A member of the medical staff at the Covid unit of the Marius Nasta National Pneumology Institute in Bucharest, Romania. Daily coronavirus infections in Romania reached a record levels on Thursday prompting new restrictions. Photograph: Andreea Alexandru/AP
Romania’s centrist minority government has introduced new progressive restrictions including making mask wearing mandatory outside, but has opted to keep schools open, Reuters reports.
The number of new Covid infections in Romania reached a record 12,032 on Thursday and intensive care units across the country were running out of space as the country has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the European Union.
The government made masks mandatory both in indoor and outdoor public spaces in places where the case incidence exceeds 6 per 1,000 people.
Access to restaurants, gyms, theatres, cinemas and other indoor spaces would be enabled at half of capacity and only for people who were fully vaccinated or have already been infected.
Weekend curfews will be introduced for those who are not vaccinated.
Schools have been uncoupled from the case incidence rate to enable them to remain open unless cases are reported in specific classrooms. School staff and students will undergo regular, non-invasive testing.
Romania is trailing European Union vaccination lists, with just over a third of its adult population fully vaccinated amid distrust in state institutions and misinformation campaigns. About 40% of medical and school staff are not vaccinated.
at 2.24am EDT
Sri Lanka has lifted a near six-week lockdown but maintained a night curfew and a ban on public gatherings and parties, AFP reports.
Daily deaths had jumped to over 250 with 4,000 infections after Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year in mid-April, but case numbers have since eased.
The health ministry on Friday urged companies to encourage staff to work from home but there was no decision yet on reopening schools that have been closed since March last year.
“It is imperative to maintain the progress made to curb Covid-19 infections and the dreaded daily death toll,” Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
Official figures show that nearly 13,000 people have died of the virus, with more than half a million infections, but health sector experts say the actual numbers could be at least twice as much.
The easing of restrictions came as the government pushes a vaccination drive, fully inoculating 56% of the population of 21m.
Alongside the six-hour night curfew, the health ministry said that inter-provincial travel would remain banned.
Numbers attending weddings and funerals will be restricted to a maximum of 10 till 15 October.
Permission has been granted for sporting events to go ahead but without spectators.
at 2.15am EDT
All the best Helen and thanks for keeping this blog going for so long.
Well, that’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, for today – and for the next year. I’m off to have a baby.
Thank you, as always, for following along and to those ever-helpful readers who have sent news and tips through in the last eighteen months.
I’ll see you in September 2022, whatever it may hold.
Malaysia sees record monthly deaths after backlog counted
Malaysia recorded 9,671 deaths due to Covid in September, the deadliest month since the pandemic began, government data showed on Friday, though authorities have said the increase was mostly due to the delayed inclusion of fatalities from previous months.
Reuters: The spike has pushed Malaysia’s death toll to among the highest per capita in Asia, even as new infections have slowed in recent weeks amid a ramped-up vaccination programme.
September’s figure accounted for more than a third of the 26,335 total Covid deaths reported in Malaysia, which has recorded over 2.2 million infections, the third-highest number in Southeast Asia.
A woman walks past a mural in Kuala Lumpu, Malaysia. Photograph: Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images
Health ministry officials, however, say the reporting of many deaths have been delayed – some up to several months – as rising cases overwhelmed hospitals and testing labs.
The ministry in September began releasing daily data according to the time of deaths, as well as their reporting date, in a bid to improve transparency and clear the backlog.
Although Malaysia reported a daily average of 322 Covid fatalities in September, actual daily deaths fell to 89 as of Thursday based on a seven-day rolling average, the data showed.
Authorities have pledged to reduce the lags by imposing time limits on hospitals to confirm cause of death.
UK cases rise after schools return
The number of daily new Covid infections in the UK has risen in the past month after the removal of most pandemic restrictions and as schools and offices reopened, fuelled by the Delta variant. The latest daily figures up to 30 September show that 36,480 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK, an increase from the start of the month.
The government said a further 137 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 136,662. Almost 49 million people have had a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, about 90% of the adult population. Almost 45 million – about 83% – have had a second.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage.
The number of daily new Covid infections in the UK has risen in the past month after the removal of most pandemic restrictions and as schools and offices reopened, fuelled by the Delta variant.
Meanwhile Malaysia recorded 9,671 deaths due to COVID-19 in September, the deadliest month since the pandemic began, government data showed on Friday, though authorities have said the increase was mostly due to the delayed inclusion of fatalities from previous months.
The spike has pushed Malaysia’s death toll to among the highest per capita in Asia, even as new infections have slowed in recent weeks amid a ramped-up vaccination programme.
More on these stories shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:
- The UK government has announced additional funding for adult social care infection control which it says will help prevent infections and support testing in adult social care throughout the winter.
- Flu jabs are safe to give at the same time as the Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid vaccines, according to the first clinical trial to investigate co-administering the shots in a single appointment.
- South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken to Boris Johnson regarding the “red list” status imposed by the UK on his country.
- United Airlines has reduced the number of employees who face losing their job for defying the company’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. The carrier said 320 US-based staff rather than an earlier figure of 600 are now not in compliance with its Covid-19 vaccination policy.
- A 20-day-old baby and a pregnant teen have died from Covid-19 in Syria, during a serious spike in cases over the past month, the charity Save the Children said. The charity said there were 1,151 deaths in north west Syria over the past month and cases rose 144%.
- Singapore recorded its highest-ever number of cases, with a rise of more than 200 to 2,478 in a week when it has tightened restrictions on social interactions.
- Only 15 countries in Africa have been able to meet the goal of vaccinating 10% of their populations – a target set earlier this year by the World Health Assembly for all countries to meet as a minimum by the end of this month.
- Medical charity MSF called for French pharmaceutical Sanofi to transfer knowledge and technology for its mRNA vaccine candidate to the WHO’s vaccine development hub in South Africa. Sanofi announced that it would be shelving the vaccine, despite promising results from early trials.
- The Philippines will need a decade for its economy to recover from the pandemic, a senior economy official announced, saying the damage from lockdowns will be felt by two generations.
Source by www.theguardian.com