Health News Roundup: Italy reports 33 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, 2,968 new cases; Australia’s Delta outbreak spreads to new states and more


Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Australia’s Delta outbreak spreads to new states

Australia reported more than 1,900 new infections of the Delta coronavirus on Sunday, health data showed, with authorities struggling to quell the outbreak in the two most populous states and cases spreading to new states. Victoria and New South Wales, which have been under lockdown for weeks, reported 1,887 cases and 13 deaths.

Italy reports 33 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, 2,968 new cases

Italy reported 33 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday against 25 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 2,968 from 3,312. Italy has registered 131,031 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.68 million cases to date.

Israel requires COVID-19 booster shots for stricter “green pass”

Israel on Sunday piled pressure on its vaccinated citizens to get a booster shot by making only those who received their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eligible for a “green pass” allowing entry to restaurants, gyms and many other venues.

Israel was an early adopter of Pfizer/BioNtech booster shots — administering them to members of risk groups in July and by the end of August to anyone above the age of 12. Its campaign is being watched closely by other countries.

Philippines pets receive blessings in drive-through ceremony

Hundreds of animal lovers in the Philippines had their pets blessed via a drive-through ceremony on Sunday to mark World Animal Day and the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, forgoing the usual fanfare due to COVID-19. This was the second straight year that organisers had to hold a drive-through ceremony to mark World Animal day – celebrated worldwide to recognise animal rights and welfare – to ensure the safety of the animals and owners.

U.S. administers nearly 396 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – CDC

The United States had administered 395,934,825 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday and distributed 478,410,525 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. Those figures are up from the 394,690,283 vaccine doses that the CDC said had gone into arms by Saturday out of 478,362,045 doses delivered.

Russia sees no hurdles for WHO approval of Sputnik V vaccine

All the barriers to register Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine with the World Health Organization (WHO) have been cleared and only some paperwork remains to be completed, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Saturday. The Sputnik V shot, widely used in Russia and approved for use in over 70 countries, is undergoing a review by the WHO and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Their approval could open up new markets for the shot, especially in Europe.

New Zealand’s Delta outbreak spreads outside Auckland

New Zealand’s Delta variant outbreak spread beyond the largest city of Auckland, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday to put additional regions into a snap lockdown.

There were 32 new coronavirus cases on Sunday in Auckland, which has been in lockdown since mid-August, and two cases in the Waikato region, some 147 kilometres (91 miles) south of Auckland. Ardern said parts of the region will go into a five-day lockdown.

Heart inflammation rates higher after Moderna COVID-19 vaccine – Canada data

Canadian health officials said on Friday data suggests reported cases of rare heart inflammation were relatively higher after Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine compared with the Pfizer/BioNTech shots. The data also indicated heart inflammation occurs more often in adolescents and adults under 30 years of age, and more often in males.

A few skeptical U.S. hospital workers choose dismissal over vaccine

Jennifer Bridges loved her job as a nurse at Houston Methodist Hospital, where she worked for eight years, but she chose to get fired rather than inoculated against COVID-19, believing that the vaccine was more of a threat than the deadly virus. Bridges was among about 150 employees who were fired or resigned rather than comply with the requirement at Methodist, which was the country’s first large health system to mandate vaccinations. About 25,000 other employees at the hospital system complied.

Nicaragua authorises two COVID-19 vaccines from Cuba, Cuban firm says

Nicaragua has authorised two Cuban-made coronavirus vaccines to be used in the Central American nation, the Cuban state-run pharmaceutical corporation BioCubaFarma said on Saturday. Cuban scientists have developed three vaccines against COVID-19, all of which are waiting to receive official recognition from the World Health Organization.

(With inputs from agencies.)



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