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Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th Oct 2021

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Romania Reports Highest Daily Covid-19 Cases, Deaths on Record

Romania reported the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, forcing the country to seek assistance from the World Health Organization in an attempt to limit the burden on already overwhelmed hospitals. The country is paying the price for having the European Union’s second-lowest vaccination rate, reporting 561 fatalities in the past 24 hours. That brings the toll to more than 42,000. New infections, at almost 19,000 since Monday, also reached a new high. A crisis expert from the WHO will meet in the coming days with the Romanian authorities to try to find solutions to the escalating situation. President Klaus Iohannis, government officials and health experts will on Wednesday also discuss potential tougher restrictions to try to limit the spread of the virus and the loss of life.
19th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Ireland Slows Reopening Plan as Coronavirus Cases Increase

Ireland’s government moved to further loosen pandemic restrictions, though it will retain more rules than planned amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations. Bars and restaurants will be allowed to resume normal opening hours, but they will still be limited to table service only and customers will need to show proof of vaccination. Full attendance will be permitted at outdoor events and religious ceremonies, though indoor concerts must be all seated. Other restrictions -- including social distancing and masks -- are set to remain in place until at least February, while a full return to the office won’t happen until next year.
19th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

China Outbreak Tied to Rule-Breaking Couple Reaches Beijing

China’s latest Covid-19 outbreak, centered around a rule-breaking elderly couple enjoying China’s tourist sites, has now spread to the closely-guarded capital city of Beijing and possibly beyond. The flareup that surfaced over the weekend has been tied to two retired university lecturers from Shanghai who started a road trip with several others through the nation’s scenic northwestern provinces in early October, according to media reports. The pathogen proliferated, sparking a handful of local cases in northwestern provinces in recent days. One traveler from Gansu -- a close contact of an infected patient -- was diagnosed in Beijing on Monday. It’s the city’s first case since a widespread outbreak caused by the highly infectious delta variant this summer prompted officials to scrap travel there to stop further transmission. Authorities have now sealed off apartment buildings and other related venues, according to a statement Tuesday from local health officials.
19th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

As Covid cases drop in Georgia and Florida, some states with colder weather see an increase

Southern states, many of which have been hotspots, are now starting to see a decrease in Covid-19 cases while many states that have started experiencing cold weather -- mostly in the North and Midwest -- are seeing an uptick, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. New cases in Georgia and Florida are down 37% and 25%, respectively, compared to last week, JHU data showed. Both states had among the 10 lowest case rates in the past week. But a handful of states -- in regions where cold weather has set in -- are seeing an increase. This pattern is similar to what happened last year.
19th Oct 2021 - CNN

Romania's COVID-19 deaths hit record as intensive care beds run out

Romania reported record numbers of daily coronavirus deaths and infections on Tuesday, as a hospital system stretched to breaking point by the EU's second-lowest vaccination rate ran out of intensive care beds. New infections in the preceding 24 hours topped 18,800 while 574 people died of the virus, official data showed. With emergency beds fully occupied across the country, television footage from Bucharest hospitals showed patients lying on mattresses on the floor or holding oxygen tanks on crowded benches in hallways. Morgues were also running at full capacity.
19th Oct 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand reports record Covid cases as experts sound warning over health system

Case numbers in New Zealand are expected to continue to rise in the coming weeks. “We always know that a single day is just a point on a graph on a trend curve,” said epidemiologist prof Michael Baker. “But taken with the other points [we’ve seen], we’re going to be in three digits soon - if not tomorrow then this week, probably.” Health officials have so far been unable to link more than half of the cases announced on Tuesday to existing infections. The concerning rise in unlinked cases could indicate further, undetected spread in the community. Ardern said the outbreak had spread across the city, and there were now cases in 124 Auckland suburbs. “There’s not much margin for error at the moment, in terms of the race between our vaccination program and the outbreak,” said Shaun Hendy, an epidemiologist and modeler for Te Pūnaha Matatini, on whom the government has previously relied for outbreak modeling. “It could go either way at this stage. If we don’t see numbers starting to stabilize or pull down in a couple of weeks, it’s likely that we’re looking at a much longer outbreak.”
19th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

UK keeping a very close eye on rising COVID-19 infections - PM spokesperson

Britain's government is keeping a "very close eye" on rising level of COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson said, after infections rose to the highest level since lockdown restrictions were eased in the summer. The number of cases in Britain are currently much higher than in other western European countries and have risen by more 60% in the last month. The spokesperson said Johnson told his cabinet that the government has a plan in place to deal with COVID and deaths from the disease are broadly flat.
19th Oct 2021 - Reuters UK

UK, Eastern Europe battle rising COVID

The UK government reported 49,156 cases today, up more than 15% from the previous week and the highest number since mid-July when the country was still in lockdown. Case rates are highest in those ages 10 to 19 and lowest in adults ages 80 and older, according to the country's Health Security Agency (HSA) weekly update. Hospital admissions rose slightly and were highest in people age 85 and older. In the HSA update, Incident Director William Welfare, MBBS, MPH, said case rates across the country are high are slowly rising. He urged people to take precautions as winter approaches, get vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu, and get tested if symptoms arise.
19th Oct 2021 - CIDRAP

New Zealand reports record daily cases as Delta spreads

New Zealand recorded on Tuesday the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began last year, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads in its biggest city Auckland. The South Pacific nation reported 94 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, of which 87 were in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 2,099. There have been 28 deaths in total due to COVID-19 and 38 people are hospitalised over the virus. Once the poster child for stamping out COVID-19, New Zealand has been fighting a Delta outbreak that has spread across Auckland and its neighbouring regions despite tough lockdown and border closures.
19th Oct 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th Oct 2021

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UK Covid cases near 50,000 in one day as No 10 warns of ‘challenging’ winter

Downing Street has warned of “challenging” months ahead as UK coronavirus cases reached their highest level since mid-July. The reported number of Covid cases in the UK increased steadily through October and reached 49,156 on Monday, the highest reported since 17 July and a 16% rise in new cases over the past week. The figure is only 19,000 cases short of the peak number of cases ever recorded in the UK. On 8 January 2021, 68,053 new cases were reported at the height of the most devastating wave of the pandemic last winter. The prime minister’s official spokesperson said a rise in coronavirus cases was expected over the winter and that the government would keep a “close watch” on the statistics.
18th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Britain reports highest number of COVID-19 cases since mid-July

Britain reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in three months on Monday as the number of infections reached levels last seen when lockdown restrictions were in place in England during the summer. Infection numbers in Britain are currently much higher than in other western European countries and have risen more 60% in the last month. Government data showed there were 49,156 new cases of coronavirus, up from 45,140 on Sunday, and the highest daily total since July 17.
18th Oct 2021 - Reuters UK

Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications, was fully vaccinated

Colin L. Powell, the first Black secretary of state and a key figure in Republican administrations, died Monday of complications from COVID-19, his family said. The 84-year-old’s family announced the news on Facebook, saying he was “fully vaccinated.” “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said on Facebook about the retired four-star Army general.
18th Oct 2021 - Washington Times

Covid-19: India reports 13,596 fresh cases in 24 hours, lowest in 230 days

India reported 13,596 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest in 230 days, according to the latest Covid-19 bulletin of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday. It was 3.9 per cent lower than what the country had witnessed a day before. The total caseload in India has now reached 3,40,81,315. The top five states which registered maximum cases are Kerala with 7,555 cases, followed by Maharashtra with 1,715 cases, Tamil Nadu with 1,218 cases, West Bengal with 624 cases and Odisha with 443 cases.
18th Oct 2021 - India Today

The ACT has recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19 as 80 per cent vaccination milestone is reached

The ACT has reached 80 per cent full vaccination coverage of Canberrans aged 12 and over. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement this afternoon, and said the high vaccination rate will trigger the next stage of the COVID-19 roadmap. "Details of the next step will be outlined tomorrow," he said. The milestone comes as 17 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases were recorded in the ACT. Eleven of today's cases can be linked to a known source. There are 17 people in hospital with the virus — nine of those are in intensive care, with seven people requiring ventilation.
18th Oct 2021 - ABC News

Covid-19 Australia: Victoria records 1,903 cases as state prepares to leave lockdown

Victoria has recorded 1,903 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths overnight as the state prepares for an early exit from its long-running sixth lockdown. Phones will be running hot for pubs, hairdressers and restaurants on Monday as fully vaccinated Melburnians race for a taste of freedom. From 11.59pm on Thursday, all restrictions for leaving home will be abolished, along with the city's nightly curfew. The state is also preparing to scrap hotel quarantine for international travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19. However, Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria will not follow NSW in abolishing quarantine altogether for double-dosed international arrivals from November 1.
18th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

Russia COVID-19 cases hit record daily high as deaths spike with infection surge and sluggish vaccine rollout

Russia has reported a record number of new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours with cases hitting 34,303 - the highest since the pandemic began. It represents a hike of more than 70% when compared with last month's figure of 20,174. Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID deaths in Russia stood at 997 - just five fewer than the record-high of 1,002 seen the previous day.
18th Oct 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: UK records 57 more coronavirus-related deaths and 45,140 new cases, daily figures show

The UK has recorded 45,140 new cases of COVID-19 and 57 virus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, government figures show. It marks the fifth consecutive day the number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the country has exceeded 40,000. On Saturday, official data showed 148 deaths and 43,423 infections had been recorded and this time last week 38 fatalities were reported along with 34,574 positive cases.
18th Oct 2021 - Sky News


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Oct 2021

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Fauci dismayed by Texas’ move to ban mandates

Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying Sunday that it is “really unfortunate” that Gov. Greg Abbott has moved to ban vaccine mandates in the state of Texas. The nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said that the Republican governor’s decision to block businesses from requiring inoculations would damage public health since vaccines are the “most effective means” to stop the spread of COVID-19. Fauci was largely encouraged by the downward trend of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths across the nation and suggested that vaccinated individuals could have a normal holiday season with others who have received the shot. But he said that those who have not been vaccinated should continue to avoid gatherings and should wear a mask.
17th Oct 2021 - Associated Press

COVID cases in Melbourne detention hotel

An asylum seeker inside a Melbourne hotel being used as an "alternative place of detention" by the Australian Border Force says detainees are frustrated and scared after three of them tested positive for COVID-19. Mustafa Salah, 23, has spent the better part of eight years inside Australian detention facilities offshore and within its borders. He's now in the Park Hotel in Melbourne where he says detainees found out on Sunday that three people had tested positive for COVID-19 and others were also showing symptoms. "We don't know what to do," Mr Salah told AAP. "We are always together ... we sit together, eat together, we really don't know what to do."
17th Oct 2021 - The Canberra Times

NSW records 319 new COVID cases as state hits 80 per cent double-dose vaccination

NSW has recorded 319 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as the state hit its 80 per cent double-dose vaccination target. Fully vaccinated NSW residents will on Monday have expanded freedoms, including being able to participate in community sport and having up to 20 visitors in their homes. Other relaxed restrictions at 80 per cent include the removal of a cap on guests at weddings and funerals, masks no longer being required in offices, being able to drink while standing and dancing being permitted indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues. However, regional travel is no longer on the cards for Sydneysiders at the 80 per cent vaccination level – it has been pushed back to November 1 to allow regional vaccination to catch up to the rate in Sydney.
16th Oct 2021 - Sydney Morning Herald

WA contacts still waiting for test results after coming into contact with COVID-19-infected truck driver

Eight people who came into contact with a COVID-positive truck driver while he was in WA have not yet returned negative test results. Contract tracers today said they were still waiting for the test results of eight of the 70 close or casual contacts. The 10 close contacts have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. The truck driver was “potentially infectious” while in WA between September 30 and October 3. He has since travelled to South Australia and is no longer in WA — but the risk to local residents has been described as “low”.
16th Oct 2021 - PerthNow

U.S. administers 406.6 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC

The United States has administered 406,570,875 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Friday morning and distributed 493,139,295 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
15th Oct 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Oct 2021

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CDC predicts continued declines in Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths over next 4 weeks

Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations are expected to decline over the next four weeks, according to ensemble forecasts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Wednesday. The latest forecast predicts 740,000 to 762,000 reported deaths by November 6. It's third consecutive week of a projected decrease in newly reported deaths. There have been more than 717,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
14th Oct 2021 - CNN

Covid-19 infections are declining in the US. But hospitalizations are still high in some hotspots

While the rate of Covid-19 infections nationwide is slowing, health care systems in some parts of the country are struggling with hospital wings still packed with patients. Montana, for instance, is facing new highs this week in coronavirus hospitalizations, with 533 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as of Wednesday, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. This eclipses the high set in November, before vaccines were readily available, according to HHS and data from the Covid Tracking Project. The percentages of ICU beds used for Covid-19 patients in Montana, along with neighboring Idaho and Wyoming, are among the highest in the country, HHS data showed.
14th Oct 2021 - CNN

Russia's daily COVID-19 cases, deaths surge to record highs

Russia called on pension-age doctors who quit during the pandemic for safety reasons to return to their jobs on Thursday as the authorities reported a record one-day tally of COVID-19 cases as well as a record number of deaths. The Kremlin has blamed the rising toll on Russia's slow vaccination campaign and has appealed to people to get the shot. Take-up has been slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products. "In a situation where infections are growing, it is necessary to continue to explain to people that they must get vaccinated," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Hungary's daily COVID-19 cases rise above 1000 for first time during fourth wave of pandemic

Hungary reported 1,141 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic, the government said. The virus has infected 831,866 people in the country of 10 million so far and killed 30,341. Nearly 5.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in Hungary and 948,000 people have already received a third, booster shot as well.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19 cases surge among children after schools reopen - but drop among adults

Coronavirus infections among children increased in England last month after schools reopened, a study has found. The surge kept overall cases high even as COVID-19's prevalence among adults fell, the research showed. The epidemic was estimated to be growing among those under 17, with an R number estimated at 1.18, according to the REACT-1 study led by Imperial College London.
14th Oct 2021 - Sky News

Britain's COVID-19 situation stable - health minister

Britain's defences against COVID-19 are working and the pandemic situation is currently stable, health minister Sajid Javid said on Thursday. "Overall things feel quite stable at this point. The numbers are a bit up, a bit down over the last few weeks," he told Times Radio. "Our primary defences against this virus are working." Britain reported 42,776 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest number since mid-July, and 136 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters UK

COVID-19 cases in Australia's Victoria hit record daily high

Melbourne will exit months of COVID-19 lockdown next week helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday, ahead of schedule even though daily infections hit a record the same day. In the worst day of an outbreak of the Delta variant coronavirus that began in early August, Victoria logged 2,297 new cases on Thursday, up from 1,571 the day before and the highest for any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began. Eleven people died, bringing the total toll in the latest outbreak to 125. But the surge comes as Victoria also nears the 70% threshold for double-dose vaccination among eligible adults - the level at which authorities have promised to end strict stay-home restrictions. That target was originally expected to be met on Oct. 26, and the vaccination level was 62% as of Thursday.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters Australia

New Zealand reports biggest rise in COVID-19 cases in six weeks

New Zealand reported on Thursday its biggest rise in COVID-19 infections in six weeks, with all cases detected in Auckland, raising prospects of a further extension of lockdown restrictions in the country's largest city beyond next week. Some 1.7 million people in Auckland are under strict stay-home orders until Monday as officials look to stamp out the highly infectious Delta outbreak, the first major spate of community cases in the country since early in the pandemic. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the surge in case numbers in Auckland was not unexpected "but they are rising more quickly," and blamed illegal home gatherings for the spike.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 14th Oct 2021

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COVID-19 cases in Australia's Victoria hit record daily high

COVID-19 infections in Australia's Victoria hit a pandemic record on Thursday as Melbourne, the state capital, looks to exit its lockdown next week, several days ahead of plan, helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake. The surge in daily cases comes as Victoria nears the 70% threshold for double-dose vaccinations among eligible adults, when authorities have promised to end a months-long lockdown, against the original Oct. 26 forecast.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Russia sets new daily COVID-19 deaths record

Russia on Wednesday reported a new record of daily coronavirus deaths amid a slow vaccination rate and authorities' reluctance to tighten restrictions. The government coronavirus task force reported 984 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, the pandemic's new high. The country has repeatedly marked record daily death tolls over the past few weeks as infections soared to near all-time highs, with 28,717 confirmed new cases reported Wednesday. The Kremlin has attributed the mounting contagion and deaths to a laggard vaccination rate. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Tuesday that about 43 million Russians, or about 29% of the country's nearly 146 million people, were fully vaccinated.
13th Oct 2021 - The Independent

New Zealand reports 55 new local COVID-19 cases

New Zealand on Wednesday reported 55 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, the majority in the country's largest city of Auckland, up from 43 a day earlier. New Zealand had been largely virus-free, excluding a small cluster of cases in February, until a Delta outbreak in mid-August forced officials to impose a lockdown in Auckland. Officials are looking to end strict lockdown measures once 90% of the country's population over 12 is fully vaccinated. Some 2.49 million, or 59%, have had two doses so far.
13th Oct 2021 - Yahoo News


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 13th Oct 2021

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Sydney COVID-19 cases ease further as focus shifts to reviving economy

Sydney's COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in two months on Tuesday as authorities rolled out support measures for businesses, shifting their focus to rejuvenating the economy after the city exited a nearly four-month lockdown a day earlier. Pubs, cafes and retail stores reopened in New South Wales (NSW), home to Sydney, on Monday after vaccination levels in the state's adult population crossed 70%. New daily infections in the state fell to 360 on Tuesday, the majority in Sydney, marking a steady downward trend.
12th Oct 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: 'Surges of illness' for 'months and perhaps even years to come', WHO expert warns

"Surges of illness" caused by COVID-19 are going to continue for "months and perhaps even years to come", the World Health Organization's (WHO) special envoy for the disease has warned. Speaking to Kay Burley, Dr David Nabarro said "the pandemic is very much with us all over the world right now", and those who have not been vaccinated will be particularly affected by spikes in illness. With government data showing the UK is recording more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases a day, Dr Nabarro warned that the "virus has not gone away" and is "continuing to mutate". "It's capable probably of causing all sorts of future problems", he said. He appeared on Sky News following the release of a highly critical report by MPs that found thousands of lives have been lost due to delays and mistakes by both government ministers and scientific advisers.
12th Oct 2021 - Sky News

California coronavirus death count tops 70,000 as cases fall

California’s coronavirus death toll reached another once-unfathomable milestone — 70,000 people — on Monday as the state emerges from the latest infection surge with the lowest rate of new cases among all states. Last year at this time, cases in the state started ticking up and by January California was in the throes of the worst spike of the pandemic and was the nation’s epicenter for the virus. Daily deaths approached 700. The latest surge started in summer and was driven by the delta variant that primarily targeted the unvaccinated. At its worst during this spike, California’s average daily death count was in the low 100s. Data collected by Johns Hopkins University showed the state with 70,132 deaths by midday Monday. It’s the most in the nation, surpassing Texas by about 3,000 and Florida by 13,000, although California’s per capita fatality rate of 177 per 100,000 people is well below the overall U.S. rate of 214.
12th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 12th Oct 2021

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60 Covid deaths, 10,035 new cases

Thailand logged 60 new Covid-19 fatalities and 10,035 new cases during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning. On Sunday, 10,590 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the coronavirus. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday afternoon welcomed the dip in the death toll, which has dropped by almost half from Sept 29.
11th Oct 2021 - Bangkok Post

Covid Vaccine and Pregnancy: 1 in 5 England Patients Are Unvaxxed Mothers To Be

Pregnant women who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 account for almost 20% of critically ill coronavirus patients in England’s hospitals, according to the National Health Service. One in five patients receiving treatments through a special lung-bypass machine since July were expectant mothers who have not had their first shots, the NHS said in a statement Monday. Even though women will have concerns about having the vaccine during pregnancy, there exists no link between getting jabbed and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth or illness, according to Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “There is robust evidence showing that the vaccine is the most effective way to protect both mother and baby against the possibility of severe illness,” Morris said. Over 81,000 pregnant women in England have so far received their first dose, with 65,000 being fully vaccinated.
11th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

1 in 5 critically ill coronavirus patients is pregnant, unvaccinated, England says

Unvaccinated pregnant women account for nearly 20 percent of the most critically ill coronavirus patients requiring lifesaving care in England in recent months, according to the country’s National Health Service. “Since July, one in five covid patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were expectant mums who have not had their first jab,” the NHS said in a statement Monday. Out of all women between the ages of 16 and 49 being treated with a therapy called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation — used only when a patient’s lungs are so damaged by the virus that a ventilator cannot maintain oxygen levels — pregnant women make up almost a third, up from just 6 percent at the start of the pandemic.
11th Oct 2021 - The Washington Post

Some children's hospitals see another surge in rare Covid-19 complication MIS-C

Scientists still don't know a lot about a rare and serious Covid-19 complication that impacts children, but what they do know is that when there is a surge of Covid-19 cases in their area, MIS-C cases will typically follow. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it has seen a 12% increase in reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, since late August. Doctors at a handful of children's hospitals around the country say they are still treating more MIS-C cases than they had been earlier in the year, even though MIS-C is considered rare. "We had a nice long break from those cases over the summer and even into the fall where we could get an occasional MIS-C case here and there, but in the last three or four weeks, there has definitely been an uptick.
11th Oct 2021 - CNN on MSN.com

Vietnam reports 3,619 new COVID-19 cases, 843,281 in total

Vietnam reported 3,619 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 3,617 locally transmitted and two imported, according to the country's Ministry of Health. Most of the community cases were detected in southern localities, including 1,527 in Ho Chi Minh City, 499 in Dong Nai province and 446 in Binh Duong province. The new infections brought the country's total tally to 843,281, with 20,670 deaths, the ministry said. Nationwide, as many as 784,748 COVID-19 patients have so far recovered, up 2,549 from Sunday, while over 54 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, according to the ministry. As of Monday, Vietnam has registered a total of 838,653 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the start of the current wave in late April, the ministry said
11th Oct 2021 - Xinhua

Queensland records zero local cases of COVID-19, one in hotel quarantine, as state reaches 70pc first-dose mark

Queensland has recorded zero locally acquired cases of COVID-19, with just one case detected in hotel quarantine. It comes after a passenger who flew into Queensland without a valid border pass tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The area is not in lockdown, but some hospitality businesses are opting to return to takeaway in fear of rising cases. The local government area recorded 18 new cases on Monday, following 31 cases on Sunday, 13 on Saturday and 11 on Friday. The area takes in the regional cities of Drouin and Warragul, and neighbours the Latrobe Valley.
11th Oct 2021 - ABC News

COVID-19 cases rise in west Gippsland, as some cafes return to takeaway only

COVID-19 cases have jumped in Baw Baw in west Gippsland, with 62 cases since Friday. The area is not in lockdown, but some hospitality businesses are opting to return to takeaway in fear of rising cases. The local government area recorded 18 new cases on Monday, following 31 cases on Sunday, 13 on Saturday and 11 on Friday. The area takes in the regional cities of Drouin and Warragul, and neighbours the Latrobe Valley.
11th Oct 2021 - ABC News

The rate of Covid-19 cases is dropping nationally but rising in these 5 states

The big picture for Covid-19 in the US is looking a little brighter as new infections and hospitalizations decline. "That's the good news. And hopefully it's going to continue to go in that trajectory downward," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "But we just have to be careful we don't prematurely declare victory in many respects. We still have around 68 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated that have not yet gotten vaccinated," Fauci said Sunday. "If you look at the history of the surges and the diminutions in the cases over a period of time, they can bounce back."
11th Oct 2021 - CNN

Russia's new COVID-19 infections, deaths near all-time highs

Russia’s daily coronavirus infections and deaths hovered near all-time highs Monday amid sluggish vaccination rates and the Kremlin s reluctance to toughen restrictions. Russia s state coronavirus task force reported 29,409 new confirmed cases — the highest number since the year’s start and just slightly lower than the pandemic record reached in December. After registering the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic at 968 over the weekend, it reported 957 new deaths on Monday.
11th Oct 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: Unvaccinated pregnant women make up one fifth of most critically ill coronavirus patients in England

Almost a fifth of the most critically ill COVID patients in England in recent months have been pregnant women, according to NHS England, which is urging expectant mothers to get their jabs. Figures show that between July 1 and September 30, 17% of patients receiving treatment through a lung-bypass machine were unvaccinated pregnant women. Expectant mothers accounted for 32% of all females aged between 16 and 49 in intensive care on ECMO - a medical technique used when a patient's lungs are so badly damaged that a ventilator cannot maintain oxygen levels.
11th Oct 2021 - Sky News


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 11th Oct 2021

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Covid-19 Australia: NSW records 580 new cases as state hits 90 per cent first jab milestone

New South Wales has recorded 580 new Covid-19 cases overnight. State poised to hit 90 per cent single dose vaccination as soon as Saturday. Dr Kerry Chant revealed source of new variant of Delta strain came from traveller
9th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

Brazil passes grim milestone of 600,000 Covid-19 deaths, second only to US

Brazil on Friday surpassed the grim milestone of 600,000 Covid-19 deaths, the second-highest number of fatalities in the world after the United States, according to John Hopkins University data. The South American nation, which holds half the continent's population, has now suffered 600,425 coronavirus deaths. It is only the second country to pass the 600,000 mark, after the US which has registered 712,695 deaths. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has been heavily criticized for his handling of the pandemic. The conservative populist leader has repeatedly downplayed the gravity of the outbreak, declared he would not get vaccinated because he had already had Covid-19, and championed the unproven malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine as a treatment.
9th Oct 2021 - CNN

Russia's daily COVID-19 death toll hits record high 968

Russia reported 968 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic. There were 29,362 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, the government coronavirus task force said.
9th Oct 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: Calls for stronger safety measures in schools amid pupil infection surge

Education unions have called for the reintroduction of extra safety measures in schools after official estimates showed around 270,000 secondary pupils had COVID-19 last week. The demand for action came as an expert warned about the level of coronavirus circulating among older children. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around one in 15 children in school years 7 to 11 in England are estimated to have had COVID-19 in the week to 2 October. This was the highest positivity rate for any age group and up from one in 20 during the previous seven-day period.
9th Oct 2021 - Sky News

UK records 133 COVID-19 deaths, 34950 new cases

Britain on Saturday recorded 133 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, a slight increase on a day earlier when 127 people died, government data showed. The figures also showed 34,950 new COVID cases, lower than a day earlier when 36,060 were recorded.
9th Oct 2021 - Reuters

‘Crisis unfolding’ as Papua New Guinea hospitals hit by worst Covid wave yet

Hospitals in Papua New Guinea are being pushed to the brink and morgues are overflowing, as the country suffers what health authorities say is the worst surge in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. The country’s health care system has long been plagued by shortages of drugs, funding, an ailing infrastructure and a severe lack of health workers. Now, major hospitals around Papua New Guinea have been forced to scale down vital medical services while at least one says it may be forced to close altogether.
9th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

India reports over 19,000 cases and 241 deaths

India’s total Covid cases have remained around 20,000 for the past four days. Friday saw 19,503 cases and 241 deaths reported from across the country. The numbers from Assam, Jharkhand, UP and Uttarakhand were yet to come at the time of filing this story and are likely to push today’s tally past the 20,000 mark. The reduction in cases can be primarily attributed to the steady decline in positive cases from Kerala. In the past two weeks, the state’s tally has gone through a rapid decline. Compared to 16,671 cases reported on September 25 the state reported 10,944 cases today. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram were the only other states to report over a thousand cases. Kerala logged 120 deaths today.
9th Oct 2021 - Times of India

Navajo Nation reports 51 more COVID-19 cases, 1 new deaths

The Navajo Nation on Friday reported 51 more COVID-19 cases and one additional death. It was the third consecutive day that the tribe reported at least one coronavirus-related death after going six days in a row with no additional deaths. The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals to 34,350 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll now is 1,454. Navajo officials still are urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks while in public and minimize their travel.
9th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

Covid Hospitalizations Rise in Colorado Even With High Vaccination Rate

Covid-19 hospitalizations are rising again in Colorado even with more than 70% of those eligible in the state vaccinated, health officials said Friday. The recent daily average has been around 900 hospitalizations, one of the highest readings since the pandemic started in March 2020, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two weeks ago, the average was running around 875. An estimated 40% of intensive care unit patients in Colorado are infected with Covid-19, and ICU capacity is running at roughly 86%, data show. The delta variant and its relatives account for “100%” of known cases in the state, demonstrating delta’s staying power, Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, said during an online news briefing.
9th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Singapore reports highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases

Singapore's health ministry reported 3,703 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, while it recorded 11 new deaths from the disease. A recent spike in infections after the relaxation of some restrictions has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. It also tightened curbs from last week that limited social gatherings to two people and made work from home a default. More than 80% of Singapore's population has been vaccinated against the virus.
9th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit new record

Russia’s daily coronavirus death toll hit a new record on Friday amid the country’s sluggish vaccination rate and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions. Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 936 new deaths on Friday, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic. It was a third straight day when daily COVID-19 deaths topped 900. Russia already has Europe’s highest death toll in the pandemic — more than 214,000 — and the authorities’ conservative way of recording COVID-19 fatalities suggests the actual number could be even higher. On Friday, the government’s task force reported 27,246 new confirmed cases, just slightly less than Thursday’s number of 27,550, which was the highest so far this year.
8th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

Brazil tops 600,000 virus deaths amid doubts about delta

Bars in Brazil’s biggest metropolis, Sao Paulo, are full again for Friday happy hours and lawmakers in the capital have nearly done away with video sessions via Zoom. Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are packed and calls for strict social distancing seem but a memory. These developments are part of Brazil’s bid to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, even as its death toll tops 600,000, according to official data on Friday from the health ministry. Relief in both COVID-19 cases and deaths have been particularly welcome given experts’ warnings that the delta variant would produce another wave of destruction in the country with the second-most victims. So far, that hasn’t materialized.
8th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

Victoria records 1965 new local cases of coronavirus

Victoria has recorded 1965 new local cases of Covid-19 on Saturday as the state again breaks a national record for the highest number of daily infections. The Department of Health also confirmed five Victorians died from the virus in the past 24 hours. More than 84 per cent of the state’s population is now single-dose vaccinated and 56.6 per cent are fully-dosed. Saturday’s case total is a national high and comes just a day after Victoria broke that record on Friday with 1838 cases. There were 41,177 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours and 73,443 Covid-19 test results received. Mildura in northwest Victoria last night entered a snap seven-day lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday.
8th Oct 2021 - Perth Now

Pakistan's daily coronavirus case count under 1,000 for first time in three months

Pakistan records cases below the 1,000-mark for the first time since July 6. Another 26 people, meanwhile, lost their lives to the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 28,058. The current positivity rate is 1.99%.
8th Oct 2021 - Geo News


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Number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Egypt on Wednesday

Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population on Wednesday reported 788 new coronavirus cases, 37 deaths, and 788 recoveries. A total of 309,135 cases have been disclosed in Egypt, alongside 17,545 deaths and 261,190 recoveries. The country’s fourth wave of the virus is in full force, with daily case figures ten times higher than what was recorded at the end of July. Moreover, the Health Ministry has stated that official figures likely only represent 10 percent of actual cases.
7th Oct 2021 - Egypt Independent

Covid-19: Four Covid-related deaths and 1,305 new cases

Four more coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland on Thursday. Deaths are measured by recording those who died within 28 days of receiving a positive result in a test for coronavirus. The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,579. Another 1,305 cases of the virus were also notified by the Department of Health, down from 1,339 cases on Wednesday. That includes cases confirmed from samples taken in recent days, not necessarily just in the latest 24-hour reporting period. A total of 246,156 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Northern Ireland since the pandemic began.
7th Oct 2021 - BBC News

Russia reports biggest one-day COVID-19 case tally of 2021

Russia reported 27,550 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day tally it has recorded this year, amid a wave of infections that has pushed officials to urge people to get vaccinated. The government coronavirus task force also said that 924 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the last 24 hours, close to a record one-day toll.
7th Oct 2021 - Reuters

More than 120,000 US kids had caregivers die during pandemic

The number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests. More than half the children who lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic belonged to those two racial groups, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, according to the study published Thursday by the medical journal Pediatrics. “These findings really highlight those children who have been left most vulnerable by the pandemic, and where additional resources should be directed,” one of the study’s authors, Dr. Alexandra Blenkinsop of Imperial College London, said in a statement.
7th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

Decline in global COVID-19 cases, deaths continues

Continuing a trend that began in August, global COVID-19 cases and deaths declined again last week, with activity decreasing in most regions except Europe, where infection levels stayed the same, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its latest weekly snapshot of the pandemic. Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the WHO's technical lead for COVID-19, said on Twitter that hard work is paying off, and vaccinations are significantly cutting hospitalizations and deaths. She added, however, that vaccine equity is desperately needed, and the world is not out of the woods yet.
6th Oct 2021 - CIDRAP


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Hospitalization rates are down across the US, but these 8 states still have fewer than 15% of ICU beds available

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to require patrons at indoor spaces such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination -- starting November 4. The ordinance will also apply to personal care establishments such as spas and hair salons, as well as city buildings. And while the measure doesn't go into effect until next month, businesses must display advisory notice of the requirement by October 21. Individuals with medical or religious exemptions must provide a form declaring that. People who do not meet those requirements can use the outdoor spaces of a business and will be allowed in the covered spaces to use restrooms or pick up takeout orders.
6th Oct 2021 - CNN

Poland's daily COVID-19 cases up by 70% past in week -deputy minister

Poland's daily COVID-19 cases have risen by around 70% in the past week to over 2,000, a government official said on Wednesday, warning the country that a fourth wave of the outbreak is gathering pace. Poland's health service was stretched to its limits in the spring by a third wave of the pandemic that saw daily cases exceed 35,000, but authorities believe vaccinations will help control the number of infections this autumn. "Today's data is a very fast flashing red light," Waldemar Kraska, a deputy health minister, told public broadcaster Polskie Radio 1, adding that there were 2,085 cases reported on Wednesday.
6th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Russia reports record daily death toll from COVID-19

Russia reported 929 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the largest single-day death toll it has recorded since the pandemic began. The government coronavirus task force also said it had recorded 25,133 new cases in the last 24 hours, a slight increase from a day earlier.
6th Oct 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: UK records 33,869 new cases and 166 more coronavirus-related deaths, daily figures show

The UK has recorded 33,869 new COVID-19 cases and a further 166 coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data. The figures compare with 35,077 COVID-19 infections and 33 fatalities reported yesterday, and 34,526 cases and 167 deaths recorded this time last week. The number of people in hospital with the disease stands at 6,747, the latest data shows, slightly down from 7,038 seven days earlier, with 769 of those on ventilators.
6th Oct 2021 - Sky News

Fears of COVID surge in Vietnam as workers flee Ho Chi Minh City

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese who once made a living in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s COVID-19 epicentre, are returning to their home provinces in desperation after authorities lifted a strict stay-at-home order last week, raising fears that the highly infectious Delta variant could spread in parts of the country where vaccination rates remain low. The mass exodus, which began on Friday, has left local officials in the Mekong Delta region and the Central Highlands scrambling to track and quarantine the returnees, many of whom had weathered months of lockdown without work or sufficient food in Ho Chi Minh City and its surrounding provinces.
6th Oct 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Australia reports easing in new COVID-19 infections as vaccinations rise

New daily COVID-19 cases in Australia's Victoria and New South Wales states, the epicentres of the country's worst virus outbreak, fell on Wednesday as authorities look to start easing tough restrictions amid a rise in vaccination rates. A total of 1,420 new locally acquired cases were reported in Victoria, most of them in the state capital Melbourne, down from a record 1,763 on Tuesday. Eleven new deaths were registered, the state's highest daily number in the current outbreak.
6th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Ukraine daily COVID-19 deaths top 300 for first time since May

The number of daily coronavirus-related deaths in Ukraine topped 300 for the first time since mid-May, health ministry data showed on Tuesday. The ministry reported 317 deaths over the past 24 hours and 9,846 new infections. The number of new COVID-19 cases has been growing for several weeks and the government has tightened lockdown restrictions.
6th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Wyoming COVID-19 death toll tops 1,000

Wyoming's COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 1,000. The deaths of 45 more people in recent weeks brought the state's death toll from the virus to 1,041, according to Wyoming Department of Health figures as of Wednesday.
6th Oct 2021 - Associated Press on MSN.com


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Japan's dip in COVID-19 cases baffles experts; winter 'nightmare' still a risk

Japan's COVID-19 case numbers have plummeted to the lowest in nearly a year just as other parts of Asia are struggling with surging infections, leaving health experts perplexed and raising concern of a winter rebound. New daily cases in Tokyo dropped to 87 on Monday, the lowest tally since Nov. 2 last year, and a precipitous decline from more than 5,000 a day in an August wave that hammered the capital's medical infrastructure. The pattern is the same across the country.
5th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Number of pupils out of class due to Covid-19 rose by two thirds in a fortnight

