Australian state of Victoria to ease lockdown
The Australian state of Victoria will end a strict lockdown after reducing the spread of Covid-19, officials said on Tuesday.
Most of the restrictions imposed on July 15 will be removed from Wednesday after only 10 infections from people already in quarantine were recorded.
Meanwhile, neighboring New South Wales faces an extension of restrictions after new daily cases hit a 16-month peak.
More than half of Australia’s nearly 26 million people have been confined in recent weeks after an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant took hold in the New South Wales capital, Sydney , and has spread to three states.
New South Wales has reported 172 cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, up from 145 a day earlier, of which at least 60 have spent time in the community while infectious.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a decision on whether or not to extend the lockdown for five weeks would be made this week. But with less than 13% of the state’s population fully vaccinated, the brakes should remain.
“We know we’ve been working hard for five weeks and we don’t want to waste all the good work we’ve done by opening too early and getting the virus to spread again,” Ms. Berejiklian said during a press conference .
Additional Reuters Reports
Jon SharmanJuly 27, 2021, 7:44 AM
Pressure on NHS “reaches January levels”
Ministers have been warned that health services are facing levels of pressure similar to the peak of the pandemic in January, as increased Covid-19 admissions take its toll, writing Shaun Lintern.
NHS leaders say a combination of pressures in the NHS have caused hospitals to run out of thousands of beds, with record demand in A&E departments, and the number of Covid patients in hospital rising to more than 5,000 in England for the first time since March.
NHS providers, who represent hospital and ambulance trusts, say the health service also faces unprecedented funding uncertainty with its budget still not finalized for the second half of the year and concerns growing that the government could start to curtail health care spending as the Covid crisis recedes.
Jon SharmanJuly 27, 2021 7:25 AM
More workers exempted from self-isolation in order to end “pingemia”
Binmen, prison guards and soldiers have been added to the list of key workers who can avoid self-isolation if they are “pinched” after coming into contact with HIV-positive individuals, writing Andrew Woodcock.
Ministers agreed to expand the list of people eligible to dodge the 10-day quarantine by performing daily Covid tests after complaints that the so-called ‘pingemia’ risked disrupting vital services across the country.
The 800 test sites announced last week for double-vaccinated workers in the food industry, transport, police, fire department and border officials are to be expanded to 2,000, allowing thousands more people to continue to work after being identified as contacts by the NHS app or the Test and Trace service.
Jon SharmanJuly 27, 2021 7:24 AM
Remote northeast India sees peak in weekly cases
States in northeast India have seen an increase in weekly Covid-19 cases, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.
Four of the seven northeastern states – except Assam – saw a more than 16% increase in coronavirus infections last week.
One of the states, Mizoram, saw a peak of around 56% in one week.
Kerala in southern India and now the northeast region are among the only places experiencing a surge in Covid-19 infections. Everywhere else the numbers have dropped dramatically.
On Saturday, new data revealed that Kerala had seen more than 110,000 new cases in just one week.
On Monday, for the first time in more than 130 days, India recorded fewer than 30,000 cases of Covid-19 across the country.
Maroosha MuzaffarJuly 27, 2021 7:13 AM
Only 10% of eligible Indians vaccinated to date
India’s health ministry said the country has now administered around 440 million vaccines since January, when the vaccination program was first rolled out nationwide.
While this is an impressive number, it still means that only around 10 percent of India’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated to date.
Data from the government’s Co-WIN platform suggests that around 26% of the eligible population in India is partially vaccinated, that is, they have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Covid-19.
The health ministry also said on Monday that Maharashtra – in western India – had become the first state to vaccinate more than 10 million people with the two doses of the vaccine.
Experts said India needs to dramatically increase the number of vaccinations if it is to meet the goal of vaccinating the entire adult population by December 31 this year.
Maroosha MuzaffarJuly 27, 2021, 6:53 AM
India could have 3.3 million Covid deaths – study
India may have suffered as many as 3.3 million additional deaths during the Covid pandemic, according to a new study. Official Covid-19 deaths stand at just over 421,000.
The study was led by Dr Prabhat Jha and Dr Paul Novosad of the Center for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto and the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College.
The study, reported the Hindustan Times, is based on the excess mortality rate -om June 2020 to June 2021 – in eight states and seven cities. They then extrapolated the data to arrive at the final estimate.
The study has not yet been peer reviewed.
Previously, the Indian government had defended its official death toll and called studies that predict the true toll of Covid-19 in the country “spurious”. In a recent statement, India said that “given the strong and law-based death registration system in India, deaths are unlikely to be missed.”
It came after a previous excess mortality study indicated India’s death toll from Covid could be more than 10 times the official number.
Maroosha MuzaffarJuly 27, 2021 6:29 AM
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live blog on the Covid pandemic for Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Maroosha MuzaffarJuly 27, 2021, 6:07 AM