Singapore reports highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases
Singapore's health ministry has reported 1,504 new Covid-19 cases, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some coronavirus measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. More than 80 per cent of its population has been vaccinated against the virus.
The African Union's health watchdog has warned that Britain's pandemic travel restrictions could make people across the continent more reluctant to get vaccinated.
Under the restrictions, Britain only recognises vaccines administered in a few countries.
“If you send us vaccines and you say, 'we don't recognise those vaccines', it sends a very challenging message for us,” said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
That is “a message that creates confusion within our population ... creating more reticence, reluctance for people to receive vaccines,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.
Novavax applies to WHO for emergency listing of Covid-19 vaccine
Novavax Inc and its partner Serum Institute of India have applied to the World Health Organisation for an emergency use listing of Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine, the company said.
Novavax has said it would focus on low- and middle-income countries for initial supplies of the vaccine, as the United States and other Western nations have already vaccinated a large part of their populations with other vaccines, according to a Reuters report.
The Novavax shot is a protein-based vaccine, and was shown to be more than 90 per cent effective, including against a variety of concerning variants of the coronavirus in a large, late-stage US-based clinical trial.
EU regulator to decide on Pfizer booster dose at October start
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) expects to decide in early October on the possible use of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
It will be the European Union drug regulator's first decision on boosters, the source said, after the US Food and Drug Administration authorised a third dose of Pfizer for those 65 and older.
"EMA's decision on the third dose of Pfizer is expected for the beginning of October," the source said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Romanian hospitals fill up with Covid patients amid widespread vaccine refusal
With the second-lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, Romania is bracing for a fourth wave of the pandemic that looks set to overwhelm hospitals where medical staff are already stretched thin.
After living through three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic without getting sick, 55-year-old Roxana Pascu thought that she was healthy enough to withstand the virus and decided to turn down the vaccine, AFP reports.
“I thought that if I made it through three waves without getting infected, I can make it through another one without a vaccine,” Pascu said.
Thailand seeks to slash quarantine period for visitors
Thailand's disease control committee has proposed a halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals, amid delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist destinations from next month.
"Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travellers and foreign students," senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required.
Under the proposal, to be presented to the government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land, according to a Reuters report.