Covid-19 has killed more than 4.3M people and infected over 206M globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for August 14:
Saturday, August 14:
Canada to mandate vaccine for government workers
The Canadian government has announced that it will require all federal workers to get vaccinated, amid a surge in virus cases due to the Delta variant.
“We know that vaccines are the best way to end this pandemic,” said Dominic LeBlanc, a government minister in charge of Canada’s federal bureaucracy.
“We expect federal public servants to want to comply with this mandatory requirement,” he added.
A deadline for inoculations for some 300,000 public servants will be announced in the coming weeks.
The federal government is Canada’s largest employer and LeBlanc said the vaccine mandate is “aimed at helping Canada reach a minimum level of coverage needed to fully reopen the economy, and keep it open as well as to protect thousands of workers.”
Australia’s Victoria reports 21 new local cases
Australia’s Victoria state has reported 21 locally acquired cases, up from 15 a day earlier, while Melbourne, the state capital, is in its second week of an extended lockdown.
Of the new cases, 10 have spent time outside while infectious, the state’s health department said. All cases were linked to a current outbreak.
Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state and home to nearly 7 million people, entered into its sixth lockdown since the pandemic began on August 5, weeks after a brief exit to the last one.
Mexico records 22,758 more cases, 603 deaths
Mexico has reported 22,758 more confirmed cases and 603 additional fatalities, according to health ministry data, bringing the total number of cases to 3,068,329 and the overall death toll to 247,414.
Brazil registers 966 deaths
Brazil has registered 966 deaths and 33,933 additional cases, according to data released by the nation’s Health Ministry.
The South American country has now registered a total of 567,862 coronavirus deaths and 20,319,000 total confirmed cases.
Canada enters supply deal with Moderna for vaccine beyond 2021
The Canadian government has said it had signed an agreement with Moderna Inc for additional supply of its vaccine for 2022 and 2023, with an option to extend into 2024.
Canada will receive 40 million doses, as per the deal, with an option for an additional 65 million doses. The agreement will allow access to new vaccine adaptations.
The partnership “will help to bridge Canada’s capacity to maintain a reliable and rapidly available supply of vaccines into 2022 and 2023 ahead of Moderna’s Canadian vaccine facility becoming operational,” Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Moderna signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian government, under which the vaccine maker will set up an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada and also give access to its mRNA development engine.
US administers 354.8 mln doses of vaccines – CDC
The United States has administered 354,777,950 doses of vaccines in the country as of Friday morning and distributed 414,376,925 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Those figures are up from the 353,859,894 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by August 12 out of 411,253,925 doses delivered.
The agency said 197,081,471 people had received at least one dose while 167,699,170 people are fully vaccinated as of Friday.
The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech , as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine as of 6:00 am ET on Friday.
Zambia receives 119,200 AstraZeneca doses
Zambia has received an additional 119,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under the COVAX facility, assuring those due for a second dose of the jab in coming weeks that it was readily available.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama said 300,572 AstraZeneca jabs have been administered, along with 105,156 of the second dose.
“We assure the public that key to our response is ensuring that there is continuity in the provision of essential health services in our country and we can only build on this,” Malama told reporters in the capital of Lusaka.
He reported 97 new infections from 2,529 tests – the first time the daily infection rate was below 100 in nearly three months.
But those numbers could be put to an immediate test because of the number of public gatherings as Zambia held a general election Thursday.
The number of confirmed cases recorded now stands at 201,867.
Hawaii bracing for more cases amid surge
Hawaii officials are bracing for more confirmed cases and hospitalisations as the delta variant takes hold in the islands.
“We continue trend in the wrong direction. Our hospitals are filling up,” Governor David Ige said during a briefing on Friday.
Hawaii has reinstated restrictions on social gatherings amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.
Governor Ige imposed the new restrictions on Tuesday in a bid to help hospitals maintain care for a record number of patients and to curb widespread community transmission of the virus.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the executive order took effect immediately and limits social gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Bars, restaurants, gyms, churches and other establishments must reduce their capacity to 50 percent.
Hawaii is now averaging more than 500 new cases a day, double what it was in August 2020 at the then height of the pandemic.