Covid-19 has infected more than 232M people and killed over 4.7M. Here are virus-related developments for September 25:
Saturday, September 25, 2021
India to export 8 million jabs in October
India will export eight million coronavirus vaccine jabs by the end of October after ending its ban on sending doses abroad, a top foreign ministry official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to resume exports at a meeting of leaders from the so-called Quad in Washington as India, Japan, Australia, and the US try to counter growing Chinese influence across the Asia-Pacific region.
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters that most of the eight million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine will be sent to Asia-Pacific countries.
Turkey records 193 more fatalities
Turkey's Health Ministry records 26,145 new coronavirus cases and 193 more fatalities over the past day.
Turkey has administered over 107.64 million vaccine jabs since the country launched an immunisation drive in January, according to official figures.
Cuba kicks off vaccine exports
Cuba said it has exported its three-shot Abdala coronavirus vaccine for the first time, sending an initial shipment to Vietnam as part of a contract to supply five million doses to the Southeast Asian country.
Scientists in the Communist-run island have developed three home-grown vaccines, all of which are waiting to receive official recognition from the World Health Organization.
State-run pharmaceutical corporation BioCubaFarma made the export announcement on Twitter after saying earlier this week it had produced enough doses to meet a target to immunise more than 90 percent of the local population by mid-November.
Italy reports 50 more deaths
Italy has reported 50 coronavirus-related deaths, compared to 52 the day before, the health ministry said, and the daily tally of new infections fell to 3,525 from 3,797.
Italy has registered 130,653 deaths linked to Covid-19 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 4.66 million cases to date.
UK records 122 deaths
Britain has reported 31,348 new Covid-19 cases and 122 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.
The figures compared to 35,623 new cases and 180 deaths reported on Friday.
Russia reports 822 deaths in a day
Russia has recorded its another high daily death toll following a spurt in cases linked to the Delta variant and a lacklustre vaccination drive.
A government tally reported 822 fatalities and 22,041 new cases over the past 24 hours.
The new figures bring Russia's total deaths to 203,095 – the highest toll in Europe.
El Salvador to begin giving third dose of vaccine
El Salvador will begin administering a third dose of vaccine to various groups including the elderly, health workers and people with underlying health conditions, President Nayib Bukele said.
The Central American nation of roughly 6.4 million people has obtained some 12 million vaccines since February.
Third shots would be given to people including those aged over 60, frontline health staff, teachers, the armed forces, police and firefighters, as well as Salvadorans with pre-existing health problems, Bukele said on Twitter.
Australia tells UN it wants pandemic probe to prevent others
Australia has called for an independent review on the pandemic origins to “prevent the next one” from happening.
“Australia … sees understanding the cause of this pandemic, not as a political issue, but as being essential,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the UN General Assembly.
Canberra’s support for a probe into the origins of the virus exacerbated its bilateral relations with China.
South Africa vaccine train takes doses to remote areas
A vaccine train in South Africa has been providing a way of reaching out into the community and persuading people to protect themselves and those around them from the virus.
Vaccine hesitancy, together with access to facilities in remote areas, are some of the major stumbling blocks to the vaccine rollout program in the country.
Many people do not trust that vaccines are safe and through information spread through social media, are not willing to take the shot.
Cuba starts to reopen economy as vaccine campaign races ahead
Cuba is allowing a staggered opening of restaurants, shopping centres and beaches in provinces that have lowered coronavirus cases even as it battles some of the highest nationwide rates of infection per capita worldwide.
The easing of lockdown restrictions coincides with preparations by the cash-strapped Caribbean island nation for its tourist high season, which it hopes will bring much-needed dollars to palliate a dire economic crisis.
Brazil reports 19,438 new cases
Brazil recorded 19,438 new confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, along with 699 deaths from the virus, the Health Ministry said.
Brazil has registered more than 21 million cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 593,663, according to ministry data.
Mexico registers 10,139 new cases
Mexico's Health Ministry reported 10,139 new confirmed cases of the virus in the country and 564 additional deaths, bringing the total number of official infections since the pandemic began to 3,619,115 and the death toll to 274,703.
Health Ministry officials have previously said the real virus numbers are likely significantly higher.
China reports 38 new cases
Mainland China reported 38 new virus cases on September 24, down from 54 a day earlier, the country's national health authority said.
The National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin that 10 of the new cases were local transmissions, with eight in Harbin in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
The city shut down schools and entertainment venues last week after reporting its first cases since February.
South Korea reports record high daily cases of 3,273 – KDCA
South Korea reported 3,273 virus cases, setting a fresh record just a day after hitting the previous high as the country grapples with its worst wave of infections, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Australia's Victoria state logs record infections ahead of key sporting event
Australia's Victoria state notched up a new daily record of 847 locally acquired cases of the virus and one further death, government figures showed as health officials warned the public to stay home ahead of a major sporting event.
Officials expect case numbers to keep rising until mid November as the state races to raise vaccination rates above the 70 percent double dose threshold, up from around 46 percent currently.
With the Australian rules football grand final, a major national sporting event, due to take place on Saturday evening, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned fans to stay home to avoid putting "you, your friends and your households at risk."
White House says millions of govt contractors must be vaccinated by December 8
The White House said that millions of federal contractors must be vaccinated against the virus by December 8 and that the administration will add clauses to future government contracts mandating inoculations.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on September 9 requiring federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, but many US companies with federal contracts have awaited formal guidance from the White House before moving forward.