Health News Roundup: S.Korea starts vaccination for 55-59 age group as COVID-19 caseloads remain high; Ghana aims to receive 18 million COVID shots by October and more
New South Wales, which has had more than 5 million people in Sydney city under lockdown for a month, reported 145 new cases of the virus, from 141 a day earlier, as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. French lawmakers approve bill to tackle fourth wave of coronavirus The French parliament on Monday approved a bill which will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health workers as well as require a bolstered health pass in a wide array of social venues as France battles with a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
S.Korea starts vaccination for 55-59 age group as COVID-19 caseloads remain high
South Korea kicked off COVID-19 vaccinations for people ages 55-59 on Monday to speed up the pace of its inoculation campaign, as the country battles the fourth wave of infections. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for people in their upper 50s had sputtered to a week-long halt this month after a record-high number of new cases sparked a rush for shots, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website.
Ghana aims to receive 18 million COVID shots by October
Ghana hopes to receive over 18 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before October as it struggles to contain the third wave of infections, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a speech on Sunday. Cases of COVID-19 are rising fast in parts of West Africa, in part due to the arrival of the Delta coronavirus variant which is considered more transmissible than other variants.
Some Americans could need COVID-19 vaccine booster -Fauci
Top infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that Americans who are immune-compromised may end up needing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as the United States deals with increasing cases from the Delta variant of the coronavirus. "Those who are transplant patients, cancer chemotherapy, auto-immune diseases, that are on immunosuppressant regimens, those are the kind of individuals that if there's going to be a third booster, which might likely happen, would be among first the vulnerable," Fauci said during a CNN interview.
Indonesia extended its COVID-19 restrictions by a week to Aug. 2 on Sunday to try to curb infections, after the government said it would add more intensive care units amid a rise in deaths. Indonesia has become Asia's COVID-19 epicenter with hospitals deluged, particularly on the densely populated island of Java and on Bali, where oxygen supplies are running thin.
South Africa lifts some coronavirus restrictions after cases drop
South Africa on Sunday lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol on weekdays and the movement of people between provinces as President Cyril Ramaphosa said a third wave of the coronavirus may have peaked. Africa's most industrialized country, which accounts for over a third of total COVID-19 infections and 40% of deaths related to the disease on the continent, had seen a severe third wave of infections over the past month spurred by the Delta variant but case numbers began to decline in recent days.
Merkel aide warns virus surge in Germany may mean curbs for unvaccinated
Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff said on Sunday he fears the number of new coronavirus cases in Germany could soar to 100,000 a day in about two months unless many more people get vaccinated and those who refuse may face restrictions. His suggestion quickly hit resistance from several senior politicians including Armin Laschet, a conservative candidate to succeed Merkel as chancellor in a Sept. 26 election.
Australia sees COVID-19 cases climb, police warn against protest repeat
Australia's most populous state reported a rise in new COVID-19 cases on Monday despite a weeks-long stay-at-home order, while police vowed to crack down on any repeat of a wild anti-lockdown protest at the weekend. New South Wales, which has had more than 5 million people in Sydney city under lockdown for a month, reported 145 new cases of the virus, from 141 a day earlier, as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.
French lawmakers approve bill to tackle fourth wave of coronavirus
The French parliament on Monday approved a bill that will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health workers as well as require a bolstered health pass in a wide array of social venues as France battles with the fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Visitors heading to museums, cinemas or swimming pools in France are already denied entry if they cannot produce a pass showing that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a recent negative test. The pass has been required for large-scale festivals or to go clubbing.
China reports 76 new COVID-19 cases, Nanjing starts second mass testing
China reported 76 new COVID-19 cases on July 25, up from 32 cases a day earlier, as Nanjing city starts the second round of mass testing. China has taken a zero-tolerance approach to COVID cases, quickly tracing and testing wide swathes of its population to prevent the spread of the virus.
Algeria reimposes restrictions on gatherings to stem coronavirus cases
Algeria will reimpose restrictions on gatherings from Monday to cope with a rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus that has led to an increase in the number of patients, the prime minister's office said. The measures, which will apply to 35 out of 58 provinces, including mainly closing gyms, cultural centers, leisure venues, beaches, and used car markets, as well as an 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, a statement from the office said on Sunday.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)