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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now – Metro US

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

People hug at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Los Angeles
People hug at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Sydney to tighten curbs

Extra Australian military personnel may be called in to ensure compliance with lockdown rules in Sydney, the New South Wales state government said on Thursday, as the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant spreads into regional areas.

The move comes as Australia’s capital city, Canberra, 260 km (160 miles) southwest of Sydney, announced a snap one-week lockdown from Thursday evening after reporting its first locally acquired case of COVID-19 in more than a year. Authorities later confirmed an additional three cases, all close contacts of the first case.

New Zealand plans to allow quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries from early 2022, as it looks to open its borders again after nearly 18 months of isolation.

California orders teachers to get vaccine or test

California on Wednesday became the first U.S. state to require that its teachers and other school staff be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19, a move Governor Gavin Newsom called “a responsible step” to ensure the safety of children.

The move comes as Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s statewide ban on mask mandates hit its second legal setback after a judge in Dallas County temporarily blocked it from being enforced amid a nationwide rise in cases.

Abbott and fellow Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida have faced defiance over their statewide orders that prevent local officials from deciding whether to require that masks be worn.

Top Japan health adviser wants stricter measures

Japan’s top health adviser said on Thursday he would request stricter emergency measures for about two weeks to tackle a spike in cases in Tokyo and other areas.

Shigeru Omi told reporters the contagion should be treated as a natural disaster and he called on the government to increase testing to find and contain the spread.

A few days after the end of the Tokyo Olympics, the capital reported 4,989 new daily cases on Thursday, down slightly from record 5,042 last week. The new number of patients with serious symptoms increased to an all-time daily high of 218.

Cambodia starts vaccine booster drive

Cambodia started offering coronavirus vaccine booster shots on Thursday in a renewed public health drive after managing to inoculate more than half of its population.

One of Asia’s poorest countries, Cambodia is offering the AstraZeneca vaccine as a third shot to those who have received the inactivated virus vaccines developed by Sinopharm and Sinovac, with the aim of bolstering immunity against the Delta variant.

Cambodia has recorded nearly 84,000 cases and more than 1,600 deaths.

Age restrictions on AstraZeneca shot end reports of clots

No new cases of a rare and severe blood clots following vaccination with AstraZeneca’s COVID shot have been reported in Britain in recent weeks after a decision to restrict its use in under-40s, British scientists said on Wednesday.

Vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis is a combination of blot clots and low platelet levels that has been labelled as a rare side effect of the viral vector COVID vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

A higher occurrence of the side-effect in younger people has led many countries to put age restrictions on AstraZeneca’s shot.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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