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Vaccinations in Bogota, Colombia.

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Newest coronavirus information as of 12pm on 1 September

Mu variant recognized in Colombia could also be extra immune to vaccines

A brand new coronavirus variant, named mu, has been designated a variant of curiosity by the World Well being Organisation (WHO). Mu, or B.1.621, was first recognized in Colombia and instances have been recorded in South America and Europe. The WHO’s weekly bulletin on the pandemic mentioned the variant has mutations indicating “potential properties of immune escape”, that means current vaccines would be less effective against it, however that extra research could be wanted to look at this additional.

“Since its first identification in Colombia in January 2021, there have been just a few sporadic stories of instances of the mu variant and a few bigger outbreaks have been reported from different international locations in South America and in Europe,” the bulletin mentioned. “Though the worldwide prevalence of the mu variant amongst sequenced instances has declined and is at the moment under 0.1%, the prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has constantly elevated.”

There are at the moment 4 coronavirus variants of concern, as deemed by the WHO, with the alpha variant seen in 193 international locations, beta in 141, gamma in 91 and delta in 170 international locations, whereas mu is the fifth variant of curiosity.

Different coronavirus information 

One in seven kids and younger individuals contaminated with the coronavirus should have signs 15 weeks later, in line with preliminary findings from the world’s largest research on lengthy covid in kids. Researchers surveyed 3065 individuals in England aged 11 to 17 who examined constructive for the virus between January and March and a matched management group who examined unfavorable. Uncommon tiredness and complications had been the most typical persistent complaints.

The UK will press on with plans to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs from the tip of September, Downing Road has confirmed. The proposals have beforehand been met with criticism from politicians on each side in addition to leaders within the night time time hospitality business. The scheme would see members of the general public required to indicate proof of their vaccine standing to realize entry to nightclubs and another settings.

Ireland has announced plans to finish nearly all coronavirus restrictions on 22 October. Vaccine certificates will not be required to enter bars and eating places and there shall be no limits on individuals attending indoor or outside occasions. Some restrictions shall be relaxed earlier, with cinemas and theatres capable of open at 60 per cent capability on 6 September and staff starting to return to workplaces on 20 September.

Important details about coronavirus

Where did coronavirus come from? And other covid-19 questions answered

What is covid-19?

Covid-19 vaccines: Everything you need to know about the leading shots

Long covid: Do I have it, how long will it last and can we treat it?

What’s the fairest way to share covid-19 vaccines around the world?

Covid-19: The story of a pandemic

What to learn, watch and take heed to about coronavirus

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees professional journalists from the journal focus on the most important science tales to hit the headlines every week – from expertise and house, to well being and the surroundings.

The Jump is a BBC radio 4 sequence exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The primary episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the excessive covid-19 demise charges in ethnic minority sufferers reveal about well being inequality within the UK.

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in opposition to covid-19.

Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic via the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Times is assessing the progress in growth of potential drug therapies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a mission highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the battle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, via social media.

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the demise of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following stories she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary sequence analyzing the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to battle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it should occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different way in future.

The Rules of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the ebook he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

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Pupils in Scotland return to high school.

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31 August

Covid-19 surge in Scotland “a cautionary story” as colleges reopen in England

College students are being inspired to take twice-weekly lateral move checks to assist forestall a surge in covid-19 transmission as the brand new college yr begins throughout the UK.

In England and Wales, guidelines regarding face masks, social distancing and “bubbles” have been relaxed, though some colleges are selecting to maintain further precautions in place. 

The UK’s training secretary, Gavin Williamson, says it isn’t only a matter for colleges. “Dad and mom too have a duty to be sure that their kids are examined repeatedly,” he wrote in a Daily Mail article.

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in covid-19 infections with instances having doubled each week since 9 August, when most restrictions had been eased. The surge is regarded as partly fuelled by kids returning to high school greater than two weeks in the past. On Sunday, 7113 cases had been reported in Scotland, the best every day determine ever.

“Scotland is proving to be a cautionary story of what occurs when restrictions are dropped & then colleges reopened with out sufficient mitigations when R is already above 1 (which is the place we’re in England),” Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary College of London, wrote on Twitter. “We are able to count on worse in England within the close to future.”

The Welsh authorities has announced it should pay for 30,000 carbon dioxide sensors and 1800 ozone disinfecting machines to enhance security in colleges, faculties and universities.

