Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thailand confirmed a record 9,276 cases on Friday, as well as 73 deaths, the Bangkok Post reports.
Meanwhile Pfizer plans to ask US regulators to authorize a booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine within the next month, the drugmaker’s top scientist said on Thursday.
The announcement was based on evidence of greater risk of reinfection six months after inoculation and due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.
Here are the other key recent developments:
- Holidaymakers in Portugal will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test, a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery to stay in hotels or other holiday accommodation from Saturday, the government announced.
- Foreign tourists who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada for some time, with the government unwilling to jeopardise progress made on containing the virus, prime minister Justin Trudeau said.
- Olympic organisers decided to ban spectators from the Tokyo Games after Japan’s prime minister declared a state of emergency in the host city. Olympic minister, Tamayo Marukawa left open the possibility that some venues outside Tokyo could still have fans.
- Greece is to unveil plans to mandate vaccination for specific professional groups next week, the government said, after the country’s bio-ethics experts recommended compulsory shots for health workers and staff at elderly care facilities only “as a last resort measure” if efforts to encourage voluntary inoculation proved ineffective.
- Holidaymakers from England travelling to amber list countries will not have to quarantine on return if they are fully vaccinated, but Britons living overseas will not be able to prove their vaccine status if they have been jabbed abroad.
- Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel left hospital today after treatment for Covid-19 and will resume work this week, officials said. A statement from Bettel’s government said his condition had improved, allowing him to work from home. He had been admitted to hospital on Sunday.
- Pharmacies across Indonesia are running out of ivermectin, an oral treatment normally used to parasitic infections, AFP reported, after it was used widely and reportedly with success in India, Mexico, Bolivia, and elsewhere.
- A case brought by more than 500 families of Covid victims seeking a total of €100m in compensation from the Italian government has reached court, as the first hearing into continental Europe’s deadliest outbreak got under way in Rome.