Singapore Tightens Restrictions, U.S. Deaths Peak: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- The number of people dying with Covid-19 in U.S. hospitals appears to have peaked, the latest sign of reprieve after the delta variant fueled record spikes in infections in some states.
President Joe Biden said 60 million Americans who got the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine will soon be able to get a booster shot, after one of his top health officials overruled an advisory panel to expand eligibility.
In Asia, Singapore made work-from-home the default and tightened other rules as it again broke a daily record for infections.
- Global Virus Tracker: Cases pass 230.9 million; 4.7 million deaths
- Vaccine Tracker: More than 6.06 billion doses administered
- CDC director had nurses in mind in overruling panel on boosters
- Bolsonaro’s son, agriculture chief test positive
- Where are we in the quest for Covid treatments?: Quicktake
- Understanding the debate over booster shots: QuickTake
Masks Curb School Spread: CDC (1:26 p.m. NY)
Universal mask requirements in schools reduced the spread of Covid-19 compared to schools that didn’t have mask requirements, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After schools opened this fall, counties without mask requirements saw their rates of new pediatric Covid cases rise about twice as fast as counties where schools required masks, according to one CDC analysis. In another study focused on Arizona, schools that didn’t have universal mask rules in place were 3.5 times more likely to have Covid outbreaks than schools that did.
Colorado Nurse Fined for Covid ‘Cures’ (12:38 p.m. NY)
A Colorado nurse practitioner has been fined $40,000 for marketing “alleged cures” for Covid-19, including the anti-parasite drug ivermectin. Siegfried Emme, owner of Loveland Medical Clinic, also advertised intravenous therapies, according to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
Messenger RNA Researchers Win Lasker Award (12 p.m. NY)
The research team behind the messenger RNA technology used in Covid-19 vaccines won the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, one of the world’s top prizes in medicine. Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman “launched a novel therapeutic technology,” the award panel said in a statement. Kariko leads mRNA therapeutic work at Covid vaccine maker BioNTech SE, and Weissman is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The two were both based at Penn when they did the research.
Singapore Returns to Work-From-Home (11:15 a.m. NY)
Singapore made work-from-home the default and tightened other rules as it again broke a daily record for infections. The city state announced 1,650 new infections Saturday, almost all locally transmitted among residents, and nearly 1,100 people were hospitalized.
In addition to the renewed work-from-home order, Singapore limited gatherings to two people in restaurants and other social settings, an effort to contain the spread of the virus and preserve hospital capacity for the most severe cases.
Most in U.S. Can Get Pfizer Booster: Biden (10:57 a.m. NY)
President Joe Biden said 60 million Americans who got the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine will soon be able to get a booster shot, after one of his top health officials overruled an advisory panel to expand eligibility.
“We took a key step in protecting the vaccinated with booster shots, which our top government doctors believe provides the highest level of protection available to date,” Biden said Friday at the White House.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Rochelle Walensky, issued a statement late Thursday advising that booster shots could be given to people with the Pfizer vaccine 6 months after the second of their first two shots.
Brazil’s Agriculture Chief Has Covid (9:27 a.m. NY
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina tested positive for Covid-19, the second member of President Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet to be diagnosed with the virus this week.
Mauritius Eases Curbs Ahead of Reopening (9:09 a.m. NY)
Mauritius, the tourism-dependent Indian Ocean island nation, will further ease restrictions on movements with priority given to vaccinated people, according to a statement from the Health and Wellness ministry on Friday.
Gyms, sports complexes, bars, casinos and gaming houses will be open to vaccinated staff, public and adults where applicable starting Oct. 1. Capacity for religious events, weddings and funeral has been doubled to 100.
Mauritius is set to reopen borders to vaccinated tourists holding a negative PCR test on arrival from Oct. 1. Revival of the tourism industry is considered critical to an economic rebound in 2021.
U.S. Covid-19 Hospitalizations Fall to 11.3% (7.30 a.m. NY)
More than 11% of hospital beds in U.S. hospitals were occupied by Covid-19 patients on Sept. 23, the least since Aug. 15, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Indonesia Reports Lowest Toll Since Pre-Delta (7:12 a.m. NY)
Indonesia recorded the fewest daily deaths from Covid-19 since May 30, before the latest outbreak caused by the delta variant hit in June and peaked in July. As many as 144 people died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 141,258, according to the health ministry.
Life Expectancy for U.K. Males Falls (7:03 a.m.)
The life expectancy of U.K. men fell for the first time on record, a sign of how the pandemic has raised mortality in the nation.
Males born between 2018 and 2020 are expected to live 79 years, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics. That’s seven weeks less than those who were born in the two years prior, and the first drop since the early 1980s when the statistics office started compiling data.
Norway to Ease Restrictions (7 a.m. NY)
Norway will lift all Covid-related domestic restrictions from Sept. 25, with the exception of the requirement to isolate if ill with Covid-19, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters on Friday. It also won’t extend beyond Oct. 1 its advice to avoid unnececessary international travel.
“The Norwegian Institute of Public Health believes that there is little risk that the epidemic will get out of control, give a significant disease burden or threaten the health service’s capacity,” Solberg said.
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