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Pandemic

Sydney tightens lockdown as Australia’s COVID-19 cases rise

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  • Sydney reports 111 new cases, one death
  • Construction sites, non-essential retail trade closed
  • 600,000 residents are prohibited from leaving the neighborhood to work
  • Victoria has 19 new cases
  • Sydney has been fighting the Delta variant since June

SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) – The Australian city of Sydney on Saturday ordered construction sites to be closed, banned non-essential retail and fines for employers who bring employees to the office amid new COVID-19 cases three weeks later a city-wide blockage continued to rise.

The authorities of the state of New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, have banned hundreds of thousands of people in the city’s western suburbs – the hardest hit area – from leaving their immediate vicinity for work, as they have seen 111 new cases in the past 24 years recorded hours, compared to 97 the previous day.

The state also recorded one additional death from the virus, increasing to three since the beginning of the year and 913 nationwide since the pandemic began.

“I can’t remember a time when our state was challenged so much,” NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said at a televised press conference.

The city of 5 million, Australia’s largest city, has been on lockdown since June 26, with a scheduled end date of July 30, after an airport transit driver brought the virus into the community and sparked an outbreak of the highly contagious variant, according to the Authorities.

More than 1,000 people in the city and the surrounding districts have now tested positive. Most worrying for health officials is the number of infectious people who were active in the community before testing positive, with 29 reported on Saturday as in the previous days.

“We’re chasing our tails on the cases,” said Kerry Chant, the state’s chief health officer, at the news conference.

NSW deputy police commissioner Gary Worboys said the “pace of police response will increase in the greater Sydney area and the regions.”

Shops that can stay open in Sydney include supermarkets, pharmacies, and hardware stores. All construction work must cease by July 30, including cleaning, property maintenance and house renovation, authorities said.

People who lived in three of Sydney’s local counties – with a total population of 612,000 – were not allowed to leave their district for work unless they were emergency workers. The city already has a work from home policy for businesses, but employers who instruct employees to visit the office could be fined A $ 10,000 ($ 7,402.00).

The neighboring state of Victoria also reported an increase in daily COVID-19 cases to 19 from six the previous day, raising fears that a brief lockdown that was supposed to end Tuesday could be extended.

Victoria and Greater Sydney have a combined population of around 12 million, which means almost half of Australia’s population is locked down in some form.

All but one of the new cases in Victoria were active in the community prior to diagnosis, but each case was linked to a known chain of transmission, Victorian Health Secretary Martin Foley said.

Australia avoided the high rates of infection and death of many other countries in the early stages of the pandemic due to an assertive response that included closing borders, stay-at-home orders and stimulus measures.

But 18 months later, the federal government is criticized for its slow introduction of vaccines. Just over 10% of Australia’s 25 million residents are fully vaccinated, according to government figures, a fraction of the rates in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Even so, Australia’s death rate from the novel coronavirus is still low by comparison, with just over 900 deaths of around 31,500 cases.

The Australian economy has regained momentum after plunging into recession last year, but recent state border locks and closings threaten to plunge it back into negative growth.

No other states reported further cases on Saturday.

($ 1 = 1.3510 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Pandemic

5 things to know for September 27: Covid-19, Congress, Germany, immigration, Huawei

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Pandemic

US has enough COVID-19 vaccines for boosters, kids’ shots

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Thanks to the robust supply in the US, President Joe Biden was able to promise an additional 500 million Covid-19 vaccinations from Pfizer this week to share with the world, doubling the United States’s global contribution. Relief groups and health organizations have urged the United States and other countries to improve access to vaccines in countries where even the most vulnerable have not had a chance.

One of the challenges that countries face is not to order too many cans and to leave them unused. Several states with low vaccination rates, including Idaho and Kansas, have reported throwing away thousands of expired doses or having difficulty using vaccines that are about to expire this fall.

While most vaccines can be left unopened on the shelf for months, the clock starts ticking as soon as a vial is opened. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, vaccines can only be used for six to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer.

Moderna vaccines are available in 11 to 15 dose vials. Pfizer vials contain up to six doses and Johnson & Johnson vials contain five doses.

