done quickly and efficiently.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says in recent weeks, between 1,300 and 1,400 people swiped their passes every day to enter the U.N. building in New York.


— United Nations cancels in-person meetings after virus cases at New York headquarters

— Russian issues nationwide mask mandate; foreign minister Lavrov in quarantine

— Italy registers nearly 22,000 confirmed daily coronavirus cases

— Mask-less Pope Francis noticed by Vatican virus commission

— Iowa elections officials concerned over surge in coronavirus cases, with possible illnesses or absences among key workers and volunteers a hindrance through Election Day.

— World Series played at a neutral site in front of smallest crowds in a century, but Dodgers and Rays are just happy that some fans are there

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at and


ROME — Italy on Tuesday registered nearly 22,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the previous day, its highest one-day total in the pandemic. The Health Ministry reported 221 more deaths.

The last several nights have seen protests in some Italian cities, reflecting anger about overnight curfews in some of Italy’s regions. Nationwide restrictions began this week, closing down gyms, pools, cinemas and theaters. Restaurants are required to close before dinner hour.

Northern Lombardy and southern Campania regions have been experiencing the highest daily caseloads in recent days.

Italy’s total confirmed cases rose to 564,778 and the death toll reached 37,700.

MADRID — Spain is reporting more than 8,300 coronavirus cases in the past day and 746 more deaths in the last week.

Amid the resurgence, Spain’s Socialist-led government will try to win approval in parliament on Thursday for its plan to declare a six-month state of emergency.

A state of emergency would make it legally easier for authorities to take swift action, including temporary curfews, to crack down on hot spots.

Spain last week became the first European country to surpass 1 million officially recorded coronavirus cases, although authorities say the actual figure could be much higher.

Almost 16,700 coronavirus patients are in the hospital, representing 14% of hospital beds. About 25% of beds in ICUs are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Spain’s Health Ministry has recorded a total of 1.1 million coronavirus cases, with nearly 35,300 dead.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida reported nearly 4,300 coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the number of patients hospitalized also ticked upward.

There were 2,333 people being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals. That figure reached nearly 10,000 in late July, then declined steadily until late September when it began hovering between 2,000 and 2,200 for several weeks.

The numbers of deaths per day have continued to decline, averaging about 57 a day over the past week, down from a high of 185 in early August.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed 786,311 total cases and 56 deaths more deaths Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 16,708.

PHOENIX — Arizona reported 1,157 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths on Tuesday.

As of Monday, 861 people were hospitalized for COVID19, the state reported.

Hospitalizations recently increased to levels last seen in late August when Arizona was a national virus hotspot.

The daily average of cases went from 711 on Oct. 12 to 1,010 on Monday. The positivity rate, which measures community spread, rose from 7% to 9.4%.

The Department of Health Services reports 240,122 total cases and 5,891 deaths.

ST. LOUIS — Missouri reported 1,695 coronavirus cases and 28 deaths on Tuesday.

Hospitalizations statewide remain high, with 1,407 in Missouri hospitals having confirmed or suspected COVID-19 illnesses.

St. Louis-area hospital officials are urging people to take precautions to slow the spread of the virus, warning that the region’s hospitals are at nearly 90% capacity.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force on Monday reported a seven-day average of 360 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, the worst since May.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City area recorded its highest number of deaths in a one-week period, with more than 80.

Overall, Missouri has reported 172,717 cases and 2,838 deaths.

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Tuesday decreed three days of national mourning for victims of the coronavirus, coinciding with the traditional Day of the Dead ceremonies starting this weekend.

The president says the flag in the capital’s central plaza will fly at half mast Saturday through Monday. A special Day of the Dead altar will be placed at the National Palace.

Mexico has reported at least 89,100 confirmed deaths, although authorities estimate another 50,000 likely died from the virus, based on a rise in the death rate.

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister has self-isolated after contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Foreign Ministry says Sergey Lavrov was feeling well but will postpone his official trips and meetings. It didn’t identify the infected person.

The announcement follows Lavrov’s visit to Athens on Monday where he held meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and the leader of the opposition Coalition of the Radical Left Alexis Tsipras.

The 70-year-old Lavrov has served as the nation’s top diplomat for more than 16 years.

Russia has the world’s fourth-largest tally with more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases. There’s been more than 26,000 reported deaths.

ZURICH — FIFA president Gianni Infantino has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The governing body of world soccer says the 50-year-old Infantino has mild symptoms and “has immediately placed himself in self-isolation and will remain in quarantine at least for 10 days.”

People who have come in contact with the Swiss lawyer in recent days have been informed “to take the necessary steps.”

Infantino hasn’t traveled much during the coronavirus pandemic. But he attended a signing ceremony at the White House last month to mark normalized relations of Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Switzerland has reported 127,000 cases and more than 23,000 since Friday. There have been 2,147 confirmed deaths.

