Coronavirus Updates

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Welcome to the Finance Magnates live Coronavirus blog updates page. Keep up-to-date with the latest coronavirus news, focusing on the impact upon the financial, fintech and crypto worlds.

India Request Strict Screening of Arrivals from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong

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06:55 Indian health officials on Friday put states on alert, asking them to carry out ‘rigorous screening and testing’ of travellers who had arrived from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, and to trace and test their contacts. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged all states to ensure that samples from Covid-positive travellers be swiftly sent to genome sequencing labs for testing.

China Continues Its COVID-Zero Policy

China is continuing to pursue its strict Covid-zero policy in light of three new cases detected in the city of Shanghai. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled while some schools were shuttered and tour groups suspended, AFP reports. Six Shanghai hospitals have also suspended outpatient services.

The Netherlands Increase Lockdown Restrictions

The Netherlands is set to tighten its partial lockdown today to curb soaring Covid cases. The Prime Minister, Mark Rutte is expected to announce new anti-Covid measures which could include closing bars, restaurants and non-essential shops. Police are preparing for possible new riots against the restrictions.

Portugal to Reinstate Vaccine Certificates for Access to Public Spaces

Portugal is set to bring back Covid vaccination certificates for public spaces including bars, hotels, restaurants and gyms and once again make face masks compulsory indoors, reports Reuters.

Hong Kong and China Discussed Reopening Border

Hong Kong and Chinese authorities said a meeting on Thursday moved them closer to partially reopening the border between them. Hong Kong’s government said: “Good progress was made in the meeting on exploring the resumption of quarantine-free travel between the mainland and Hong Kong in a gradual and orderly manner.”

Australia Keeps Borders Open to South Africa

Australia’s border is set to remain open to South Africa despite emergence of new Covid-19 variant. Australia’s health minister, Greg Hunt, said officials were assessing the threat posed by the strain and would not yet introduce restrictions on arrivals from South Africa.

France Plans to Provide Booster Shots to All Adults

France says it plans to give Covid booster shots to all adults but has opted against a further lockdown or curfew to help combat an uptick in infections in the country.

UK Ministers Urge Britons to Get Booster Jab by 11 December

Ministers are urging millions of Britons to get their Covid booster jab by 11 December to ensure they have very high protection against Covid by Christmas Day as new evidence shows the risk of infection increases with the time since the second dose.

Social Media Introduce New Profile Features to Monitor Booster Jabs as a Reminder

Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs. From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

Friday 26th November

WHO Recommends Global Mandatory Corona Vaccinations

07:00 Countries should consider implementing mandatory Covid vaccination, the Director of World Health Organization (WHO) Europe said today. The World Health Organization has also issued a warning in the lead-up to Christmas, saying social mixing was back at pre-pandemic levels.

“We are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, said.

“We are back to pre-pandemic levels of social mixing (in Europe)… even in the midst of a very strong resurgence in cases and even in the midst of some of those countries under high pressure in health systems,” WHO Emergency Director, Mike Ryan added.

UK to Approve Novavax as a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine

Novavax is expected to be approved as a fourth Covid vaccine in UK. Trials show the protein-based jab causes fewer side-effects. The British government has so far ordered 60m doses.

US Air Travel is Predicted to Be Its Busiest Time at Thanksgiving

US air travel is set to be busiest since pandemic began due to Thanksgiving. Covid cases surge 23% in Americas, mostly in North America, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

Germany’s New Chancellor Intends to Make Vaccines Mandatory

Germany’s next chancellor seeks targeted vaccine mandate. German Social Democrat Olaf Scholz called on Wednesday for vaccinations to be made compulsory for targeted groups. Officials recorded 100,119 Covid deaths as of Wednesday, according to the latest data from the RKI public-health institute.

Scientists State New Corona Variant May Evade Bodies Defences

Scientists say a new Covid variant that carries an “extremely high number” of mutations may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defences.

Italy Adds New Curbs Banning Unvaccinated People from Venues

Italy unveiled new Covid measures banning the unvaccinated from numerous venues, extending compulsory vaccination and expanding booster shots to all adults.

Portugal’s Health Secretary Has Vowed 25% of Citizens Will Get Booster Shots by January

Portugal’s health secretary pledged to give Covid booster shots to a quarter of the population by the end of January to tackle the “pandemic storm that has not yet passed.”

Thursday 25th November

An 11% Increase in Infections in Europe as SE Asia Shows an 11% Decrease

07:00 Europe reported an 11% increase in new weekly cases while the South-East Asia region reported a decrease of 11%, the latest World Health Organization weekly report reveals.

The Biden Administration Plans to Reinstate Mandatory Workplace Vaccinations

The Biden administration seeks to reinstate workplace vaccine mandates after asking a federal appeals court on Tuesday to lift a court-ordered stay on a sweeping workplace Covid-19 vaccine rule that requires employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Delaying the rule would lead to thousands of hospitalisations and deaths, the administration said in a filing with the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kenya Intends Denying Government Services to the Unvaccinated

Kenya plans to deny government services to those who are unvaccinated. In a press briefing on 21 November, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said that from 21 December people seeking in-person government services should be fully vaccinated and should show proof of vaccination. The services include tax, immigration, port and hospital services.

Vaccinated Visitors Are Welcome in New Zealand in Early 2022

New Zealand to reopen borders to vaccinated visitors in the opening months of 2022, for the first time since a snap closure took effect in the first month of the pandemic. The country’s borders have been closed for more than a year and a half.

Vaccine Rollout for 12 to 15-Year-Olds May Be Delayed until February 2022

Delays to England’s vaccination rollout may mean some 12- to 15-year-olds may not get their Covid jab until February next year. Additionally, the UK reported 42,484 Covid-19 cases and 165 additional deaths, official data shows. The weekly tally was up by 9% to reach 297,658 who tested positive. According to an analysis of the Covid case rates across the UK, 75% of local authorities experienced a week-on-week rise in the seven days to 19 November. Further, today people in the UK were urged to take a rapid Covid test before mixing in crowded indoor spaces, marking a change in government and NHS guidance. Previously, the guidance advised the public to use lateral flow tests twice a week.

The WHO Predicts Total Corona Deaths to Be Over 2 Million by March 2022 in Europe

Total Covid-19 deaths across Europe are likely to exceed 2 million by March next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, adding that the pandemic had become the number one cause of death in the region.

Trudeau’s Top Priority Is to Get Corona under Control in Canada

Justin Trudeau has said that his top priority for his new government is to get Covid-19 in Canada under control and get more people vaccinated as he pledged support to Canadian industries, which he said were still struggling due to the pandemic.

30,000+ Infections Reported in France in 24 Hours

France announced that there were more than 30,000 Covid infections in the past 24 hours. On Monday, France reported 5,266 new cases.

A Weekly Record of Infections Hit The Netherlands

The Netherlands hit a new weekly record on Tuesday, with Covid cases rising by 39%, and intensive care unit admissions rising sharply. The figures show a 19% rise in hospital admissions over the last week and a 26% rise in intensive care unit admissions. Also, The Netherlands has started transporting coronavirus patients to Germany in a bid to ease pressure on hospitals struggling to cope with a surge in cases.

Angela Merkel’s Husband Blames Low Vaccination Rate on German Laziness

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband blamed the nation’s poor vaccination rate in part on ‘a certain German laziness and complacency’.

Wednesday 24th November

Students / Skilled Workers Benefit from Exemption-Free Travel to Australia

07:00 Australia will welcome international students and skilled workers for exemption-free travel into the country from next week, in what the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has hailed a “major milestone” for the country returning to normal.

South Korea Reopen In-Person Classes

South Korea’s schools will resume full in-person classes for the first time since the pandemic began on Monday.

Germany Debates Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccines

German politicians are debating making Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory for citizens in light of soaring infections and low inoculation rates. Germany reports another 30,643 confirmed coronavirus cases and 62 deaths, the Robert Koch Institute reports.

Worst Vaccination Record at US Marine Corps 

The US Marine Corps has the worst vaccination record among US military branches, Reuters reports, with thousands of active-duty staff set to miss a 28 November deadline for personnel to be fully vaccinated.

England’s Test-and-Trace Service Still Spends £1 Million + per Day

England’s flagship test-and-trace service is still spending more than £1m a day on private consultants, official figures reveal weeks after MPs criticised it as an “eye-watering” waste of taxpayers’ money that is failing to cut Covid infection levels. Additionally, in the UK, Covid booster jabs are likely to be offered to all adults eventually, with the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation already considering the issue, the health secretary has suggested.

Pacific Countries Are in Jeopardy with Low Vaccination Rates

Some Pacific countries will have less than a quarter of adults vaccinated by the end of the year, with predictions that Papua New Guinea will take five years to vaccinate just one-third of its population, undermining economic recovery and threatening huge loss of life across the region.

New Zealand to Allow Far More Freedom with 90% Adults Vaccinated

New Zealand will soon be opening up to allow far more freedom as the country approaches 90% of adults vaccinated, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing it will move into a new “traffic light” framework of corona protection on 3 December.

Scientists Worry of New Strain Superseding Delta

The Delta variant was first detected a year ago and is now dominant across the globe. Scientists are concerned that a new strain could supersede it. In fact, the WHO said it is “very worried” about a fresh wave of European infection.

Violence Erupts in Belgium and the Netherlands over Tough Curbs

Violence erupted at demonstrations in Belgium and the Netherlands over the weekend as tougher Covid-19 restrictions were put in place to curb the resurgent pandemic. This led to angry protests in several European countries.

France Warns Corona Is Spreading at ‘Lightning Speed’

The French government has warned that Covid is spreading at “lightning speed”. The seven-day average of new cases in France reached 17,153 on Saturday, which is an increase of 81%.

Monday 22nd November

Germany to Limit Access in Hospitals to Vaccinated or Recovered COVID Patients

07:30 Germany will limit large parts of public life in areas where hospitals are becoming dangerously full of coronavirus patients to those who have either been vaccinated or have recovered from the illness, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. In addition, Saxony, the German region hardest hit by the country’s fourth wave of coronavirus, is considering a partial lockdown.

Austria Considers Full National Lockdown as Infections Rise with Unvaccinated already Curbed

Austria may impose a full Covid lockdown as infections are still rising despite the current lockdown for the unvaccinated.

Greece Expands Unvaccinated Restrictions

Greece expands restrictions for the unvaccinated, Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned during a televised address urging citizens to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Mandatory Booster Jabs in Hungary for Healthcare Workers

Hungary will make a booster shot mandatory for all healthcare workers and will require protective mask-wearing in most enclosed places from Saturday, Viktor Orbán’s Chief of Staff said.

Slovakia Adds Strict Rules for the Unvaccinated

Slovakia will impose stricter measures for people who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus amid a surge in infections and hospital admissions, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said.

Florida, US Bans Schools and Businesses from Enforcing Vaccinations

The US state of Florida has banned schools and businesses from requiring vaccination against Covid as Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis signed the new laws.

Canada Authorises Pfizer Vaccine on Children 5 to 11 Years-Old

Canada will announce on Friday it is authorising the use of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine in children aged between 5 and 11, a government source said on Thursday.

India Gives Go-Ahead for 20 Million Vaccine Doses to Indonesia

India has approved the export of 20m doses of the Novavax Covid vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to Indonesia, according to a government document seen by Reuters and a government source.

The Philippines Sanctions Giving Entry to Foreign Vaccinated Tourists

The Philippines has approved a plan to allow entry soon to foreign tourists vaccinated against Covid-19, its tourism ministry said on Friday, following moves by other Southeast Asian countries to relax travel curbs.

Friday 19th November

The US Plans to Make A Billion+ Vaccines a Year

06:35 The US is set to boost vaccine manufacturing and produce at least a billion doses a year. The Biden administration is planning to dedicate billions of dollars to build up vaccine manufacturing in the US to produce at least a billion doses each year, in an effort to shore up global Covid-19 supply for poorer countries while also pre-empting future pandemics.

Victoria, Australia Intends to Remove Curbs on Fully Vaccinated People

The Australian state of Victoria is set to ditch restrictions for fully vaccinated people from midnight on Thursday.

WHO Reports That Covid Deaths Are Only Increasing in Europe

Europe is the only region with increasing Covid deaths, the World Health Organization reports. Covid deaths rose 5% in the last week as deaths in all regions other than Europe remained stable or declined, and totalled 50,000 worldwide last week. Of the 3.3 million new infections reported, 2.1 million came from Europe.

Spain Authorises Corona Booster for 60-69-Year-Olds

Spain has approved the use of a Covid-19 booster shot for people between 60-69 years old and for health workers, as part of an effort to combat an uptick in infections.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia to Sanction New Curbs on Unvaccinated Individuals

The Czech Republic and Slovakia both reported record daily new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a day before the two European Union countries plan to approve new restrictions for unvaccinated people in response to rising infections.

Belgium Increases COVID-19 Restrictions

Belgium tightened its coronavirus restrictions, mandating wider use of masks in indoor settings and enforcing work from home, as cases rose in the country’s fourth Covid wave. The country has one of the highest cases per capita rates in the EU.

Mandatory Vaccine Passports Are Set to Be Introduced in Northern Ireland

17% Reduction in Corona Deaths in the Americas

Covid deaths have decreased 17% in the Americas over the past week, but the most populous countries like the US, Brazil and Colombia are seeing a levelling of new infections after weeks of declining trends, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

Thursday 18th November

New Restrictions on Unvaccinated Individuals in Berlin Came in Effect on Monday

07:00 In Germany, plans are underway for the introduction of tighter restrictions on people who have so far chosen not to be vaccinated. Munich became the first major German city to cancel its upcoming Christmas market, blaming the ‘dramatic’ coronavirus resurgence. Berlin introduced restrictions for those who are unvaccinated on Monday.

Slovakia Plans New Restrictions on Unvaccinated People

Slovakia is planning new restrictions on unvaccinated people in an effort to tame the latest surge of coronavirus infections that has caused a ‘critical’ situation in the country’s hospitals, the prime minister said Tuesday.

More Restrictions Are Put in Play in Ireland to Contain a Rise in Hospitalisations

People in Ireland are being asked to work from home where possible from Friday and bars, restaurants and nightclubs will introduce a midnight closing time on Friday as a raft of new restrictions is agreed by the government in the face of rising hospitalisations.

In Greece, Many Restaurants Closed in Protest against Fine Restaurants not Requesting Vaccine ID

Thousands of restaurant owners in Greece shut their businesses in a nationwide protest against recent measures that fine establishments for serving customers without proper documentation of their vaccination or test status.

Scotland’s Corona Vaccination ID May Be Required at Cinemas, Theatres and Bars

Scotland’s Covid passport scheme could be extended to cinemas, theatres and bars next week if that helped avoid a harsher lockdown closer to Christmas, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Portugal May Reintroduce Curbs to Restrict Corona Spreading

Portugal may bring back some measures to stop the spread of Covid in the run-up to the holiday season as infections soar across Europe, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

Fauci Claims If Boosters and Vaccines Increase the Pandemic Could Be an Endemic by Next Year

Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases public official in the US, said on Tuesday that if America further ramps up vaccination rates and those already immunised take booster shots that it is feasible Covid-19 could be reduced from a pandemic emergency to endemic status next year.

Pfizer Asks US Regulators to Authorise Experimental Pill, Paxlovid to Reduce Corona Deaths and Hospitalisations

Pfizer has announced it is asking US regulators to authorise its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill, Paxlovid, which has been shown in clinical trials to cut the risk of hospitalisation and death for adults by almost 90%.

The Philippines Approves Emergency Use of Novavax

The Philippines has approved the emergency use of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine, Reuters reports.

Auckland, New Zealand, Is Set to Lift Travel Restrictions in December

Wednesday 17th November

Austrian Police Checks for National Lockdown of Unvaccinated Citizens

10:00 Police in Austria has begun carrying out routine checks on commuters to ensure compliance with a nationwide ‘lockdown for the unvaccinated’, as the Alpine country tries to get on top of one of the most rapidly rising infection rates in Europe.

Germany Considers Confining Unvaccinated

Germany’s prospective coalition government is pondering lockdown restrictions for the unvaccinated, as infections in the country continue to rise. Measures could include requiring the unvaccinated to show proof of a negative test before travelling by bus or train.

Tighter Measures Maybe Afoot in Belgium To Restrict Spread of Infections

Belgium’s government is bringing forward a meeting to decide on tighter measures to control the spread of Covid-19 amid a rapid increase in infections and hospital admissions.

Booster Vaccine Rollout in Britain Is Being Extended to 40-49 Year-Olds

Britain’s booster vaccine rollout is to be extended to people aged between 40 and 49, officials said, in a bid to boost waning immunity in the population ahead of the colder winter months.

The UK PM Warns against Complacency

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned people against complacency, saying that a new wave of Covid has “steadily swept through central Europe” and is now affecting the nation’s closest neighbours.

Latvian Employers Given Go-Ahead to Dismiss Unvaccinated Employees

Employers in Latvia are allowed to dismiss employees who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19 from Monday.

Dutch Hospitals Overwhelmed by Corona Infection Records

The pressure on Dutch hospitals mounts from a surge in Covid-19 patients as cases break records. The worst has yet to come, the head of the country’s hospital association said on Monday. The number of Covid-19 patients in Dutch hospitals increased to about 2,000 on Monday, including almost 400 in intensive care, reaching the highest level since May.

The US CDC Advises against Travelling to Czech Republic

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against travel to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Iceland because of a rising number of Covid-19 cases in those countries.

Proof of Vaccination to Be Required in Peru to Enter Indoor Spaces

Peru, the country with the world’s highest Covid-19 mortality rate, is to require adults to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor spaces from next month.

India Reopens Borders to Foreign Tourists

India opens again to foreign tourists from countries with reciprocal agreements after a 20-month ban due to the pandemic.

Children In Philippines Finally Can Return to Classrooms

Thousands of children in the Philippines are allowed to return to classrooms for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

No Quarantine Required for Fully Vaccinate Tourists to Cambodia

Cambodia announces that fully vaccinated foreign travellers can visit the kingdom without quarantine.

China Battles Record Corona Delta Outbreak

China is battling the spread of its biggest Covid-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variant as case numbers in the north-eastern city of Dalian outpace anywhere else in the country. The Dalian outbreak has prompted China to confine nearly 1,500 university students to their dormitories and hotels in the city. Additionally, China’s President Xi has agreed to upgrade the “fast track lane” for US business figures to come to the country, Chinese state media reports.

Indigenous Vaccine Rates in Australia Continue to Lag

Australia’s Indigenous vaccination rates continue to lag across every jurisdiction amid heightened fears over an outbreak in the Northern Territory. Nationally, just under 58% of Indigenous people aged 16 and older are double-dosed, while about 69% are partially vaccinated, much lower than Australia’s overall double-dose rate of 83%.

Israel Starts Vaccinating Kids Aged 5 to 11

Israel gave the green light Sunday to start vaccinating children aged between five and 11 against Covid-19 using Pfizer/BioNTech jabs.

Tuesday 16th November

UK Firm Trials T-Cell Vaccine to Provide Longer Immunity

07:35 UK firm to trial T-cell Covid vaccine that could give longer immunity against Covid-19. An Oxfordshire-based company Emergex will soon start clinical trials of a second-generation vaccine against Covid-19, an easy-to-administer skin patch that uses T-cells to kill infected cells and could offer longer-lasting immunity than current vaccines.

COVID Exit Strategy May Be Planned for the UK

UK officials have compiled a ‘Covid exit strategy’ from April called Operation Rampdown, leaked documents reveal. Under the plan, the government could wind down testing and people would no longer be forced to isolate if they are ill from April, leaked documents reveal.

2 Million + People in the UK Received Booster Shots Last Week

In the UK more than two million people received their Covid-19 booster in the past week, with health officials describing the numbers as record-breaking. NHS England said 2.1 million boosters were delivered between November 6-12, an increase on the 1.7 million boosters given out during the previous seven days. Britain expected to extend Covid booster programme to under 50 year-olds.

Egypt to Start Clinical Trials on Domestic Vaccine

Egypt’s national research body said on Sunday that it will start clinical trials for a domestically made coronavirus vaccine.

3 Snow Leopards Die from Corona

Three snow leopards died of complications from Covid-19 at the Lincoln children’s zoo in Nebraska.

Rising Infections in Germany Leads to Work from Home Legislation

Germany to return to work from home amid rising infections. The measure is being reintroduced under draft legislation seen by AFP on Sunday after the home working restriction was lifted at the beginning of July.

Chinese Health Workers Kill Quarantined Owners Pet Dog

Outcry in China after Covid health workers kill a pet dog while owner was in quarantine.

Syria to Receive 500,000 Vaccine Doses from China

China donated 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday to Syria, which has one of the world’s lowest inoculation rates and what the UN called an alarming rise in cases.

Japan’s Economy Is Shrink Faster Than Expected

Japan’s economy has shrunk much faster than expected as supply shortages hit, and global production bottlenecks pose increasing risks to the export-reliant nation.

Cambodia Is Opening Borders to Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Cambodia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on Monday, two weeks earlier than originally planned, as it emerges from a lengthy lockdown bolstered by one of the world’s highest rates of immunisation against Covid-19.

Monday 15th November

The Netherlands Report Record Daily Infections

09:00 The Netherlands recorded more than 16,364 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Dutch health experts have called on the government to impose a partial lockdown to fight the increase in cases.

Germany Will Phase out State of Emergency with Record Case Numbers

Germany’s chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz has pushed ahead with a plan to phase out a state of national emergency by the end of the month, despite the country recording a record-high number of 50,196 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday.

Record One Day Toll Reported in Russia

Russia reported 1,237 Covid deaths, close to a record one-day toll recorded the previous day, amid a nationwide surge in cases. Authorities said they are preparing new restrictions.

Protests Continue in Croatia for Fourth Consecutive Day

Protests continue in Zagreb, Croatia, for the fourth day against obligatory certificates for the public sector as the country’s Covid-19 cases hit a record high.

Highest Daily Death Rates in Romania and Bulgaria

Morgues are filling up in Romania and Bulgaria as the countries record the EU’s highest daily death rates from Covid-19, after superstition, misinformation and entrenched mistrust in governments and institutions combined to leave them the least vaccinated countries in the bloc.

