Lockdown in Melbourne extended as Sydney touts vaccine freedom
Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, extended its lockdown in a bid to stamp out an outbreak, while authorities in Sydney said they were considering easing restrictions for vaccinated residents despite the delta variant continuing to spread.
Due to the current level of community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria from the recent NSW incursions, the CHO has declared that the current lockdown across Melbourne will be extended until at least 11.59pm 19 Aug, to stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe. pic.twitter.com/KWzMWWK3ZT— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 11, 2021
Australian cities have used lockdowns to successfully end outbreaks throughout the pandemic. But the highly contagious delta variant poses new challenges in a national population with a relatively low vaccination rate.
Melbourne’s sixth lockdown will be extended for a second week until the end of August 19, the Victoria state government said on Wednesday as it reported 20 new infections in the latest 24-hour period.
India's case tally surges past 32M
India has reported 38,353 new cases in the last 24 hours, the government said in a statement.
The south Asian nation's tally of infections crossed 32 million, the second-highest worldwide after the United States.
US to send Mexico more vaccines
The US will send Mexico 8.5 million more doses of vaccine as the Delta variant drives the country's third wave of infections, Mexican officials said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the US government will send AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines, though the latter hasn't yet been approved by Mexican regulators.
As Mexico's third wave started, hospitalisations and deaths lagged significantly. But hospitalisations are starting to rise in parts of the country as infections expand rapidly and the health system grows more stressed.
Biden blasts bans on mask mandates as 'disingenuous'
US President Joe Biden says he finds it "totally counterintuitive" and disingenuous" that some of the same governors who complain of federal overreach on protective measures are now pushing to ban or nullify mask mandates imposed by localities and schools in their states.
Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden didn't mention the Republican governors of Florida or Texas by name.
But he said he finds it "interesting that some of the very people" who insist that government doesn't have the authority to impose mask rules "are people who are threatening that if...a principal says that everyone in my school should wear a mask or the school board votes for it, that governor will nullify that. That governor has the authority to say you can't do that."
"I find that totally counterintuitive and quite frankly, disingenuous," Biden said.
Germany's virus cases rise by 4,996
The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany increased by 4,996 to 3,799,425, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
The reported death toll rose by 14 to 91,817, the tally showed.
South Korea records more than 2,200 infections
South Korea has reported more than 2,200 new daily Covid-19 cases, a record since the pandemic began last January, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said, as the country grapples with its worst Covid-19 outbreak to date.
Despite having tough distancing measures in place for over a month, infections have spiked due to the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant and a rise in domestic travel over summer, Kwon told a Covid response meeting.
He also noted a rise in so-called "silent spreaders" within communities such as workplaces, indoor gyms, churches and nursing homes, leading to an increase in infections of unknown origin.
South Korea has been struggling since July to tame sporadic outbreaks of Covid-19 that were at first centered largely on metropolitan Seoul but have since spread nationwide.
New Zealand designates Indonesia, Fiji as high-risk countries
New Zealand has designated Indonesia and Fiji as very high-risk countries due to escalating Covid-19 case numbers, and placed limits on travel from them.
Travel to New Zealand from Indonesia and Fiji will be restricted to New Zealand citizens, their partners and children, and parents of dependent children who are New Zealand citizens, Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said.
Other travellers, including New Zealand residents, are required to spend 14 days outside of Indonesia before flying to New Zealand, he said.
HAPPENING: A large anti-lockdown protest is underway in Melbourne, Australia.— Election Wizard (@ElectionWiz) August 5, 2021
Australia's Victoria reports 20 locally acquired cases
Australia's Victoria state reported the same number of locally acquired cases of Covid-19 as the day before, as 5 million residents in Melbourne, the state capital, wait to learn whether a snap one-week lockdown would be extended beyond Thursday.
Victoria on Wednesday reported 20 new local cases, the same as on Tuesday. Of the new cases, six have spent time in the community while infectious, the state's health department said.
Indonesian village turns unwanted trash into Covid helper
A homemade robot designed by Indonesian villagers and scientists for fun has found a new use during the pandemic - bringing food, and hopefully a smile, to self-isolating residents who have contracted Covid-19.
An eclectic assembly of household items like pots, pans and an old television monitor, it is now named the "Delta robot" in a nod to the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus that has ripped through Indonesia.
"With this new Delta variant and the surging number of Covid-19 cases, I decided to turn the robot into one used for public services such as to spray disinfectant, deliver food and meet the needs of residents who are self-isolating," Aseyanto, 53, a neighbourhood leader who heads the project, said.
The robot's head is made from a rice cooker, and it is operated by remote control with a 12-hour battery life. It is one of several robots made in the village of Tembok Gede, which has won a reputation for its creative use of technology.
After trundling down the street to the home of an isolating resident, its speaker emits the message "assalamu’alaikum" (Peace be with you), followed by "A delivery is here. Get well soon."
The village lies within Surabaya, capital of East Java province and Indonesia's second-biggest city, where a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections has swept in over in the past month.
Covid worries send Emmy Awards show outdoors
The Emmy Awards ceremony for achievement in television was moved outdoors in the latest setback to live events because of rising concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
The September 19 ceremony in Los Angeles was initially due to take place indoors before a limited celebrity audience.
"The Television Academy and CBS have decided to host all ceremonies ... on the Event Deck at L.A. LIVE, directly behind the Microsoft Theater," the Television Academy said in a statement.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2021 TRT World