Covid-19 has infected more than 238M people and killed over 4.8M globally. Here are the virus-related developments for October 11:

A man and a woman wearing face masks sit in a bus in the town of Chekhov some 75 km outside Moscow on October 11, 2021.
A man and a woman wearing face masks sit in a bus in the town of Chekhov some 75 km outside Moscow on October 11, 2021. (AFP)

Monday, October 11, 2021

Russia's daily cases and deaths hover near all-time high

Russia’s daily infections and deaths have hovered near all-time highs amid sluggish vaccination rates and the Kremlin's reluctance to toughen restrictions.

Russia's state coronavirus task force reported 29,409 new confirmed cases — the highest number since the year’s start and just slightly lower than the pandemic record reached in December.

After registering the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic at 968 over the weekend, it reported 957 new deaths.

Merck seeks FDA authorisation for anti-Covid pill

US pharmaceutical giant Merck has said that it applied for emergency use authorisation of its oral anti-Covid drug in the United States, a major step towards finding a simple pill to treat the disease.

Merck has submitted the application for molnupiravir, which it said earlier this month was shown to reduce hospitalisations by 50 percent.

AstraZeneca logs upbeat trial results from new drug

British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has revealed more positive results from a trial of a treatment for virus symptoms.

The drug, made from a combination of two antibodies, achieved a "statistically significant reduction in severe Covid-19 or death" in non-hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

The group's treatment, known as AZD7442, has been undergoing phase 3 or final clinical trials to assess its safety and efficacy.

New Zealand announces 'no jab, no job' policy

New Zealand has announced a sweeping "no jab, no job" policy for most healthcare workers and teachers.

"We can't leave anything to chance so that's why we are making it mandatory," said Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, who is also the education minister.

Doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers must be double-jabbed by December 1 while everyone working in the education sector who has contact with students must have their two doses by January 1.

Sydney reopens as Australia looks to live with Covid-19

Sydney's cafes, gyms and restaurants have welcomed back fully vaccinated customers after nearly four months of lockdown as Australia aims to begin living with the coronavirus through higher vaccinations and to gradually reopen the country.

Some pubs in Sydney, Australia's largest city, opened their doors at 12:01 am (1301 GMT) on Monday as friends and families huddled for a midnight beer, TV footage and social media images showed.

"I think everybody across the state is pretty excited for what has been a long 100 days," New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet told Seven News on Monday.

More than 5 million residents in Sydney had been stuck in a hard lockdown since June to contain the highly infectious Delta variant, which has since spread to Melbourne and the capital, Canberra, forcing lockdowns there.

Mexico reports 2,690 new cases, 128 more deaths

Mexico's Health Ministry on Sunday reported 2,690 new cases in the country and 128 more deaths, bringing the overall number of infections since the pandemic began to 3,723,235 and the death toll to 282,086.

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

Brazil registers 8,639 new cases and 182 new deaths

Brazil has had only 8,639 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and just 182 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

With more than 70 percent of Brazilians now vaccinated with a first dose, the rolling seven-day average of deaths has fallen to under 500 from almost 3,000 a day at the peak of the pandemic in April. Sunday's death toll was the lowest for a Sunday since November 15, 2020.

The South American country has now registered 21,575,820 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 601,011, according to ministry data, in the world's third-worst outbreak and the second deadliest.

Three detained in Egypt after vaccines found dumped

Egypt's public prosecution said on Sunday it had ordered the arrest of three people after thousands of unused vaccines were found dumped along a water channel.

It said the vaccines had been allocated to the health directorate in the city of Minya, about 220 km (137 miles) south of Cairo, where 18,400 vaccine packages with a value of more than $319,000 (5 million Egyptian pounds) were found to be missing.

An inventory found nearly 5,000 more packages had been lost from the depot because of storage at improper temperatures, a prosecution statement added.

It did not give the number of doses or type of vaccine, but an earlier official statement said they were made by China's Sinopharm.

Images posted on social media showed piles of white boxes scattered along the water channel's banks in Bani Mazar province, north of Minya.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies