Covid-19 has infected more than 232M people and has killed at least 4.7M. Here are virus-related developments for September 26:

A medic attends to patients at a ward in a hospital dedicated to Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib on September 20, 2021.
A medic attends to patients at a ward in a hospital dedicated to Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib on September 20, 2021. (AFP)

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Syria sees surge in cases

Hospitals in Syria's Damascus and the coastal province of Latakia have reached capacity due to rising coronavirus admissions, a health official said.

"We have started transferring Covid-19 patients from the province of Damascus to the (central) province of Homs, and from Latakia to the province of Tartus," Tawfiq Hasaba, a health official, was quoted as saying by Syrian regime TV.

The move came after "hospitals in these areas reached capacity because of a large spike in coronavirus cases," he added.

"It is the first time the number of cases reaches 400" in one day, Hasaba said, adding that the number of new infections was highest in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia.

Syria's 442 new coronavirus infections in regime-held areas the day before was a new daily record. The country has so far suffered 32,580 cases and 2,198 deaths in regime-controlled territory.

Cases of Covid-19 have also increased alarmingly over the past weeks in Syria's rebel-controlled northern region of Idlib, local authorities said.

Italy reports 44 deaths, 3,099 new cases

Italy has reported 44 coronavirus-related deaths, compared with 50 the day before, the health ministry said, and the daily tally of new infections fell to 3,099 from 3,525.

Singapore reports 1,939 cases, highest since April last year

Singapore's health ministry has reported1,939 new Covid-19 cases, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some Covid-19 measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. More than 80% of its population has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Turkey administers over 107.6M vaccine jabs to date

Turkey has administered over 107.64 million coronavirus vaccine jabs since the country launched an immunisation drive in January, according to official figures.

More than 53.39 million people have received their first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, while over 43.43 million are fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry said.

The data showed that 86 percent of the country's adult population has received at least one dose of a two-shot vaccine.

The ministry recorded 25,861 new coronavirus cases and 228 more fatalities over the past day.

Paraguay: finally a day with no deaths

For the first time since March 2020, Paraguay has recorded a day free of Covid deaths, the health ministry announces.

The pandemic has killed 16,188 people there with the deaths peaking in July 2021 until officials finally recorded a day without deaths.

US has enough vaccines for boosters, kids' shots

With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, US health authorities have said that they're confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future.

Ghana receives 1.5M doses of vaccine from Germany

Ghana has received 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Germany.

Deputy Health Minister Mahama Asei Seini said: “I am happy to inform Ghanaians that 1.5 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses were sent to Ghana by Germany,” according to the Information Ministry.

UK records 32,417 new cases, 58 deaths
UK has reported 32,417 cases and 58 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.

Tourism shredded by coronavirus in Zimbabwe

The once popular Lion & Cheetah Park, located some 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of Zimbabwe's capital Harare, is now mostly empty, hosting only a handful visitors in months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Even Chinhoyi Caves, once a tourist hub, has lost the mob of visitors to coronavirus and business is in the doldrums, according to tourism activists in the town which is 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Harare.

“Before the pandemic, we had about 120 000 people that were employed in the tourism sector. I can safely say there were 40 to 45 percent of jobs that were lost during this period,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesman Godfrey Koti said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has really decimated the tourism sector in a very big way,” he said.

Multiple scans reveal organ damage from long Covid-19

UK researchers have been examining MRI scans to identify how the virus does long term damage to our internal organs, not just the lungs as suspected, but the heart and other organs as well.

The study, called Coverscan, has been carried out by Perspectum a medical innovations company based in Oxford who examined 550 patients with no pre existing conditions before their Covid-19 infection.

Compared to a group of 100 healthy individuals, research found 70 percent of the patients had an impairment to at least one organ. 

A third had damage to at least two organs, and heart damage was found in seventeen percent of the group.

Russia reports 805 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 805 fatalities and 22,498 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The new figures bring Russia's total deaths to 203,900 – the highest toll in Europe.

