Covid-19 wrap: Protests in New Zealand, Venezuela vaccinates 2-year-olds, record-high deaths in Russia

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Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

FOLLOW LIVE | Covid-19 in SA: 116 new cases as death toll hits 89 352

Global Covid-19 infections pass 250 million - AFP tally

Paris – More than 250 million Covid-19 infections have been recorded worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to an AFP count compiled from official reports at 21:00 (GMT) on Monday.

Globally, more than five million deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded so far, but the vast majority of those infected have recovered. Some, however, have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.

The figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each country.

A significant proportion of the less severe or asymptomatic cases remain undetected despite increased screening in many countries since the start of the pandemic. In addition, testing policies differ from country to country.

Europe is the region with the highest number of infections, registering more than 76 million Covid-19 cases since the start of the outbreak in China in December 2019.

 - AFP


Thousands protest Covid restrictions in New Zealand

Wellington – Thousands of demonstrators marched on the New Zealand parliament to protest against Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday, prompting a major police deployment at the Wellington building known as the Beehive.

About 3 000 people, most not wearing masks, made their way through the capital's city centre, including dozens of motorcyclists in biker gang regalia performing burnouts.

Some attendees carried "Trump 2020" flags, while others bore signs carrying messages from Maori groups, those impacted by lockdowns, and teachers who face losing their jobs if they refuse vaccination.

Others targeted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with slogans such as "Pro Choice, Anti Jacinda", with "Media Lies" and "Media Treason" also prominent.

The protest was peaceful, with demonstrators dispersing after performing a massed haka on the grounds of parliament. The traditional Maori haka is used in a variety of ways – to intimidate rivals, to celebrate, but also to mourn.

Police said there were no arrests in Wellington, although they expressed disappointment over so many participants flouting coronavirus restrictions.

 - AFP


US administers 432 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, 70% adults fully vaccinated - CDC

The United States has administered 432 111 860 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning, with over 70% of adults fully vaccinated, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The agency said the country has distributed 534 086 695 doses.

The figures were up from the 430 927 624 vaccine doses the CDC said it had administered by 7 November, out of 534 081 335 doses delivered.

The agency said 223 944 369 people had received at least one dose, while 194 001 108 people were fully vaccinated as of 06:00 (E.T.) on Monday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine.

About 24.8 million people have received a booster dose of either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine. Booster doses from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were authorised by the US health regulator on 20 October.

 - REUTERS


Australia's NSW says unvaccinated 16 times more likely to die from Covid-19

SYDNEY – Unvaccinated people are 16 times more likely to end up in intensive care units or die from Covid-19, Australia's New South Wales state said in a report, with officials urging people to get inoculated as Australia begins to live with the coronavirus.

The data from New South Wales (NSW) health department out late on Monday showed only 11% of people out of 412 who died from the Delta outbreak over four months through early October were fully vaccinated. The average age of those deaths was 82.

Only around 3% of people in intensive care units had two doses, while more than 63% of the 61 800 cases detected between 16 June and 7 October were unvaccinated.

"Young people with two doses of a vaccine experienced lower rates of infection and almost no serious disease, while those unvaccinated in this age group were at greater risk of developing Covid-19 and needing hospitalisation," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said in a statement.

The report's findings were in line with data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said in September that unvaccinated individuals were 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated.

 - REUTERS


Venezuela begins vaccinating 2-year-old children with Cuban doses - vice president

CARACAS – Venezuela has begun vaccinating children aged 2 to 11 against Covid-19 with the Cuban Soberana 2 vaccine, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Monday.

Cuba, a close ally of President Nicolas Maduro's government, says its Abdala, Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus vaccines have an efficacy greater than 90%.

While Cuban officials say initial results are similar to those of other vaccines that significantly reduce transmission, severe disease and death, critics have complained that those results have not yet been peer-reviewed.

"In Venezuela, the use of the Soberana 2 vaccine, a Cuban vaccine, has already been authorised to vaccinate children between 2 and 11 years old," Rodriguez said live on state television.

From a school in western Caracas, Rodriguez added that medical workers had started vaccinating children whose immune systems were compromised.

There are approximately 3.5 million children between 2 and 11 years old in Venezuela, according to Health Minister Carlos Alvarado, who accompanied Rodriguez on the live broadcast.

 - REUTERS


Bulgaria's daily Covid-19 deaths rise to record high

SOFIA – Bulgaria reported a record number of daily coronavirus deaths on Tuesday as the European Union's least vaccinated country grapples with a fourth wave of the pandemic, official data showed on Tuesday.

New infections were 5 286, down from a peak in late October, while 334 people died of the virus, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Over 8 500 people were in hospital, including 734 in intensive care units, the data showed.

The Balkan country introduced a health pass entry to most indoor spaces last month in an effort to contain the spread of the infection and speed up vaccinations in the country, where only 30% of the adults are fully inoculated.

Over 250 000 people have taken at least one dose since the health pass was made mandatory on 21 October, data showed.

 - REUTERS


Ukraine reports record 833 daily coronavirus-related deaths

KYIV – Ukraine registered a record 833 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The previous high of 793 deaths was on 6 November.

The ministry's data showed 18 988 new infections were reported over the past 24 hours. Ukraine has reported a total of 3.11 million coronavirus cases and 73 390 deaths.

 - REUTERS


Russia's daily Covid-19 death toll hits new record high

MOSCOW – Russia on Tuesday reported a record daily Covid-19 death toll of 1 211, just one day after a nationwide workplace shutdown aimed at curbing a surge in cases was lifted across most regions.

Officials also reported 39 160 new coronavirus cases nationwide in the last 24 hours, down from a peak of 41 335 on Saturday.

 - REUTERS


Brazil has 126 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, daily toll continues to fall - ministry

BRASILIA – Brazil has had 5 638 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 126 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry said on Monday.

The South American country has now registered 21 886 077 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 609 573, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States.

As vaccination advances, the rolling 14-day average of Covid-19 deaths has fallen to 269, compared to the toll of almost 3 000 a day at the peak of the pandemic in April.

 - REUTERS


China reports 62 new coronavirus cases for 8 November, vs 89 day earlier

BEIJING – China reported 62 new confirmed coronavirus cases for 8 November, compared with 89 a day earlier, its health authority said on Tuesday.

Of the new infections, 43 were locally transmitted cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, compared with 65 a day earlier.

Among the local infections, the city of Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan reported seven new cases.

The city of 20 million people on Monday required visitors at a mega entertainment centre to undergo Covid-19 tests, days after more than 30 000 visitors to Shanghai Disneyland were tested.

China reported 74 new asymptomatic patients, which it classifies separately from confirmed cases, compared with 46 a day earlier.

There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll unchanged at 4 636.

As of 8 November, mainland China had 97 885 confirmed coronavirus cases.

 - REUTERS


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