Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
New Zealand reports 21 new local COVID-19 cases as outbreak grows
New Zealand recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as the current community outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to grow, bringing infections associated with the outbreak to 72, health officials said. Of the 21 new cases, 20 are in Auckland, the largest city, and one is in the capital Wellington. Five people were in the hospital, but no one was in an intensive care unit.
Australian PM Morrison defends lockdown strategy as daily cases hit record
Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended on Sunday Australia’s lockdown strategy for tackling the coronavirus, saying it would stay until at least 70% of the population is fully vaccinated, as daily infections break records. Sunday’s 914 cases of the highly infectious Delta variant surpassed the previous high of 894 a day earlier.
Florida Board of Education gives school districts ultimatum on masks
The Florida Board of Education on Friday told two school districts they would have some of their state funding withheld if they failed within the next 48 hours to provide parents with a way to opt-out of a requirement that their children wear masks. School boards in Broward and Alachua counties have mandated masks in schools in defiance of an executive order issued last month by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that barred local officials from imposing mask mandates.
U.S. CDC asks travelers at high risk of severe COVID-19 to avoid cruises
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday people at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, irrespective of their vaccination status. Older adults and people with medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from the disease and should take professional advice before cruise ship travel, the agency said.
UK to begin offering COVID antibody testing to the general public for the first time -media
The United Kingdom will begin offering COVID-19 antibody testing to the general public in the coming week for the first time, British media reported on Sunday. The government’s new program is intended to produce data on antibody protections for people the following infection by different coronavirus variants, according to details of the program published by multiple media outlets, including Sky News and BBC.
U.S. transportation agency requires face masks on planes, trains, buses through Jan 18
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration on Friday extended its requirements that people wear face masks on planes, buses, and trains, as well as in airports, through Jan. 18.
Moderna mandates COVID-19 vaccination for U.S. employees
Moderna Inc said on Friday it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees in the United States from October. Rival coronavirus vaccine maker Pfizer Inc had earlier this month had mandated its U.S. employees and contractors to become vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.
U.S. FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine on Monday -NYT
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is aiming to give full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, the New York Times reported https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/20/us/politics/fda-pfizer-covid-vaccine-full-approval.html on Friday. Regulators were aiming to complete the process by Friday, but we’re still working through “a substantial amount of paperwork and negotiation with the company,” the Times said, citing people familiar with the planning who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
U.S. administers 361.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines -CDC
The United States has administered 361,684,564 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 428,506,065 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday. Those figures are up from the 360,634,287 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Friday out of 426,106,115 doses delivered.
Shanghai places hundreds in quarantine after airport COVID-19 cases
Authorities in Shanghai have quarantined hundreds of people in an attempt to halt a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in the city after infections were detected in cargo workers at its airport, the municipal government said on Saturday. Some 120 people deemed close contacts of the infected five workers at Pudong Airport were placed into quarantine, along with hundreds of others deemed secondary contacts.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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