Covid-19 has killed more than 4.2M people and infected around 201M globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for August 5:

French president announced last month that people would have to furnish proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test or recent recovery from Covid to gain entry to most museums, cinemas and sports venues
French president announced last month that people would have to furnish proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test or recent recovery from Covid to gain entry to most museums, cinemas and sports venues (Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

Thursday, August 5:

French constitutional court backs Macron's Covid pass

France's top constitutional authority approved a Covid pass that limits access to cafes, restaurants and inter-city trains and planes to people who have been vaccinated or tested negative for the virus.

The controversial pass, which will become ubiquitous from Monday, drew several hundred protesters outside the Council of State in Paris.

"All this undermines fundamental freedoms... Freedom is, first of all, the choice to be vaccinated or not," said Marie Jose Libeiro, 48.

Covid-19 deaths in Africa reach record peak

Coronavirus-related deaths in Africa reached a record peak in the week ending August 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

More than 6,400 deaths were recorded, a 2 percent rise on the previous week, with South Africa and Tunisia accounting for more than 55 percent of the fatalities, the WHO said in a statement, adding deaths were on the rise in 15 countries.

WHO Africa official Phionah Atuhebwe said Covid-19 cases across the continent were rising again after a slight dip, and the third wave of the pandemic was "still raging at full force".

Turkey gives nearly 75M vaccine shots so far 

Turkey has administered more than 74.92 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January, according to figures released.

The country continues its intensive vaccination campaign to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as everyone 18 and over is eligible for vaccine shots. 

According to the Health Ministry, over 41.45 million people have gotten their first dose, while more than 28.15 million are fully vaccinated. 

The ministry also confirmed 24,297 new infections and 108 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while as many as 6,636 more patients recovered. 

US cases hit six-month high, Florida struggle with surge

The US hit a six-month high for new Covid-19 cases with over 100,000 infections reported, according to a Reuters tally, as the Delta variant ravages areas where people did not get vaccinated.

The country is reporting over 94,819 cases on a seven-day average, a five-fold increase in less than a month.

Seven US states with the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates - Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi - account for half of the country's new cases and hospitalisations in the last week, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters.

UK PM Johnson says more travel will be possible as countries get vaccinated

British Prime Minister BorisJohnson said that more countries would be opened up for travel as more Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out globally, after scrapping quarantine for fully-vaccinated travellers from France

"You've got to balance our very strong desire to get people travelling with the need to protect us against new variants...The great thing about the double jabs is that it does allow us now to travel to and from European countries and from the UnitedStates," Johnson told broadcasters.

Indonesia's virus death toll tops 100,000

Indonesia has recorded a grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths from the virus, data from the country’s health ministry showed, with the Southeast Asian nation recently accounting for one in five fatalities globally.

Indonesia has been battling a tide of infections and deaths driven by the highly contagious Delta variant for the past month, as the country has quickly become Asia's virus epicentre.

The data showed Indonesia's total number of infections had reached 3.53 million, while deaths rose by 1,747 to 100,636, although public health experts believe the true toll is likely far higher.

Sydney suffers its worst day of the pandemic

Australia’s most populous state is reporting the worst day of its outbreak of the delta variant, with a record 262 new local infections and five deaths.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that four of the dead had not been vaccinated and that one had received a single dose of AstraZeneca in late May.

Australian authorities have urged people in Sydney not to wait the optimal 12 weeks before getting their second AstraZeneca dose.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech are the only vaccines available in Australia.

Indonesia's virus death toll surpasses 100,000

Indonesia's virus death toll has surpassed 100,000 fatalities, CNBC Indonesia reported, citing health ministry data.

Indonesia reported 35,867 new cases and 1,747 new deaths, the report showed, bringing the total number of cases and deaths to 3.532 million and 100,636 deaths, respectively. 

Japan to expand emergency curbs

Japan will expand emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures to fight a surge in cases, a cabinet minister said, as worries grow about strains on the nation's medical system in Olympics host Tokyo and elsewhere.