The number of children out of school for Covid-19 related reasons in England has increased by two thirds in a fortnight, Government figures show. The Department for Education (DfE) estimates that 2.5% of all pupils – more than 204,000 children – were not in class for reasons connected to coronavirus on Thursday last week. This is up from 122,300 children, or 1.5% of all pupils, on September 16 – a 67% rise from two weeks ago. The figures come as heads reported “a high level of disruption”, with a school leaders’ union warning that self-isolation rules are “actively contributing” to the spread of Covid-19 in schools.
5th Oct 2021 - Evening Standard

Kremlin blames record COVID-19 deaths on slow vaccination rate

Russia reported 895 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, the most recorded in a single day since the pandemic began, with the Kremlin blaming the slow pace of vaccinations and a more virulent virus. Cases are rising after a third wave over the summer and officials are considering bringing back safety restrictions, although they say a Moscow lockdown is not being looked at. The coronavirus task force reported 25,110 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The record daily death toll is Russia's sixth in recent weeks.
5th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Australia to buy Merck's COVID-19 pill, Victoria cases hit record

Australia will buy 300,000 courses of Merck & Co's experimental antiviral pill, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Victoria logged the highest number of daily COVID-19 infections of any state in the country since the pandemic began. Molnupiravir, which would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19 if it gets regulatory approval, could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised for people most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, according to experts. "These treatments mean that we are going to be able to live with the virus," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Nine News on Tuesday as Australia aims to reopen its borders next month for fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents.
5th Oct 2021 - Reuters

UK hospitals could struggle even if COVID deaths lower this winter - epidemiologist

Hospitals may struggle to cope if there is a significant surge of COVID-19 in England this winter even if broad vaccination means that deaths do not approach the same levels as last year, one of Britain's top epidemiologists told Reuters. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is betting on vaccinating children and giving booster shots to vulnerable adults to avoid a winter COVID-19 lockdown this year. Johnson has locked down England's economy three times to avoid COVID overwhelming the National Health Service. Neil Ferguson, director of MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and Jameel Institute, Imperial College London, said that the coming months were uncertain but could put strain on hospitals
5th Oct 2021 - Reuters UK

At a rural ICU, Covid-19’s summer surge put telehealth to the test

On the surface, there’s little about Whitfield Regional Hospital that would make it a safety net for Alabama’s sickest Covid-19 patients. It has a small ICU with eight beds, and no critical care doctors on staff. The rural hospital has spent decades focused on caring for the community surrounding Demopolis, population 7,000, in the heart of the state’s Black Belt. But over the summer, Whitfield became an unlikely landing pad for critically ill Covid-19 patients from across the entire state — with the help of a team of telemedicine specialists calling in from more than 100 miles away. As Covid-19 swept through unvaccinated communities, every ICU bed in the state was full for weeks on end — including those at the state’s largest hospital, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
5th Oct 2021 - STAT News


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GSK to supply 10000 doses of COVID-19 drug to Canada

London-based drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC said on Monday it signed a deal to supply 10,000 doses of its COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy to the Canadian government. "With the emergence of variants of concern across the country, in particular the Delta variant, new therapies like sotrovimab are important to treating the disease in its early stages," said Ranya El Masri, head of government affairs and market access for GSK Canada. The drug, sotrovimab, developed in partnership with Vir Biotechnology Inc was approved by Canada in July to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, above 12 years of age, who are at high risk for progressing to hospitalization or death.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Britain reports 35,077 new COVID-19 cases on Monday

Britain on Monday reported 35,077 new daily COVID-19 cases, up from the 30,439 cases reported a day earlier, government statistics showed, with a further 33 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test result.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Signs of encouragement as US sees drop in Covid cases and hospitalizations

The United States has seen a dramatic drop in the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks, a trend that epidemiologists see as an encouraging sign that the Delta wave of the virus has peaked nationally. The seven-day average of daily new cases in America dropped from about 151,000 on 14 September to about 106,000 on 29 September, a 29% decrease, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
4th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Russia reports record Covid deaths as official toll reaches 210,000

Russia has reported a record number of Covid deaths for four of the past six days, as the country experiences a devastating fourth wave caused by the Delta variant and a low vaccination rate of under 30% of the adult population. On Monday, 883 deaths and 25,781 new coronavirus cases were reported, taking the official death toll to 210,000. Calculations based on publicly available mortality data suggest that the “excess death” toll between the start of the pandemic and July this year is nearly 600,000. The pandemic has reached Russia’s leadership. Last month, Vladimir Putin was forced to go into self-isolation after “several dozen people” in the president’s inner circle tested positive.
4th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Queensland records one new local mystery case of COVID-19

Queensland has recorded one new local case of COVID-19, a woman in her 50s whose infection was not linked to any known clusters.
4th Oct 2021 - ABC Local

UK might not be over the worst, scientists warn, as Covid case numbers stay high

Britain is heading into winter with the number of Covid cases remaining at a worryingly high level. At the same time, the nation’s vaccination programme appears to have stalled. That is the bleak view of leading epidemiologists who have warned that the worst effects of the pandemic may not yet be over for the UK. As the weather gets colder, more and more people are likely to socialise in restaurants, bars and cinemas rather than in parks or gardens with the result that transmission rates of Covid-19 are likely to rise. At the same time, employees are being encouraged to return to their workplaces, which will also drive up infections. At present, new Covid cases are being reported at a rate of about 35,000 a day – though Britain’s vaccination programme has kept hospitalisations to below the 7,000 level with fewer than 200 deaths occurring every day. These figures have remained fairly stable for the past few weeks.
4th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

China reports 27 new COVID-19 cases, down from 28 a day earlier

China reported 27 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland for Oct. 3, down from 28 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Monday. One of the new infections was locally transmitted and the rest imported, the National Health Commission said. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, was 15, the same as reported the day before. Two of the asymptomatic cases were local, found in the northwestern Xinjiang region, and the rest imported.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 Australia: NSW has recorded 623 cases and six deaths

A health bureaucrat was forced to announce NSW had recorded 623 new Covid cases and six deaths alone with the state government in chaos. Dr Jeremy McAnulty delivered the figures just hours after John Barilaro made the shock announcement he would be quitting as deputy premier on Monday. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian three days earlier announced she would be resigning due to a corruption investigation by ICAC.
4th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

Russia hits record number of daily COVID-19 deaths

Russia on Sunday reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19, the fifth time in a week that deaths have hit a new high. The national coronavirus task force said 890 deaths were recorded over the past day, exceeding the 887 reported on Friday. The task force also said the number of new infections in the past day was the second-highest of the year at 25,769. Overall, Russia, a nation of 146 million people, has Europe s highest death toll from the pandemic, nearly 210,000 people. Yet despite the country's persistent rise in daily deaths and new cases, Russian officials say there are no plans to impose a lockdown. Mask-wearing regulations are in place but are loosely enforced. Moscow briefly tried during the summer to require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for indoor customers at restaurants and bars, but abandoned the program after business owners complained of reduced revenues.
4th Oct 2021 - The Independent

Australia sees COVID-19 outbreak levelling off

Australia's Delta outbreak appears to have levelled off, with more than half the country in extended lockdowns and vaccination rates starting to approach national targets, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday. Hunt said 80% of Australians will have had their first COVID-19 jabs this week, while the overall battle against the virus has been boosted by the arrival in recent days of 15,000 additional doses of treatment drug sotrovimab. The Australian government wants all COVID-19 restrictions, including travel bans, to be lifted when 80% of the population above 16 is fully vaccinated. It expects that target will be reached in mid-November.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand drops COVID-19 elimination strategy under pressure from Delta

New Zealand on Monday abandoned its long-standing strategy of eliminating coronavirus amid a persistent Delta outbreak, and will instead look to live with the virus and control its spread as its vaccination rate rises. The Pacific nation was among just a handful of countries to bring COVID-19 cases down to zero last year and largely stayed virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in mid-August frustrated efforts to stamp out transmission. "With this outbreak and Delta the return to zero is incredibly difficult," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference in a major policy shift.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Hungary's COVID-19 deaths rise to highest since start of fourth wave

Hungary's COVID-19 deaths and new infections jumped over the weekend to their highest level since the start of the fourth wave of the pandemic, government data showed on Monday. Health authorities registered 1,492 new infections and 31 deaths over the past three days, bringing the total number of cases to 824,876 and deaths to 30,230 since the start of the pandemic. Although the latest figures are still well below those registered during previous waves, the data reflects a slowly worsening trend. Neighbouring Serbia and Romania have seen a sharp deterioration in their COVID-19 statistics.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters


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COVID-19 patients 'begging' for vaccines before being put on life support, Melbourne nurses say

A senior intensive care nurse has described Victorian patients "begging" to be vaccinated before being put on life support. Michelle Spence, the ICU nurse unit manager at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, was visibly emotional as she detailed otherwise fit and healthy people deteriorating after contracting COVID-19. "One of the saddest things I've seen over the last few weeks is people wanting the vaccination just before we put them on a life support machine," she said. "That is the absolute truth. I've seen it myself. They're begging for the vaccination. "They're very young. And once we get to that, we're about to put them on life support, it is really too late."
3rd Oct 2021 - ABC.Net.au

COVID-19: Mother warns coronavirus 'can happen to anybody' after teenage daughter dies on day she was to get vaccine

A mother has warned that anyone can die from COVID-19, even young people, after her teenage daughter died just days after contracting the virus. Jorja Halliday, 15, from Portsmouth, died at the Queen Alexandra Hospital on 28 September after she tested positive for the coronavirus four days earlier. Her mother, Tracy Halliday, 40, said: "Some children are sort of a bit blasé about, the say 'it's not going to happen to me, I'm going to be fine'. I just want people to know that it can happen to anybody, at any age, at any time. Even if you're young and healthy."
3rd Oct 2021 - Sky News

Covid cases rise as UK schools return and furlough scheme ends

The number of daily new Covid infections in the UK has risen in the past month after the removal of most pandemic restrictions and as schools and offices reopened, fuelled by the Delta variant. The latest daily figures up to 30 September show that 36,480 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK, an increase from the start of the month. The government said a further 137 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 136,662. Almost 49 million people have had a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, about 90% of the adult population. Almost 45 million – about 83% – have had a second.
2nd Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Australia reports 2355 new COVID-19 cases as vaccination push continues

Australia reported 2,357 new cases of the Delta coronavirus variant on Saturday, as the push to vaccinate the country's population continues in order to end lockdowns and allow for the reopening of international borders. An 18-month ban on international travel is set to be gradually lifted from next month for some states when 80% of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated. Fifty-five percent of Australians were fully inoculated as of Friday, but nearly 80% have received at least one shot.
2nd Oct 2021 - Reuters

U.S. Covid Death Toll Nears 700,000 Despite Availability of Vaccines

The United States surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, a milestone that few experts had anticipated months ago when vaccines became widely available to the American public. An overwhelming majority of Americans who have died in recent months, a period in which the country has offered broad access to shots, were unvaccinated. The United States has had one of the highest recent death rates of any country with an ample supply of vaccines. The new and alarming surge of deaths this summer means that the coronavirus pandemic has become the deadliest in American history, overtaking the toll from the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which killed about 675,000 people.
2nd Oct 2021 - The New York Times

Malaysia posts record monthly COVID-19 deaths as authorities cite backlog

Malaysia recorded 9,671 deaths due to COVID-19 in September, the deadliest month since the pandemic began, government data showed on Friday, though authorities have said the increase was mostly due to the delayed inclusion of fatalities from previous months. The spike has pushed Malaysia's death toll to among the highest per capita in Asia, even as new infections have slowed in recent weeks amid a ramped-up vaccination programme.
1st Oct 2021 - Reuters

Children lead rise in England's COVID-19 prevalence

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased in the week ending Sept 25, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday, led by an increase in infections in school-age children. Schools in England have been open for around a month, and some epidemiologists have highlighted concern about rising cases among children, although it is yet to translate into a sustained increase in infections for the population more broadly. There was an estimated prevalence of 4.58% among secondary school-age children, meaning more than 1 in 25 tested positive for COVID-19, compared to 2.81% of children in the age range testing positive in the previous week.
1st Oct 2021 - Reuters UK

US COVID-19 death toll hits 700,000

The United States surpassed 700,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as officials roll out booster doses of vaccines to protect the elderly and people working in high-risk professions. The country has reported an average of more than 2,000 deaths per day over the past week, which represents about 60% of the peak in fatalities in January, a Reuters analysis of public health data showed. The United States still leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths, accounting for 19% and 14% of all reported infections and fatalities, according to Reuters tally. Globally, the pandemic is set to surpass 5 million deaths.
1st Oct 2021 - Reuters

US COVID-19 cases drop 15% in past week

The 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases dropped in the United States by 15% this week, to 106,400 cases per day, according to Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Walensky, during a White House press briefing, said hospitalizations also dropped to 8,300 per day (also a 15% decrease), and deaths remained at 1,476 per day, on average. Yesterday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, the country confirmed 110,060 cases, including 2,718 deaths. "Deaths remain substantially higher in states with low vaccination coverage," Walensky said, urging the 70 million Americans who have yet to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus to do it as soon as possible. The CDC COVID Data Tracker shows that 55.6% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 64.6% have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 2.2% of fully vaccinated Americans have received a booster dose.
1st Oct 2021 - CIDRAP


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US coronavirus: For the first time since June, the number of projected Covid-19 deaths in the US is decreasing

For the first time since June, the rate of new Covid-19 deaths in the US is expected to decrease over the next four weeks, according to an ensemble forecast from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for the third week in a row, Wednesday's CDC forecast predicted that hospitalizations will decrease as well -- a bit of hope as the more transmissible Delta variant continues to spread. Currently, an average of nearly 2,000 people die and about 114,000 people are infected with Covid-19 every day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner, estimated earlier this week that the Delta-driven wave of the pandemic could run its course by Thanksgiving, and Covid-19 could eventually become more of a seasonal nuisance than a devastating pandemic. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday that is dependent on getting a lot more people vaccinated
30th Sep 2021 - CNN on MSN.com

In Well-Vaccinated Maine, Covid-19 Still Fills Hospitals With the Unvaccinated

The Delta variant is finding clusters of unvaccinated people even in some of the best-vaccinated parts of the country, such as Maine. A Covid-19 surge in the New England state has filled hospitals and put dozens of mostly unvaccinated people on ventilators, setting records for the state. The problem, public-health experts say, is the variant’s high transmissibility combined with the relaxation of precautions such as wearing masks. Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations have also flared among mostly unvaccinated people in Vermont and western Massachusetts, highlighting the risk Delta poses even in states with the best track records for getting shots in arms. “The Delta variant is so much more contagious that it doesn’t need much kindling to continue to burn,” said Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer at nonprofit health system MaineHealth.
30th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England up 18% in a week

The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England hasjumped 18% in a week, in a sign that new cases of coronavirus are once again on the rise. A total of 191,771 people tested positive at least once in the week to September 22, up from 162,400 the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures. It is the biggest week-on-week percentage increase since mid-July, which was the last time there was a major spike in Covid-19 cases in England.
30th Sep 2021 - Evening Standard

Australian state's 50% jump in COVID-19 blamed on sport fans

Australia’s Victoria state on Thursday reported a jump of more than 50% in daily COVID-19 cases, which authorities largely blame on Australian Rules Football parties last weekend that breached pandemic regulations. State capital Melbourne traditionally hosts the annual grand final which the football-obsessed city celebrates with a long weekend. Because of Melbourne's lockdown, two Melbourne teams played for the national premiership on Saturday in the coronavirus-free west coast city of Perth. Contact tracers found a third of Victoria’s 1,438 new infections reported on Thursday had broken pandemic rules by attending social gatherings on the Friday public holiday and on game day, officials said.
30th Sep 2021 - The Independent

Ukraine faces new jump in COVID-19 infections

The number of daily new coronavirus infections in Ukraine rose to almost 12,000 over the past 24 hours for the first time since April, health ministry data showed on Thursday. Ukraine also reported 194 coronavirus-related deaths. The number of new COVID-19 cases has been growing over the past several weeks and the government has already tightened lockdown restrictions. Ukraine lifted lockdown restrictions as cases dropped over the summer but last week imposed a nationwide "yellow" code, which curbs mass events and limits the occupancy rates of gyms, cinemas and other venues.
30th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Melbourne cases hit record despite two months of lockdown

Melbourne's COVID-19 cases surged to record levels on Thursday with officials blaming illegal home gatherings to watch a key sporting event for the spike as a hard lockdown to combat the spread of the Delta variant neared two months. Authorities in Victoria, home to Melbourne, estimated nearly a third of Thursday's 1,438 new infections could be traced back to home parties last weekend to watch the Australian Rules Football Grand Final on television.
30th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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Victoria records 950 COVID-19 cases and seven deaths as some restrictions ease slightly

It represents another day of record-high numbers as the state's outbreak worsens. With lockdowns now pegged to vaccination rates, some restrictions have eased across the state. The Latrobe Valley in Gippsland has seen huge demand for testing on its first day of lockdown
29th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Record rate of new Covid-19 cases in Wales as third wave surges

Wales is recording its highest rate of new cases of Covid-19 since comparable records began, as the third wave of coronavirus continues to surge across the nation, new figures show. A total of 20,806 new cases were recorded in the seven days to September 23 – the equivalent of 656.4 cases per 100,000 people. This is higher than at any point since mass testing was introduced in the UK in summer 2020. It is also up sharply from 536.1 cases per 100,000 people one week earlier.
29th Sep 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid-19 Australia: NSW is rocked by a pandemic -record 15 deaths and 863 new cases

State recorded 863 cases of Covid-19 and pandemic-worst 15 deaths overnight. Ms Berejiklian said 86.2 per cent of state's population single-dose vaccinated. Premier expects NSW to reach the 90 per cent single-dose figure by next week. Unvaccinated face $1,000 fine if they're caught enjoying October 11 freedoms.
29th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

New Zealand's COVID cases jump as its battles Delta variant

New Zealand's daily coronavirus cases jumped to their highest level in weeks on Wednesday, a setback to the South Pacific nation's battle to eliminate the highly infectious Delta variant from its shores. Health authorities reported 45 new cases, all in the biggest city, Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,230. It's much higher than the eight reported on Tuesday, and the highest number of daily cases since Sept 2.
29th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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Romania Reports Most Daily Covid-19 Cases Since Pandemic Began

Romania reported a record number of daily coronavirus infections as it suffers the consequences of having the European Union’s second-least-vaccinated population. More than 11,000 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, data released Tuesday showed. Large cities including Bucharest are approaching infection rates that will lead to new restrictions, including a weekend curfew and online schooling. With the government struggling to boost the number of intensive-care beds available for virus patients, another 208 deaths were also reported since Monday. That brings total fatalities to more than 36,000, with the worst toll coming in the past three months.
28th Sep 2021 - Bloomberg

India reports lowest daily COVID cases, deaths since March

India has reported its lowest daily numbers of COVID-19 infections deaths in more than six months. The death toll of 179 COVID deaths, reported on Tuesday, is the lowest daily figure since the middle of March and takes the total to 447,373.
28th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

Covid-19: NI records four more coronavirus-linked deaths, 1,078 cases

Four more coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland on Monday. Deaths are measured by recording those who died within 28 days of receiving a positive result in a test for coronavirus. The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,552. Another 1,078 cases of coronavirus were reported on Tuesday, up from 903 on Monday.
28th Sep 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: UK records another 37,960 coronavirus cases and 40 related deaths

The UK has recorded another 37,960 coronavirus cases and a further 40 related deaths in the latest 24-hour period. The figures compare with the 32,417 cases and 58 deaths within 28 days of a positive test reported on Sunday. This time last week, the UK recorded 36,100 daily cases and 49 coronavirus-related deaths, with 7,774 COVID patients in hospital at the time. The latest available data showed there were 6,865 people with the virus in hospital on Friday.
28th Sep 2021 - Sky News

Russia reports its worst single-day Covid-19 death toll since start of pandemic

Russia reported its highest Covid-19 death toll in a single day on Tuesday with 852 coronavirus-related deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, according to the country's coronavirus response center. The previous all-time high was recorded four days ago, on September 24, when 828 deaths were registered. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov acknowledged the country's regions had seen an increase in coronavirus cases while speaking to journalists on Tuesday.
28th Sep 2021 - CNN

After government pledge of 'best summer ever,' COVID swamps Alberta hospitals, premier

Premier Jason Kenney promised Albertans the "best summer ever" when he lifted most COVID-19 public health restrictions on July 1, but a surge in infections has overwhelmed the province's hospitals and left him fighting to save his political career. The western Canadian province is often called "the Texas of the North" for its oil and gas wealth, cowboy culture and conservative, independent mindset. As in Texas, COVID-19 has run rife in Alberta, which has the highest rate of active infections among Canada's 10 provinces, at nearly four times the national average. It and neighboring Saskatchewan also have the country's lowest vaccination rates.
28th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Two Europes: Low vaccine rates in east overwhelm ICUs

Around 72% of adults in the 27-nation European Union have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but a stubbornly low uptake of the shots in some eastern EU nations now risks overwhelming hospitals amid a surge of infections due to the more contagious delta variant. Bulgaria and Romania are lagging dramatically behind as the EU’s two least-vaccinated nations, with just 22% and 33% of their adult populations fully inoculated. Rapidly increasing new infections have forced authorities to tighten virus restrictions in the two countries, while other EU nations such as France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal have all exceeded 80% vaccine coverage and eased restrictions.
28th Sep 2021 - Associated Press


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UK records 37960 new COVID-19 cases, 40 more deaths

Britain reported 37,960 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 40 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed. The figures compared to 32,417 cases recorded on Sunday and 58 deaths.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Fourth national lockdown is likely to be imposed over the winter, half of Britons believe

Another national lockdown is likely to be imposed over the winter, half of Britons believe with most expecting a “significant rise” in Covid-19 infections in the coming months. A poll for i by Redfield & Wilton Strategies suggests that three in five voters would back any decision to lock down the country for a fourth time – even though the Government has insisted it will go to any lengths to avoid doing so. There is broad approval of the Government’s current handling of the pandemic, with 46 per cent saying they are happy with how things are going and 29 per cent disagreeing.
27th Sep 2021 - iNews

ACT records first COVID-related death in current outbreak, 19 new coronavirus cases

A Canberra man in his 90s has died with COVID-19, as Chief Minister Andrew Barr unveils his roadmap out of lockdown. Nineteen new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the ACT today, with at least eight of those infectious in the community. Seventeen can be linked to a known case or cluster, while two remain unlinked. There are currently eight people in hospital with the virus. Three of them are in ICU and require ventilation. There were 3,866 Canberrans tested at ACT clinics yesterday, following the announcement of 25 COVID-19 cases yesterday and 32 cases on Saturday.
27th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Victoria records 705 new Covid-19 cases and one death as Dan Andrews announces new freedoms

Victoria records 705 new cases of coronavirus with one death on Monday. Dan Andrews announced new targets to enhanced freedoms with jab rates. Golf and tennis are back on the cards for Victorians as vaccinations increase. Leaked plans reveal the premier's plan to force every student to get vaccinated
27th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Vietnam COVID-19 epicentre may have 40% more unrecorded cases - report

Authorities in Vietnam's biggest city are urging the government to recognise positive rapid tests for COVID-19 to present a clearer picture of its outbreak, state media reported on Monday, a move that could increase the city's case total by 40%. Ho Chi Minh City, home to about 9 million people, has borne the brunt of Vietnam's coronavirus crisis, accounting for 80% of its more than 18,500 COVID-19 deaths and half of its 756,000 cases.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Australia's Victoria state records second-highest daily rise in virus cases

Australia's Victoria state reported 779 new COVID-19 infections and two deaths on Sunday, off the previous day's record high as the country's prime minister presses state leaders to be ready to reopen once they meet vaccination targets. The daily increase was still the state's second-highest, after the 847 cases logged on Saturday, as officials battle to contain a Delta variant outbreak that has taken root since mid-year.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

UK's daily Covid cases rise 5% in a week to 37,960 as hospital admissions and deaths continue to fall - amid fears FOURTH wave may have already began with cases starting to spill over from children to their parents

37,960 Covid cases were recorded across the UK, latest daily figures from the Department of Health show. The figure is 5.2% higher than the 36,100 cases recorded last Monday and comes amid fears of a fourth wave. Separate data shows rates have been rising for a fortnight, following the return of pupils to classrooms. Experts had always warned of a fresh wave after the return of schools, where the majority are not vaccinated. Meanwhile, hospitalisations and deaths, which lag behind infection rates by a few weeks, continued to fall. Some 40 people were added to the Covid death toll, bringing the UK total to 136,208 since last March
27th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: UK records another 58 coronavirus-related deaths - as infections rise by 15% in a week

The UK has recorded 32,417 further COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to the latest government figures. There have been 239,342 cases over the past seven days - an increase of almost 31,974, equivalent to 15.4% - data published on the government's coronavirus website showed. A total of 965 deaths have been recorded over the past week, 38 less than last week, equating to a 3.8% reduction.
25th Sep 2021 - Sky News


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England series in Australia abandoned because of Covid-19 restrictions

England's netball Test series in Australia has been called off because of "the evolving Covid-19 restrictions" in the host country. Jess Thirlby's side were scheduled to tour Australia in October following their first series win in New Zealand. "To get to this stage and not be able to complete the Australian leg is very saddening," said England Netball performance director David Parsons. England's players will return home in the "coming days" from New Zealand. The dates and venues for the games in Australia had yet to be confirmed as England Netball and Netball Australia worked to organise the series.
25th Sep 2021 - BBC News

Covid Australia: ACT records 32 cases of Covid-19 amid outbreak at aged care home

There were 32 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in the ACT overnight. At least two dozen of the cases were infectious in the community. There were nine cases at an aged care home were most have been vaccinated
25th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 Australia: NSW records 1,007 cases as state prepares for details of new freedoms

New South Wales recorded 1,007 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths on Saturday State crisis cabinet met on Friday to discuss new freedoms in New South Wales Changes will be made when 80 per cent of state is vaccinated by October 25 Increased caps on social events are among expected changes to be announced State government set to formally announce the restriction changes next week
25th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

S.Korea's daily COVID-19 cases top 3000 for first time after holiday

South Korea's daily COVID-19 infections topped 3,000 for the first time as an outbreak fuelled by this week's three-day holiday spreads, authorities said on Saturday. Friday's 3,273 coronavirus cases surpassed the previous high a day earlier, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, taking the nation's tally to 298,402 infections and 2,441 deaths.
25th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Australia's Victoria state logs record infections ahead of key sporting event

Australia's Victoria state notched up a daily record of 847 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and one death, government figures showed on Saturday as health officials warned the public to stay home ahead of a major national sporting final. Authorities expect case numbers in the state to keep rising until mid November as it races to raise vaccination rates above the 70% double dose threshold, up from around 46% currently.
25th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Thailand reports 11,975 new COVID-19 cases, 127 more deaths

Thailand on Saturday recorded 11,975 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 127 more fatalities from the pandemic in the past 24 hours, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Of the new infections, 3,612 cases were reported in the capital Bangkok and its neighboring provinces, according to the CCSA, the country's COVID-19 task force. The CCSA reported that 94 percent of the new deaths recorded were among senior patients aged over 60 years or patients with underlying diseases. An additional 14,700 new recoveries from the coronavirus epidemic were reported, while 3,323 COVID-19 patients remained in critical condition, according to the CCSA. For the Southeast Asian country which was hit by the pandemic last year, the accumulative number of COVID-19 infections has risen to more than 1.54 million, including 16,143 deaths.
24th Sep 2021 - Xinhua

70% vaccinated prisoners got COVID, 93% of unvaccinated: Texas study

About 70% of fully vaccinated people in a Texas prison caught COVID-19 in an outbreak, the CDC said. The data suggests that while Delta can spread among vaccinated people, vaccines protect against severe COVID-19. Of the unvaccinated prisoners, 93% caught COVID-19, and one died, the CDC said.
22nd Sep 2021 - Business Insider


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Melbourne cases linger near record levels as Australia hits vaccine milestone

COVID-19 infections in Australia's Victoria state hovered near record levels on Friday as authorities stepped up the pace of vaccinations in hopes of easing restrictions with more than half the country's adult population fully vaccinated. Australia is grappling with a third wave of infections from the highly infectious Delta variant that has led to lockdowns in its two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and the capital, Canberra, affecting nearly half the country's 25 million people.
24th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Alaska, overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, adopts crisis standards for hospitals

Alaska, which led most U.S. states in coronavirus vaccinations months ago, took the drastic step on Wednesday of imposing crisis-care standards for its entire hospital system, declaring that a crushing surge in COVID-19 patients has forced rationing of strained medical resources.
23rd Sep 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: Global cases sees biggest fall in two months, says WHO - but UK in top five for new infections

The number of new COVID-19 cases across the world has seen its biggest fall in more than two months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. New coronavirus infections fell to 3.6 million cases last week - down from the global figure of four million for the previous seven days. The most COVID cases were seen in the UK, US, India, Turkey, and the Philippines.
23rd Sep 2021 - Sky News

Singapore reports 1457 COVID-19 cases, highest since April last year

Singapore's health ministry reported 1,457 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest since April last year. A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some COVID-19 measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. More than 80% of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
23rd Sep 2021 - Reuters

Russia's COVID-19 deaths return to record daily highs

Russia on Thursday reported 820 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, matching an all-time high set on Aug. 26, and authorities warned that cases were again rising rapidly. Moscow recorded 3,445 new infections in the last 24 hours, the most reported in a single day since July 31 following a case surge over the summer, authorities said. There were 21,438 cases recorded nationwide, they said. The Kremlin told reporters that officials were not discussing the idea of reimposing lockdown measures or other restrictions, but that the government and regional officials were monitoring the situation closely.
23rd Sep 2021 - Reuters

Brazil approaches 600,000 COVID deaths in second-deadliest outbreak

Brazil has had 24,611 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 648 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday. The South American country has now registered 21,308,178 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 592,964, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States. As vaccination advances, the rolling 7-day average of COVID deaths has fallen to less than one fifth of the toll of almost 3,000 a day at the peak of the pandemic in April.
23rd Sep 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com


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Child cases of COVID-19 in the US fall 7% with 225,000 under-18s testing positive last week

More than 225,000 COVID-19 cases were recorded among children and teens last week, a 7.1% decline from the 243,00 cases recorded the week before. Under-18s accounted for 25.7% of all U.S. cases recorded last week with a total of 5.5 million since the pandemic began. The South has the most weekly child Covid cases with 110,000 reported while the Northeast had the fewest with about 10,000. There have been 480 Covid deaths among children, meaning kids make up less than 0.1% of all deaths in the U.S.
22nd Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

'Soul-crushing': US COVID-19 deaths are topping 1,900 a day

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have climbed to an average of more than 1,900 a day for the first time since early March, with experts saying the virus is preying largely on a distinct group: 71 million unvaccinated Americans. The increasingly lethal turn has filled hospitals, complicated the start of the school year, delayed the return to offices and demoralized health care workers. “It is devastating," said Dr. Dena Hubbard, a pediatrician in the Kansas City Missouri area who has cared for babies delivered prematurely by cesarean section in a last-ditch effort to save their mothers, some of whom died. For health workers, the deaths, combined with misinformation and disbelief about the virus, have been "heart-wrenching, soul-crushing."
22nd Sep 2021 - The Independent

Brazilian health minister tests positive for Covid-19 while in New York for UN meeting

Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga has tested positive for Covid-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Brazilian president's office announced Tuesday evening. Queiroga was part of Jair Bolsonaro's Presidential Committee, according to the statement, which added he was "doing well." So far, other members of the Brazilian delegation have tested negative for the virus. Queiroga told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil on Tuesday that he would quarantine in New York for 14 days, and wouldn't leave the United States with other members of his delegation. Some delegation members have canceled their participation due to the risk of infecting members from other countries, Queiroga said.
22nd Sep 2021 - CNN

U.S. parents weigh risks, benefits as COVID-19 vaccine for kids nears approval

Monday's announcement from Pfizer and BioNTech that a low dose of their coronavirus vaccine proved safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11 in a clinical trial has come as a relief to many parents anxiously awaiting the chance to protect their children. The highly contagious Delta variant of the virus has collided with the start of the U.S. academic year, sending infections among young children soaring - including many cases requiring hospitalization - and forcing thousands of schools to shut for days or even weeks. The companies said they plan to file for regulatory authorization as soon as possible for a 10-microgram dose for children ages 5 to 11 after it led to a strong immune response in a 2,268-participant trial.
22nd Sep 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19: India health workers' families fight for compensation

In March 2020, India's federal government promised 5m rupees ($68,000; £50,000) to the family of every health worker who died fighting Covid. But a BBC investigation, based in part on Right to Information requests, shows that a lack of data, bureaucratic hurdles and a discriminatory policy have left many of these families traumatised. The BBC spoke to several families who said they felt let down by a government that had promised to stand by them. Only a handful of them agreed to be interviewed. Others feared that speaking out could hurt their chances of being compensated. The government did not respond to our questions.
22nd Sep 2021 - BBC News


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Major Idaho Hospital System Says 70% of ICU Patients Have Covid

An unprecedented 70% of intensive care unit patients have Covid-19 at a hospital network in Idaho, a state where vaccination rates are low, medical care is being rationed and virus hospitalizations are setting records. The Covid-19 ICU mortality rate is up to 43% at St. Luke’s health system, higher than the prior peak, and 98% of ICU patients suffering the deadly malady are unvaccinated, James Souza, chief physician executive of the statewide network of six hospitals, told an online news briefing.
21st Sep 2021 - Bloomberg

Vietnam's total confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 700,000

Vietnam reported 11,692 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 11,687 locally transmitted and five imported, according to the country's Ministry of Health. The new infections brought the country's total tally to 707,436, with 17,545 deaths, the ministry said. Most of the community cases were detected in southern localities, including 6,521 in the epicenter Ho Chi Minh City, 3,609 in the nearby Binh Duong province, and 590 in Dong Nai province. As many as 475,343 COVID-19 patients have so far recovered, up 11,017 from Monday, while over 35 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide, according to the ministry. As of Tuesday, Vietnam has registered a total of 702,972 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the start of the current wave in late April, the ministry said.
21st Sep 2021 - Xinhua

Nearly 226,000 Covid-19 cases were reported in children last week, pediatrician group says

Covid-19 infections have continued to increase "exponentially" among children across the US, and now account for nearly 26% of all cases reported nationwide, according to data published Monday. Over the past week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported the second highest total of new diagnoses among children over the course of the pandemic, with 225,978.
21st Sep 2021 - CNN

Victoria's construction industry has been linked to 403 Covid-19 cases prompting shut down

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has shut down the state's construction industry after it was revealed 403 Covid-19 cases have been linked to the sector. There are now 300,000 tradies out of work for two weeks following the shut down announced late on Monday night with hundreds taking to the streets of Melbourne to protest outside construction union CFMEU's office. The state's health minister Martin Foley said that the hundreds of cases found within the industry have been recorded across 186 construction sites.
21st Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 Australia: ACT boosts funding to mental health services as 16 new Covid cases are recorded

ACT Chief Minister announced extra $14million to boost mental health services Includes support for people with eating disorders, alcohol and drug services The increase in funding will also assist Indigenous and social housing residents Canberra recorded 16 cases with lockdown scheduled to run until October 15
21st Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 has now killed as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu pandemic

Covid-19 has now killed as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu pandemic, with more than 675,000 reported deaths. The US population a century ago was just a third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the Covid-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given major advances in scientific knowledge and the failure to take maximum advantage of vaccines. Unlike a century ago, vaccines have been made widely available. However, an extensive reticence to be inoculated, fueled in part by baseless fears about safety and efficacy, means that 36% of people in the US aged 12 and over have yet to be fully vaccinated, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
21st Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Covid-19: NI health service 'will topple over' without action

Northern Ireland's health service is "about to topple over" if immediate action is not taken, the deputy first minister has said. Michelle O'Neill said staff were "facing into a very difficult winter" under current pressures. She met staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Tuesday along with First Minister Paul Givan. They both said they wanted to avoid any further lockdowns or "circuit breakers".
21st Sep 2021 - BBC News

UK’s wider Covid-19 death toll passes 160,000

More than 160,000 people in the UK have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate, new figures show. The total was passed on September 7, but has only now been confirmed due to the time it takes for deaths to be registered. The figures, which have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that 160,374 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in the UK since the pandemic began. This includes all deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.
21st Sep 2021 - Evening Standard


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Indonesia logs fewest daily COVID-19 cases in over a year

Indonesia on Monday reported 1,932 new daily coronavirus infections, the lowest since August 2020, data from country's COVID-19 task force showed, and the government further eased restrictions in Java and on its resort island Bali. Indonesia, once Asia's coronavirus epicentre, has reported nearly 4.2 million infections overall and over 140,000 deaths, but new cases have dropped 98% from their peak in July, senior cabinet minister Luhut Pandjaitan said. Its average positivity rate - the percentage of tests that are positive - was just below 4% this month, under the World Health Organization's 5% threshold for determining whether an outbreak is under control.
20th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Premier warns COVID-19 cases will 'go through the roof' when state reopens as NSW records 935 new infections