Different coronavirus information

A new variant of the coronavirus often called C.1.2 has now unfold to most provinces in South Africa and 7 different international locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The variant continues to be occurring at a a lot decrease price than the delta variant in South Africa, researchers say. Scientists haven’t but decided how the variant compares with others and it has not been listed as a variant of curiosity or concern by the World Well being Group. Nevertheless, researchers say it comprises a number of mutations which have been linked to elevated transmissibility and decrease sensitivity to antibodies. 

A new vaccine developed by South Korean agency SK Bioscience has begun a late-stage scientific trial involving 4000 volunteers worldwide. The vaccine is being mixed with an adjuvant – a drug that reinforces the immune response – produced by GlaxoSmithKline, and shall be in contrast with AstraZeneca’s vaccine within the trial. 

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A girl receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine.

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27 August

Research compares threat of blood clotting issues after covid-19 an infection and vaccination

The danger of blood clotting issues is far greater after covid-19 an infection than after receiving a covid-19 vaccine, in line with analysis from the College of Oxford.

The research, printed within the British Medical Journal, checked out greater than 29 million individuals aged 16 or older who had a primary dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in England between December 2020 and April 2021. It centered on the dangers of blood clots and thrombocytopenia, a situation involving low ranges of platelets – cells that assist the blood clot.

Their findings recommend the danger of thrombocytopenia in somebody with the coronavirus is nearly 9 instances greater than in somebody who has had one dose of the Oxford jab. They estimated that in 10 million individuals vaccinated with this jab, there could be 107 extra instances of thrombocytopenia within the 28 days post-vaccination, in contrast with 934 in vaccinated individuals contaminated with the virus.

The evaluation discovered an affiliation between vaccination with the Pfizer jab and an elevated threat of stroke, however the threat was greater than 10 instances higher after an infection with the virus. There have been an estimated 143 further instances of ischaemic stroke per 10 million individuals inside 28 days of the Pfizer vaccine, in contrast with 1699 instances inside 28 days of a constructive covid-19 take a look at.

For cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a kind of blood clot within the mind, in addition to different kinds of blood clot, the dangers had been additionally a lot greater after covid-19 than after both jab.

Different coronavirus information

Round half of all individuals hospitalised with covid-19 nonetheless have at the very least one persistent symptom after one yr, in line with a study of 1276 patients from Wuhan, China. Round a 3rd of members skilled shortness of breath after one yr. Fatigue and muscle weak point affected about half of members after 6 months, however fell to at least one in 5 after 12 months. 

Seven destinations have been added to the UK’s inexperienced listing for journey, that means individuals arriving from these locations won’t should quarantine. The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland shall be redesignated from 30 August. Thailand and Montenegro shall be moved to the crimson listing, that means returning UK residents should quarantine in a resort for 11 nights on arrival.

Lockdown will be relaxed in most of New Zealand from 1 September, prime minister Jacinda Ardern has introduced, however stringent restrictions will stay in Auckland and Northland. The adjustments in a lot of the nation imply companies can function for on-line orders and contactless providers, however public venues stay closed. Practically 350 individuals have been contaminated within the newest outbreak. “We could also be seeing the start of a plateau of instances, however warning continues to be required,” Ardern mentioned.

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A health care provider attracts up the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

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26 August

English well being suppliers planning for attainable vaccine rollout as pupils return to varsities

The Nationwide Well being Service in England is getting ready for the attainable rollout of vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds from 6 September, in line with media stories. NHS trusts are being informed they should have plans prepared by 4pm on Friday, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The Division of Well being has mentioned no choices have but been made to increase the vaccine programme to youthful individuals, however mentioned they “proceed to plan for a variety of eventualities”. Thus far, vaccines have been supplied to individuals aged 16 and above and youngsters aged 12 to fifteen with a high-risk situation or a susceptible member of the family. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) continues to be deliberating on broadening the rollout additional. Youngsters aged 12 and over are already being vaccinated within the US, Canada, France and the Netherlands.

“Both you’re going to be uncovered to covid with none safety otherwise you will be uncovered and have a vaccine. And we must be providing teenagers that vaccine in order that they have that safety earlier than going again into colleges,” Devi Sridhar on the College of Edinburgh informed BBC Radio 4’s At the moment programme.

Whereas youthful persons are extra more likely to expertise myocarditis, a uncommon coronary heart aspect impact, after receiving among the covid-19 vaccines, a research within the US launched earlier this month discovered that myocarditis is more common after coronavirus infection than vaccination

Different coronavirus information

Japan has suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s covid-19 vaccine after stories that some vials had been contaminated with “particulate matter”. Japan and Moderna say the transfer is a precaution and that no security or efficacy points have been recognized. In line with a well being ministry official, Takeda, the pharmaceutical firm that’s distributing the Moderna photographs in Japan, first discovered of the problem on 16 August, however didn’t notify the federal government till 25 August, as a result of it wanted time to seek out out which vials had been affected and the place that they had been distributed.

