Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- More than 978,000 deaths -
The virus has killed at least 978,448 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.
More than 31.9 million cases have been confirmed.
The United States is the worst-hit country with 201,910 deaths, followed by Brazil with 138,977, India with 91,149, Mexico with 74,949 and the United Kingdom with 41,862.
- EU must act -
The European Commission urges EU members states to better explain and enforce social distancing and hygiene rules to halt a dangerous new wave of infections.
"In some member states, the situation is now even worse than during the peak in March. This is a real cause for concern," says Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
- Worry trends -
Seven EU countries including Spain are of "high concern" because rising virus death rates, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention warns.
A new assessment report by the Stockholm-based EU agency says these countries have "an increased proportion of hospitalised and severe cases" among older people, and "increasing or high death notification rates are already observed ... or may be observed soon."
The countries outlined are Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Malta.
- Rising in Moscow -
New cases in Moscow hit 1,050, the highest level since late June, raising fears of a new wave in the world's fourth most affected country.
The caseload increase had remained relatively stable in the Russian capital at around 700 per day for several months, but the numbers began to climb again from September 15.
- Israel tightens second lockdown -
Israel toughens its measures as a second nationwide lockdown now nearing its second week fails to bring down the world's highest infection rate.
The new rules will close the vast majority of workplaces, shutter markets and further limit prayers and demonstrations.
- Paris hits back -
Officials in Paris and Marseille react angrily after the national government announces tighter restrictions, in particular for restaurants and bars that will close at 10:00 pm starting Monday.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says she has lodged a formal protest over the measures, which also include the closure in the capital of gyms and other indoor sports facilities.
- UK jobs support scheme -
British finance minister Rishi Sunak launches a new jobs protection scheme, supporting wages of staff keeping at least one third of their usual working hours.
Beginning in November, it does not go as far as the current furlough scheme due to end next month that has paid out billions of pounds to support wages of nearly ten million workers.
- App launches, at last -
The British government finally launches its troubled smartphone app to help track the virus in England and Wales -- four months behind schedule and with cases once again surging.
The revamped app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they spend 15 minutes or more within two metres (six feet) of another user who subsequently tests positive for Covid-19.
- Olympics stay optimistic -
Olympic boss Thomas Bach says the Tokyo Games could take place next year even without a vaccine, pointing to the success of the Tour de France.
Striking an optimistic note at a meeting with Tokyo 2020 organisers, Bach vows to make the postponed event a triumph despite the uncertainties of the pandemic.