Virus outbreak update in Sydney and Melbourne

The Australian state of New South Wales has recorded nine new deaths and 961 new cases of in the past 24 hours, the state's Premier confirmed.

Speaking to reporters in Sydney Gladys Berejiklian announced the "very pleasing" figure that more than 85 percent of people eligible to be vaccinated had come forward to receive their first dose.

She added there was "not long to go" before the state would begin approaching the 70 percent mark of double vaccinated people.

Stars lend voices to world-spanning concert for climate, vaccines

A "once-in-a-generation" music event has circled the world, with a slew of megastars taking the stage in New York and beyond for Global Citizen Live — 24 hours of shows across the planet to raise awareness on climate change, vaccine equality and famine.

Between star-studded sets of some of the biggest names in music — including Elton John, BTS, Coldplay, Lizzo, Jennifer Lopez and Billie Eilish — actors, politicians, company executives, royals, actors and activists made appeals or announced donations to tackle major global challenges.

NGO Global Citizen wants one bill ion trees planted, two billion vaccines delivered to the poorest countries and meals for 41 million people on the brink of starvation.

Austria's anti-virus measures fuel rise in homeschooling

More than 7,500 children have been withdrawn from school for this academic year, Austria's education ministry says.

Although that's a small percentage of the 700,000 school-aged children in Austria, it is three times more than in previous years, according to ministry statistics.

Since going back to school this month, children of all ages must now take a test three times a week — at least one must be a PCR test — and tests will continue to be needed for those not vaccinated.

China reports 29 new cases 

Mainland China reported 29 new Covid-19 cases, down from 38 a day earlier, the country's national health authority said.

The National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin that nine of the new cases were local transmissions, with five in the southeastern province of Fujian and four in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 14, the same as a day earlier.

Australia's Victoria state records second-highest daily rise

Australia's Victoria state has logged 779 new infections and two deaths, slightly easing from a record high the previous day, as the country's prime minister presses state leaders to be ready to reopen once vaccination targets are met.

The daily increase was still the state's second-highest, after an all-time peak of 847 new cases logged on Saturday, as officials battle to contain a Delta variant outbreak that has taken root since June.

Australia's two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales, have been struggling to contain the highly infectious strain while they ramp up vaccinations to 80 percent of the population, a threshold that will allow officials to ease strict lockdown measures.

Togo's bishops condemn closure of churches over Covid-19

Bishops in Togo condemned a recent decision by the government to close places of worship after a surge in Covid-19 cases. 

Last week, the small West African nation extended a health state of emergency for 12 months and ordered the closing of churches and mosques for one month in the highly religious country.

The archbishop of Lome, the capital, had obtained a one-week exemption for "important religious ceremonies".

Brazil registers 15,688 new cases of coronavirus, 537 deaths

Brazil registered 15,688 new cases of coronavirus and 537 new covid-19 deaths, the Health Ministry said.

The Covid-19 death toll in the country is 594,200 people. 

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus death toll rises to 275,299

Mexico's Health Ministry reported 9,697 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 596 additional deaths, bringing the total number of official infections since the pandemic began to 3,628,812 and the death toll to 275,299.

Health Ministry officials have previously said the real coronavirus numbers are likely significantly higher. 

Macron says France will double the Covid shots it sends to poor nations 

President Emmanuel Macron said France would give 120 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to poor nations, doubling an earlier pledge, French news agency AFP reported.

"The injustice is that on other continents, clearly, vaccination is way behind. In Africa, barely 3percent of the population has been vaccinated - we need to go faster," AFP cited Macron saying in a video broadcast to a concert organised by the advocacy group Global Citizen. 

Thailand calls on world to share Covid vaccines

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on countries to share Covid-19 vaccines and medicines with others, saying the pandemic proves that "nobody is safe until everybody is safe."

He made the statement while addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He appeared at the New York event remotely through video link from Thailand.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies