After over 100 days of lockdown, millions of vaccinated Sydney residents will emerge from their homes on Monday and be welcomed into restaurants, gyms, beauty salons and public pools.
72.8% of people aged 16 and over are now fully-vaccinated in New South Wales. An outbreak of the Delta variant which started in June has kept the state’s five million residents under a strict stay at home order for some 15 weeks.
Taking their cues from the UK, Australians have labelled Monday “Freedom day.”
NSW recorded 477 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
Canada is bracing for staffing shortages in its health and aged care sectors, as workers quit or are being dismissed due to vaccine mandates, Reuters reports.
Federal employees are required to show proof of their full vaccination status in Canada by the end of the month, or they’ll face unpaid leave, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.
One long-term care home in Toronto was forced to put 36% of its workforce on unpaid leave last week because they were still unvaccinated, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Federal employees make up roughly 8% of Canada’s total workforce according to the country’s Treasury.
Starting Monday, British Columbia will be the latest Canadian province to begin placing healthcare staff on administrative leave if they haven’t received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Russia will temporarily suspend test-firing rocket engines in one of the country’s space manufacturing plants to save oxygen supplies for Covid-19 patients, Reuters reports.
At various stages throughout the pandemic liquid oxygen has been redirected from rocket launch pads and design centres to boost hospital supplies.
“In view of growing demand for medical oxygen to treat the sick, today we decided to suspend test firing rocket engines at Voronezh’s Chemical Automatics Design Bureau ranges until the end of the month,”Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency tweeted.
Russia is dealing with a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. Its coronavirus task force reported on Saturday that 968 people had died of the virus within 24-hours, a new daily record.
UK reports 34,574 new coronavirus cases, 38 deaths
The UK Government’s latest Covid-19 figures are out. As of Sunday, a further 38 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the UK’s total death toll to 137,735.
34,574 new lab-confirmed cases were also recorded, the government said.
By comparison, 34,950 new cases and 133 deaths were reported Saturday.
Sunday’s figures do not include data from Wales.
Tea-party firebrand and Republican candidate for governor of Texas Allen West has been hospitalised with Covid-19.
In a Facebook post Saturday the former Florida Congressman announced he had pneumonia caused by coronavirus and warned that he was “probably going to be admitted to the hospital.”
His wife, Angela West, has also tested positive and the two say they are receiving antibodies.
According to his social media accounts, West has not been vaccinated against the virus, but his wife has. He vehemently opposes vaccine mandates and has promised to “crush anyone” who tries to enforce them in Texas.
Hi, I’m Hannah Ritchie and I’ll be taking over from Jamie Grierson in London to keep you updated on key coronavirus developments from around the globe. If you think I’m missing anything, please get in touch via the comments section below.
Here is a round up of the day so far:
- People who catch flu and Covid at the same time this winter are twice as likely to die than those who only have coronavirus, according to the UK Health Security Agency chief executive, Dr Jenny Harries.
- Harries said it is not the case that 120 deaths a day in the UK is seen as an “acceptable death rate” for Covid and added the difficulty now is in predicting what is to come with Covid-19, as immunity from vaccines wanes in some older people.
- More than 2 million people have been given the coronavirus booster jab in England so far.
- The first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, expects the country’s Covid pass, working from home, and the mask mandate to continue into next year.
- The policymaker Michael Saunders has added to signs the Bank of England might become the first major central bank to raise rates since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
- Police in Italy said on Sunday they had arrested 12 people including the leaders of the extreme right-wing party Forza Nuova, after clashes in Rome a day earlier over a government drive to make the Covid-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers.
- Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man regarded as the “father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb”, has died aged 85 after being hospitalised with Covid-19.
- The prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, has backed plans to fast-track the resumption of international travel as soon as New South Wales’ home quarantine program is ready.
- Malaysia on Sunday lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90% of its adult population, Reuters reports.
Anti-vax protest in Italy sees leaders of the country’s far-right arrested
Italian police said on Sunday they had arrested 12 people including the leaders of the extreme right-wing party Forza Nuova, after clashes in Rome a day earlier over a government drive to make the Covid-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers, Reuters reports.
Draghi introduced the pass – a digital or paper certificate confirming its holder has either received at least one vaccine dose, has tested negative or has recently recovered from the virus – in the summer to help prevent infections and encourage people to get vaccinated.
The certificates were initially needed to enter many cultural and leisure venues, but their scope has gradually been widened. Last month, the government made it compulsory for all workers.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to oppose the move.
Some tried to break past police in riot gear guarding access to Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office, while a separate group broke into the headquarters of Italy’s main CGIL trade union and turned its offices upside down.
Overnight, dozens of protesters also tried to break into the accident and emergency unit at Rome’s Policlinico Umberto I hospital, where one of them was being kept for treatment, forcing health workers to barricade themselves inside, emergency department head Francesco Pugliese told reporters on Sunday.
“It was a fascist squad attack, and it is unacceptable,” CGIL’s head Maurizio Landini said on Sunday, speaking to supporters in front of the union offices in Rome.
The riots drew widespread condemnation, including from Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy parties, respectively.
The police said in a statement that 38 police officers were injured during the Rome anti-vax clashes.
More than 80% of all Italians over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated as of 10 October.
Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, was doing media rounds this morning. My colleague Maya Wolfe-Robinson has covered the key points from her appearances.
People who catch flu and Covid at the same time this winter are twice as likely to die than those who only have coronavirus, according to the UK Health Security Agency chief executive, Dr Jenny Harries.
The former deputy chief medical officer for England warned that the UK faces an “uncertain” winter – with both flu and Covid-19 circulating for the first time – and urged people to take up both the coronavirus and flu jabs if eligible.
Asked how worried the public should be about flu this winter, she told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “We should be worried about flu each winter. I think people still don’t realise it can be a fatal disease.
“But I think the important thing about this winter is, we are likely to see flu, for the first time in any real numbers, co-circulating with Covid. So the risks of catching both together still remain. And if you do that, then early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together than just having Covid alone.
“So I think it’s an uncertain winter ahead – that’s not a prediction, it’s an uncertain feature – but we do know that flu cases have been lower in the previous year so immunity and the strain types are a little more uncertain,” she said.
Read more here: Getting flu with Covid doubles risk of death, says UK health chief
Working from home and mandatory masks until next year – Wales FM
The first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, expects the country’s Covid pass, working from home, and the mask mandate to continue into next year.
Speaking to Tom Swarbrick on LBC on Sunday he said: “Mask-wearing in crowded public places, continuing to ask people to work from home, a Covid pass for high-risk locations – that is the suite of measures we hope will see us through this autumn and winter without needing to do anything else, but I do expect they will continue into the early part of next year.”
The policymaker Michael Saunders has added to signs the Bank of England might become the first major central bank to raise rates since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Saunders has warned households to get ready for “significantly earlier” interest rate rises as inflation pressure mounts in the British economy.
Saunders said investors were right to bet on faster increases in borrowing costs with consumer price inflation on course to rise above 4%, adding to signs the Bank might become the first major central bank to raise rates since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
“I’m not in favour of using code words or stating our intentions in advance of the meeting too precisely. The decisions get taken at the proper time,” Saunders said in a an interview with the Telegraph. “But markets have priced in over the last few months an earlier rise in Bank rate than previously and I think that’s appropriate.”
Read more here: Bank of England official warns of potential early interest rate rise