In Brazil, the country’s health ministry said 70% of the eligible population have been fully vaccinated and 90% have received a first dose.
On Saturday, the ministry launched a campaign to reach 21 million Brazilians who have not returned for a second jab, Reuters reports.
The rolling 14-day average of Covid-related deaths has fallen to 228 a day, the lowest since 26 April 2020.
That compares with a toll of almost 3,000 deaths a day in Brazil at the peak of the pandemic in April of this year.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, which was severely hit by the epidemic, did not have a single new case of a person in hospital with Covid-19 at municipal hospitals on Saturday, the city’s health authority said.
It added that 76.5% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated.
Three people in hospital after police fired shots during Covid protest
Three people are now being treated in hospital in Rotterdam after they were seriously injured when Dutch police fired shots during a violent protest against Covid-19 measures, authorities said.
Police had initially said two people had been wounded, Reuters reports.
Authorities are investigating the shootings, including looking at the question of if the injured people were hit with police bullets, police added.
Crowds of several hundred rioters torched cars, set off fireworks and threw rocks at police during the protests on Friday evening.
Police responded with warning shots and water cannons.
Brazil had 8,833 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 217 deaths, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday.
The South American country has now registered 22,012,150 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 612,587, according to ministry data, Reuters reports.
Two people were being treated in hospital in Rotterdam after they were seriously injured when Dutch police fired shots during a violent protest against Covid-19 measures, authorities said.
Rotterdam police said on Twitter on Saturday that 51 people had been arrested, half of whom were under 18, Reuters reports.
“Two rioters where wounded when they were hit by bullets, they remain in hospital,” police added.
Protesters had gathered to voice opposition to government plans to restrict access to indoor venues to people who have a “corona pass”, showing they have been vaccinated or have already recovered from an infection.
Organisers of a planned protest on Saturday in Amsterdam against the coronavirus measures said they had cancelled the event after Friday’s violence.
But several thousand protesters showed up for a march around the city’s central Dam square. The march remained peaceful, monitored by a heavy police presence.
America’s Covid-19 infections are climbing again, and could soon hit a weekly average of 100,000 cases a day as daily case reports increase more than 20% across the upper midwest.
The fresh worsening of the coronavirus pandemic in the US comes as temperatures cool during the approach of winter, forcing people indoors where the virus is believed to spread more readily and may presage another wave.
It is also happening ahead of the Thanksgiving national holiday where tens of millions of Americans are expected to travel all over the country as families gather together in homes for the annual feast.
NHS England officials said the health service is ready to extend the availability of vaccines quickly when and if expert recommendations for who should receive them change, after a report suggested plans to give the Covid jab to children aged five to 11 could become reality next year.
Covid-19 vaccines are licensed in the UK only for children aged 12 and over, and any decision on extending them to children younger than 12 would be made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
According to a report in the Sun newspaper, leaked proposals suggest that health bosses are preparing to roll out the jab to children aged between five and 11 in spring.
The UK’s health secretary Sajid Javid has commissioned a review into possible racial and gender bias in medical devices as he vowed to “close the chasms that the pandemic has exposed”.
He said it is “totally unacceptable” that even an inadvertent bias could lead to a poorer health outcome for some people. Javid said he is “determined to take a fresh perspective” to his role within government and “do whatever it takes” to fix disparities, citing the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups. Writing in The Sunday Times, he said: “I want to make sure that the benefits of the incredible advances in technology and treatments we’ve seen in recent years are widely shared, so they help not hinder this work.”
France sent dozens of elite police and counter-terrorism officers to its Caribbean island of Guadeloupe on Saturday following looting and arson overnight in defiance of an overnight curfew.
The island’s prefect on Friday introduced the night-time stay-at-home order after protests against the coronavirus vaccine pass spiralled into violence the previous night. “The night was very turbulent,” a police source told AFP. The security forces recorded “some 20 incidents of looting or attempted robbery” in the seaside towns of Pointe-a-Pitre and Le Gosier, including at a jewellery shop, a bank, a betting shop and a shopping centre.
The Covid pandemic turned off the cheap labour tap. That has delivered a “come to Jesus” moment for employers of farm labour in Australia.
But people shortages are not a new thing in the bush. The underemployment dilemma has been building for a while. John Goldsmith, the former principal of Longerenong Agricultural College, said a decade ago: “It’s not a skills shortage, it’s a people shortage.”
The declining rural population and subsequent reliance on non-family employees has been bubbling away. Until now though, this void was somewhat filled by people who will put up with less than ideal pay and conditions.
France has reported 22,678 new coronavirus cases, Reuters reports.
The country has had over 7.37 million cases in total.
More than half of Iran’s population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the health ministry said, as infection and death rates in the country have started to drop.
More than 44.2 million of Iran’s 83 million population have received two coronavirus vaccine doses since the country began its inoculation campaign in February, according to ministry figures.
Another 12.2 million people have received a single vaccine dose, AFP reports.
France has reported a total of 91,520 coronavirus deaths in hospital, an increase of 23.
It also recorded that 1,333 people are in intensive care units with Covid-19, a decrease of 20, Reuters reports.
Dozens of care homes in the UK are still denying people access to their elderly relatives 20 months after the pandemic began, according to support groups.
Although ministers have urged care homes to allow relatives to visit, groups including the Relatives & Residents Association and Unlock Care Homes say that many are still unable to see elderly residents.
Since March, families have been able to nominate an “essential caregiver” (ECG) who can provide regular close support to a relative in a care home. About 70% of older care home residents have dementia, and research from John’s Campaign shows that relatives are often able to better interpret their behaviour and provide comfort.