EU Drug Regulator Add Rare Spinal Condition to Side-Effects of Johnson & Johnson

EU drug regulator lists rare spinal condition as side-effect of Johnson & Johnson Covid shot. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was also assessing reports of a rare blood condition known as capillary leak syndrome (CLS) following inoculation with Moderna’s vaccine.

Moderna to Sell Vaccines to African Union $7 / Shot

Moderna has offered to sell its vaccines to the African Union at $7 a shot, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control said.

India’s Covaxin Presents No Safety Concerns

Covaxin, the first Covid-19 vaccine developed in India, is “highly efficacious” and presents no safety concerns, according to a recent study published in the Lancet.

Record High Daily Infections in Austria

Austria saw a record high of daily infections as intensive-care units are increasingly strained. About 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the lowest rate of any western European country apart from Liechtenstein.

World’s First “War Game Drill” Held in Israel

Israel holds world’s first “war game drill” in case of an outbreak of a new lethal variant of Covid-19. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and senior aides holed up in a nuclear command bunker to simulate an outbreak, describing such an eventuality as “the next war.”

Friday 12th November

Australia to Exceed 90% of the Population with a First Dose Vaccination

07:20 Australia is set to surpass the 90% first-dose vaccination coverage rate. The Health Minister, Greg Hunt said the “extraordinary” achievement is expected to be reached just after midday on Thursday. In addition, Australia will share a further 7.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with Indonesia, bringing its total pledge to 10 million doses.

France Is at the Onset of Its Fifth Wave of Corona

France is at the beginning of a fifth wave of the coronavirus epidemic, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday. “Several neighbouring countries are already in a fifth wave of the Covid epidemic, what we are experiencing in France clearly looks like the beginning of a fifth wave,” Veran said. Consequently, demand for Covid booster jabs jumped in France after Emmanuel Macron said a top-up dose would be necessary for people to retain their vaccine passes.

90% of Kiwis Aged 12+ Have Received at Least One Vaccine

New Zealand also hit a fresh Covid vaccination milestone, with 90% of Kiwis aged 12 and over having received at least one jab. Meanwhile, prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has plummeted in two new polls, as the country struggles to contain a Delta outbreak and transitions to a new era of endemic Covid.

Moderna in Dispute in the US to Defend Its Claim as Co-Owner of Patents

Moderna Covid-19 vaccine patent dispute headed to court after US National Institutes of Health scientists say they played “a major role” in developing the vaccine and intends to defend its claim as co-owner of patents on the shot, NIH Director Dr Francis Collins told Reuters.

Deal Made with Johnson & Johnson to Provide Vaccines to Those Living in Conflict Zones

The US has brokered a deal between Johnson & Johnson and the Covax vaccine-sharing program for the delivery of the company’s Covid vaccine to people living in conflict zones.

UK Dog Catches Corona

The first case in the UK of a pet dog catching coronavirus, apparently from its owners, has reportedly been detected. In addition, the UK reported another 39,329 Covid cases and a further 214 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.

5th Lion at Singapore Zoo Tests Positive

A fifth lion at Singapore Zoo has also tested positive for Covid-19, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) said on Wednesday.

Israel Holds Drill to Test Readiness for Lethal ‘Omega’ Variant

Israel to hold world’s first drill to test readiness for the possible emergence of a lethal ‘Omega’ variant. The drill, scheduled for Thursday, will take the format of a war games exercise and will test the capabilities of government departments and national agencies to respond to the emergence of the variant.

Russia’s COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 250,000

Russia’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 250,000. The country reported a record 1,239 Covid-related fatalities in the previous 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 250,454.

Thursday 11th November

Authorities in Chengdu, China Rounded up People Fleeing to Evade Being Tested for Corona

07:25 The Chinese city of Chengdu said it had tested 30,000 Covid-19 tests on visitors at a big entertainment centre, and rounded up those who tried to flee the site, in the second mass screening in days.

France Hastens to Deliver Booster Shots to Elderly and Vulnerable Citizens

France pushes to accelerate update of Covid-19 booster shots for elderly and vulnerable citizens. President Emmanuel Macron said a third injection would be made available to those aged 50-64 from early December. Anyone over 65 who was vaccinated more than six months ago will need to get a booster shot by mid-December for their ‘health pass’ to remain valid, Macron said.

Greece Is Experiencing Record Infections in the Last 24 Hours

Covid cases surge in Greece with a record of 8,613 new cases in the last 24 hours, which is the highest since the pandemic began. Cases have more than doubled in less than a fortnight.

Russia’s Daily Covid-19 Deaths Hits Record Figures

Virus deaths in Russia hit daily record of 1,211 Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily death toll in the pandemic, and 39,160 new cases. Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered many Russians last month to stay off work between 30 October and 7 November.

Latvia Faces Severe Outbreak

Latvia, one of the least vaccinated countries in the European Union, is facing its most severe outbreak of Covid-19 yet.

The WHO Caution in 2022 a Shortfall of 2 Billion Syringes Should Be Expected

The World Health Organization has warned there could be shortfall of up to two billion syringes in 2022, which threatens to hamper vaccine efforts globally is production does not improve, AFP reports.

Unvaccinated Patients by Choice Must Pay Hospital Bills in Singapore

Covid-19 patients in Singapore who remain unvaccinated by choice will have to pay for their hospitalisation bills from 8 December, the government has ruled.

Canada Authorises Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine for 18 Years +

Canada authorised the use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine as a booster shot for people 18 years of age and older.

Pfizer Urges DFA to Approve Booster Shots for All US Adults

Pfizer asks FDA to approve Covid booster shots for all US adults. Older Americans and other vulnerable groups have had access to a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine since September but the Food and Drug Administration has said it would move quickly to expand boosters to younger ages if warranted.

Moderna Applies for EU Authorisation on Corona Vaccine for Kids Aged 6-11

Moderna has applied for European authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 6-11 years, weeks after it delayed a similar filing with US regulators. The European Union drugs regulator is set to authorise the use of two monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid-19 patients in coming days, two EU sources told Reuters, in its first approvals of such therapies.

The US Spend $1 Billion on Covid-19 Pill

The US will buy another $1 billion worth of the Covid-19 pill made by Merck & Co Inc and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the companies said on Tuesday.

Wednesday 10th November

Digital Corona Pass to Be Reinstated in Denmark

07:45 Denmark has proposed reinstating the use of a digital ‘corona pass’ to be presented when Danes visit indoor bars and restaurants, as the country is entering a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daily COVID Deaths in Bulgaria Reach Record High

Bulgaria’s daily Covid deaths rise to record high as the European Union’s least vaccinated country grapples with a fourth wave of the pandemic. A further 334 people died of the virus on Tuesday, which is the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic, Reuters reports.

The US Has Removed Its Travel Ban on Tourists

The US welcomes back travellers after an 18-month non-essential travel ban was lifted on Monday. Travellers from 33 previously banned countries are now allowed in, but they must be vaccinated. The US also reopened its land borders with Canada and Mexico.

Boris Johnson Was Spotted in Hexham Hospital without a Mask

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was seen maskless in Hexham hospital in Northumberland as cases among MPs rise. However, NHS workers in England must be legally required to get Covid vaccinations before the winter. Furthermore, the UK has reported 32,322 Covid cases and 57 deaths.

Hospitalised COVID Patients in France Is on the Increase

French Covid hospitalisations see highest daily rise since August. The number of people hospitalised because of Covid went up by 156 over the past 24 hours, the highest daily rise since 23 August, to reach a one-month peak of 6,865.

Auckland, New Zealand Plans to End 3-Month Lockdown This Month

New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland will likely end an almost three-month lockdown later this month, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced. Although, thousands of anti-vaccination mandate protesters, some threatening violence, gathered in Wellington, New Zealand, on Tuesday.

Singapore and Malaysia Are Allowing Quarantine-Free Travel

Singapore and Malaysia will allow quarantine-free travel between both countries for individuals vaccinated against Covid-19. The two neighbours will launch a vaccinated travel corridor between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from 29 November.

Nigeria Cannot Meet the 40% Vaccination Target by the End of the Year

It will be ‘impossible’ for Nigeria to meet its target of vaccinating 40% of its population by the end of the year because Covid is not being taken seriously, health experts warn. Fewer than 1.5% of the country’s 206 million population has been fully vaccinated.

Tuesday 9th November

The US Will Remove Its Travel Ban from 33 Countries Today

US lifts bans on travel from 33 countries from Monday, allowing in international travellers, but they must be vaccinated. The US is also reopening the land borders with Canada and Mexico for vaccinated people.

Biden to Ensure Millions of Private Sector Workers Get Vaccinated by Early Next Year

US president Joe Biden is pushing forward with an ambitious plan to require millions of private-sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year, while simultaneously battling to convince workers in his own federal government to get the shot.

Russia and Ukraine Hit Record Covid Numbers.

The Low vaccination rates in both these countries are a major factor in the sharp rise in cases.

Australia to Start Delivering Booster of Pfizer’s Vaccine from Monday

Australia will begin administering booster shots of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine from Monday amid an accelerating immunisation drive against the coronavirus.

The Health Minister of Northern Ireland Is Suing Van Morrison

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister is suing Van Morrison after the singer accused him of being ‘very dangerous’ over his handling of Covid restrictions.

10 Million + People Have Received Boosters in the UK

More than 10 million people have had Covid booster jabs in the UK, according to figures, as people were told to get their top-up to help prevent restrictions this Christmas.

The UK Could Limit Unvaccinated People’s Movement If They Refuse the Booster

UK government could restrict travel for people who refuse Covid boosters as government sources confirmed they are looking at plans for travel restrictions on people who do not take up the booster offer.

Corona Antiviral Pill, Molnupiravir to Be Trialled in The UK This Month

The UK will start to roll out Merck’s molnupiravir Covid-19 antiviral pill through a drug trial later this month, Dr Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency said on Sunday.

Monday 8th November

Infections in Europe Are Reaching Record Levels

07:45 Europe is once again at the centre of the Covid pandemic, the World Health Organization has said. Cases are at near-record levels and 500,000 more deaths are forecast by February. Uneven vaccine coverage and a relaxation of preventive measures have brought Europe to a “critical point” in the pandemic, WHO says. Central and Eastern Europe are grappling with spiralling coronavirus cases with several countries hitting new daily records in the regions, which have lower vaccination rates than the rest of the continent. Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia reported their highest ever numbers of daily cases, while other countries registered the most infections in months. Most Central and Eastern European countries have vaccinated about half of their populations or less, which is lower than the European Union average of some 75%.

The Leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Predicts Mainland China to Reopen in February

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Friday she expects the mainland China border to reopen in February next year as the two governments stick to their zero Covid-19 policies, public broadcaster RTHK reports.

Chinese Journalist Is Close to Death from Hunger Strike

The Chinese journalist jailed for four years over Covid reporting last year is “close to death”, her family says after going on a hunger strike.

Oral Antiviral Pill to Treat COVID Will Be Approved First by the UK

The UK has become the first country to approve an oral antiviral pill to treat Covid. Nearly half a million doses of molnupiravir, a pill that can be taken twice daily at home, are due for delivery from mid-November and will be given as a priority to elderly Covid patients and those with particular vulnerabilities, such as weakened immune systems. The drug will initially be given to patients through a national study run by the NHS.

A UK Study Indicates Cases in the Country May Have Already Peaked for 2021

A study suggests UK Covid cases may have peaked for this year. The study, which estimates the number of Covid cases in the community from the information that users log on an app, found a clear decline in cases in under-18s since mid-October, with infection rates levelling off in most other age groups though still climbing in 55- to 75-year-olds.

Biden Administration Focus on Origin of COVID-19

Understanding the origins of Covid-19 remains a key focus of the Biden administration, and that they will continue pushing for answers, The White House said.

Latvia to Terminate Employees Refusing the Corona Vaccine or to Work Remotely from Home

Latvia will allow businesses to fire workers who refuse to either get a Covid vaccine or transfer to work remotely from 15 November as the country battles one of the worst Covid waves in the EU.

Biden to Enforce Private Sector Workers in the US to Be Vaccinated or Tested Weekly

US vaccine mandates for private sector workers are set to begin on 4 January. President Joe Biden will begin enforcing the mandate that private-sector workers in the US be vaccinated against Covid or be tested weekly.

Friday 4th November

The US Has Administered 425,272,828 Jabs of Corona Vaccine

07:15 The US has administered 425,272,828 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 525,071,855 doses, the CDC said.

Turkey Plans to Administer Booster Shots

Turkey will begin administering booster shots to people who have received two doses of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, its health minister Fahrettin Koca said.

France Announced 10,050 Daily New Infections on Wednesday

France reports highest daily cases since mid-September. Health authorities reported 10,050 daily new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, the first time the tally has topped 10,000 since September 14.

The UK Will Trial a Drug against Fatigue in Long COVID Patients

UK launches trial of drug to tackle fatigue in long Covid patients. The first trial of a drug, called AXA1125, is set to target the fatigue and muscle weakness experienced by more than half of people with long Covid/ The drug targets cellular power plants called mitochondria, which it is thought could be dysfunctional in the subset of long Covid patients with severe fatigue. Additionally, the UK recorded another 41,299 Covid cases, and a further 217 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, in the latest 24-hour period. This is compared to 293 deaths and 33,865 positive infections reported a day prior.

Germany’s Health Minister Stated That the Country Is Enveloped in a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated

Germany is enveloped in a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the health minister stated. Jens Spahn has warned: “The pandemic is far from over. We are currently experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated, which is massive. There would be fewer coronavirus patients on intensive care units if more people would let themselves be vaccinated.”

Thursday 4th November

Australia Is Planning to Reopen Its Borders

06:50 Australia may soon welcome foreign workers back into the country. NSW premier has pushed for further border re-openings as the state grapples with skilled labour shortages after 18 months of closed borders. In addition, Australia remains on track to reach 80% of the population over 16 being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in a matter of days.

Face Masks Are Reintroduced to the Netherlands

The Dutch government has reintroduced face masks in an attempt to stop rising Covid-19 cases. Prime minister Mark Rutte said the use of Covid passports would also be broadened out to include museums, gyms and outdoor terraces. The advice comes amid a major surge in new cases in the Netherlands.

Daily COVID Deaths in the UK as High as February

The UK has had its highest number of daily Covid deaths reported since late February, as another 293 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test. Additionally, the UK government is increasingly worried that hospitalisations and deaths among double-vaccinated people could rise due to waning immunity as an estimated 4.5 million people have failed to get their booster shots despite being eligible. However, the UK government’s independent vaccine advisers recommended against Covid shots for healthy teenagers despite considering evidence that the jabs would reduce infections, hospitalisations and some deaths in the age group.

Scientist Quits UK Pandemic Advisory Body

A scientist has quit the UK government’s pandemic advisory body Sage, saying that the Covid crisis is “a long way from over,” Sir Jeremy Farrar, who quit the body at the end of October, said.

US CDC Voted to Use Pfizer and BioNTech Vaccines for Children 5+

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unanimously voted in favour of the broad use of Pfizer and BioNTech jabs for children as young as 5. The shots could be administered as soon as Wednesday.

China Urges Citizens to Panic Buy

China has urged its citizens to stockpile daily necessities, prompting panic-buying, amid surging vegetable prices linked to recent extreme weather, fears of supply shortages and an ongoing Covid outbreak.

Russian and Romania Have Both Reached a New Daily Death Toll Record

Russia set another daily record for Covid deaths reporting 1,178 on Tuesday. Also, Romania broke its daily death toll record with another 591 people dying from Covid. It has lagged behind on vaccinations and is well below the average within the EU.

Greece Increase Restrictions on Non-Vaccinated People

Greece announced new restrictions on non-vaccinated people and increased fines for non-compliance after reporting a daily record high of Covid-19 cases on Tuesday.

Wednesday 3rd November

Eastern Europe Is Handling Its Worst Outbreak to Date

07:05 Eastern Europe is grappling with its worst outbreak since the pandemic started. Moscow is currently under its strictest lockdown measures in more than a year as the daily tally of cases and deaths nationwide hit new highs. But, many Russians have decided that now is an ideal time to fly off for a foreign holiday, with a sharp increase in bookings to destinations where Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is recognised or where Covid entry requirements are cheap and easy.

The US Is Administering Pfizer/BioNTech Corona Vaccines to Children 5 to 11

The United States is rolling out Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 this week, but most of the 15 million shots being shipped initially are unlikely to be available before next week. The US government has begun assembling and shipping millions of Covid-19 vaccines in preparation for getting the go-ahead to jab children aged five to 11.

US Deadlines for Vaccines Are Approaching

In the United States, as deadlines for jabs approach, military leaders are wrestling with the decision of how to treat soldiers who choose not to be vaccinated. Moreover, in New York 9,000 public workers have been put on unpaid leave for refusing Covid vaccine.

Cambodia Is Open after Hitting Vaccine Targets

Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, declared the country open and ready for a new way of life after hitting vaccination targets that made it one of the most vaccinated countries in south Asia.

Greece Records 5,449 New Infections

Greece has recorded 5,449 new coronavirus infections in the latest 24 hour period, the highest single-day figure since the pandemic began. Officials are poised to implement a new round of restrictive measures for those who remain unvaccinated.

Holland to Impose Additional Curbs to Control a Surge in Infections

The Netherlands will impose new coronavirus restrictions this week in a bid to curb a recent surge in infections, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

Thailand, Australia and Israel Relax Border Restrictions

Thailand, Australia and Israel eased international border restrictions significantly on Monday for the first time in 18 months. As Australia begins to reopen its international borders for fully vaccinated citizens, politicians are debating about the ongoing restrictions on internal travel.

Leisure and Tourism in China Face Challenges with Zero Tolerance for Corona Infections

China’s leisure and tourism businesses are struggling under the country’s zero-tolerance for Covid-19 as cities with infections, or have concerns about the virus, close entertainment venues, restrict tourism or delay cultural events. China locks down Shanghai Disneyland and tests 34,000 visitors after a single Covid case.

Indonesia Gives Emergency Use Authorisation for Novavax

Indonesia has given the world’s first emergency use authorisation for the Covid vaccine produced by Novavax. The company’s protein-based vaccine could prove hugely important for lower-income countries and the WHO-backed vaccine access scheme Covax.

Tuesday 2nd November

Thailand Reopens Tourism for More Than 60 “Low-Risk” Countries

08:05 Thailand has reopened to fully vaccinated tourists from more than 60 “low-risk” countries as the nation reboots its tourism industry after 18 months of Covid restrictions.

In England Booster Jabs Are Offered at NHS Walk-In Clinics

Covid booster jabs are being offered at NHS walk-in clinics in England for people who have had their second dose at least six months ago.

New Zealand Extend Restrictions for a Further Week

New Zealand will extend coronavirus curbs for another week in its largest city of Auckland after another day of record new infections.

Russia Reports Highest Number of Infections in a Single Day

Russia reported 40,993 new Covid-19 infections, its highest single-day case tally since the start of the pandemic.

The US Has Distributed the Most Vaccines in 5 Months

The US jabbed the most vaccine doses into arms in 5 months, delivering 1,412,416 doses of Covid vaccines in the last 24 hours. Additionally, US regulators are delaying their decision on Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds while they study the rare risk of heart inflammation, the company said on Sunday. The FDA is looking into a rare heart inflammation called myocarditis after vaccination.

New York’s Vaccine Requirements Have Come into Force as 2,000 Fire Workers took Medical Leave

New York City’s municipal worker vaccine requirements come into force on Monday, and officials said 2,000 fire department workers took medical leave to protest the measures. But, officials said the part-vaccinated rate had jumped to 91% on Saturday from 76% on Thursday.

Taiwan Expects 4 Million Vaccine Doses from the US

Taiwan will receive a total of 4 million vaccine doses from the US, which is up 1.5 million from the former amount, Reuters reported.

Italy’s COVID-19 Death Toll Is Second to the UK

Italy saw 26 more Covid-related deaths, taking the country’s death toll to 132,100, which is the highest tally in Europe behind the UK.

Monday 1st November

A Scarcity of Syringes Threatens Africa’s COVID Vaccine Drive

A syringe shortfall threatens Africa’s Covid vaccine drive. As vaccines arrive to the continent, a scarcity of syringes could “paralyse progress”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. UNICEF, the United Nation’s fund for children, is predicting an ‘imminent shortfall’ of up to 2.2 billion of the single-use syringes used to give jabs. Only five African countries will meet the target of fully vaccinating 40% of their populations against Covid unless the pace of inoculations increases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

England’s Red Travel List Reduces Further as It Opens up Its Borders

England is set to remove final countries from the Covid travel ‘red list’. At least 12 more countries’ vaccines are expected to be recognised in the significant opening up of borders. Britain has reported 39,842 new cases of Covid, government data showed on Thursday. A further 165 people were reported as having died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid, meaning the seven-day total was up 16.2% from the previous week.

Russia Is Increasing COVID Curbs due to Record Deaths and Vaccine Hesitancy

Russia sets more Covid restrictions amid record deaths and vaccine hesitancy. Recent rampant outbreaks in the countries have been driven by low vaccination rates.

Over 100 Million Indians Have Not Received a Second Vaccine

More than 100 million Indians have not turned up for their second coronavirus vaccine dose, official data showed, raising concerns of a resurgence in the disease despite a relatively low infection rate.

Singapore Reports an Unusual Surge in Infections with 3,432 New Cases on Thursday

Singapore reported 3,432 new cases of Covid on Thursday, a day after recording its highest single-day rise in cases which the city-state’s healthy ministry described as an “unusual surge.”

Pfizer and BioNTech to Deliver 50 Million More Vaccines to the US by April

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that they expect to deliver 50m more doses of their Covid vaccine to the United States by the end of April.

Japan’s Govt under Fire as 80 Million Face Masks Have Been Kept in Storage

Face mask row in Japan over the cost of 80m left in storage unused. Wearing masks may be near-ubiquitous in Japan, but the government has come under fire after it was revealed that more than 80m face coverings it procured at the start of the coronavirus pandemic are still in storage, at a huge cost to taxpayers.

