Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO concerned about COVID-19 in Afghanistan as jabs slow
The World Health Organization (WHO) is worried about the spread of the coronavirus in Afghanistan as the upheaval caused by the Taliban advance and seizure of power has slowed vaccinations, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. “As the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate rapidly, WHO is extremely concerned over the unfolding safety and humanitarian needs in the country, including risk of disease outbreaks and rise in COVID-19 transmission,” Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing.
U.S. plans to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots in September – source
The Biden administration plans to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans as early as mid or late September, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters late on Monday. Health officials in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration gathered around the view that most people should get a booster shot eight months after they completed their initial vaccination, the source said.
New Zealand thrown into lockdown over single suspected Delta case
Ardern’s “go hard, go early” strategy has helped curb COVID-19 but her announcement left people struggling to stack up essentials, businesses shutting abruptly and schools and offices making last-minute changes to go online.
Singapore prepares for long term life – and death – with COVID-19
With just a few dozen COVID-19 deaths and one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, Singapore wants to reopen for business – and is laying the groundwork to live with the coronavirus as it does other common diseases such as influenza. Its medical experts say residents may see hundreds of deaths each year from endemic COVID-19, similar to the flu. That pragmatic approach could set an example for other countries looking to exit lockdowns as they ramp up their own inoculation programs.
In Texas, local school officials stick with mask mandate, despite court setback
Local officials in Texas who have been battling their governor over mask mandates said they would continue to require face coverings in schools despite a setback in the state Supreme Court. The latest manifestation of the political divide over how to beat back the coronavirus comes as the Delta variant is leading a spike in new cases, including among children.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: New Zealand was thrown into lockdown
Japan extends COVID-19 emergency lockdown as cases surge
Japan on Tuesday extended its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions and announced new measures covering seven more prefectures to counter a spike in COVID-19 cases threatening the medical system. The current state of emergency, the fifth of the pandemic so far, was due to expire on Aug. 31 but will now last until Sept. 12. Tokyo announced 4,377 new cases on Tuesday, after a record 5,773 on Friday.
UK health regulator approves Moderna COVID-19 shot for 12- to 17-year-olds
Britain’s health regulator has approved Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 17 years, it said on Tuesday. The approval comes more than two months after Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine got the regulatory nod for use in children aged 12 to 15.
In Thailand, an army of volunteers fights coronavirus
Monk Phrompong Kaino, 33, works around the clock providing free COVID-19 swab tests for vulnerable people in high-risk Bangkok communities, part of a project by his temple that has reached more than 2,000 people in just over a month. He is one of the thousands of ordinary people who have pitched in to try to help Thailand get out of its worst coronavirus crisis to date, which has strained hospitals and health services in the capital Bangkok.
Events requiring vaccination proof can opt-out of masks, Nevada governor says
Nevada governor Steve Sisolak said late on Monday that large event operators will be allowed to opt-out of the state’s mask requirements if they can verify that attendees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those partially vaccinated and children could still attend provided they wear a mask, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)