Coronavirus news live: China tells families to ‘stock up’ amid Covid outbreak, Japan’s
Hi and thanks for joining us today as we bring you all the latest Covid developments from all corners of the world.
I’m Samantha Lock reporting to you from Sydney, Australia, and I’ll be with you for the next short while.
Governments across the world are in constant flux as they adjust their advice in line with changing Covid concerns.
In China, a notice posted on the website of the Ministry of Commerce late Monday urged “families to store a certain amount of daily necessities as needed to meet daily life and emergencies” while instructing authorities to take steps to ensure adequate food supplies, AFP reports.
The country is adopting increasingly tight measures and a Covid-zero strategy to contain its latest outbreak. The directive made no mention of a food shortage or of whether the instructions were motivated by fears that Covid measures could disrupt supply chains or leave locked-down citizens in need of food.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Japan, restrictions on mass gatherings have been relaxed and the nation is poised to reduce quarantine for business travellers following a dramatic decline in cases of Covid-19.
Vaccinated people arriving for business will have to self-quarantine for three days, rather than the current 10, according to public broadcaster NHK, which added that the change could come as early as Monday. The country’s cap on international arrivals will increase from 3,500 a day to 5,000, it added.
- Eastern Europe is grappling with its worst outbreak since the pandemic started. Moscow is currently under its strictest lockdown measures in more than a year as the daily tally of cases and deaths nationwide hit new highs.
But many Russians have decided that now is an ideal time to fly off for a foreign holiday, with a sharp increase in bookings to destinations where Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is recognised or where Covid entry requirements are cheap and easy.
- The United States is rolling out Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 this week, but most of the 15 million shots being shipped initially are unlikely to be available before next week.
- In New York 9,000 public workers have been put on unpaid leave for refusing Covid vaccine.
- Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, declared the country open and ready for a new way of life after hitting vaccination targets that made it one of the most vaccinated countries in south Asia.
- In the United States, as deadlines for jabs approach, military leaders are wrestling with the decision of how to treat soldiers who choose not to be vaccinated.
- A total of 49,987,325 first doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been delivered in the UK by 31 October, a rise of 27,402 on the previous day, government figures show.
- The UK recorded 40,077 new positive Covid tests on Monday, up from 38,009 the previous day.
- Of the 377 local areas in the UK, 64 have seen a week-on-week rise in rates while the majority – 313 – have seen a fall.
- Greece has recorded 5,449 new coronavirus infections in the latest 24 hour period, the highest single-day figure since the pandemic began. Officials are poised to implement a new round of restrictive measures for those who remain unvaccinated.
- The Netherlands will impose new coronavirus restrictions this week in a bid to curb a recent surge in infections, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
- Thailand, Australia and Israel eased international border restrictions significantly on Monday for the first time in 18 months.
- As Australia begins to reopen its international borders for fully vaccinated citizens, politicians are debating about the ongoing restrictions on internal travel.
- The US government has begun assembling and shipping millions of Covid-19 vaccines in preparation for getting the go-ahead to jab children aged five to 11.
- China’s leisure and tourism businesses are struggling under the country’s zero tolerance for Covid-19 as cities with infections, or have concerns about the virus, close entertainment venues, restrict tourism or delay cultural events.
- China locks down Shanghai Disneyland and tests 34,000 visitors after a single Covid case.
- Indonesia has given the world’s first emergency use authorisation for the Covid vaccine produced by Novavax. The company’s protein-based vaccine could prove hugely important for lower-income countries and the WHO-backed vaccine access scheme Covax.