Trials have proven {that a} booster shot of Johnson & Johnson’s covid-19 vaccine produces a big increase in antibody levels, the corporate has introduced. The J&J vaccine has been administered as a single dose because it was authorised for emergency use within the US in February. Trial volunteers who obtained a second dose six to eight months after the primary noticed antibody ranges rise 9 instances greater than 28 days after the primary shot, the corporate mentioned.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Origin of the virus: Scientists tasked by the World Well being Group to find how the virus emerged are calling for a second phase of origin studies to start out urgently.

Covid passes: How are they used, are they ethical and do they work?Earlier updates

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A health care provider injects the Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine.

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25 August

Extra UK information recommend efficacy of two vaccines wanes over time

The safety offered by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines begins to wane inside six months, new analysis suggests. The Pfizer jab was 88 per cent efficient at stopping covid-19 an infection a month after the second dose, however after 5 to 6 months the safety decreased to 74 per cent, in line with evaluation from the Zoe Covid research involving greater than 1.2 million members within the UK. With the AstraZeneca vaccine, safety dropped from 77 per cent one month after the second dose to 67 per cent after 4 to 5 months. “For my part, an inexpensive worst-case situation might see safety under 50 per cent for the aged and healthcare staff by winter,” mentioned Tim Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe Covid Research.

The research’s findings are consistent with one other recent analysis, which discovered that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine wanes in effectiveness by round a fifth each month after the second dose, and that each vaccines are much less efficient in older age teams.

One other research, printed as a preprint this week by The Lancet, discovered that two in 5 individuals who have impaired immune methods have a “low or undetectable” antibody response after being double vaccinated. The researchers from the Universities of Glasgow and Birmingham mentioned their outcomes assist giving a 3rd dose of coronavirus vaccine to individuals who had no or decrease stage antibody responses.

Extra coronavirus information

A US intelligence report ordered by president Joe Biden has been unable to find out whether or not the SARS-CoV2 virus arose naturally or escaped from a lab, in line with The Washington Post. Intelligence companies will search to make components of the report public inside days, officers accustomed to the matter informed the newspaper.

The prime minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh, has written to the pinnacle of the World Well being Group to urge its vaccine sharing programme COVAX to prioritise Vietnam “within the quickest method and with the biggest quantity attainable.” After efficiently containing the virus for many of final yr, the nation is now dealing with a disaster pushed by the delta variant. Solely 2 per cent of its inhabitants is totally vaccinated. Up to now two days, China and the US have introduced they may donate 2 million and 1 million vaccine doses to Vietnam, respectively.

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Crowds on the 2021 Boardmasters competition.

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24 August

1000’s of individuals take a look at constructive after attending music and browsing competition

Virtually 5000 coronavirus instances are suspected to be linked to Boardmasters, a music and browsing competition that passed off earlier this month in Cornwall, UK. Well being officers mentioned 4700 individuals who examined constructive for the virus confirmed that they had attended the competition or had connections to it. The instances are unfold throughout the nation however round 800 live in Cornwall, a Cornwall Council official mentioned.

Boardmasters was held between 11 and 15 August within the Newquay space. The covid-19 coverage on its web site mentioned all ticket-holders aged 11 and over could be requested to exhibit their covid-19 standing via the NHS Covid Go app earlier than coming into. This meant attendees had to supply proof of a unfavorable lateral move take a look at taken inside 24 hours of arrival on the competition gates, proof of being vaccinated with each doses (with the second obtained at the very least 14 days earlier than the competition), or proof of a previous an infection confirmed by a PCR take a look at at the very least 10 days and as much as 180 days earlier.

Individuals who camped on the competition needed to take a second lateral move take a look at in the course of the occasion on 13 August and log their ends in the NHS Covid Go app. Face masks weren’t obligatory however had been inspired.

Different coronavirus information

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has turn out to be the primary covid-19 jab to get full approval from the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine has been in use since December 2020, when the FDA granted it emergency use authorisation for individuals aged 16 and over. It has already been administered to greater than 204 million individuals within the US. President Joe Biden mentioned he hoped the choice would encourage those that haven’t been vaccinated to come back ahead for his or her photographs. A number of main employers, together with the Pentagon, responded by saying new necessities for his or her staff to be vaccinated.

