What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Japan to lift emergency curbs

Japan will lift a state of emergency in all regions on Thursday for the first time in nearly six months, as the number of new cases and deaths falls and the strain on the medical system eases, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

Daily cases have fallen nationwide from more than 25,000 last month to 1,128 on Monday, but the opening will be gradual with some curbs on restaurants and large-scale events staying in place for about a month.

The government will introduce a certification system whereby only approved restaurants can stay open until 9 p.m and a ban on serving alcohol will be lifted everywhere unless local governors object.

Russia reports record daily deaths

Russia on Tuesday reported 852 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, above the previous all-time high recorded last week amid a spike in cases.

Authorities reported 21,559 new cases in the past 24 hours, slightly down from 22,236 on Monday.

New York hospitals fire, suspend staff who refuse vaccine

New York hospitals on Monday began firing or suspending healthcare workers for defying a state order to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and resulting staff shortages prompted some hospitals to postpone elective surgeries or curtail services.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference the city's hospitals were not yet seeing a major impact from the mandate, adding he worried about other areas of the state where vaccination rates are lower.

A spokeswoman for Catholic Health, one of the largest healthcare providers in Western New York, said it had reached full compliance, counting staff members who had been vaccinated, those with exemptions and some who had been suspended without pay.

Sydney's unvaccinated warned of social isolation

Sydney residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 risk being barred from various social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home orders in December, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Tuesday.

Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Australia's biggest city, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in freedoms that will be gradually granted to inoculated residents between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1.

Sanofi ditches mRNA vaccine

Sanofi is dropping plans for its own mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine because of the dominance achieved by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna in using the technology to fight the pandemic, the company said on Tuesday.

The move highlights the challenges of competing in particular with pioneer BioNTech, which rose from obscurity through its alliance with pharma major Pfizer last year. They have delivered close to 1.5 billion doses so far to become the Western world's largest COVID-19 vaccine maker.

French healthcare group Sanofi will instead focus on efforts with British partner GlaxoSmithKline to bring another COVID-19 vaccine candidate to market based on the more conventional protein-based approach, where mass trials are ongoing.

Pfizer submits data for vaccine in younger children

Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday submitted initial trial data for their COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks.

India's drug regulator on Tuesday allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute to enrol kids aged 7-11 years for its trial of U.S. drugmaker Novavax's vaccine.

(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2FkV6wq in a web browser to see Reuters global coronavirus tracker)

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting