What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Vietnam deploys troops to enforce lockdown in largest city
Vietnamese soldiers were deployed on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on Monday to help enforce a lockdown in the country's business hub, which has become the epicentre of its worst coronavirus outbreak so far during the pandemic. The city began movement restrictions early last month, but infections have continued to surge after authorities said there had not been strict enough enforcement of the curbs.
Panic-buying broke out at supermarkets in the city of nine million people over the weekend ahead of the tighter lockdown, which started on Monday and prohibits residents from leaving their homes.
Australia PM backs reopening targets, says lockdowns unsustainable
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday the country must begin to ease strict Covid-19 restrictions once vaccination rates increase, with over half of all Australians enduring weeks-long lockdowns to curb Delta outbreaks.
Some states have flagged they may not stick to a national plan that would include relaxing border controls, worried about a surge in cases in the country's southeast, with Sydney breaking new one-day records for infections. Nationally, 30% of people above 16 are fully vaccinated, while 52% have had a least one dose.
Vaccinations are running at a record pace but the target of 80% fully vaccinated will not be reached until December at the current rate.
Israel finds vaccine booster significantly lowers infection risk
A third dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine has significantly improved protection from infection and serious illness among people aged 60 and older in Israel compared with those who received two shots, findings published by the Health Ministry showed on Sunday.
The data were presented at a meeting of a ministry panel of vaccination experts on Thursday and uploaded to its website on Sunday, though the full details of the study were not released. A third jab for over 60-year-olds offered five to six times greater protection after 10 days with regard to serious illness and hospitalisation.
China reports no new local cases for first time since July
China's health authority reported on Monday that there were no new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 for the first time since July, offering more signs that the current outbreak that began late last month may be tapering off soon. The latest outbreak was driven mainly by infections first detected among a few airport workers in the eastern city of Nanjing on July 20. Since then, more than 1,200 people in China have been confirmed to be infected.
The outbreak has spurred local authorities across the country to impose tough counter-epidemic measures including mass testing for millions of people to identify and isolate carriers, as well as treat the infected. No one died in the current outbreak, which has largely focused on the cities of Nanjing and Yangzhou in the province of Jiangsu, near the financial hub of Shanghai.
Taiwan's president leads way in first domestic vaccine
President Tsai Ing-wen got vaccinated with Taiwan's first domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, giving her personal stamp of approval as the island begins rolling out the shot whose approval critics say has been rushed.
The health ministry last month approved the emergency use of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp's Covid-19 vaccine, part of a broader plan for inoculation self-sufficiency as delays in vaccine deliveries from global drug companies have affected Taiwan and many other countries. More than 700,000 people have signed up so far to receive the Medigen vaccine, which requires a second shot 28 days after the first one.