Coronavirus worldwide: record numbers in Sydney despite strict lockdown, U.S. army introduces mandatory vaccination

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About 203.4 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.3 million infected people have died. About 4.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

Rising number of infections in Sydney

The Australian state of New South Wales, with Sydney as its metropolis of over a million people, is failing to get a grip on its worst Corona wave yet, despite strict rules. Within 24 hours, 356 new infections had been recorded in the region, the highest number since the pandemic began, health authorities said Tuesday (Aug. 10). Four elderly people died in connection with Covid-19, all of whom had not been vaccinated against the virus. Large parts of the region, including Sydney, have already been in a strict lockdown since late June. The measures are expected to last until at least the end of August. Statewide, employers will now be allowed to ask their employees about their Corona vaccination status with immediate effect. Gov. Scott Morrison announced the new guidelines for businesses Tuesday. However, there will still be no mandatory vaccination, he stressed.

U.S. armed forces are to be subject to mandatory vaccination against the corona virus

U.S. armed forces are to be subject to mandatory vaccination against the corona virus no later than Sept. 15. This emerged on Monday (9. 8.) from a letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. More than 1.3 million servicemen and women serve in the U.S. armed forces, about 1.05 million of whom are already fully vaccinated, Pentagon data show. Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 100,000 new infections per day again. In June, before the delta variant became established, there were at times only about 10,000 per day. An average of more than 450 people die each day after being infected with Corona, according to data from the CDC. The recent Corona wave has so far hit hardest in southern states, including Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri.

Rapid spread of the Delta variant in Iran
In Iran, the Corona crisis is worsening because of a rapid spread of the Delta variant. The Ministry of Health registered an all-time high on Monday (Aug. 9), with 588 deaths and nearly 41,000 new infections in just one day. The total number of Corona deaths in Iran now stands at 94,603, with nearly 4.2 million infections. Because of the delta variant, emergency rooms in many cities are overflowing with new Corona patients. The vaccination campaign for the more than 83 million Iranians is also making slow progress because of the economic crisis.

Third vaccination in israel
After a third Corona vaccination, a majority of respondents in Israel reported similar vaccination reactions as after the second shot. Eighty-eight percent felt similar or better in the week following the booster shot, according to a survey conducted by the Clalit health insurance company. A spokeswoman for the insurer confirmed this on Monday (Aug. 9). Ten percent had felt worse than after the second vaccination. Overall, 31 percent of respondents reported at least one vaccination reaction, most of them pain at the injection site. The health insurer said it had vaccinated more than 240,000 members for the third time. About 4,500 people participated in the survey, it said. One percent sought medical help because of the vaccination reaction, according to the company. Israel has been giving booster vaccinations to 60-year-olds and older for about a week – the first country in the world to do so.

New Zealand to open its borders

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, plans to open the borders. New Zealand got through the crisis smoothly, in part because the border was closed in March 2020. However, this tactic put a strain on the economy. Policymakers have come under increasing pressure from businesses and the public sector, which are suffering from a labor shortage. Most recently, 1500 hospital midwives walked off the job due to overwork and staff shortages. At the end of August, another 30,000 nurses planned to strike. Jacinda Ardern will unveil plans to reopen the country’s borders on Thursday (Aug. 12).

Scotland lifted most of its rules
Three weeks after the end of almost all Corona rules in England, the British part of Scotland has also lifted most of the rules. As of Monday (Aug. 9), standoff rules – with a few exceptions – have been lifted. Capacity limits no longer apply to pubs and restaurants or events. Nightclubs are allowed to open. However, masks must still be worn in government offices and on public transportation. Masks must also still be worn in schools for the time being. However, in the event of a Corona case, the entire class no longer has to go home in isolation. Government leader Nicola Sturgeon spoke of “perhaps the most significant date so far” in the pandemic. At the same time, she called on everyone to remain cautious. The pandemic is not over yet.

  • source: nzz.ch/picture: pixabay.com
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