Friday 29th October

000’s of AstraZeneca Vaccines Are Being Destroyed in Australia

07:45 Thousands of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses are going to waste in Australia despite near-record production and calls for increased donations to lower-income neighbouring countries. Almost 1,000 Covid vaccination providers are destroying expired AstraZeneca supplies, wasting 31,833 doses, data shows. About 7m doses of AstraZeneca remain unused. In addition, Australia destroys thousands of expired AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses despite near-record production. A total of 31,833 doses were reported to have been binned despite Australian production of the vaccine continuing at near-record rates. Moreover, Australia confirms Covid booster shots will be available from 8 November after Atagi approval.

The UK COVID Cases Recorded 43,941 New Infections on Wednesday

The UK recorded 43,941 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday and 207 more people have died within 28 days of a positive test, official figures show. Moreover, Novavax Inc. has filed for authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the UK.

Only Europe Reported an Increase in COVID Infections and Deaths This Week

Europe was the only region in the world to report an increase in both Covid-19 cases and deaths this week, according to the WHO’s latest epidemiological update. Infections continue to surge across Eastern Europe in particular, with reported cases rising in Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Thursday 28th October

“Far from Finished,” the WHO Emergency Committee Announced

06:35 The Covid-19 crisis is far “far from finished”, the World Health Organization’s emergency committee has said. The 19-member committee, which meets every three months to discuss the pandemic and make recommendations, also called for research into next-generation vaccines and long-term action to control the virus.

Vaccine Booster Shots Exceed First-Shot Rates in the US

Vaccine booster rates are now exceeding first-shot rates across the US, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Thai Businesses Plead with Govt to Drop Alcohol Ban

In Thailand, businesses are pleading with the government to drop the nation’s current alcohol ban when the country reopens, saying it will deter tourists.

China Locks Down 4 Million Residents over 6 COVID Infections

China has locked down a city of 4m over 6 Covid cases. Residents in Lanzhou, Gansu, have been told to stay at home as buses, taxis and key rail routes are suspended.

Advisers to the FDA Recommend Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine for Children Aged 5-11

FDA advisers recommend approval of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children aged 5-11. it will be the first vaccine available for younger children in the US. The nearly unanimous vote clears the way for possible approval for emergency use next month, making nearly 30m children eligible.

Pregnant Women Turned Away from COVID Vaccine Clinics

Pregnant women are being turned away from Covid vaccine clinics despite clinical advice, experts have warned as they urged ministers to ramp up efforts to reach unvaccinated groups.

Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian President May Face Criminal Indictments over the 2nd-Highest Death Toll

A Brazilian Senate committee recommended on Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro face a series of criminal indictments for actions and omissions related to the world’s second-highest Covid-19 death toll. The 7-to-4 vote was the culmination of a six-month committee investigation of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

No Exemptions Given to Unvaccinated Tennis Players Travelling to the Australian Open

No exemptions are to be given for unvaccinated tennis players travelling from overseas for the Australian Open, the state’s premier has said. Novak Djokovic has repeatedly refused to reveal his vaccination status. Additionally, fully vaccinated Australians will no longer have to apply for travel exemptions to leave the country, as Australia prepares to ease its international borders from 1 November. This is partly due to the fact that Australia could hit the 80 per cent full Covid-19 vaccination mark within a week.

Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine Report Record Numbers of Daily Deaths on Tuesday

Russia reported 1,106 deaths in 24 hours, the most since the start of the pandemic bringing the total death toll to 232,775, Europe’s highest by far. Sluggish vaccination rates have allowed the virus to spread quickly across Eastern Europe.

Wednesday 27th October

European Medical Agency Approves Moderna Booster

07:35 The European Medical Agency has approved doses for all adults, saying the Spikevax booster can be given out and administered after it gave the green light to the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty jab earlier in October. Additionally, Moderna has moved towards expanding its shots to children, saying a low dose of its Covid vaccine is safe and appears to work in six- to 11-year-olds.

US Guidelines to Entry of Non-US Citizens Requires Full Vaccination

The US introduces new guidelines on non-US citizens’ entry into the country and testing for travellers. Foreign nationals will have to be fully vaccinated before entering the country, with some exemptions in place for under-18s. Those coming from countries with low vaccination rates will have to justify their visit.

The Worst of the US Pandemic Is behind Us

Worst of US pandemic likely behind us but we cannot drop our guard, experts say. The number of new Covid cases and deaths in the US has been steadily declining since early September but experts also caution that it is not yet safe to abandon safeguards against the virus. That is because parts of the US population and much of the world remain unvaccinated, which could allow for outbreaks and dangerous new variants of the virus to emerge.

Japan Eases Up on Social Distancing Rules

People in Tokyo can eat and drink in bars and restaurants later in the evening from today as Japan eases social distancing rules.

China to Vaccinate Children from 3-Years-Old

Children as young as three will start receiving Covid vaccines in China, where 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated. It comes as authorities continue to maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards outbreaks.

Facebook Deletes a Warning from the Brazilian President of a Link between COVID Vaccines and AIDS

Facebook deleted a video of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he warned of a link between Covid-19 vaccines and Aids.

Spain Attains the 5 Million COVID Milestone

Spain has reached the grim milestone of 5 million COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.

Tuesday 26th October

Singer Ed Sheehan Tests Positive for COVID

08:40 British singer Ed Sheeran announced testing positive for Covid-19. In an Instagram post he said: “It means that I’m now unable to plough ahead with any in-person commitments for now, so I’ll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances I can from my house.” Sheeran will be self isolating and cancelling in-person commitments.

NHS Approaches Breaking Point as It Battles Backlog of 5.7 Million Patients

NHS maternity services feared to be near breaking point, the UK’s most senior gynaecologist has warned. The health service could soon be unable to deliver “the care it needs to” for women giving birth if the surge in Covid cases continues, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said. As Covid cases rise the NHS battles a huge backlog of 5.7 million patients caused by the first and second waves of the virus. The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to announce almost £6bn to tackle England’s record NHS waiting list. In an effort to get a grip on the crisis, the chancellor will unveil plans for investment in NHS capital funding this week to help deliver about 30% more elective activity by 2024-25 compared to pre-pandemic levels. This is equivalent to millions more checks, scans and procedures for non-emergency patients.

Dr Fauci Predicts COVID Jabs for 5 to 11-Year-Olds by Early November

The US Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci predicts Covid shots for kids aged 5 to 11 will be available by early November. A review panel of the US food and drug administration (FDA) found last week that the benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech shots for the younger age group outweighed the risks.

The UK Runs behind Other G7 Countries When Sharing COVID Vaccines

The UK is lagging behind other G7 countries in sharing surplus Covid vaccines with poorer countries, according to newly published figures. The advocacy organisation One, which is campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, described it as shaming for the UK government. The figures show that the UK is behind every member of the G7, of which Britain is currently the chair, except for Japan.

Sexual Transmitted Infections Rise for the 6th Consecutive Year

STI rates at their highest numbers in the US as Covid dominates health funding. Health officials are concerned about how to divert key resources to combat a rise in sexually transmitted infections (STI) that are now continuing despite the social restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic and is now in its sixth consecutive year of increase.

Monday 25th October

New Zealand Set 90% as Its New Vaccination Target

07:50 New Zealand sets a new 90% vaccination target as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vows to only lift most restrictions when the country reaches the milestone.

Boris Johnson Resists Call to Activate ‘Plan B’

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson resists calls to activate ‘plan B’ as daily Covid cases top 50,000. “The numbers of infections are high but we are within the parameters of what the predictions were, what Spi-M [modelling group] and the others said we would be at this stage given the steps we are taking. We are sticking with our plan,” Johnson told reporters.

UK Corona Infections Top 50,000

Infections in the UK are at the highest level since July with 52,009 new coronavirus cases. That is the highest daily total on this measure, and the first time the daily tally has topped 50,000, for more than three months.

Jeremy Hunt Urged the Government to Reduce Time between Vaccines and Boosters Jab

Jeremy Hunt has called for the government to cut the time required between Covid vaccine doses to allow more booster jabs to be given. Relaxing the six-month gap between second and third doses would speed up rollout, the former health secretary said.

Melbourne Ends Its Sixth Lockdown Today

Melbourne, Australia, ends its sixth lockdown today after spending 267 days following stay-at-home orders, thought to be the longest lockdown in the world.

Moscow States One-Week Nationwide Lockdown as Its Daily Deaths Peaked

Moscow announces a one-week nationwide lockdown as Russia Covid deaths rise. The country registered its highest daily number of coronavirus deaths and infections since the start of the pandemic.

Just 14% of 1.8 Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Promised Reaches Low-Income Countries

Only 14% of promised Covid vaccine doses reach the poorest nations, a report has revealed. Of 1.8 Billion doses pledged by wealthy nations, just 261m (14%) have arrived in low-income countries, according to the analysis by the People’s Vaccine alliance, a coalition of groups that includes Oxfam, ActionAid and Amnesty International.

Friday 22nd October

New Zealand Daily Infections Surpass 100

New Zealand Covid daily cases pass 100 for the first time since the pandemic began. The nation’s Director General of Health says the country is following a similar trajectory to the UK, with the vast majority of hospital cases being unvaccinated.

The British Medical Association States the “Time Is Now” for ‘Plan B’

The British Medical Association says the “time is now” for the government to enact ‘plan B’ in England to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by growing numbers of coronavirus cases. The doctors’ trade union believes not taking action over England’s growing Covid cases is ‘wilfully negligent’.

Australia’s Excess AstraZeneca Vaccines May Pass Expiry Dates

Excess AstraZeneca vaccines may go to waste in Australia. None of the current 7m surplus doses has been earmarked for foreign aid, with the volume of supply available to Pacific neighbours declining to just 26,500 last week. Former AMA president, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, condemned “a very good vaccine going to waste,” as declining public take-up causes stock held by suburban GPs to pass expiration dates.

Lithuania’s News Portals Block Public Comments on COVID-19 Articles

Lithuania’s biggest news portals said they were switching off public comments on their articles about Covid-19 vaccines in an effort aimed at curbing conspiracy theories.

Poland Faces an Overwhelming Number of Cases Needing Drastic Action

Poland is facing an explosion of coronavirus cases that may need drastic action, the health minister has said after the country recorded more than 5,000 daily new infections for the first time since May.

UK Health Secretary Predicts Potential COVID Infections Reaching 100,000

The UK Health Secretary says daily Covid cases could hit as high as 100,000. Sajid Javid said the government always knew that winter would bring problems and that Covid hospitalisations are already approaching 1,000 a day.

New York City Announces All Municipal Workers Must Be Vaccinated or on Unpaid Leave

New York city announces all municipal workers, including refuse workers, police officers and firefighters, must be vaccinated or be put on unpaid leave.

Anti-Vaccine Protestors in Bulgaria Demonstrate against COVID Passes

Hundreds of anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets of Sofia today to demonstrate Bulgaria’s new Covid pass requirement.

US Kids Between 5 and 11 to Be Vaccinated Next

US children aged five to 11 years old are expected to be offered the Covid vaccine within weeks. Laying out plans for its distribution, the White House said the age group would soon be able to get the vaccine at their doctor, pharmacy or maybe at school.

Latvia to Impose More Lockdowns

Latvia is the first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave. The Baltic state once seen as a coronavirus success story announced a month of restrictions including a curfew.

Thursday 21st October

UK Ministers Need to Urgently Implement ‘Plan B’ Winter Measures to Handle Backlog of Patients

08:00 UK Ministers must urgently implement sweeping ‘plan B’ winter measures or derail efforts to tackle the backlog of five million patients, the Head of the NHS Confederation has warned as the UK recorded its highest daily Covid death toll since March.

In England, Children COVID Vaccine Appointments to Be Available from Next Week

Covid vaccine appointments for children will be bookable from next week in England. The rollout of jabs has been extended for 12- to 15-year-olds, Downing Street confirmed.

Bath and North-East Somerset Have the Highest Case Rate in the UK

Bath and North East Somerset has the highest Covid case rate in the UK and 86% of local authority areas have seen a week-on-week rise, according to a new analysis.

US Federal Regulators Are Predicted to Authorise Mixing COVID Boosters

In the US, federal regulators are expected to authorise the mixing and matching of Covid booster doses this week. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to come along with authorisation for boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots.

The Vaccinated US Homeland Security Secretary Tested Positive on Tuesday for COVID

The US homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, who is vaccinated, tested positive for Covid on Tuesday morning, the Department of Homeland Security said.

Murder Charges Potentially to Be Brought against the Brazilian President

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, should face murder charges for his role in the country’s ‘stratospheric’ coronavirus death toll, a draft report from a senate inquiry into Brazil’s Covid crisis has recommended.

The South African Drug Regulator Rejects Corona Vaccine Sputnik V

The South African drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer was not able to answer.

Bulgaria to Enforce Mandatory COVID Passes

Bulgaria is to make Covid passes mandatory for entry to indoor restaurants, cinemas, gyms and shopping malls amid rising coronavirus infections.

Wednesday 20th October

Private UK Laboratory Under Investigation of Issuing False Negative COVID Tests

08:05 A UK private laboratory is under investigation for potentially issuing more than 40,000 false negative Covid tests was not fully accredited to perform the work, contrary to assurances made by health officials.

Challenging Winter Months against COVID as Cases in the UK Continue to Escalate

The UK government warns of ‘challenging’ winter months ahead in the battle against Covid as cases continue to rise. Epidemiologist and government adviser Prof Andrew Hayward said the situation was “concerning” and there was “huge potential for the NHS to come under a lot of pressure.”

UK Corona Infections Approach 50,000 per Day

UK Covid cases near 50,000 in one day after steadily increasing through October and reaching 49,156 on Monday, the highest reported since 17 July and a 16% rise in new cases over the past week.

The UK Reveals Firms Awarded ‘VIP’ Access to Multimillion-Pound Contracts

The UK government ordered to reveal firms awarded VIP’ access to multimillion-pound contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the early months of the Covid pandemic, in a ruling from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Valeneva Vaccine May Be as Effective as the Oxford / AstraZeneca

A study found the Valneva Covid vaccine may be as effective as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine uses inactivated Sars-CoV-2 virus and can be stored in fridge. Like the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the Valneva jab was found to stimulate responses from other components of the immune system, including T-cells. However, the Valneva jab gave rise to T-cells able to respond not only to the coronavirus spike protein, but to two other key proteins.

Russia Surpasses Previous Record Daily Infections with 34,325 New Cases

Russia set another new record daily caseload, recording 34,325 new cases in the last 24 hours. That’s up just slightly on the previous day’s 34,303. There were 998 further deaths. The population of Russia is around 144 million people. Despite the rising cases, Moscow continues to see a busy nightlife.

Colin Powell Dies from COVID Complications at 84

Colin Powell, former US secretary of state, dies at 84 of Covid complications. Powell played a pivotal role in attempting to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Tuesday 19th October

England Plans to Launch Walk-In Vaccine Clinics for Children

08:15 England is planning to launch walk-in vaccine clinics within weeks for children aged 12 to 15 after its inoculation rate for this age group severely lags behind Scotland. The programme is hoped to stem rising rates of Covid-19 infections within secondary schools.

Melbourne Is Ending the World’s Longest Lockdown

Melbourne, Australia is set to lift stay-at-home orders this week, ending what is considered to be the world’s longest lockdown. About 5 million people living in Australia’s second-most populous city have spent more than 260 days under six lockdowns since March of 2020. The figure surpasses Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the longest lockdown globally.

American Convicted Murderer, Robert Durst Gets COVID within Days of Being Sentenced

The lawyer of American convicted murderer Robert Durst said the real estate mogul has Covid and is on a ventilator, days after he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

World Vision Warns That Job Losses and Rising Food Prices Threaten Malnutrition of Next Generation

Aid organisation World Vision warned the fallout of the pandemic could provoke a rise in child stunting in the Pacific as job losses and rising food prices threaten malnutrition.

New COVID Requirements for Egyptian Public Sector Employees

Egypt announced new Covid requirements for public sector employees from 15 November, who will have to be vaccinated or take a weekly Covid test to work in government buildings.

Denial of COVID as Gasping for Breath

Covid patient denies Covid exists while gasping for breath, ICU nurse says.

Monday 18th October

FDS Experts Endorse the Modern Vaccine Booster Jab

07:05 An independent group, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended a booster shot of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for high-risk groups and people older than 65.

The Latvian President Contracted COVID Though He Is Fully Vaccinated

The Latvian President Egils Levits has contracted Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated, his chief of staff said. The Baltic country reported a new record for daily coronavirus cases.

England Is Replacing PCR Tests with Lateral Flow Tests

Lateral flow tests to replace PCR tests for vaccinated travellers to England. Fully vaccinated international passengers arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test from 24 October instead of the PCR version, the government has announced.

The UK Records 45,066 Covid Daily Infections

The number of daily infections in the UK has reached 45,066, and it is the highest daily figure since mid-July. The official data also confirmed a further 157 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 138,237.

Roughly 1 in 7 Corona Cases in Africa Have Been Detected

Only one in seven Covid cases in Africa are being detected, meaning the continent’s estimated infection level may be 59 million people, according to a new study by the World Health Organization.

Italy Foresees Protests after Enforcing Mandatory COVID Pass for All Workers

Italy braced for unrest as the Covid pass becomes mandatory for all workers. The strictest vaccine mandate in Europe is set to take effect on Friday and is expected to bring fresh protests and leave some industries struggling with staff shortages.

Indigenous People in Australia Have Been Infected at Twice the Rate of Other Australians

Indigenous people are infected with the Covid Delta strain at twice the rate of other Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been infected at twice the rate of non-Indigenous Australians during the country’s deadly third coronavirus wave, a senior Indigenous health leader says.

Friday 15th October

NHS COVID Pass Malfunctions for Vaccine Status Causing Flight Delays

07:15 Malfunctioning NHS app for Covid vaccine status causes travel delays. Travellers have been blocked from boarding flights and ferries for trips abroad after a four-hour outage of England’s NHS app left people unable to access a Covid pass to prove their vaccine status.

Scientists Abused and Threatened for Giving an Opinion on Corona

Scientists abused and threatened for discussing Covid, global survey finds. Scientists around the world have received threats of death and sexual assault after speaking to the media about Covid-19, a survey by Nature magazine revealed.

The UK Conservative Party Chairman Apologises about the Handling of the Pandemic

Oliver Dowden, the Chairman of the Conservative party, said he was “very sorry” and admitted “we didn’t get everything right” regarding the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. A landmark report found the UK government’s management of the outbreak was one of the worst public health failures in British history.

Russia Sets New Record Death Toll of 984 Corona Deaths

Russia has set a record for the number of Covid deaths in a 24-hour period for the second day running. Wednesday’s official toll of 984 is slightly higher than yesterday’s then-record 973 deaths.

The USA Announced It Will Reopen Borders with Canada and Mexico

After a 19-month travel ban, the USA announced it will reopen its land borders with Canada and Mexico for non-essential travel. It’s a huge relief for families who have been separated since the beginning of the pandemic and comes after multiple countries pressed the US for months to ease restrictions.

Thursday 14th October

The World’s Most Vaccinated City, Canberra in Australia

07:35 Canberra, Australia’s capital, is set to become the most Covid vaccinated city in the world. “The current evidence suggests that the ACT will be one of the most vaccinated cities in the world,” said the territory’s Chief Minister, Andrew Barr. “We expect to be at around 99% of the eligible population fully vaccinated by the end of November. It’s a testament to ACT residents and their willingness to protect themselves, their family and their community.”

Damning Report of Handling Pandemic in the UK Released

Senior figures in the UK say the failure to prevent a second wave was inexcusable given what was known about the virus. The failure to prevent tens of thousands of deaths during Britain’s brutal second wave of Covid infections was a more serious error than the timing of the first lockdown, senior scientists told the Guardian, after a damning report by MPs on the handling of the pandemic.

Bereaved Families Request an Acceleration of the UK COVID Public Inquiry

Bereaved families call for an acceleration of the UK Covid public inquiry and for ministers to apologise after a damning report by MPs on the handling of the pandemic. first official report on the UK’s early handling of the pandemic, published on Tuesday by cross-party MPs, described it as one of the worst public health failures in British history. ‘Groupthink’ by ministers and scientists, including a deliberately slow approach to imposing the first lockdown, led the UK to fare ‘significantly worse’ than other countries, it concluded.

IMF States Financial COVID Support Could Lead to New Financial Crisis

IMF says Covid support has left the world open to a new financial crisis. The emergency support provided by central banks and finance ministries during the Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled speculation and left the world vulnerable to another financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The UK Reported a Slight Drop in the Number of Infections

The UK reported a slight fall back in cases to below the 40,000 mark with 38,520 confirmed cases of Covid-19, down from 40,224 yesterday.

Russia to Test Nasal Spray Spuknik V Vaccine

Russia will test a nasal spray form of its Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 among adult volunteers, according to a state document published on Tuesday.

Wednesday 13th October

French Study Reveals COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce Risk of Death by 90%

A French study of over 22m people finds vaccines reduces the risk of dying or being hospitalised in people over the age of 50 with Covid-19 by 90%. Additionally, the research published on Monday found that vaccines appear to protect against the worst effects of the most prevalent virus strain, the Delta variant.

The World Bank Warns of Poor Countries Reaching Record Debt Levels

Covid pandemic pushes poor countries to record debt levels, the World Bank says. David Malpass, the bank’s president warned the virus had widened the gap between rich and poor nations, setting back progress by years and, in the case of some countries, by a decade. Figures show the debt burden of more than 70 low-income nations had increased by a record 12% to $860bn (£630bn) in 2020.

The WHO Urges Immunocompromised People to Be Given a Further Vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of the Covid vaccine, due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunisation.

