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The Latest: WHO Reports Global Drop in New COVID-19 Cases

The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to decline last week, with 3.6 million new cases reported worldwide, up from 4 million new infections the week before, the World Health Organization said.

Last week’s drop marked the first substantial drop in more than two months, with COVID-19 cases falling in every region of the world. In its latest pandemic update released on Tuesday, the WHO said there had been a significant drop in cases in two regions: a 22% drop in the Middle East and a 16% drop in East Asia. South East.

The United Nations health agency said there were just under 60,000 deaths last week, a drop of 7%. He said that while Southeast Asia has reported a 30% decrease in deaths from COVID-19, the Western Pacific region has reported a 7% increase. Most of the coronavirus cases have been seen in the United States, India, Britain, Turkey and the Philippines. WHO said the faster-spreading delta variant has now been seen in 185 countries and is present in all regions of the world.

The organization has also revised its list of “variants of interest” or those that it believes are likely to cause major epidemics; The WHO said it is tracking the lambda and mu variants, both of which have appeared in Latin America but have yet to cause widespread epidemics. The WHO has previously said that in all countries where the delta variant circulates, it has become the predominant virus.



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– See AP coverage at



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – As coronavirus infections plummet and vaccinations accelerate in the United Arab Emirates, authorities have relaxed a long-standing mandate on face masks.

The Arabian Gulf Sheikh said on Wednesday that residents no longer need to wear masks when exercising outdoors or visiting the country’s beaches and swimming pools. Those who receive medical or cosmetic care can also forgo the mask. However, face masks will still be required in indoor spaces like shopping malls and public transportation.

This is the first time the UAE government has relaxed the strict nationwide mask mandate, violations of which result in a hefty fine of $ 800.

Cases of the virus have steadily declined in recent weeks, with health authorities now recording some 300 to 400 cases per day. More than 80% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The move comes just a week before Dubai hosts the long-awaited World Expo, which has been postponed for a year due to the pandemic.


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Coronavirus infections in Slovakia are rising sharply, surpassing 1,000 people who tested positive in one day for the first time since April.

The health ministry said the daily increase in new cases reached 1,180 cases on Tuesday, the highest number since April 7. It was 474 a week ago.

Nine more people died from COVID-19 on Tuesday for a total of 12,589 in the nation of 5.5 million.

Some 2.3 million people in Slovakia have been fully immunized. The country has one of the slowest vaccination rates among the countries of the European Union.


BEIJING – Officials in the city of Harbin in northeast China have said that nationwide health officials have been sent to the city to deal with what could be a coronavirus outbreak.

The city of 9.5 million people reported three cases of infection on Wednesday, a day after discovering a first case of community transmission.

After the initial discovery, authorities began mass testing and closed schools. The city has also ordered the closure of businesses such as mahjong parlors, cinemas and gymnasiums. City officials say residents must display a negative virus test to be able to leave only for essential trips. Otherwise, people are told to stay at home.

China has succeeded in preventing the virus from spreading widely within its borders through an expensive and strict strategy that relies on blockades and mass testing.


HONOLULU – A man who helped organize a Hawaiian group that opposes coronavirus vaccines and pandemic restrictions says he now has regrets after contracting COVID-19.

Chris Wikoff told Hawaii News Now this week that he helped launch the Aloha Freedom Coalition last October. He says he believed government shutdowns and other restrictions threatened freedoms and hurt businesses.

But then he and his wife contracted COVID-19, the disease that is sometimes caused by the virus. Wikoff says he thought he was going to die and still has trouble breathing.

He is now considering getting the vaccine because his family and doctors recommend it.

Wikoff says he no longer wants to be associated with the Aloha Freedom Coalition. He warns the other members of the group not to assemble.


LOS ANGELES – California is experiencing lower coronavirus transmission than other U.S. states, as virus cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations decline after a summer wave.

The state is currently the only state with “substantial” transmission of the coronavirus, the second highest level on the CDC’s color-coded map. Puerto Rico too. In all other US states, transmission of the virus is considered “high”.

State health experts say the relatively high vaccination rates in California before the arrival of the delta variant of the coronavirus made a difference. They say additional measures, such as masking, have also helped stem the outbreak.

State data shows that nearly 70% of eligible Californians are fully immunized.


HONOLULU – Healthcare providers in Hawaii are receiving half the number of monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 they have requested due to a drug shortage.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the federal government has capped Hawaii’s weekly allowance at 680 treatments. The state will have to see if it can get more supplies in the coming weeks.

There has been an increase in demand for drugs in states where increasing hospitalizations among the unvaccinated have overwhelmed hospitals.

Treatments have been shown to reduce the number of deaths and hospitalizations if given early. Medicines are laboratory-made versions of antibodies that block viruses that help fight infections.


CHEYENNE, Wyoming. – The Governor of Wyoming has activated the Wyoming National Guard to provide temporary assistance to hospitals facing a wave of COVID-19 patients.

Governor Mark Gordon on Tuesday activated 95 soldiers and airmen to serve at 24 sites in 17 towns in Wyoming.

Members of the Guard will assist with cleaning, catering, coronavirus screening, managing personal protective equipment and other support tasks.

Guard members will rotate from 14 to 30 days, with the option to extend until the end of the year.

On Tuesday, 190 people were hospitalized in Wyoming with COVID-19, the sometimes fatal disease that can be caused by the coronavirus. This represents a drop from the recent high of 223 reached on September 8.


WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina – A North Carolina-based healthcare provider says nearly 400 of its employees are at risk of dismissal for failing to comply with a mandatory coronavirus vaccination schedule.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Novant Health said on Tuesday that 1.4% of its overall workforce, or 375 employees, was not allowed to work.

Novant announced its mandatory vaccination policy on July 22, saying it would require full compliance by September 15.

In a press release, Novant Health says affected workers will have five days to comply with the vaccination mandate. If they don’t get shot by the deadline, they’ll be fired.


NEW YORK – A new study of inmates in Texas prisons provides more evidence that the coronavirus can spread even in groups where most people are vaccinated.

A COVID-19 outbreak at a federal prison in July and August infected 172 male inmates in two prison housing units, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday.

About 80% of the detainees in the units had been vaccinated. Over 90% of unvaccinated inmates eventually became infected, as did 70% of fully vaccinated inmates.

However, serious illness was more common among the unvaccinated. The hospitalization rate was almost 10 times higher for them compared to those who received the vaccines.

It echoes research into a July outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where several hundred people were infected – about three-quarters of whom were fully vaccinated.

Reports like these have prompted health officials to redouble their efforts to ensure that even those vaccinated wear masks and take other precautions. They believe the delta variant, a version of the coronavirus that spreads more easily, and possibly waning immunity, could play a role.

The authors did not identify the prison, but media reports in July detailed an outbreak similar in size to the federal prison in Texarkana.


OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Thunder fans in the NBA will be required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative coronavirus test to attend games in person, the team announced Tuesday.

“As we continue to face serious health issues related to COVID-19, we must remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our community,” Thunder President Clay Bennett said.

The policy will be in effect for the first 12 games of the preseason and will continue until the start of the regular season.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Tuesday reported 484 new cases of the virus and a seven-day average of 1,834 new cases per day, compared with a seven-day average of 2,114 new cases daily ago. one week.

The number of hospitalizations rose from a three-day average of nearly 1,600 on September 1 to 1,327 on Tuesday, according to the Department of Health, which announced a virtual career day on September 29 in an effort to hire 70 nurses statewide.

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Jacob C.

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