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned COVID-19 cases will "go through the roof" once the state opens up next month after NSW recorded 935 new infections. It is the first time new case numbers have dropped below 1,000 since August 27. Four more people died during the reporting period, bringing the total number of fatalities in NSW to 301 since the start of the pandemic. On Monday evening, a positive case in northern NSW was confirmed. The person, who was not a local, travelled to the area from Sydney on September 18.
20th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Covid-19 cases forcing hospitals to ration care is unfair and unacceptable, expert says

The magnitude of Covid-19 patients filling hospital beds is avoidable, doctors say. But in some hospitals, patients with or without coronavirus are paying the price. "We are at the point where not every patient in need will get the care we might wish we could give," said Dr. Shelly Harkins, chief medical officer of St. Peter's Health in Helena, Montana. It's one of the latest hospitals to resort to crisis standards of care, meaning emergency medicine personnel must ration care.
20th Sep 2021 - CNN

End of working from home 'fuelled England's third Covid wave': Government figures show infection rates were highest among white-collar workers after No10 dropped WFH guidance

There were some 235 cases per 100,000 person-weeks among white people during third Covid wave. Meanwhile, the figure was as low as 98 in other ethnic groups suggesting white people drove cases up. And cases were higher among office-based jobs during, Office for National Statistics data shows
20th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid cases surge nearly 20% in a week as 36,000 new infections are recorded

Coronavirus cases have shot up by 17% in just a week following a week of steadying infection levels. Today a further 36,100 cases and 49 deaths were suffered in the UK, government data shows. In comparison, last Monday 30,825 new infections and 61 new deaths were clocked. In the past few days the increase of daily cases had been slowing significantly, despite the recent return to school and easing of restrictions. On August 18, a month and two days ago, there were 111 new Covid deaths recorded, making Saturday's rise of 30,144 new Covid cases and more 164 more an increase of 47%.
20th Sep 2021 - The Mirror


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How Europe's hospitals are faring in the face of another pandemic fall

Much of Europe has opened up to international visitors and scaled back Covid-19 restrictions since a wave of cases swept the continent in the spring. Those steps back toward pre-Covid life have been accompanied by a gradual rise in cases and hospitalizations in many nations, with the more transmissible Delta variant dominant in the region. However, vaccination rollouts have kept hospital admissions far below where they were in the first months of 2021. As a result, Europe presents a varied picture as governments brace for a potential rise in cases in the autumn and winter months.
18th Sep 2021 - CNN

Singapore optimistic as severe COVID-19 cases remain low

Singapore, which has one of the world's highest COVID-19 vaccination rates, is seeing encouraging signs that the number of severe cases is not rising at the same pace as new infections, a senior health official said on Friday. The country reported 910 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in 15 months, with average new daily infections rising from 146 two weeks ago to 682 in the past week. But the number of people in serious condition remains low, however, with 12 in intensive care units (ICU), from a total of 837 people hospitalised with COVID-19 in Singapore as of Thursday, the health ministry said.
17th Sep 2021 - Reuters

England's COVID-19 prevalence decreases to 1 in 80, ONS says

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England was around 1 in 80 people in the week ending Sept. 11, Britain's Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday, a slight decrease from the previous week's estimate of 1 in 70.
17th Sep 2021 - Reuters UK

Covid-19: Nisra records slight fall in virus-related deaths

There has been a very slight fall in the number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland. The government statistics agency Nisra said in the week up to 10 September, the virus was mentioned on the death certificates of 61 people, a decrease of three on the previous week. It brings the total number of deaths registered by the agency to 3,307. The Department of Health's total for the same date, based on a positive test result being recorded, was 2,445.
17th Sep 2021 - BBC News

Florida surpasses 50K COVID deaths after battling delta wave

Florida surpassed 50,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, health officials reported Thursday, with more than one fourth of those succumbing this summer as the state battled a fierce surge in infections fueled by the delta variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied 50,811 deaths after adding more than 1,500 COVID-19 deaths provided Thursday by the state’s health department. Those reported deaths occurred over various dates in recent weeks. Florida has the 11th worst per-capita death rate among the 50 states, the CDC says. New Jersey, Mississippi and New York have had the worst, but Florida has risen from the 17th spot in the past two weeks.
17th Sep 2021 - Associated Press


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Florida vaccine advocate loses 6 members of her family to Covid-19 within 3 weeks

More than 56% of the population of Palm Beach County is fully vaccinated, slightly ahead of the US average, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the CDC also describes the county as having a high rate of community transmission. "I really hope that people are encouraged by her telling her story and encouraged in a way that they won't want their family to go through this and be vaccinated," McKinlay said. Following the loss of her family members, Wilson continues to encourage others, including members of her family, to get a vaccine
16th Sep 2021 - CNN

Vladimir Putin admits 'several tens of people' in his inner circle have COVID-19

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in self-isolation after revealing that several members of his staff and inner circle have contracted COVID-19. “Cases of coronavirus have been identified in my immediate environment, and this is not one, not two, but several tens of people,” Putin said via video link, according to The Associated Press. “Now we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said none of the cases are severe at this time and that Putin is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to Our World in Data, less than 30 percent of Russia’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
16th Sep 2021 - The Hill

Ukraine's daily COVID-19 deaths exceeds 100 first time since June

The number of daily coronavirus related deaths in Ukraine exceeded 100 over the past 24 hours for the first time since early June, when the country reported 118 deaths, the health ministry data showed on Thursday. Ukraine reported 101 death on Sept. 16 while the number of new infections rose to 5,744 from 4,640 a day earlier. The number of new COVID-19 cases has been growing over the past few weeks and the government has already announced that it will tighten lockdown restrictions in the near future
16th Sep 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: Army could be called in to help Scottish ambulance service, amid reports man died after a 40-hour wait

The military could be called in to help Scotland's ambulance service which is facing "acute pressure", Nicola Sturgeon has announced. Scotland's first minister apologised "unreservedly" for long waiting times and confirmed that targeted military assistance to help deal with "short-term pressure points" is under consideration. The announcement came as Ms Sturgeon was questioned about the death of Gerald Brown, a 65-year-old from Glasgow, who reportedly died after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance.
16th Sep 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: UK records 30,597 new cases and 201 deaths - with over 8,000 coronavirus patients in hospital

The UK has recorded 30,597 new COVID cases and a further 201 coronavirus-related deaths, with the number of coronavirus patients in hospital over 8,000 for the seventh day in a row. The total number of people in hospital with coronavirus in the UK currently stands at 8,340 - it has been over 8,000 for eight of the past nine days. Before this, the last time figures surpassed the 8,000 mark was in early March.
16th Sep 2021 - Sky News

Australia COVID-19 cases rise but vaccination surge gives hope

Australia's Victoria state reported its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases of the year on Thursday as a surge in vaccinations nationwide raised hope for easing restrictions with almost 70% of the adult population having had a first dose. Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne, detected 514 new infections, exceeding the year's previous daily high of 473 on Monday. Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's largest cities, have ramped up their immunisation drives as the country struggles to contain a third wave of infections fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant, putting nearly half of the 25 million population under strict stay-at-home orders.
16th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Indonesia quells COVID, but is a new wave on the way?

Official data in Indonesia shows a Delta-driven second wave of COVID-19 that saw the Southeast Asian nation become the global epicentre of the pandemic in July and August has run its course. But some of the country’s top epidemiologists say poor testing and tracing capacity, inaccurate estimates on the death toll and the deliberate falsification of data, means there is still no clear picture of the pandemic in Indonesia and a third wave could be brewing. At the peak of Indonesia’s second wave in July, a staggering one in three people tested for COVID-19 in the country showed a positive result. But the seven-day average positivity rate has now dropped to 3.64 percent and is still falling, according to the National Board for Disaster Management.
16th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

Alaska, Idaho using crisis standards of care over COVID-19

Alaska now joins Idaho in establishing crisis standards of care as its largest hospital is now prioritizing treatment to patients most likely to survive COVID-19 infections. "While we are doing our utmost, we are no longer able to provide the standard of care to each and every patient who needs our help," Kristen Solana Walkinshaw, MD, chief of staff at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, wrote in a letter addressed to Alaskans and published yesterday. "We have been forced within our hospital to implement crisis standards of care," Walkinshaw said. "We have been required to develop and enact policies and procedure to ration medical care and treatments, including dialysis and specialized ventilatory support.”
15th Sep 2021 - CIDRAP


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Covid USA: Babies could be given low-dose of Pfizer's jab this winter

Pfizer seeking approval to jab kids aged six months to five years by this winter. Timeline will depend on findings of in-house trials of vaccines on young children. Pfizer's jab already being used for over-12s in majority of countries in the West.
15th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: UK records 26,628 new cases and 185 more coronavirus-related deaths, daily figures show

The UK has recorded 26,628 new COVID cases and 185 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data. The figures compare with 30,825 infections and 61 fatalities reported yesterday, while 37,489 cases and 209 deaths were announced this time last week.
15th Sep 2021 - Sky News

Malaysia's germ-busting clown finds new role in pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic struck Malaysia, Shaharul Hisam Baharudin, like many others working closely with people, soon lost his work as an entertainer who juggled and sometimes dressed up as a clown. But rather than give up, the 43-year-old from Taiping, in western Malaysia found a new way of using his skills - disinfecting people's homes while wearing his clown's outfit. For his new role, he adapted the smoke machine he had used at parties to become a disinfection device, while providing some extra cheer by entertaining children in his clown outfit, completed by a surgical mask with a painted-on red nose and smile.
15th Sep 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19 cases climbing, wiping out months of progress

COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements. The cases — driven by the delta variant combined with resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine — are concentrated mostly in the South. While one-time hot spots like Florida and Louisiana are improving, infection rates are soaring in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, fueled by children now back in school, loose mask restrictions and low vaccination levels.
14th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


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Singapore reports 607 new COVID-19 cases

Singapore's health ministry reported 607 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest since August last year. The country's COVID-19 cases have hit a one-year high in the recent days as it entered a phased reopening after more than 80% of its population was fully vaccinated.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

A California couple died of Covid-19 weeks apart, orphaning 5 young children including a newborn

The couple was unvaccinated and died on August 26 and September 9, respectively, leaving behind children ranging in age from 3 weeks to 8 years old, Macias told CNN on Monday. "It wasn't that they didn't want to be vaccinated -- they planned on it," she said. She was adamant that this was a personal choice and each wanted to learn more about its safety prior to being inoculated.
14th Sep 2021 - CNN

Russia's Vladimir Putin self-isolates after COVID-19 found in entourage

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he was self-isolating after several members of his entourage fell ill with COVID-19, including someone he worked with in close proximity and had been in close contact with all of the previous day.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Third wave of Covid-19 in the UK: What are the latest numbers?

Covid-19 patient numbers and deaths in the UK are continuing to rise slowly, although both remain well below levels seen during the last wave of the virus, latest figures show. The Government is on Tuesday setting out its plan for tackling Covid-19 during the autumn and winter, including offering more than 30 million people a booster dose of vaccine.
14th Sep 2021 - Evening Standard

COVID-19 cases in southeast China more than double as Delta spreads

New local COVID-19 infections more than doubled in China's southeastern province of Fujian, health authorities said on Tuesday, prompting officials to quickly roll out measures including travel restrictions to halt the spread of the virus.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Sydney COVID-19 infections ease, but unclear if they have peaked

Sydney's COVID-19 cases rose at the slowest pace in nearly two weeks on Tuesday, but officials said they needed to see a steady drop in daily cases before deciding whether infections had peaked after 12 weeks in lockdown.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Kids' COVID-19 cases continue to rise in US

The American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP's) latest numbers on US pediatric COVID-19 cases once again show a significant rise in confirmed cases in patients under 18. More than 243,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported from Sep 2 to Sep 9, representing 28.9% of weekly reported US COVID-19 cases, the second highest weekly total for pediatric cases in the pandemic. "After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with nearly 500,000 cases in the past 2 weeks," the AAP said. Children represent 15.5% of all US COVID-19 cases.
14th Sep 2021 - CIDRAP

School-based COVID outbreak in China’s Fujian grows

An outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 that is thought to have begun in a primary school in Putian in China’s southeast continues to grow, prompting authorities to impose measures, including travel restrictions and school closures, to curb the spread of the virus. Putian, a city of 3.2 million in coastal Fujian province, ordered the testing of all residents on Tuesday after cases linked to a man who returned from Singapore ballooned into a province-wide outbreak of more than 100 people.
14th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

ICUs Are Filled With Covid — And Regret

It’s a struggle for Joe Gammon to talk. Lying in his bed in the intensive care unit at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, this month, he described himself as “naive.” “If I would have known six months ago that this could be possible, this would have been a no-brainer,” said the 45-year-old father of six, who has been in critical condition with covid-19 for weeks. He paused to use a suction tube to dislodge some phlegm from his throat. “But I honestly didn’t think I was at any risk.”
14th Sep 2021 - KHN.org


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Queensland COVID-19 exposure site list grows after student was infectious in the community

Queensland authorities have added further venues to the state's growing exposure sites list in the wake of two positive COVID-19 cases among school students. Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said one of the 15-year-old students from a Brisbane high school had spent a short period of time infectious in the community before entering home quarantine. As a result, several close contact venues have been added to the list in the Brisbane suburb of Mount Gravatt, including food courts, major shopping centres and a bus route.
13th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Seriously ill COVID-19 patients double in vaccine pace-setter Singapore

The rapid pace of new COVID-19 infections and a doubling of seriously ill patients in Singapore have raised unexpected hurdles to reopening plans for the vaccination frontrunner, where 81% of the population is fully vaccinated. Singapore, one of the fastest in the world to reach that level, has seen its inoculation rates plateau, and this month paused its gradual reopening plans, spooked by daily infections that returned to one-year peaks this month.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters

China reports 92 new COVID-19 cases for Sept 13 vs 49 day ago

New local COVID-19 infections more than doubled in China's southeastern province of Fujian, health authorities said on Tuesday, in the country's latest outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The National Health Commission said 59 new locally transmitted cases were reported for Sept. 13, up from 22 infections a day earlier. All of them were in Fujian.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters Africa

Britain records 56 COVID-19 deaths, 29173 new cases

Britain reported 56 new deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, down from 156 a day earlier, and 29,173 new cases, again lower than the 29,547 recorded on Saturday.
12th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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The ACT has recorded 15 new cases of COVID-19, with six infectious in the community

Six of today's cases were infectious in the community. 19,500 first-dose Pfizer appointments have been brought forward in the ACT. Police will enforce compliance with health orders during today's warmer weather
11th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Mine worker tests positive for COVID-19 in South Australia after arriving on flight from Sydney

South Australia has recorded one new local case of COVID-19, in a mine worker who flew in yesterday from Sydney. He arrived on Virgin Australia flight VA406 at 9:20am, and was tested half an hour later. SA Health said the man went straight into quarantine at the Atura Hotel at Adelaide Airport, under the mining company's policy. Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the fact the case was identified so quickly was "a reflection of our system working".
11th Sep 2021 - ABC News

China reports 25 new COVID-19 cases, up from 17 a day earlier

China reported 25 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland for Sept. 10, up from 17 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Saturday. One of the new infections was locally transmitted while the rest were imported, the National Health Commission said. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, was 21, the same as the day before. Of the new cases, five were local.
11th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 Australia: New South Wales recorded 1,599 cases as state passes 8 million jabs

Thousands of regional NSW residents awoke to first day of freedom on Saturday Stay-at-home orders were lifted in Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Albury Masks will still be mandatory in indoor venues and capacities enforced at events
11th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 Australia: A huge spike in pregnant women becoming severely ill with the virus

Seven pregnant women with Covid taken to Monash Medical Centre last week Health authorities are alarmed as the virus has caused premature births Dr Ryan Hodges worried over the spike in pregnant women in hospital with Covid Overwhelmingly the women being looked after in the ward are not vaccinated Dr Hodges noted international data showed Pfizer is safe for pregnant women
11th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Australia's daily COVID-19 cases near 2000 as Delta gains ground

Australia's COVID-19 daily cases topped 1,900 for the first time in the pandemic on Friday as an outbreak fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant continued to gain ground in locked-down Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities. Australia is in the grip of a third wave of infections with the Delta outbreak forcing officials to ditch their COVID-zero strategy in favour of suppressing the virus.
11th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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COVID-19 is rising again in the U.K., but many shrug it off

A spike in new COVID-19 infections is sweeping Britain, but from packed trains on London's subway to full audiences at West End musicals, the prevailing attitude may be shifting to "We can live with it." "It's done. COVID is over, for sure," Hannah Worrel, 34, said as she joined a crowded throng of after-work partiers on Soho's famed Old Compton Street. England lifted mask mandates — except in some places such as the London subway — and occupancy restrictions for indoor gatherings over the summer. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have kept them in place for now.
9th Sep 2021 - CBC.ca

South Korea Covid-19 cases at record highs as country looks to relax virus restrictions

South Korea has become the latest country in the Asia Pacific region to consider abandoning its coronavirus elimination strategy, announcing plans to potentially lift Covid-19 restrictions despite rising case numbers. Seoul is attempting to bring the country's fourth -- and largest -- Covid-19 outbreak under control, with more than 2,100 new local infections reported in the past 24 hours, according to Korea's Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The Greater Seoul area remains under level 4 restrictions, the toughest available, with gatherings of five or more people banned. Authorities fear the upcoming Korean Thanksgiving Chuseok holiday beginning September 17 could worsen the outbreak.
9th Sep 2021 - CNN

Covid-19 Victoria: State will see 18,000 Covid cases within weeks and 800 people in hospital

Entire Victorian families are testing positive for Covid before even one member knows they are infected with the virus. Worried health authorities blame this discovery as a reason the state's rapidly-spreading Delta outbreak is on track to hit 18,000 active cases in a matter of weeks. 'We are finding cases where entire households are positive when the first person has come forward to get tested and the adjoining households and families are all positive at the same time,' Covid commander Jeroen Weimar said on Thursday.
9th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid cases among children are surging in the US as students head back to school

As millions of children head back to school across the US, health experts are highlighting a troubling trend: hundreds of thousands of them are testing positive for Covid. More than 250,000 children had new cases in the last week of August, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a report published on Tuesday. That’s the highest weekly rate of new pediatric cases since the pandemic began, and it’s a 10% increase in two weeks.
9th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

US data show child COVID-19 cases rising exponentially

For the first time during the pandemic, children now account for more than one quarter of new weekly US COVID-19 cases, according to the latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Nearly 252,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported for the week ending Sep 2, the largest number recorded for children during the pandemic, according to the report. Children accounted for 26.8% of reported weekly US cases.
9th Sep 2021 - CIDRAP

COVID cases soar in the Americas as vaccination rates lag: PAHO

Amid lagging vaccination rates, new COVID-19 infections in the Americas are nearly double the rate they were at the same time last year, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says. In a weekly virtual news briefing on Wednesday, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said only 28 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated so far, largely due to limited supplies.
8th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera


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UK records 191 COVID deaths and 38975 cases

The United Kingdom recorded a further 191 daily deaths from COVID-19 and 38,975 new cases on Wednesday, official data showed. Infection numbers in the last seven days are up 15.3% on the week before, and the weekly death count is up 26.1%.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Bulgaria, EU's least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge

Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria’s northern town of Veliko Tarnovo, the vaccination unit’s chief nurse voices a sad reality about her fellow citizens: “They don’t believe in vaccines.” Bulgaria has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the 27-nation European Union and is facing a new, rapid surge of infections due to the more infectious delta variant. Despite that, people in this Balkan nation are the most hesitant in the bloc to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 20% of adults in Bulgaria, which has a population of 7 million, have so far been fully vaccinated. That puts it last in the EU, which has an average of 69 % fully vaccinated.
8th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press

Idaho moves to start rationing medical care amid surge in covid hospitalizations

For the first time in Idaho’s history, officials in the state on Tuesday moved to start rationing medical care in some overburdened hospitals grappling with a surge in covid-19 patients — a grim reflection of the delta variant’s devastation and a dire warning for other health-care systems pushed to the brink by rising infections. Officials activated Idaho’s “crisis standards of care” for at least 10 hospitals in two public health districts, saying in a statement that a “massive increase in patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization” had led to a shortage of staff and beds. Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with less than 40 percent of the population fully vaccinated.
8th Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Covid Mu variant: 53 cases of coronavirus strain detected in the UK with fears it may resist vaccines

A total of 53 cases of the Mu Covid variant that displays some indications of vaccine resistance have been detected in the UK – but experts have stressed it may not pose a major threat. Public Health England (PHE) figures released today confirmed additional cases of the strain, which was first recorded in Colombia in January and is classed as a “variant under investigation” by UK health authorities. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the new variant “has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape” similar to the South Africa-originating Beta variant, though it stressed any impact on vaccine resistance “needs to be confirmed by further studies”.
8th Sep 2021 - iNews

Children make up more than a quarter of the weekly US Covid-19 cases, pediatricians' group says

Children now represent more than a quarter -- or 26.8% -- of weekly Covid-19 cases nationwide, according to data released Tuesday from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The update comes as schools across the US have been in session or are getting into full swing. Experts have encouraged adults to get vaccinated to protect young children returning to the classroom. "If we want to protect the children, particularly those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, you want to surround the children with people who are vaccinated -- teachers, school personnel, everyone else," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.
8th Sep 2021 - CNN

Two London hospitals ban visitors after rise in Covid-19 cases

Two West London hospitals have requested that visitors stop attending after a rise in coronavirus infections in the area. Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge and Mount Vernon hospital in Northwood issued the guidance to people wishing to visit the after a “growing number of positive patients in our hospital.”
8th Sep 2021 - The Independent

Australia's New South Wales reports 1480 COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths

Australia's New South Wales state reported on Wednesday 1,480 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 1,220 a day earlier, as first-dose vaccination rates among the state's adult population topped 75%. Nine new deaths were reported, including a man in his 20s, taking the total number of deaths in the latest outbreak to 148. A total of 1,136 people are hospitalised, with 194 people in intensive care, 78 of whom require ventilation.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

In Parts Of The U.S., Delta Covid-19 Surge Is Forcing Hospitals To Ration ICU Beds

When Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted on Tuesday, September 7th, that “Real America is done with Covid-19” it raises the question whether the Congressman is even aware that the 7-day average of daily Covid-19 deaths is approaching 1,500 (real Americans, by the way), and approximately 100,000 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized nationwide. The Delta surge of Covid-19 is forcing hospitals in parts of the U.S. to plan for or implement rationing of intensive care unit (ICU) beds. On September 6th, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that as hospitals in a number of states fill up with Covid-19 patients, doctors will have to make “tough choices” regarding who will get an ICU bed.
8th Sep 2021 - Forbes

Northern Ireland schools “on verge of collapse under strain of Covid-19” as hundreds of pupils sent home

Northern Ireland schools are “on the verge of collapse under the strain of Covid-19, a leading teaching union has warned. Jacquie White, General Secretary of the Ulster Teachers’ Union, was speaking as the Education Committee meets today to discuss the significant difficulties across schools at the start of the new term. Health chiefs are under pressure to ramp up coronavirus testing capacity as schools across Northern Ireland continue to send hundreds of pupils home. There is also concern at suggestions a faster form of Covid-19 testing could be used to allow self-isolating students to return to school.
8th Sep 2021 - Belfast Live

Firebreak lockdown ‘not something we need to consider’ despite cases rising

The government isn’t considering a firebreak lockdown this autumn despite rising cases and deaths. Scientific advisors to the government have discussed the move and described it as ‘on the cards’, according to reports. But speaking to Sky News, health secretary Sajid Javid ruled out the move, saying: ‘I don’t think that’s something we need to consider. ‘I haven’t even thought about that as an option at this point.’
8th Sep 2021 - Metro

Czech Republic's daily COVID cases highest since May

The Czech Republic on Wednesday recorded 588 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily tally since May 25, as government officials predict a continued rise in infections.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Australia's NSW reports rise in COVID-19 cases; vaccinations accelerate

Three-quarters of people over the age of 16 in Australia's New South Wales (NSW) have now had at least their first vaccination dose, the state reported on Wednesday, along with the first rise in new infections in three days. Australia has locked down Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, after outbreaks from the highly infectious Delta variant in June ended months of little or no community transmission.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand marks downward trend in new COVID-19 cases

New Zealand reported a further fall in locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as the largely coronavirus-free nation looks to eradicate an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant. New Zealand reported 15 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, down from 21 a day earlier, on the first day of an easing of tough restrictions in all regions outside its largest city Auckland.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloom

The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March. The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children and driving coronavirus deaths in some places to the highest levels of the entire pandemic. School systems that reopened their classrooms are abruptly switching back to remote learning because of outbreaks. Legal disputes, threats and violence have erupted over mask and vaccine requirements.
8th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press

India restricts religious festivals over COVID third wave fears

Indian authorities are restricting major religious festivals that start this week and attract huge crowds, warning that a new COVID-19 wave had already begun in the financial capital, Mumbai. State governments across the country of 1.3 billion people, which saw a devastating coronavirus surge in April-May, are clamping down on mass gatherings.
8th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

Czech Republic's daily COVID cases highest since May

Article reports that the Czech Republic on Wednesday recorded 588 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily tally since May 25, as government officials predict a continued rise in infections. The country, which was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in earlier waves, has seen low infection rates since the summer months. In the past two weeks, it has reported 25 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 137 in Germany, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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Covid-19 Testing Is Keeping Some Students in School and Out of Quarantine

Some schools are trying a new plan to keep students safely in the classroom: Rather than quarantining children who have an in-school contact with a positive case, they are testing them. A lot. The method keeps children in school after exposure to a classmate or teacher who tested positive for Covid-19 if they test negative at least every other day. Known as test-to-stay, the approach is a higher transmission risk than keeping exposed students at home, but some public-health experts and educators say the trade-off is worth it to avoid missed days in class.
7th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Britain reports 209 daily deaths from COVID, highest since March

Britain on Tuesday reported 209 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, the highest daily total since March 9, government statistics showed. Cases have been rising steadily since the start of August although death totals are impacted by irregular reporting patterns from hospitals over the weekend. Only 45 deaths were reported on Monday. There were 37,489 new cases reported on Tuesday, compared to 41,192 reported on Monday.
7th Sep 2021 - Reuters UK

Queensland records no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, more vaccinations encouraged

Queensland has recorded zero new cases of COVID-19 as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stepped up the state government's push to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Ms Palaszczuk said 53.33 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had their first dose of the COVID vaccine and 34.75 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated — both rates below the national average. The Premier said the government would be sending Queenslanders text messages with important vaccine information
7th Sep 2021 - ABC.Net.au

Covid-19 Australia: Victoria's coronavirus crisis worsens as 246 new cases are recorded

Victoria recorded 246 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday - one more than Monday's figure - as the state rushes to vaccinate its Year 12 students before their end-of-year exams begin. The state's Department of Health on Tuesday morning said only 90 of the 246 cases were linked to known cases and outbreaks and 156 are still under investigation. Victoria is aiming to get all students in their final year of high school injected with at least one vaccination dose before their final exams, as part of a 10-day priority access scheme beginning on Tuesday
7th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

US reaches 40 million recorded Covid-19 cases -- with 4 million counted in the last 4 weeks

The U.S.'s Covid-19 case rates have generally soared since the start of the summer as the highly contagious Delta variant spread -- and the current average is more than three times higher than it was a year ago. The United States' seven-day average of new cases Monday (137,270 daily) dwarfs the average seen on Labor Day of last year (39,355 daily), according to Johns Hopkins University data. Hospitalizations and daily Covid-19 deaths also have risen lately, and where these counts go from here is "up to us," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN
7th Sep 2021 - CNN

India 'prepares for the worst' ahead of possible COVID-19 third wave

As COVID-19 cases and deaths exploded in India in April and May, New Delhi's premier Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and several others ran so short of oxygen that many patients in the capital suffocated. When Reuters visited the hospital on Friday, its last coronavirus patient was readying to leave after recovery - a remarkable turnaround health experts attribute to growing levels of immunity from natural infection and vaccinations. But hospitals have learned from bitter experience during the second COVID wave, when funeral pyres burned non-stop and bodies littered the banks of the holy Ganges river, as India braces for another possible surge in infections around its September-November festival season.
7th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales at five-month high

The number of deaths involving Covid registered each week in England and Wales has climbed to its highest level for five months. A total of 668 deaths registered in the week ending August 27 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is up 17 per cent on the previous week, and is the highest number since 719 deaths were registered in the week to March 26. Deaths had dipped as low as 84 in the week to June 11.
7th Sep 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid-19: UK passes 7 million confirmed Covid cases

More than seven million confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the UK since the pandemic began, official figures show. It comes as another 41,192 positive tests were reported on Monday, along with 45 Covid-related deaths. But the real number of people infected during the pandemic is likely to be much higher, partly due to the lack of testing in the early stages. Covid-19 has been named on the death certificate of 156,119 people. The most recent figures show that there are 7,606 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 1,034 on ventilators.
7th Sep 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Northern Ireland health system 'one step from chaos'

"Bodies would start piling up" if more people do not get vaccinated, a senior doctor in Northern Ireland has warned. Dr George Gardiner said "they would have been piling up already without the vaccine". "We are now facing winter pressures, Respiratory Syncytial Virus for children, the next wave of flu and Covid. We cannot do all," he added. BBC News NI was given exclusive access inside Belfast City Hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Seven Covid patients were battling the virus - six of the men and women in their 20s, 40s and early 60s were unvaccinated.
7th Sep 2021 - BBC News

In Vietnam’s COVID epicentre, ‘everyone is struggling to survive’

Home to nine million people, Ho Chi Minh City has been under a total lockdown since August 23, with residents forbidden from leaving their homes even to shop for food. With the restrictions set to last until September 15, newly elected Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered mass testing for the city’s residents and deployed soldiers to enforce the stay at home orders and help with the delivery of food. But despite the strict measures, the number of infections continue to rise in Ho Chi Minh City and more than 200 people are dying every day. On Monday, the city reported more than 7,000 new cases and 233 deaths, rising from a caseload of 5,889 a week ago.
7th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera


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Government plans October firebreak lockdown if Covid hospital admissions remain high

The Government has drawn up plans for an October “firebreak” Covid lockdown should hospitalisations continue at their current level and threaten to overload the NHS, a senior Government scientist has told i. The member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the UK is about to enter “an extended peak” of infections and hospitalisations, which are in danger of pushing the NHS beyond breaking point and could force the Government to re-introduce restrictions over the school half term period at the end of next month.
6th Sep 2021 - iNews

United States eclipses more than 1,500 COVID-19 deaths per day - the highest in six months

The United States eclipsed a 1,500 deaths per day average over the weekend, the first time that mark has been reached in six months. More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus as well, and hospitalizations doubled in August when compared to July. Florida currently leads the nation with the most total deaths and deaths per 100,000 residents. Louisiana is struggling to handle its COVID-19 situation in the wake of Hurricane Ida
6th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: NI records nine coronavirus-linked deaths, 1,764 cases

Nine coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland on Monday. Deaths are measured by recording those who died within 28 days of receiving a positive result in a test for coronavirus. The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,417. Another 1,764 cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday, up from 1,248 on Sunday.
6th Sep 2021 - BBC News

'Surprised and disappointed.' Doctors in Covid-19 hotspots last year are dealing with new record hospitalizations

With the more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 sweeping across the country this summer, health care workers and officials are finding themselves returning to a crisis experienced last year when hospitals struggled to handle an influx of patients. In the Southeast, Georgia is now seeing its highest number of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic, matching peaks experienced in January, according to US Health and Human Services Department (HHS) data.
6th Sep 2021 - CNN

Emergency covid-19 mental health pop-up clinics set up in Sydney

Ten new pop-up mental health clinics have opened to assist NSW residents. Most are in the hard-hit western Sydney suburbs ravaged by coronavirus. Anyone in distress can seek advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14)
6th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Britain records 37011 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Britain recorded 37,011 new daily COVID-19 cases on Sunday, similar to the previous day's total of 37,578, government statistics showed. There were 68 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test reported, down from Saturday's figure of 120. Figures can fluctuate due to hospital reporting patterns over the weekend.
6th Sep 2021 - Reuters UK

Covid-19: Malaysia hit by record cases despite prolonged lockdown

Having overtaken India in infections and deaths, how will Malaysia exit the new deadly wave sweeping Asia? Rachael Lum reports On 23 May 2021, Malaysia surged past India to record one of South East Asia’s highest covid-19 infection rates, with deaths per capita now exceeding India and neighbouring Indonesia. Since then, the numbers have only grown, despite the nation being in a state of emergency for seven months and in lockdown since June. Malaysia reported a record high of 22 242 daily cases on 18 August 2021, with a total of 1.47 million cases and 13 302 deaths during the pandemic. Doctors in east Malaysia and the southern state of Johor told The BMJ that emergency departments are seeing a surge in cases and have reached maximum capacity. The situation has been worsened by insufficient ventilators and staff.
6th Sep 2021 - The BMJ

Sydney COVID cases seen topping 2000 a day; Australia ramps up vaccinations

More pressure on health system in next few weeks, premier says. Daily cases in Sydney hotspots to rise as high as 2,000. First vaccine shipments from Britain arrive
6th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Daily COVID-19 infections up more than 300 percent from Labor Day last year | TheHill

Daily COVID infections are up more than 300 percent from Labor Day weekend of last year, USA Today reported, citing data from Johns Hopkins University. According to the data, COVID-19 cases have risen 316 percent since Labor Day 2020 and daily COVID-19-related deaths are twice as high. Hospitalizations are also up by 158 percent compared to Labor Day weekend a year ago, according to data from Health and Human Services.
6th Sep 2021 - The Hill


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This COVID Ward Reveals What Is Killing Israelis

The medical team in a central Israeli hospital returned to the COVID ward earlier and more dramatically than expected, where most of the patients in the fourth wave have one shared characteristic. “Most people here are unvaccinated,” says Dr. Ilya Kagan, head of the coronavirus intensive care ward at Beilinson Hospital. “It’s frustrating most of all for the patients themselves,” says Dr. Katya Orvin. “It’s hard to judge. Last week I had a patient who didn’t get vaccinated due to an allergy, and she died.”
5th Sep 2021 - Haaretz

Nearly 80% of fatalities in deadly August COVID surge among unvaccinated, partially vaccinated Oregonians

Nearly four in five coronavirus deaths in Oregon during the first four weeks of August were among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, according to new data released by the Oregon Health Authority. And roughly five in six of the 51,391 known COVID-19 infections during the same period were among people who were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, according to a state report. The share of so-called breakthrough cases and deaths among fully vaccinated Oregonians remains tiny compared to the 2.4 million Oregonians who were fully vaccinated as of Aug.28, demonstrating the effectiveness of vaccines at preventing severe COVID-19.
5th Sep 2021 - Oregon Live

New Zealand reports first death from Delta variant of COVID-19

New Zealand reported on Saturday the first death from the Delta variant of the new coronavirus and 20 further daily infections, all in Auckland, the epicentre of the outbreak. The woman who died was in her 90s and had a number of underlying health conditions, health officials said in a statement. It is the first coronavirus-related death in the country since mid-February.
4th Sep 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand sees success in curbing Delta outbreak as new cases plunge

New Zealand reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, a big drop compared to the last few days, as authorities said the country was breaking the chain of transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus. Authorities said 27 new cases were in Auckland and one was in Wellington. Friday's numbers were lower than 49 new cases reported on Thursday and 75 the day before.
4th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Hospitalizations for Children Sharply Increase as Delta Surges

Pediatric hospitalizations for Covid-19 have soared over the summer as the highly contagious Delta variant spread across the country, according to two new studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From late June to mid-August, hospitalization rates in the United States for children and teenagers increased nearly fivefold, although they remain slightly below January’s peak, one new study found.
4th Sep 2021 - The New York Times

Australia's Victoria reports 190 local COVID-19 cases

Australia, struggling to quell its worst wave of COVID-19, reported 1,756 infections on Saturday, another record high, and officials warned that worse is yet to come, urging people to get vaccinated. Most of the cases were again in New South Wales, which has been fighting an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant since mid-June. The state reported 1,533 new cases and four further deaths.
4th Sep 2021 - Reuters

‘Stressed’ Victorian hospitals brace for COVID’s third wave

Victorian hospitals are bracing for a third wave of seriously ill coronavirus patients, with staff shortages, workforce burnout and overrun emergency departments fuelling a crisis across the public health system. With the state recording 208 new coronavirus cases on Friday – and Premier Daniel Andrews warning that cases would continue to rise — senior doctors at Victoria’s hospitals are now reviewing their surge planning and reclaiming wards and other spaces for COVID beds.
4th Sep 2021 - The Age

COVID-19: UK records 121 more coronavirus-related deaths and 42,076 new cases

The UK has reported 121 more coronavirus-related deaths and 42,076 cases in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data. It compares with 178 deaths and 38,154 infections yesterday, while last Friday 100 fatalities and 38,046 cases were announced. Today's cases figure is the highest since 21 July, when there were 44,104 reported.
3rd Sep 2021 - Sky News

