Coronavirus Global Updates, Sept 22: US Covid-19 death toll nears 200,000; Philippines extends state of calamity by a year

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2020 2:30:34 pm Hospital staff work at a Covi

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2020 2:30:34 pm
Coronavirus Global Updates, Sept 22: US Covid-19 death toll nears 200,000; Philippines president extends state of calamity by a yearHospital staff work at a Covid-19 ward amid a surge in new cases that has forced Israel into a second nationwide lockdown, at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Tel Aviv, Israel September 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Coronavirus Global Updates: More than 31.21 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world, and 962,705 have died, according to Reuters tally. The death toll from coronavirus in the United States approached 200,000, the highest in the world, while Mexico surpassed 700,000 confirmed cases. And the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of coronavirusm saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to impose new restrictions on puba, bars and restaurants, in a bid to tackle the accelerating second wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

In rest of Europe, Madrid’s regional government chief requested the army’s help to fight the coronavirus surge in the Spanish capital. And Greece reported 453 new cases, a new daily record since the start of the outbreak in the country.

In Iraq, the government health committee said it would bar entry to religious pilgrims, just weeks ahead of a Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage, which is the largest annual religious gathering in the world.

Philippines president extends virus calamity status by a year

President Rodrigo Duterte said he has extended a state of calamity in the entire Philippines by a year to allow the government to draw emergency funds faster in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and harness the police and military to maintain law and order, the Associated Press reported.

Duterte has first placed the country under a state of calamity in March when the number of infections was approaching 200, with about a dozen deaths.

The country now has over 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the highest in Southeast Asia, with at least 5,000 deaths.

The state of calamity in place until September 2021 will be used to draw emergency funds quickly anywhere in the country. Officials can also control the prices of basic commodities like rice and cooking oil in such a state.

New cases rise in Australia’s Covid-19 hotspot 

Australia’s coronavirus hotspot Victoria Tuesday reported a spike in new coronavirus infections, likely as a result of increased testing, while other states said border restrictions would be relaxed as case numbers declined, reported Reuters.

Officials said the northeastern state of Queensland would open its borders to parts of neighbouring New South Wales (NSW), the country’s most populous state, amid growing confidence that a second wave of infections in the country has been contained.

Australia reported 33 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 16 cases a day earlier. Twenty-eight of these cases were reported from Victoria. The state has contributed nearly 75 per cent of Australia’s tally of around 27,000 cases and roughly 90 per cent of its 851 deaths.

Coronavirus Global Updates, Sept 22: US Covid-19 death toll nears 200,000; Philippines extends state of calamity by a year A health worker attaches a notice for suspension of influenza vaccination programs on an entrance of a hospital in Sejong, South Korea, September 22, 2020. (Yonhap via Reuters)

South Korea suspends free flu shots in setback for winter Covid-19 preparations

South Korea suspended free flu shots on Tuesday after reports of problems in storing the vaccination during transportation, disrupting plans to pre-emptively ease the burden on a healthcare system already strained by coronavirus outbreaks, Reuters reported.

The country, which has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases since August, planned to procure 20 per cent more flu vaccines for the winter than the previous year.

The head of South Korea’s disease prevention agency said on Tuesday that some doses of the vaccine, which need to be refrigerated, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported to a medical facility.

Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) chief Jeong Eun-kyeong told reporters, “I want to make it clear that the problem is not with the manufacturer’s vaccine production, rather it is an issue raised about the refrigerated temperature maintenance in the distribution process.”

As many as 118,000 people have been inoculated with flu shots so far and no adverse affects were reported from the vaccination, said Jeong.

KDCA reported 61 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Monday, taking the national tally of coronavirus cases to 23,106, with 388 deaths.

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