Covid-19 wrap: Black market certificates rampant in Australia, record-high incidence rate in Germany

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the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

FOLLOW LIVE | Covid-19 in SA: 205 new cases as death toll hits 89 332

Coronavirus toll at 11:00 (GMT) Monday

Paris
– The novel coronavirus has killed at least 5 047 055 people since the outbreak
emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources
compiled by AFP at 11:00 (GMT) on Monday.

At
least 249 764 160 cases of coronavirus have been registered. The vast majority
have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even
months later.

The
figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each
country.

They
exclude revisions made by other statistical organisations, which show that the
number of deaths is much higher.

The
World Health Organisation estimates that the pandemic’s overall toll could be
two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality
that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.

A
large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases also remain undetected,
despite intensified testing in many countries.

On
Sunday, 4 870 new deaths and 336 137 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based
on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were Russia with 1 190
new deaths, followed by Ukraine with 473 and Romania with 273.

The
United States is the worst-affected country with 754 431 deaths from 46 487 857
cases.

– AFP


Aussies skirt vaccine rules with black market
certificates

Melbourne
– A ban on unvaccinated Australians entering bars and restaurants nudged
thousands to get jabbed – but it has also seen the rise of a thriving black
market in fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates online.

Twenty-four-year-old
Molly – who asked to conceal her real name – is hitting the town.

When
Melbourne last month clambered out of 260-plus days of sporadic lockdowns, the
allure of the city’s vibrant social scene was too much to resist, even though
she is unvaccinated.

“I’m
not anti” vaccine, she told AFP, “but I don’t agree with it being so
mandatory.”

In
the last few weeks, she has used a fake vaccine passport acquired through
social media to dine at multiple restaurants across the city.

“There
was a link going around a few months ago: you put in your details, and it gives
you a vaccine passport,” she explained.

The
link has since been removed, but Australian authorities are playing
whack-a-mole with a host of similar sites and apps that are keen to cash in.

– AFP


Germany’s seven-day Covid incidence rate rises to
record high

Berlin
– Germany’s incidence rate measuring the number of new coronavirus infections
per 100 000 people over the last seven days soared to 201.1 on Monday, a record
since the pandemic erupted more than a year ago.

The
figure, published by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), surpasses the last
high, which had been 197.6, reached on 22 December 2020.

While
many more people in the country have had the jab than at that point last year,
vaccination rates have stagnated at under 70%, with officials pleading in the
last days for the population to get the jab.

“For
the unvaccinated, the risk is high that they will become infected in the coming
months,” warned RKI chief Lothar Wieler on Wednesday.

In
the eastern state of Saxony, where the incidence rate is more than twice the
national average at 491.3, unvaccinated people face new restrictions from
Monday.

– AFP


Russia shutdown ends despite coronavirus wave

Moscow
– Most of Russia on Monday ended a week-long paid holiday aimed at curbing the
spread of the coronavirus, despite the country seeing thousands of new cases
and more than 1 000 deaths per day.

President
Vladimir Putin ordered the paid holiday period from 30 October to 7 November,
in a bid to stem soaring infections and deaths exacerbated by a slow
vaccination drive.

Individual
regions had the authority to extend the period, but as of Monday only five had
done so, including the western region of Bryansk and the Siberian region of
Tomsk.

A
number of regions did however introduce or extend a requirement for proof of
vaccination to visit restaurants, cafes and shopping centres.

Moscow,
the epicentre of the pandemic in Russia, still does not require proof of
vaccination for most public activities.

– AFP


Virus curbs to ease in Auckland as New Zealand hits
vaccination targets

WELLINGTON
– New Zealand will ease coronavirus restrictions in its biggest city from
Wednesday, as vaccinations rates rise and lockdown measures will likely be phased
out by the end of the month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The
city of Auckland has been in lockdown for nearly three months as the infectious
Delta variant of the coronavirus spread, infecting more than 4 500 people since
August in New Zealand’s worst phase of the pandemic.

But
a pick-up in vaccination rates and mounting pressure from critics calling for
more freedoms, have prompted Ardern to end the curbs.

“Auckland
has worked so hard to get their vaccination rates high, they deserve to be able
to move as soon as they hit those targets regardless of what’s happening in the
rest of the country,” Ardern told a news conference on Monday.

Auckland’s
vaccination rate rose to 90% for first doses over the weekend, Ardern said, and
there is a strong expectation it will reach a target of 90% for second doses by
29 November.


REUTERS


Japan has zero daily Covid-19 deaths for first time
in 15 months – media

TOKYO – Japan recorded no daily deaths from Covid-19
for the first time in more than a year on Sunday, according to local media.

Prior to Sunday, there hadn’t been a day without a Covid-19
death since 2 August 2020, according to a tally by national broadcaster NHK.
The latest figures from the health ministry showed three deaths on Saturday.

Covid-19 cases and deaths have fallen dramatically
throughout Japan as vaccinations have increased to cover more than 70% of the
population.

New daily infections peaked at more than 25 000
during an August wave driven by the infectious Delta variant. The country has
had more than 18 000 deaths from the disease during the course of the pandemic.

– REUTERS


Russia reports 39 400 new Covid-19 cases as
workplace shutdown ends

MOSCOW
– Russia reported 39 400 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, including 4 982 in
Moscow, as many regions across the country emerged from a week-long workplace
shutdown designed to curb the spread of the virus.

The
government coronavirus task force also said 1 190 people had died of
coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours.

– REUTERS


Mexico’s confirmed Covid-19 death toll rises to 289
734

MEXICO
CITY – Mexico reported 60 new confirmed coronavirus fatalities on Sunday,
bringing the country’s overall death toll from the pandemic to 289 734,
according to health ministry data.

Officials
have said the ministry’s figures likely represent a significant undercount of Covid-19
deaths.

– REUTERS


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