Doctor says ERs overwhelmed with people overdosing on livestock drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 | TheHill

Physician Jason McElyea told KFOR patients who took doses of ivermectin meant for a horse are filling up hospitals in eastern and southeastern Oklahoma. “The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated,” McElyea said. Ivermectin has gained popularity as a COVID-19 treatment despite unproven anti-viral benefits
3rd Sep 2021 - The Hill

Egypt's covid crisis has reached a dangerous level, health ministry sources say

Sources in Egypt's Ministry of Health have said that coronavirus in the country has reached a dangerous level due to the government's neglect of precautionary measures. The state has continued to allow parties and festivals and stopped enforcing closing times on shops, reports Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. This mirrors what was said by a senior Egyptian official at the end of August, that in three weeks the number of infections were set to rise significantly.
3rd Sep 2021 - Middle East Monitor

Oregon’s Covid-19 Wave Is at Its Worst Despite High Vaccination Rate

When the Covid-19 vaccines came out, Kelsea Robinson, manager of the intensive care unit at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in southern Oregon, said she thought the worst was finally behind her. Oregon has the 12th highest vaccination rate in the U.S., with 58% of all residents fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by the Mayo Clinic—but the intensive care units in Asante’s three hospitals are overflowing with Covid-19 patients. They can’t transfer elsewhere in the state because most Oregon hospitals are in a similar situation. At one Asante hospital, the pipes that carry oxygen recently began to freeze because Covid-19 patients were using so much.
3rd Sep 2021 - Wall Street Journal


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California death toll from Covid-19 tops 50,000 after winter surge

California’s Covid-19 death toll rose above 50,000 on Wednesday, after Los Angeles county reported another 806 deaths during the winter surge. The county, which has a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, said the deaths mainly occurred between 3 December and 3 February. The department of public health identified them after going through death records that were backlogged by the sheer volume of the surge’s toll. Johns Hopkins University put California’s overall Covid-19 death toll at 50,890, about one-tenth of the US total from the pandemic. The grim figure comes days after the US recorded a half-million deaths.
25th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

UK Covid alert level drops as NHS threat 'reduced'

The four UK chief medical officers and NHS England's national medical director agreed the change following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre. The alert level has been at level five since early January, when Scotland and England began their latest lockdowns. The top medics urged people to "remain vigilant" by following lockdown rules. A change in alert system does not automatically mean restrictions can ease, but it helps to inform government decisions on lockdown rules.
25th Feb 2021 - MSN.com

UK Covid hospital deaths up 311 as cases plunge 78% since start of England's lockdown

The UK's coronavirus hospital death rate has risen by 311. England has recorded 254 further deaths, Wales 21, Scotland 31 and Northern Ireland, five. It marks a 75 drop on last week's figures - when 386 hospital deaths were recorded across the UK. Confirmed cases of coronavirus have plunged by more than 78% since the start of England's lockdown, new figures show today.
25th Feb 2021 - Mirror Online

France, Germany to beef up COVID-19 controls at common border

France said on Thursday it would bring in new COVID-19 restrictions for the area around its common border with Germany, as President Emmanuel Macron’s government tries to contain a surge of coronavirus variants in the French region of Moselle. Cross-border workers, who had exemptions until now, will need to present negative PCR tests to get through if travelling for reasons unrelated to their jobs, France’s European affairs and health ministers said in a joint statement. Home working in the area will also be reinforced, they said, after France and Germany said earlier this week they were trying to find ways to prevent a closure of their common border.
25th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Spain leaves ‘extreme risk’ coronavirus situation, with incidence rate falling to 235 cases per 100,000

Spain has finally left a situation of “extreme risk” due to the coronavirus. According to the latest report from the Health Ministry, released Tuesday evening, the epidemiological curve in the country continues to fall, and the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is now at 235. This is below the limit of 250 that the ministry had set as a situation of maximum alert and that indicated that the pandemic was not under control.
25th Feb 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Ukraine faces almost 40% jump in new daily COVID-19 cases

Ukraine has registered an almost 40% jump in new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said, just as the country starts its COVID-19 inoculation. A total of 8,147 cases were registered on Wednesday, the highest figure since mid-January when the number of new cases stood at 8,199, Stepanov said on Facebook. There were 5,850 new cases as of Feb. 24.
25th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Sweden readies new measures as COVID-19 cases accelerate

Sweden is preparing new measures to try to curb a resurgence in COVID-19 cases as the coronavirus strain first detected in Britain spreads rapidly, the architect of Sweden’s pandemic strategy said on Tuesday. Sweden has avoided lockdowns throughout the pandemic. But health statistics agency figures on Tuesday showed 10,933 new coronavirus cases had been registered since Friday, a rise from 9,458 in the corresponding period the previous week. “The British variant is increasing very fast,” Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference. “This variant will with fairly high probability be the dominant one within a few weeks or a month.”
25th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Czech government seeks tougher COVID measures to tame virus surge

The Czech government will meet on Thursday to decide on tougher lockdown restrictions to rein in one of the world’s fastest spreads of COVID-19. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Wednesday hospitals faced “catastrophe” if no action is taken. His minority government met late into the evening on Wednesday and will reconvene on Thursday evening after talks with opposition parties to shore up support. The central European country of 10.7 million has struggled with a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases, straining hospitals as the number of patients in serious condition hits records.
25th Feb 2021 - Reuters

European countries battle more COVID-19 flare-ups

A handful of European countries are grappling with new spikes in COVID-19 activity, such as the Czech Republic, where intensive care units are nearly overrun. Meanwhile, as groups look ahead to the future, the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday published its strategic operations plan to target the pandemic in 2021 and European officials eyed a vaccine passport system, with hopes that it could preserve this year's tourist season.
25th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP


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Czech Leader Warns of 'Hellish Days' and Tighter Lockdown Coming

The Czech Republic is preparing to impose a stricter lockdown to prevent the collapse of its medical system as existing measures fail to contain one of the fastest-spreading and deadliest virus outbreaks in Europe. Almost exactly a year after the first Covid-19 case appeared in the European Union member, the crisis is worse than ever and the situation requires a tougher response, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. The cabinet will discuss more extreme rules to limit contact among people on Wednesday evening, he said. “It’s necessary, otherwise there would be a total catastrophe in hospitals,” Babis told reporters. “Hellish days are ahead.”
24th Feb 2021 - Bloomberg

France considers new local lockdowns to stem ‘worsening’ Covid-19 situation

France may need to impose new local restrictions to deal with a worsening Covid-19 situation as it scrambles to avoid a new national lockdown, a government spokesman said Wednesday. Infections have reached worrying levels in several parts of the country, spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. The warning comes only days after the French Riviera was ordered into lockdown for the coming two weekends to contain Covid-19 which has been spreading faster in the tourist hotspot than elsewhere in France, and border controls were tightened.
24th Feb 2021 - Yahoo News UK

France Contemplates ‘Targeted Measures,’ Seeks To Avoid Lockdown

France is reviewing local coronavirus hot spots on a case-by-case basis, and has decided to implement “targeted measures” to prevent the spread of new and more virulent variants.
24th Feb 2021 - Bloomberg

Auckland high school closes again after third student tests positive for Covid

One of New Zealand’s largest high schools has closed again after another student and two siblings tested positive for Covid-19. Papatoetoe high school in south Auckland was closed last week after two students and two parents tested positive. It reopened this week but closed again on Wednesday after a third student tested positive on Tuesday. Two siblings of the students also tested positive later on Tuesday. Health authorities have been trying to test and contact-trace all 1,500 students, but were unable to find and test a small number of pupils and their families.
24th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

NSW, Victoria and Queensland restrict COVID-19 travel from New Zealand in face of Auckland outbreak

Australia's eastern states have imposed fresh restrictions on New Zealand travellers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland. Tasmania, NSW, Victoria and Queensland have limited quarantine-free travel now that at least eight cases have been linked to an Auckland high school. New Zealand authorities say they are confident the outbreak, which prompted a lockdown in New Zealand's biggest city, is under control. NSW Health said it was contacting travellers who arrived from New Zealand since Saturday, and, as a precaution, those people should get tested and isolate until they get a negative result.
24th Feb 2021 - ABC News

COVID-19 situation 'worrying' in 10 French departments, government says

France’s government on Wednesday ordered a weekend lockdown in the Dunkirk area to arrest an “alarming” rise in COVID-19 cases, signalling extra curbs might also be needed elsewhere as daily cases nationwide hit their highest since November. Unlike some of its neighbours, France has resisted a new national lockdown to control more contagious coronavirus variants, hoping a curfew in place since Dec. 15 can contain the pandemic. But it reported 31,519 new infections on Wednesday, up from 25,018 a week ago and the most since mid-November. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the national situation was deteriorating, and “a source of worry in about 10 regional departments”. Some required “rapid and strong” containment measures.
24th Feb 2021 - Reuters

French COVID-19 intensive care patients at a 12-week high

France’s number of patients treated in intensive care units for COVID-19 has gone up again on Tuesday, reaching a 12-week peak of 3,435 as regional officials urge for a ban on public gatherings and consider a partial weekend lockdown. Unlike some of its neighbours, France has resisted a new national lockdown to control more contagious variants, hoping a curfew in place since Dec. 15 can contain the pandemic. France ended its second national lockdown, which ran from Oct. 30 to Dec. 15. But one of the conditions for switch from lockdown to a national curfew was that the ICU figures remained between 2,500 and 3,000.
24th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Merkel says Germany in third wave of pandemic: sources

Germany is in a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in her conservative party, two sources at the meeting told Reuters on Tuesday. “We are now in the third wave,” they quoted her as saying and said she warned that any easing of lockdown measures introduced late last year and extended until March 7 would have to be done carefully and gradually. The closure of all non-essential businesses and border controls with Austria and the Czech Republic, where there have been outbreaks linked to a more infectious variant of the virus, have helped Germany bring down new daily COVID-19 infections. But a slow vaccination roll-out and the risk of major outbreaks of fast-spreading variants already identified in Germany could make any easing of restrictions more difficult.
24th Feb 2021 - Reuters


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Ukraine gets first vaccine shipment as hospitals struggle

Ukraine on Tuesday received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine raising hopes that authorities can start beating back the virus spread in a country where cases have strained the fragile health care system. A consignment of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was flown to the capital Kyiv from India. Officials said the first tranche of vaccine will be administered to medical workers and military personnel in eastern Ukraine, where conflict with Russian-backed separatists has been ongoing since 2014, and to regions of western Ukraine where the rate of infections has been the most severe
23rd Feb 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: UK reports another 548 coronavirus deaths and 8,489 cases - as vaccine count nears 18m

Nearly 18 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, while another 548 deaths have been reported. It compares to 178 deaths reported yesterday and 799 last Tuesday, and takes the total to 121,305. There have been 8,489 more confirmed COVID cases, compared to 10,641 yesterday and 10,625 last Tuesday.
23rd Feb 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: Number of deaths falling in all English regions - here's where they are still highest

The number of deaths involving coronavirus is dropping in all regions of England, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. In its latest figures, it said that during the week ending 12 February (week six), every area of the country recorded a week-on-week fall in the number of registered COVID-19 deaths. The highest number - 974 - was recorded in southeast England - down 31% from 1,415 in the previous week. That was also the biggest decline in the number of fatalities, at 441.
23rd Feb 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: Biden leads candlelit ceremony for COVID victims as US passes half a million deaths

President Joe Biden has led a minute's silence to honour America's coronavirus victims after the country became the first to record more than half a million deaths. As 500 lit candles lined the White House steps to commemorate the dead, a military band played Amazing Grace and the president made his emotional remarks. "Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone - 500,071 dead. That's more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War combined," he said.
23rd Feb 2021 - Sky News

As covid-19 death toll nears 500,000, Biden urges Americans to ‘fight this together’

Joe Biden began his presidency by marking a devastating milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. One month later, he presided over a somber memorial once again, leading the nation in the mourning of 500,000 American covid-19 deaths. On Monday evening, as the official toll neared half a million, Biden held a moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony at the White House, accompanied by Vice President Harris. “That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth," Biden said. "But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived.”
23rd Feb 2021 - The Washington Post

France considers fresh measures to stem Covid-19 spread in Dunkirk

French Health Minister Olivier Véran will head to Dunkirk in northern France on Wednesday as the government eyes new measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the region, the prime minister's office said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Jean Castex had discussed the local health situation earlier on Tuesday with the mayor of Dunkirk, a coastal city of 92,000 near the Belgian border. "They agreed that in view of the sharp deterioration in health indicators in recent hours, additional measures to limit the epidemic must be taken," the statement said.
23rd Feb 2021 - FRANCE 24 English


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UK records 445 new deaths as more than 17 million Brits have received a coronavirus vaccine

More than 17 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, new figures reveal. The UK reported 445 coronavirus-related deaths and 10,406 new infections on Saturday. However, London continues to lag behind other regions bar the South West. The NHS England data shows a total of 1,753,957 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and February 19, including 1,687,471 first doses and 66,486 second doses.
22nd Feb 2021 - Evening Standard

ER doctor documents COVID-19 battle in LA hospital with emotional photographs

Dr Scott Kobner, 29, chief resident at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine, documented his front-line colleagues The amateur photographer took pictures of doctors and patients at the 600-bed public hospital using Leica M6 and M10 cameras and posted them on Instagram Dr Kobner had permission from the hospital and patients. Kobner, originally from New York, doesn't photograph people he treats but comes in on his days off instead. He tested positive for the virus in the summer but recovered alone at home In LA County, more than 19,880 people have died of COVID-19. There is a long history of photographing medical treatment during disasters that gained popularity in the US during the Civil War
22nd Feb 2021 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: High Covid rates delay France and Germany easing

Stubbornly high infection rates are hampering French efforts to ease coronavirus restrictions, with Nice in the south a particular hotspot. In Germany many schools are reopening on Monday, but officials say infection rates remain worryingly high. France is not under lockdown, but there is a national curfew (18:00-06:00). The area around Nice, which has the highest rate in France, will go into partial lockdown for the next two weekends.
22nd Feb 2021 - BBC News

South Africa's COVID-19 cases, deaths decline as variant spreads globally

COVID-19 cases have been declining in South Africa despite the nation battling to contain a more contagious variant that has spread globally. Worldwide, the virus has killed 2,477,790 people with 111,953,292 cases in tracking by Worldometers.info. The United States continues to lead both categories, surpassing 28 million infections and fewer than 2,000 deaths from 500,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins tracking, ahead of two other North American nations, Brazil at 246,504 and No. 3 Mexico with 179,797
22nd Feb 2021 - UPI.com

COVID-19: Lockdown if cases keep rising for 8-15 days, says Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, religious, social and political gatherings will be prohibited in the state from Monday
22nd Feb 2021 - National Herald

French city of Nice asks tourists to stay away amid COVID surge

The mayor of Nice in southern France called on Sunday for a weekend lockdown in the area to reduce the flow of tourists as it battles a sharp spike in coronavirus infections to triple the national rate. The Nice area has France’s highest COVID-19 infection rate, with 740 new cases per week per 100,000 residents, according to Covidtracker.fr. “We need strong measures that go beyond the nationwide 6 p.m. curfew, either tighter curfew, or a partial and time-specific lockdown. A weekend lockdown would make sense,” Mayor Christian Estrosi said on franceinfo radio. Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday the government would decide this weekend on tightening virus control measures in the Mediterranean city.
22nd Feb 2021 - Reuters

US COVID-19 death toll hits 500,000 as hospital cases drop

Today the United States met a grim milestone: In 1 year, more than half a million Americans have died from COVID-19, as at least 28,174,133 million have suffered infections, thousands have lost jobs, and all have had the pandemic touch multiple aspects of everyday life. To mark the passing of 500,000 Americans, President Joe Biden today will hold a moment of silence and candle-lighting ceremony at sundown at the White House. The Washington Post today put the 500,000 death toll in context. The first US death from COVID-19 was reported on Feb 29, 2020. By May 28, 100,000 had died. Deaths remained at a fairly steady clip until a post-holiday surge.
22nd Feb 2021 - CIDRAP


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UK records 215 coronavirus-related deaths and 9,834 new cases as infections plummet

The UK recorded 215 coronavirus-related deaths and 9,834 new cases on Sunday as infections continue to plummet. This is a considerable drop from the peak of 1,820 deaths on January 1st. The figures have dropped significantly since last Sunday when the UK recorded 258 deaths and 10,972 infection, in a sure sign lockdown is working. A total of 17,582,121 have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 615,148 have received their second dose. A third (33.4%) of the UK adult population has now been given the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
21st Feb 2021 - Evening Standard

Africa reaches 100,000 known COVID-19 deaths as danger grows

Twenty-one countries in Africa now have case fatality rates that are higher than the global average, Nkengasong said, including Sudan, Egypt, Liberia, Mali and Zimbabwe. The case fatality rate continent-wide remains higher than the global average at 2.6%. “The second wave came with full might, partly because of this new variant (in South Africa), partly because we created superspreading opportunities” such as holiday parties, said Salim Abdool Karim, the top COVID-19 advisor to South Africa’s government. “The virus adapts and gets better with time because it’s mutating progressively to be better adapted.”
21st Feb 2021 - The Independent

Tanzania’s president admits country has COVID-19 problem

Tanzania’s president is finally acknowledging that his country has a coronavirus problem after claiming for months that the disease had been defeated by prayer. Populist President John Magufuli on Sunday urged citizens of the East African country to take precautions and even wear face masks — but only locally made ones. Over the course of the pandemic he has expressed wariness about foreign-made goods, including COVID-19 vaccines. The president’s comments came days after the country of some 60 million people mourned the death of one of its highest-profile politicians, the vice president of the semi-autonomous island region of Zanzibar, whose political party had earlier said he had COVID-19. The president’s chief secretary also died in recent days, though the cause was not revealed.
21st Feb 2021 - Associated Press on MSN.com

UK records 445 new deaths as more than 17 million Brits have received a coronavirus vaccine

More than 17 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, new figures reveal. The UK reported 445 coronavirus-related deaths and 10,406 new infections on Saturday. However, London continues to lag behind other regions bar the South West. The NHS England data shows a total of 1,753,957 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and February 19, including 1,687,471 first doses and 66,486 second doses.
20th Feb 2021 - Evening Standard

COVID-19 surge is now helping to create herd immunity

"I don’t want to provide a false sense of assurance here,” said L.A. County chief science officer Dr. Paul Simon, who pointed out that 60% of Angelenos would remain vulnerable even if more than a third have already been infected with the coronavirus. “Unless they’ve had vaccination, they continue to be susceptible. I think we need to continue to be vigilant.”
20th Feb 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Covid-19: Number of coronavirus-related deaths falls for third week

The weekly number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland has fallen for a third week. The NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) said the virus was mentioned on the death certificates of 99 people, in the week to Friday 12 February. That is 27 fewer than the previous week, bringing the agency's total to 2,673. The Department of Health's total for the same date, based on a positive test result being recorded, was 1,985.
20th Feb 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: More than 17 million people have received first jab - as deaths surpass 120,000

More than 17 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while the number of deaths has surpassed 120,000. Another 445 people have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, according to the latest government figures, taking the total to 120,365. The deaths included a 16-year-old with no known underlying health conditions. Where patients were aged 16 to 100, all except four - aged between 16 and 68 - were known to have had underlying health conditions.
20th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Germany sees drop in virus cases flatten as variant surges

The head of Germany’s disease control agency is warning that the decline in new coronavirus cases the country had been seeing has leveled off and the share of cases involving more contagious variants is rising
20th Feb 2021 - The Independent

Germany, Once a Model, Is Swamped Like Everyone Else by Pandemic’s Second Wave

After winning widespread recognition for its handling of the coronavirus last year, Germany now finds itself struggling with its sluggish vaccine rollout and a frustrated population.
20th Feb 2021 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: Infections in Germany stagnate at high level

Amid repeated calls for the government to lift the lockdown, Spahn urged the public to remain cautious, adding that the coronavirus "doesn't just give up." "There are rising demands to end the lockdown and this is possible, but we need to be careful in order not to jeopardize our achievements," Spahn said on Friday. The RKI reported on Friday a slight drop in COVID-19 infections over seven days, with 56.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 57.1 the day before, according to the German Press Agency (DPA). Germany's federal government aims for a level of infections below 50. States cas move towards easing the lockdown when the level remains under 35.
20th Feb 2021 - DW (English)

BMC seals 1,305 buildings as Covid-19 cases surge in Mumbai

Two days after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) made the norms for lockding down buildings in the city again civic data shows the number of buildings locked down stands at 1,035. Sealed floors being linked to a rise in COVID-19 cases
20th Feb 2021 - Times of India

US COVID-19 markers decline; vaccine makers eye expanding recipient pool

Across the country 7-day averages of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are dropping in 43 and 49 states, respectively. According to CNBC, only Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming reported a rise in new cases. The US reported 69,230 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 2,542 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the US remains the hardest hit country in the global pandemic, with 27,950,547 cases and 495,015 deaths. The news of case declines comes as Pfizer and BioNTech, the makers of the first mRNA vaccine approved for use in the United States, began a global phase 2/3 trial targeting pregnant women, and submitted new temperature data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggesting they could allow their COVID-19 vaccine to be stored in pharmacy freezers rather than ultra-cold storage facilities.
19th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th Feb 2021

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COVID-19: Another 454 deaths and 12,057 cases in UK - as over 16.4 million have had first vaccine dose

The UK has reported another 454 coronavirus deaths and 12,057 further cases, while more than 16.4 million have now received their first vaccine dose. Today's figures are down on Wednesday when 738 further deaths and 12,718 new cases were recorded. And they represent the lowest daily figure since 424 were announced on 11 December, excluding days when numbers have been artificially low due to delays in reporting caused by weekends and Christmas holidays.
18th Feb 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19 infection rate plummets in England, says Imperial College study

One of the largest and most authoritative coronavirus surveys has found that infections are quickly falling in England, confirming that lockdown is working to suppress the virus. Imperial College London's REACT study found that infections had fallen by more than two-thirds since the last time it reported in mid-January. Last time, REACT found that 1 in 63 people currently had the virus. This time, it estimates that 1 in 196 people are infected.
18th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Italy’s balconies fall silent as singers retreat in face of Covid’s second wave

It seems eons since last March, when Italians kept their spirits high and impressed the world by donning masks and singing from their balconies, spurring hope that Italy would rebound after the lockdown with an explosion of energy similar to that which fuelled the country’s postwar boom. But after Italians brought the virus back home from holiday discos in the summer — ushering in the second spike — new daily cases were peaking at 40,000 by November, more than six times the first wave record of 6,500 reached on March 13. The national rate may have now slowly fallen to about 10,000 but it is already rising again in areas such as Umbria in central Italy where the UK variant is spreading fast.
18th Feb 2021 - The Times

South Korea warns against lax distancing as daily COVID-19 count hits one-month high

South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday warned against the loosening enforcement of social distancing rules after the number of new coronavirus cases hit the highest levels in nearly 40 days. The government relaxed distancing curbs on Saturday to take effect starting this week, after getting on top of a third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that peaked at around 1,200 daily cases in late December. But the numbers shot back up in just three days, topping 600 for the first time in 39 days on Tuesday, after a ban on nighttime entertainment facilities was lifted and a restaurant curfew extended by one hour to 10 p.m.
18th Feb 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Feb 2021

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COVID-19: Another 738 deaths and 12,718 cases in UK - as over 15.9m have had first vaccine dose

The UK has reported another 12,718 coronavirus cases and 738 further deaths - and almost 16 million people have now had their first dose of a vaccine. While the number of new infections is higher than the 10,625 reported yesterday, deaths are down slightly from Tuesday's 799 fatalities. Overall, the numbers are lower than what they were a week ago, when 13,013 new cases were confirmed alongside 1,001 deaths.
17th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Global COVID-19 cases drop, but more nations report variants

In its weekly snapshot of the pandemic yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said cases and deaths continue to drop, mainly driven by steep declines in the two highest-burden countries, the United States and the United Kingdom. Also, the B117 virus variant has now been detected in 94 countries spanning all six WHO regions, with local transmission occurring in 47.
17th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP

Health experts call for tight new lockdown as British COVID-19 variant sweeps through Italy

Leading health authorities in Italy fear the British variant will soon trigger a surge in COVID-19 infections and fatalities unless a strategy is implemented
16th Feb 2021 - The Globe and Mail


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 17th Feb 2021

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Coronavirus: Deaths among over-80’s fall faster as vaccine impact emerges

Deaths among people over 80 is falling faster than with other age groups, suggesting the UK’s vaccine programme is starting to have an impact on the coronavirus pandemic. According to analysis of the latest data, the proportion of deaths among the over-80s, as a seven day average, have dropped by almost 50 per cent between 31 January to 10 February. This compares to a fall of 39 per cent for those aged under 80 over the same period.
16th Feb 2021 - The Independent

A coronavirus vaccine entrepreneur held an indoor conference. Now dozens of attendees have the virus.

Last month, entrepreneur Peter Diamandis stood on a purple-lit stage inside the offices of one of his tech companies in Culver City, Calif., as hundreds listened online to his presentation. The summit was not completely virtual, though. Dozens of attendees, some of whom had traveled from abroad, also sat in the indoor space that Diamandis pledged would be safe thanks to regular testing, vitamins and doctors on-site. Instead, nearly three weeks later, at least 24 people who attended the conference have tested positive for the coronavirus — including Diamandis himself.
16th Feb 2021 - The Washington Post

COVID-19: Another 799 coronavirus deaths and 10,625 cases in UK - as over 15.5 million have had first vaccine dose

Another 799 COVID-related deaths and 10,625 more cases have been reported in the UK in the last 24 hours, government data shows. This is down from the 1,052 deaths and 12,364 cases recorded this time last week. Yesterday, a total of 230 fatalities and 9,765 infections were reported; however, it's important to note that figures can differ widely early in the week due to a reporting lag from the weekend.
16th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon three times more likely to die with COVID-19

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are three times more likely to die with COVID-19 than the population as a whole, according to U.N. figures that highlight the pandemic's outsized impact on the community. An estimated 207,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon after being driven from their homes or fleeing the conflict surrounding Israel's 1948 creation, the vast majority in cramped camps where social distancing is impossible.
16th Feb 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

COVID-19: Experts left puzzled by sudden drop in coronavirus cases in India

Scientists have been left confused by the plummeting rate of coronavirus infections in India - particularly because the country was at one point on course for the biggest toll worldwide. Nearly 100,000 infections were reported each day during India's peak, but this has taken an unexplained tumble since September to around 11,000 a day. Official figures in November also showed 90% of New Delhi's critical care beds with ventilators were filled, whereas just 16% were full last Thursday.
16th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Suspected cases of coronavirus variant now in 2 Manitoba First Nations

A second First Nations community in Manitoba is under lockdown following the potential discovery of a highly infectious coronavirus variant. On Monday, the chief of Pimicikamak, also known as Cross Lake First Nation about 530 kilometres north of Winnipeg, confirmed the community has seen at least one suspected case of the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom. Chief David Monias said in a statement the sample has been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for confirmation.
16th Feb 2021 - CBC.ca

As the virus crisis drags on, hard-hit French youth struggle

On a recent evening, Leïla Ideddaim waited to receive a bag of food, along with hundreds of other French young people who are unable to make ends meet. She saw the chitchat that accompanied the handout as a welcome byproduct, given her intense isolation during the pandemic. The 21-year-old student in hotel and restaurant management has seen her plans turned upside down by the virus crisis. With restaurants and tourist sites shuttered and France under a 6 p.m. curfew, her career prospects are uncertain. Odd jobs that were supposed to keep her going during her studies are hard to come by.
16th Feb 2021 - The Associated Press

Coronavirus pandemic back on upward trend in Poland - minister

The COVID-19 pandemic is on the rise again in Poland, the health minister said on Tuesday, a worrying turnaround after case numbers stabilised following a second wave of infections last autumn. Poland has loosened some of its COVID-19 restrictions, and scenes of partying tourists at Poland’s main ski resort at the weekend have raised fears of a new rise in infections. “The reversal in the trend has become a fact,” Health Minister Adam Niedzielski wrote on Twitter. “The trend for the weekly growth rate (seven-day moving average) is positive for the first time since mid-November (excluding post-holiday anomalies).” On Tuesday, Poland reported 5,178 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 196 deaths. The European Union member states has reported a total of 1,596,673 cases and 41,028 deaths.
16th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Four reasons experts say coronavirus cases are dropping in the United States

The rate of newly recorded infections is plummeting from coast to coast and the worst surge yet is finally relenting. But scientists are split on why, exactly, it is happening. Some point to the quickening pace of coronavirus vaccine administration, some say it’s because of the natural seasonal ebb of respiratory viruses and others chalk it up to social distancing measures. And every explanation is appended with two significant caveats: The country is still in a bad place, continuing to notch more than 90,000 new cases every day, and recent progress could still be imperiled, either by new fast-spreading virus variants or by relaxed social distancing measures.
15th Feb 2021 - Washington Post


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 16th Feb 2021

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COVID-19: Another 230 coronavirus deaths in UK - as 15.3 million have first vaccine dose

The latest figures have been announced as the prime minister said there will be a "cautious" approach to easing lockdown rules. The UK has recorded another 230 coronavirus deaths - compared to the 333 fatalities confirmed on this day last week. The latest figure is also a drop from the 258 deaths announced on Sunday, government data shows. Since the pandemic began, a total of 117,396 people have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.
15th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Portugal's daily COVID-19 deaths below 100 for first time in six weeks

The number of new daily COVID-19 deaths in Portugal fell to its lowest level in around six weeks on Monday, with infections also declining, adding to evidence that an alarming post-Christmas surge in the coronavirus pandemic is slowing. The good news came hours after grim data showing the once-booming tourism sector suffered its worst results since the mid-1980s last year as the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns worldwide grounded flights and kept visitors away.
15th Feb 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

Death toll reaches 2,000 as 477 people battle COVID-19 in our hospitals

The latest statistics reveal that another four people died in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile there have been another 234 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. This jumps to 2,095 people in the last seven days. There are now 477 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals - and 59 of those battling in ICU. There are now 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in NI Care Homes.
15th Feb 2021 - Belfast Newsletter

Maharashtra to Face Another Lockdown? Rise in COVID-19 Cases Alarming, May Take Harsh Steps, Warns Deputy CM

Describing the rise in fresh COVID-19 cases in some districts of Maharashtra as “alarming”, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday warned of taking some “harsh decisions” and asked people to be prepared. Some districts in Vidarbha region in east Maharashtra, especially Amravati and Nagpur, and Nashik in north Maharashtra have seen the number of new cases rising over the last few days.
15th Feb 2021 - India.com

Vietnamese province reimposes stay at home order in coronavirus battle

Vietnam on Monday reintroduced stay at home measures in the northern province of Hai Duong after it reported dozens of COVID-19 cases there every day since a new outbreak last month. Having stayed clear of the virus for nearly two months, Vietnam was back on high alert after the government confirmed its first community infections in Hai Duong on Jan. 28. The province, where 499 COVID-19 infections have been detected, will be under lockdown from midnight on Tuesday until further notice, the government said.
15th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Hungary's PM seeks renewal of special powers to fight COVID-19

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked parliament on Monday to extend the government’s special powers to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, saying only vaccinations would enable the government to ease lockdown measures introduced last autumn. Hungary became the first European Union member state last week to start administering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine after its regulator approved the shot for emergency use rather than wait for a green light from the EU’s European Medicines Agency. The Hungarian drug regulator has also granted approval to Chinese Sinopharm’s vaccine, also a first in the EU.
15th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Health ministry advisor Ricciardi calls for new lockdown

Walter Ricciardi, a top Italian physician and advisor to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, has suggested Italy have another full-blown nationwide lockdown amid concern about the spread of new variants of COVID-19 in Italy. Ricciardi suggested a short but tough lockdown, in which non-essential activities would be stopped and schools closed. The proposal stirred angry reactions from many quarters, with League leader Matteo Salvini blasting "experts who sow fear". Ricciardi reacted to calls for him to quit by saying he would be prepared to do so if that were deemed "useful".
15th Feb 2021 - ANSA

A new study identifies seven U.S. virus variants with the same worrying mutation.

As Americans anxiously watch the spread of coronavirus variants that were first identified in Britain and South Africa, scientists are finding a number of new variants that seem to have originated in the United States — and many of them may pose the same kind of extra-contagious threat. In a study posted on Sunday, a team of researchers reported seven growing lineages of the coronavirus, spotted in states across the country. All have gained a mutation at the exact same spot in their genes.
14th Feb 2021 - The New York Times


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Feb 2021

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French hospitals to move into crisis mode from Thursday: newspaper

France’s Health Ministry has asked regional health agencies and hospitals to enter “crisis organisation” to prepare for a possible surge in coronavirus cases as a result of highly contagious variants, Le Journal Du Dimanche reported. The move, which would echo measures taken in March and November when France went into lockdown, involves increasing the number of hospital beds available, delaying non-urgent surgery and mobilising all medical staff resources. “This crisis organisation must be implemented in each region, regardless of the level of hospital stress and must be operational from Thursday Feb. 18,” the DGS health authority said
14th Feb 2021 - Reuters

New ‘do not resuscitate’ orders imposed on Covid-19 patients with learning difficulties

People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog. Mencap said it had received reports in January from people with learning disabilities that they had been told they would not be resuscitated if they were taken ill with Covid-19. The Care Quality Commission said in December that inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year
13th Feb 2021 - The Guardian on MSN.com

COVID-19: New surge testing after more South Africa variant cases detected

Surge testing is being introduced in more areas of England after a few more cases of the coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa were detected. The testing will be deployed in: Middlesbrough within the TS7 postcode - Areas in Walsall - Specific areas in the RG26 postcode in Hampshire - People in these areas are strongly encouraged to take a COVID test this week, whether or not they have symptoms.
13th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Italy tightens virus curbs as variant fears rise

Italy on Friday extended a domestic travel ban and tightened restrictions in four regions amid rising concern about the spread of more infectious coronavirus variants. In one of its final acts in office, outgoing prime minister Giuseppe Conte's cabinet renewed until February 25 a ban on travelling between regions that had been due to expire on Monday, a spokesman said. The regions of Abruzzo, Liguria, Tuscany and the autonomous province of Trentino were also moved up to the medium-risk "orange" category from Sunday, meaning that bars, restaurants and museums will be shut. The rest of Italy remains "yellow", with bars and restaurants open until 6:00 pm except for takeaway service, but with a nationwide night curfew.
13th Feb 2021 - Medical Xpress

New Covid-19 outbreaks in China reopen pet owners’ wounds, but public pressure eases some lockdown restrictions

During early pandemic quarantines, many pet owners in China were forced to leave their pets alone at home or send them into the wild. Following public pressure, Daxing district in Beijing adjusted measures to allow pets to be moved to hotels with their owners.
13th Feb 2021 - South China Morning Post

Melbourne lockdown: How new circuit-breaker rules work as Australia tries to tackle rise in Covid cases

The Australian state of Victoria will be placed under a “short, sharp circuit breaker” after an outbreak of new coronavirus cases were linked to a quarantine hotel. A five-day snap lockdown has been issued in the southeastern state after 13 people tested positive for Covid-19 at the Holiday Inn near Melbourne Airport in quick succession since Sunday.
13th Feb 2021 - iNews

Doctors blame virus outbreaks on shoppers’ complacency

More than 35 Covid-19 outbreaks have been linked to supermarkets in recent weeks as consumers become complacent, health experts have warned. According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), 35 were linked back to shops in Ireland in the last 11 weeks. Nineteen were recorded in the last month, with three in the last week. Dr Gabriel Scally, the president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, said there was clear evidence that shops are places where the coronavirus can be transmitted.
13th Feb 2021 - Irish Independent

Covid-19: a first case of serious reinfection by the variant identified in South Africa described in France

A worrying first. Serious reinfection caused by the South African Covid-19 variant identified by French researchers. "This case illustrates the variant may be responsible for severe reinfection after a first mild infection" from the normal coronavirus
13th Feb 2021 - Franceinfo

New Zealand reports three new COVID-19 local cases, first since January

New Zealand on Sunday reported three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, the country’s first since late January, when a returned traveller tested positive after leaving quarantine. New Zealand’s minister for COVID-19 response, Chris Hipkins, said the three cases were a couple and their daughter in Auckland, and that genomic testing was being conducted to see if the family’s infection was linked to any highly infectious variants. The new cases, the first since Jan. 24, forced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to return to the capital Wellington, skipping a gay pride event in Auckland that she was due to attend on Sunday afternoon.
13th Feb 2021 - Reuters

France not planning lockdown in eastern Moselle over COVID-19 variants

The French government has no plans for now to order local lockdown measures in the eastern area of Moselle to rein in the spread of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Friday. Veran told reporters that a high number of cases of the South African COVID-19 variant had been found in the region.
12th Feb 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19 in retreat in UK, 'R' number below one for first time since July

The COVID-19 pandemic in Britain is retreating and the reproduction “R” number, which measures transmission rates, has dropped below 1 for the first time since July, adding to hopes that some lockdown restrictions could be eased next month. Estimates published on Friday showed that the COVID-19 “R” number for Britain is now between 0.7 and 0.9, a slight drop from last week’s estimate of 0.7 and 1.0, and dipping under one for the first time in over six months. The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England was also shown to be dropping in separate data released on Friday. The Office for National Statistics said that about one in 80 people were infected in the week ended Feb.6, compared to one in 65 people the previous week
12th Feb 2021 - Reuters


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COVID-19 surge takes toll on Portugal's undertakers

Standing next to the sealed coffin of yet another COVID-19 victim in Portugal, funeral parlour worker Carlos Carneiro wept as the bereaved family played a record of a traditional fado song as a final goodbye. Carneiro, 37, has been in the undertaking business for two decades helping people cope with loss, but never felt as affected by sorrow and fear as now. Portugal fared better than others in Europe in the first wave of the pandemic in March-April, but the new year brought a devastating surge in infections and deaths, overwhelming the health service and funeral homes. More than 14,700 people have died of COVID-19 in Portugal, with cumulative infections since the start of the pandemic at nearly 775,000.
11th Feb 2021 - Reuters

NI records one of its lowest numbers for new daily Covid-19 infections in months

In data published in its daily Covid-19 dashboard the DoH reported 253 new infections in the last 24 hours. To put this into context, two weeks ago, on Thursday January 28 the DoH reported 592 new infections in 24 hours and 4,066 in the seven days leading up to that date. Fast-forward two weeks to today, Thursday February at the number of daily infections is down 57 per cent to 253 and the number of infections in the last seven days is down 42 per cent to 2,377.
11th Feb 2021 - Belfast Newsletter

UK announces 13,494 more coronavirus cases and 678 deaths

Department of Health data show cases fell by over a third on last Thursday and deaths down by 26 per cent. Adds to further evidence to Britain being past the worst of the second wave which wreaked havoc over winter. NHS Test & Trace showed the weekly total of cases was last week a quarter down on the week before it. And Public Health England figures show positive test rates down in all regions and ages, and most boroughs
11th Feb 2021 - Daily Mail

Spain reports 18,114 new coronavirus cases, adds 643 deaths to official toll

The epidemiological curve in Spain continues to fall, but the coronavirus pandemic in the country is still far from a situation whereby transmission is under control. In its Wednesday report, the Health Ministry reported 18,114 new infections and added 643 victims to the official death toll – below the record figure since the first wave that was set on Tuesday of 766 fatalities. The slowdown in the transmission of the virus is also being seen in a fall in the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which is now at 584. But while this downward trend is positive, the third wave is still a serious threat in Spain: the average incidence across the country is double the level of 250 considered to be extreme risk by the Health Ministry, and the pressure on the country’s intensive care units (ICUs) persists. The ministry called on citizens not to lower their guard, but some regions, such as Madrid, Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, are already talking about relaxing social restrictions.
11th Feb 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Sewage samples show COVID-19 spreading fast in some French cities

Sewage samples from a new nationwide COVID-19 monitoring system show that in some French cities traces of coronavirus are spiking above levels seen during the second wave of the epidemic in the autumn. France's new "Obepine" network continuously samples city sewage in nearly 50 waste water stations and publishes charts that indicate the quantity of genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. For cities where data are available from spring 2020, the indicator charts show a strong correlation with charts of the number of positive cases and can give early warning signals. "In Lille, Marseille and Strasbourg we see a strong uptick, while in the Paris region the situation seems more under control," said Vincent Marechal, a Sorbonne university virology professor and co-founder of the Obepine network.
11th Feb 2021 - The Peninsula Qatar

Tanzania experiencing surge in COVID-19 cases, says U.S.

The United States said on Wednesday that Tanzania, whose president has advised citizens to shun coronavirus vaccines, is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and its healthcare facilities could be quickly overwhelmed. In a statement, the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam said it was “aware of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases since January”. “The practice of COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures remains limited ... healthcare facilities in Tanzania can become quickly overwhelmed in a healthcare crisis.”
11th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Experts urge caution as coronavirus variants spread in Japan

The number of people found infected with new strains of the coronavirus in Japan has topped 100, with community infections reported and major clusters seen in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that one variant was up to 70% more transmissible than the original, and experts in Japan are calling for people to be careful. The first variant cases were detected on Dec. 25 last year at Haneda Airport in the capital, and Kansai International Airport in western Japan. Then on Jan. 18, three people who'd had no contact with people who returned from overseas were confirmed to have been infected in Shizuoka Prefecture in what were believed to be cases of community transmission.
11th Feb 2021 - Mainichi Shimbun

Europe tracks variant spread as COVID deaths spike in Africa

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) European office today said that the region's 4-week drop in cases is good news but warned that outbreaks and community transmission involving variants is increasing, requiring a close watch and careful response decisions. At a briefing today, Hans Henri Kluge, MD, MPH, said daily case numbers and deaths are still too high. "At this point, the overwhelming majority of European countries remain vulnerable," he said. "Right now, it’s a thin line between the hope of a vaccine and a false sense of security."
11th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 11th Feb 2021

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Vaccine nationalism is worsening Covid-19 in Malawi

A second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly driven by the South African variant, is bringing hospitals in Malawi to the brink. CNN's David McKenzie goes inside a hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, where the doctors are working around the clock to battle the pandemic amid a shortage of vaccines.
10th Feb 2021 - CNN on MSN.com

COVID-19: Vaccination total passes 13m as another 1,001 COVID-related deaths reported

The total number of people to have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the UK has passed 13 million, as another 1,001 deaths were reported. Today's official government figure compares to the 1,053 deaths recorded on Tuesday. And 13,013 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, up on the 12,364 yesterday.
10th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Surging virus in French African outpost reveals inequalities

Mayotte’s main tourist office stands nearly empty, a lonely tropical outpost overlooking a people-less port. Its only hospital, however, is overwhelmed. The demand for intensive care beds is more than quadruple the supply, as medical workers fight to contain the French Indian Ocean territory’s worst coronavirus outbreak yet. The Mayotte islands are the poorest corner of the European Union, tucked between Madagascar and the mainland coast of Mozambique in southern Africa - and were the last spot in France to receive any coronavirus vaccines. Local authorities feel forgotten and say their difficulties in fighting the virus reflect long-standing inequalities between France’s majority-white mainland and its far-flung multiracial former colonies.
10th Feb 2021 - ABC News

France Stalls Between Slow Covid Vaccine Rollout and High Infection Rates

In the town of Pontoise, which gently slopes upward from the Oise River about 15 miles northwest of Paris, Mayor Stéphanie Von Euw is laser-focused on her new vaccination center — a blocky, sand-colored recreational facility where up to 450 shots are administered daily to those over 75 or otherwise at high risk. Ms. Von Euw was energetic on a recent visit, chatting with doctors and vaccine recipients. But here in Pontoise, as in many other parts of France, there is no hiding that a winter of pandemic doldrums has set in. “To keep my chin up, I try to follow this rule: I take one day at a time,” Ms. Von Euw said across a table covered with chocolate boxes left by recent vaccine recipients. “If I look to the future, I lose myself.”
10th Feb 2021 - The New York Times

Denmark says cases of more contagious British coronavirus variant on rise

The share of people infected with the more contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain is on the rise in Denmark, authorities reported on Wednesday, citing preliminary data. In the first week of February, 27% of positive cases analyzed for their genetic material were carrying the B117 variant, up from 20% the week before, the State Serum Institute (SSI) said in a report.
10th Feb 2021 - Reuters

France's daily new COVID-19 cases hold steady on average

France reported 18,870 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up from Monday’s 4,317 but well down from the previous Tuesday’s 23,337, and hospital numbers fell again after a two-day rise. The seven-day moving average of new infections, which evens out daily reporting irregularities, stands at 19,348, a low since Jan. 20. The total cumulative number of cases increased to 3.36 million, the sixth highest in the world. This seven-day moving average has now stayed in a tight 19,200-20,700 range for almost three weeks, a trend that seems to warrant the government’s decision not to resort to a third lockdown despite health experts calling for it.
10th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Sweden registers 4,070 new COVID-19 cases, 138 deaths on Wednesday

Sweden, which has spurned a lockdown throughout the pandemic, registered 4,070 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, Health Agency statistics showed. The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 138 new deaths, taking the total to 12,326. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and weeks. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours, but lower than several European countries that opted for lockdowns.
10th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 cases are falling in the U.S. It could be a calm before a variant-driven storm

If the U.S. Covid-19 epidemic were a marathon, the country might have made it to Mile 20. It’s been through a lot, and already, there are signs things are getting better. But there are building leg cramps that could make this last push, which isn’t actually all that short, really painful. The two existing vaccines are reaching more people, and soon, the country will likely have a third, from Johnson & Johnson, that’s just one dose and comes with easier transport and storage requirements. Cases and hospitalizations have fallen precipitously since their peaks last month, and now deaths — which are a lagging indicator — have turned downward as well. That will ease the burden on health systems and offer a reprieve from what had for months been worsening infection and death data.
10th Feb 2021 - Stat News


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 10th Feb 2021

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COVID-19: Another 1,052 UK deaths reported as 12.6 million receive first vaccine jab

Another 1,052 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the UK, according to the latest government figures. The number is up from the 333 fatalities confirmed on Monday. A further 12,364 infections were also confirmed on Tuesday, compared with the 14,104 cases reported yesterday. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,972,148.
9th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Second wave of Covid deaths in England and Wales peaked on 19 January, says ONS data

The second wave of coronavirus peaked in England and Wales on 19 January at 1,404 deaths in a single day, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistic. The figure, which based on reported deaths 28 days after a positive Covid test,
9th Feb 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: 'Surge testing' in Manchester after mutation of Kent variant detected

Thousands of extra COVID tests are being rolled out in Manchester after a mutation of the Kent variant was found in the city. Four people from two unconnected households were found with the E484K mutation, Manchester City Council said, and 10,000 extra tests will now be distributed.
9th Feb 2021 - Sky News

UK coronavirus death toll up by 1,052 as infection rates continue to fall

The UK's official coronavirus death toll has risen by 1,052 and infections are up by 12,364 in the last 24 hours. The number of deaths has more than trebled since Monday when 333 people died - the lowest number since December 2020. Between February 3 - 9 the number of deaths have gone down by 25.7% compared to the previous seven days. While the number of infections over the same period is down by 26.6%. The figures suggest the lockdowns currently in place across the UK are continuing to have an impact in driving down the number of new reported cases of coronavirus. But Government scientific advisers have warned that the UK needs to "take the pain" of restrictions now or risk being trapped in a cycle of lockdowns due to variants of the virus
9th Feb 2021 - The Mirror

UK Covid Lockdown: Record 46% of Deaths in England Wales Linked to Virus

The proportion of Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales climbed to a record in the last week of January, as the total number of fatalities associated with the disease continued to rise despite the severe lockdown. Almost 46% of total deaths in the week to Jan. 29 were linked to the virus, the highest since the pandemic began, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The total number of fatalities mentioning Covid rose by 11 to 8,433, the most since the height of the first wave in April. While new infections have fallen since the lockdown began last month, and officials say the U.K. has passed the peak of the latest surge, the figures show how the devastating impact of the winter wave of the virus is still being felt.
9th Feb 2021 - Bloomberg

Spain’s primary healthcare centers struggling to cope with strain of pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Spain’s primary healthcare workers to the breaking point. When describing their situation, the words they use are “overwhelmed,” “disheartened” and “exhausted.” In the first wave of the pandemic, primary healthcare workers were the protective wall against the epidemic. In the second, they were the guards looking out for the spread of virus on the street and in senior residences. Now, in the third wave, they are leading the charge, overseeing both the Covid vaccination campaign and assisting patients whose care has been delayed by the pandemic.
9th Feb 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Keep students at home for a month to avoid new lockdown, say school doctors

School and university doctors in France have demanded the closure of all schools and colleges for four weeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus and avoid a third national lockdown. The syndicat national des médecins scolaires et universitaires (snmsu.unsa) made the call as school holidays got underway in one the three zones covering establishments in cities such as Marseille and Nice in the south, Amiens, Caen and Lille in the north as well as Nancy and Metz in the east and Nantes to the west. The doctors say a month-long break for all of the country’s pupils and students would help to cut the number of infections
9th Feb 2021 - RFI English

Japan Keeps Its Covid Fight Simple With a Rule Starting at Dinnertime

Call it the Zen art of lockdowns. In the fight to suppress Covid-19, Japan has found success by stripping down its policy to one simple measure: closing restaurants and bars at 8 p.m. When the government declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and other urban areas on Jan. 7, it changed little, except to urge places that serve food and drinks to close by 8 p.m. Most complied in exchange for support that includes payments of about $600 a day. Infections since then have fallen by more than two-thirds nationwide, even though other daily activities such as shopping and commuting have continued. The government hopes to lift the state of emergency by March 7. “In consultation with experts, we carefully crafted a policy centered on reducing the hours of restaurants and bars,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Feb. 2.
9th Feb 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Austria warns against travel to Tirol after Bavaria threatens border closure

Austria is warning against non-essential travel to Tirol after neighbouring Bavaria threatened to seal its borders over an outbreak of the South African Covid-19 variant in the Alpine province. “The government is warning against travel to Tirol in order to prevent the South African variant from spreading and the government asks all citizens to restrict journeys to Tirol to those that are absolutely necessary,” the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said in a statement. Authorities in Tirol, which contains several ski resorts popular with tourists, said on Monday morning it had so far detected 165 fully sequenced cases of people being infected with the South African variant. A further 112 suspected cases were being investigated, said Tirol’s governor, Günther Platter.
9th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

Texas, California see large drop in COVID-19 cases

Texas and California, two of the states hardest hit by COVID-19 since Thanksgiving, have reached new milestones indicating that the spread of infections is slowing. The number of new daily coronavirus cases in California fell to just over 10,000 yesterday, down from 50,000 a month ago, according to KQED. Gov. Gavin Newsom also reported a 25% decline in COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. "Everything that should be up is up, and everything that should be down is down," Newsom said during remarks given yesterday at San Diego Petco Park, which will be the state's first mass vaccine "super station."
9th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP

Austria tries to contain S.African variant outbreak by voluntary means

Austria on Monday opted against placing the whole Alpine province of Tyrol under quarantine to contain an outbreak of the so-called South African variant of the coronavirus, instead urging the public not to go there unless they have to. The province, a winter sports hotspot, has so far been unable to explain how the variant arrived in the Ziller Valley, long a popular tourist area. Austrian ski lifts have been allowed to open since Dec. 24, but hotels are closed for all but business travel and restaurants can only serve takeaway meals. Tyrol's provincial government has opposed the idea of a province-wide quarantine in talks with the national government on how to contain the variant. Both governments are led by the conservative People's Party. Austria loosened a national lockdown on Monday, letting non-essential shops reopen.
8th Feb 2021 - Reuters


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López Obrador’s pandemic optimism falls flat after he catches Covid-19

On his first day in isolation after contracting Covid-19, Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador had a call with Vladimir Putin. Whereas his first call with President Joe Biden, three days earlier, had been “friendly and respectful”, López Obrador gushed about the “genuine affection” from the Russian president as Mexico prepared to receive 24m doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Foreign diplomacy does not usually interest López Obrador, but this time it was urgent: Mexico, one of the world’s worst-hit countries, faced a three-week halt in vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and needed more fast.
8th Feb 2021 - Financial Times

British COVID Variant Gaining Strong Foothold in the United States

The highly contagious coronavirus variant that drove Britain into lockdown in December is now spreading quickly across the United States, a new study shows. What has been dubbed the B.1.1.7 variant is doubling its prevalence every nine days in this country,
8th Feb 2021 - U.S. News & World Report

UK facing even tougher lockdown rules if mutant Covid continues to spread

A Sage scientist warned for further restrictions after a study found the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was 'less effective' against the highly infectious South African variant.
8th Feb 2021 - Metro

Is Brazilian Covid variant en route to Britain? Troublesome strain spotted in France, Italy and Faroe Islands will inevitably end up in UK, experts warn

The troublesome Brazilian variant of coronavirus will inevitably end up in Britain, scientists have warned amid fears it could make vaccines less effective. Cases of the mutant strain — which shares a mutation with the South African variant — have already been spotted in France, Italy, the Netherlands and the Faroe Islands. Health ministries in Germany and Spain claim to have also discovered cases of the dangerous strain. Experts now say it is only a 'matter of time' before the variant — dubbed P1 — lands on Britain's shores because ministers 'can't rely' on border controls to lock it out.
8th Feb 2021 - Daily Mail on MSN.com

'I've Never Seen Such Sadness': Doctors' Burden Of Watching Daily Tragedies, Then Going Home To Lockdown

Usually we would go home from an awful shift and maybe have a drink or a meal with a friend, maybe go to the gym, maybe play some music and laugh. And then we are recharged and ready for when we go back to our next shift and we are able to deal with all the awfulness again.
8th Feb 2021 - Huffington Post UK

France reports fresh fall in number of new COVID-19 cases

France reported a fall in new COVID-19 infections on Sunday for the fourth successive day. Health ministry data showed there had been 19,175 new confirmed COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours compared with 20,586 the previous day. But the data also showed the number of patients being treated in hospital for the disease had risen to 27,694 from 27,369 the previous day, following a four-day decline. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care also rose, increasing to 3,272 from 3,225 the day before.
8th Feb 2021 - Reuters

UK care workers use up leave to avoid losing pay while sick with Covid

Some UK care workers are having to take holiday when they are off sick with Covid or see already low wages fall to £96 per week, raising fears they may not self-isolate. Staff on the minimum wage claim to have been offered only statutory sick pay when ill with Covid or self-isolating. This contravenes government policy that they should be paid in full to limit infection spread. One care worker involved in an ongoing outbreak at a nursing home involving several fatalities told the Guardian the employer does not provide sick pay, so the worker and other infected colleagues had to take holiday to prevent their earnings falling. One colleague took holiday pay to maintain earnings while very ill with Covid in intensive care, the care worker said.
8th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

Daily COVID-19 cases fall below 100,000, but CDC head says stay vigilant

According to the COVID-19 case tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the United States reported 86,928 new cases yesterday, and 1,268 deaths, marking the first time since Nov 2 daily case counts have fallen below 100,000. "But daily cases are still higher than the average during the summer peak," warned Rochelle Walensky, MD, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during today's White House coronavirus task force briefing. Walensky said hospitalizations were also still at record levels. There are 81,439 COVID-19 patients in US hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
8th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP

U.K. coronavirus variant spreading rapidly through United States, study finds

The coronavirus variant that shut down much of the United Kingdom is spreading rapidly across the United States, outcompeting other strains and doubling its prevalence among confirmed infections every week and a half, according to new research made public Sunday. The report, posted on the preprint server MedRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed or published in a journal, comes from a collaboration of many scientists and provides the first hard data to support a forecast issued last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed the variant becoming dominant in the United States by late March.
7th Feb 2021 - The Washington Post


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Burkina Faso hospitals worry as second COVID-19 wave hits

For nearly a year, Ousseni Yanogo thought he was doing everything he could to protect himself from the coronavirus. The 63-year-old retired gendarme diligently wore a mask, washed his hands and stayed a safe distance from other adults. When he held hands with his granddaughter to sing happy birthday when she turned 6, he never imagined he'd find himself fighting to survive in a coronavirus isolation ward weeks later. “I didn’t know contact (with children) was that dangerous, otherwise I wouldn’t have allowed the party to be organized,” Yanogo said while seated on his bed at the Bogodogo Medical Teaching Hospital in Ouagadougou, the capital of the West African country of roughly 20 million.
7th Feb 2021 - The Independent

Virus Variant First Found in Britain Now Spreading Rapidly in U.S.

A more contagious variant of the coronavirus first found in Britain is spreading rapidly in the United States, doubling roughly every 10 days, according to a new study. Analyzing half a million coronavirus tests and hundreds of genomes, a team of researchers predicted that in a month this variant could become predominant in the United States, potentially bringing a surge of new cases and increased risk of death. The new research offers the first nationwide look at the history of the variant, known as B.1.1.7, since it arrived in the United States in late 2020. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that B.1.1.7 could become predominant by March if it behaved the way it did in Britain. The new study confirms that projected path.
7th Feb 2021 - New York Times

Covid-19: Extra testing opens in Bristol and South Gloucestershire

Additional testing to track and suppress the spread of a Covid-19 variant has been rolled out in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. People who do not have symptoms but live in 24 postcode areas are "strongly encouraged" to get tested. Additional testing has been introduced in Worcestershire and Sefton after the South Africa variant was found. Bristol City Council's director of public health said people should follow existing health advice.
7th Feb 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: More than 11.4 million have now had first vaccine dose as UK reports another 828 deaths

A total of 11,465,210 people have received a first vaccine as the UK has reported another 828 deaths associated with the virus. The number of deaths is down from the 1,014 reported on Friday, and comes after another 18,262 cases were reported on Saturday, latest government figures show. The number of daily infections is less than the 19,114 cases confirmed yesterday and the 20,634 reported on Thursday.
6th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Biden administration to survey schools on COVID-19 impact

The Biden administration will soon begin collecting data from thousands of U.S. schools to find out how they have been affected by the pandemic, including how many have returned to in-person instruction, officials said Friday. Led by the Education Department the effort will collect monthly data from 7,000 schools on a range of topics related to COVID-19 It’s the first federal effort to gather data on the pandemic’s impact on education. President Joe Biden called for the data in a Jan. 21 executive order on school reopening. The Trump administration declined to collect data on the subject, saying it wasn’t the role of the federal government to do so.
6th Feb 2021 - The Independent

Bolivia funeral homes, cemeteries overwhelmed as COVID-19 deaths mount

Corpses in Bolivia have begun to pile up as a fierce second wave of the coronavirus has overwhelmed funeral homes and cemeteries, according to officials, stoking fears the growing backlog could become yet another focal point of infection.
6th Feb 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

Covid-19: NI records seven more coronavirus-related deaths

A further seven Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland. The department's coronavirus death toll now stands at 1,922. The latest figures, released on Saturday, also recorded 390 new positive cases of the virus. There are 602 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals in Northern Ireland, with 67 of those patients being treated in intensive care units (ICU).
6th Feb 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: UK records 828 deaths and 18,262 cases

The UK has recorded a further 828 Covid-19 deaths and 18,262 cases in the past 24 hours, the Government has said. The number of deaths, 28 days after a positive test, still remains high with a seven-day average of 1,000 a day. But cases, hospitalisations and deaths continue to fall as the lockdown pushes down the number of people mixing in the community. The figures bring the total number of cases in the UK to 3,929,835 and deaths to 112,092 - one of the highest in the world.
6th Feb 2021 - LBC

Covid-19: Are NI's pandemic trends turning in the right direction?

We're now into February, nearly a full year since Northern Ireland's first case of Covid-19. And we can say that we've just exited the worst month of the pandemic to date. The death toll in January far outstripped any other month so far. There were more positive cases last month than at any other time and more people ended up in our hospitals because of the virus than ever before. But there is much cause for optimism as we face into the spring - trends indicate that most of the numbers used to measure the pandemic in Northern Ireland are going in the right direction.
6th Feb 2021 - BBC News

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 10,485 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 10,485 to 2,275,394, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 689 to 61,286, the tally showed.
6th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Up to 100 UK children a week hospitalised with rare post-Covid disease

Up to 100 children a week are being hospitalised with a rare disease that can emerge weeks after Covid-19, leaving them in intensive care, doctors have said. In a phenomenon that is worrying paediatricians, 75% of the children worst affected by paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome (PIMS) were black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME). Almost four out of five children were previously healthy, according to an unpublished snapshot of cases. When PIMS emerged in the first wave of the pandemic, it caused confusion among doctors, concern among NHS bosses and alarm among parents. It was initially thought to be Kawasaki disease, a rare condition that mainly affects babies and infants. But PIMS has been recognised as a separate, novel post-viral syndrome that one in 5,000 children get about a month after having Covid, regardless of whether they had symptoms.
5th Feb 2021 - The Guardian


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COVID-19: Another 915 die with coronavirus in UK - as one in five adults has first vaccine dose

Another 915 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, according to the latest government data. This compares to the 1,322 fatalities that were reported yesterday. It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK remained on track to complete the vaccination of the top four priority groups - 15 million people - by 15 February,
4th Feb 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: 15.3% of England's population estimated to have had coronavirus by mid-January

About one in seven people in private households in England had contracted coronavirus by mid-January, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates. The figure is equivalent to 6.9 million people - 15.3% of the population. The estimate is up from one in nine people in December last year, and one in 11 people in November. The numbers are the proportion of the population who are likely to have tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19, based on blood test results from a sample group aged 16 and over.
4th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: 10 further Covid-19 deaths recorded by Department of Health

The Department of Health has reported a further 10 coronavirus related deaths. According to the latest update, four of the fatalities are said to have occurred within the current reporting period, and six outside of it. The death toll in Northern Ireland now stands at 1,899, according to the DoH. Thursday's dashboard update reports a further 412 positive cases of the virus, bringing the total number of positive cases to 105,637 since the start of the pandemic. Over the past seven days, the Department says 3,205 individuals have tested positive in Northern Ireland. There are currently 671 Covid-19 confirmed patients in hospital and 68 in intensive care.
4th Feb 2021 - Belfast Live

Variant detected in UK reported in Italian town

The Netherlands has become the latest European country to limit AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine to people aged under 65, despite the European Union approving it for all ages. France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden are among the other countries to put age limits on the vaccine, which was developed by the company with Oxford University. "Because the immune system starts to function less well with increasing age, the council considers the vaccine suitable for people up to the age of 65," the Dutch Health Council said in a statement. The council said it "recommends that the first available doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca be used in elderly people aged 60 to 65 years".
4th Feb 2021 - RTE.ie

Yet again, the virus has us all holding our breath

Here we go again. Victoria had just reached 28 days without community coronavirus transmission, but on the back of one positive case finds itself desperately trying to limit another outbreak. With the possibility that a tennis hotel quarantine worker is infected with the highly infectious UK super-strain, there is little room for mistakes or lack of urgency. Premier Daniel Andrews is right to concede that, particularly with the new mutation reaching our shores, the likelihood of it breaching the revamped hotel quarantine program is heightened. And while the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination appears on track for later this month, herd immunity is not expected to be reached for many months, leaving no room for dropping the ball.
4th Feb 2021 - The Age

To avoid lockdown, France cracks down on Covid rule breakers

The scene at the small Parisian cafe looks almost normal: smokers queueing for a pack of cigarettes, gamblers buying lottery tickets or picking up betting slips for the races. That is, until the police walk in, reminding customers, and the owner, that nothing is the same in the Covid pandemic. "There are too many people here, count them," an officer orders his team.
4th Feb 2021 - RFI


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Coronavirus outbreak at vaccine lab visited by Boris Johnson

An outbreak of coronavirus has been confirmed at the vaccine laboratory which was visited by Boris Johnson in Scotland last week. There were a number of cases reported at the Valneva site in Livingston ahead of the Prime Minister's visit on Thursday - an event which had already received some criticism. Valneva's chief financial officer David Lawrence told the Daily Record that Downing Street was informed of the outbreak ahead of the trip
3rd Feb 2021 - The Northern Echo

Up to 600 players, staff and officials at Australian Open to isolate after hotel worker’s positive Covid-19 test

The build-up to the Australian Open has been plunged into fresh chaos after 600 people associated with the tournament were ordered to immediately isolate, forcing the complete cancellation of Thursday’s schedule involving the various warm-up events at Melbourne Park. More than 100 players, plus coaches, staff and officials staying at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne’s city centre have been deemed as “casual contacts” of a hotel quarantine worker who tested positive for Covid-19. All must remain inside their rooms until a negative result has been confirmed.
3rd Feb 2021 - The Times

Over 300 million Indians may have COVID-19 - source citing government study

About one in four of India’s 1.35 billion people may have been infected with the coronavirus, said a source with direct knowledge of a government serological survey, suggesting the country’s real caseload was many times higher than reported. India has confirmed 10.8 million COVID-19 infections, the most anywhere outside the United States. But the survey, whose findings are much more conservative than a private one from last week, indicates India’s actual cases may have crossed 300 million. The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which conducted the survey, said it would only share the findings at a news conference on Thursday
3rd Feb 2021 - Reuters

Seventy-five per cent of all Covid-19 cases in Leeds are the new variant

Around three-quarters of all coronavirus cases in Leeds are currently from the new Kent variant, the council has revealed. The news was revealed in a press briefing held by Leeds City Council to update the public on the district's continuing fight against Covid-19. Providing an update on infections in the city, Victoria Eaton said that around 75 per cent of all cases currently recorded in the region are from the Kent variant. Yesterday, scientists revealed a "mutation of concern" had been detected in the Kent variant of coronavirus and described the development as a "worrying development."
3rd Feb 2021 - Leeds Live

U.S. response to coronavirus variants emphasizes masks and vaccines instead of lockdowns

As America faces the potential for catastrophic coronavirus spikes fueled by highly infectious variants, public health authorities remain wary of imposing the stricter measures adopted by other nations. Instead, they continue to embrace a stick-to-the-basics strategy: Wear a mask, maybe even two. Avoid crowds. And get vaccinated — fast. The restrained approach differs from strict preemptive measures taking place in Europe, including lockdowns, classroom closures and requirements to wear medical-grade masks. It also illustrates the realities of the pandemic response in America, where there is little appetite for more limitations to curb viral spread. The federal government and individual states have taken steps to expand genetic monitoring, but authorities are flying blind in the meantime.
3rd Feb 2021 - The Washington Post

ICU faces constant pressure as France waffles over lockdown

While France holds its breath to see if a daily 12-hour curfew and other restrictions are enough to keep a new crisis at bay, all eyes are on hospitals like La Timone, which has been a flashpoint in France throughout the pandemic. France has lost more than 77,000 lives to the virus, and more than 400 on Tuesday alone. Virus infections have stabilized in recent days but remain stubbornly high. But President Emmanuel Macron’s government says it won’t shut down the country again unless its hospitals are again at risk of overflowing with virus patients.
3rd Feb 2021 - The Independent

UK begins door-to-door testing of 80,000 people to halt South African variant

Volunteers and police officers in several parts of England began knocking on people’s doors to hand out COVID-19 testing kits on Tuesday to try to halt the spread of a highly infectious variant that originated in South Africa. The testing surge was announced by the government on Monday after 11 people in different regions tested positive for the variant without having any links to people who had travelled to South Africa. In total, Britain has found 105 cases of the variant, of which all but those 11 were people who had either been to South Africa or been in contact with someone who had
3rd Feb 2021 - Reuters UK

France's COVID situation fragile but new lockdown not inevitable -government spokesman

The COVID-19 situation in France remains fragile but a new national lockdown is not necessarily inevitable, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters on Wednesday.
3rd Feb 2021 - Reuters

CDC: COVID-19 cases drop to pre-Thanksgiving levels

After 2 months of record-setting case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today the United States has finally returned to pre-Thanksgiving levels of COVID-19 transmission. "We are now averaging 144,000 cases per day, and though deaths continue to increase, a recent decline in hospitalizations gives us hope those will also soon fall," said Rochelle Walensky, MD, during today's White House coronavirus press briefing.
3rd Feb 2021 - CIDRAP

Coronavirus: German medics fly in to aid Portugal's hospital emergency

The sight of a German military plane touching down in Lisbon on Wednesday, carrying intensive care specialists and ventilators to help save lives in Portugal's embattled hospitals, recalls the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe. Last spring, when Italy was overwhelmed by the first wave of infections, it was helped out by several other European countries taking in patients - even if many Italians felt it was too little, too late. Now, almost a year on, it is Portugal's turn. The country's national health service is overwhelmed. There's a shortage of beds and specialist nurses, and in one hospital last week, potentially life-threatening problems in an overburdened oxygen system.
3rd Feb 2021 - BBC News


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COVID-19: More than 10 million vaccine doses administered in UK - as deaths rise by 1,449

The number of COVID vaccine jabs given in the UK has now passed 10 million, government figures show. A total of 9,646,715 were first doses, while 496,796 were second doses. Meanwhile, the UK has recorded another 1,449 coronavirus deaths - yesterday this number was 406, and last Tuesday it was 1,631. A further 16,840 cases have also been confirmed, compared to 18,607 on Monday and 20,089 last Tuesday.
2nd Feb 2021 - Sky News

Covid-19: Captain Sir Tom Moore dies with coronavirus

In England, Captain Sir Tom Moore has died with coronavirus. The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden, was admitted to Bedford Hospital on Sunday. The Queen led tributes to Capt Sir Tom, "recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world". He tested positive for Covid-19 last week. His family said due to other medication he was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated.
2nd Feb 2021 - BBC News

China sees new COVID-19 cases drop to lowest in a month

China reported the fewest new COVID-19 cases in a month as imported cases overtook local infections, official data showed on Tuesday, suggesting the country’s worst wave since March 2020 is being stamped out ahead of a key holiday. Thirty cases were reported in the mainland on Feb. 1, the National Health Commission said in a statement, down from 42 cases a day earlier and marking lowest total since 24 cases were reported on Jan. 2. The commission said 18 of the new cases originated overseas, overtaking locally transmitted cases for the first time in about a month
2nd Feb 2021 - Reuters

French COVID-19 indicators at a two-months high but no lockdown

France’s main COVID-19 indicators have reached two-month highs on average on Monday and the country’s ski lifts will remain closed throughout February but the government is still hoping to avoid a third national lockdown. President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday defended his decision to hold off such a new lockdown, telling the public he had faith in their ability to rein in COVID-19 with less severe curbs even as a third wave spreads and the vaccine rollout falters. Earlier in the day, government spokesman Gabriel Attal did nonetheless say the chance of avoiding a third lockdown was slim, adding everything would be done to avoid it.
2nd Feb 2021 - Reuters


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Critically-ill Covid-19 patients being sent to Bristol from Birmingham amid 'extreme' ICU pressure

A hospital in Bristol is taking critically ill coronavirus patients from as far away as Birmingham. Southmead Hospital is stepping in amid "extreme" pressure on intensive care units (ICUs) elsewhere, BristolLive has reported. The hospital in north Bristol is taking about five coronavirus -positive patients from other regions each week. And that number is expected to rise, according to a hospital chief. North Bristol NHS Trust's chief operating officer, Karen Brown, said: "We've had patients transferred to us from Kent and also Birmingham as well."
1st Feb 2021 - Birmingham Live

COVID-19: 9.3 million people have received first vaccine dose as UK records another 406 deaths

Over half of people in their 70s have now received a coronavirus jab, as UK vaccinations hit nearly 9.3 million. It comes as the UK recorded a further 406 coronavirus-related deaths, the lowest daily rise since 28 December, and another 18,607 confirmed cases, the lowest number of daily cases since 15 December. The figures bring the total number of UK deaths to 106,564 and total number of cases to 3,835,783.
1st Feb 2021 - Sky News

Germany sees positive trend in COVID-19 infections after second lockdown

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Germany remained below the previous week’s levels, with another 14,022 cases reported within one day, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Friday. So far, more than 2.19 million infections have been registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the federal government agency for disease control and prevention. The death toll related to COVID-19 stood at 55,752. To stop the spread of infections in the country, Germany entered a second lockdown at the beginning of November. The lockdown, failing to reverse the trend in infections, was tightened and recently extended until mid-February. Non-essential shops, schools and restaurants in Germany were closed and strict contact restrictions imposed.
1st Feb 2021 - Independent

French police block passengers as new Covid rules kick in

French border police turned away some passengers bound for non-EU destinations Monday as new rules came into force banning flights to and from countries outside the bloc. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the measure Friday as part of new efforts to contain Covid-19 infections and avoid another nationwide lockdown. Travellers must also present proof of a recent negative Covid test. Only urgent reasons for travel are accepted and border police require written proof before allowing passengers to board, as Toure, a Malian national, found out when he tried to leave France for Bamako without the necessary document. "I said that my mother, whom I hadn't seen in a while, was ill but they told me I needed proof," Toure, who withheld his last name, told AFP at Paris's main airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.
1st Feb 2021 - Yahoo News Australia

Japan Set to Extend Covid Emergency as Economy Sputters

The use of masks by television personalities and news anchors on camera is sparking a debate among the public and within the entertainment industry in Japan after broadcasters on a major network began wearing them during a program. TV Tokyo Corp. began having its anchors wear masks from Jan. 18. After anchor Mariko Oe asked viewers for feedback, the network received over 1,000 comments, of which approximately 80% saw the move in a favorable light. Some of those who disliked the use of masks on camera remarked it was difficult to make out the anchor’s facial expressions. The network is planning to start using subtitles after viewers with hearing difficulties said the masks meant they were unable to lip-read.
1st Feb 2021 - Bloomberg

Japan's super-spreader weekends

Recent COVID-19 cases in Japan have shot up sharply, leading to another round of partial lockdowns, but reported cases appear subdued compared to the United States or Europe. Total cases in the United States have surpassed 23,000,000 cumulative while the cumulative number for Japan passed 315,000 cases. That is 69 cases per 1,000 people in the United States compared with two cases per 1,000 in Japan. If Japan had the same ratio of cases per 1,000 people as the United States, Japan would have more than 8,700,000 cases. That approximates the population of metropolitan Tokyo. If the United States had the same ratio of cases per 1,000 people as Japan, the number of cases would be under 660,000. That is about the population of Oklahoma City. Much has been researched and written about this disparity, but we will probably not learn of meaningful factors that can explain it for several more years.
1st Feb 2021 - The Japan Times

Britain's centenarian fundraiser Captain Tom in hospital with COVID-19

British centenarian Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions of pounds for the health service by walking laps of his garden in last year’s lockdown, has been admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, his daughter said on Sunday. The World War Two veteran caught the public’s imagination in April, just before his 100th birthday, when he was filmed doing laps with the help of a walking frame around his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, north of London. He hoped to raise 1,000 pounds. Instead, he raised more than 30 million ($41 million) for the National Health Service, broke two Guinness world records, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, scored a No. 1 single, wrote an autobiography and helped set up a charity.
1st Feb 2021 - Reuters

Covid: Door-to-door testing to be introduced across parts of England in response to South Africa variant

Some 80,000 people across England are being encouraged to come forward for “surge” testing, regardless of whether they have symptoms, as part of efforts to contain the growing spread of the South African coronavirus variant. A total of 105 cases in the UK have so far been attributed to the new variant – 11 of which were recently found to be community-based and not linked to people who had travelled to South Africa, suggesting the virus is now circulating among local populations. These infections were detected in eight different English postcodes: in Hanwell, Tottenham and Mitcham in London; Walsall in the West Midlands; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; Maidstone, Kent; Woking, Surrey; and Southport, Merseyside.
1st Feb 2021 - The Independent

Why can't Ireland be more like New Zealand on Covid?

For the first time, how to confront the threat posed by Covid-19 has become political. On one side are the government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), pursuing a policy of suppressing the virus through intermittent lockdowns. On the opposing side is a “zero Covid” movement, initially led by scientists but now backed by several opposition parties, which wants much stricter controls to emulate the example of New Zealand and rid Ireland of the coronavirus. The most prominent advocate of zero Covid has been the Independent Scientific Advisory Group (Isag), a collective of scientists from both sides of the border. In order to eliminate community transmission, it suggests closing borders, imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine on any new arrivals, and then rigorously tracking
31st Jan 2021 - The Times

COVID back in Australia as Perth enters lockdown

The Australian city of Perth was ordered into lockdown on Sunday after a security guard working in hotel quarantine tested positive for COVID-19, ending the country’s longest coronavirus-free run. Soraya Ali reports.
31st Jan 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Feb 2021

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COVID-19: UK reports another 587 coronavirus deaths - as vaccine doses rise by more than 600,000 for first time

Another 587 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, according to government figures - while the number of people to receive a vaccine dose has climbed above 600,000 in a single day for the first time. It compares to 1,200 fatalities announced yesterday and 610 last Sunday, and brings the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 106,158. Britain has recorded more coronavirus deaths than any other country in Europe and has one of the highest COVID death rates in the world, but the tally reported on Sundays is often lower due to a lag in reporting.
31st Jan 2021 - Sky News

Macron defends decision not to order third lockdown as third wave spreads

President Emmanuel Macron defended his decision to hold off on a third lockdown on Saturday, telling the public he had faith in their ability to rein in COVID-19 with less severe curbs even as a third wave spreads and the vaccine rollout falters. From Sunday, France will close it borders to all but essential travel to and from countries outside the European Union, while people arriving from within the bloc will have to show a negative test. Large shopping malls will be shut and police patrols increased to enforce a 6 p.m. curfew. But Macron has stopped short of ordering a new daytime lockdown, saying he wants to see first if other measures will be enough to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
31st Jan 2021 - Reuters

One of largest cemeteries in U.S. struggles with wave of Covid-19 deaths

One of the largest cemeteries in North America is fighting to keep up with the demand for funeral services because of an uptick in Covid-19 deaths. Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, California, covers over 1,000 acres, but families are having to wait up to five weeks for funeral arrangements, compared to the usual waiting period of five to seven days. “Many families have been very understanding about the backlog of services,” said Patrick Monroe, president and CEO of Rose Hills, adding that the daily call volume for requests spiked a few weeks after Thanksgiving.
30th Jan 2021 - NBC News

COVID-19: 'People in their 30s are dying' - exhausted ITU staff reveal brutal truth of coronavirus frontline

Hope and agony on the COVID wards. It's around 4 o'clock when seven ambulances arrive all at once. COVID-19 hospital admissions may have dipped slightly this week, but glimpse into Barnet Hospital's emergency department for a reality check. You will see we are still in the thick of a crisis. Domestic cleaner Larisa Atanasova, renowned in the hospital for her machine-like efficiency, can barely wipe down the bays quickly enough. She wipes and wipes and wipes; beds, rails, sinks and taps.
30th Jan 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: More than 900 people in the UK died each day on average in first fortnight of 2021

An average of more than 900 people died with COVID-19 each day in the first two weeks of this year, according to new analysis. The second half of April 2020 - the peak of the first wave - is the last time there was a 15-day period as deadly, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. However, January's average is likely to increase as more deaths are registered. Today marks a year since the UK's earliest known death from the disease - 84-year-old Peter Attwood from Chatham in Kent.
30th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Is Northern Ireland exiting the Covid-19 peak?

The initial indications are that Northern Ireland is just starting to come out of the current peak of the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers give plenty of cause for hope - but they also suggest there's a long way to go yet. The death rate is high, but has been falling slowly and hospital admissions have also dropped. Both of these things are positive but there are still hundreds of people in hospital with Covid-19. On a brighter note, the vaccination rollout continues and the spread of the virus has slowed.
30th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: France closes borders to most non-EU travel

France has imposed new Covid-19 border restrictions, but has once again resisted a new nationwide lockdown. All but essential travel from outside the EU has been banned, while testing requirements on travellers from within the EU has been tightened. PM Jean Castex said France's night curfew would be more tightly enforced and large shopping centres would close. But the measures were seen as mild and favouring the economy. Some doctors fear they will not curb infections.
30th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Portugal close to running out of ICU beds for COVID patients

Portugal said on Saturday it only had seven vacant beds left in intensive care units (ICUs) set up for COVID-19 cases on its mainland, as a surge in infections prompted the authorities to send some critical patients to Portuguese islands. Health Ministry data showed that, out of 850 ICU beds allocated to COVID-19 cases on its mainland, a record 843 beds were now occupied. The nation of 10 million people has an additional 420 ICU beds for those with other ailments. The ministry said the number of daily infections was 12,435, dipping from Thursday’s record, while there were 293 deaths.
30th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Parisians' relief as France avoids third lockdown

Parisians expressed their relief on Saturday (January 30) after French PM Jean Castex announced stronger curfew measures but no new lockdown on Friday night. Edward Baran reports
30th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Bolivian doctors demand lockdown as COVID surge threatens health service 'collapse'

Bolivian doctors are demanding a nationwide lockdown and threatening to stop taking in new patients as a surge in COVID-19 cases, which they say is killing an average of one medic per day, strains hospitals to breaking point. New daily coronavirus infections in the Andean country, which received its first batch of Russian Sputnik V vaccines on Thursday, hit a single-day record of 2,866 this week and deaths attributed to the epidemic climbed above 10,000. “At the rate we are going, there will be a total collapse,” said Ricardo Landivar, a director of the La Paz Medical College. “... We are going to have patients dying in the streets without being able to be treated by medical staff.”
30th Jan 2021 - Reuters

France can still avoid third coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister says

France decided against imposing a third coronavirus nationwide lockdown on Friday and instead ordered tighter controls at its borders, increased police action against curfew breakers and a greater adherence to working from home. Prime Minister Jean Castex said the public health crisis remained of great concern as France’s death toll jumped above 75,000, the seventh-highest in the world. “We know the grave impact (of a lockdown). Tonight, looking at the data of the past few days, we consider that we can still give ourselves a chance to avoid one,” Castex said in a televised statement. Speaking shortly after President Emmanuel Macron conferred with senior ministers about the crisis, Castex said that from Sunday all arrivals into France from outside the European Union would be banned, except for essential travel.
30th Jan 2021 - Reuters

A year after COVID-19's arrival, India's active cases fall

India has around 170,000 active COVID-19 patients, the lowest since June 2020. It has reported 10.7 million infections and 154,147 deaths - one of the world’s lowest fatality rates, attributed partly to its relatively young population. The country has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and, with the likely true rate of infection even higher, one study suggests pockets of India have attained herd immunity through natural infection. India started its immunisation programme on Jan. 16, with healthcare workers and a target of reaching 300 million people by July-August.
30th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID prevalence in England high, not falling during lockdown - survey

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England remains high, the Office for National Statistics said in its weekly infection survey on Friday, finding that current levels of coronavirus cases had plateaued but are not falling. The ONS said that around 1 in 55 people had COVID-19 in the week ending Jan. 23, the same prevalence as reported the previous week. “In England, the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains high,” the ONS said.
29th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal airlifts COVID patients to Madeira as hospitals near capacity

Ambulances under police escort rushed three intensive-care patients from overstretched Lisbon hospitals to a military base on Friday to be airlifted to the island of Madeira. As the number of patients in Portugal’s intensive care units hit record levels, the regional government in Madeira said it had 157 beds to spare and could take people in even though it is also experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Portugal’s hospital system is creaking under the pressure of the world’s worst surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita, blamed on a relaxation of rules around Christmas and the rapid spread of the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain.
29th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal extends lockdown and closes border over 'terrible' Covid outbreak

Portugal’s parliament has voted to extend the current lockdown until the middle of February and announced the closure of its border with Spain, as the prime minister warned that the country is in a “terrible” situation and facing “the worst moment” of the Covid-19 pandemic. On Thursday, Portugal reported a record 303 deaths from the virus and 16,432 new cases. To date, the country has registered 685,383 cases and 11,608 deaths. The current lockdown, which came into effect on 15 January, will now run until at least 14 February. Non-essential services are closed, remote work is compulsory where possible and schools are shut. The Portuguese government also announced that it would close it border with Spain for two weeks from Friday.
29th Jan 2021 - The Guardian


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Jan 2021

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Portugal breaks daily records in COVID-19 cases and deaths

Portugal reported a record-breaking 303 COVID-19 deaths and 16,432 cases on Thursday, as it struggles to contain a crippling surge in cases over the past month. The country of 10 million people, which has so far reported a total of 11,608 COVID-19 deaths and 685,383 cases, has the world's highest seven-day rolling average of cases and deaths per capita, according to data tracker
28th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

Southern Africa caught in COVID-19 surge

The coronavirus pandemic has struck southern Africa harder than any other region on the continent. DW looks at stories from South Africa to Tanzania that shed light on how different countries are battling the disease. Southern Africa welcomed news on Thursday that the African Union (AU) had secured an additional 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for its member states. South Africa is set to receive its first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday after approving it for emergency use. However, there is still little cause for celebration as the region's healthcare systems begin to wilt under the strain of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The devastating reality of the pandemic is playing out differently in these five southern African countries.
28th Jan 2021 - Deutsche Welle on MSN.com

Covid-19 deaths rise by 1,239 as UK records 28,680 more infections

Some 1,239 more people in the UK have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the government announced on Thursday. The number compares with 1,725 deaths reported the previous day and brings the total number of deaths from the disease in Britain to 103,126. The latest daily figure is slightly under the 1,290 fatalities reported on the same day last week and could raise hopes that the country’s daily death toll is peaking. However, separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 120,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
28th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

UK coronavirus cases continue to decline with 28,680 more positive tests

Cases have been down week-on-week every day for 20 days in a row, the latest data from Health chiefs shows. Death toll remains high as almost 37,000 patients are still receiving treatment in hospitals across the UK. Separate data shows lockdown 3.0 is bringing winter outbreak under control, although some say it is too slow
28th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

France Inches Toward Tighter Curbs as Virus Variants Gain Ground

More dangerous variants of the coronavirus are becoming increasingly common in France, putting pressure on the hospital system and raising the likelihood the government will soon impose tighter curbs. Health authorities are finding more than 2,000 cases a day of new forms of the virus, up from “several hundred” at the start of January, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday, during a weekly update of the health situation. President Emmanuel Macron has been trying to give a national curfew, which runs from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., a chance to slow the virus’s spread but he’s coming under mounting pressure to impose another lockdown, the third since the crisis began about a year ago. “The tension on the hospitals is real,” Veran said. “The curfew doesn’t allow us to sufficiently stop the variant from developing, and if we follow the development curve of these variants, we could enter an English, Portuguese or Spanish scenario, and you’ve seen the damages that can cause.”
28th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

Young People Spreading Covid a Concern in Rapidly Aging Japan

The world’s most rapidly aging society has long struggled to talk to its youth. That’s a disconnect that’s turning deadly in the pandemic. The difficulty in persuading young adults to upend their lifestyles to prevent Covid-19’s spread has challenged countries across the globe. Yet nowhere are the stakes higher than in Japan, where nearly a third of residents are over the age of 65, and the virus response depends on voluntary cooperation. The nation has so far relied on people changing their behavior in its largely successful fight against the virus, as authorities lack the legal ability to enforce lockdowns. But while calling for cooperation worked in the early days of fighting an unknown pathogen, like their global peers younger Japanese are increasingly hit with virus fatigue. That’s left officials struggling to persuade a demographic that’s least likely to be struck by a harsh bout of Covid, but most likely to pass the virus on.
28th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

China’s Zero-Tolerance Covid Tactics Now Include Anal Swabs

China is ramping up efforts to neutralize the coronavirus as new outbreaks challenge its already stringent pandemic strategy, with another weapon added to an arsenal of border curbs, mass testing and hard lockdowns: anal swabs. While there’s no nationwide policy on use of the technique, some residents in China’s northern regions -- where more than 1,700 cases have emerged -- have been subjected to the swabs with little warning. The method involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about two-to-three centimeters into the anus, with the sample then tested for active traces of the virus. More than 1,000 schoolchildren and teachers in Beijing were given anal, throat and nose swabs last week, along with a separate antibody test, after one asymptomatic virus case was detected on campus, according to local officials.
28th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

Chinese New Year: Clamping down on going home for the holidays

Today marks the start of the world's largest human migration - an event which sees millions of people travel thousands of miles across China to reach home in time for the Lunar New Year. For some, it is the only time they will see their families all year and is an event not to be missed. But there are fears the Spring Festival travel season, or Chunyun in Chinese, could become a superspreader event. After all, last year's Chunyun is believed to have played a significant role in the spread of Covid-19. So the Chinese authorities have been left with a problem: how do you encourage people to stay local, without actually cancelling the country's biggest annual celebration?
28th Jan 2021 - BBC News

All countries should pursue a Covid-19 elimination strategy: here are 16 reasons why

The past year of Covid-19 has taught us that it is the behaviour of governments, more than the behaviour of the virus or individuals, that shapes countries’ experience of the crisis. Talking about pandemic waves has given the virus far too much agency: until quite recently the apparent waves of infection were driven by government action and inaction. It is only now with the emergence of more infectious variants that it might be appropriate to talk about a true second wave. As governments draw up their battle plans for year two, we might expect them to base their strategies on the wealth of data about what works best. And the evidence to date suggests that countries pursuing elimination of Covid-19 are performing much better than those trying to suppress the virus. Aiming for zero-Covid is producing more positive results than trying to “live with the virus”.
28th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Third lockdown is working as Covid R rate falls to 0.9

The number of coronavirus infections is falling across the country and the R rate could be as low as 0.9, a new study shows. The findings from the eighth round of Imperial College London’s React study indicates a drop in numbers last week, suggesting lockdown is starting to have an effect. But the research, which tested more than 167,600 volunteers in England between January 6 and 22, also shows Covid-19 cases remained high over this period, with one in 64 people infected. Scientists warned this number is still at the highest level recorded since May.
28th Jan 2021 - Metro

Variant COVID among triggers for grim surge in Manaus, Brazil

In one of the most puzzling and worrisome developments in the pandemic, scientists are racing to explain what's happening in Manaus, Brazil, a city of 2.2 million at the edge of the country's rainforest that is experiencing a second explosive outbreak, even though the first one was so bad it was thought to have produced herd immunity. As the situation deepens in Manaus, overwhelming the city's health system again, researchers from Brazil and the United Kingdom yesterday said four possibilities might explain the recent dramatic resurgence, including variant SARS-CoV-2 viruses that arose in Brazil. They published their analysis yesterday in The Lancet.
28th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP

South Carolina identifies the first U.S. cases of coronavirus variant first seen in South Africa

Health authorities have identified the first U.S. cases of Covid-19 caused by a fast-spreading form of the coronavirus initially seen in South Africa, in two people in South Carolina. Neither person has a history of travel to countries where the variant has been confirmed, and there is no connection between the two people, South Carolina health officials said Thursday. That indicates there has been some local spread of the variant after it arrived in the United States. One case was found in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region, and one in the Lowcountry. The announcement Thursday means that three coronavirus variants that appear to be more contagious and have emerged in recent months have all been documented in the United States. But in a way, the news was no surprise to experts. They had for weeks said the variant that first cropped up in South Africa, called B.1.351, was likely already in the U.S., but this country’s limited system of surveillance for different iterations of the coronavirus meant the variant likely went unnoticed once it was imported via a traveler and could have even been spreading.
28th Jan 2021 - Stat News


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th Jan 2021

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Battling COVID-19, South Africa prepares for first vaccines

Battling a COVID-19 resurgence driven by a more infectious variant, South Africa is preparing to roll out its first vaccines to frontline healthcare workers. A delivery of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive imminently at Johannesburg s international airport and there are plans for jabs to be given to doctors and nurses starting next week. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has said South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its 60 million people in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health workers.
27th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Spanish PM appoints new health minister amid worsening pandemic

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appointed Regional Policy Minister Carolina Darias as the new health minister on Tuesday after her predecessor resigned to run in an election in a move criticised by the opposition amid rising COVID-19 infections. In her previous job, the 55-year-old lawyer-turned- politician from the Canary Islands helped coordinate Spain's response to the pandemic, overseeing weekly meetings of regional health chiefs. Spain's cumulative infections now total 2,629,817, while the death toll is at 56,799. Despite the two-week number of infections tripling over the past month to a record 893 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, Spain, unlike many European countries, has chosen not to impose a new nationwide lockdown after the first one ended in May.
27th Jan 2021 - Majorca Daily Bulletin

France inches toward new lockdown

The French government admitted on Wednesday that current restrictions designed to contain the spread of coronavirus were not enough, raising the prospect of a third nationwide lockdown. "Maintaining the current regime looks very unlikely", spokesman Gabriel Attal said after a cabinet meeting, amid concern about the spread of the more contagious UK variant of COVID-19. A nationwide night curfew, which was introduced on January 14, is "not sufficient at this stage", Attal added, leaving the government to study new options. President Emmanuel Macron was reported at the weekend to favour a new lockdown, but the government decided to hold off for several days to analyse the data on new infections and hospital admissions.
27th Jan 2021 - Medical Xpress

France Holds Off On New Lockdown, Worries About Unrest Risk

The French government is delaying an agonizing decision to lock down the country once more, mulling options to slow new variants of Covid-19 as the current curfew is considered insufficient. President Emmanuel Macron “has asked for additional analysis” on the spread of the virus before deciding on any new restrictions. Macron is under pressure to shut down the economy for the third time in less than a year, as doctors and researchers raise the alarm about mutations of the coronavirus spreading through the country. Yet with a presidential race coming up next year, the French leader also has to navigate criticism of his handling of the crisis, including a slow start to the vaccination campaign. And while surging U.K. cases and deaths demonstrate the perils of the new virus variants, riots in the Netherlands against a government curfew show the risks of tighter measures.
27th Jan 2021 - MSN.com

New coronavirus cases rise in France, third national lockdown feared

The daily number of new coronavirus infections in France stayed above 20,000 on average for the fourth straight day on Tuesday while hospitalisations reached an eight-week high of 27,041, increasing fears of a third national lockdown. President Emmanuel Macron still hopes a 6 p.m. curfew put in place 11 days ago will be enough to rein in the surge in new cases caused by the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus. Despite calls from some doctors and medics for a new lockdown, government minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said earlier there was no need to make a decision on such a measure at this stage.
27th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Outbreaks in S Korean schools drive Covid surge

South Korean authorities moved to rein in coronavirus outbreaks centred on Christian schools as the country reported a jump in infections, dampening hopes of a speedy exit from a third wave of the pandemic. At least 323 Covid-19 cases had been traced to churches and mission schools run by a Christian organisation in two cities. More than 100 cases were confirmed overnight among people linked to churches and its mission schools in Gwangju, about 270kms south of Seoul, officials said.
27th Jan 2021 - RTE.ie

Willingly or pressured, Slovaks take COVID tests to avoid tough lockdown

Slovak physiotherapist Katarina Caklosova was ready to close shop for two weeks rather than heed government requirements to undergo a coronavirus test - until she found that new rules would also ban her from her favourite nature walks. That tipped the balance and Caklosova, 50, will join almost 3 million Slovaks who have taken a test to avoid stricter lockdown measures kicking in on Wednesday and aimed at curbing the number of new COVID-19 cases. Under the new rules to be applied until Feb. 7, people who cannot show a certificate proving they tested negative in the previous week or had the infection in the past, are barred from moving around even for work and exercise.
27th Jan 2021 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Global COVID-19 cases surpass 100 million as nations tackle vaccine shortages

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls. Almost 1.3% of the world’s population has now been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 2.1 million people have died. Around 56 countries have begun vaccinating people for the coronavirus, administering at least 64 million doses.
27th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Malta tightens restaurant closing times to curb COVID-19 infections

Malta on Wednesday cancelled carnival events and imposed an 11 p.m. closing time on restaurants to contain the spread of COVID-19, although Prime Minister Robert Abela said there would be no lockdown or curfew. Abela said a surge of cases in January had been the result of gatherings over Christmas and the New Year. “February is a particular time with many enjoying carnival and mid-term holidays. We are asking people to be responsible and businesses to make some sacrifices,” Abela said. Police and other law enforcement officers will have a stronger presence in the streets and crack down on large gatherings in rented premises.
27th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Sweden registers 4,183 new COVID-19 cases, 178 deaths on Wednesday

Sweden, which has spurned a lockdown throughout the pandemic, registered 4,183 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, Health Agency statistics showed. The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 178 new deaths, taking the total to 11,425. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and weeks. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours, but lower than several European countries that opted for lockdowns.
27th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Cases drop in main global pandemic hot spots but surge elsewhere

In its weekly snapshot of COVID-19 activity, the World Health Organization (WHO) said cases fell for the second week in a row, mainly in the highest-burden countries, but it warned that the pattern masks sharp rises in other countries in some regions. Meanwhile, the world's level of deaths, often a lagging indicator, stayed about the same as the previous week. And more countries reported detections of variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In its weekly situation report, the WHO said cases declined 15% from last week. The largest drops were in the European and African regions. Of the five countries reporting the highest number of cases, all had drops except for France, where the illness level rose 10%. Those that had the biggest decreases included the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (24%) and the United States (20%).
27th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th Jan 2021

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Portugal urged to seek international help as COVID-19 deaths hit record

Portugal’s government was urged to transfer COVID-19 patients abroad on Tuesday as deaths hit a record high and the oxygen supply system of a large hospital near Lisbon partly failed from overuse. COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours reached a record 291, bringing the total to 653,878 cases and 11,012 deaths. It now has world’s the highest seven-day average of cases and deaths per million people. Health Minister Marta Temido told broadcaster RTP on Monday: “The Portuguese government is triggering all mechanisms available, including in the international framework, to ensure it provides the best assistance to patients.”
26th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Spain reports 93,822 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest weekend figure so far

Spain’s central Health Ministry reported 93,822 new coronavirus infections on Monday, as well as adding 767 fatalities to the overall death toll. The figures, which account for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, represent new record highs – for the entire pandemic in the former case, and for this third wave of the crisis in the latter. Presenting the figures on Monday evening, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), warned that Spain must “urgently” relieve the pressure on the country’s hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs), which are in a “critical situation.”
26th Jan 2021 - El País

France, Spain And Portugal Struggle To Contain New Coronavirus Infections

While many European countries have seen declines in new daily coronavirus cases, Spain, France and Portugal after relaxing crackdowns in December are fighting off a new surge of infections that have leaders mulling over new lockdowns and stricter restrictions to keep cases at bay. Unlike other countries across Europe, Spain, Portugal and France relaxed their coronavirus crackdowns in December for Christmas, which experts suggest lent itself to the surge in new cases. The spread of the U.K. coronavirus variant may have also contributed to the increase in infections, as the mutation is believed to be more contagious.
26th Jan 2021 - Forbes

Calls for third lockdown grow as France’s new Covid-19 hospitalisations rise sharply

The number of people hospitalised in France for COVID-19 rose by more than 1,000 over the last two days, a trend unseen since Nov. 16, and the number of patients in intensive care units for the disease exceeded 3,000 for the first time since Dec. 9. A growing number of medical experts have called for a third lockdown in France while the government rolls out the vaccine, but French media reported that President Emmanuel Macron was trying to avoid such a measure. As of Monday, France had vaccinated 1,092,958 people.
26th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Why Malaysia’s contact-tracing efforts are falling dangerously short

Covid-19 numbers in Malaysia continue to soar a year to the day since the country’s first case was detected – but after more than 180,000 infections, 678 related deaths and two nationwide lockdowns, public health experts are now concerned that the nation’s contact-tracing efforts are falling dangerously short. People who have tested positive for the disease have taken to social media to complain that they had not yet been contacted by health officials, while contact-tracing applications such as MySejahtera and SELangkah are overwhelmed, with reports indicating that thousands of close contacts are potentially being missed on a daily basis.
26th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed the nation's first case of COVID-19 caused by a variant strain, known as the Brazil P.1 variant, in a person who had recently travelled to Brazil. The person is a resident of the Twin Cities who became ill the first week of January. He or she provided a specimen for testing on Jan 9, and MDH detected the variant strain through a surveillance program that performs whole-genome sequencing on 50 COVID-19 specimens each week. MDH has interviewed the patient and is advising quarantine, as well as follow-up with the person's contacts. In addition to the P.1 variant, MDH sequencing also revealed two more cases of B117, known as the UK variant, in two patients who had recently traveled to California and the Dominican Republic, respectively.
26th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Jan 2021

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Grandmother, 92, dies with Covid-19 five days after her first vaccine dose

Mary Green, 92, got the Covid-19 vaccine at her care home in North Tyneside But the dementia-sufferer tested positive for the virus five days later. Scientists say jab came too late to save her as it takes two weeks for immunity. Professor Adam Finn said data showed there could be a large gap between doses. UK's largest charity care home boss says he feels residents are 'half-protected'
25th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: Mexican President López Obrador tests positive

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced he has tested positive for Covid-19. The 67-year-old said on Twitter that his symptoms were mild and that he was "optimistic" following the diagnosis. The development comes as Mexico grapples with an upsurge in infections, with deaths nearing 150,000. Mr López Obrador says he will continue working from home, including speaking to President Vladimir Putin about acquiring a Russian-made vaccine. It was announced earlier on Sunday that a call between the two leaders will take place on Monday to discuss their bilateral relationship and the possible supply of Sputnik V jabs.
25th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Confirmed cases of coronavirus pass 25 million in the US

The US has passed the grim milestone of more than 25 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. The new milestone means the US accounts for roughly one in four cases reported worldwide and one in five deaths. According to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of infections since the pandemic began is 25,077,155. Earlier this week the US coronavirus death toll passed 400,000. It means the number of people who have died from Covid-19 is nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in the Second World War.
25th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid: Ministers urged to intervene as mass outbreak at DVLA offices in Swansea branded a ‘scandal’

Ministers have been urged to intervene after a mass outbreak at the DVLA’s offices in Wales, by a union declaring the government agency’s response a “scandal”. More than 350 employees at the UK vehicle licensing agency’s contact centre in Swansea tested positive in the four months to December, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to above 500. Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething is among several senior politicians to say he is “concerned about anecdotal reports” emerging from the offices – with the BBC and The Observer reporting that some symptomatic employees had been encouraged to return to work, amid an alleged “culture of fear”.
25th Jan 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: UK records lowest daily rise in coronavirus cases so far this year

The UK has recorded its lowest daily rise in coronavirus cases so far this year, with 22,195. The last time the number of cases by date reported was lower than that was 15 December, according to the government's coronavirus data dashboard. While there is usually a reporting lag over and immediately after the weekend, resulting in lower increases, it's also well down on yesterday's figure of 30,004 and the 37,535 posted last Monday.
25th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Spain's virus surge hits mental health of front-line workers

The unrelenting increase in COVID-19 infections in Spain following the holiday season is again straining hospitals, threatening the mental health of doctors and nurses who have been at the forefront of the pandemic for nearly a year. In Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, the critical care capacity has more than doubled and is nearly full, with 80% of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients. “There are young people of 20-something-years-old and older people of 80-years-old, all the age groups,” said Dr. Joan Ramon Masclans, who heads the ICU. “This is very difficult, and it is one patient after another.”
25th Jan 2021 - Associated Press

Spain struggling to contain third coronavirus wave as more infectious strain takes hold

Disastrous. Difficult. Disheartening. That’s how dozens of health experts have described the coronavirus epidemiological situation in Spain to EL PAÍS. The country is reaching the peak of the third wave of the pandemic, if it is even possible to say the second ever ended. The number of new infections likely peaked last Thursday, when 44,357 cases were reported – the highest single-day figure since the start of the pandemic. If the curve has not started to flatten since then, it will do so this week, according to experts. But with the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 828, the real question is how quickly will contagions start to fall and if they will instead reach a plateau.
25th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Head of French health regulatory body: COVID situation is worrying

The COVID-19 situation in France is worrying, the head of the country’s Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) health regulator told France Inter radio on Monday, as President Emmanuel Macron’s government considers a new lockdown. France has the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll, with more than 73,000 deaths. “It is a worrying moment. We are looking at the figures, day by day. We need to take measures pretty quickly....but at the same time, not too hastily,” said HAS head Dominique Le Guludec.
25th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Mexican president contracts COVID-19 after worst week of pandemic

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday he had tested positive for COVID-19 amid the country’s deadliest week yet in the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed the health system of the Mexican capital to its limits. The 67-year-old president, who was a heavy smoker until suffering a major heart attack in 2013, said in a tweet that his symptoms were light and he was receiving treatment. “As always, I am optimistic,” said Lopez Obrador, who has resisted wearing a face mask in public since the virus reached Mexico over 10 months ago. The president, who is back in Mexico City after a three-day visit to parts of northern and central Mexico, said he would continue working, and still planned to take part in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday morning.
25th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK detects 77 cases of South African COVID variant, nine of Brazilian

Britain has detected 77 cases of the South African variant of COVID-19, the health minister said on Sunday, also urging people to strictly follow lockdown rules as the best precaution against Britain’s own potentially more deadly variant. Matt Hancock said all 77 cases were connected to travel from South Africa and were under close observation, as were nine identified cases of a Brazilian variant. “They are under very close observation, and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything we possibly can to stop them from spreading,” he said during an interview on BBC television. Oxford professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of a scientific committee on vaccination that advises the government, said the South African and Brazilian variants were of concern because COVID-19 vaccines may not be effective against them.
25th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Israel bans international flights to curb coronavirus spread

Israel will ban passenger flights in and out of the country from Monday evening for a week, the government announced on Sunday, as protesters in some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities clashed with police over coronavirus lockdown measures. Clashes broke out between ultra-Orthodox protesters in the city of Bnei Brak and police forces who came to enforce the lockdown. One police officer, feeling his life was in danger, fired in the air to repel the crowds, police said. Smaller confrontations with ultra-Orthodox protesters broke out in several other towns, police said. The ban on flights will come into force from Monday at 2200 GMT and last until the end of January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
25th Jan 2021 - Reuters

France probably needs new lockdown as early as February: top adviser

France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the government’s top medical adviser on COVID-19 policy said on Sunday. French schoolchildren have two weeks off in February, but the entire month is a holiday month as three different zones stagger the start of their holidays by one week, with the first starting on Feb. 6. “We probably need to go towards a confinement. Whether that needs to be a very strict confinement like the first one in March or a softer form like in November, that is a political decision,” Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on COVID-19 response, told BFM television.
25th Jan 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Jan 2021

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UK detects 77 cases of South African COVID variant, nine of Brazilian

Britain has detected 77 cases of the South African variant of COVID-19, the health minister said on Sunday, also urging people to strictly follow lockdown rules as the best precaution against Britain’s own potentially more deadly variant. Matt Hancock said all 77 cases were connected to travel from South Africa and were under close observation, as were nine identified cases of a Brazilian variant. “They are under very close observation, and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything we possibly can to stop them from spreading,” he said during an interview on BBC television. Oxford professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of a scientific committee on vaccination that advises the government, said the South African and Brazilian variants were of concern because COVID-19 vaccines may not be effective against them.
24th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Mexico's death toll from COVID-19 set to pass grim milestone of 150,000

Crying outside a Mexico City cemetery, a family embraced the box that contained the ashes of their beloved grandmother. The grandmother had fallen ill a few days after they met to celebrate New Year’s, and died shortly after, family members said. She was not even 60 years old. Mexico is set to surpass 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, one of the world's highest death tolls, a Reuters tally shows. Its death count is closing the gap with that of India, a country with a population several times larger. Only the United States and Brazil have reported higher numbers. “You feel so powerless when you see your relative slipping away, when you have no way to do anything for them, to save them,” said Lesly Garcia. “It hurt me not to see her again.”
24th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: UK records another 1,348 coronavirus-related deaths and 33,552 cases

The UK has recorded another 1,348 coronavirus-related deaths and 33,552 cases, according to the latest government figures. A total of 5,861,351 people have also had a first dose of a vaccine, with another 468,617 people so far receiving their second inoculation against the virus. It comes after the UK reported 1,401 coronavirus deaths and an additional 40,261 infections on Friday. The total number of deaths in the UK is now 97,329.
23rd Jan 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: China orders millions in Beijing to get tested after three new cases

Millions of people in Beijing are being tested for COVID-19 after the Chinese capital recorded three new cases on Friday. Provinces around the country have also been ordered to prepare mass quarantine facilities. Mainland China has a current total of 1,960 officially confirmed cases, but the government is going to extraordinary lengths to stop limited outbreaks turning into a second wave.
23rd Jan 2021 - Sky News

Coronavirus: NI health staff braced for expected Covid-19 surge

Senior medics have issued a stark Covid-19 warning as health staff brace themselves for a predicted surge in coronavirus cases this weekend. On Saturday, 12 further deaths with Covid-19 were recorded by the Department of Health, taking its death toll to 1,716. Another 670 people tested positive for the virus. There are 810 people in hospital with Covid-19, of which 66 are in intensive care. Dr Thelma Craig, a respiratory consultant at Belfast's Mater Hospital, said that more patients are being hospitalised in this wave of the virus. It is affecting younger people too. "We are seeing people coming in with very little past medical history - coming in, in respiratory failure, desperately unwell," Dr Craig told BBC News NI.
23rd Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Is NI in the toughest period of the pandemic?

