Coronavirus

Fiji records more than 700 new COVID-19 cases

Eleven people tested positive for COVID-19 died between 22nd July to 27th July.

There have now been 206 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 204 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year.

Another 102 COVID-19 positive patients also died but their deaths were not classified as COVID-19 deaths.

They were reported to have had serious medical conditions before contracting COVID-19.

Fauci says US heading in wrong direction as cases rise

Dr Anthony Fauci said the Delta variant of Covid-19 was driving the spike in areas with low vaccination rates.

He said health officials were considering revising mask guidance for vaccinated Americans to curb cases.

Offering booster jabs to vulnerable people was also under review, he said.

The coronavirus situation in the US is becoming "a pandemic among the unvaccinated", Dr Fauci, the chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden, told broadcaster CNN on Sunday.

7 new Covid cases in Fiji, all in the community

The cases are in Lautoka and Nadi in the west of the main island, Viti Levu, and the settlement of Makoi, near the capital Suva.

The permanent secretary of health, James Fong, urged people to stay home.

"The virus is very much present in the community," Dr Fong said.

At a news conference late on Friday night, he said people should assume there is Covid-19 in the community, with cases of unknown origin rising daily.

The government has also announced that it is taking over several hotels in Suva to use as quarantine facilities.

India coronavirus: Man charged over oxygen SOS for dying grandfather

Officers in Uttar Pradesh state charged Shashank Yadav with spreading a rumour over oxygen shortages "with intent to cause... fear or alarm".

Yadav, who did not refer to Covid in his brief tweet, could face jail.

Uttar Pradesh is among India's worst-hit states. Its chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, is accused of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this week, Mr Adityanath, a right-wing ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanded that the property of anyone spreading rumours and propaganda be seized.

NZ says committed to getting vaccines into Pacific

Nanaia Mahuta told the New Zealand Parliament, discussions were being held around the implementation of a so-called TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organisation aimed at speeding up the production and delivery of vaccines.

The TRIPS [Trade and Intellectual Property Rules] mechanism looked to protect intellectual property and trade interests but in doing so critics said it slowed collaboration between companies.

NGOs had called for a waiver to be approved immediately.

Mahuta said the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines needed to be addressed urgently.

'Double mutant' Covid variant found in India

Officials are checking if the variant, where two mutations come together in the same virus, may be more infectious or less affected by vaccines.

Some 10,787 samples from 18 Indian states also showed up 771 cases of known variants - 736 of the UK, 34 of the South African and one Brazilian.

Officials say the variants are not linked to a spike in cases in India.

India reported 47,262 cases and 275 deaths on Wednesday - the sharpest daily rise this year.

PNG reports 10 new cases of Covid-19

The latest cases were reported in West Sepik, Madang, East New Britain and in the National Capital District.

In the NCD, two men aged 45 year and 49 year who reside in Moresby South tested positive. They were both experiencing fever, muscle aches and had a cough at the time of testing.

East New Britain and Madang reported a case each while West Sepik reported six new cases.

A 36 year old female was the latest to be confirmed positive in the East New Britain province. She was experiencing symptoms.

Ellen DeGeneres latest celebrity to test positive for Covid-19

The American comedian said on Twitter that all her close contacts had been notified.

"I want to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, I'm feeling fine right now," she said in a Twitter posting.

DeGeneres, 62, host of the popular daytime show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, said she was following health guidelines and would return to her show after the holidays.

A representative said production of the show had been halted until January.

US Covid-19 deaths top 3000-a-day for first time

Steady movement toward a vaccine rollout on the eve of a critical review by leading US medical experts comes as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations surged alarmingly higher, straining healthcare systems in some pandemic hot spots to the breaking point.

Ten mostly rural counties scattered across California reported having no intensive care unit beds available on Wednesday, according to state health data analysed by Reuters.

Two sailors who arrived in Fiji by freighter test positive for Covid-19, active cases hit 11

The Health Ministry said the vessel arrived in Lautoka on 2 December to deliver cargo and then proceeded to Suva.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the two sailors were under strict quarantine measures.

Twenty-five locals including the local agents of the vessel, staff from Biosecurity Authority, the Ports Authority and Customs were also all in quarantine.

The two sailors had not been classified as Covid-19 border cases yet "because officials are awaiting information on whether they had tested positive for the virus in another country", Fong said.