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29 September, 2021 COVID-19 Information and Updates

COVID-19 Update: September 29, 2021

COVID-19 Update: September 29, 2021

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now exceeds 232 million and the number of deaths is more than 4.7 million. The vaccination campaign continues and more than 6.19 billion doses have been globally administered at a ratio of about 29.2 million jabs per day.


During the United Nations (UN) Virtual Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by the US on September 22, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres repeated his call for a global COVID-19 vaccination plan, in line with recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO). He recalled that we can end the pandemic because we have effective vaccines against COVID-19 and outlined inequities in vaccine distribution.
In addition, during the Summit several countries have promised to provide doses of vaccines to other nations: Italy plans to give 45 million doses before the end of the year; Japan plans to donate 60 million doses; Spain will donate 7.5 million doses to Latin America and the Caribbean and a further 7.5 million to sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Europe; US promised to donate extra 500 million vaccines.


A stay-at-home curfew is in place for metropolitan Melbourne but does not apply to regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire). Between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am, residents of metropolitan Melbourne cannot leave their homes other than for allowed reasons. In addition, residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire must stay within 10 km of their home for shopping and exercise. In the NSW, stay at home rules apply to everyone living or staying in Greater Sydney and other regional and rural areas. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will continue in lockdown until October 15, 2021.
As of September 28, 53.4% of the Australian population is fully vaccinated while 76.7% has received one vaccine dose. At the current pace, more than 70% of the population will be fully vaccinated by the end of October.


According to Reuters, China's northeastern city of Harbin went into semi-shutdown after reporting new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases. Residents should avoid leaving town unless for essential reasons, and those who do leave must produce proof of negative test results within 48 hours from departure. It is unclear if the three new Harbin cases were linked to the current outbreak in the eastern province of Fujian.

European Union

The European Council revised the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted from September 23. In particular, Chile, Kuwait and Rwanda were added to the list, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova were removed from the list in Annex I. To recall, non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will decide whether to endorse a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in early October. EMA is evaluating data submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech for a booster dose to be given six months after the second dose in people 16 years of age and older. In addition, the Agency is also evaluating whether a booster dose of Moderna's vaccine could be given at least six months after the second shot of the two-dose course in people over 12 years of age. Although European authorities have not approved any booster shots for coronavirus vaccines, many EU countries have decided to administer them.


German health authorities ruled that starting November 1, unvaccinated people will not be compensated for missing wages if they are compelled to quarantine due to coronavirus measures. This will affect people who test positive and those returning from trips to countries designated "high risk" for COVID-19.
Germany expects to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children under 12 next year.


Infections in India are steadily decreasing in most of the country and it may be approaching the endemic stage, i.e. the virus is restricted to a specific population within a geographic area, which still causes outbreaks but with a manageable impact. India’s active caseload is the lowest in 187 days and the active cases account for less than 1% of total cases presently. Currently, 16.8% of India’s population is fully vaccinated.


To boost vaccinations, Italy has made it compulsory for all workers to have a COVID “green pass” –proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from the virus– starting on October 15. The BBC reports that these measures are a first for Europe and some of the strictest in the world. Anyone who does not have a pass will reportedly face suspension from work and may have their salary terminated after five days.


As Japan's COVID-19 infection situation is improving, the state of emergency, currently covering Tokyo and 18 other prefectures, might be lifted on Thursday, September 30, when it expires. Reportedly, the government has no plans to extend the state of emergency.

South Africa

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases announced that South Africa has officially exited its third wave of COVID infections. Indicators have shown sustained decreases in all provinces. The government is expected to update the lockdown regulations in the coming weeks (in level 2 lockdown since September 13).


In Spain, the under-12s, the only group that is not covered by the ongoing vaccination campaign, has now become the segment of the population where the coronavirus is spreading the most. The cumulative incidence rate among the youngest population was 123.3 cases per 100,000 individuals over the previous 14 days, while the average for the whole of Spain came in at 83.4.


Turkey registered on September 21 the highest number of daily infections since April 30. The rise in Turkey's daily death toll since mid-July has been among the sharpest among countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Up to now, Turkey has administered over 107 million doses and 53% of the population is fully vaccinated.


EU travelers are now permitted to enter the UK. Travelers from the green list countries who received the final vaccination injection at least 14 days before traveling can visit the UK without self-isolating upon arrival. However, they have to show a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours after reaching the country and provide the completed passenger locator form. In the case of travelers from amber list countries, vaccinated travelers have to perform a COVID test on or before day two of arrival, whereas those that haven’t been vaccinated have to quarantine for ten days and take two COVID tests: one on day two and the other one on day eight of quarantine.
The UK has registered an increase in new cases by 15.4% over the past seven days while deaths have decreased by 3.8%.
New research on further effects of COVID-19 featured in the British Medical Journal establishes that people with specific medical conditions could still be at risk from COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. Among those identified are people with Down’s Syndrome, people who’ve had organ transplants and others with weakened immune systems.


The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases decreased 17.1% compared with the previous average. Although fewer COVID-19 cases have been reported in children (ages 0-17 years) compared with adults, weekly rates of hospitalizations have increased in children ages 11 years and younger.
Around 390 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US. Overall, about 64% of the total population have received at least one dose and 55.8% have been fully vaccinated.
On September 23, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a booster shot of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, as well as some adults at risk of severe disease and some who work in high-risk settings. Health authorities are reportedly confident there will be enough doses for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the coming days.
The US is planning to lift its travel ban on fully vaccinated visitors from the EU and the UK from early November. EU and UK travelers will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as testing negative for the coronavirus within three days of their flight.

The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article.
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