Fake Covid vaccine cards overwhelm US colleges

Covid-19 has killed more than 4.3M people and infected over 204M globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for August 10:

A “COVID-19 Supply Tent” is seen on Move In Day 2020 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York in this undated handout photo. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 10

Fake vaccine cards overwhelm US colleges

As the delta variant sweeps across the US, a growing number of colleges and universities are requiring proof of vaccination for students to attend in-person classes. But the new mandate has opened the door for those opposed to getting the vaccine to cheat the system, according to interviews with students, education and law enforcement officials.

Both faculty and students at dozens of schools interviewed by The Associated Press say they are concerned about how easy it is to get fake vaccine cards.

Across the internet, a cottage industry has sprung up to accommodate people who say they won’t get vaccinated for either personal or religious reasons.

An Instagram account with the username “vaccinationcards” sells laminatedvaccination cards for $25 each. A user on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, offers “COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates,” for as much as $200 apiece.

India’s daily cases near five-month low

India has reported 28,204 infections over the last 24 hours, the lowest since March 16, according to government data.

India’s overall case load touched 32 million, the health ministry data showed.

Overall deaths in the country increased by 373 overnight, pushing the tally to 428,682.

Bangladesh vaccinating Rohingya refugees amid virus surge

Bangladesh’s government and aid agencies have started vaccinating Rohingya refugees as a virus surge raises health risks in the sprawling, cramped camps where more than 1 million people who fled Myanmar are sheltering.

The highly transmissible delta variant is driving an infection surge across Bangladesh, with around 20,000 infections and 200 deaths recorded so far in Cox’s Bazar district, the southern region bordering Myanmar where the 34 refugee camps are located.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said a national positivity rate of around 30% indicates the spread of the virus is much higher, especially with cramped conditions and the risks faced by many people living in the refugee camps.

Germany’s virus cases rise by 2,480

The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany increased by 2,480 to 3,794,429, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 19 to 91,803, the tally showed.

Delta boosting new clusters in China

China has reported 143 new cases on the mainland , up from 125 cases a day earlier.

China’s latest clusters are mainly driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, officials have said.

Among the new confirmed infections, the highest number China has reported since January 20, 108 were locally transmitted, up from 94 a day earlier, while the remainder were imported from abroad, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

Arkansas reports new record for hospitalisations

Arkansas set a new record for the number of people in the state hospitalised as its surge continued.

The state reported its hospitalisations rose by 103, its biggest one-day increase, to 1,376. The state’s previous record during the pandemic for hospitalisations was in January when it reported 1,371 virus patients in the hospital.

The Department of Health reported that there are only eight intensive care unit beds available in the state. There are 509 patients in ICUs around the state and 286 on ventilators.

Japan’s PM thanks people for safe Olympics during pandemic

Japan’s prime minister has thanked people for helping the country safely hold the Olympics despite the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted the Games were delayed by a year and held under tight restrictions, but “I believe we were able to fulfill our responsibility as the host nation,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, thanking the people for their understanding and cooperation.

The 17-day Summer Olympics were played mostly without spectators. Athletes stayed in an isolation bubble, quickly donned masks off their field of play and had to leave Japan soon after their competitions ended.

Australia’s outbreak expands, new cases in Melbourne

Australia’s Victoria state has reported a slight rise in new cases, raising the prospect of an extended lockdown in Melbourne as officials battle to contain a Delta strain outbreak.

State officials reported 20 new cases, up from 11 a day earlier, and added dozens of new venues to a list of virus-exposed sites in Melbourne, including cafes, supermarkets and fuel service stations.

In line with recent trends, and worrying officials, 15 of the cases were in the community while infectious. Health officials have said the number of people who are in public while infectious needs to be close to zero before lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne are lifted.

Melbourne’s lockdown is currently scheduled to end on Thursday and Sydney’s at the end of the month.

New South Wales officials expanded strict stay-home rules to include two regions near the Queensland border, Byron Bay and Tamworth, late on Monday after visits by infectious people from the city.

With just over 36,600 cases and 939 deaths, Australia has handled the pandemic much better than many other developed economies.

But the fast-moving Delta strain has thrown Australia’s reopening plans in disarray. Economists expect the lockdowns in its two largest cities to have tipped the country’s $1.5 trillion economy into a second recession in as many years.

Mexico records 6,513 coronavirus cases, 270 more deaths

Mexico has recorded 6,513 more confirmed cases and an additional 270 deaths, bringing the total confirmed number of cases to 2,978,330 and the overall death toll to 244,690.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published earlier this year suggested the actual death toll is at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

Brazil reports 411 deaths in 24 hours

Brazil has had 12,085 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, and 411 deaths from Covid-19.

The South American country has now registered 20,177,757 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 563,562, according to government data, in the world’s third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States.

Delta variant pushes US cases

Cases and hospitalisations in the United States are at a six-month high, fuelled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant across swathes of the country grappling with low vaccination rates.

Nationwide, cases have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row, up 35 percent over the past week, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas reported the most new cases in the past week, based on population.

Hospitalisations rose 40 percent and deaths, a lagging indicator, registered an 18 percent uptick in the past week.

The intensifying spread of the pandemic has led to cancellation of some large high-profile events. One notable exception is an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which has been proceeding as planned.

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