Putin Seen Coughing in a Televised Govt Meeting

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, seen coughing during a televised government meeting, reassured officials on Monday that he was fine and said he was being tested for Covid virtually every day. Meanwhile, Russia’s daily Covid numbers remain close to their highest figures with 957 coronavirus-related deaths and 29,409 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Germany to End Free Lateral Flow Tests as Part of Vaccination Drive

From Monday, people in Germany will need to pay for lateral flow coronavirus tests out of their own pockets, as the government is trying to nudge vaccine-hesitant citizens into getting the jab. The government says it can no longer justify paying for free tests out of the public purse since all residents over the age of 12 can now get the jab if they want to.

Wales Requires All Visitors to Nightclubs to Present Their COVID Pass for Entry

From today people in Wales must show an NHS Covid Pass or demonstrate their vaccination status to enter nightclubs and attend large events in the country. It means all over-18s need one to enter nightclubs, indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions, outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance. People will also be able to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

Australia’s Vaccine Rollout Is Still Behind Other Countries

Australia still lags behind many other countries on vaccine rollout, but it is catching up fast. After a slow start and sluggish vaccine rollout, 68.2% of Australians have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as of 8 October. This is ahead of Germany at 67.9%, the United States at 64.39%, and the European Union at 67.8%.

Slow Vaccination Rates in Europe Are Causing a Dramatic Surge in Corona Cases

Slower vaccination rates in eastern Europe are leading to a dramatic surge in cases in comparison to higher vaccination rates and lower Covid infection and death rates in western Europefigures from Our World In Data suggests. The exception is in the UK where case numbers are surging.

Ryanair Bans Passengers That Demanded a Refund for COVID from Boarding New Flights

Ryanair bans Covid refund passengers from boarding new flights. The budget airline has been accused of barring passengers who pursued chargebacks during the pandemic from taking new flights this year, unless they return their refunds. An investigation by MoneySavingExpert (MSE) found that holidaymakers who sought refunds from their credit card provider faced last-minute demands of up to £600 if they want to board a Ryanair plane.

In Italy Covid-19 Victims Relatives Are Pressuring the Govt for a Public Inquiry

Relatives of coronavirus victims in Italy are pushing for a full public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic as documents from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show the first Covid-19 cases registered in 16 European countries originated from Italy. Additionally, Rome’s violent protests against Covid-19 vaccine prompts calls to abolish Italian neofascist movements.

Tuesday 12th October

Exponential Growth Curve Will Occur in New Zealand

07:30 New Zealand on a ‘knife-edge’ as Covid cases are expected to rise further. The island nation recorded 94 new infections over the weekend, as experts say an “exponential growth curve” will occur where new cases will quickly top 100 a day if the government stays its current course.

The CDC Stated That 187 Million People in US Are Fully Vaccinated

Dr Anthony Fauci warns the US must not ‘prematurely declare victory’ over Covid. As the holiday season approaches, the White House medical adviser urged caution in celebrating declining Covid cases.

1/6 of England’s Patients Are Unvaccinated Pregnant Women

One in six of England’s most critically ill patients are unvaccinated pregnant women, new figures reveal. Twenty of the 118 patients with Covid who received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (Ecmo) between July and September were mothers-to-be, NHS England said. Of these, 19 had not had a jab and the other had only had one dose of a vaccine. The health service is urging pregnant women to get fully vaccinated amid new evidence that the virus can cause serious problems for the mother-to-be and her baby in the later stages of pregnancy.

The Australian PM Plans to Accelerate Resuming International Travel

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, plans to ‘accelerate’ the resumption of international travel and home quarantine sooner than planned, but only for those in the state of New South Wales.

Twice as Likely to Die If You Catch the Flu and COVID Simultaneously

The UK Health Security Agency Chief Executive, Dr Jenny Harries has warned that people who catch flu and Covid at the same time this winter are twice as likely to die than those who only have coronavirus. Harries also said that it’s hard to predict what the next chapter of the pandemic will look like in the UK, as immunity from vaccines wanes among older people.

2 Million Have Received a Booster Jab in England

Two million people in England have received a Covid booster jab, NHS England said. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, tweeted: “This is great progress which is helping to reinforce our wall of defence so we can keep the virus at bay.” Over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and care workers are eligible for a third shot.

Singapore Reports Its Highest Number of Infections on Saturday with 3,703 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.

Monday 11th October

England’s Red List Restrictions Confound South Americans

08:00 England’s latest ‘red list’ restrictions have confounded many South Americans. Strict Covid travel rules remain in place for seven South American and Caribbean countries in a move that has prompted further fury and confusion in the nations which remain on the ‘red list’.

NHS Aims to Administer 35 Million Flu Jabs

The NHS aims to issue 35m flu jabs in a bid to immunise a record 35 million people, more than half the UK’s population. It would be the most ambitious programme of flu jabs in NHS history as the country prepares to face its first winter with Covid and flu circulating at the same time. Experts have warned there could be up to 60,000 deaths.

Senior Health Experts Warned the UK Four Years Ahead of the Pandemic

A coronavirus report warned of the impact on the UK four years before the pandemic began, the Guardian can reveal. Senior health officials who war-gamed the impact of a coronavirus hitting the UK, warned of the need for stockpiles of PPE, a computerised contact tracing system and screening for foreign travellers.

Italy Increases Maximum Attendance Restrictions at Cultural Events and Sporting Venues

Italy has increased the maximum attendance capacity allowed at cultural and sporting venues for those who can show documents of immunity. As of 11 October, cinemas, theatres and concert venues will be able to fill all their seats, scrapping the current limit of 50%, the government said, following advice from its panel of public health advisors. The maximum capacity of sports stadiums will be raised to 60% from 35% for indoor venues and to 75% from 50% outdoors.

UK Children May Be Forced to Wear Masks in Schools again

Children could be forced to wear masks in schools across England again as part of the government’s back-up plan if the country’s Covid situation deteriorates significantly, the education secretary has admitted. Meanwhile, a Covid vaccine for children aged five to 11 is another step closer to authorisation in the US, with Pfizer-BioNTech announcing that the full application has been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Biden Pushes for Mandatory Corona Vaccines

US President Joe Biden advocated for Covid-19 vaccination requirements, calling on more business owners to enact them. Speaking in Illinois, he said: “vaccination requirements are good for the economy.”

Finland Halts Moderna Vaccine for Men Aged under 30

Finland announced it will pause the use of Moderna’s vaccine for men under-30 due to reports of a rare cardiovascular side effect. It follows similar moves by Swedish and Danish health officials after a pan-Nordic study.

Over 140,000 US Children Lost a Parent / Caregiver to Corona

More than 140,000 US children lost a parent or caregiver to Covid, a study found. Published on Thursday in the journal Pediatrics, the study estimated that from April 2020 through June 30 this year, more than 140,000 children under the age of 18 lost their mother, father, or grandparent who provided their housing, basic needs and daily care to the disease.

The UN Secretary-General Petitions for $8 Billion to Enable Vaccines to 40% of All People

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has appealed for $8 billion to help vaccinate 40% of people in all countries by the end of the year. It comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a plan that aims to inoculate 70% of the world by mid-2022.

Friday 8th October

England to Reduce Travel Red List to a Dozen Countries

07:35 England’s Covid travel red list to be cut to a dozen countries. Destinations including Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are expected to be moved off the red list on Thursday, meaning passengers returning from them will not have to isolate in a hotel. The UK government has lifted its advice against non-essential travel to 32 countries and territories, including Bangladesh, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana and Malaysia. The UK will stop advising Britons to avoid all but essential travel to non-red list countries on Covid-19 grounds except in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Turkey Climbs to Record Number of Daily Infections

Turkey reports record number of daily coronavirus cases, surpassing 30,000 on Wednesday, the highest number of infections since 30 April.

Skin Condition ‘Covid Toe’ Possible Side-Effect of Corona

A skin condition known as ‘Covid toe’ may be a side-effect of the immune system’s response to fighting off the virus, according to a recent study.

Russia Reports Record Daily Corona Deaths

Russia reports record number of daily Covid deaths with 929 coronavirus-related deaths recorded on Wednesday, the largest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.

Wales Introduces Covid Pass

Wales to go ahead with the introduction of a Covid pass for nightclubs and big sporting events.

Thursday 7th October

Former Athlete Warns of Long Term Effects of Corona

06:45 A former athlete warns of the debilitating effects of long Covid. Will Smith, now 24 years old, caught Covid-19 in March 2020 and has been battling long Covid ever since.

The UK Attained 33,869 New Corona Infections on Tuesday

The UK reported 33,869 new coronavirus cases and 166 deaths on Tuesday. The official figures showed that 348 out of every 100,000 people have coronavirus.

The WHO Deliberates on the Approval of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine

The World Health Organization is still reviewing whether Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine can be approved by the UN health agency for emergency use against coronavirus.

Norway to Provide 3rd Jab of Covid-19 to the Elderly

Norway will soon offer a third dose of Covid vaccines to people aged 65 and older, the Health Minister, Bent Høie said on Tuesday.

Spain Approves 3rd Shot of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Spain has approved administering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are based on the same mRNA technology, for people aged 70 or over, the health ministry said.

A US Republican Senator Receives a Negative Vaccine Response from South Carolina

A Republican senator in the US was booed and catcalled when he told a party audience in South Carolina to think about getting a vaccine against Covid-19.

In England 100,000 + Schoolkids Have Covid-19

More than 100,000 children in England are off school with confirmed cases of Covid, according to Department for Education figures. The proportion of children at school has fallen below 90%. This is worse than this time a year ago.

Wednesday 6th October

National Guard Medical Teams Deployed to California Hospitals

07:10 National guard medical teams have been deployed to several hospitals in California’s Central Valley and its rural north where case rates are three or four times higher than the state average.

Study Verifies Two Doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Are Highly Effective against Hospitalisations

Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine have been found to be ‘highly effective’ at preventing hospitalisations for at least six months, a large-scale study published in The Lancet has shown.

New York Enforces Vaccine Mandate for Teachers and Other Public School Staff

A Covid vaccination mandate for teachers and other staff members took effect in New York City’s sprawling public school system on Monday.

The Kremlin Urge the Public to Get Vaccinated as Daily Infections Surge

The Kremlin has implored people to get vaccinated against Covid as daily cases rise to their highest levels since January.

New Zealand Alters Its Covid-Zero Strategy to Suppression

There is anger and fear in New Zealand as it prepares to switch to a suppression approach against Covid after holding fast to a Covid-zero strategy for the past 18 months.

Corona Hospital Admissions Are Reducing in England

England’s Covid hospital admissions are in decline for the first time since the start of the pandemic, experts say.

Tuesday 5th October

England Introduces New Rules for International Travel

06:55 New rules for international travel in and out of England have come into force on Monday morning. The much-criticised traffic light system has been been replaced with a single red list of countries and requirements for travel will be overhauled.

New Zealand Is Phasing out Its Strategy to Eliminate Corona

New Zealand’s strategy of aiming to eliminate Covid-19 will be phased out. The policy has been controversial but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that vaccines meant the country could transition away from it.

Australia Approaches National Vaccination Targets

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, ministers said on Monday.

India’s Corona Death Toll Approaches 500,00

India death toll from Covid edged closer to 500,000 after another 180 deaths were recorded on Monday. The toll is now 448,997, with more than 33 million cases.

UK Doctors Urge All Secondary School Pupils to Get Vaccinated

Doctors in the UK have urged all secondary school pupils to get vaccinated following the death last week of 15-year-old Jorja Halliday.

UK Scientists Fear Socialising Inside Will Increase in Winter and Escalate the Pandemic

Scientists in the UK have warned that the country may still have worse to come during the pandemic, as winter approaches. They fear that more people will begin socialising inside as the weather gets colder, which increases the chance of transmitting the virus, as workers also return to offices.

Monday 4th October

Additional Funding for UK Adult Social Care Infection Control

06:45 The UK government has announced additional funding for adult social care infection control which it says will help prevent infections and support testing in adult social care throughout the winter.

Flu Jabs Said to Be Safe When Administered While Receiving Pfizer or AstraZeneca Vaccine

Flu jabs are safe to give at the same time as the Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid vaccines, according to the first clinical trial to investigate co-administering the shots in a single appointment.

South Africa and the UK Discuss the ‘Red List’

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken to Boris Johnson regarding the ‘red list’ status imposed by the UK on his country.

United Airlines Reduces Number of Employees That Will Lose Jobs

United Airlines has reduced the number of employees who face losing their job for defying the company’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. The carrier said 320 US-based staff rather than an earlier figure of 600 are now not in compliance with its Covid-19 vaccination policy.

A Baby and a Pregnant Teenager Died from Corona in Syria

A 20-day-old baby and a pregnant teen have died from Covid-19 in Syria, during a serious spike in cases over the past month, the charity Save the Children said. The charity said there were 1,151 deaths in northwest Syria over the past month and cases rose 144%.

New Record COVID-19 Infections in Singapore

Singapore recorded its highest-ever number of cases, with a rise of more than 200 to 2,478 in a week when it has tightened restrictions on social interactions.

Only 15 Countries in Africa Meet Global Vaccination Goal Set by World Health Assembly

Only 15 countries in Africa have been able to meet the goal of vaccinating 10% of their populations. This was a target set earlier this year by the World Health Assembly for all countries to meet as a minimum by the end of this month.

MSF Requests Sanofi to Transfer the Knowledge and Technology of Its mRNA Vaccine to WHO

Medical charity MSF called for the French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi to transfer knowledge and technology for its mRNA vaccine candidate to the WHO’s vaccine development hub in South Africa. Sanofi announced that it would be shelving the vaccine, despite promising results from early trials.

The Philippines Estimate It will Need a Decade for Its Economy to Recover from Corona

The Philippines will need a decade for its economy to recover from the pandemic, a senior economy official announced, saying the damage from lockdowns will be felt by two generations.

Friday 1st October

Latvia Reports 1,203 New Infections, Its Highest Number since February

06:00 Latvia has reported 1,203 new coronavirus cases, which is the country’s highest daily figure since February. It is the first time infections have crossed the threshold of 1,000 since May.

Lithuania Announces 1,847 New COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours

There have been 1,847 new coronavirus cases in Lithuania over the past 24 hours, the country’s statistics office has said it is the highest number of cases since early January.

Corona Fatalities Reported in Scotland Reach 165 Deaths

The number of Covid fatalities recorded in Scotland hit the highest level since February last week, with 165 deaths registered that involved Covid-19, 30 more than the previous week.

Slovenia Puts Johnson & Johnson Vaccine On-Hold

Slovenia has temporarily suspended use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine while it investigates the death of a 20-year-old woman. Health minister Janez Poklukar said the benefits of receiving the vaccine “continue to outweigh the risks.”

Singapore Surpasses Previous Numbers with 2,268 New Corona Infections

Singapore has reported 2,268 new cases, which is its highest number since the pandemic began. Its previous highest daily increase was 2,236 reported on Tuesday.

The Experimental Drug ‘Molnupiravir’ Is Probably Effective against Corona Variants

Merck & Co’s experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, the company has said following laboratory studies.

PAHO Is In Advanced Talks with Vaccine Manufacturers to Purchase the Vaccine for Its Members

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is in advanced talks with vaccine manufacturers to purchase further vaccine doses for its members after reaching a deal with Sinovac to buy 8.5 million vaccine doses for 2021 and some 80 million doses next year.

Cuba Reports a Drop in Corona Infections with 5,617 New Cases

Cuba reported 5,617 new cases. This is the first time since July that the island has reported fewer than 6,000 new cases. It also reported 48 more deaths from the virus.

Thursday 30th September

Scotland Delays Vaccine Passport Enforcement

06:40 Scotland will delay the enforcement of vaccine passports by introducing a two-week grace period for venues, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

10% of Secondary School Pupils and One-Third of School Staff Have Suffered

In England more than one in ten secondary school pupils and over a third of school staff who had coronavirus have suffered long Covid symptoms, the latest figures suggest.

The Head of the UN Requests Rich Countries to Increase Efforts to Protect Workers from Covid-19

The head of the UN has called on rich countries to step up efforts to protect workers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with an additional $1 Trillion (£736bn) injection of funds to avoid a twin-track recovery that widens the gap with the world’s poorest nations.

Chairperson to Be Named by Christmas for a UK Public Inquiry into Corona

A chairman/woman will be appointed by Christmas to the UK public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and sessions should take place around the country, Boris Johnson has told the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group.

Turkey’s Health Minister Announced It Will Never Close Its Schools again

Turkey will ‘never’ close schools again despite the recent rise in coronavirus infections, its Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said today.

Record Corona Infections in Romania

New Covid infections in Romania rose by a record high of 11,049 in the past 24 hours, its government said on Tuesday.

Pakistan Will Vaccinate Children from the Age of 12

Pakistan is to start vaccinating children aged 12 and above after a decline in Covid deaths across the country.

Australians to Use Covid-19 Self Test Kits from November

Australians will be able to test themselves for Covid at home from November using rapid antigen test kits bought from chemists or online, health authorities have announced.

Wednesday 29th September

Norway Suffers as Violent Scuffles Occurred in ITs Biggest Cities

06:30 Violent clashes and mass brawls have broken out in Norway’s biggest cities after streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of Covid restrictions.

The US Health Authorities Have Enough Vaccine Booster Shots for the Old and Young

In the US, health authorities have said they are confident there will be enough vaccine shots for both qualified older Americans seeking booster jabs, as well as young children.

Wage Subsidies Stop This Week in the UK

The biggest state intervention in the UK’s labour market in peacetime comes to an end this week when the government finally winds up its furlough support. The wage subsidy that has been in place for 18 months and has cost £70bn will no longer be open to struggling firms.

Vladimir Putin Ends Self Isolation Period

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has ended his short spell in self-isolation and has spent several days on holiday in Siberia where he was hiking and fishing, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

Scotland Expects The Army to Drive Ambulances Longer Than 2 Months

In Scotland, the army could drive ambulances for longer than the two months originally planned, according to the Scottish secretary, Alister Jack.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission Investigate Vaccine Passport Plans

Also in Scotland, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has urged the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to investigate plans for vaccine passports.

Hollywood Studios Plan £250 Million Marketing BLitz in the UK

Hollywood studios are planning a £250m-plus UK marketing blitz to promote the return of blockbusters to the big screen over the next 18 months, as the much-delayed premiere of James Bond: No Time to Die gives the industry the confidence to plot a post-pandemic boom in new releases.

Monday 27th September

Corona Causes Male Life Expectancy in the UK to Drop

06:45 Coronavirus has caused male life expectancy in the UK to drop for the first time since records began. A boy born between 2018 and 2020 is expected to live until he is 79 years old – a drop from 79.2 years for 2015-2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Novavax Has Applied to the WHO for Emergency Use of Its Vaccine

Novavax has announced that it has applied to the World Health Organization for an emergency-use listing of its Covid-19 vaccine. The listing is a prerequisite for export to several countries participating in the Covax vaccine-sharing facility

British Expert States COVID-19 Could Resemble the Common Cold

Covid-19 could resemble the common cold by spring next year as people’s immunity to the virus is boosted by vaccines and exposure, a leading British expert has said. Prof Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, said the UK was “over the worst.”

Portugal Plans to Ease Up on Corona Restrictions

Portugal will lift almost all remaining Covid-19 restrictions, allowing full occupancy in restaurants and cultural venues from 1 October, the prime minister, Antonio Costa, said on Thursday.

Thailand Is Deliberating over Reducing Isolation Requirements for Vaccinated Tourists

Thailand is considering cutting hotel isolation requirements for vaccinated tourists in half to one week in a bid to attract foreign visitors again. It comes amid delays to plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and other tourist destinations from next month after the pandemic caused a collapse in the country’s tourism industry.

Corona Deaths in Russia Matches All-Time High

Covid deaths in Russia, where 820 people died from the virus in the last 24 hours, matched the all-time one-day high reached in August. Since the start of the pandemic, Russia has recorded 7,354,995 coronavirus cases.

The US Food and Drug Administration Authorizes Pfizer and BioNTech Shots for 65 and Over

The US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for those ages 65 and older and some high-risk Americans, paving the way for a quick rollout of the shots, Reuters reports.

Friday 24th September

The US Plans to Purchase 500 Million Vaccines for Other Countries

06:52 The United States will buy 500 million more coronavirus vaccine shots to donate to other countries, president Joe Biden has confirmed today.

Global COVID Cases Fall

Global Covid cases have fallen in the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed. There were 3.6 million new cases reported around the world last week, down from 4 million new infections the previous week.

New Rules Issued by German Health Authorities: No Compensation of Lost Pay Due to Quarantine

Health authorities in Germany are planning new rules under which unvaccinated workers would not receive compensation for lost pay if coronavirus measures forced them to quarantine.

Professor Gilbert Warned That Govt’s and Medical Agencies Have Not Learned the Value of Pandemic Preparedness

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, who led the development of the UK’s Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, warned that governments and medical funding agencies have not learned the importance of pandemic preparedness.

Quebec Police Search for Man Suspected of Punching a Nurse

Police in the Canadian province of Quebec are searching for a man they suspect of punching a nurse in the face for giving his wife a Covid vaccine without his consent, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ukraine to Introduce Mandatory Vaccinations for Certain Professions

Ukraine is planning to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for certain professions, including teachers and employees of state institutions and local governments.

Melbourne Police Fire Non-Lethal Rounds / Teargas at Anti-Lockdown Protestors

In Australia, police in Melbourne have again fired non-lethal rounds and teargas at anti-Covid lockdown protesters to end an almost three-hour standoff at the city’s war memorial during a third straight day of demonstrations.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Stated That Corona Transmission Rate Is Highest Amongst Children

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has told MPs this afternoon that the Covid transmission rate is currently highest among children compared to all age groups.

Thursday 23rd September

96% of Cambridge University Students Said That They Had Received a Corona Vaccine

06:40 Cambridge University in England has reported that 96% of 12,000 students said that they had received a Covid-19 vaccination, or intended to get one, before arriving in the city for the new academic year.

The United Nations Secretary-General Speaks out against Vaccine Distribution 

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, described the world as getting an “F in ethics” over global vaccine distribution as he spoke at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. He said the inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is an “obscenity.” Additionally, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned that uneven vaccine distribution globally is affecting economic recovery from the pandemic.

