Covid-19 has infected more than 444M people and killed over 6M worldwide. Here are some of the latest coronavirus-related developments:
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Italy adds 173 more deaths
Italy has reported 39,963 further cases, against 38,095 the day before, while the number of deaths fell to 173 from 210.
Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 8,974, down from 9,297 a day earlier.
Italy has registered 155,782 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth highest in the world.
The country has reported 12.99 million cases to date.
France records 108 new fatalities
France has reported 111,006 coronavirus deaths in hospital, up by 108.
The country also reports 2,075 people in intensive care units for Covid-19, down by 78.
Türkiye sees nearly 32,400 new cases
Türkiye has reported 174 deaths and 32,389 new coronavirus cases, according to official data.
Some 57,894 Covid-19 patients were recovered in the past 24 hours, and as many as 360,353 virus tests were done.
As the virus seems to be receding, earlier this week Türkiye scrapped the outdoor mask mandate, a longtime measure to stem the spread of Covid-19.
To counter the spread of the virus, Türkiye has administered over 145.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since it launched an immunisation drive in January 2021.
White House: Congress must act to replenish Covid funds
The US will soon begin to run out of money to bolster Covid-19 testing supplies and to guarantee that uninsured Americans keep getting free treatment for the virus unless Congress swiftly approves more funding, the White House has warned.
Nearly a year after passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the administration says the federal government has nearly used up the money dedicated directly to Covid-19 response.
More money from Congress is urgently needed to buy antibody treatments, preventative pills for the immunocompromised and to fund community testing sites, officials say.
“From the COVID side, the bank account is empty,” said Covid-19 deputy coordinator Natalie Quillian.
“We’re in conversations with lawmakers about how to secure the funding, but it’s urgently needed.” Some of the consequences could be felt later this month.
Indonesia, Malaysia to ease curbs on foreign visitors further
Indonesia is considering a quarantine waiver for foreign visitors to its holiday island of Bali from next week, officials have said, while neighbour Malaysia announced the removal of curbs on travellers from Thailand and Cambodia.
The Indonesian waiver for visitors vaccinated against the coronavirus was under discussion but likely be decided by President Joko Widodo early next week, said a spokesperson for the coordinating maritime affairs and investment ministry.
Jodi Mahardi also said visitors from 23 countries, including Australia, the United States, Germany, and Netherlands, would qualify for a visa on arrival under revised rules.
Malaysia will allow vaccinated arrivals from Cambodia and Thailand to skip quarantine from March 15.
Hong Kong reports 37,529 cases, 150 deaths
Hong Kong has reported 37,529 new coronavirus infections and 150 deaths, as the city clings to a "zero-Covid" strategy despite spiralling cases that have spread through care homes and overwhelmed healthcare facilities.
Many supermarket shelves were bare again even as the government said there was plenty of fresh food supplies from the mainland and the public should not over-purchase.
Two of the city's largest consumer retail chains started rationing some food and drug items to curb panic buying amid fears of a citywide lockdown.
China to handle pandemic clusters in science-based manner
China will cope with local Covid-19 outbreaks in a targeted and science-based manner to maintain the normal order of production and life, according to a government work report released at the opening of the country's annual meeting of parliament.
The country will also step up research into the prevention of coronavirus variants and accelerate researching and developing vaccines and effective medicines against Covid, the report said.
China will stick to preventing inbound Covid infections and domestic resurgence while continuing to improve its virus measures, according to the report.
China reported 281 new confirmed coronavirus cases on the mainland on March 4, the national health authority said on Saturday, compared with 294 a day earlier.
Of the new confirmed cases, 102 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said, up from 61 a day earlier. The remaining 179 were detected among international travellers.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately, stood at 166 versus 150 a day earlier.
There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll unchanged at 4,636.
Mexico's total death toll inches to 320K
Mexico reported 308 more fatalities from Covid-19, bringing the total death toll since the pandemic began to 319,604, according to health ministry data.
The country also reported 9,748 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 5,554,392.
Brazil records over 69K cases
Brazil recorded 69,769 new coronavirus cases and 677 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry has said.
Brazil has registered 28,973,799 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 651,255, according to ministry data.