US eases travel restrictions; Vaccine export India: virus update

AN single patient was hospitalized with Covid-19 in China’s northern city of Harbin, suggesting spread beyond the epicenter of the latest delta outbreak. Melbourne’s construction industry has been halted for at least two weeks amid violent anti-vaccination protests in Australia’s second-largest city.

Iran lowered the minimum age for vaccination to 18, while Malaysia reached its goal of fully vaccinating 80% of the adult population.

India said it will resume the export of shots for the World Health Organization’s Covax initiative from October. Indonesia will allow vaccinated non-essential workers back to the office, limiting capacity to 25%. Singapore is monitoring intensive care facilities amid rising cases.

China Case Spread;  Melbourne Vaccine Protests: Virus Update

Iran lowers minimum age for shots (5:00 p.m. HK)

Iran lowered the minimum age for vaccination to 18 on Tuesday, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing a statement by Health Minister Bahram Einollahi. About 45 million injections have been administered in Iran, with more than 14 million people receiving a second dose.

Philippines plans vaccine packaging plant (4:31 PM HK)

According to Eric Domingo, chief of the regulator, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration wants to set up a “fill and finish” or packaging facility for Covid vaccines next year. He said the vaccine task force is in talks with manufacturers in China, Russia and Cuba about possible partnerships.

Malaysia achieves vaccination target (4:28 pm HK)

Malaysia on Tuesday met its goal of fully vaccinating 80% of the adult population, thereby reaching herd immunity level, according to a tweet from Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Meanwhile, the country added 15,759 new cases, up from 14,345 on Monday, the lowest number since late July.

One fifth of Nigerian workers lost jobs (4pm HK)

One-fifth of the Nigerian workforce lost their jobs due to the pandemic, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. The cuts followed supply chain disruptions, ongoing supply and demand shocks and a decline in consumer confidence, the agency said, citing a study it conducted in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme.

Thailand doubles daily vaccination target (3pm HK)

Thailand plans to accelerate its immunization program, aiming to deliver 1 million doses daily from Sept. 24, according to Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary of health. In the final quarter, Thailand will have about 70 million doses available and will need to accelerate to meet its goal of delivering at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, Kiattiphum said.

Thailand’s main Covid-19 task force will meet on Sept. 27 to discuss further easing of current measures, according to a government document.

Dubai Airports sees UK easing curbs (2:50pm HK)

Dubai is “very confident” that from Oct. 4 the United Arab Emirates will be included in countries not considered high risk for coronavirus infections by the UK, Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Dubai Airports, told Bloomberg Television. Dubai International Airport, the world’s largest in terms of international traffic, has London as its main destination.

Griffiths said the number of international visitors could be more than double next year as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions boosts travel.

China’s Harbin finds local case (1:25 pm HK)

Chinese city in northern Harbin reported one local infection and tells residents not to leave unless necessary, according to a statement on the city government’s website. Harbin will close mahjong places, bathhouses, movie theaters, massage parlors, arcades, religious venues and indoor sports venues, while public transportation will be limited.

China reported 42 local cases on Monday, all from Fujian province, the epicenter of the latest delta outbreak.

Melbourne halts construction amid protests (12:20pm HK)

Melbourne’s construction industry is to block for at least two weeks amid concerns that extremist groups that have infiltrated the union movement are behind violent vaccine protests in Australia’s second-largest city.

“We have seen appalling behavior on the property and on our streets, and now we are acting resolutely and without hesitation,” said Tim Pallas, Victoria’s industrial relations minister, in an emailed statement, ending the shutdown. announced on Tuesday. Concerns were raised about the industry’s compliance with public health measures and guidelines.

Angry crowds gathered again on Tuesday, firing flares and fireworks in the streets of Melbourne. Protesters threw cans and kicked police cars, in spite of the shutdown that will affect much of the state.

China Case Spread;  Melbourne Vaccine Protests: Virus Update

Japan considers lifting emergency: FNN (10:55 HK)

Japan will decide on Sept. 28 whether the state of emergency will be lifted, the broadcaster FNN reported, citing government officials. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will make the final decision, according to the report. The country’s fourth state of emergency was extended to September following a delta-fuelled increase in Covid-19 cases and is in effect in 19 of the country’s prefectures.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Taro Aso said Japan will need more time to reach its balanced budget because of Covid-19.

Thailand Mulls reopening bars, cinemas (10:45am HK)

Thailand’s main virus task force will discuss “the gradual reopening” of bars and movie theaters on Sept. 27, said Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Meanwhile, Bangkok expects to have completed at least two doses of vaccines for 70% of residents by Oct. 22, a major barrier to allowing vaccinated international visitors to enter without quarantine, according to Governor Asawin Kwanmuang.

Singapore relaxes work-from-home rule (10am HK)

Singapore has reduced work-from-home time for employees in companies that detect Covid-19 cases in the workplace. The quick work-from-home regime is now 10 days, less than the previously announced 14-day duration, according to a advisory from the Ministry of Manpower released late Monday. The regulation comes into effect when at least three cases are detected in the workplace.

Separately, the country’s transport minister said vaccinated travelers from more countries will soon be able to enter Singapore without quarantine, following a successful implementation of the so-called Vaccinated Travel Lane, according to the Straits Times. Only one case of Covid-19 has been detected on arrival among about 900 travelers who entered from Germany and Brunei under this scheme, the newspaper reported.

China’s outbreak in Fujian grows (9:30 a.m. HK)

China Case Spread;  Melbourne Vaccine Protests: Virus Update

China reported 42 local cases of coronavirus on Monday, all of which were found in southeastern Fujian province, according to a statement from the National Health Commission.

Thai cases lowest in more than two months (9:00 HK)

Thailand reported 10,919 new cases of Covid-19, the lowest daily number since July 17, according to government data on Tuesday. Cumulative infections reached 1.5 million, the data showed.

Brazilian UN delegate tests positive (4:30 a.m. HK)

A member of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s delegation to the United Nations was placed in isolation after testing positive in New York, add to concerns that the general meeting this week could spark a spike in business in the host city.

The diplomat, who was part of a mission prior to Bolsonaro’s arrival, had tested negative before leaving Brazil, according to a person familiar with the situation at Brazil’s foreign ministry. Brazil’s foreign ministry is now tracking dozens of people the person has had contact with in New York, the Brazilian press reported, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.

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