UK Covid Pass Feature Leads to Surge in Organ Donation Registration

The mass take-up of the UK’s NHS app in order to use the Covid Pass feature has led to a surge in people registering their organ donation preference.

The UK’s NHS COVID Pass Will Be Accepted by EU as Proof of Vaccination

The EU is expected to accept the NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination across the union within days.

Wednesday 22nd September

Australia to Test Home Quarantine System on Fully Vaccinated Travellers

07:07 Australia is to trial a home quarantine system for fully vaccinated international travellers arriving in Sydney, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said, as the country moves to reopen its borders despite persistent Covid-19 cases.

New Zealand Delays Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble

New Zealand will delay the reopening of its trans-Tasman travel bubble, as case numbers in Australia are rising and numbers in New Zealand continue to drop.

The UK Govt Plans to Reduce Red List Countries by Half

The UK government is planning to slash the number of ‘red list’ countries by up to half as part of plans to simplify England’s rules for international travel, with sources claiming it would incentivise vaccination.

France Suspends 3,000 Health Workers without Pay for Refusing Vaccine

France suspended 3,000 health workers without pay for refusing the Covid vaccine. The health minister, Olivier Véran, said the staff had been notified in writing before the government-imposed deadline to have at least one dose.

Alberta, Canada Suffers a ‘Crisis of the Unvaccinated’

Alberta’s premier announced sweeping new restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus, admitting the Canadian province was gripped by a ‘crisis of the unvaccinated’. Alberta currently has the worst coronavirus outbreak in Canada.

Thousands of UK Care Workers Are at Risk of Being Fired for Refusing Vaccine

Care homes in England may be forced to close and thousands of staff risk losing their jobs if they decline to receive their first Covid-19 vaccine by the end of Thursday, ministers have been warned.

1 in 500 People Living in the US Have Died from Corona

Data shows that almost 664,000 people, or one in 500 people, living in the US have died from the virus since the pandemic began, following a surge of cases and hospitalisations, particularly in southern states, caused by a combination of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates.

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All Italian Public and Private Sector Workers Require Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test

The Italian government approved a decree making it obligatory for all public and private sector workers either to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection, a government source said on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Health Experts Recommend Children Aged 12-17 Only Receive One Shot

A panel of health experts advising the Hong Kong government recommended children aged 12-17 should get only one dose of BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine after reports of heart inflammation side effects.

Russia Angry about Diplomats Requiring Proof of Vaccination to Attend UN General Assembly

All diplomats attending the UN general assembly in New York next week will have to provide proof of vaccination, the city government has confirmed, prompting an angry response from Russia.

Friday 17th September

Rich Countries and Pharmaceutical companies Prevent Fair Vaccine Distribution

07:20 The WHO warned that Africa has been left behind the rest of the world because of vaccine inequality, with its head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying rich countries and pharmaceuticals have held up efforts to fairly distribute vaccines.

Vladimir Putin Is Self-Isolating

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin is self-isolating after cases of coronavirus were detected among close contacts. The Kremlin has said that he will no longer travel to Tajikistan this week as planned for regional security meetings and will instead do them by video conference. He will self-isolate for “a certain period”, the Kremlin said.

Talk to Replicate Moderna Vaccine at South African Vaccine Hub Have Not Progressed

A WHO official said the vaccine hub established in South Africa may need a year to replicate the Moderna vaccine, as talks with the company on sharing information have not progressed.

Mauritius Faces Explosive Battle of Corona Infections

Mauritius is battling an explosion of coronavirus cases. Hospitals are overwhelmed, ventilators in short supply and cemeteries are running out of space.

The UK Vaccine Minister Says over 50s Booster Campaign to Be “Last Piece of the Jigsaw”

The UK vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has said he is hopeful that the over-50s booster campaign will be the “last piece of the jigsaw” for ending lockdowns, as the government announced its winter plan for dealing with the coronavirus. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said it hoped the boosters would top up immunity. The mRNA vaccines are being recommended, regardless of which vaccine was originally administered.

Sierra Leone Ends Extensive Curfew

Sierra Leone has ended a curfew in place since early July after infections dropped to single figures over the past few weeks.

Republican Governor Will Appeal Federal Order to Allow Schools in Iowa to Make Face Masks Mandatory

A Republican governor in the US, Kim Reynolds, has said she will appeal a temporary order by a federal judge allowing schools in Iowa to make face masks mandatory amid coronavirus. Meanwhile, in Florida, governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to fine cities and counties that force employees to get coronavirus vaccines.

Wednesday 15th September

Booster Jabs Require Justification before Governments Hold Campaigns for Third Shot

07:50 More evidence is needed that booster jabs will significantly reduce serious cases before governments go ahead with campaigns for third jabs, a new study involving the US and WHO health experts said. At the moment, such campaigns are not justified, according to scientists.

UK Children Between 12 and 15 Are to Be Next in Line for Vaccines

Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered vaccines in the UK, its chief medical officers decided. The first doses should be administered immediately.

China Introduces Additional Restrictions in Fuijan Province

China imposed new restrictions in the south-eastern Fujian province, with measures including mass testing, suspended transport services and closures of bars and cinemas.

The UK, EU, Switzerland and Norway Prevent Poorer Countries Access for More Jabs as They Protect Patents

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières called for a waiver of vaccine patents to allow more jabs to be produced and delivered to poorer countries. It said the UK, EU, Switzerland and Norway should stop blocking a proposal being negotiated at the World Trade Organization.

Singapore Reports 607 New Infections

Singapore’s health ministry has reported 607 new locally transmitted Covid cases, which is the highest since August last year.

The UK Government Withdrew from Purchasing Vaccines from Valneva

The UK government pulled out of a deal with the French pharmaceutical company Valneva to purchase its Covid-19 vaccination, the company has said.

Restrictions in Ho Chi Minh City Are Being Extended

Ho Chi Minh City, at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam, is to extend restrictions until the end of September. Authorities said the measures were needed to isolate clusters, speed up vaccinations and stop hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Fully Vaccinated People Account for 1.2% of Corona Deaths in England

The fully vaccinated accounted for just 1.2% of all deaths involving Covid-19 in England in the first seven months of this year, which is being seen as an encouraging sign that the vaccine is effective in reducing deaths.

Around 1 Million Children Return to Schools in New York

About a million children in New York returned to school today, with compulsory masks and mandatory vaccination for teachers, as the city ends remote working.

Tuesday 14th September

The President of South Africa Plans to Introduce Vaccine Passports

08:50 South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced plans to introduce Covid-19 ‘vaccine passports’ amid widespread scepticism of vaccines in the country.

Scotland’s Second Referendum on Independence on Hold

Scotland’s First Minister has ruled out the possibility of a second referendum on independence until all day-to-day Covid restrictions are lifted. Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly pledged to hold another poll by the end of 2023, but only if the public health crisis is over.

Italy’s 100,000 AstraZeneca Vaccine Donation Has Been Received by Iraq

Iraq has received a donation of more than 100,000 AstraZeneca doses from Italy via the Covid-19 vaccine-sharing scheme Covax, according to Unicef. More than 4 million people, around 10% of Iraq’s population, have already received at least one coronavirus vaccine jab.

New Zealand Purchases 500,000 Pfizer Vaccines from Denmark

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has purchased 500,000 doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine from Denmark.

Joe Biden to Announce New Steps to Curb the Spread of COVID-19

The US president, Joe Biden, will announce new steps to slow the spread of Covid-19 before the UN general assembly meets, the surgeon general, Dr Vivek Murthy, said.

China Reports 46 Additional Corona Cases

China reported 46 new Covid-19 cases on the mainland for 11 September, which is up from 25 a day earlier, the national health authority said.

The UK Health Secretary Confirms That England Will Drop Plans for Vaccine Passports

The UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has confirmed that plans for vaccine passports in England are going to be scrapped. Additionally, Javid said he expects the booster vaccination programme for Covid-19 to start this month. Conservative MPs fear vaccine passports could still be made mandatory later this year amid a warning the NHS faces ‘the worst winter in living memory’, despite the health secretary’s announcement earlier today that they are to be scrapped.

Food Shortages Seen in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is facing food shortages with customers in state-run supermarkets reporting long queues for items such as rice, sugar, lentils and milk powder.

Monday 13th September

8,000 + COVID Patients in Hospital in the UK

07:10 More than 8,000 people in the UK were in hospitals with Covid on Wednesday, which is the highest figure for nearly six months, leading to fears of a resurgence in the virus’ ability to cause serious illness and death among the population.

People Residing in Scotland Require Evidence of Vaccination to Enter Nightclubs

People in Scotland will need proof they have been fully vaccinated in order to attend nightclubs and mass events in Scotland from 1 October. The mandatory vaccine passport plan was formally approved by Holyrood on Thursday after the SNP and Greens voted in favour.

Biden Orders All US Federal Govt. Workers Must Receive a Vaccine

Joe Biden, seeking to restore public confidence in his handling of the pandemic, ordered on Thursday that nearly all US federal government workers must get vaccinated. Reports of the requirement emerged ahead of a major speech by the president outlining a six-point plan to address the latest dramatic surge in Covid cases and the stalling rate of vaccinations.

Expert Warned German Vaccine Campaign Insufficient to Prevent 4th Wave

An expert warned attempts to revive the German vaccine campaign is not enough to stop the fourth wave. The German government’s plan to reboot the country’s flagging vaccine campaign with a celebrity-backed burst of advertising on social media, television and billboards will not be sufficient to stop the dramatic developments of a fourth wave, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the Head of the World Medical Association, has said.

The UK Medicine Regulator Grants Emergency Approval of Pfizer and AstraZeneca for 3rd Shot

The UK’s medicines regulator has granted emergency approval for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to be used as third, ‘booster’ shots to tackle potentially waning immunity, adding pressure on the government’s vaccines watchdog to approve a new vaccine programme.

Friday 10th September

Potential October Firebreak Lockdown in England

07:00 The UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, asked about the possibility of a so-called ‘October firebreak’ in England, said: “I haven’t even thought about that as an option at this point.”

Javid Supports 12 to 15 Year-Olds Deciding on Vaccines against Parents Wishes

Javid also backed 12- to 15-year-olds being able to take Covid vaccines against the wishes of their parents, and said that he was ‘confident’ that a booster jab programme will start this month in the UK.

The UK Vaccine Minister Defends Introduction of Vaccine Passports

The UK Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi has defended the planned introduction of Covid vaccine passports, telling MPs “this approach is designed to reduce transmission and serious illness.”

Road Traffic in UK Has Reached 100% Pre-Corona Levels

Data shows that road traffic in the UK was at 100% of pre-crisis levels on Monday. Demand for buses also reached the highest level for a weekday since March 2020.

Covax Vaccine-Sharing Program Will Receive 575 Million Fewer Shots Than Intended

The Covax vaccine-sharing initiative is set to receive 575m fewer anti-Covid shots this year than previously estimated, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) has warned.

588 New Infections Recorded in Czech Republic

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

The Swiss Government Require a COVID Certificate for Entry to Bars, Restaurants and More

People will need to show a Covid-status certificate to enter bars, restaurants and fitness centres in Switzerland from Monday, the government ordered.

Vaccine Pass Expected in Brussels from 1st October

The city of Brussels is expected to introduce a Covid vaccine pass from 1 October, requiring residents to prove their health status to enter bars, restaurants and other public places.

Thursday 9th September

England to Require Vaccine Passports for Entry to Large Events and Nightclubs

07:35 Vaccine passports will be required for nightclubs, mass events and large venues in England by the end of September, the vaccines minister has confirmed. Nadhim Zahawi said: “The best thing to do then is to work with the industry to make sure that they can open safely and sustainably in the long term, and the best way to do that is to check vaccine status.”

The UK NHS Are Planning to Enforce Vaccinations for All Employees

Zahawi appeared to confirm reports that the government is considering making vaccination a requirement of working for the NHS. He said it was “right and responsible” to consider such a move. The NHS Confederation said such a move was “unnecessary” because the overwhelming majority of NHS staff have been vaccinated.

UK Govt Enable Children to Overrule Parental Health Decisions

Children will be able to overrule parental objections to them having Covid jabs if they are deemed to be able to make competent decisions, according to Zahawi. “If they are then deemed to be able to make a decision that is competent, then that decision will go in the favour of what the teenager decides to do,” he said.

No Covid Restrictions for House of Commons, They Are Exempt

Several prominent doctors and health experts have criticised the Speaker for allowing the Commons to open next week without Covid restrictions. They include Sage member Susan Michie and Professor Azeem Majeed head of primary care and public health at Imperial College London.

Vietnam Sets Deadline for Citizens in Main Cities to Have one Jab by 15 September

The Vietnamese government has set a deadline of 15 September for everyone in its main cities to have at least one jab. Vietnam has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the region, with only 3.3% of the country’s 98 million people fully vaccinated with two shots, and 15.4% with one shot.

Corona Infections in Russia Excess 7 Million Cases

Russia’s coronavirus cases have surpassed 7 million, with the country reporting 18,645 new infections in the past 24 hours and 793 more deaths. The latest figures took the total number of cases to 7,012,599, with the overall death toll at 187,200.

Brazil Pauses Use go 12 Million Vaccine Doses from Sinovac

Brazil’s federal health regulator has suspended the use of over 12 million doses of vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac firm. The regulator said in a statement on Saturday that doses that were suspended were produced in an unauthorized plant.

Germany Suffered with 10,453 New Infections on Sunday

Germany reported 10,453 new cases of the virus and 21 more deaths on Sunday. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 4,005,641 and deaths at 92,346.

Monday 6th September

28 New Infections Reported in New Zealand

07:15 New Zealand has reported 28 new cases of coronavirus in the community, which is a drop of 21 compared with the previous day and an ‘encouraging’ sign that the country’s lockdown is working, deputy prime minister Grant Robertson mentioned.

Boris Johnson States Vaccines to 16- to 17-Year-Olds Needs to ‘Go Faster’

Boris Johnson has announced the UK needs to ‘go faster’ with the vaccination of 16- to 17-year olds, despite a ‘strong’ uptake within the age group, while a decision on extending vaccinations to 12- to 15-year-olds is expected to be announced imminently, the Guardian understands.

The US Intends to Invest $3 Billion in Vaccines to Control the Market

The US plans to invest $3 Billion (£2.2 Billion) in the vaccine supply chain as it continues to work to position the United States as a leading supplier of vaccines for the world, Reuters reports.

The EU Has Decided to Return Millions of Vaccines Made in South Africa

The European Union has agreed to send millions of coronavirus vaccine doses made in South Africa back to the continent, AFP reports.

French School Children Are Told to Get Vaccinated

School children in France returned from their summer holidays to be told to get vaccinated by headteachers and the French president Emmanuel Macron.

The UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies Were Sent Suspicious Packages

Members of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have been sent suspicious packages and hate mail throughout the pandemic, one of the UK’s leading virologists has revealed.

Popular US Podcast Host Joe Rogan Tests Positive for Corona

The popular US podcast host Joe Rogan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is taking ivermectin, a drug more commonly used as a veterinary deworming agent, to treat it.

Friday 3rd September

The UK Will Provide a 3rd Vaccine to 1/2 Million Immunosuppressed People

08:20 Half a million severely immunosuppressed people in the UK will be offered a third vaccine dose. The offer, which follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is separate from any broader booster vaccine programme.

Spain Announced 70% of Its Citizens Are Fully Vaccinated

Spain said on Wednesday 70% of its population had been fully vaccinated, fulfilling a goal set by the government for August.

Ontario, Canada Requires Proof of Vaccination to Enter Numerous Establishments

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, said people will have to show digital proof of vaccination to enter a wide range of establishments, dropping earlier opposition to the idea. From 22 September people will need proof of full vaccination to visit bars, restaurants, nightclubs and indoor sporting facilities.

France Is Adminstering Vaccine Booster Jabs to Over-65s

France began administering vaccine booster shots to over-65s and people with underlying health conditions on Wednesday as the country tries to increase protection levels to fight the effects of the Delta variant.

Egypt Plans to Produce 1 Billion Doses of the Chinese Sinovac Vaccine

Egypt has set out its ambitions to manufacture 1 billion doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine annually, claiming it will become the ‘biggest vaccine producer’ in the Middle East and Africa. Two factories will produce doses to cover domestic demand as well as for export across the region.

10% of Health Workers in Greece Are Unvaccinated and Face Suspension

About 10,000 unvaccinated health workers in Greece, 10% of the sector’s workforce, are facing suspension, a union has said. The Greek parliament in July passed legislation to make vaccinations mandatory for health staff from 1 September, leading to protests outside hospitals across the country.

Japan Finds Contaminants in Moderna Vaccine

Contaminants found last week in suspended Moderna vaccines in Japan were particles of stainless steel, the health ministry has said, adding that it did not expect they would pose health risks.

Vaccine Certificates May Be Required to Enter Scottish Nightclubs and Large Events

The Scottish government is proposing vaccine certificates for entry to nightclubs and large-scale indoor and outdoor events in an attempt to curb escalating Covid infections before the autumn.

Cuba Will Vaccinate Children from 2 Years Old

Cuba plans to vaccinate children aged two to 18 with its domestically developed Soberana-2 vaccine as the country tries to reach inoculation levels of 90% by December.

Thursday 2nd September

The UK Plans for Vaccine Passports to Begin from End of Next Month

07:50 The UK government will press ahead with plans to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and other crowded indoor venues in England from the end of next month, the Guardian reports. Officials also restated their intention to roll out a Covid-19 booster programme from September.

14 Million More Vaccines Administered in the US in August

Around 14 million people in the US received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in August, about 4 million more than in July, officials said on Tuesday as the government pushes inoculation as infections rise.

The US Raises Travel Alert on Canada

The US State Department has raised its travel advisory alert for Canada to a ‘level 3: reconsider travel’ status amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it said.

Ireland Plans to Remove All Corona Restrictions

The Irish government has announced plans to remove all Covid-19 restrictions by 31 October.

An Estimated 70% of Adults in Europe Vaccinated

70% of the European Union’s adult population has been fully vaccinated against Covid, hitting a target it had set at the beginning of the year. The figure masks the contrast among EU countries, with some nations being well above the 70% goal while others in the poorer eastern region of the bloc are far behind.

Italy Reports 75 Corona Deaths on Tuesday

Italy reported 75 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, which is up from 53 the previous day, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 5,498 from 4,257, the health ministry said.

New Record of Daily Infections In Israel

Israel has recorded its highest daily coronavirus case tally of nearly 11,000 new infections, amid a surge caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant as schools prepare to reopen.

Wednesday 1st September

Infections in New Zealand Continue to Fall

07:45 New cases of Covid-19 have continued to drop in New Zealand, in a promising early indication that the country’s strict lockdown is working and its latest outbreak may be coming under control. The country reported 49 new cases on Tuesday, down from 53 a day earlier.

Canberra, Australia Extends Lockdown

Australia’s capital, Canberra, has extended its hard lockdown by a further two weeks as it struggles to contain a surge in the highly infectious Delta variant. New South Wales meanwhile reported 1,164 new infections, down slightly from a record 1,290 cases the day prior.

Foreign Matter Found in Moderna Vaccines

Japan’s health minister says it is highly likely that foreign matter found in Moderna Inc Covid-19 vaccines in the southern prefecture of Okinawa came about when needles were stuck incorrectly into vials.

Increasing Illegal Imports of Ivermectin Reported in Australia

Australia has reported a huge increase in illegal importations of ivermectin, which is typically used to deworm livestock, prompting health authorities to warn people against using it as a treatment for Covid-19.

The US and Five Other Countries Removed from EU ‘White List’

The EU has removed six countries, including the US, from a Covid ‘white list’ of places whose tourists should be permitted entry without restrictions such as mandatory quarantine.

Solid Organ Implants Plummeted between 2019 and 2020

The number of solid organ transplants fell dramatically around the world between 2019 and 2020, a study published in the Lancet Public Health journal has found, highlighting the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health services and patients.

Scientists in South Africa Detect New COVID-19 Variant

South African scientists have detected a new coronavirus variant that may have increased transmissibility. Scientists are yet to establish whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or prior infection.

WHO States 3rd Covid Shot Is Not a Luxury

A third-dose booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine is a way to keep the most vulnerable safe and is “not a luxury”, the WHO has said. It urged European countries with excess vaccines to share them with other countries, particularly those in eastern Europe and Africa.

WHO Officials Warn of 236,000 More Corona Deaths by 1st December

Senior WHO officials fear there could be 236,000 more Covid deaths in Europe between now and 1 December on account of stagnating vaccination rates and low uptake in poorer countries.

The UK Reports 26,476 New Infections in One Week

The UK has reported 26,476 new cases of Covid-19 between 24 August and 30 August, bringing reported cases up by 1.8% compared with the previous seven days.

Counties in Oregon, US Are Hitting Limits to Hold Cadavers

Two counties in the US state of Oregon, hit hard by Covid-19, are running out of space to hold bodies amid an intense surge in cases that is overwhelming the state’s healthcare system, forcing authorities to request refrigerated trucks to help handle the overflow.

France to Support Africa with 10 Million Vaccines

France will provide 10m doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines for Africa over the next three months, President Emmanuel Macron’s office has announced.

Tuesday 31st August

The WHO and Unicef Demand Schools in Europe Stay Open and Made Safe

08:05 Schools across Europe must stay open and be made safer for staff and children, the World Health Organization and Unicef have demanded, as a new term gets underway with the highly transmissible Delta variant still dominant in the region.

Auckland Stays in Lockdown for a Further Two Weeks

Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, will stay in lockdown for another two weeks after another 53 cases were recorded on Monday. But one expert said the outbreak could be about to reach its peak.

Scottish First Minister Self Isolates

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon is self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone who has Covid-19. She said she will be self-isolating pending a PCR test result.

In England, Huge Numbers of People Refuse Second COVID Vaccine

Hundreds of thousands of people in England have failed to come forward for their second Covid jab, official data shows. It comes as scientists warned that improving uptake among adults is more crucial than moving on to children’s vaccines or booster shots.

New South Wales See Record Infections on Monday

New South Wales recorded its highest ever number of daily cases on Monday with 1,290 infections. A paramedic has pleaded with people to get vaccinated as the health system feels the strain.