Officials have warned that infections were surging at an unprecedented pace as new cases hit record highs in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts over the government's handling of the pandemic.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is leading Japan's pandemic response, made the proposal at a meeting of experts, who were expected to sign off.

Six prefectures including Olympic host city Tokyo are already under full states of emergency to last through August 31 while another five are under less strict "quasi-emergency" directives.

India reports 42,982 new cases

India reported 42,982 new cases  in the last 24 hours, the federal government said in a statement.

Florida governor holds to anti-lockdown stance

As Florida continues to lead the nation in hospitalisations for the virus, Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding to his anti-mask, anti-lockdown stance.

He repeated it strongly in a fundraising email that also takes a shot at President Joe Biden, who has singled out the governors of Florida and Texas for criticism of their opposition to lockdowns and other strict pandemic measures.

DeSantis says that in Florida, “we will continue to lift people up, not lock people down. Florida is a free state, and we will empower our people."

The governor adds that "we will not allow Joe Biden and his bureaucratic flunkies to come in and commandeer the rights and freedoms of Floridians.”

Thailand reports record 20,920 cases in a day

Thailand  has reported a record 20,920 virus cases, bringing total cases in the Southeast Asian nation to 693,305 since the pandemic began last year.

It also reported 160 additional fatalities, bringing total deaths to 5,663, the health ministry's website showed.

Texas' new case rise faster than earlier surges

Texas state health officials say new cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the state are showing steeper jumps than past surges in the pandemic.

In a video conference, a spokesman for the Department of State Health Services said the rolling seven-day average of new virus infections cases has increased 92% from last week, while hospitalizations rose 49% and deaths grew by 15%.

The increases are blamed on the highly contagious delta variant.

China reports 85 new cases

China has reported 85 new confirmed cases in the mainland for Aug. 4, down from 96 a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission.

Of the new infections, 62 were locally transmitted, the health authority said. That compares with 71 local cases a day earlier.

China reported 54 new asymptomatic cases, which it does not classify as confirmed infections, compared with 27 a day earlier.

Germany's virus cases rise by 3,539

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 3,539 to 3,780,985, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 26 to 91,730, the tally showed.

US making plans to reopen to fully vaccinated foreigners

The United States, which closed its borders to much of the world as the pandemic took hold, has said it plans eventually to begin allowing fully vaccinated foreigners back in.

Recognising the importance of international travel, a White House official said in a statement that the US administration wants to reopen to visitors from abroad in a "safe and sustainable manner," though without specifying a timeframe.

Reopening is to include the development of "a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States – from all countries – need to be fully vaccinated," the official said.

Mexico sees 611 new deaths

Mexico's Health Ministry has reported 20,685 new confirmed cases in the country, the highest daily jump since late January, and 611 fatalities. 

The country has recorded a total of 2,901,094 infections and 242,547 deaths.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published recently suggested the actual death toll is at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

Brazil records nearly 1,200 new fatalities

Brazil has had 40,716 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, and 1,175 deaths, the Health Ministry has said.

The South American country has now registered 20,026,533 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 559,607, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest.

Physician group pushes for preoperative tests even among vaccinated

All patients undergoing non-emergency surgeries or medical procedures should get a PCR test before getting operated, irrespective of their vaccination status, according to guidance from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

The guidance comes as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus sparks fresh infection outbreaks in the United States, especially in communities with low vaccination rates.

ASA, a network of over 54,000 anesthesiologists and researchers, said the updated guidance is critical as even fully vaccinated people, with or without Covid-19 symptoms, may potentially transmit the virus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month released data from a study of an outbreak in Massachusetts in which it said three quarters of those infected had been fully vaccinated.

"Considering the ongoing and evolving pandemic, all patients undergoing an anesthetic procedure, or surgery with the potential to generate aerosols, should continue to have preoperative testing for SARS-CoV-2, ideally within three days prior to the procedure," ASA President Beverly Philip said in a statement.

The guidance, given jointly with the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, said if a patient tests positive for Covid-19, discretionary surgeries should be delayed until the patient recovers and is no longer infectious. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies