Europe Covid deaths rise by 10% over past week
The World Health Organization reports that coronavirus deaths rose by 10% in Europe over the past week, making it the only world region where both Covid-19 cases and deaths are steadily increasing.
It was the sixth consecutive week that the virus has risen across the continent as many nations experience their fourth or fifth waves.
WHO said there were about 3.1 million new cases globally, about a 1% increase from the previous week. Nearly two-thirds of the coronavirus infections – 1.9 million – were in Europe, where cases rose by 7%, according to a weekly report.
The number of weekly Covid-19 deaths fell by about 4% worldwide and declined in every region except Europe. The countries with the highest numbers of new cases worldwide were the United States, Russia, Britain, Turkey and Germany.
Out of the 61 countries WHO includes in its European region, which includes Russia and stretches to Central Asia, 42% reported a jump in cases of at least 10% in the last week.
A very happy Thursday to all and thanks for joining us we go through all the latest Covid developments.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be brining you the news from over here in Sydney, Australia.
Europe has emerged as the only region in the world where both Covid cases and deaths steadily increased over the past week, the World Health Organization reports.
Covid deaths rose by 10% and it now the sixth consecutive week that the virus has risen across the continent. Nearly two-thirds of global infections – 1.9 million – were in Europe, where cases rose by 7%, the UN health agency said in its weekly report.
A coalition of 10 Republican US states sued the federal government to try to block a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for healthcare workers on Wednesday.
The lawsuit contends that the vaccine requirement threatens the jobs of millions of healthcare workers and could “exacerbate an alarming shortage” in healthcare fields, particularly in rural areas where some health workers have been hesitant to get the shots.
New Biden administration rules will require federal contractors to ensure their workers are vaccinated and businesses with more than 100 employees require their workers to get vaccinated or wear masks and get tested weekly for the coronavirus. All of the mandates are scheduled to take effect on 4 January.
- Australia is set to surpass the 90% first-dose vaccination coverage rate. Health minister Greg Hunt said the “extraordinary” achievement is expected to be reached just after midday on Thursday.
- France is at the beginning of a fifth wave of the coronavirus epidemic, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday. “Several neighbouring countries are already in a fifth wave of the Covid epidemic, what we are experiencing in France clearly looks like the beginning of a fifth wave,” Veran said.
- New Zealand also hit a fresh Covid vaccination milestone, with 90% of Kiwis aged 12 and over having received at least one jab. Meanwhile, prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has plummeted in two new polls, as the country struggles to contain a Delta outbreak and transitions to a new era of endemic Covid.
- Modern Covid-19 vaccine patent dispute headed to court after US National Institutes of Health scientists say they played “a major role” in developing the vaccine and intends to defend its claim as co-owner of patents on the shot, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Reuters.
- Australia will share a further 7.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with Indonesia, bringing its total pledge to 10 million doses.
- The first case in the UK of a pet dog catching coronavirus, apparently from its owners, has reportedly been detected.
- A fifth lion at Singapore Zoo has also tested positive for Covid-19, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) said on Wednesday.
- Israel to hold world’s first drill to test readiness for the possible emergence of a lethal ‘Omega’ variant. The drill, scheduled for Thursday, will take the format of a war games exercise and will test the capabilities of government departments and national agencies to respond to the emergence of the variant.
- Brazil has had 12,273 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 280 deaths, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
- France is at the beginning of a fifth wave of the coronavirus epidemic, health minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday.
- Demand for Covid booster jabs jumped in France after Emmanuel Macron said a top-up dose would be necessary for people to retain their vaccine passes.
- The US has brokered a deal between Johnson & Johnson and the Covax vaccine-sharing program for the delivery of the company’s Covid vaccine to people living in conflict zones.
- The UK reported another 39,329 Covid cases and a further 214 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.
- Russia’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 250,000. The country reported a record 1,239 Covid-related fatalities in the previous 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 250,454.