Warning Signs Emerge for the Recovery of Global Trade

A recent recovery in global trade is beginning to wane, according to some early warning signs pointing to the negative effects of widespread Covid-19 outbreaks in the manufacturing centres of east Asia.

US States Announce Extensive Increases in Corona Fatalities

Dozens of states in the US are reporting a big rise in Covid fatalities. Senior Covid expert Anthony Fauci said as many as 100,000 new Covid-19 deaths by December was “predictable but preventable.”

Schools in Jakarta, Indonesia Reopen

Schools in the Indonesia capital Jakarta have reopened after the government eased some Covid restrictions.

Monday 30th August

The WHO Intends to Ship 100 Million Doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm COVID-19 despite Concerns

07:25 The World Health Organization’s pandemic programme plans to ship 100 million doses of China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm Covid-19 shots by the end of next month, mostly to Africa and Asia, despite concerns over the efficacy of the shots, which have been turned down or paired with boosters from Western manufacturers by some of the recipient countries.

Corona Patients in US Hospitals Surpasses 100,000

The number of coronavirus patients in US hospitals breached 100,000 on Thursday, the highest level in eight months, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, as a resurgence of Covid-19 spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant strains the nation’s health care system.

New Zealand Extends National Lockdown until Tuesday

New Zealand has extended its national lockdown until Tuesday after 70 new cases were reported, with regions south of Auckland moving to level 3 after then. Auckland and the neighbouring Northland region are expected to remain in level 4 lockdown for another two weeks.

Corona Infections in Sydney Near Record Highs at 882

Sydney’s Covid-19 cases slightly eased on Friday but still hovered near record levels at 882 cases recorded in New South Wales as the Australian federal government looks to press states to stick to a national reopening plan once the country reaches a 70%-80% vaccination rate.

Radio Presenter Dies from Vaccine

An award-winning BBC radio presenter died due to Vaccine complications from the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, a UK coroner has concluded. Lisa Shaw, 44, died in May, just over three weeks after she had her first dose of the jab, an inquest in Newcastle heard.

England Fear’s Mass Exodus of Social Care Managers over Vaccine Requirement

Social care managers in England fear an ‘exodus’ of staff by the autumn. A survey of 1,000 care managers found that a third (32.8%) have already had staff quit or handed in their notice over the vaccine requirement.

Boris Johnson May Intend to Send Potentially Infected Hospital Patients to Care Homes

The UK government has successfully resisted disclosure of potentially explosive WhatsApp messages between ministers and Boris Johnson about decisions to send hospital patients into care homes without first testing them for Covid.

Hamburg Allows Various Public Places and Institutions to Prevent Unvaccinated Adults from Entry

The German city-state of Hamburg is to allow hairdressers, clubs, restaurants and religious institutions to prevent unvaccinated adults or those who have not built up immunity Covid infection from entering, in what reportedly marks a policy first for the country.

EU Countries Administering Booster Shots May Face Legal Risks

EU countries that decide to administer booster shots may face increased legal risks because the additional dose has not yet been given emergency recommendation by the EU drugs regulator, the European Commission said.

Arkansas Jail Physician Defends Prescribing Anti-Parasite Medicine, Ivermectin

An Arkansas jail physician defended the prescribing of widely used anti-parasite medicine ivermectin to prisoners for Covid after criticism. He said he was ‘fighting like we’re at the beaches of Normandy’ to avoid letting inmates go to hospitals with ‘blue lips’.

Friday 27th August

Moderna Has Witheld 1,62 Million Vaccine Doses Due to Contamination

06:40 Moderna Inc says it has withheld the supply of about 1.63 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in Japan after a report of contamination of vials with particulate matter, which it suspects involves a production line in Spain.

New South Wales Reports a Record 1,029 Infections

The Australian state of New South Wales has reported a record 1,029 cases, with hospitals in Sydney, the epicentre of the outbreak, struggling to cope with the rise in patients. The nurses union says multiple facilities are under “enormous pressure” and have “very little capacity” in their emergency departments.

China Criticises US Politicians over Inconclusive Intelligence Virus Origins Report

China criticised the US ‘politicisation’ of efforts to trace the origin of the coronavirus and restated dubious demands for a US military laboratory to be investigated, amid the release of an ‘inconclusive’ American intelligence community report on the virus’ origins.

Scientists Sent to China Still Cannot Solve COVID Mystery

The scientists dispatched to China by the WHO to discover Covid’s origins said that the window of opportunity for solving the mystery is ‘closing fast’. They appeared to be attempting to reframe their original finding, which said a lab leak was “extremely unlikely,” after details emerge on how terms were agreed with Chinese officials.

All US Military Troops to Get Jab with Pfizer Receiving Full Approval

Military troops must immediately begin to get vaccinated against Covid after Pfizer’s jab received full approval, the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, said as more than 800,000 service members out of 2.1 million, including reserves, remain unvaccinated.

Brazil’s Deal with Pfizer Exempts It from Citizen Lawsuits

Brazil announced it will give Covid booster shots to immunosuppressed or vulnerable people, and citizens over the age of 80, after it emerged yesterday it had leaked its supply contract with Pfizer, showing it provided the pharma giant with indemnity from possible citizen lawsuits over potential adverse events after it provided jabs at cheaper prices.

Papua New Guinea Bans All Repatriation Flights from India

Papua New Guinea has banned all repatriation flights from India, after accusing the country’s high commission of a deliberate ‘deception’ that resulted in passengers infected with Covid-19 arriving in the country.

Taiwan Reports Zero Community COVID Cases

Taiwan reported zero community cases of Covid-19 for the first time since its biggest outbreak began in May, killing more than 800 people. Residents had lived a largely normal life for most of 2020 and early 2021, albeit with closed borders.

50% of Florida’s Students Are Required to Wear Masks

Just over half of Florida’s 2.8 million public school students are now required to wear masks in classrooms as a courtroom battle continues over efforts by Governor Ron DeSantis to leave such decisions up to parents.

Delta Variant Puts Spokes in COVID Vaccine

The emergence of the Delta variant means that vaccination may not prove to be the magic bullet that many governments hoped for, a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit said. It called on political leaders to rethink their Covid strategy to adapt it for the long term.

Thursday 26th August

Daily Infections in Israel Approach Record Levels

08:10 New daily coronavirus infections in Israel are approaching record levels, despite the country’s largely successful vaccination campaign and the recent rollout of the world’s first widespread booster shot. The spread of the virus has been driven by a surge in the Delta variant even among the vaccinated.

Families Request a UK-Wide COVID-19 Inquiry before End of 2021

Bereaved families call for UK-wide Covid inquiry to start before the end of the year. The UK government, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations must ‘show some leadership’ and ensure that statutory coronavirus inquiries start before the year is out, campaigners have said.

US Districts Close Schools and Stop In-Person Learning

Growing numbers of US districts have stopped in-person learning at schools. More than 80 school districts or charter networks have closed or delayed in-person classes for at least one entire school in more than a dozen states because of an increase in Covid cases.

Brazil and Pfizer Made Their Vaccine Supply Contract Public

The vaccine supply contract between Brazil and Pfizer has been made public, in what is believed to be the first such time in history between a state and a pharmaceutical company.

Widening Gap between First Nations Vaccination Rates and Other Nations

In Australia, Indigenous Covid vaccination rates have risen rapidly in the past month, but new data shows the gap is widening between First Nations people and overall vaccination rates in almost every state and territory.

Unvaccinated Greek Citizens Banned from Public Eateries, Clubs and Entertainment

The Greek government has announced that all indoor eateries, bars, clubs and entertainment venues will be off-limits for unvaccinated citizens. The ban starts next month.

5 Billion + Vaccines Have Been Administered Globally

More than 5 billion anti-Covid jabs have been delivered globally, an AFP tally of official sources shows. While it took around 140 days to administer the 1bn shots, the third, fourth and fifth billions each took between 26 and 30 days, the data show.

Only 40% of Immunosuppressed People Require Booster Shots

Covid booster shots may only be needed for about 40% of immunosuppressed people, preliminary UK data suggests. Researchers looked at immune responses after two shots of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines in people with compromised immune systems, due to underlying disease or the medicines they are taking for their underlying disease.

Wednesday 25th August

US Regulators Give Full Approval for Pfizer Vaccine

07:50 US regulators have given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine in a decision likely to trigger a wave of formal vaccine requirements from government departments, businesses, schools and the military. Pfizer shares were up around 2.5% following the announcement.

UK Deaths from COVID-19 Average 100/Day

Deaths from Covid-19 are now averaging 100 a day across the UK, and there are warnings that case rates will jump again when millions of pupils return to schools next week. The country racked up more than 31,000 new cases on Monday.

Roughly 5,000 COVID Cases in the UK Were Linked to a Music and Surfing Festival

Almost 5,000 UK Covid-19 cases are linked to a music and surfing festival, Boardmasters, which took place in Cornwall this month.

Australia Surpasses 6 Million Vaccinations

New South Wales recorded another 753 cases on Tuesday but the Australian state has passed 6m vaccinations and will announce some relaxation of the tight lockdown curbs this week for people who have received two doses.

New Zealand Brace for Biggest Outbreak to Date

New Zealand is bracing for its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet as cases rose by another 41 on Tuesday. The majority of people are Samoan and are linked to a cluster at a church.

Vietnam Deploys Soldiers to Enforce Lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam has deployed soldiers to enforce a lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, after authorities claimed enforcement of recent curbs has not been sufficiently strict, with people from today generally prohibited from leaving their homes.

The WHO Director-General States Priority For Vaccination While Booster Shots Should Be Delayed

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that Covid-19 booster shots should be delayed as priority ought to be given to raising vaccination rates in countries where only 2% of the population has been inoculated.

Spanish Court Rejects Request for Curfew in Barcelona From Catalonia Govt

A Spanish court rejected a renewed request, following a prior denial last week, by the regional government of Catalonia to reimpose a virus curfew in Barcelona and dozens of other cities, arguing the measure was “disproportionate” as infections have fallen.

Berlin Nightclubs to Reopen

Berlin nightclubs are set to reopen after a court repealed a blanket ban on dance events in closed rooms in the German capital, but only for the vaccinated or those who have recently recovered from Covid.

Tuesday 24th August

Residents in the UK to Receive COVID-19 Antibody Tests for the First Time

07:55 People in the UK will be able to receive Covid-19 antibody tests for the first time next week as part of a new government programme. Up to 8,000 adults will be able to take part in the scheme.

Iran Hits a COVID New Death Toll, 684 Fatalities

Iran has reported an all-time daily coronavirus death toll, with 684 further fatalities recorded. Sunday’s figure passes the 655 deaths recorded in 24 hours on 16 August.

Russia Reported 20.564 New Infections on Sunday

Russia reported 20,564 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the national tally to 6,747,087. Of this total, 1,661 were recorded in Moscow and 1,481 in St. Petersburg.

Ho Chi Minh City Prepare for Lockdown as Infections Surge

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is preparing to enter lockdown as cases in the Southeast Asian country’s most populous city surge. Residents will be under stay at home orders from Monday, with the army and police deployed.

Israel Conducts Antibody Testing programme of Children 3 +

Israel has launched an antibody testing programme for children aged three and above as it seeks to monitor much protection from the virus unvaccinated children have developed.

The Australian PM, Scott Morrison Stated Stringent Lockdown Rules Remain until 70% Herd Immunity

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia’s stringent lockdown strategy will remain in place until at least 70% of the country is fully vaccinated as the country sees record numbers of cases.

Vaccinated Filipino Workers Can Enter Hong Kong from 30 August

Vaccinated Filipino workers will be allowed to enter Hong Kong from 30 August, Manila’s labour minister has said.

Monday 23rd August

A Third Dose Is Now Available in Israel to Teachers and People over 40

07:20 Israel’s Health Minister said on Thursday that people over 40 and teachers would be eligible for a third dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, expanding its booster campaign to fend off the coronavirus Delta variant.

The Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle Urges MPs to Wear Face Masks in House of Commons

In the UK, the House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is facing calls to urge MPs to wear masks in the chamber, after cabinet ministers and many Tory backbenchers shunned the advice during a packed eight-hour debate on Afghanistan.

Kenyan Police use Teargas and Fired Shots to Break up Protests in Nairobi

Police in Kenya used teargas and fired shots in the air to break up protests in Nairobi after a man was allegedly killed by officers for violating the country’s Covid curfew. Shops were looted as unrest grew after John Kiiru’s death, which came just two days after six police officers appeared in court over the death of two brothers this month after they also allegedly broke the curfew.

Britain May Shelve Rollout of Booster Vaccines to Citizens over 50

The mass rollout of Covid-19 booster vaccines in Britain to residents over 50 this autumn could be shelved, with government scientists considering limiting third doses only to the most vulnerable, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.

Spanish Court Lifts Curfew Imposed in Catalonia

A Spanish court has lifted a coronavirus curfew imposed on most of Catalonia, including the capital Barcelona, leaving it in place in just a fraction of the northeastern region. The high court of justice of Catalonia said the measure was “not justified” because infection rates had improved.

Biden to Receive Third Vaccine Dose

Joe Biden said he and his wife, Jill, would receive a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to boost their immunity, as his administration announced booster shots would be offered to Americans in September. He also announced that nursing home staff would need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Hoarding of COVID Jabs by Rich Countries “Makes a Mockery of Vaccine Equity”

The hoarding of Covid jabs by rich countries which are also rolling out booster shots “makes a mockery of vaccine equity” pledges, the African Director for the World Health Organization said. But, she noted that cases across Africa are levelling off and more vaccine doses are finally arriving on the continent.

French Scientist Pushed out of the Infections Diseases Institute He Founded

The French scientist who promoted the discredited hydroxychloroquine treatment for Covid-19 backed by Donald Trump faces being pushed out of the infectious diseases institute he founded amid concerns from key members over its role in feeding conspiracy theories and an investigation by regulators into its clinical studies.

Friday 20th August

Tokyo Infections Peak as ICU Reaches Capacity a Week Prior to Paralympic Games

07:55 Japan has recorded a record number of coronavirus cases while critical care beds in Tokyo are nearing capacity less than a week before the city is due to host the Paralympic Games.

Biden Announces Vaccine Booster Shots for All Americans from 20 September

US president Joe Biden says Covid-19 vaccine booster shots will be available to all Americans starting on 20 September as infections rise from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

WHO and Medical Journal ‘Nature’ Speak out against Vaccine Boosters

Wealthy countries’ booster campaigns “leave poorer people to drown”, the World Health Organization said. Experts at the organisation insisted there was not enough scientific evidence that boosters were needed. Providing them while so many were still waiting to be immunised was immoral, they argued. The medical journal Nature echoed WHO’s calls for a temporary suspension of Covid boosters, saying the scientific case for their efficacy has not yet been proved. “So far, there is little evidence that boosters are needed to protect the fully vaccinated,” it said.

The WHO Stated Confidently That China Would Cooperate with the COVID Origin Investigation

The WHO said it was confident China would cooperate on investigating Covid’s origins after one of its officials suggested patient zero could be a lab worker in a sudden escalation of pressure, and that their resistance to transparency could mean ‘that there is a human error’ to conceal.

In Israel, 60% of Hospitalised Patients with COVID-19 Are Fully Vaccinated

Almost 60% of hospitalised patients with Covid in Israel are fully vaccinated – Science Mag reports, despite 78% of those 12 and older in Israel being fully jabbed. The experience of Israel thus makes clear that so-called ‘breakthrough’ cases are not such rare events as implied by the term.

French Citizens Pay Hundreds for Fake Health COVID-19 Passes

People refusing to get Covid-19 vaccines in France are paying hundreds for fake health passes in an online black market that has flourished since the government imposed mandates for them to enter cafes, intercity trains and other public places.

Lack of Exercise Linked to Increased Risk of Severe COVID Complications

A lack of exercise is linked to an increased risk of severe Covid-19 and associated complications, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers found that: “consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk for severe Covid-19 outcomes among infected adults.”

A Vaccine Sceptic High-Ranking US Catholic Cardinal with COVID-19 in Serious Condition

A high-ranking US Catholic cardinal, who has Covid-19 and is a vaccine sceptic, is in serious condition and has been sedated, according to officials at a Wisconsin shrine that he founded. He spoke out against mandatory vaccinations in May 2020, saying some in society want to implant microchips in people.

New South Wales Report New Record Numbers of Infections

The Australian state of NSW has reported another record number of cases, 681, but premier Gladys Berejiklian has nevertheless promised there are “exciting things to look forward to” when she introduces freedoms for vaccinated people once targets are met in coming weeks.

Mexico Announces New Record High of 28,953 COVID-19 Infections

Mexico has recorded a record 28,953 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 3,152,205. Additionally, it reported 940 more deaths and the total confirmed death toll now stands at 250,469 although health officials have said the real number is likely significantly higher.

Ireland Has Administered Vaccine to 90% of Adults

Ireland has administered at least one dose to 90% of adults, the head of the vaccine rollout has announced. He said 83% of adults were fully vaccinated after 6.46m vaccine doses were administered to date.

Thursday 19th August

Australia’s Surge in Infections May Become a New Daily Record

08:05 Australia is on track to break its daily coronavirus case record with surging infections and more deaths in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, fuelling national concern. The state, which is under lockdown, reported a record-breaking 633 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Care Facilities in New South Wales Are Hit by Corona Outbreak

Thirty-four aged care facilities in New South Wales are currently in the grips of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Qantas Airline Now Require Frontline Employees to Be Fully Vaccinated

Qantas airlines will require all of its frontline employees, including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

India Reported 35,178 New Infections

India reported on 35,178 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, nearly 40% higher than yesterday. Deaths remained low, with 440 reported in the past 24 hours.

Pope Francis Encourages Vaccinations

Pope Francis has encouraged people to get Covid vaccines in a new media campaign. Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is “an act of love,” Pope Francis says in a public service advert that will start circulating online and on television on Wednesday.

The Red Cross Urges Aid to Be Provided to Southeast Asia

The International Federation of Red Cross has called for Southeast Asian countries to be given more help securing Covid-19 vaccines, as the region struggles to contain record infections and deaths driven by the Delta variant.

New York Will Require Proof of Vaccination for Entry to Leisure Facilities

New York has become the first US city to require proof of vaccination to enter gyms, theatres and restaurants.

The UK Approves Moderna for 12- to 17-Year-Olds

The UK has approved the use of the US-made Moderna vaccine for 12 to 17-year-olds. The Pfizer jab was given the same approval a few weeks ago.

Wednesday 18th August

New Zealand Reports Its First Community Case of Corona since February

08:45 New Zealand has reported its first community case of Covid-19 since February, with health officials racing to discover its source. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to address the media at 6 pm local time.

US Experts Are Predicted to Recommend Vaccine Boosters for All Americans

US experts are expected to recommend vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country.

Sydney Authorities State Infections Will Rise Substantially in Coming Weeks

Authorities in Sydney say cases are set to rise ‘substantially’ in the coming weeks despite a weeks-long lockdown, as the Australian city struggles to get on top of a growing outbreak.

Unvaccinated Children That Test Positive for Corona Unfairly Lose Weeks of School, unlike Vaccinated Kids

A troubling divide in Irish schools looks likely to emerge as unvaccinated children would have to take up to two weeks out of school if they were a close contact of a Covid-positive peer, but vaccinated children would not, despite still being able to contract and transmit the virus.

UK Health Regulator Stated Vaccines Did Not Increase Risk of Miscarriage

The UK’s health regulator said Covid-19 vaccines did not raise the risk of miscarriage, and that it had not found any link between the shots and changes to menstrual periods. It came after Europe’s drugs regulator said it had so far not found a causal link between Covid-19 vaccines and menstrual disorders.

Texas Governor Given Temporary Order to Ban Mask Mandates by Supreme Court

The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, will temporarily be allowed to enforce an order banning mask mandates, the state supreme court ruled. However, the ultimate fate of mask mandates in Texas is far from clear, as school districts and localities fight to maintain control of public health orders.

Thai Protestors, against PM’s Handling of Pandemic, Were Dispersed by Water Cannon and Teargas

Thai police again used water cannon and teargas to disperse protesters near the office of the prime minister, as opposition parties moved to censure him in parliament over his handling of the pandemic. Hundreds marched on the government house to demand his resignation.

Under a Third of Prison Officers Are Vaccinated in 7 State Prisons

Several major California law enforcement agencies are reporting Covid-19 vaccination rates that are significantly lower than those of the general population, and seven state prisons have disclosed that less than a third of their officers are vaccinated.

Tuesday 17th August

Sydney Records Its Highest Daily Death Toll

07:30 Australia’s biggest city of Sydney has recorded its deadliest day of the Covid-19 pandemic, while residents in Melbourne face a nightly curfew and a further two weeks of lockdown amid a surge in infections.

Japan Extends State of Emergency to Other Regions

Japan is reportedly set to extend its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions to the middle of September as well as adding several other regions.

Gordon Brown Calls for Emergency Summit to End Vaccine Inequality

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown has called on the US, British and Italian to hold an emergency summit before the UN General Assembly to end vaccine inequality and send more shots to Africa and other low-income nations.

England Offers a First Dose of COVID-19 to All 16 and 17-Year-Olds

All 16- and 17-year-olds in England are to be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by Monday 23 August, the Department of Health has announced. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, said the date would give teenagers two weeks to build up immunity before school starts again in September.

France Health Permit Will Be Expanded to 120 Department Stores and Shopping Centres

France’s pass sanitaire health permit system will be extended to more than 120 major department stores and shopping centres on Monday in areas where levels of Covid infection are causing concern, including Paris and the Mediterranean coast. The measure restricts entry to customers who can prove they have been vaccinated, have had a negative Covid test or have recovered from coronavirus.

Iran Reports above 600 Corona Linked Deaths in One Day

Iran has reported more than 600 Covid-linked deaths in a day for the first time, as the government tightens curbs aimed to contain the spread of the virus.

Austin, Texas Sets New Local Records for Most Patients in Intensive Care and Ventilators

The Austin area of Texas is in the midst of a dire Covid-19 crisis, after setting local records this week for the most patients in intensive care and on ventilators. Only seven ICU beds remain in a region of almost 2.4 million.

