Covid-19 has infected more than 244 people and killed over 4.9M globally. Here are the virus-related developments for October 24.

British pop star Ed Sheeran has unveiled he tested positive for the virus on social media days before his new studio album is due out.
British pop star Ed Sheeran has unveiled he tested positive for the virus on social media days before his new studio album is due out. (AFP)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Ed Sheeran tests positive for Covid-19, will do performances from home

British pop star Ed Sheeran has tested positive for Covid-19 and will do interviews and performances from his house while he self-isolates.

Sheeran, 30, broke the news on social media, days before his new studio album is due out.

“Quick note to tell you that I've sadly tested positive for Covid, so I'm now self-isolating and following government guidelines,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram. 

“It means that I'm now unable to plough ahead with any in person commitments for now, so I'll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances I can from my house. Apologies to anyone I've let down," he added.

Israel, UAE sign deal to recognise vaccination certificates for travel

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed an agreement under which they recognise each other’s vaccination certificates for travel.

The “Green Corridor” agreement was signed by Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and his UAE counterpart Abdul Rahman Al Oweis.

"The agreement allows free movement between Israel and the Emirates, and mutual recognition of vaccine certificates and green passes, without isolation and bureaucracy," Horowitz said on Twitter.

Egypt's hotels back to full capacity, tourism official says

Egypt has allowed hotels to run at full capacity while observing strict coronavirus precautionary measures, an official at the Ministry of Tourism said.

Assistant Minister Abdel Fattah al Asi said the decision had already come into effect.

Egyptian hotels had been running at 70 percent of capacity since July due to regulations. Tourism accounts for up to 15 percent of Egypt's national output, and is a key source of foreign currency. 

Turkey administers over 115.25M vaccine shots

Turkey has administered over 115.25 million doses of vaccines since it launched an immunisation drive in January, according to official figures released.

The ministry recorded 24,792 new cases, 195 fatalities, and 24,403 recoveries over the past day.

UK reports almost 40,000 new cases

Britain has reported 39,962 new cases and 72 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

While figures published by the government during weekends tend to show a reduction in both cases and deaths compared with weekdays, it was the deadliest Sunday since early March. 

Italy reports over 3,700 new cases

Italy has reported 24 deaths, against 39 the day before, the Health Ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 3,725 from 3,908.

Italy has registered 131,826 deaths since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.74 million cases to date.

South Africa tries to end vaccine inequity by replicating its own

South African scientists have been assembling and calibrating the equipment needed to reverse engineer a vaccine that has yet to reach the country and most of the world's poorest people.

By working to replicate Moderna's shot, the scientists are effectively making an end run around an industry that has vastly prioritised rich countries over poor in both sales and manufacturing.

Russia adds 1,000 more fatalities

Russia has reported additional 1,072 Covid-related deaths in the past 24 hours with 35,660 new infections.

The country has seen over 1,000 daily fatalities for the sixth consecutive day, according to official data.

Melbourne to ease more curbs 

Melbourne, the world's most locked-down city that emerged from its latest spate of Covid-19 restrictions on Friday, will see more curbs eased next week, officials said.

Home to about five million people, Melbourne endured 262 days, or nearly nine months, of stay-at-home restrictions during six lockdowns since March 2020, longer than the 234-day continuous lockdown in Buenos Aires. 

Starting on Friday, when 80 percent of people across Victoria - of which Melbourne is the capital - are expected to be fully vaccinated, Melburnians will be free to travel throughout the state and masks will no longer be required outdoors. 

Bulgaria mulls sending virus patients abroad 

Bulgaria has said it would send coronavirus patients abroad as a vicious fourth wave overwhelms its health system and forces neighbouring Romania to ramp up restrictions. 

Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov told the Nova TV channel that if the current rate of infections was not stemmed in 10 to 15 days there would be "enormous problems". 

"Our capacity in terms of staff and ventilators has been practically exhausted, we will have to seek help from abroad," he said. 

India adds nearly 16,000 new cases 

India has reported 15,906 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to government data. 

The nationwide tally of infections has reached 34.17 million since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry. 

The country reported 561 deaths overnight, taking the overall tally to 454,269 fatalities. 

Germany reports 13,732 more cases 

Germany has reported 13,732 new Covid-19 infections and 23 more fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to official data.

Mexico posts 306 more deaths

Mexico's health ministry reported 306 more Covid-19 fatalities due to the virus in the country, bringing the death toll since the pandemic began to 286,259.

It has previously said the numbers are likely significantly higher than those reported.

Brazil registers 11,716 cases

Brazil registered 318 new deaths due to the virus and 11,716 confirmed cases of the virus, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

Brazil has now reported 605,457 deaths, the second highest in the world after the United States.

China reports 43 cases 

China reported 43 new cases, down from 50 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said.

The National Health Commission said in a statement 26 of the new cases were local, down from 38 the day before.

The new local cases were reported in Beijing, the autonomous regions of Inner Mongolia and Ningxia, and Gansu, Hebei, Shaanxi and Hunan provinces.

US administers nearly 413M doses of vaccines

The United States has administered 412,856,169 doses of vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 503,521,625 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Source: TRT World