MELBOURNE: The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 992,000 people and infected more than 32.6 million worldwide. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for September 26:
Victoria health chief quits in quarantine probe
The health minister in Australia’s Victoria state, Jenny Mikakos has resigned in the fallout from an inquiry into why security guards were used instead of police or the military at quarantine hotels. Lapses in security at the hotels were given as the major reason for a second wave of Covid-19 cases.
Victoria reported just one more coronavirus death as Melbourne’s new case average continued to fall. The death took the state toll to 782 and the national figure to 870. There were 12 new cases, while Melbourne’s 14-day average fell again on Saturday to 23.6.
Melburnians, who have been in lockdown for more than a month, are waiting for the easing of restrictions on Monday.
Russia records more than 7,500 new virus cases
Russia’s daily tally of new cases hit its highest level since June 22 at 7,523, bringing its total to 1,143,571, the country’s coronavirus task force reported.
There were 169 deaths to take Russia’s official coronavirus death toll to 20,225.
Indonesia reports 4,494 new virus infections
Indonesia reports 4,494 new virus infections, taking the total number of cases to 271,339.
The Southeast Asian country also reported 90 new deaths from the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 10,308.
199,403 have recovered from the novel coronavirus as of Saturday.
Czech Republic reports 2,946 coronavirus cases
Czech Republic records 2,946 coronavirus cases
The Czech Republic’s daily count of new virus cases rises to 2,946, its second highest daily count.
The total number of cases reached 61,318 in the country of 10.7 million. There had been 582 deaths as of Friday, up 15 from the previous count.
Ukraine reports record daily high of 3,833 new cases
Ukraine has registered a record 3,833 cases of new virus in the past 24 hours, up from a previous record of 3,584 new cases reported on September 17.
The daily tally of coronavirus infections spiked in September above 3,000 prompting the government to extend lockdown measures until the end of October.
The country’s national security council said a total of 195,504 cases were registered in Ukraine as of September 26, with 3,903 deaths and 86,873 people recovering.
South Korea’s domestic cases fall to the lowest in 44 days
South Korea has reported 49 new domestic virus cases, the smallest number of locally transmitted cases in 44 days in a sign that tighter social distancing rules are paying off.
Health officials reiterated calls on people to refrain from visiting their hometowns and meeting with relatives during the Chuseok holiday, worrying that the holiday, which runs from September 30 to October 2, may lead to another spike.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 61 new virus cases as of midnight Thursday, including 49 local cases, mostly in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province.
This brings the country’s total to 23,516, while deaths increased by 4 to 399.
Germany’s confirmed cases rise to 282,730
The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany has increased by 2,507 to 282,730.
The reported death toll rose by 9 to 9,452, the data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
Mainland China reports 15 new virus cases
Mainland China reported 15 new Covid-19 cases compared with eight cases announced a day earlier, the national health authority said.
The National Health Commission said in a statement that all the new cases were imported infections involving travellers from abroad. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed Covid-19 patients, rose to 30 from 18 a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed virus infections in mainland China now stands at 85,337, while the number of total deaths remained unchanged at 4,634.
China says WHO gave blessing for virus vaccine emergency use programme
The World Health Organization (WHO) supported China’s campaign to vaccinate certain people against coronavirus in July while clinical trials were still underway, a Chinese health official said, although some experts have expressed concern about the move.
China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June, according to Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official.
Hundreds of thousands of essential workers and other limited high risk groups have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety haven’t been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials are incomplete, raising concerns among experts.
“At end-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of Covid-19 vaccine emergency use program,” Zheng told a news conference.
“After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO,” Zheng said.
Australia says world needs to know origins of Covid-19
The world’s nations must do all they can to understand the origins of Covid-19, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, in comments that could worsen tensions with China.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Morrison said an inquiry into the roots of the virus would minimise the threat of another global pandemic.
“This virus has inflicted a calamity on our world and its peoples. We must do all we can to understand what happened for no other purpose than to prevent it from happening again,” Morrison said via a teleconference video link.
“There is a clear mandate to identify the zoonotic source of the Covid-19 virus and how it was transmitted to humans.”
Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus cases up to 720,858
Mexico’s confirmed virus cases rose to 720,858, according to updated data from the health ministry, along with a reported death toll of 75,844.
Authorities reported 5,401 new cases along with 405 deaths, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing.
Brazil reports 31,911 new virus cases
Brazil recorded 31,911 additional confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, and 729 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said.
Brazil has registered more than 4.6 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 140,537, according to ministry data.