A Million Workers in the UK Are Supported by Businesses at Risk of Closure

A million workers in the UK are employed by businesses at risk of closure over the next three months, as the government is poised to withdraw critical Covid support schemes, according to a new analysis.

Monday 16th August

Third Shot of Vaccine to Be Recommended by US Regulators

07:20 US regulators are reportedly set to recommend a third shot for people with certain immune-compromising conditions, following pressure from Pfizer. Dr Anthony Fauci said for other vaccinated groups, such as elderly people, data is being collected to determine if or when their protection goes “below a critical level” and “that’s when you’re going to be hearing about the implementation of boosters” for others.

The Canadian PM Plans Snap Election for 20 September

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is planning a snap election for 20 September ostensibly to seek voter approval for the government’s costly plans to respond to the pandemic, according to sources cited by Reuters. The Liberals plan to inject an extra C$100 billion – between 3% and 4% of GDP – into the economy over the next three years.

Israel Requires Corona Tests from Children Aged 3 to Enter Schools, Gyms and Hotels

Israel is to require Covid tests from next week for children as young as three to enter schools, swimming pools, hotels or gyms as infections rise despite extensive adult vaccinations.

French Police Increases Security for COVID Vaccination and Testing Centres

French police were urged to step up security around Covid vaccination and testing centres after a spate of attacks and vandalism.

A 99% Emergency Tax on Startling Profit Made by Billionaires Could Pay for All Vaccinations and More

A 99% emergency tax on the startling levels of profit made by billionaires during the pandemic could pay for everyone to get vaccinated and provide a £14,000 cash grant to all unemployed workers, according to a new analysis.

Air Passengers Travelling to UK Spent over £500 Million on PCR Tests since Mid-May

Air passengers to the UK have spent at least £500m on PCR Covid-19 tests from private companies since mid-May, only for the NHS to be saddled with extra costs when firms fail to deliver them.

Jacinda Ardern Stated New Zealand Will Continue with COVID-19 Elimination Strategy Indefinitely

Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand would continue to pursue its ambitious Covid-19 elimination strategy indefinitely, even though a leading expert said this week that reaching herd immunity is “not a possibility” since the vaccines do not stop the spread of Covid.

Depression and Anxiety Symptoms among Children and Adolescents May Have Doubled

Symptoms of depression and anxiety symptoms among children and adolescents during the pandemic may have doubled compared with pre-2020 estimates.

A McDonald’s Franchise Settle with Californian Workers after Being Provided Dog Nappies as a Substitute for Masks

A McDonald’s franchise in California settled with a group of workers who sued after they were allegedly provided dog nappies to wear as masks, before a Covid outbreak among staff and subsequently their families.

Friday 13th August

The UK Orders Millions of Booster Jabs from Pfizer Leaving Poorer Countries Unable to Access Vaccines

06:40 The UK is sending low- and middle-income countries who are struggling to access vaccines ‘to the back of the queue’ by ordering millions of ‘overpriced’ booster jabs from Pfizer, according to vaccine equity campaigners from Global Justice Now.

UK Govt Adviser Said COVID Is Unlikely to Be Eradicated

A UK government scientific adviser has said Covid is unlikely to be eradicated entirely because there is no vaccine that is 95% protective against infection. Prof Andrew Hayward also said that Covid would likely continue to mutate, meaning true herd immunity was even further unlikely.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Stated That the Pandemic is the ‘No 1 Problem’

Iran’s supreme leader has said the pandemic is the country’s ‘No 1 problem’ and must urgently be curbed, as he called for greater efforts to import and produce vaccines.

Europe’s Drugs Regulator Stated It Is Assessing 3 New Conditions of COVID-19 Side-Effects

Europe’s drugs regulator said it is looking into three new conditions to assess whether they may be possible side-effects related to Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, following a small number of cases.

Transferring Asylum-Seekers and Migrants under Public Health Orders Conflicts with International Law

The US States Transferring asylum-seekers and migrants expelled under public health orders by plane to southern Mexico contravenes international law, the UN refugee agency said.

Thai Police Use Water Cannons, Rubber Bullers and Tear Gas against Demonstrators

Thai police fired water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in Bangkok for a second consecutive day as demonstrators rallied against the government and its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

China Approves Mixed Vaccine Trial

China’s drug regulator approved the country’s first mixed-vaccine trial, a company involved in the study has said, amid concern about the efficacy of domestically produced jabs. Chinese state media articles quoted a Swiss biologist accusing the US of politicising Covid origin investigations were quietly deleted after the Swiss government said no such person exists.

YouTube Video of Rand Paul Disputing Masks Efficacy Has Been Removed 

A video of the Republican senator Rand Paul disputing the effectiveness of wearing masks was removed from YouTube. Its policy is to ban videos that claim masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of Covid is based on the guidance of the World Health Organization, which reversed its decision last year after initially refraining from recommending people to wear face masks in public.

North German Authorities Advise Citizens to Get Extra Vaccine as It Is Likely They Received a Saline Solution

Authorities in northern Germany have appealed to thousands of people to get another shot of the Covid vaccine after a police investigation found a Red Cross nurse may have injected them with a saline solution.

South Australia Forces Athletes to Complete an Extra 14-Day Home Quarantine

The Australian Olympic Committee condemned the South Australian government over its ‘cruel and uncaring’ Olympic decision, which forces athletes who have already quarantined in Sydney to complete an additional 14-day home quarantine on return to the state.

Thursday 12th August

The WHO Urges Powerful Leaders to Stop Vaccine Access Imbalance

07:15 The World Health Organization has urged the 20 most powerful world leaders to overturn the ‘disgraceful’ global imbalance in access to Covid-19 vaccines in order to reverse the tide before October.

UK Health Secretary Said Booster Jabs Will Be Made Available Next Month

The UK health secretary, Sajid Javid, said preparations are being made to offer Covid booster jabs in the UK from next month, but a leading expert suggested that such a move would not be supported by the science and that it was likely to be unnecessary.

Herd Immunity Is Not a Possibility with Delta Variant

Reaching herd immunity is ‘not a possibility’ with the current Delta variant, Pollard told MPs, since the vaccines do not stop the spread of Covid. Therefore reaching the threshold for overall immunity in the population is ‘mythical’, although the existing vaccines are very effective at preventing serious Covid illness and death, he said.

Germany Will Introduce New Corona Regulations for the Coming Months

Germany’s leaders are expected to set out new coronavirus regulations for the coming months, including abolishing free testing to incentivise people to get vaccinated. The unvaccinated will be expected to undergo tests which they must pay for themselves as a condition for attending all manner of events, from indoor gatherings to restaurant visits to church services.

Thailand Back-Track Regulations to Prosecute for Distributing News That Could Instil Public Fear

Thailand’s government backed down from widely criticised regulations that would enable it to prosecute people for distributing ‘news that may cause public fear’. Also in the south-east Asian country today, police fired teargas and rubber bullets at protesters calling for the government to resign over its handling of the pandemic. Lines of police, backed by trucks spraying jets from water cannons, fired tear gas and rubber bullets at scores of demonstrators in Bangkok, as they threw rocks and fireworks and set fire to a traffic police booth.

The Myanmar Army Have Carried out Attacks on Health Workers since February

Myanmar’s army has carried out at least 252 attacks and threats against health workers since the February coup, killing at least 25 medics and hampering the response to a resurgent outbreak of Covid-19, rights groups have said.

Wednesday 11th August

The UK Hoards up to 210 Million Vaccines Preventing Poorer Countries Access

06:45 The UK is on course to ‘hoard’ up to 210m spare coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year, new research suggested, as ministers were accused of leaving poorer countries ‘fighting for scraps’ after the UK opposed a move to allow more companies abroad to manufacture the doses themselves.

France’s Health Pass Is Extended after Four Weekends of Protests

An extension to France’s ‘health pass’ covering activities including going to restaurants and cafes, taking long-distance train journeys and visiting hospitals has come into effect after the fourth weekend of protests. Opponents believe the pass sanitaire violates the most fundamental of French principles: the liberté and egalité of the national motto.

The Australian PM Has Enabled Employers to Demand Employees Get Jabs

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has put the issue of vaccine mandates firmly in the hands of employers, saying government legal advice backs the view that bosses may be able to require workers to get a Covid-19 jab, particularly in high-risk fields.

Canada Lifts Ban against Americans

Canada today lifted its ban on Americans entering, though under a strict regime they must be both fully vaccinated and test negative for Covid-19 within three days. Long delays were reported as tourists rushed to travel north during the busy summer season.

Every 2 Minutes A Corona Death Occurs in Iran

One person is now dying with Covid-19 every two minutes in Iran, state TV has said, as the Middle East’s worst-hit nation reported a new record daily toll of 588 fatalities. It compares to a reported rate of about one death per three minutes a month ago.

Fake Green Passes Are Already Circulating in Italy

Fake versions of anti-Covid ‘green passes’ have begun to circulate in Italy just days after they were introduced to gain entry to a number of indoor places, police said. One network selling false evidence of vaccination, recovery or testing has been broken up, they claimed, saying they have identified four suspects, including two minors.

California’s Rent Relief Programme Is Plagued by Delays

California’s ambitious programme to provide rent relief to every low-income tenant struggling during the pandemic has been plagued by delays and challenges, and some renters who are waiting for the aid to arrive say they are now facing eviction threats.

Saudi Arabia Takes Requests from Vaccinated Visitors for Umrah Pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia is from today taking travel requests from vaccinated foreign visitors seeking to visit the holy city of Mecca as part of the Umrah pilgrimage. The tight restrictions, including rules on which vaccines are considered acceptable, means that millions of Muslims could be prevented from going on the pivotally important journey.

Scottish Club Goers Vow to Go ‘Out Every Night’

Scottish clubbers have vowed to be ‘out every night’ as the easing of coronavirus restrictions allowed venues to reopen for the first time in more than a year. Nightclubs across the country opened their doors as the clock moved a minute past midnight today.

Tuesday 10th August

The French Health Minister Appeals to Doctors and Nurses to Assist Guadalupe and Martinique

07:10 France’s health minister has appealed for volunteer doctors and nurses to travel to the overseas territories of Guadalupe and Martinique as a wave of Covid-19 infections overwhelms hospitals on the two Caribbean islands.

The UK Records 27,429 New Infections and 39 Deaths in 24 Hours

The UK has recorded 27,429 new coronavirus cases and a further 39 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total deaths to 130,321, government figures show.

Seven More Countries Join the Green List

Seven more countries have joined the green list from Sunday, and France has left the ‘amber-plus’ list, under widespread changes to the UK’s traffic light system for travel.

Russia Reports 22,866 New Infections on Sunday

Russia reported 22,866 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, including 2,761 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 6,447,750 since the pandemic began.

The Philippines Announced 9,761 New Infections and 287 Deaths Yesterday

The Philippines’ health ministry recorded 9,671 new coronavirus cases and 287 additional deaths on Sunday, the biggest single-day rise in the country’s death toll since 9 April.

The Corona Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo Eases up

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said the coronavirus outbreak had eased in many parts of the country but remained worrying in the economic capital of Lubumbashi where not wearing a mask will now be punishable by up to seven days in jail.

Iran Reports New Records of Infections and Deaths

Iran reported record new infections and deaths across the country on Sunday, as it grapples with its most severe surge of the coronavirus to date

Vietnam Has a Record Daily Increase of Infections

Vietnam’s health ministry reported 9,690 coronavirus infections on Sunday, a record daily increase.

Monday 9th August

China Reports Highest Infections in Current Outbreak

07:30 China reported 124 new cases of the virus on Friday, the highest number of the current outbreak amid a surge in locally transmitted infections.

CNN Fired 3 Staff for Not Being Vaccinated

CNN has fired three members of staff in the US for reporting to work without being vaccinated. Company bosses said the staff had violated its zero-tolerance policy for having the jab.

The UK Destroys Public Trust in Travel Quarantine Rules

The UK government has destroyed the public’s trust in travel quarantine rules, a former government adviser has said, after the latest changes to the traffic-light system for overseas travel.

Young People Will Be Prevented Access to Nightclubs without Vaccine

Young people in the UK will ‘miss out’ on access to nightclubs if they don’t get vaccinated, warns an advertising campaign being launched to boost take-up.

UK Live Events Now Receive Cover against Cancellation for COVID

The UK’s live events sector has finally been promised a Covid cancellation insurance scheme worth £750m after months of lobbying.

Australian Expats Will Not Be Allowed Re-Entry without Special Exemption

Australians who live abroad will not be able to leave the country if they return home unless they appeal for a special exemption as Canberra tightened its restrictions on pandemic travel.

New South Wales Attain New High of Infections Leading to Lockdown again

New South Wales recorded another 291 cases on Friday and more than half of Australia is in lockdown again. There were protests in Melbourne on Thursday night as the state of Victoria headed into another snap lockdown. Queensland could move out of lockdown on Sunday after only 10 new cases of the virus were reported on Friday.

Wales Reopens Nightclubs and Businesses as It Moves to COVID Alert Level Zero

All businesses in Wales, including nightclubs, will be able to reopen from Saturday and there will be no legal limits on the number of people who can get together as the country moves to Covid alert level 0.

Booster Vaccines to Be Announced in the US

The US could announce its plan to give out booster vaccines within weeks, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The US has given nearly 350m Covid-19 jabs.

South Korea Plan to Extend

South Korea will extend its social distancing curbs by two weeks as the government contends with outbreaks nationwide and more people fall severely ill, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Friday.

Teachers in Italy Need Proof of Immunity from September

The Italian government has said teachers will need proof of immunity from Covid-19 from the start of September, as travellers on public transport will also need the country’s ‘green pass’.

Friday 6th August

Member of Expert Panel in Japan Warn That Surge in Infections Require State of Emergency

07:15 In Japan, some members of a government expert panel have warned that a recent surge in Covid-19 cases was severe enough to impose a nationwide state of emergency. But, the Economy Minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the pandemic response, said the panel ultimately agreed to a government proposal to expand emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures.

New South Wales Suffers Highest Number of COVID Infections

In Australia, New South Wales, home to Sydney, has suffered its worst day of the pandemic so far. The state reported 262 new cases, the majority in the country’s biggest city, and five deaths.

The WHO Urges The US to Delay Vaccine Booster Shots over Distribution to Poorer Countries

The US has disputed calls by the WHO to delay Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to allow distribution to poorer countries, with White House spokesperson Jen Psaki calling it a “false choice”.

Travellers to the US Will Require a Full Vaccination

Future travellers to the US will have to be fully vaccinated a White House official has said. The new requirement is being discussed as part of a phased approach to easing restrictions for foreign visitors.

England’s Holidaymakers Are Given the Green Light to Travel to Europe’s Holiday Hotspots

Millions of Britons have been given the green light to travel to Europe’s holiday hotspots, avoiding quarantine on return from France and Spain where concerns have been raised about Covid variants. The announcement was part of wider changes to travel rules for people travelling in and out of the UK.

Mental Health Patients Suffer across Europe due to Pandemic Restrictions

Mental health services suffered across the whole of Europe because of pandemic restrictions. New pan-European research shows that psychiatric services were reduced to emergency care only in many countries.

Employers in London’s Financial District May Be Struggling with Office Workers

The boss of one of the UK’s largest insurance firms has suggested that employers in London’s financial district may be struggling more than those in other cities to persuade office workers to return to their desks as coronavirus restrictions ease. Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General, said there were “a lot fewer people working in the City” compared with urban centres across the UK, Europe and the US.

More Safety Data Needed “Before We Consider Vaccinating Younger Teenagers”

Vaccinating older teenagers has been welcomed by many scientists as the ‘logical next step’ in the rollout of the vaccine. But some experts believe more research is needed before extending the programme further. Prof Russell Viner, a professor of child and adolescent health at UCL, said more safety data is needed “before we consider vaccinating younger teenagers.”

The UK Is Now Offering Corona Vaccine to 16 & 17-Year-Olds

These comments followed the news earlier today that the UK will be offering 16 and 17-year-olds a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said its decision had been made after ‘large changes’ in the way that Covid has been spreading in the UK, ‘particularly in younger age groups’.

Thursday 5th August

Teenagers in Scotland Aged 16 and 17 to Be Given Green Light for Corona Vaccines

07:15 Teenagers aged 16 and 17 will reportedly be given the green light for Covid-19 vaccination, according to Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

New Research Indicates Twice as Many Deaths Occurred in First Wave in England and Wales

More than 200 areas across England and Wales had at least twice as many deaths as average during the first Covid wave, according to analysis by the Office for National Statistics.

China Reports Highest Daily Infection Rate in Months

China reported its highest daily number of local coronavirus cases in months as mass testing and contact tracing campaigns uncovered a trail of Delta variant infections.

Under 5% of COVID Positive Children Suffer Symptoms for More than a Month

Fewer than one in 20 Covid-positive children who experience symptoms continue to be symptomatic beyond four weeks, a study carried out in the UK between September 2020 and February 2021 has found.

Scotland to Remove Physical Distancing

The legal requirement for physical distancing in Scotland will be removed from next week, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Proof of Vaccination Required for Indoor Activities in New York

New York City is to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities including entering restaurants, going to gyms and attending performances, mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Former New Zealand PM Criticises Developed Countries for Excess Buying of Vaccines

Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and Co-Chair of an influential Covid panel, criticised more developed countries for buying up many more vaccines than they require.

Highly Disadvantaged Areas in Sydney Suffer with Twice as Many Infections

The most disadvantaged areas of Sydney have had almost twice as many Covid cases as the rest of the city during the current outbreak, according to a Guardian Australia analysis. A Sydney man in his 20s has died of Covid as local cases continue to proliferate in the worst outbreak so far in New South Wales.

Lindsey Graham, a US Senator, Discloses a Breakthrough Infection

Lindsey Graham became the first US senator to disclose a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated against Covid.

Morocco Introduces Nightly Curfew

Morocco is introducing new coronavirus restrictions, including a curfew from 9pm to 5am, as infection rates rise.

Wednesday 4th August

A Great Number of Critical Health Workers Have Gone into Isolation in Queensland

07:15 Hundreds of critical health workers in the Australian state of Queensland have gone into isolation as the country battles a growing Delta outbreak, while New South Wales raced to administer 6m vaccine doses before the scheduled end of lockdown in less than four weeks’ time.

Boris Johnson Ditches Plans for Tougher Restrictions

Boris Johnson has ditched plans for tougher quarantine restrictions for some holidaymakers after days of chaos, as it emerged the chief of the Joint Biosecurity Centre that advises on travel rules has departed the job leaving it ‘rudderless’.

New Corona Cases in Brazil Drop to 15,143 for One Day

Brazil had 15,143 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 389 deaths from Covid-19, the lowest death toll for a Monday since early December, according to Health Ministry data.

The Health Authority in Mexico Has Reported 6,506 New Infections

Mexico’s health ministry reported 6,506 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 245 more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,861,498 infections and 241,279 deaths.

Night Curfew in Manilla Is Extended as the Philippines Tightens Restrictions

The Philippines will extend a night curfew in the capital, Manila, amid a tightening of curbs in the south-east Asian country to combat a potential surge in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, a government official said today.

Iran Health Authorities Report 37,000+ Corona Infections in 24 Hours

Health authorities in Iran have reported more than 37,000 cases of coronavirus in 24 hours for the first time, as the country also recorded its highest daily number of deaths from Covid for three months.

Germany Intends to Provide Vaccine Booster Shots to Vulnerable Groups from September

Germany plans to offer booster shots to vulnerable people from September, as well as offer vaccinations to children over 12. Health ministers from the country’s states.

Poland Increases Security at Vaccination Points from Arson Attacks by Anti-Vaccine Activists

Poland is stepping up security at vaccination points following two arson incidents overnight in a single town and an attempt by anti-vaccine activists to break into another.

Tuesday 3rd August

Chinese Health Authorities Attempt to Control Its Worst Outbreak

08:10 Health authorities in China are battling to contain the country’s most widespread coronavirus outbreak in months and several cities have rolled out mass testing of millions of people and imposed fresh travel restrictions. China reported 75 new coronavirus cases with 53 local transmissions, with a cluster linked to an eastern airport now reported to have spread to over 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces.

Dr Fauci Announces He Does Not Expect the US to Return to Lockdowns

US president Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci has told ABC News he does not expect the US will be returning to lockdowns, despite the growing risks of Covid-19 infections posed by the Delta variant.

Soldiers Are Deployed on the Streets in Sydney, Australia to Enforce Stay-at-Home Rules

In Australia, the state of Queensland has extended its lockdown until Sunday, Defence Minister Peter Dutton has been forced to isolate after a health alert at his son’s school and soldiers have been deployed on the streets of Sydney to enforce stay-at-home rules as New South Wales struggles to contain its own Delta outbreak.

Thousands of Germans Protest in Berlin against Anti-Covid Measures

Thousands turned out in Berlin on Sunday to protest the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to clashes with police and about 600 arrests.

Brazil Reports 20,503 New Infections in 24 Hours

Brazil had 20,503 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 464 deaths, the country’s health ministry said on Sunday. The South American country has now registered 19,938,358 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 556,834, Reuters reports.

The Health Ministry of Mexico Reports 6,740 New Corona Cases

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 6,740 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 128 more fatalities, Reuters reports. It brings its total to 2,854,992 infections and 241,034 deaths.

24,470 New Infections Were Reported in the UK since Yesterday

The UK has registered 24,470 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours. There were 911 further hospitalisations and 65 more people have died within 28 days of a positive test.

Daily Infections in Italy Have Fallen to 5,321 on Sunday

Italy reported five coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, down from 16 the day before, the health ministry said. The daily tally of new infections fell to 5,321 on Sunday compared with 6,513 the previous day.

Florida Breaks the Previous Record of Current Hospitalisations on Sunday

A day after it recorded the newest daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida broke a previous record in the US for current hospitalisations on Sunday, as the number of patients in hospitals because of Covid-19 once again broke through the 10,000-person threshold.

Tunisia Received 1.5 Million Vaccine Doses from Italy on Sunday

Tunisia, which has one of the world’s highest coronavirus death rates, received 1.5m Covid-19 vaccine doses from Italy on Sunday, the president’s office announced.

Monday 2nd August

The Philippine President Approved Lockdown in Manilla

07:05 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved lockdown measures in the Manila capital region, home to more than 13 million people. It comes after Duterte said on Thursday that officials should detain those who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid inside their homes. Legal experts said the move would be unconstitutional and reflected his ‘militaristic mindset’ after Duterte claimed responding to the pandemic was more important than laws guaranteeing freedom of movement.

Japan Expands State of Emergency While Hosting the Olympics

Meanwhile, Japan is set to expand the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo to neighbouring areas and the western city of Osaka on Friday in the wake of a record-breaking surge in infections while the capital hosts the Olympics.

Large Profits for Big Pharma Making Vaccine, 5 Times above Cost

Campaigners said the global vaccine rollout may represent “the most lethal profiteering in history”, as the People’s Vaccine Alliance published an analysis suggesting pharmaceutical companies are charging at least five times above cost price.

Israel Begins Third Shot of Vaccine for the Elderly

Israel is to begin offering a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to people over 60, local media said.

AstraZeneca States Its Future Is in Vaccines with Huge Profits

The British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said it is considering its future in the vaccine market after it Covid jab generated $1.2bn in sales in the first half of the year, with quarterly sales tripling.

Pakistan Bans Air Travel for the Unvaccinated

Pakistan is to controversially ban air travel for anyone without a Covid-19 vaccine certificate from August and will require all public sector workers to get vaccinated by the end of next month.

The US Allows Nationwide Ban on Evictions to End Saturday

The Biden administration announced it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to end on Saturday, claiming that its hands are tied after the supreme court signalled it would only be extended until the end of the month – putting millions at risk of eviction amid a sluggish distribution of promised support funds.

Chinese Health Authorities Suspend Flights in NanJing

Health authorities in China set up checkpoints and reportedly suspended flights in the eastern city of Nanjing in the country’s worst coronavirus emergency in months.

Friday 30th July

Tokyo Hits New Records of 3,177 Daily Infections on Wednesday

07:35 Olympic host city Tokyo recorded 3,177 new cases on Wednesday, hitting a daily record high for a second straight day as a spike in infections puts pressure on hospitals. Nationwide new cases topped 9,500 for the first time, media reported. Japan faces its most serious situation since the pandemic began, the country’s top medical adviser warned on Thursday, urging the government to send a ‘clearer, stronger message’ about growing risks, including to the medical system.

Cambodia Sets Lockdown in Eight Provinces

Meanwhile, Cambodia is set to launch a lockdown in eight provinces bordering Thailand from midnight on Thursday, in a bid to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.

Controversial New Laws in France

France will from 9 August enforce controversial new laws making a health pass compulsory to visit a cafe, board a plane or travel on an inter-city train, the government’s spokesman has said.

The UK Exports Only 9 Million Vaccines to Poorer Countries

The UK has begun exports of coronavirus vaccine doses to poorer countries, announcing that 9m will be delivered this week around the world as its domestic programme slows.

The New Tanzania President Embraces Vaccines

The new president of Tanzania, which under the former president was one of the world’s last countries to embrace Covid-19 vaccines, has publicly received a dose and urged others to do the same.

Guatemala President Cancels Order of 8 Million Vaccines

Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei has cancelled an order of a second batch of eight million Russian-made Covid-19 vaccines due to lengthy delays.

In Israel Children Aged 5-11 Can Be Vaccinated from 1st August

Children in Israel aged five to 11 ‘at significant risk of serious illness or death’ can be vaccinated against Covid-19 as of 1 August, health officials have said.

Thursday 29th July

The UK and Germany Put Patents before Lives of Poor Nations

07:20 The UK and Germany “have protected Covid vaccine patents over human lives,” campaigners have said as the World Trade Organization is reportedly about to delay a decision on whether to waive patents on Covid vaccines. The two countries are expected to resist efforts to allow poorer countries to produce their own vaccines, thus speeding up the global rollout of the jabs.

The UK Plans to Open up International Travel

Plans to significantly open up international travel are expected to be announced on Wednesday, with UK ministers poised to let people who have been fully vaccinated in the US and EU avoid quarantine if arriving from amber list countries.

Kuwait Announced Only Vaccinated Citizens Can Travel Abroad

Kuwait said it will allow only vaccinated citizens to travel abroad starting 1 August, the government communication office reported.

Corona Infections in Iran Hit Record High

Iran’s Covid-19 cases hit a record high for the second time in as many days today, rising to almost 35,000, as the health minister warned there was little hope of improvement unless the public followed health precautions, state TV reported.

The US CDC to Reverse Its Guidance on Masks Indoors

The US’s top health agency is expected to backpedal and recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the US where Covid is surging, according to reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to make an announcement later in the day revising guidance issued in May, which said vaccinated individuals did not need to wear masks in most indoor settings.

Ireland Will Expand Vaccinations to 12 to 15-Year-Old Children

Ireland is set to open its vaccination programme to those aged 12 to 15 after its national immunisation advisory committee made a favourable recommendation. Foreign minister Simon Coveney said the decision meant “the benefit of vaccination can be extended to this much younger cohort” but that parents would retain the right to decide how to proceed.

The UN Says Schools Must Reopen as Children’s Education at Risk

Schools closed due to the pandemic must reopen as soon as possible, the United Nations said, estimating that the education of more than 600 million children was at stake.

18,000 New Zealand Children Became Poor due to the Pandemic

An additional 18,000 New Zealand children were pushed into poverty in the first year of the pandemic, according to research, despite child welfare being one of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s main concerns.

The EU Has Met Its Target of Vaccinating 70% of Adults by July

The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the EU has met the target of administering a Covid jab to 70% of adults by July, making good on the promise to “catch up” after a rocky start to the bloc’s vaccination rollout.

Corona Infections in Tokyo Climb to New Highs

Tokyo’s 2,848 daily coronavirus infections on Tuesday were the Olympic host city’s highest since the pandemic began, officials said, but Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was “not a problem” for the Games and that Tokyo residents should focus on working from home to suppress the movement of people.

Germany Will Add Tighter Controls on Returning Holidaymakers

Germany is planning to introduce tighter controls on citizens returning from their holiday in an attempt to control the growth in coronavirus cases.

Wednesday 28th July

World Bank Finance Mechanism Will Aid Purchase of Vaccines for Developing Countries

07:35 Developing countries will be able to buy Covid-19 vaccines collectively through the Covax facility using a new World Bank financing mechanism.

Researchers Said Corona Cases Undercounted in the US by Up to 60%

The number of Covid-19 cases across the US may have been undercounted by as much as 60%, researchers at the University of Washington have found.

Plans for Mandatory Vaccinations for Government Workers in California and New York

California and New York City will mandate government workers to be vaccinated or regularly get tested for the virus.

Russia Approves Clinical Trials on Combining Vaccines

Russia has approved clinical trials combining the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines, according to Russia’s state drug register.

The Tunisian President Orders a Month’s Curfew

The Tunisian President, Kais Saied, has ordered a month-long nighttime curfew, banning the movement of people and vehicles from 7pm to 6am.

Infection Rate Falls in the UK

Cases fell in the UK fell for the sixth day running, to 24,950 new cases. That is the lowest number of new cases since 4 July, three weeks ago.

Tanzania Receives First Vaccine Shipment

Tanzania received its first shipment of vaccines through the Covax facility, donated by the US.

The US Cite Delta Variant as Reason for Travel Ban from the UK and Schengen Countries.

The White House has cited the Delta variant as a reason to keep in place a travel ban from the UK and Schengen countries.

Tuesday 27th July

Fully-Vaccinated UK Football Fans May be Able to Attend Premier League Matches

06:55 In the UK, it is being reported that only fully-vaccinated football fans may be able to attend Premier League matches and other events with more than 20,000 spectators from October under government plans.

New South Wales Fears Wave of New Infections after Anti-Lockdown Protest

In Australia, New South Wales logged its second-highest daily increase of the year in locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Sunday amid fears of a wave of new infections after thousands of people joined an anti-lockdown protest.

Malaysia Has Surpassed a Total of 1 Million Corona Cases

Malaysia’s total coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic surpassed 1 million on Sunday after the country’s health ministry reported a record 17,045 new cases.

South Korea Tightens Social Distancing Rules

South Korea is to tighten social distancing rules across most of the country this week, warning that its worst-ever Covid-19 wave might spread further in the summer holiday season.

Concerns Have Been Raised over UK Metropolitan Police Forced into Isolation

Fresh concerns have been raised in the UK over police being forced into isolation over Covid-19 contacts after it was said the number of absent Metropolitan Police officers reached nearly one in five.

The Japanese PM and Tokyo Governor Discuss Corona Safety Measures for Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike met on Sunday to discuss the Olympic Games being held in the capital and anti-coronavirus measures.

Monday 26th July

Workers from Vital Services Will Not Need to Self Isolate

07:35 Workers from 16 key services including health, transport and energy will not have to isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, as it was revealed that more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts last week.

Israel Is Administering a Third Vaccine to the Immunocompromised

Advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider evidence suggesting that a booster dose of Covid vaccines could increase protection among people with compromised immune systems. Last week, Israel began administering third doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to immunocompromised people. Some experts believe the CDC is nearing a similar recommendation in the US.

Chile Announced Travel Available to Inoculated Citizens

Chile announced that its citizens and foreign residents would be allowed to travel outside the country if they were fully inoculated against coronavirus, a fresh perk for Chileans participating in one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns.

The White House Condemn China’s Decision

The White House said China’s decision to reject a World Health Organization plan for the second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus which would have a greater focus on a possible lab leak was “irresponsible and dangerous”.

200 Million Vaccinated in Europe

The EU has said that 200 million Europeans had been fully vaccinated, more than half of the adult population but still short of a 70% target set for the summer.

The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Is Less Effective against Delta Strain

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid jab is much less effective in mitigating the symptoms of those with the Delta or Lambda variants than against the original virus strain, a new study suggested.

Peruvian Police Dismantle Alleged Crime Ring in State-Run Hospital

Peruvian police dismantled an alleged criminal ring that had charged as much as $21,000 per bed for seriously ill Covid-19 patients in a state-run hospital. Authorities arrested nine people in an early morning raid on Wednesday, including the administrators of Lima’s Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen public hospital, according to reports.

German Pharmacies Stop Issuing Digital Vaccine Certificates

German pharmacies stopped issuing digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates after hackers created passes from fake outlets, the industry association said. The German Pharmacists’ Association said hackers had managed to produce two vaccination certificates by accessing the portal and making up pharmacy owner identities.

Friday 23rd July

The US Cases Triple Due to Delta Variant

06:35 US cases have tripled in the past two weeks as the Delta variant takes hold and vaccinations slow. There were more than 37,000 cases on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on 6 July.

Biden Encourages Greater Take Up of Vaccine

Joe Biden has told Americans it is “gigantically important” that they get vaccinated as he stepped efforts to encourage greater take up of the jab. The president said that children under 12 could soon be approved for vaccination.

More Athletes Test Positive in Tokyo Olympic Village

Two more athletes have tested positive for coronavirus in Tokyo’s Olympic village on the eve of the Games’ opening ceremony, according to reports. The former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will not attend Friday’s opening ceremony, media reports said on Thursday. Australia’s Olympic Chief appeared to tell the Queensland premier that she had to go to the ceremony in Tokyo. Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, has been awarded the 2032 Games, but Annastacia Palaszczuk had said she would not attend the ceremony.

Youtube Removes the President of Brazil’s Videos

YouTube has removed videos by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro for spreading misinformation about the pandemic. He has regularly played down the severity of the virus and touted unproven cures.

China Rejects WHO Plan for COVID-19 Origin Study

China has rejected the WHO’s plan for the second phase of Covid-19 origins study because it contains “language that does not respect science”, the Vice Head of the health commission, Zeng Yixin, said on Thursday.

Hospitals in England Receive High Numbers of Corona Infections

Covid-19 admissions to hospital in England has reached its highest level for nearly five months, with 752 admissions were reported on 19 July. This is a rise of 21% on the previous week and the highest daily number since 25 February.

New South Wales Suffers Outbreak with 124 New Infections

The outbreak in Australia’s most populous state of NSW has worsened with 124 new daily cases, 70 of which were infectious in the community. The state is locked down along with Victoria and South Australia.

Thailand Records New Record Infections on Thursday

Thailand recorded another record number of new daily cases on Thursday. There were 13,655 new infections and 87 deaths. More public spaces will be closed in Bangkok and other high-risk areas, including parks.

Fiji Announces Highest Death Toll

Fiji has recorded its highest number of weekly deaths from Covid, including two pregnant women.

Thursday 22nd July

France Reaches 18,000 Daily Covid-19 Infections

06:55 New infections in France are increasing at an unprecedented rate due to the Delta variant, after 18,000 cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, according to the health minister Olivier Véran.

Tokyo Olympics May Be Cancelled

The chief of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee did not rule out cancelling the Olympics if Covid-19 cases rise sharply, as more athletes tested positive for the virus and sponsors ditched plans to attend Friday’s opening ceremony.

Fox News Host States, “Please Take Covid Seriously”

Fox News host Sean Hannity had a message for viewers of his primetime show on Tuesday night: “Please take Covid seriously.” The influential host, a close ally of Donald Trump, also said: “I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination.”

Man in Perth, Australia Escapes Quarantine

A man in Perth, Australia, escaped mandatory quarantine in a hotel by scaling down a rope made of tied-together bedsheets from a fourth-floor window, police have said.

Wednesday 21st July

The US Warns Americans of Travelling to the UK as Risk is ‘Very High’

07:15 The US has raised the risk of travelling to the UK to its highest level, ‘very high’, and warned Americans not to travel there due to the pervasiveness of Delta.

The UK Report 39,950 New Covid-19 Cases

The UK reported 39,950 new Covid cases as weekly cases rise 41%. There were 39,950 new coronavirus cases today and 19 new deaths.

North Ireland Daily Infections Exceed 1,700

Northern Ireland daily cases exceeded 1,700 for the first time since January today. Case numbers have been growing rapidly in recent weeks as the Delta variant became dominant.

Pandemic Job Losses Hit Women the Hardest

Globally, women have been hardest hit by pandemic job losses and only men’s employment is likely to return to 2019 levels this year, the International Labour Organisation said today.

Tehran Enter Week-Long Lockdown

Tehran is to enter a new week-long lockdown as cases in Iran soar. From tomorrow all bazaars, market places, public offices, cinemas, gyms and restaurants in the capital and neighbouring province Alborz will close.

Tokyo Olympics Organisers Warn Participants Not to Visit Restaurants after 8pm

Tokyo Olympics organisers have warned participants not to visit restaurants that open after 8pm or that serve alcohol to avoid ‘grave reputational risk’.

Cuba Has the Highest Rate of Infections

Cuba has the highest rate of contagion per capita in the whole of Latin America and more than any other country in the Americas for its size. The country, which has a population of 11 million, reported close to 4,000 confirmed cases per million residents last week – nine times higher than the world average.

Tuesday 20th July

Six British Athletes Were Forced to Self-Isolate in Tokyo

06:30 Six British athletes and two staff members from the athletics squad were forced to self-isolate after coming into close contact with a member of the public who had Covid-19 on their flight to Tokyo.

Covid-19 Cases Increase in All States in the USA

Covid cases are increasing in every state in the United States, while millions remain unvaccinated against the highly contagious Delta variant, the US surgeon general warned.

Vaccinated Muslims Circle Mecca’s Holiest Site 

Tens of thousands of vaccinated Muslims circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Sunday for the second pared-back hajj in two years, but it is an event that has previously attracted 2.5 million people. The pilgrims remained socially distanced and wore masks as they walked.

Some Government Departments Are Not Required to Isolate after Exposure to Corona

Questions are growing over the UK’s workplace pilot scheme, which allows certain government departments and other public bodies to avoid isolating after exposure to Covid.

The Delta Variant Spreads Rapidly in France

The Delta variant is continuing to spread rapidly in France, as the nation registered more than 12,500 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday. It was the third day in a row that the daily case figure has exceeded 10,000, the Reuters news agency reported.

Monday 19th July

WHO States International Travel Should Not Require Proof of Vaccination

The World Health Organization’s emergency committee has maintained its stance that proof of Covid-19 vaccination should not be required for international travel, amid controversy over countries blocking the entry of travellers if they are unvaccinated. Additionally, the Head of the WHO has called on China to cooperate better in the next phase of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic, demanding more access to raw data.

New Entry Requirements Will Be Necessary for UAE

Abu Dhabi has announced a partial lockdown and new entry requirements in the emirate starting 19 July from midnight until 5 am.

Ukraine Is Added to List of Safe Countries to Travel

European Union member states have agreed to add Ukraine to a list of countries from which travel is permitted, while Rwanda and Thailand were removed.

Huge Numbers of French Citizens Book Vaccine Appointments

Within 72 hours of the French learning they would soon need to be vaccinated or tested to go to the cafe, more than 3 million had booked appointments and France had broken its vaccination record, administering 800,000 shots in a single day.

Millions of Chinese Face Bans from Schools, Hospitals and Malls Unless Vaccinated

Millions of Chinese people face bans from public spaces including schools, hospitals and shopping malls unless they get a Covid-19 vaccine, under new edicts covering nearly two dozen cities and counties.

Corona Deaths in Africa Increase by 43% in a Week

Coronavirus-linked deaths in Africa surged by 43% in a week, driven by a lack of intensive-care beds and oxygen, according to the World Health Organization.

Barcelona Imposes Nightly Curfew

Barcelona and the surrounding northeast corner of Spain are to impose a curfew from 1 am to 6 am again amid rising Covid cases.

Fraudulent Vaccine & Certificates Lead to Arrests in Saudi Arabia 

Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 120 people allegedly suspected of supplying or procuring fraudulent coronavirus vaccine and test certificates, official media said, two days before a tightly controlled hajj amid some of the strictest and most controversial rules in the world.

Children and Adults in England in Need of Mental Health Services Hit Record High Numbers

More than twice as many children and adolescents were referred to mental health services year on year in England as cases hit a record high, amid warnings that waiting lists are so long that significant numbers of young people would not get treatment in time to prevent them from growing into adults with “entrenched mental health issues that could have been avoided had we been able to intervene earlier.”

Hundreds of Thousands Leave Bangladesh after Authorities Lift Lockdown

Hundreds of thousands of people left the Bangladesh capital on Thursday after authorities lifted a coronavirus lockdown despite rising infections and deaths.

Canada Rejects Proposals for Ontario Residents to Access Vaccine Held by Michigan

The Canadian government has rejected proposals to have Ontario residents line up inside a US border tunnel to tap into a surplus of Covid-19 vaccine held by Michigan, a mayor said.

Friday 16th July

The Philippines Will Ban Travellers from Indonesia

07:50 The Philippines has announced it will ban travellers coming from Indonesia to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.

Malta Changed Its Travel Advice to Allow British Travellers with any AstraZeneca Vaccine

Malta has amended its travel advice to allow British travellers with any AstraZeneca vaccine entry after reports of people being turned away if their dose had been manufactured in India.

Seven Hotel Staff Test Positive for Covid-19 in South-West Tokyo

In Japan, seven staff tested positive for Covid at a hotel hosting Olympians in south-west Tokyo. A 31-strong Brazilian Olympic delegation, which includes judo athletes, is currently staying at the hotel.

South Korea Enforces Social Distancing Curbs to Combat ITs Worst Outbreak

South Korea on Wednesday tightened social distancing curbs across most of the country to try to combat its worst-ever outbreak of coronavirus after new cases on Tuesday soared past previous daily peaks to 1,615.

Russia Announced Its Highest Daily Corona Related Deaths at 786

Russia has reported 786 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, which is again the most confirmed in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Netherlands Covid Cases Spiked to a 500% Rise

The Netherlands has recorded a 500% rise in Covid cases, following moves to fully reopen the economy including opening nightclubs. It has been seen as a warning as to how case numbers might take off in England when restrictions are dropped next week.

Australia Extends Lockdown in Sydney by Two Weeks

Australia extended a lockdown in Sydney by at least 14 days, after three weeks of initial restrictions failed to stamp out the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 this year in the country’s largest city.

Covid-19 Cases in Iran Reach 23,000

Coronavirus cases in Iran have soared above 23,000 for the first time since late April as the country battles its fifth wave of the pandemic.

The US Donate 500,000 Doses of Pfizer Vaccine to Costa Rica

The US donated 500,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to Costa Rica on Wednesday as part of the Biden administration’s programme of coronavirus diplomacy.

Thursday 15th July

Death Toll Increases in Iraq in Corona Hospital Fire

07:25 The death toll in a fire that spread through a coronavirus hospital in southern Iraq is at least 92 with more than 100 others injured, health officials said, as an angry crowd blaming local authorities for negligence gathered near the city’s morgue as two police vehicles were torched in Nasiriyah.

German Chancellor Is Not Planning to Make Compulsory Vaccinations

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said she is not planning to follow France and other countries in introducing compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations for parts of the population, despite the number of jabs given yesterday at its lowest since February amid apparent hesitancy.

Thailand Defends Mixing Different Covid-19 Vaccines

Thailand defended mixing two different Covid-19 vaccines after the WHO’s top scientist warned it was a ‘dangerous trend’ not backed by evidence.

The Euro Medicines Agency Analyses Vaccine Nerve Disorder Data

The European Medicines Agency said it is analysing data on rare cases of a nerve disorder reported among recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, after the US added a warning label to the shot.

Cyprus Reports Record Number of New Corona Infections

Cyprus has reported a record-high number of new Covid-19 infections, health ministry data showed, with the number of positive cases surging past 1,000.

Proof of Vaccine Required to Visit Restaurants in Greece

Greece will require customers at indoor restaurants, bars and cafes to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the government announced.

Pfizer Makes Hard Sell for Emergency Approval of Booster Shots

Pfizer has been making a hard sell for emergency approval of boosters, additional doses given to those already vaccinated<

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