The variety of sufferers with covid-19 in hospital in England has hit 6000 for the primary time in additional than 5 months. The determine, which is a snapshot of sufferers as of 8am on 23 August, is up 11 per cent on the earlier week. Affected person ranges haven’t been this excessive since 14 March, in line with information printed by NHS England. A median of 100 deaths per day from covid-19 have been recorded within the UK over the previous week, one other determine final seen in March.

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A person makes use of a lancet to prick the tip of his finger.

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23 August

Antibody testing programme to gather information on immune responses and vaccine effectiveness

The UK is launching an antibody testing programme for individuals who have contracted the coronavirus. The programme, which plans to supply checks to hundreds of adults per day, goals to enhance our understanding of how a lot safety antibodies give us following covid-19 an infection and vaccination.

Antibodies are proteins produced by the physique to defend in opposition to viruses and different invading microbes. Antibody testing may give a sign of how robust somebody’s immune response is, however they don’t definitively present whether someone is protected in opposition to an infection.

From Tuesday, anybody over 18 from any of the 4 UK nations can decide in to the programme when taking a PCR take a look at. Of those that go on to check constructive for coronavirus, as much as 8000 shall be despatched two finger prick antibody checks to finish at dwelling and ship again for evaluation. The primary have to be taken as quickly as attainable after the constructive outcome, and the second have to be taken 28 days later.

The UK Well being Safety Company, which is operating the programme, will use the outcomes to observe ranges of antibodies in constructive instances throughout the UK. The Division of Well being and Social Care says it is going to be the primary time antibody checks have been made obtainable to most of the people, and the scheme might additionally present insights into whether or not some individuals don’t develop an immune response. The info shall be used to tell the federal government’s ongoing strategy to the pandemic and provides additional perception into the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants.

Different coronavirus information

UK well being minister Sajid Javid has promised to crack down on “cowboy” behaviour by firms who make the most of holidaymakers with deceptive costs for coronavirus testing kits. Javid highlighted 82 non-public journey testing companies, who make up round 18 per cent of these on the federal government web site, who will be issued with a two-strike warning and may very well be struck off the official listing. A latest Division of Well being and Social Care evaluate found they had been displaying decrease costs on the website than individuals must pay in actuality as soon as they get to the checkout. 

Taiwan has begun rolling out a homegrown vaccine with scientific trials but to be accomplished and no information obtainable on the vaccine’s efficacy. Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen was among the many first to obtain the vaccine developed by Medigen. The federal government has ordered an preliminary 5 million doses. Thus far round 40 per cent of Taiwan’s inhabitants has obtained at the very least one dose of both Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

New Zealand has extended its lockdown, with restrictions set to stay throughout the nation till Friday and in Auckland till at the very least 31 August. Thirty-five new instances had been recorded in the present day, bringing the variety of present infections to 107. 

illustration of monoclonal antibodies

A monoclonal antibody (mAb or moAb) is an antibody made by cloning a novel white blood cell.


20 August

Ronapreve, the primary drug designed particularly to sort out covid-19, will get approval

The UK has authorised the primary remedy to make use of synthetic antibodies to stop and battle the coronavirus. In line with The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA), the drug could also be used to stop covid-19 an infection, deal with acute signs of the illness and scale back the probability of being admitted to hospital because of the virus. Sajid Javid, UK Well being Secretary, mentioned that he hoped it might be rolled out to sufferers quickly.

Trials of the drug, known as Ronapreve, passed off earlier than widespread vaccination and earlier than the emergence of virus variants. The drug, beforehand often called REGN-Cov2, was given to former US president Donald Trump when he was admitted to hospital with covid-19 final yr.

Ronapreve, developed by pharmaceutical companies Regeneron and Roche, is given both by injection or infusion and acts on the lining of the respiratory system, the place it binds tightly to the virus and prevents it from having access to the cells, the MHRA mentioned. It consists of monoclonal antibodies, proteins produced within the lab that mimic antibodies discovered within the immune system.

Different coronavirus information

One other antibody drug developed by AstraZeneca decreased the danger of growing symptomatic covid-19 by 77 per cent in scientific trials, the company has announced.

Javid has mentioned he’s assured a coronavirus booster marketing campaign can begin subsequent month throughout the UK, nonetheless the federal government is ready on closing recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, earlier than giving additional particulars. The JCVI met on Thursday and had been anticipated to debate the potential for boosters for essentially the most susceptible. However officers informed the PA information company that boosters had not been mentioned on the assembly, though they’d not verify what was spoken about.

