Covid-19 wrap | Philippines records more than one million cases, Australia's Perth to exit lockdown

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  • The Philippines announced on Monday that the total number of coronavirus cases it had recorded had exceeded one million.
  • Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is being reviewed on Monday by technical experts for possible WHO emergency use listing.
  • The government of Western Australia state said it will lift a three-day Covid-19 lockdown in Perth and neighbouring Peel region as planned from midnight on Monday.


Philippines records more than one million coronavirus cases     

The Philippines announced on Monday that the total number of coronavirus cases it had recorded had exceeded one million as it continued to record thousands of new infections in the capital region, the epicentre of its latest outbreak.

The health ministry said it recorded 8 929 Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total to more than one million, while fatalities increased to 16 853 after it recorded 70 new deaths.

The Philippines has the second highest number of cases and casualties in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.

Reuters

Moderna vaccine being reviewed for WHO emergency listing - WHO spokesperson  

Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is being reviewed on Monday by technical experts for possible WHO emergency use listing, a World Health Organisation spokesperson told Reuters.

"Moderna is being reviewed at the TAG (technical advisory group) meeting today," WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said in reply to a query. A decision on the US drugmaker's vaccine was expected in one to four days, he said.

So far Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have already received WHO approval, which is a signal to national regulatory authorities on a product's safety and efficacy.

Reuters

Thailand suspends travel from India as it steps up coronavirus measures at home

Thailand has suspended issuing travel documents from India over concerns of imported coronavirus cases, as more venues were closed in Bangkok on Monday as part of efforts to contain a third wave of infections in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Thai embassy in New Delhi said in a statement that certificates of entry for non-Thai nationals travelling from India will be suspended until further notice.

Thailand is dealing with its own outbreak and reported 2 048 new cases on Monday, bringing its total infections to 57 508 and 148 coronavirus-related fatalities.

Reuters

Australia's Perth to exit Covid-19 lockdown

The government of Western Australia state said it will lift a three-day Covid-19 lockdown in Perth and neighbouring Peel region as planned from midnight on Monday after no new cases were found in the past two days.

Perth and the Peel region were placed into a hard lockdown from Saturday after an infected traveller from overseas, who likely contracted the novel coronavirus during his two-week quarantine in a Perth hotel, visited several venues while unknowingly infectious.

"The short three-day lockdown has done the job it was designed to do," state Premier Mark McGowan told reporters in Perth. "It was a circuit-breaker we needed to limit community spread and keep our community healthy."

These interim restrictions will remain until Friday night, McGowan said, when they would be reviewed.

Reuters

Malaysia says AstraZeneca vaccine safe, will be used for over 60s

Malaysian health authorities on Monday said the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is safe for use, three days after the Southeast Asian nation received its first batch of the shots bought through the global COVAX facility.

"I confirm the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is safe, and it will be administered to those aged 60 years and older," Health Minister Adham Baba said in a televised news conference.

Malaysia received its first shipment of nearly 270 000 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine on Friday.

Ministry officials said the vaccine was found to be "suitable for use" for those aged 60 and older, and were looking into the available data before approving it for use for other age groups.

Reuters

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