Medics have been warning that we are now at the peak of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Northern Ireland. While the numbers and statistics used to measure the pandemic can never portray the suffering and individual cost of the virus, they do give us an insight into how we're coping with the outbreak. In short, we are now going through the toughest period since Covid-19 became a part of our lives. More people are in our hospitals suffering from the virus. More people are dying with Covid.
23rd Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Nurses call for better masks to protect all staff

Nurses are calling for all UK staff to be given a higher grade of face mask to protect them against new variants of coronavirus. The Royal College of Nursing warns that inadequate PPE may be putting the lives of nursing staff at risk. It has written to the workplace safety watchdog detailing its concerns, soon after a similar appeal from doctors. England's Department of Health says there is no reason to change current guidance. It follows a comprehensive review of all the evidence around the new variants and the impact on PPE.
23rd Jan 2021 - BBC News

A year after Wuhan lockdown, China sees small rise in COVID-19 cases

China on Saturday reported more new cases of COVID-19 and the financial hub of Shanghai imposed new restrictions, as the country marked the anniversary of the world’s first coronavirus lockdown in Wuhan city, where the disease emerged in late 2019. The National Health Commission said 107 new COVID-19 cases had been identified in the mainland on Saturday, up from 103 cases the day before. The commission said in a statement that 90 of the new cases were local infections. The northeastern province of Heilongjiang recorded 56 new cases and neighbouring Jilin province had 13. Beijing and Shanghai recorded three new cases each, and the province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, recorded 15 new cases.
23rd Jan 2021 - Reuters

France had 23,292 new COVID-19 cases and 649 more deaths in last 24 hours

France registered a further 23,292 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 649 more deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours as President Emmanuel Macron’s government fought against the possibility of a third national lockdown. Health ministry data published on Friday showed that France’s overall COVID-19 death toll stood at 72,647 - the seventh biggest in the world. The number of confirmed COVID cases stood at just over 3 million. Pressure is also building on France’s hospital system, with 2,912 COVID-19 patients currently in intensive care units, although France is stepping up its COVID-19 vaccination programme.
23rd Jan 2021 - Reuters

Three cases linked to Australia Open carry highly virulent COVID-19 variant

Three people in hotel quarantine associated with the Australian Open tennis tournament have tested positive for the highly transmissible coronavirus variant linked to the United Kingdom, officials said on Saturday. The three quarantined in Melbourne are not players, said the state agency responsible for quarantining overseas travellers. All have been in hard lockdown since their Jan. 15 arrival. “Three quarantine residents associated with the Australian Open who tested positive for coronavirus have been found to have the UK variant of the virus,” COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria said in a statement.
23rd Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal holds presidential election as COVID-19 cases spiral

Portuguese voters - largely confined to their homes due to a strict COVID-19 lockdown - will pick a new president on Sunday, but many fear going to the polls could worsen a surge in coronavirus cases and low turnout is expected. The country of 10 million people, which fared better than others in the first wave of the pandemic, now has the world’s highest seven-day rolling average of new cases and deaths per capita. Authorities reported a record daily toll of 274 deaths and more than 15,300 new cases on Saturday. “It wouldn’t have been a problem to wait another month. Exceptional times call for exceptional measures,” said Lisbon resident Miguel Goncalves, 55.
23rd Jan 2021 - Reuters

Britain to discuss tighter travel restrictions

British ministers are to discuss on Monday further tightening travel restrictions, the BBC reported on Saturday, adding that people arriving in the country could be required to quarantine in hotels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a news conference on Friday that the UK may need to implement further measures to protect its borders from new variants of COVID-19. Britain’s current restrictions ban most international travel while new rules introduced earlier in January require a negative coronavirus test before departure for most people arriving, as well as a period of quarantine.
23rd Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Israel begins to give Covid jabs to teenagers

Over 2.5 million of Israel's nine-million-population have had first vaccine dose. The country's campaign is currently leading the global vaccination drive. Teenagers aged 16-18 are now being given the first dose, starting on Saturday Wednesday saw the country recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in a single day, with 10,213 cases and 101 deaths
23rd Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Panama detects first case of South Africa COVID-19 variant - health ministry

Panama has registered its first case of a COVID-19 variant matching a strain of the virus detected in South Africa, the Central American country’s health ministry said on Friday. The variant was detected in a 40-year-old native of Zimbabwe who entered Panama on Jan. 5 from South Africa. The person did not show symptoms and has been isolated, the ministry said in a statement.
22nd Jan 2021 - Reuters


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Jan 2021

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Israel coronavirus cases soar even as it pushes on with vaccine drive

Coronavirus infections in Israel are soaring among those yet to be vaccinated, straining hospitals and forcing the government to extend a strict lockdown even as the country continues its breakneck vaccination drive.
21st Jan 2021 - The Financial Times

Biden takes charge as US Covid-19 deaths hit record high

Joe Biden has taken charge of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic as the country reported a record daily increase in deaths. One year to the day since the first Covid-19 case was diagnosed in the US, states attributed a further 4,409 deaths to the virus, according to data on Wednesday from the Covid Tracking Project. The latest figures came hours after Mr Biden in his inauguration speech reflected on a “deadly virus” that has claimed the lives of about 400,000 Americans, cost millions of jobs and closed businesses. He called for a unified response to address what he said “may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus”.
21st Jan 2021 - Financial Times

COVID-19: Nearly 5 million people get first vaccine dose as UK records another 1,290 deaths

Almost five million people have been given a first dose of a COVID vaccine, as the UK recorded another 1,290 deaths and 37,892 cases, figures show. A total of 363,508 first coronavirus vaccinations were administered yesterday, the highest daily figure to date. As many as 4,973,248 first doses have now been given and 464,036 second doses, an increase of 3,411 on figures released the previous day.
21st Jan 2021 - Sky News

In U.K. Hospitals, a Desperate Battle Against a Threat Many Saw Coming

As a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus pounds Britain’s overstretched National Health Service, health care workers say the government’s failure to anticipate a wintertime crush of infections has left them resorting to ever more desperate measures. Hundreds of soldiers have been dispatched to move patients and equipment around London hospitals. Organ transplant centers have stopped performing urgent operations. Doctors have trimmed back the level of oxygen being given to patients to save overloaded pipes.
21st Jan 2021 - New York Times

100,000 more Americans could die from Covid-19 in next month, CDC forecasts

The United States could see an additional 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 within the next month, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projected. Due to the current viral surge, the country hit the grim milestone of 400,000 coronavirus deaths this week. This milestone came as the US averaged more than 4,000 deaths per day, making it the daily leading cause of death in the country. The death toll currently stands at 406,196 as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.
21st Jan 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: Coffins stacked high in crematorium of German town ravaged by coronavirus

A crematorium is a sobering place to visit during a pandemic. Especially the one in the town of Meissen, eastern Germany, where coffins are stacked on top of each other in every available space. Attached to each simple wooden casket is a small piece of paper giving the basic details about the body inside. The name of the deceased, date of birth and death. And chalked on to the side of so many is the word COVID. We are standing amongst the victims of a virus which has hit Meissen hard. In the basement, vast furnaces and workers are operating around the clock. They need to, such is the demand for cremations in a town which has experienced one of the highest COVID-19 rates in Germany.
21st Jan 2021 - Sky News

Portugal suffers surging Covid-19 deaths after mastering first wave

Marta Temido, health minister and one of the best-known figures of Portugal’s fight against coronavirus, stood outside a beleaguered hospital near Lisbon this week and made an impassioned plea. “We are mobilising every health resource at our disposal,” she said. “But there is a limit, and people have to know that we are very close to that limit.” Her appeal for the country to respect the rules of a second national lockdown was made as record numbers of new cases and hospital admissions threatened to overwhelm a national health service struggling to find more beds and more staff. After infection rates began soaring in early January, Portugal this week became the country with the highest seven-day average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.
21st Jan 2021 - Financial Times

UK hits new daily record for Covid-19 deaths as 3rd lockdown fails to slow spread

In the United Kingdom, the coronavirus situation remains bleak, with the government’s chief scientific advisor saying that some hospitals “now resemble to war zones” due to the influx of Covid-19 patients. 1,820 deaths were confirmed on Wednesday, the highest daily toll in the country so far. Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson has been under criticism for not acting sooner, particularly regarding the new variant of the coronavirus. But Johnson called on British to remain home wherever possible.
21st Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Sweden registers 4,702 new COVID-19 cases, 206 deaths on Wednesday

Sweden, which has spurned a lockdown throughout the pandemic, registered 4,702 new coronavirus on Wednesday, Health Agency statistics showed. The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 206 new deaths, taking the total to 10,797. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and weeks. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours but lower than several European countries that opted for lockdowns.
21st Jan 2021 - Reuters

France reports 26,784 new COVID-19 cases, highest since November 18

The French health ministry reported 26,784 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, up from 23,608 on Tuesday and 23,852 last Wednesday. Wednesday’s tally was the highest since Nov. 18, when 28,383 infections were registered during France’s second lockdown that month. A record 86,852 cases were recorded on Nov 7. France also reported 310 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals in the past 24 hours, from 229 last Wednesday. The seven-day moving average of coronavirus deaths in hospitals and retirement homes rose to 374, from 363 on Tuesday. Four weeks after Christmas - when the government eased a curfew so French families could gather - the number of people in hospital with the virus increased by 119 to 25,686. The seven-day moving average of new hospital admissions rose to 131, its highest level since Nov. 18. At the start of the second lockdown, that average stood over 1,000 for nine days.
21st Jan 2021 - Reuters

Sweden extends pandemic curbs amid tentative signs of slowing outbreak

Sweden extended distance learning for high school students and told public employees to continue to work from home, renewing measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic despite signs that infections are beginning to slow. Sweden has avoided the kind of lockdown seen across much of Europe, but has gradually tightened restrictions after being hit by a second wave of COVID-19 infections in autumn last year. Those measures seem to be bearing fruit with authorities cautiously optimistic that, in some parts of the country, the situation is improving. The government said it nevertheless needed to extend many of the measures aimed at social distancing.
21st Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal's COVID-19 cases hit record, health service pushed to limit

Daily coronavirus cases in Portugal rose 40% on Wednesday from the day before to a record 14,647, with the national health system (SNS) on the verge of collapse and the government pondering tougher lockdown measures to tackle the surge. “The situation is serious and the government will not fail to do everything to protect the Portuguese,” Health Minister Marta Temido told reporters. “We have the SNS at its extreme limit.” The European Union country of 10 million people, where authorities implemented a 15-day lockdown last week to fight the spread of the virus, also hit a record of 219 new deaths on Wednesday from 218 the day before, health authority DGS said.
21st Jan 2021 - Reuters

'No evidence of decline' in COVID-19 rates in England's third lockdown

A third pandemic lockdown appears to be having little impact on rates of COVID-19 in England, researchers warned on Thursday, with prevalence of the disease “very high” and “no evidence of decline” in the first 10 days of renewed restrictions. Until rates of COVID-19 are reduced substantially, health services “will remain under extreme pressure” and the number of deaths will continue to rise rapidly, researchers leading Imperial College London’s REACT-1 prevalence study said. “The number of COVID-19 in-patients (in hospital) is extremely high at the moment, and we can’t expect that to drop unless we can achieve lower levels of prevalence,” said Steven Riley, a professor of infectious disease dynamics who co-led the work. “The fact that (prevalence) is not going down has potentially serious consequences”
21st Jan 2021 - Reuters

Biden says 'help is on the way' with national COVID-19 strategy

"Help is on the way," said President Joe Biden today as he unveiled his 200-page national COVID-19 strategy and signed 10 executive actions aimed at tackling the pandemic, including ensuring the safe opening of schools, new guidance for foreign travel, and ensuring the National Guard in all 50 states is involved in the pandemic response. "Things will get worse before they get better," Biden said, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical advisor to the president and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Jeff Zients, the Biden administration's COVID czar.
21st Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Jan 2021

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New CDC director to take over beleaguered agency amid worsening COVID-19 crisis

Dr. Rochelle Walensky will be tasked with reasserting the agency while the pandemic is in its deadliest phase yet and the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign is wracked by confusion and delays
20th Jan 2021 - The Globe and Mail

Zimbabwe's foreign minister dies of COVID-19 amid resurgence

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who gained prominence in 2017 as the military general who announced the coup against then-president Robert Mugabe on television, has died from COVID-19 the government announced Wednesday. He was 61. Moyo, previously little known to the public, became the face of the coup when he announced that the military had placed Mugabe under house arrest as the military's armored vehicles rolled into the capital, Harare The coup ended Mugabe's 37-year rule in Zimbabwe and he later died in Sept. 2019.
20th Jan 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: UK records another 1,820 coronavirus deaths and 38,905 new cases

A further 1,820 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 - the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began. It surpasses the previous record of 1,610, which was announced on Tuesday. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 93,290 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID test. When asked by reporters about the record number of deaths, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned "there will be more to come" and said the figures were "appalling".
20th Jan 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: 'Public health emergency unfolding' in prisons as coronavirus cases soar

The new coronavirus strain and a rapidly rising number of infections in prisons across England and Wales is a "public health emergency unfolding before our eyes," the shadow justice secretary has warned. Labour MP David Lammy said it was vital that ministers "act urgently" to prevent the virus from spreading further in jails - or risk preventable deaths. "We're not condemning our prisoners to death in this country, but for some prisoners, that's what it means," said Mr Lammy.
20th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Spain reports highest weekly figure of new coronavirus cases so far: 233,523

The coronavirus is spreading in Spain at a slightly slower rate, according to data released on Tuesday by the Spanish Health Ministry. On Monday, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), said that Spain could be reaching the peak of the third wave of the virus, and there are indications in the latest figures that suggest this could be the case, although the data must be viewed with caution. For example, for the first time since January 7, a region has reported a drop in the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Indeed three regions registered a fall in their incidence rate: the Balearic Islands (-0.31%), Cantabria (-0.98%) and Catalonia (-1.54%). On the opposite end of the spectrum, the incidence rate in Extremadura has risen to 1,412.
20th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain rejects tighter rules despite rising Covid-19 cases

Spain is gambling that its coronavirus wave is peaking and has rejected calls for tough new lockdowns despite high case numbers and warnings that intensive care units are full. Infections have tripled and hospital admissions doubled in the past three weeks, with about one in five hospital beds and a third of the intensive care capacity occupied by Covid-19 patients. Non-urgent operations have already been postponed.
20th Jan 2021 - The Times

Spain headed toward de facto lockdown amid surge in coronavirus cases

The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is pushing Spain toward a de facto lockdown, that – while stopping short of the strict home confinement rules introduced last spring during the first wave – greatly restricts social activities and freedom of movement. In response to the rising number of coronavirus cases, Spanish regions have introduced tough new measures, such as the perimetral lockdowns of municipalities and the closure of all food and drink establishments. But there is now debate about whether or not the current state of alarm should be modified to allow regions to apply even stricter restrictions.
20th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

How South Korea's Covid-19 success faltered

South Korea’s aggressive response to Covid-19 has often been praised internationally as a success, becoming the envy of many countries around the world struggling to control their own outbreaks. One year on, the nation’s tight-grip approach to containing the virus is now slowly taking its toll on citizens – and has become the subject of fierce attacks from critics. The country detected its first Covid-19 case on 20 January 2020. One month later, a major cluster of cases hit, centred around the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu. The religious group was blamed for thousands of infections and made sensational headlines around the world. Health authorities, however, were ready. Their weapon of choice? Pervasive contact tracing. It proved effective in flattening the curve of the country’s first wave without the need to close private businesses, and provided an example to the world of how best to tackle the virus.
20th Jan 2021 - New Statesman

Coronavirus deaths hit grim new daily high, as expert warns it will be weeks before they fall significantly

Deaths from coronavirus hit a grim record on Tuesday, with daily fatalities reaching a high of 1,610 across the UK as a government scientific adviser warned that it could be weeks before significant reductions are seen. The highest daily toll of the pandemic brought the total official figure for deaths above 90,000. But a separate measure of death certificates which mentioned Covid-19 put the total at 108,000. Antibody data suggested that one in eight people in England had been infected with coronavirus at some point in the pandemic up to December, in what one expert described as “one of the worst coronavirus problems in the world”.
20th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Malaysia Holds Key Rate Amid Lockdown to Curb Virus Surge

Malaysia kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday, saving its policy ammunition as the country grapples with a surge in Covid infections that could take months to subside. Bank Negara Malaysia maintained the overnight policy rate at a record-low 1.75% at its first meeting of the year, as expected by 12 of 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The rest had forecast a 25-basis point cut.
20th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

China's capital steps up COVID-19 measures as outbreak persists

China’s capital Beijing said it will investigate all individuals who entered the city from abroad from Dec. 10 and it shut down a subway station after reporting the biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks. The measures come amid what has become China’s most serious coronavirus outbreak since March 2020 ahead of Lunar New Year holiday season, when hundreds of millions of people travel, raising fears of another major COVID-19 wave that could bring the country back into a debilitating standstill. The National Health Commission said on Wednesday a total of 103 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Jan. 19, down from 118 a day earlier. Northeastern Jilin province reported 46 new infections, however, setting another record in daily cases, while Hebei province surrounding Beijing reported 19 new cases.
20th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Third Portuguese minister hit by coronavirus in a week

Portuguese Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-isolation, his office reported late on Tuesday, the third cabinet member to be diagnosed with the virus in a week. He had already been in quarantine at home since Saturday as a precautionary measure after Finance Minister Joao Leao tested positive following a meeting with top EU officials. Siza Vieira and Prime Minister Antonio Costa were also at that meeting. Siza Vieira was the third minister to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past week, following Leao and Labour Minister Ana Mendes Godinho.
20th Jan 2021 - Reuters

France reports 23,608 COVID cases over 24 hours

France reported 23,608 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up from 3,736 on Monday, while admissions to intensive care units continued to rise. Health Minister Olivier Veran said earlier the coronavirus was still circulating at a worrying level, but stopped short of recommending a third national lockdown. A nationwide curfew was brought forward to start at 6 p.m. from last Saturday, and authorities say it will remain in place for at least a fortnight. Health ministry data also showed 656 people had died from the virus in hospitals on Tuesday, up from 403 on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 71,342, the world’s seventh-highest.
20th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Desperate relatives of Covid patients in Brazil queue for hours to fill their loved-ones' oxygen tanks as mutant strain ravages country

Amozonas state has been gripped by a devastating resurgence of the disease and doctors at hospitals in Manaus, the rainforest's largest city, are having to decide which of their patients should get oxygen. Desperate family members queued up outside a local oxygen plant during a downpour on Tuesday. They arrived with huge green tanks to be filled with oxygen and then rushed back to their ailing relatives. Comes as Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro dispatched oxygen to the region infuriating President Jair Bolsonaro. 'He could give aid to his people too, right? Wages there don't buy half a kilo of rice,' Bolsonaro said
20th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Global COVID-19 deaths climb; hot spot locations shift

Global COVID-19 cases declined a bit last week, but the number of deaths rose to record levels, as hot spots within world regions shift and more countries report the detection of variant SARS-CoV-2 strains, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its regular weekly update. Cases were down 6%, partly led by declines in parts of Europe and the Americas. Deaths, however, increased by 9%, with the world reporting a record weekly high of 93,000, the WHO said, noting that hospitalizations and deaths are a lagging indicator.
20th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


Coronavirus Resurgence - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th Jan 2021

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Third wave hits Spain in record rise

Joe Biden’s team announced that he plans to extend travel restrictions barring people from much of Europe and Brazil from travelling to the US, shortly after President Trump said he would lift the restrictions on January 26. Mr Trump signed an order yesterday ending the ban, which he imposed early last year in response to the pandemic, after securing support from his coronavirus task force and public health officials.
19th Jan 2021 - The Times

Spain reports 84,287 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest weekend figure so far

The third wave of the coronavirus is continuing to break records in Spain. The Spanish Health Ministry reported that 84,287 new cases had been detected since Friday, the biggest increase recorded on a Monday – when weekend data is also included – since the start of the pandemic. The previous record was set last Monday, when 61,422 new infections were reported. “We could be reaching the peak of the third wave,” said Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), at a government press conference on Monday. But, he warned, it may be some time before the figures are consolidated, as there is typically underreporting over the weekends. Spain also recorded its highest incidence rate of the pandemic on Monday. The 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is now 689 – nearly triple the 250-threshold considered to be an indicator of extreme risk.
19th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

France sticks to Covid plans in race between vaccines and contagious variant

France’s government said Tuesday it would avoid the strictest lockdown measures despite gradually increasing Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions, preferring to bank on vaccinations. The spread of a more contagious variant of the new coronavirus seems to have prompted many to get the jab and there are now concerns over delays in delivery. Despite laboratory delays and reports of shortages and logistical problems in its vaccine campaign, France’s government said it would avoid toughening health restrictions even as case numbers and hospital admissions continued to increase. “We already took a tough decision last week to impose a 6pm curfew on the country as a whole,” health minister Olivier Véran told France Inter radio. “I cannot say we will impose a confinement but the circulation of the virus remains worrying.”
19th Jan 2021 - RFI

COVID-19 still circulating at a 'worrying' level in France, says minister

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday the coronavirus was still circulating at a “worrying” level in France, but stopped short of recommending a third national lockdown. “We already took a tough decision last week to impose a 6 p.m. curfew on the country as a whole,” Veran told France Inter radio. “I cannot say we will impose a confinement but the circulation of the virus remains worrying.”
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Hospitals in Japan close to collapse as serious Covid cases soar

Hospitals in Covid-hit regions of Japan are on the brink of collapse, medical experts have warned, as the country battles a third wave of infections that has caused record numbers of people to fall seriously ill. Japan reported more than 4,900 coronavirus infections on Monday, with serious cases rising to a record high of 973, local media reported. Although Japan has avoided the huge caseloads and death tolls seen in some other countries, infections have doubled over the past six weeks to about 338,000, according to the public broadcaster NHK, with 4,623 deaths. The increase, coupled with the discovery of the first recorded community transmissions of a fast-spreading strain of Covid-19 initially identified in Britain, is adding to pressure on the prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, to move quickly to protect stretched medical services.
19th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

COVID-19: Deaths registered in England and Wales soar as coronavirus rates climb

There were 17,751 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 8 January - up 7,682 on the preceding week, new figures show. Of the deaths registered, 6,057 mentioned "novel coronavirus", accounting for 34.1% of all deaths in England and Wales, according to figures from Office for National Statistics. This nearly doubled on the previous week when 3,144 coronavirus-related deaths occurred and represents a 92.7% increase.
19th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Number of COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals falls

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Irish hospitals fell on Tuesday from the highest level recorded since the pandemic began a day earlier, as a surge in infections that threatened to overwhelm the health system began to ease. Ireland had the fastest-growing incidence rate in Europe at the start of the year, fuelled by the relaxation of restrictions ahead of Christmas and the increasing prevalence of a new, more transmissible variant first detected in England. That led to 2,020 patients being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 by Monday, more than double the previous peak set in the first wave of infections in April. The total fell 3% to 1,954 on Tuesday as more patients were discharged than admitted.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID situation in UK is serious despite falling infections, PM tells ministers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his team of cabinet ministers on Tuesday the COVID situation in Britain was still “very serious” despite infection rates beginning to decline, urging others to follow the lockdown guidelines. “The prime minister opened cabinet with an update on the current COVID situation, noting that although we are beginning to see a decline in infection rates, the situation remains very serious and it remains as important as ever for people to follow the guidance to continue to suppress the spread of the virus,” his spokesman told reporters.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

China's COVID outbreak worst since March 2020

China is battling the worst outbreak of COVID-19 since March 2020, with one province posting a record daily rise in cases, as an independent panel reviewing the global pandemic said China could have done more to curb the initial outbreak. State-backed tabloid the Global Times on Tuesday defended China’s early handling of COVID-19, saying no country had any experience in dealing with the virus. “Looking back, no country could perform perfectly in facing a novel virus... No country can guarantee they won’t make mistakes if a similar epidemic occurs again,” it said. China reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases for a seventh day on Tuesday. It posted 118 new cases on Monday, up from 109 a day earlier, the national health authority said in a statement.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal's daily COVID deaths hit record high as hospitals struggle

Portugal, initially praised for its swift response to the coronavirus pandemic, recorded a record number of COVID-19 related deaths on Monday as its hospitals struggled to cope. The Portuguese government, facing concerns over low compliance with lockdown measures brought in last week, also introduced further rules to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus among its population of 10 million people. Portugal posted 167 COVID-19 related deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,028 since the pandemic began. “After so many cases, and so many deaths, nobody can ... think COVID-19 only happens to others,” Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

France reports rising number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care

The French health ministry reported 3,736 new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours on Monday, a figure lower than Sunday’s 16,642 but higher than last Monday’s 3,582, raising fears the country might have to resort to a third lockdown. France’s cumulative total of cases now stands at 2,914,725, the sixth-highest in the world. The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 18,270, the highest since Nov. 24. The number of people being treated in intensive care units for the disease was up for the ninth consecutive day, going beyond the 2,800 threshold for the first time since Dec. 17.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Hospitals in Americas, Europe under growing strain of COVID-19

The world added more than 2 million new COVID-19 cases in the past 3 days, with health systems coming under pressure in the Americas and in more European countries and China reporting another pocket of local spread, triggering more strong measures. Over the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) Americas region reported 2.5 million cases, making up more than half of the global total, Carissa Etienne, MBBS, MSc, who directs the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said today at a briefing. She added that over the past week, 42,000 more people in the region died from their infections.
19th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


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Coronavirus China: COVID-19 'super-spreader' is linked to 102 infections in Jilin

A travelling salesman in China has been linked to 102 COVID-19 infections after giving public lectures while carrying the virus without showing symptoms. The man, who has been dubbed a 'super-spreader', had held the talks at health salons popular with elderly citizens before the cluster infections erupted in the north-eastern province of Jilin, state media reported. China reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day on Monday. Rising infections in the northeast are fuelling concern of another wave when hundreds of millions of people travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.
18th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: Critical care wards full in hospitals across England

Ten hospital trusts across England consistently reported having no spare adult critical care beds in the most recent figures. It comes as hospital waiting times, coronavirus admissions and patients requiring intensive care are rising. England's 140 acute trusts had 5,503 adult critical care beds on 10 January, with 4,632 in use. NHS bosses have warned hospitals could "hit the limit" of their capacity this week. "I think, this next week, we will be at the limit of what we probably have the physical space and the people to safely do," Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said.
18th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Ten areas in England with biggest Covid rise as 36 places record jump despite lockdown

Covid infection rates are still rising in 36 areas in England despite lockdown - but which areas are the worst? Figures from Public Health England reveal that Knowsley in Merseyside is the country's worst hotspot, with 1,228.3 cases per 100,000 people. It is followed by Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Slough, which have rates above 1,000. But the encouraging data from Public Health England reveals the worst-affected areas are seeing a fall in new infections, two weeks into the latest national lockdown. Of the 315 local areas in England, 36 (11 per cent) have seen a rise in case rates while 279 (89 per cent) have seen a fall.
18th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

UK Records the highest-ever number of Covid-19 cases

Over the last month, the number of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK soared, with reports of over 68,000 confirmed cases on 8 January 2021, the highest reported since the start of the pandemic. The new record comes at a time when the nation is on lockdown and has been administering highly effective vaccines for a month, showing that the Covid-19 trend can be slow to turn despite interventions. According to GlobalData’s Covid-19 dashboard, confirmed cases in the UK started to rise considerably (Figure 1) after a noticeable decline between the middle of November 2020 and the start of December 2020. Over 1.3 million positive cases were reported between 10 December 2020, and 10 January 2021, an average of over 40,000 new cases daily. This may be a result of the UK relaxing lockdown rules on 2 December 2020, as well as the compounding effect of the influenza season.
18th Jan 2021 - pharmaceutical-technology.com

As bodies pile up, Germany's eastern COVID hot spots struggle for answers

For some in Meissen the caskets piling up in the eastern German city’s sole crematorium are a tragic reminder of what happens when the coronavirus is not taken seriously. For others it is simply nature’s way. Meissen, along with other places across old East Germany that are generally poorer, older and more supportive of a far-right opposed to lockdown, are the worst hit by the pandemic in the country, complicating Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to bring it under control. “It’s heartbreaking,” said manager Joerg Schaldach, whose furnaces cremated 1,400 bodies last month, double the figure from December last year. More than half had died of COVID-19 and Schaldach expects some 1,700 cremations in total this month.
18th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID deaths cross 4000 as ministers set to debate extending lockdown

Israel on Monday crossed a grim milestone, as Health Ministry confirmed the death toll from the coronavirus stood at 4,005. Israel has recorded 551,689 coronavirus cases since the pandemic erupted in March 2020. There are currently 1,130 patients in serious condition, while 467,790 Israelis have recovered from the disease. Some 2,116,257 Israelis have vaccinanted against COVID-19 over the past month, and 309,065 have already received the second dose. Coinciding with the launch of the vaccination campaign has been a surge in coronavirus cases, with some 9,000 daily new infections diagnosed in recent days. The cabinet is set to decide on Wednesday whether to extend the lockdown – Israel's third – by at least another week. The Health Ministry is pushing to extend it until the end of January, but Blue and White and the ultra-Orthodox parties vehemently oppose the move.
18th Jan 2021 - Israel Hayom

Ukraine sees lowest daily coronavirus tally since late September

Ukraine reported 3,034 new coronavirus cases on Monday, its lowest daily tally since the end of September, health minister Maksym Stepanov said. The number of deaths decreased to 67 from 116 the day earlier, he said on Facebook. A strict lockdown would end as scheduled on Jan. 25, the ministry said last week. Ukraine closed schools, restaurants and gyms on Jan. 8. The number of new coronavirus cases dropped in early January to less than 10,000 a day from record levels in mid-December. Ukraine has registered more than 1.16 million coronavirus cases with 20,869 deaths.
18th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Stocks sink as coronavirus fears outweigh recovery hopes

Global stock markets wavered on Monday as soaring COVID-19 cases offset investor hopes of a quick economic recovery, even after data showing that the Chinese economy rebounded faster-than-expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. European stocks as measured by the STOXX 600 index struggled for direction, last trading 0.1% higher as of 1446 GMT, after failed merger talks between French retailer Carrefour and Alimentation Couche-Tard pulled the gauge lower at the open. The continent’s 50 biggest stocks were down 0.2% [.EU] In Asia, Chinese blue chips gained 1.1% after the economy was reported to have grown 6.5% in the fourth quarter, on a year earlier, topping forecasts of 6.1%. Industrial production for December also beat estimates, although retail sales missed expectations.
18th Jan 2021 - Reuters

China reports more than 100 new COVID cases as New Year holiday exodus looms

China reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, with rising infections in the northeast fuelling concern of another wave when hundreds of millions of people travel for the Lunar New Year holiday. Tough new controls in the city of Gongzhuling in Jilin province, which has a population of about 1 million people, brings the total number of people under lockdown to more than 29 million. According to the Global Times newspaper, at least 11 regions in the provinces of Hebei, Heilongjiang and Jilin have imposed lockdowns and introduced extensive testing programmes. The National Health Commission reported 109 new COVID-19 cases for Sunday, unchanged from the day earlier. Of the 93 local infections, 54 were in Hebei, which surrounds Beijing.
18th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portugal's health system on brink of collapse as COVID-19 cases surge

Portugal’s public health system is on the verge of collapsing as hospitals in the areas worst-affected by a worrying surge in coronavirus cases are quickly running out of intensive care beds to treat COVID-19 patients. “Our health system is under a situation of extreme pressure,” Health Minister Marta Temido told reporters on Sunday afternoon after a visit to a struggling hospital. “There is a limit and we are very close to it.”
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters


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UK daily coronavirus cases rise above 50,000 for first time this week as 1,280 deaths reported

The number of daily coronavirus cases has rise above 50,000 for the first time in five days, despite hopes that the outbreak is slowing in parts of the UK. A further 1,280 deaths of people within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 were also reported on Friday. It is the first time daily infections have topped 50,000 since Sunday, and brings the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 3,316,019. Earlier on Friday, the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said the UK’s coronavirus reproduction rate — the R number — had narrowed to between 1.2 and 1.3.
17th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid-19: Tamil Nadu reports less than 600 new cases, 7 deaths

The Covid-19 vaccine was administered to 3,225 persons today. New coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu declined to less than 600 to 589 in the last 24 hours to take the total number of infections in the State to 8,30,772. After 770 Covid-19 patients were discharged, the number of active cases declined to less than 6,000 to 5,940. There were seven deaths registered and 52,213 samples tested.
17th Jan 2021 - Business Line

China reports 109 new COVID-19 cases to keep concerns simmering before Lunar New Year

Worries simmered in mainland China about a potential fresh wave of coronavirus cases ahead of the Lunar New Year next month as authorities on Sunday reported 109 new COVID-19 cases, most of them in Hebei province surrounding Beijing. Though the Jan. 16 tally of new cases was less than the previous day’s 130, China has in the past week seen the number of daily cases jump to an over 10-month high. The unsettling trend has emerged while a World Health Organization-led (WHO) team of investigators remained in quarantine in the city of Wuhan, where the disease was first detected in late 2019. The team aims to investigate the origins of the pandemic that has now killed over 2 million people worldwide.
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters

CDC warns more infectious Covid-19 variant could dominate US by March

The new coronavirus variant first discovered in the UK could become the predominant strain in the US by March, according to a new model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC warned on Friday the B.1.1.7 variant was likely to spread rapidly across the US in the coming months. So far, 76 cases were identified in 10 US states, but scientists warn the actual number of B.1.1.7 cases is likely to be higher, as the US lags behind many other countries with its genomic sequencing to identify the variants. The CDC is now trying to expand sequencing to track the variant and other possible mutations.
17th Jan 2021 - Financial Times

Covid-19: Critical care wards are full in hospitals across England

Ten hospital trusts across England reported having no spare critical care beds for most of last week. It comes as hospital waiting times, coronavirus admissions and patients requiring intensive care rises. Across all England's acute trusts the total number of critical care beds available is 5,503, with 4,632 in use on 10 January. NHS England has not yet commented. Last year, hospitals added 39% more beds for seriously ill patients. The latest figures from NHS England show the number of trusts who were, on average, at full capacity in adult critical care rose from four to ten in the week to 10 January.
17th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Further 1,295 deaths recorded in the UK

A further 1,295 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test have been reported in the UK, the third-highest daily total since the pandemic began. It brings the total number of deaths by this measure to 88,590. There have also been a further 41,346 lab-confirmed cases, and 4,262 more people have been admitted to hospital. Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, said the "continuous rise in cases and deaths should be a bitter warning for us all". "We must not forget the basics," she added. "The lives of our friends and family depend on it. "Keep your distance from others, wash your hands and wear a mask."
17th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Is Northern Ireland winning the battle against the virus?