Lockdown has been extended in Sydney, Australia, till the tip of September and a nightly curfew shall be launched from 23 August within the 12 worst-affected council areas, protecting 2 million residents.

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View of the virus: Researchers have managed to seize 3D images of human airway cells contaminated by SARS-CoV-2 utilizing a rare microscopic approach.

man receiving covid vaccination

A person receives a covid-19 vaccination in Los Angeles, California.

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19 August

Third doses of covid-19 vaccines shall be rolled out to fight delta variant surge in US

The US will begin making booster vaccines obtainable on 20 September, health officials have announced. The photographs shall be supplied to individuals who had their second dose eight months earlier, initially specializing in healthcare staff, nursing dwelling residents and older individuals, who had been among the many first to be vaccinated.

“It’s one of the simplest ways to guard ourselves from new variants that will come up,” president Joe Biden informed reporters on the White Home on Wednesday. “It should make you safer and for longer. It should assist finish this pandemic quicker.” 

Nevertheless, the World Well being Group has urged wealthy international locations and vaccine producers to prioritise distributing vaccines to low- and middle-income international locations earlier than pushing forward with third doses at dwelling. 

Biden additionally introduced that his administration would make vaccination of workers a situation for nursing houses to obtain Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Different coronavirus information

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is assembly in the present day to debate a possible booster marketing campaign and which individuals may “really want” a 3rd dose of a coronavirus vaccine, a authorities scientific adviser mentioned.

Adam Finn, a member of the JCVI, informed BBC Radio 4’s At the moment programme: “I feel there’s sufficient proof, and I feel we’ll be imminently deciding, that there shall be some individuals who will want a 3rd dose, significantly individuals who we all know are impossible to be effectively protected by these first two doses. However I feel we do want extra proof earlier than we will make a agency choice on a wider booster programme.”

Finn additionally informed BBC Breakfast: “I feel it’s much less clear actually whether or not a 3rd dose in a extra normal manner, for kind of all individuals above a sure age, is actually going to make very a lot distinction.”

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine evidence: A UK research has discovered that safety from the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines wanes over time. Each vaccines present good safety in opposition to symptomatic infections by the delta coronavirus variant, however are round 15 per cent much less efficient in opposition to delta than in opposition to the alpha variant. The findings additionally indicate that vaccinated individuals who do get contaminated is perhaps simply as infectious as unvaccinated individuals.

The ventilation problem: Maximising airflow in public areas is essential to chop covid-19 transmission, however questions stay about what expertise to make use of and the way efficient it must be. 

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Taranaki Road in Wellington, New Zealand, in the course of the first day of a nationwide lockdown.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Photographs

18 August

Ten instances confirmed in outbreak of delta variant in Auckland

New Zealand has begun a nationwide lockdown in a bid to comprise the delta variant of the coronavirus. Thus far 10 instances have been confirmed within the outbreak, however modelling suggests the numbers might rise to between 50 and 100. “From the expertise of what we’ve seen abroad, we’re completely anticipating extra instances,” prime minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned. The extent 4 alert, the best stage, means individuals apart from important staff can solely go away dwelling for groceries, healthcare, covid-19 checks and train. The lockdown will cowl the complete nation for at the very least three days, and stay in place in Auckland for every week. New Zealand had been freed from native covid-19 infections since February, and solely 21 per cent of the whole inhabitants has been totally vaccinated.

Different coronavirus information

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has tested positive for covid-19, his workplace has introduced. Abbott is totally vaccinated and never exhibiting any signs, and he’s receiving a monoclonal antibody remedy, in line with an announcement. Abbott has restricted the extent to which native authorities in Texas can mandate covid-19 vaccination and the sporting of face masks. On Monday, he attended a Republican celebration occasion with a crowd of lots of. Texas is at the moment a hotspot in a covid-19 surge going down within the southern US, pushed by the delta variant. Yesterday the US recorded greater than 1000 covid-19 deaths for the primary time since March, in line with a Reuters tally.

Vaccine provides are urgently wanted in southeast Asia, the Pink Cross has warned. The area has recorded 38,522 deaths up to now two weeks, practically twice as many as North America. Indonesia is among the worst-affected international locations, with a median of 1466 deaths a day over the past week. “We concern that because the virus spreads from cities to regional and rural areas that many extra lives shall be misplaced among the many unvaccinated,” mentioned Alexander Matheou, Asia Pacific Director of the Worldwide Federation of Pink Cross and Pink Crescent Societies in an announcement.

See earlier updates from June to July 2021May 2021, April-March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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