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August 24, 2021

International update: US records more than 1,000 Covid deaths per day as monthly toll triples

By Paul Dennis

24 August

Global: The global Covid death toll has passed the grim milestone of 4 million, with a figure of 4,441,429 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections have passed 212 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 37.9 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll has passed 629,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US is recording more than 1,000 deaths a day from Covid-19, with the daily toll more than tripling in a month. The seven-day average of fatalities topped 1,000 on Saturday and Sunday, crossing that level for two straight days for the first time since March, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

China: China added only one confirmed local case in the central province of Henan, after zero new cases in the country a day earlier, containing one of the nation’s worst outbreaks since the virus first emerged in 2019.

Singapore: Singapore’s daily tally of locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases rose to the highest since 5 August, after 59 infections were discovered linked to a dormitory for foreign workers in the north of the island.

Australia: New South Wales announced 818 new Covid cases, the third consecutive day above 800 cases. Meanwhile, Covid is spreading rapidly in the majority Aboriginal town of Wilcannia in far western NSW, with at least 39 cases recorded in a week in a community of just 750 people.

Victorian health authorities announced 71 new Covid cases, while the Australian Capital Territory recorded 16 further cases.

Scott Morrison has said Australia must “learn to live with” Covid-19. “Once you get to 70% of your eligible population being vaccinated, and 80% … the plan sets out we have to move forward, the prime minister said, adding that people had to change their mindsets. “Because if not at 70% and 80% then when? Then when?”.

Indonesia: Indonesia added 9,604 new cases on Monday, the fewest in more than two months, while daily deaths numbered 842, the lowest since 10 July, as the government starts to ease restrictions for shopping malls and export-oriented industries. The country still tops the world’s tally of daily Covid-19 deaths. The government has already distributed nearly 90% of total vaccine supply.

Lockdown updates

Indonesia: Indonesia will allow more cities, including greater Jakarta, to have dine-in services at restaurants with limited capacity and let export-oriented industries operate with a full workforce as it extends the curbs through Aug. 30. Three soccer matches will be allowed to go ahead this week with no spectators.  As the delta variant pushes Indonesia’s goal of reaching herd immunity out of reach, the government will maintain some form of virus curbs for as long as the pandemic is still happening, said Luhut Panjaitan, the coordinating minister in charge of the virus response.

Thailand: Thailand is preparing for life with Covid, with preliminary plans being drawn up to relax some restrictions and reopen its borders to vaccinated visitors even as new cases hover around 20,000 a day.

Economy updates

Global: The number of Covid-19 infections is surging in Malaysia, threatening to aggravate shortages of semiconductors and other components that have hammered automakers for months. The Southeast Asian country hasn’t historically had the kind of importance to technology supply chains that Taiwan, South Korea or Japan do. However, in recent years, Malaysia emerged as a major center for chip testing and packaging, with Infineon Technologies AG, NXP Semiconductors NV and STMicroelectronics NV among the key suppliers operating plants there. Now infections are soaring in the country, jeopardizing plans to lift lockdowns and restore full production capacity. The seven-day average for reported daily infections has pushed past 20,000, up from just over 5,000 in late June.

US: In the US, Southwest Airlines Co. is blaming the delta strain for a rash of canceled bookings and a slowdown in demand that may push it and several others to quarterly losses. After leading the industry’s recovery for much of last year, China is in retreat with airlines offering the fewest seats in six months as authorities attempt to stamp out an outbreak. Australia’s carriers are also in reverse with more than half of the country in lockdown.

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