Covid-19 has infected more than 250M people and killed over 5M worldwide. Here are coronavirus-related developments for November 8:

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, US borders were closed after March 2020 to travelers from large parts of the world, including the European Union, Britain and China, India and Brazil.
In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, US borders were closed after March 2020 to travelers from large parts of the world, including the European Union, Britain and China, India and Brazil. (Reuters Archive)

US finally reopening borders after 20 months

The United States has reopened its land and air borders to foreign visitors fully vaccinated against Covid-19, ending 20 months of restrictions on travel from around the globe that separated families, hobbled tourism and strained diplomatic ties.

The ban, imposed by former president Donald Trump in early 2020 and upheld by his successor Joe Biden, has been widely criticised and become emblematic of the upheavals caused by the pandemic.

The months of restrictions affecting hundreds of millions of people helped fuel both personal and economic suffering brought on by the pandemic.

Russia shutdown ends despite infection wave

Most of Russia has ended a week-long paid holiday aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, despite the country seeing thousands of new cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the paid holiday period from October 30 to November 7 in a bid to stem soaring infections and deaths exacerbated by a slow vaccination drive.

Russia reported 39,400 new cases and 1,190 additional deaths on Monday.

German infection rate at new high as vaccinations slow

Germany's infection rate has climbed to its highest recorded level yet as what officials have called a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” gathers pace.

The national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said the country has seen 201.1 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. That was above the previous record of 197.6 from December 22 last year. 

While it's still a lower rate than in several other European countries, it has set alarm bells ringing.

Singapore, Malaysia to allow quarantine-free travel between both countries

Singapore and Malaysia has allow quarantine-free travel between both countries for individuals vaccinated against Covid-19, they said in a joint statement.

The two neighbors will launch a so-called vaccinated travel lane between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from November 29, it said.

Indonesia to start boosters after half of public vaccinated

Indonesia has plans to give booster shots to the general public after 50 percent of its population has been fully vaccinated, its Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said, which he expects to happen at the end of next month.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country and once Asia's epicenter, has inoculated 29 percent of its population of 270 million people, using a variety of vaccine brands.

Australia pledges three million vaccines to Cambodia

Australia has pledged more than three million vaccine doses to Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, which would help the Southeast nation give booster shots to its people.

The assurance came during a visit by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne aimed at expanding bilateral ties.

Cambodia has vaccinated 87 percent of its more than 16 million people, one of Asia's highest inoculation rates.

German coalition parties to table draft law on Covid-19

The three German parties working to agree on a coalition government by early December will present proposals to combat a raging fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country on Monday, according to daily newspaper Die Welt.

The proposed law, which includes the reintroduction of free tests, comes from the SPD, Greens and Free Democrats who share a parliamentary majority together. The draft law will be discussed by the German Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, later this week.

It aims to come into force before a national state of epidemic emergency expires on November 25.

The Greens and FDP in particular have pushed for free testing which was abolished to incentivise people getting vaccines, but those refusing to be injected up to now are not seen budging.

Doctors have supported calls for the reducing or waiving of test fees.

Mexico's death toll rises to 289,734

Mexico has reported 60 new fatalities, bringing the country's overall death toll from the pandemic to 289,734.

Officials have said the health ministry's figures likely represent a significant undercount of deaths.

Australia begins vaccine booster rollout

Australia will begin administering booster shots of Pfizer's vaccine as millions in Sydney.

Australia's vaccination rate has picked up pace since July, after widely missing its initial targets when its southeast was hit by a third wave of infections triggered by the highly infectious Delta variant, forcing months-long lockdowns.

Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities and the worst hit by the Delta wave, have been accelerating inoculation campaigns before they could gradually relax restrictions.

Life will return close to normal in New South Wales, home to Sydney, as the state nears its 90% dual-dose vaccinations in people above 16.

Japan has no daily Covid-19 deaths for first time in 15 months

Japan recorded no daily deaths from Covid-19 for the first time in more than a year on Sunday, according to local media.

Prior to Sunday, there hadn't been a day without a death since August 2, 2020, according to a tally by Japanese national broadcaster NHK. The latest figures from the health ministry showed three deaths on Saturday.

Cases and deaths have fallen dramatically throughout Japan as vaccinations have increased to cover more than 70 percent of the population.

New daily infections peaked at more than 25,000 during an August wave driven by the infectious Delta variant. 

The country has had more than 18,000 deaths from the disease during the course of the pandemic.

To gird against a possible rebound this winter, the government plans to start booster vaccine shots next month and is working to secure pill-based treatments for milder cases to reduce hospitalisations.

China reports 89 new cases

China has reported 89 new coronavirus cases, 65 of them locally transmitted cases.

More than half of the new local cases were found in the provinces of Liaoning and Henan.

China reported 46 new asymptomatic patients, which it classifies separately from confirmed cases, compared to 35 only a day earlier.

With no new deaths, the death toll stands unchanged at 4,636.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies