Death toll passes 5 million, pregnant women urged to get vaccinated: COVID-19 Daily Bulletin
Updated 20:46, 02-Oct-2021
Thomas Wintle
People are evacuated from an intensive care unit of a COVID-19 hospital in Constanta, Romania after a fire broke out. /Inquam Photos/Costin Dinca via Reuters

People are evacuated from an intensive care unit of a COVID-19 hospital in Constanta, Romania after a fire broke out. /Inquam Photos/Costin Dinca via Reuters



Seven people died on Friday after a fire broke out in a Romanian intensive care unit treating COVID-19 patients, the country's third deadly hospital fire in a year. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the cause while angry relatives of patients protested outside the building.

Deaths related to COVID-19 hit 5 million on Friday, according to the Reuters news agency. While it took just over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, the next 2.5 million deaths were recorded in just under eight months, according to the agency's analysis.

The EU's drug regulator has identified a potential link between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and rare cases of blood clotting, recommending the condition be listed as a possible side-effect of the shot.

Russia has reported 887 deaths, its largest single-day death toll since the pandemic began and the fourth daily record in a row.

In France, the seven-day average of new cases has dropped below 5,000 for the first time since July 13. Earlier in the year, new daily cases had fallen below 2,000, but the infection rate had hit nearly 24,000 by mid-August.

Swiss citizens who convince their friends to get a vaccine are being offered a free restaurant meal or cinema outing by the government, under a scheme aimed at boosting the country's comparatively low vaccination rate.

The Delta variant increases risks for unvaccinated pregnant women compared with coronavirus cases earlier in the pandemic, new data suggest. Until early 2021, the proportion of severe or critical cases among pregnant women was around 5 percent, and were "largely nonexistent" in February and most of March 2021, researchers in Dallas, U.S. said. They add that the study "highlight the urgency of the requirement of prevention measures including COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy."

Six months after a second dose of Pfizer, many recipients no longer have vaccine-induced antibodies that help protect against infection, a new study suggests. The shot induced high levels of antibodies when initially given, the researchers said, but these levels dropped by nearly 10-fold after seven months. However neutralizing antibodies are not the immune system's only defense against the virus and real-world studies in the UK recently showed that after 20 weeks, protection against hospitalization (or death) remains above 90 percent for Pfizer recipients.

UK nationals visiting India will from Monday have to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated, in what is being seen as a direct response to new UK curbs on Indian citizens. The new rules follow the UK decision to require Indians vaccinated with AstraZeneca's Covishield - identical to the doses given to millions of Britons - to quarantine.

An experimental antiviral pill could halve the chances of being hospitalized for those most at risk of getting severe COVID-19, according to new data. Hailed as a "huge advance" in how the virus is treated, Molnupiravir, produced by U.S. drugmakers Merck, would be the first oral antiviral medication for the coronavirus if it is approved. The chair of Britain's antivirals taskforce has hinted at the UK's interest in buying the potential breakthrough pill.

School-age children are leading an increase in infections in England, according to data from Britain's Office for National Statistics. Following schools being open for around a month, more than 1 in 25 students tested positive for the coronavirus, with the overall prevalence figure for England at 1 in 85.

Cases of rare heart inflammation were relatively higher for those having taken Moderna's vaccine compared with the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, according to new research from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The data also showed heart inflammation occurred more often in males, and in adolescents and adults under the age of 30. But as with previous studies elsewhere, incidents remain very rare.



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CGTN Africa: Nigeria gets $400 million in World Bank financing for COVID-19

Source(s): Reuters

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