The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it an intense interest in the statistics and figures that can be used to try to understand what's happening with the virus. While numbers can't reflect the real human cost of the pandemic, they can give us an insight into how we are doing in our battle against Covid-19. Deaths are counted in different ways by authorities in Northern Ireland. The Department of Health counts the number of people who die within 28 days of a having a positive Covid test. This is published daily on the department's dashboard. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) counts the number of death certificates that mention Covid-19, regardless of whether that person had a test for the virus. This is usually published on Friday mornings.
17th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Small coronavirus cluster emerges in Sydney suburb

A cluster of new coronavirus cases has emerged in Australia’s New South Wales State, health officials said on Sunday, just as the country appeared on the verge of snuffing out all community transmission. Health authorities were still investigating a mystery case in a man who tested positive on Friday in the western Sydney suburb of Berala. All six locally acquired cases registered on Sunday were close contacts of the man. Australia, which has managed the coronavirus better than many other nations through targeted lockdowns and high rates of testing and contact tracing, last week recorded a day of zero locally acquired cases, raising hopes that outbreaks in three states over the summer holidays had been brought under control. The latest outbreak shows how easily the virus can spread, New South Wales state leader Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney as she called for more people to come forward for testing.
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Portuguese hospitals under pressure as COVID-19 cases reach record

Portugal’s fragile health system is under growing pressure due to a worrying rise in coronavirus infections, with the country reporting 10,947 new cases and 166 deaths on Saturday, the worst surge since the pandemic started last year. The cases, which come a day after a new lockdown was put in place, bring the total number of cases in a country of just over 10 million people to 539,416, with the death toll increasing to 8,709. The number of infections per 100,000 people measured over the past 14 days is 901, nearly double that in hard-hit neighbouring Spain, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed.
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK sees third-highest daily death toll with new cases at three-week low

Britain reported its lowest number of daily new coronavirus infections since the start of the year on Saturday, adding to signs that a national lockdown is slowing the spread of a more infectious variant of the disease. However the effect of the recent surge in cases remains clear in the death toll, which was the third-highest on record. Health experts have warned it has further to rise. Government figures showed the number of people testing positive was 41,346, compared with 55,761 on Friday. It was the lowest daily reading since Dec. 27, when fewer people were getting tested over the festive holiday period.
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Denmark logs 256 cases of more contagious coronavirus variant

Denmark on Saturday found its first case of a more contagious coronavirus variant from South Africa, and saw a rise in the number of infections with the highly transmissible B117 variant first identified in Britain, health authorities said. The Nordic country extended a lockdown for three weeks on Wednesday in a bid to curtail the spread of the new variant from Britain, which authorities expect to be the dominant one by mid-February. Denmark has become a front-runner in monitoring coronavirus mutations by running most positive tests through genome sequencing analysis.
17th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19: Brazil hospitals 'run out of oxygen' for virus patients

Hospitals in the Brazilian city of Manaus have reached breaking point while treating Covid-19 patients, amid reports of severe oxygen shortages and desperate staff. The city, in Amazonas state, has seen a surge of deaths and infections. Health professionals, quoted by local media, warned "many people" could die due to lack of supplies and assistance. Brazil has recorded more than 205,000 virus deaths - the second-highest tally in the world, behind the US. A new coronavirus variant has recently emerged in Brazil, with several cases in travellers arriving in Japan traced back to the Amazonas region.
16th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Brazil rushes to save premature babies as Covid-19 swamps Manaus hospitals

Authorities in the Brazilian Amazon are reportedly racing to save dozens of premature babies after a surge in coronavirus cases caused a catastrophic breakdown in the oxygen supply to hospitals and clinics. On Friday, CNN Brasil reported that the northern state of Amazonas was seeking to transfer at least 60 babies from neonatal units in its capital, Manaus, to hospitals elsewhere in the country.
16th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Covid-19 positives on Australian Open flights put 47 players into isolation

As the 15 chartered planes transporting more than 1,000 players and team members began to land in Australia this past week, many athletes punctuated their arrivals with a stream of statements expressing deep gratitude towards Tennis Australia, the Victorian Government and the Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley, for making the event possible. That heartwarming honeymoon did not last long. There were no positive messages on Saturdaymorning as two groups of players were confined to their rooms for 14 days. The tournament begins on 8 February, meaning those players on the affected flights will be restricted to little more than a week of practice.
16th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Pandemic deaths top 2 million; crisis deepens in Americas

The world's death toll from COVID-19 today topped 2 million, with yesterday marking the deadliest day of the pandemic, with 16,056 fatalities logged, amid reports of collapsing health systems in parts of Brazil and exponential spread in some of its neighbors. Death levels are still soaring in hard-hit parts of Europe, and health officials say human behaviors, including those that occurred over the holiday season, are the main driver of virus surges, though they are worried about the potential impact of new, more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants.
15th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP

Brazilian airforce transport patients with covid-19 from Manaus to other states due to services being overwhelmed

The Brazilian Air Force flew the first shipment of patients with covid-19 in Manaus to other states. Nine patients and five doctors boarded the flight to Teresina. Two C-99 aircraft from the First Squadron of the Second Transport Group (1st / 2nd GT) - Condor Squadron, carried out patient transfers with the objective of minimizing the impact on the Amazonas state health system
15th Jan 2021 - Noticias.uol.com.br

Health care in Brazil's Amazonas state in 'collapse' as Covid-19 infections surge

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday that "all means" are being made available to help the country's largest state, Amazonas, where hospitals are running out of beds and oxygen tanks amid soaring coronavirus infections. His claim came a day after Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello described the healthcare system in the Amazonas state capital, Manaus, as being in "collapse." "I would say yes, there is a collapse in healthcare in Manaus. The line to get a hospital bed has grown a lot, today we have about 480 people waiting in line. And the reality is that there is a lower supply of oxygen -- not an interruption, but a lower supply of oxygen," he said during a Facebook live with Bolsonaro on Thursday.
15th Jan 2021 - CNN

NHS heroes fear Government are using them as coronavirus vaccine 'guinea pigs'

NHS heroes have blasted the Government for using them as “guinea pigs” by denying them an early booster vaccine. Doctors, nurses and paramedics fighting Covid must wait three months like the rest of us for a second jab – instead of the three weeks recommended after manufacturer trials. But calls are growing for frontline heroes to get the booster within the 21 days vaccine maker Pfizer deems vital for best protection. The UK’s chief medical officers recommended the 12-week gap so more of the population can get some immunity from the first jab. Currently, the NHS is under severe strain with record numbers of Covid patients.
15th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online


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U.S. military base in Seoul reports multiple COVID-19 cases

A large U.S. military base in central Seoul is reporting multiple COVID-19 cases as South Korea struggles to keep up with the novel coronavirus. U.S. Forces Korea said Thursday seven USFK-affiliated people at Yongsan Garrison tested positive for the novel coronavirus Wednesday. Five out of the seven people, who were not identified by name, work for the U.S. Department of Defense. "All five have been in self-quarantine at their separate off-installation residences since Jan. 8 following their direct contact with an individual who recently tested positive for COVID-19," USFK said.
14th Jan 2021 - UPI.com

Another 4,000 in U.S. die of COVID-19; 40K deaths so far this month

Another 4,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19, according to updated data Thursday from Johns Hopkins University -- not too far off the record toll seen one day earlier. There were about 3,960 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 4,500 died, a single-day record, according to the research university's updated tracking data -- making the total over the past two days roughly 8,500. About 40,000 patients in the United States have died of COVID-19 since the start of 2021, the data shows. Meanwhile, another 230,000 coronavirus cases were added nationwide on Wednesday, a slight increase from the day before.
14th Jan 2021 - UPI.com

COVID-19: Ban on all arrivals from 15 South American countries and Portugal over Brazil variant

Travel to the UK from every country in South America, as well as Portugal, has been banned due to fears over the coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil. The government's COVID-19 operations committee met at lunchtime to discuss the issue - and the ban will come into effect from 4am on Friday.
14th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Number of London transport staff dying with Covid-19 increases to 60

The number of London transport staff dying with Covid has increased to 60, including 46 bus workers, it was revealed today. The figure, up three from earlier this week, came as Sadiq Khan and his Tory mayoral rival Shaun Bailey said London key workers most at risk of contracting Covid should be the next to be prioritised for vaccination. In separate interventions, the Mayor and Mr Bailey said the second phase of the rollout should focus on higher-risk essential workers such as police, teachers and transport staff once vulnerable elderly Londoners and health and care staff were inoculated. The total figure, up three from 57 revealed earlier this week, includes staff working for the private bus firms contracted by Transport for London to run the capital's buses, plus Tube and rail staff and TfL head office workers. The death toll includes 37 bus drivers and nine other bus workers, such as bus station staff.
14th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid: Infections levelling off in some areas - scientist

The coronavirus growth rate is slowing in the UK and the number of infections is starting to level off in some areas, a top scientist has said. Prof Neil Ferguson told the BBC that in some NHS regions there is a "sign of plateauing" in cases and hospital admissions. But he warned the overall death toll would exceed 100,000. On Wednesday, the UK saw its biggest daily death figure since the start of the pandemic, with 1,564 deaths. It has taken the total number of deaths by that measure to 84,767. There were also 47,525 new cases. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the national lockdown measures were "starting to show signs of some effect", but it was early days and urged people to abide by the rules.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Brazil travel ban to be discussed over new variant

Travel from Brazil to the UK could be banned in response to the discovery of a new coronavirus variant. Ministers have met to discuss possible measures and a block on flights could also be extended to other South American countries in a bid to stop its spread. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "concerned" about the new variant and "extra measures" were being taken. Arrivals from Brazil are currently required to self-isolate for 10 days. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove chaired a meeting earlier to discuss whether measures should be put in place.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Surge leaves key hospital services 'in crisis'

The surge in Covid hospital cases has left key hospital services in England in crisis, doctors are warning. NHS data showed A&Es were facing rising delays admitting extremely sick patients on to wards. Meanwhile, the total number of people facing year-long waits for routine treatments is now more than 100 times higher than it was before the pandemic. Cancer experts are also warning the disruption to their services was "terrifying" and would cost lives. Reports have emerged of hospitals cancelling urgent operations - London's King's College Hospital has stopped priority two treatments, which are those that need to be done within 28 days. And Birmingham's major hospital trust has temporarily suspended most liver transplants.
14th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Record daily German COVID deaths spark Merkel 'mega-lockdown' plan - Bild

Germany recorded a new record number of deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting calls for an even tighter lockdown after the country emerged relatively unscathed in 2020. Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted a "mega-lockdown",
14th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

UK suffers record number of Covid deaths as Scotland tightens lockdown

The UK reported a daily record 1,564 deaths within 28 days of testing positive with coronavirus on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson warned that intensive care units in some hospitals could soon be overwhelmed. The prime minister told the liaison committee of MPs there was a “very substantial” risk of the NHS running out of ICU beds and no guarantee that schools would be allowed to reopen after the half term break in mid-February. But Mr Johnson said the numbers of people testing positive for the virus were falling, indicating that existing restrictions should be given a chance to work before tighter curbs are brought in.
14th Jan 2021 - Financial Times

German lockdown loopholes criticized as deaths hit new high

Germany has too many loopholes in its coronavirus lockdown rules, the head of the country’s disease control agency said as figures published Thursday showed the highest number of daily deaths since the start of the pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute said 1,244 deaths from COVID-19 were confirmed in one day up to Thursday, taking the total number to 43,881. There were also 25,164 newly confirmed cases, putting Germany’s total known infections close to 2 million. Lothar Wieler, president of the institute, said data indicated people in Germany are traveling more than during the first phase of the pandemic in spring, contributing to the virus’ spread.
14th Jan 2021 - The Associated Press

Spain extends travel ban for Scots amid fears over mutant coronavirus strain

Scots have been banned from entering Spain for a further period of time amid concerns over the mutant strain of coronavirus. No one will be allowed to enter the country from Scotland via air or sea until 6pm on February 2 under the new restrictions.
14th Jan 2021 - Daily Record on MSN.com

Coronavirus variant from UK 'must not get out of hand' warns EU

The EU has warned that the highly contagious coronavirus variant first found in Britain is now having “a significant impact” in other European countries, and said its spread “must be stopped at all costs”. “We cannot be complacent,” Stella Kyriakides, the bloc’s health commissioner, said on Wednesday. “We cannot let it get out of hand. So we are ready to help member states in the area of genomic sequencing of samples. There is no way around this.” Concerns were also shared during the virtual meeting of EU health ministers of a “significant under-reporting” of the new variant by member states, with the commission urging health ministries to make detection of the mutation a priority.
14th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Spain extends travel ban for Brits due to mutant Covid strain in UK

Spain has extended its travel ban for Brits because of the mutant coronavirus strain currently found in the UK. The Spanish government has extended the restrictions until February 2, at 5pm UK time. The rules apply to anyone arriving to Spain from the UK by air or sea, with exceptions being made only for Spanish nationals or residents of Spain returning to the country. The travel ban was first introduced back in December 2020 when the mutant strain was detected, and originally was planned to last until January 9. It had already been extended once until January 19. This goes alongside existing restrictions and rules in Spain during the pandemic, such as travellers arriving in the country being required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before their departure
14th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

France braces for new Covid curbs but set to avoid lockdown

The French government is expected Thursday to announce new restrictions to stave off a rise in coronavirus cases but unlike some of its neighbours a full lockdown appears off the agenda for now. Among the measures floated to try to avert a much-feared third wave of infections include expanding a 6:00 pm curfew in place in parts of the east to the whole country. Most of France is still subject to an 8:00 pm curfew imposed in mid-December when a second national lockdown was lifted.
14th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Japan widens virus emergency to 7 more areas as cases surge

Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures Wednesday, affecting more than half the population amid a surge in infections across the country. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also said Japan will suspend fast-track entry exceptions for business visitors or others with residency permits, fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place. Suga's announcement comes less than a week after he declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby prefectures. The new declaration, which adds seven other prefectures in western and central Japan, takes effect Thursday and lasts until Feb. 7.
14th Jan 2021 - ABC News

China records its first coronavirus death since MAY and the most new cases in more than 10 months

The patient, a woman from northern China's Hebei, died yesterday afternoon Apart from suffering the virus, she also had a serious heart disease, officials said Hebei, the new epicentre, has locked down several cities amid the fresh crisis The latest coronavirus death is the first one reported in China since May 16 China also reported its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 cases in around 10 months National Health Commission said 138 infections noted, up from 115 a day earlier
14th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

'At 6 pm, life stops': Europe uses curfews to fight virus

As the wan winter sun sets over France’s Champagne region, the countdown clock kicks in. Laborers stop pruning the vines as the light fades at about 4:30 p.m., leaving them 90 minutes to come in from the cold, change out of their work clothes, hop in their cars and zoom home before a 6 p.m. coronavirus curfew. Forget about any after-work socializing with friends, after-school clubs for children or doing any evening shopping beyond quick trips for essentials. Police on patrol demand valid reasons from people seen out and about. For those without them, the threat of mounting fines for curfew-breakers is increasingly making life outside of the weekends all work and no play.
14th Jan 2021 - Associated Press

Swedish COVID-19 cases cross 500,000 mark as hospitals near limit

Sweden has registered 17,395 new coronavirus cases since Friday, taking the total above 500,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, as hospitals struggled to cope with a rampant second wave of the virus, Health Agency statistics showed on Tuesday. The statistics showed that Dec. 17 was the deadliest day since the start of the pandemic with 116 deaths, surpassing a previous peak of 115 daily deaths set in April. More people are being treated for COVID-19 at hospitals in Sweden now than at any time during the pandemic. While Sweden still has around 20% spare capacity at intensive care units, there are worries the spread will accelerate again as people return to work and schools after the holidays.
14th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Global COVID rise continues; 50 nations report B117 variant

In its weekly snapshot of global COVID-19 trends, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that after lower reporting over the 2-week holiday period, cases and deaths are on the rise again in all but one of its regions and that 50 countries have now detected the more transmissible B117 variant first detected in the United Kingdom. In a separate announcement today, the WHO said its COVID-19 emergency committee will meet tomorrow for the sixth time to discuss the latest developments and tweak their recommendations.
13th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


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CNN reporter breaks down in tears live on air as she ‘grieves’ for families affected by Covid-19

Journalist Sara Sidner could barely speak during Tuesday’s segment where she spoke about the Covid-19 crisis in California. Sara broke down in tears following a news package about how the virus has disproportionately affected Black and Latino families. A clip that was shown on the programme, centered around a family that had to hold a funeral for their mother in a parking lot. ‘This is the 10th hospital that I have been…,’ Sara began as she choked back the tears. ‘I’m sorry,’ she added. ‘I apologise, I’m going to try to get through this.’
13th Jan 2021 - Metro

Ontario reports 2,961 new COVID-19 cases as province set to give update on vaccine distribution efforts

Ontario’s premier is defending his government’s new stay-at-home order against criticism that the latest measure to fight COVID-19 is not clear. Doug Ford stressed that the measure means people should “use their best judgment” to determine if they need to leave their home as virus rates surge. Under the order that takes effect Thursday, Ontario residents will be required to stay at home except for essential activities such as accessing health care, shopping for groceries, or outdoor exercise. The government has also restricted hours of operation for non-essential retailers currently offering delivery and curbside pick up to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and a five-person cap on outdoor social gatherings.
13th Jan 2021 - The Globe and Mail

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec reports 2,071 new cases, 35 deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise

Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Quebec reports 2,071 new cases, 35 deaths as hospitalizations rise Quebec is recording more cases,
13th Jan 2021 - The Gazette on MSN.com

British tourist is blamed for Covid-19 outbreak in Switzerland that has caused officials to scrap Ski World Cup races

91st Luberhorn classic in Wengen, Switzerland, was cancelled earlier this week Covid outbreak infected 60 at resort - half of the cases blamed on a single Briton World Cup races moved to Kitzbuehel but Austrian officials have since moved the races again - now to Flachau - after British mutant strain discovered in Tyrol
13th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Mental health of NHS staff placed under further strain as Covid hospitalisations continue to rise

Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients in overstretched hospitals are increasingly suffering from mental health issues, figures show – as health chiefs warn staff will be pushed to their limit over the next few weeks of the pandemic. The number of doctors seeking psychiatric help through the British Medical Association has doubled since the pandemic began, The Independent can reveal, while new research shows that nearly half of all NHS staff in intensive care units (ICUs) are likely to meet the threshold for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression. And in a letter sent to doctors on Tuesday, the UK’s chief medical officers said that the weeks ahead “are likely to be among the most challenging of all our professional lives” and will push staff “to the limits of [their] physical and mental endurance”.
13th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Bodies pile up at crematorium in Germany's virus hot spot

The caskets are stacked three high in the Meissen crematorium’s somber memorial hall, piled up in empty offices and stored in hallways. Many are sealed with plastic wrapping, others are labeled “infection risk,” “urgent” or simply “COVID.” A surge of coronavirus deaths in this corner of eastern Germany has boosted business for crematorium manager Joerg Schaldach and his staff, but nobody is celebrating. “The situation is a little bit tense for us at the moment,” Schaldach said as another undertaker’s van pulled up outside. The crematorium would typically have 70 to 100 caskets on site at this time of year, when the flu season takes its toll on the elderly
13th Jan 2021 - The Associated Press

Soaring COVID-19 cases in Spain prompt more regions to toughen response

The Spanish regions of Galicia, La Rioja and Cantabria became the latest to tighten coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday amid a spiralling national infection rate that officials have blamed on lax adherence to the rules over Christmas. After a lull in contagion in late November, cases skyrocketed through December and into early January, doubling the incidence of the virus as measured over the past 14 days in just three weeks, to 454 cases per 100,000 people. Unlike European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands, which have extended national lockdowns, the Spanish authorities have repeatedly said a return to confinement is not necessary. Instead it has delegated regional authorities to deploy a mixture of curfews, caps on group meetings and restrictions on business opening hours.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Spanish regions ramp up coronavirus restrictions as third wave takes hold

The feared third wave of the coronavirus after Christmas is getting worse in Spain, and is forcing the country’s regional governments to take action. After relaxing restrictions for the holiday season, which saw a spike in social interaction, and given the rise in daily infections and increased pressure on hospitals, coronavirus measures are once again being revised. On Tuesday, the central Health Ministry reported 25,438 new cases and added 408 fatalities to the official death toll. What’s more, the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 454, well about the 250-limit that the ministry considers to be extreme risk. The effect of last week’s Kings’ Day celebrations is yet to be seen in the figures.
13th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Third coronavirus wave gains pace in Spain, with 25,500 new infections and 408 Covid-related fatalities

Spain is being plunged into a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and the country’s hospitals are beginning to suffer as a result. There are currently more than 17,600 Covid-19 patients being treated, 64% up on the figure before Christmas, and the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) has risen 39% since December 24. Epidemiologists are warning that the curve of infections will continue to rise, while some experts are calling for a home lockdown in order to stop the transmission of the virus and avoid hospitals becoming overwhelmed. The relaxation of restrictions in December and the rise of social interaction over the Christmas period are behind this third wave, which comes hot on the heels of the second one, which was seen in the autumn. The Health Ministry reported 25,438 new infections and added 408 victims to the overall death toll on Tuesday, while the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is currently at 454 for the whole of Spain.
13th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

France likely to have to take tougher measures due to virus variants

France will likely have to consider more restrictions on people’s movements soon to limit the spread of the UK and South African variants of the coronavirus, Jean-François Defraissy, head of the scientific council advising the government on the epidemic said on Tuesday. “There will probably be — and these are political decisions — a certain number of tougher measures to take,” Defraissy told TF1 television. The government is currently pondering whether to impose a third national lockdown
13th Jan 2021 - Metro US

Tokyo's Covid outbreak adds to doubts over hosting Olympic Games

A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open in the city in just over six months’ time. Japan widened its coronavirus state of emergency to cover more than half the population on Wednesday as surging infections sparked warnings of intense pressure on hospitals. The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, said anti-virus measures introduced in the greater Tokyo region – at the centre of the latest wave of cases – would be expanded to include seven other prefectures. Suga said he would “take every measure” to protect lives, adding that all non-resident foreign nationals would be banned from entering Japan until the emergency measures were lifted. Japan had previously permitted business travellers from 11 Asian countries where case numbers appeared to be under control.
13th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Japan expands state of emergency over coronavirus as infections climb

Japan will expand its state of emergency to seven more prefectures, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday. The country reported 4,527 new cases and 51 deaths Tuesday, bringing the national total to almost 300,000, with a death toll of 4,158. More than 61,500 patients are in hospitals across the country, which have been struggling to deal with a spike in cases brought on in part by freezing winter temperatures. Tokyo, previously among the worst hit areas, reported 970 new cases Tuesday, the first time the Japanese capital's daily tally has dropped below 1,000 in over a week. The total number of confirmed cases in Tokyo now stands at 77,133.
13th Jan 2021 - CNN

Australian paramedic in UK's 'chaotic' COVID-19 surge says most colleagues have caught the virus

Every morning, Declan Gregg covers himself from head to toe in PPE — mask, goggles, gloves and a full gown — before climbing into an ambulance and heading to the first call of the day. An Australian paramedic based in Crawley, south of London, he knows the first job will inevitably be a coronavirus patient. As will the next job, and the one after that. Hospitals across the United Kingdom are overflowing as case numbers and deaths soar to new records every day, with the mutant, more transmissible strain of the virus spreading rapidly.
13th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Swiss boost coronavirus restrictions, shy away from full lockdown

Switzerland on Wednesday tightened measures to tackle new variants of the COVID-19 virus spreading across the country while stopping short of the full lockdown neighbouring countries have adopted to choke off the pandemic. The wealthy Alpine country also eased rules for pandemic-hit businesses to apply for state aid, which will force the government to ask parliament to top up the latest 2.5 billion Swiss franc ($2.82 billion) pot of money for hardship cases. Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns over fears about a fast-spreading variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not expected to help much for another two to three months.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK's Second Wave Covid Deaths Surpass First Wave Total

More people have now died during the second wave of coronavirus in the UK than the first, the latest government figures reveal. From the beginning of the pandemic up to September 1, when three people died of Covid – the lowest number since the pandemic began – 41,565 people died within 28 days of a positive test. Since then, at least 43,196 more people have died, Wednesday’s figures show. Meanwhile, analysis by the PA news agency of separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate – together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days – suggest there have now been 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus in the UK
13th Jan 2021 - HuffPost UK

Italian medics may be permitted to ration life-saving care under new pandemic plan

The Italian health ministry has been criticised after a draft of the country’s new pandemic plan revealed medics would be permitted to choose which patients receive life-saving care. This is the first time Italy has updated its pandemic plan since 2006. The absence of an adequate plan is thought to have contributed to Italy’s coronavirus death toll of more than 79,000. The draft copy of the pandemic plan for 2021-23, seen by the Guardian, stipulates that while health workers are obliged to provide the best and most appropriate care to patients, there are circumstances that may make it necessary to prioritise who to try to save.
12th Jan 2021 - The Guardian


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Covid-19 cases ‘unlikely to peak for weeks’

Pressure on the NHS is unlikely to peak until next month as cases surge far beyond London, a health service chief has claimed.The comments by Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, came as
12th Jan 2021 - The Times

UK Covid-19 death toll rises by 1,243 in second deadliest day of pandemic so far

The UK has recorded its second deadliest day since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a further 1,243 lives lost to the virus. The Department of Health also confirmed that 45,533 people had tested positive for the virus in 24 hours. Only once, last Friday, has the daily death toll been higher, when 1,325 fatalities were announced. It brings the UK's official coronavirus death toll to 83,203. There have been 6,898 Covid deaths in the past seven days - a 45 per cent rise compared to the previous week. It comes as NHS staff struggle to cope with the surge in Covid-19 hospital admissions and Home Secretary Priti Patel backs police forces taking a tough stance on rule breakers.
12th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

3rd House lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 after lockdown during Capitol attack

A third House lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus while in lockdown with some Republican members who refused to wear masks during the attack on the Capitol last week, bringing the total number who have so far tested positive to three. The announcements from Democratic Representatives Brad Schneider, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Pramila Jayapal come days after the attending physician for the Capitol warned members they may have been "exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection." Congressman Brad Schneider announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a statement on Tuesday, and blamed Republicans for spreading the virus.
12th Jan 2021 - CBS News

Third Democrat tests positive for COVID after riot lockdown

Democrats have proposed a $1,000 a day fine on lawmakers who refuse to wear masks while in the Capitol complex. Rep. Debbie Dingell is leading the charge on the issue and blasted Republicans for 'laughing off' requests to wear one. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider became the third lawmaker to test positive for COVID after being in lockdown with lawmakers last week. About 100 lawmakers were huddled in a poorly-ventilated room together during the MAGA riot on the Capitol with many Republicans refusing to wearing masks. He slammed Republicans: 'I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,' he said. 'Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask' He is isolating at home in Illinois and not yet showing symptoms. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, 55, also tested positive for COVID-19. And Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, 75, announced earlier on Monday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus and was suffering mild symptoms. Both Jayapal and Coleman blame their infections on being trapped with Republicans who refused to wear face masks Jayapal says she believes it will turn out to be a 'superspreader event'
12th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

S.Korea daily virus cases under 500 for first time since record highs in Dec -KDCA

South Korea reported fewer than 500 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the first time since record high daily case numbers over the Christmas holiday period. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 451 new cases as of midnight on Sunday, driven by a lull in testing as well as an apparent easing in infections. The country reported a record 1,241 cases in one day during the Christmas holiday, the peak of the country's largest wave of infections yet. South Korea stopped short of a complete lockdown or stay-at-home order, but has imposed unprecedented restrictions for weeks, including banning private gatherings of more than four people. In the capital Seoul and surrounding areas a number of high-risk businesses such as bars and gyms were ordered to close and coffee shops can only offer takeaway service.
12th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

3 new Covid-19 strains that are leading to fresh lockdowns

Japan’s health ministry has declared a new coronavirus variant in the country. The new strain features 12 mutations, including one that was found in England and South Africa. Both the UK variant — which is significantly more transmissible — and a second strain in South Africa have raised concerns about whether a vaccine-resistant version could eventually develop.
12th Jan 2021 - Khaleej Times

WA coronavirus cases will likely end in snap lockdown, Chief Health Officer warns

The "hard and fast" snap lockdown used to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in other states is the "likely outcome" if WA were to also experience an outbreak, the state's Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson says. Dr Robertson said there appeared to be a "very good rationale" for cities to impose hard, snap lockdowns in the event of a coronavirus outbreak. "It would depend … on the circumstances," Dr Robertson told ABC Radio Perth. "How many cases we had, how much community spread, whether it's one outbreak.
12th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Australia records handful of new coronavirus cases as national frictions grow

Australia recorded a handful of new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with frictions increasing between state leaders over the best approach to manage and contain the outbreaks. The northern state of Queensland recorded one new case, in the quarantined partner of a cleaner who was found to have the highly infectious UK strain last week, which triggered a three-day lockdown over the weekend to Monday. The country’s most populous state of New South Wales logged five new locally acquired infections, including two mystery cases that caused the emergency department at Sydney’s Mount Druitt hospital to close for deep cleaning on Monday.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters Australia

French new COVID cases at seven-week high

France’s new COVID-19 infections are on average increasing by more than 18,000 a day, a seven-week high, and the number of people hospitalised is rising again as the country grapples with the more infectious variant of the virus first found in Britain. These latest trends, published on Monday, will be discussed in the coming days by the government which is pondering whether to impose a third national lockdown and extend a 6 pm curfew, now enforced in some areas, to all of France.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

New Austrian COVID cluster: mainly British group on ski teacher course

Austria said on Tuesday it has identified a new cluster of 17 COVID-19 cases, a mainly British group on a ski teacher training course, despite the country being on lockdown and having banned flights from Britain over fears of a new coronavirus variant. The Alpine province of Tyrol, which suffered Austria’s worst outbreak to date at the ski resort of Ischgl, said the cluster in the town of Jochberg was suspected to be of the new, more infectious variant first pinpointed in Britain in September that has spread to dozens of countries including Austria. The fact such a training course was allowed to happen despite lockdown restrictions, which include closing schools to all but daycare, stunned many Austrians.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Lebanon tightens lockdown, imposes 24-hour curfew, as hospitals buckle

Lebanon announced a tightening of its lockdown on Monday, introducing a 24-hour curfew from Thursday as COVID-19 infections overwhelm its medical system. The new all-day curfew starts at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Thursday and ends at 5 a.m. on Jan. 25, a statement by the Supreme Defense Council said. Lebanon last week ordered a three-week lockdown until Feb. 2 that included a nighttime curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. But tighter measures were now necessary as hospitals run out of capacity to treat critically ill patients, President Michel Aoun said in the statement.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

As Canada battles rising COVID-19 cases, lack of sick leave fuels transmission

As Canadian provinces struggle to contain rising COVID-19 infections, a lack of adequate paid sick leave for front-line workers is fuelling transmission, doctors and advocates say. While political leaders and health officials advise sick people to stay home, many people can’t afford to. Some 58% of workers in Canada lack enough paid sick leave, according to the Decent Work and Health Network, and that percentage rises as wages drop. One morning last spring, 67-year-old part-time support worker Susan woke up feeling “a hurt in my heart like a knife.” She went to work at a Toronto rehabilitation home anyway -- she said it was the only way to pay the bills. Susan, who is using an pseudonym for fear of professional repercussions, had no sick days and couldn’t afford to miss even a day’s pay.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID surges press health systems in several nations

Fresh surges in COVID-19 activity triggered strengthened measures in several parts of the world, as soaring death levels in part of England led to the use of a temporary morgue. Health officials expected a surge of cases from holiday gatherings, but the emergence of at least two more transmissible variants is amplifying new surges in part of Europe and South Africa, as more countries brace for their potential impact. Daily cases in the United Kingdom are down bit from record highs reported last week, but hospitals in the hardest-hit areas are struggling, and deaths—which typically lag cases—are up 45.6% over the last 7 days, according to the latest government data.
12th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP


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China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over five months

Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in over five months, the country’s health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. A county in northeastern Heilongjiang province on Monday moved into lockdown after reporting new coronavirus infections, state television also reported separately. Hebei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on Jan. 10, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas. The total number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 103, the highest since 127 cases were reported on July 30.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Coronavirus: UK to face ‘worst weeks of pandemic’, Whitty warns as cases surge

England’s chief medical officer has warned the coming weeks are going “to be the worst weeks” of the coronavirus pandemic for the NHS, as he urged the public to minimise unnecessary contacts in order to reduce transmissions. Highlighting the pressure on the health service, professor Chris Whitty said that while 18,000 people were in hospital with Covid-19 during the April peak last year, on Sunday there were over 30,000 beds occupied by patients with the disease. “This is going to be a significant crisis for the NHS unless we take evasive action,” he warned on BBC Breakfast several days after the government imposed the third nationwide lockdown in England to curb the spread of the virus.
11th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Over half a million under lockdown as Beijing outbreak spreads

More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of Covid-19 cases. China has largely brought the virus under control, but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing. Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak in the capital -- home to over 20 million people -- particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.
11th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Japan finds new mutant Covid strain as infectious as variant in UK

Japan has detected a third mutant strain of coronavirus that is similar to the highly infectious variants spreading across the UK and South Africa. The strain was found in four passengers arriving from Brazil who were quarantined at Haneda Airport in Tokyo when they tested positive, Nikkei Asia reports. Three of the group developed symptoms including struggling to breath, a fever and a sore throat, while one man in his 40s arrived on January 2 without any symptoms. But he was later rushed to hospital with difficulties breathing, Bloomberg reports.
11th Jan 2021 - Metro

Global COVID-19 cases surpass 90 million as battle against new variant continues

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants. The new COVID-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally. The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last 48 days, according to a Reuters tally.
11th Jan 2021 - CTV News

China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over 5 months

Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in over five months, the country’s health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. A county in northeastern Heilongjiang province on Monday moved into lockdown after reporting new coronavirus infections, state television also reported separately. Heibei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on Jan. 10, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas. The total number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 103, the highest since 127 cases were reported on July 30.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Sweden passes lockdown law to allow closures amid high death toll

Sweden has introduced a law that would allow the government to close restaurants, shops, and public transport to combat the spread of COVID-19. The new legislation signals a major shift away from the country's initial no-lockdown approach to the pandemic. A severe second wave of COVID-19 infections has prompted Sweden gradually to abandon the unique approach it first adopted towards the pandemic, when it relied on voluntary social distancing measures. Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden's initial no-lockdown response, said last week that the COVID-19 situation showed no signs of improvement in Sweden.
11th Jan 2021 - Business Insider

Over half a million under lockdown as Beijing outbreak spreads

More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of COVID-19 cases. China has largely brought the virus under control, but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing. Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak in the capital -- home to over 20 million people -- particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.
11th Jan 2021 - CTV News

UK steps vaccinations as COVID surges, worst weeks still to come

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday Britain was in “a race against time” to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic’s worst weeks were imminent. A new, more transmissible variant of the disease is now surging through the population, with one in 20 people in parts of London now infected, threatening to overwhelm the National Health Service (NHS) as hospitals fill up with patients. The death toll in the United Kingdom has been soaring and now stands in excess of 81,000 - the world’s fifth-highest official toll - while more than three million people have tested positive.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Global coronavirus cases surpass 90 million in battle on new variant

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants. The new COVID-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally. The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last 48 days, according to a Reuters tally. Europe, which became the first region to report 25 million cases last week, remains the worst-affected area in the world, followed by Latin America with 22.4 million and 16.3 million cases respectively.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters


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UPDATE 1-French city of Marseille gets tougher curfew as new COVID-19 variant discovered

France has imposed a stricter evening curfew in Marseille after authorities said the new variant of the COVID-19 virus initially found in the UK had been discovered in the Mediterranean city. Marseille joined other French cities such as Strasbourg and Dijon in having its curfew moved forward to 6 p.m. from 8 p.m., and running through to 6 a.m. the following morning. The stricter Marseille measures will start on Sunday evening. The move came as COVID-19 related deaths and cases increased in France, which has the world's seventh-highest death toll from the coronavirus. There were 20,177 new, confirmed COVID cases in the last 24 hours and roughly 170 more deaths.
9th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

Nine further Covid-19 deaths in Northern Ireland

A further nine people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours. The latest figures from the Department of Health also show 1,442 more positive cases for coronavirus here out of 4,777 tested. The hospitals are operating at 97% bed occupancy, with 674 Covid inpatients, 47 in ICU and 33 on ventilators. There are 137 active outbreaks across Northern Ireland’s care homes. It comes as Northern Ireland entered into the second day of tough new restrictions to help stem the spread of rising Covid-19 cases.
9th Jan 2021 - ITV News

Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes double in a fortnight as care sector is biggest source of infection clusters

The number of apparent Covid-19 outbreaks inside care homes has more than doubled in a fortnight with the care sector now the largest source of multi-infection incidents once again, according to official data. Public Health England figures show that in the week to 3 January, there were 749 “acute respiratory infection incidents” in care homes across the UK, up from 480 the week before and 364 in the week before that. The incidents are defined as two or more confirmed or suspected cases of a respiratory illness such as Covid-19 or flu, and a large majority were confirmed to involve Covid-19 through virus testing.
9th Jan 2021 - iNews

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann says peak of Covid-19 surge "expected in third week of January"

As Northern Ireland entered a new range of restrictions at midnight on Thursday, the Department of Health reported 20 further coronavirus related deaths. Friday's dashboard update also reported a further 1,500 positive cases of the virus in the last 24 hour period, bringing the total number of positive cases to 86,146 since the start of the pandemic. In a statement to the Assembly this evening, Minister Swann said that "it is essential that the current lockdown successfully and significantly reduces the R number". He also said that it is estimated that in some parts of NI, where transmission is particularly high, as many as 1 in 40 people currently have Covid-19 and for Northern Ireland as a whole, the estimated figure is in the region of 1 in 60. In his statement to the Assembly, Mr Swann said: "This week, a number of our Health and Social Care Trusts have confirmed a downturn of elective surgery. This reflects the unprecedented pressures that the Covid-19 pandemic is creating in our hospitals.
9th Jan 2021 - Belfast Live

U.S. breaks record for daily COVID-19 cases with 310k new infections

The United States on Saturday surpassed 370,000 coronavirus deaths a day after the nation broke a record for the highest new cases of COVID-19 in one day as California and New Jersey experienced a massive one-day surge. A total of 370,119 people have died since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Additionally, there were 310,080 new cases reported on Friday 50,000 of which were in California and 20,000 in New Jersey, according to the COVID Tracking Project. It comes as there were 23,083 COVID-19 deaths already recorded in the first eight days of the year and 16 states reported their highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations this week, in yet more troubling signs for the post-holiday surge
9th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: NHS at breaking point and public 'not listening' to lockdown, warns top doctor

The NHS is "breaking in front of us" as people fail to obey lockdown rules, and hospitals may soon be too short of staff to keep their patients safe, a leading doctor has warned. Dr Zudin Puthucheary, council member of the Intensive Care Society and a critical care consultant, told Sky News he was "scared and angry" as the COVID-19 crisis takes its toll on hospitals - notably in London. A major incident was declared in the capital on Friday due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases threatening to overrun its already stretched hospitals.
9th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Covid-19: Act like you've got the virus, government urges

People in England are being told to act like they have got Covid as part of a government advertising campaign aimed at tackling the rise in infections. Boris Johnson said the public should "stay at home" and not get complacent. On Friday 1,325 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test were recorded in the UK - the highest daily figure yet - along with 68,053 new cases. Government sources say there is likely to be more focus from police on enforcing rather than explaining rules. "With over 1,000 people dying yesterday it's more important than ever everyone sticks to rules," a source told the BBC.
9th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Australia scrambles to block coronavirus variant; travellers must show negative test

Travellers to Australia will have to show a negative Covid-19 test before they can get on their plane, the prime minister said on Friday (Jan 8), as the city of Brisbane went into lockdown after the discovery of a case of a virulent new coronavirus variant. The more than 2 million residents of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, will be barred from leaving their homes for anything but essential business for three days from Friday evening after a worker at a quarantine hotel tested positive for the new variant, which was first detected in Britain. Australia has detected several cases of the variant but this was the first one to appear outside the quarantine system.
9th Jan 2021 - The Straits Times

False Reports of a New ‘U.S. Variant’ Came from White House Task Force

Reports of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant in the United States, published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials. The erroneous report originated at a recent meeting where Dr. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, presented graphs of the escalating cases in the country. She suggested to other members of the task force that a new, more transmissible variant originating in the United States might explain the surge, as another variant did in Britain.
9th Jan 2021 - The New York Times