New Zealand’s regions outside of Auckland will move down lockdown settings to level 2, from midnight Tuesday. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced, as a slowdown in daily case numbers indicated the coronavirus outbreak may have peaked.
- The country was put into a snap nation-wide lockdown following the discovery of one case of the Delta variant in the community on 17 August. The entire country was in alert level 4, the highest level for two weeks, with regions outside Auckland moving down a level last week.
- Auckland will remain in a level 4 lockdown, the highest setting until at least midnight Tuesday next week, but will be revised on Monday.
- The country reported 20 new cases of coronavirus in the community for the third day in a row, in another encouraging sign that the outbreak is slowing down and that strict lockdown measures are containing the virus.
- The latest number of covid infected deaths in Russia is 790, and there have been 17,856 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
- Philippines to replace stay-at-home order with local ‘granular lockdowns’. The country will lift a stay-at-home order in the capital Manila this week as it trials “granular lockdowns” in a bid to rein in coronavirus cases and revive the economy.
- More than 13 million people in the national capital region the country’s economic heartland have been in lockdown since 6 August amid record infections.
- In the United States, COVID-19 deaths are continuing to rise rapidly, with nearly 3,000 deaths reported on Thursday. In Florida, which recorded a pandemic-high death toll in August, hospitals report more than 90% of all ICU beds are occupied, with significant shortages of oxygen.
- US officials have expressed optimism that Covid-19 booster shot delivery can start for all adults on 20 September, the goal set by President Joe Biden, as cases continue to rage across the country fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The officials insist, however, that boosters will not be rolled out without US health agencies’ authorization, leaving open the possibility of delays.