International update: Covid cases surge in Russia, Latvia and Greece
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International update: Covid cases surge in Russia, Latvia and Greece

10 Nov 2021

10 November

Global: The global Covid death toll has passed 5 million, with a figure of 5,068,233 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections exceed 251 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 46.6 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll has passed 757,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Russia: 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.

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

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

UK: Daily Covid-related deaths in the UK rose above 250 again, with 262 reported on Tuesday.

National Health Service staff in England who work face to face with patients must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by 1 April, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament. Only those who can prove they are fully vaccinated can be employed by the NHS. The decision follows a government consultation that had 34,000 responses, Javid said.

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.

Vaccine news

Global: 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.

EU: Moderna also 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.

US: 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.

Stepping up the rate of vaccinations and boosters can help avoid a holiday surge in new cases that have dropped to a plateau of about 70,000 a day, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said. While hospitalizations and deaths have fallen in the US, it’s far too early to pull back on mitigation measures such as mask-wearing, Fauci said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power with David Westin.”  “If we get the overwhelming proportion of unvaccinated people vaccinated, and we get those who are vaccinated and eligible to get a booster,” Fauci said, “we can go a long way to preventing a new surge as we go into the winter.”

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.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, which represents more than 1,000 brands, urged the Biden administration to step up vaccine donations to Vietnam after the US gave the country 15 million doses, Stephen Lamar, the group’s president and CEO, said. Vaccinations are critical for Vietnam, the second-largest supplier of apparel, footwear and travel goods to the US after China, to instill confidence in workers to return to factories, he said. Pouyuen Vietnam, a unit of one of the world’s largest makers of athletic shoes, is struggling to meet orders after 6% of its workforce quit amid the nation’s worst virus outbreak, according to a post on the Ho Chi Minh City Communist Party Committee’s website.

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

France: 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.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: Auckland and Waikato students in years 1 to 10 can return to face-to-face learning at schools on 17 November, New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins said Wednesday. Measures to help minimize the spread of Covid-19 will include mask wearing from year 4 up, ventilating classrooms, limiting the number of students on site and making sure groups of children distance from each other.

Scotland: Scotland is looking at tightening Covid restrictions because of a high level of new cases as it hosts the United Nations climate summit in its largest city. The government expects case numbers to increase further in the coming weeks, partly due to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Deputy First Minister John Swinney told lawmakers on Tuesday. The administration in Edinburgh “cannot rule out” strengthening existing measures to avoid the need for any future lockdowns, Swinney said.