Coronavirus Updates LIVE: Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide almost at 47 million, deaths surpass 1.2 million

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France records record number of COVID-19 cases

France's reported a record 52,518 new COVID-19 on Monday and the number of people hospitalised with the disease rose by more than a 1,000 for the fourth time in eight days, as the pandemic showing no signs of abating despite a new lockdown.

The timing of the latest daily record could be seen as particularly worrisome as Mondays have, until now, seen a dip in new cases reported due to fewer tests being carried out on a Sunday.

The cumulative number of cases now totals 1,466,433 in France, the fifth-highest total in the world behind the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

As in other big European countries grappling with a resurgence of the disease, the French government ordered a four-week second national lockdown on Friday, as earlier curfew measures failed to have an impact.


Australians flee cities for refuge in regional retreats

Australians are retreating to regional parts of the country and shunning the nation's two largest cities as they wait out the end of the coronavirus recession.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals Melburnians and Sydneysiders in particular were seeking refuge in regional retreats while others bunkered down even before the pandemic interrupted removalist vans across the continent.

There were 14,800 fewer interstate moves in the June quarter compared to the same period in 2019, but despite this slowdown, Melbourne faced its biggest quarterly departure of residents on record with a net loss of 8000 people in the quarter compared to a net gain of 150 people for the same time in 2019. During the first quarter of the year there was a further drain of 2200 people out of the Victorian capital with the majority escaping the city to go elsewhere in the state.

Keep in mind that the June quarter is the three months between April and June, so this is data for the first six months of the year.

The trend of people moving into capital cities from their surrounding regional hinterlands has also slowed in other high-growth centres. In the first half of 2020 about 4000 people left NSW. About 14,000 left Sydney over the same six months, with 6000 exiting the harbour city in the second quarter.

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Good morning and welcome to today's blog

Good morning and welcome to today's coronavirus updates blog. My name is Craig Butt and I will be keeping track of all today's COVID-19 updates, all while assiduously ignoring any incoming news from the Melbourne Cup and the US election campaign (we've got other blogs set up for those events).

As always, if you have anything to share (about COVID-19, not Melbourne Cup or US election predictions), shoot me an email or leave a comment in the blog.

Regular blog readers will know that I quite like kicking off the blog with a brainteaser. See if you can solve this one. First with the answer in the comments wins the bragging rights sweepstakes. (Note: You are not allowed to break the matchsticks to form the triangles.)

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