Since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 31.1 million cases of COVID-19 across the planet.

More than 961,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

UK To Face 50,000 COVID-19 Cases A Day Within Weeks, Top Scientist Says — 9/21/20 7 a.m. ET

Britain could see 50,000 daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-October and 200 deaths a day by mid-November if the current rate of infection is not halted, Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance said at a snap public briefing in Downing Street on Monday.

The news comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Friday that a second wave “is coming” to the U.K. Last week, the R0 rate of the virus, which shows whether the pandemic is growing, jumped to between 1.1 and 1.4, HuffPost U.K. reported.

On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to guarantee that pubs would be open this weekend. However, he also said the country would not return to the full lockdown seen in March, stressing that restrictions would be “different to last time.”

Nearly 42,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.K., the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. New cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day in Britain, and hospital admissions are doubling every eight days.

— Rachel Wearmouth and James Martin

W.H. Task Force Member: A Few Million Early Doses Of Vaccine Could Make ‘Enormous Impact’ — 9/20/20, 3:30 p.m. ET

A coronavirus vaccine likely won’t be available to all Americans until mid-2021, but even a few million doses in November or December could have an “enormous impact” on the number of hospitalizations and fatalities, Assistant Health Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir said Sunday.

“From my perspective, even a few million doses early in November or December, if we have 5 or 10 percent of the population that we can vaccinate, we can get 80 or more 90 percent of the benefit,” Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“For example, if we could vaccinate workers in nursing homes, we could protect the elderly and the vulnerable from disease,” he added. “That would make an enormous impact on mortality, if we could vaccinate our teachers and those with preexisting conditions or those surrounding those people. … A vaccine as early as possible, even in a few million doses, will be a godsend in terms of outcomes, hospitalizations, morbidity and deaths.”

CNN’s @jaketapper: “President Trump is doing these rallies. The people are not wearing masks. I mean these are super spreader events potentially.”Adm. Brett Giroir: “… Biology is independent of politics.”Tapper: “Don’t tell me. Tell President Trump.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/QMFUFZKPiJ

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 20, 2020

Giroir and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified last week that hundreds of millions of doses of a safe and effective vaccine would likely be available in the second or third quarter of 2021.During a news briefing Friday, Trump pledged 100 million doses of a vaccine by the end of 2020, contradicting the CDC’s predictions. In the best-case scenario, the CDC estimated 35 million to 45 million doses could be available by late December.

Democrats and some public health experts have expressed concerns that Trump will threaten the integrity of vaccine development by pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to hasten its approval.

Giroir said Sunday that a vaccine would only be approved once the data has shown it’s effective and safe.

“I just want to assure the American people that, when a vaccine is authorized by the FDA, it will be based on science and data,” he told CNN. “If I’m prioritized, I will be in line. If my granddaughter’s prioritized, she will be in line. We can have confidence that, when that happens, it will be safe and effective, but not before. We have to let the evidence and the data drive it.”

― Hayley Miller

CDC Backtracks On Controversial Coronavirus Testing Guidance — 9/18/20, 2:15 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should get tested themselves, even if they have no symptoms — backtracking on a controversial change made in August. The new guidance reflects the advice that medical experts have been giving for months.

The CDC sparked alarm in the health care community last month when it said — reportedly against its own scientists’ strenuous objections — that it was not necessary for people to get tested after being around someone who has the virus. Critics had worried that the guidance would lead to the unchecked spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, however, the agency reversed course and added another precaution: Close contacts should self-quarantine for 14 days even if they test negative, staying away from other household members as much as possible. “Close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet of a person who’s sick for 15 minutes or longer.

— Sara Boboltz

For more on the pandemic, go here.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus Get the latest coronavirus updates here. What will life be like once a coronavirus vaccine arrives? Everything you need to know about face masks right now. What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19? Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year? Constantly arguing with your partner about coronavirus risks? You are not alone.

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