Coronavirus worldwide: heavy fines for worshipers in Sydney, average death toll in America rises to more than 1000

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More than 210.8 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.4 million infected people have died. About 4.8 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

In Sydney, police have fined attendees of a church service heavily for violating current Corona measures by gathering. Thirty worshippers would have to pay 1,000 Australian dollars (610 euros) each, and the church itself was also fined 5,000 Australian dollars (3,000 euros), police in the New South Wales state said Monday (Aug. 23). The mass had been held on Sunday evening in Blacktown in western Sydney. Police had received a tip-off about a possible illegal service and encountered 60 adults and children at the church. A strict lockdown has been in place for eight weeks in the Sydney metropolitan area due to rising virus levels, and was recently extended until the end of September.

New Zealand reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of infections in the current outbreak to 107. Genomic sequencing has linked the cluster in New Zealand to the Delta outbreak in Sydney. Previously, New Zealand was Covid-free for months. A single traveler returning from Australia on August 7 brought the Delta variant with him. The traveler did not have to present a negative test before leaving because, according to the rules, he had to be quarantined at a hotel upon arrival. But somewhere, whether it was at the airport, hotel, medical facility or hospital, the virus made its way to New Zealand. The delta variant is also spreading rapidly in Australia. Both countries are in a strict lockdown.

The average daily death toll in the Americas rose above 1,000 on Saturday (8/21) for the first time since March. Deaths are a lagging indicator, occurring weeks after a spike in Covid 19 cases. While the number of deaths is increasing as the Delta variant hits the U.S., it is only a fraction of last winter’s peaks. In January, the average number of daily deaths rose to more than 3400, and 60% of eligible people in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated. The expected full approval of Covid-19 vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could allow more companies and institutions to impose vaccination requirements.

In France, more than 170,000 people again protested the Corona rules. For the sixth weekend in a row, there were rallies in various cities on Saturday. The Interior Ministry in Paris spoke on Sunday (Aug. 22) of a total of about 200 protest marches with 175 000 participants. A week ago, 215,000 people had taken to the streets, the weekend before even almost 240,000. The protests are directed against the Corona measures, which have been tightened again. Most of the rallies were peaceful. In Montpellier in the south of the country, scuffles broke out between left-wing and right-wing participants in a demonstration, as could be seen on TV images. In the Mediterranean metropolis of Marseille, two officers were pelted with objects and injured, according to police reports. One suspect was apprehended.

In New York’s Central Park, a major concert honoring the fight against the Corona pandemic had to be canceled on Saturday (Aug. 21) because of the approaching hurricane “Henri.” Halfway through the five-hour program, thunderstorms and heavy rain put a crimp in New Yorkers’ plans. By then, after about two and a half of five scheduled hours, Carlos Santana, Andrea Bocelli and LL Cool J, among others, had already performed. Other artists such as Reggeaton star Maluma, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen had not yet played. At the event, with 60,000 people announced to attend, the city wanted to celebrate the fighting spirit of its citizens during the Corona pandemic and the end of many restrictions.

Cuba has licensed a second and third homegrown vaccine (Aug. 20). The combination of two doses of the vaccine Soberana 02 and one dose of Soberana Plus had prevented symptomatic disease with 91.2 percent effectiveness in Phase III testing, according to government data. Soberana 02 had been jointly developed by facilities in Cuba and Iran. In Iran, the drug has already received emergency approval under the name Pasteurcovac. On July 9, the Cuban vaccine Abdala had become the first vaccine against coronavirus developed in Latin America to be approved. Abdala, as well as the Soberana agents, are so-called subunit vaccines made from processed proteins of the pathogen. Cuba has a lot of experience in vaccine development. However, the study results on the Cuban corona vaccines have not yet been independently verified.

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