“We will see more cans that go unused over time,” said Wisconsin Health Secretary Karen Timberlake. “They come in multidose files. They don’t come in nice, neat individual portion packs. “

State health officials said they tried to request only what health care providers and pharmacies expect from federal supplies. Those numbers have declined since vaccines became generally available in the spring.

But US officials – hoping some of the unvaccinated people will change their minds – are trying to keep enough vaccines on hand for all Americans to get.

This balancing act is difficult and can cause dismay around the world as the US is sitting on unused vaccines while many countries in places like Africa cannot get enough vaccines.

“Someone who sits in a country with few resources to access vaccines and sees people in the US go to a pharmacy and get that vaccine and decide against it, it is bound to cause grief,” said Jen Kates, senior vice president and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents health officials in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and the US territories, said officials expect the available doses of COVID-19 vaccines and manufacturers’ ability to supply more will meet demand across the country.

“I think states have tried to plan as if everyone were being offered a refresher,” he said, suggesting that they were over-prepared for closer recommendations from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California, for example, estimated earlier this month that it would need to deliver an additional 63 million doses by the end of 2022 – if initial vaccinations were approved for children under the age of 12 and boosters were open to everyone.

U.S. health officials late Thursday advocated booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans aged 65 and over – along with tens of millions of younger people at higher risk from the coronavirus because of health conditions or work.

California has the lowest transmission rate of any state with nearly 40 million residents, and nearly 70% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. This means that almost 12 million people are not or not fully vaccinated.

Dr. California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said the state will rely largely on pharmacies and family doctors to provide refresher courses to seniors, while some large counties and health groups will use mass vaccination sites.

In Pennsylvania, more than 67% of residents over 18 are fully vaccinated. Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said health officials now have “two missions”: continuing to convince people to get vaccinated and serving those who want a booster or initial vaccination.

“Pennsylvania is being prepared,” said Beam. “And we will have the right levels of vaccines and vaccinees to meet that demand.”

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Pandemic

0 deaths, 282 new cases of COVID-19 in ND, active cases statewide are 3,448

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The North Dakota Department of Health on Sunday morning confirmed 282 new cases of COVID-19 in the state during testing on Jan.

The number of currently active COVID-19 cases in the state is 3,448 as of September 25, 242 fewer than on September 24.

The last time active positives were this high was December 10, 2020 when 3,896 active cases were reported.

Active positive results peaked on November 13, 2020 at 10,409. By July 5, they dropped to 120, but have risen steadily since then.

Of the 282 new positive results on September 25th:

  • 58 were in Burleigh County
  • 46 were in Cass County
  • 29 were in Stark County
  • 24 were in Ward County
  • 20 were in Morton County
  • 19 were in Williams County
  • 12 were in McKenzie County

No deaths were reported on September 25. The North Dakota Department of Health says it is no longer providing public information on COVID-19 deaths by gender, age and location.

So far, a total of 1,604 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in North Dakota.

According to official death records, 1,312 of these are directly attributable to COVID-19. In another 277 deaths, COVID-19 is not the leading cause of death. A total of 15 death registers are pending.

Recoveries and active cases

The health department reports that 124,420 people of the 129,472 positive cases are considered recovered, an increase of 567 people from September 24th.

The number of people reported recovering from COVID-19 on September 25 (567) is higher than the number of new COVID-19 cases reported that day (282).

Hospital stays

130 people are currently hospitalized on September 25 due to COVID-19, 10 more than on September 24. A total of 5,134 people have been hospitalized since records of the pandemic began in March 2020.

Breakthrough infections and hospitalizations

As of September 25, the total number of North Dakotans fully vaccinated was 336,166. A total of 544 people who were fully vaccinated tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 16 people who were fully vaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized.

More information about this data can be found directly on the NDDoH website by clicking here.

Reinfections

As of September 25, there have been 500 reinfections with COVID-19 since June 27, 2021. The NDDoH does not report whether these people who received reinfection were vaccinated.

Other dates

COVID-19 cases have been reported in all 53 North Dakota counties since the persecution began.

Those aged 20 to 29 have the most positive cases among those tested so far.

According to the data, 65 percent of all North Dakotans have been tested for COVID-19.

The results listed today cover all tests performed the day before.

You can read more about the daily statistics and other information and resources related to COVID-19 on the North Dakota Department of Health website here.

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