ROME — The decision by Pope Francis to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed by a member of the Vatican’s coronavirus commission.

The Rev. Augusto Zampini acknowledged Tuesday the 83-year-old pope, who is missing part of a lung because of an illness in his youth, is at high risk for complications of the virus.

“He has started to use the mask now,” Zampini said. “And I hope he will use it in the general audiences, when he’s close to the people. When you’re in an open space, we know that it’s different. But we are working on that.”

Francis has courted some criticism for declining to wear a mask when indoors. Vatican regulations call for masks indoors and out when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

On Saturday, the pope met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and neither they nor anyone in the Spanish delegation wore masks.

The photos caused a mild stir in Spain over the weekend. The prime minister’s office says the delegation was following Vatican protocol rules. The Vatican has declined to respond to questions about Francis and masks.

NEWARK, N.J. — Businesses in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, will face restrictions beginning Tuesday after the city’s positivity rate reached levels not seen since late May.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced that non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. and restaurants must curtail indoor dining but can stay open for delivery and takeout.

Baraka, a Democrat, says testing from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18 showed Newark’s positivity rate at more than 11 percent, the highest since May 23.

Beauty salons, nail salons and barbershops can be open by appointment only. Gyms and health clubs must close for half an hour each hour for sanitizing. The restrictions will be re-assessed in two weeks.

In one Newark neighborhood, the positivity rate was more than 25 percent. The state’s positivity rate is roughly 5 percent.

WARSAW, Poland — Poland is offering a short-term package of financial aid to medium and small business worth $1.8 billion PLN ($465 million).

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says the measures are intended to prevent layoffs. The government says it will apply to more than 170,000 companies, employing more than 400,000 workers affected by the latest coronavirus restrictions.

In November, medium and small businesses will be exempt from paying social security insurance for their employees and will receive government subsidies for wages in idled firms.

The entire country is considered a “red zone,” with restricted a number of customers in shops and markets. Restaurants and eateries are takeout only.

The daily registered coronavirus cases hit a record 16,300 in the nation of 38 million.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government will provide support for businesses worth some 500 millions euros ($590 million).

They come on top of billions of euros the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte already has pledged to businesses, ranging from carrier KLM to small restaurants. The package includes contributions to help bars and restaurants.

Infections have rapidly risen in the Netherlands. The government announced a partial lockdown two weeks ago, which closed bars and restaurants for at least four weeks.

ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s hospitals are rapidly filling up and authorities are turning a sports arena in the capital of Zagreb into a temporary facility for COVID-19 patients.

The European Union nation of 4.2 million people has posted record daily infections in the past weeks, reaching more than 2,000 cases.

On Tuesday, health officials reported 1,413 cases and 18 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Authorities have limited gatherings and working hours of bars and restaurants to curb the spread.

Croatia has confirmed a total of 38,621 cases and 470 deaths.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s top health official says a second wave of coronavirus is underway.

Faisal Sultan urged authorities to strictly implement social distancing rules to contain the spread of the virus. His comments come days after authorities issued a warning that another lockdown could be imposed if people don’t stop violating social-distancing rules.

On Tuesday, Pakistan reported 773 new cases in the past 24 hours and six deaths.

Pakistan has confirmed 329,375 cases and 6,745 virus-related deaths since February.

PRAGUE — The Czech government is asking the Parliament to approve its plan to extend a state of emergency it declared a month.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis says the measure is needed “to protect the health and lives of the citizens.” The Parliament is expected to take a vote on the request to extend the state of emergency until Dec 3.

The rolling average of daily cases has risen in the past two weeks from 48 per 100,000 people on Oct. 12 to 115 on Monday.

Starting on Wednesday, the government is imposing more regulations, including nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. – 5 a.m. All stores must close on Sundays. Employees in state and private companies are recommended to work from home. The government says it won’t reopen elementary schools as planned on Monday because the rising infections.

The Czech Republic has 268,370 cases, about a third registered in the last week. There are 5,613 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.

The nation recorded 2,365 deaths since March, with 748 confirmed in the last week.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s public university system is requiring students to test negative for the coronavirus before they can leave for Thanksgiving break in hopes of preventing community spread back home.

State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras told The Associated Press that the system’s 64 colleges and universities must have plans by Nov. 5 to test about 140,000 students within 10 days before Thanksgiving break.

SUNY has planned to transition most colleges and universities to remote learning after Thanksgiving. SUNY will require colleges to isolate or quarantine any residential student who tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19 in the 14 days before Thanksgiving break.

MADRID — Spanish doctors are staging their first national walkout in 25 years to protest what they say are poor working conditions and the weakened state of the national public health system.

The 24-hour strike was called by the State Confederation of Medical Unions, which wants health authorities to negotiate changes in the sector. The confederation says the coronavirus pandemic has exposed a lack of investment public health system in recent decades.

The protest came as the government said its proposed 2021 state budget includes a 151% increase in spending for the public health sector.

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