Health News Roundup: Russia reports 25,033 new COVID-19 cases, 749 deaths; Australia reports first 2021 local COVID-19 death and more
The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant. Hundreds of Thai medical workers infected despite Sinovac vaccinations Thailand's health ministry said on Sunday more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
A 90-year-old Belgian woman who died from COVID-19 in March had contracted two variants of coronavirus at the same time, which is believed to be the first documented case of its kind, a scientific congress and Belgian media said on Sunday. The case, discussed at this year's European Congress on Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), shows that it is possible to catch two COVID-19 variants simultaneously, the society that organised the congress said in a statement.
COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer Inc will meet with federal health officials as soon as Monday to discuss the need for a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to seek authorization, the company said on Sunday. The meeting comes days after the drugmaker and its partner BioNTech SE announced plans to seek U.S. and European regulatory approval for a third dose of their COVID-19 shot amid the spread of variants and data they said showed heightened risk of infection six months after initial inoculation.
Russia reports 25,033 new COVID-19 cases, 749 deaths
Russia reported 25,033 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, including 5,410 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,783,333. The government coronavirus task force said 749 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 143,002.
Australia reports first 2021 local COVID-19 death, highest case number
Australia reported its first locally contracted COVID-19 death of the year on Sunday and a 2021 record 77 new cases of the virus in the state of New South Wales, which is battling an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the numbers in and around the country's biggest city Sydney, already under a hard lockdown, are expected to rise.
Israel offers third shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to adults at risk
Israel said on Sunday it will begin offering a third dose of Pfizer Inc's vaccine to adults with weak immune systems but it was still weighing whether to make the booster available to the general public. The rapid spread of the Delta variant has sent vaccination rates in Israel back up as new infections have risen over the past month from single digits to around 450 a day, and the country has moved to fast-track its next Pfizer shipment.
Vietnam to expand movement curbs as coronavirus cases hit record high
Vietnam will impose movement restrictions in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho for 14 days starting on Monday, the government said on Sunday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic. The city of 1.23 million people in the far south has reported seven infections over the past week, the government said in a statement.
South Africa extends tight COVID-19 restrictions for another 14 days
South Africa extended tight COVID-19 rules on Sunday for another 14 days, maintaining restrictions that include a ban on gatherings, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a prohibition on the sale of alcohol. The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.
Thailand's health ministry said on Sunday more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity. Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.
U.S. administers nearly 334.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines: CDC
The United States had administered 334,151,648 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 387,006,120 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Sunday. A total of 333,565,404 vaccine doses had been administered by July 10, the CDC said.
The Chinese sales agent for Germany's BioNTech SE said on Sunday it had signed a deal to provide 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, part of a drawn-out and highly politicised process for the island to access the shots. Taiwan's government has tried for months to buy the vaccine directly from BioNTech and has blamed China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own territory, for nixing an agreement the two sides were due to sign earlier this year. China denies the accusations.
(With inputs from agencies.)