The Latest: Merkel, German governors to assess lockdown

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will assess the effects of a nearly two-week-long partial lockdown with state governors in a video conference Monday

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel will assess the effects of a nearly two-week-long partial lockdown with state governors in a video conference Monday.

Germany went into a partial lockdown at the beginning of November that included closing restaurants, cafes and cultural institutions, but left open schools and stores after virus figures spiked exponentially in October.

The rise of new infections has since slowed down, but on Friday the country still registered a new record of 23,542 cases. On Monday, 10,824 new cases were reported by the country’s disease control center. However, virus figures are usually lower at the beginning of the week because there’s less testing on weekends.

Merkel and the 16 state governors will begin their evaluation of the country’s coronavirus situation in the afternoon. Local media reported that possible new measures could include recommendations to further reduce social contacts and to cut school classes in half and have elementary school children weak masks too. So far, only high school students have to wear masks in class.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Biden seeks window on vaccine plans as Trump stalls handoff

— Michigan and Washington state announce new virus restrictions as U.S, cases hit 11 million

— Pandemic pushes steep drop in foreign college students in U.S.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI — India has registered 30,548 new coronaviruses cases, the fewest in the last four months but amid growing concerns about the latest surge in the capital, New Delhi.

India has now recorded a total of 8.84 million cases, second behind the U.S.

The Health Ministry said Monday that the country was showing a trend of declining average daily cases over the last two months. The ministry also reported 435 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 130,070.

India’s daily cases have seen a steady decline since the middle of September, but New Delhi is now recording more new infections than any other state.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — From Thursday, New Zealanders will be legally required to wear masks on public transport in Auckland and on planes nationwide.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Virus Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the new rules on Monday after meeting with senior lawmakers.

The country has been largely successful in eliminating the virus but has experienced several small outbreaks in Auckland, the latest one after a military worker at a hotel where travelers returning from abroad are being quarantined got infected.

Ardern said the new rules were precautionary. “New Zealand remains in a unique position globally. We have economic and personal freedoms that few other countries enjoy,” Ardern said. “But these freedoms are under increased threat as COVID surges in the world around us.” The rules don’t apply to children under age 12 or passengers taking taxis or Ubers, although their drivers will be required to wear masks.

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s daily coronavirus tally has stayed above 200 for a third consecutive day, as authorities consider raising the country’s social distancing rules.

The 223 additional cases recorded Monday by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency took the country’s total to 28,769 with 494 deaths. The agency says 193 of them are locally transmitted cases while the rest was associated with international arrivals.

South Korea has seen a steady increase in various cluster infections as it eased its social distancing guidelines last month amid then a viral slowdown.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo calls the latest uptick in new infections “grave” and says authorities are “at the crossroads of adjusting the physical distancing rules.”

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BALTIMORE — More than 11 million cases of the coronavirus have now been reported in the United States, with the most recent million coming in less than a week.

Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker reached 11 million on Sunday. It had topped 10 million cases on Nov. 9.

It took 300 days for the U.S. to hit the 11 million mark since the first case was diagnosed in Washington state on Jan. 20.

COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly across the U.S. than it has at any time since the pandemic started. Deaths are also on the rise, though not at the record high numbers reached in the spring. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths was more than 1,080 as of Saturday, more than 30% higher than it was two weeks earlier.

COVID-19 has now killed more than 246,000 people in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins.

Worldwide, more than 54 million coronavirus cases have been reported with more than 1.3 million deaths. The U.S. has about 4% of the world’s population, but about a fifth of all reported cases.

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