COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 30 September

A nurse fills up syringes for patients as they receive their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster vaccination during a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, U.S., September 29, 2021.  REUTERS/Emily Elconin - RC2SZP9HB2GF
The roll-out of booster shots continues across the United States.
Image: REUTERS/Emily Elconin
  • This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Restrictions to ease in Viet Nam's largest city; New study into long COVID-19; France to extend state of emergency.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 233.2 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.77 million. More than 6.2 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine has shown 74% efficacy in a large-scale US trial - a figure that rises to 83.5% among those aged 65 and older.

COVID-19 cases in Melbourne have hit record levels, with many being traced back to gatherings to watch the Australian Rules Football Grand Final on television.

Laboratory studies suggest that Merck's experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral drug is likely to be effective against known variants of the virus.

The European Union will extend a mechanism to monitor and potentially limit the export of COVID-19 vaccines from the bloc until the end of 2021 from the current deadline of today, an official announced yesterday.

Poland has sent more than 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Egypt, the Polish foreign ministry said yesterday.

The Pan American Health Organization has said it's in advanced talks with vaccine makers to buy additional COVID-19 shots to supplement existing deals and supply mechanisms.

France plans to extend a state of emergency until summer 2022 to continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Switzerland has agreed a deal to buy 150,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries
Image: Our World in Data

2. Restrictions to ease in Viet Nam's largest city

Viet Nam's commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City has begun to relax COVID-19 restrictions, officials have said. The easing will allow more business and social activities after four months of restrictions.

"All checkpoints on the streets will be lifted and no travel permits will be needed after today," Le Hoa Binh, deputy chairman of the city's people's committee, told a news conference. "We are gradually opening but put our resident's safety first."

From 1 October, Ho Chi Minh City's industrial parks, construction projects, malls, barbershops, hospitality facilities and restaurants for takeaways can resume operations, Binh said.

The city of around 9 million people has accounted for 80% of the country's fatalities and half of its nearly 780,000 cases.

3. At least one long-term symptom seen in 37% of COVID-19 patients - study

A large study from Oxford University and the National Institute for Health Research has shown that at least one long-term COVID-19 symptom was found in 37% of patients three to six months after infection.

The most common included breathing problems, fatigue, pain and anxiety, Oxford said. The study looked at more than 270,000 people recovering from COVID-19.

"We need to identify the mechanisms underlying the diverse symptoms that can affect survivors," said Oxford University professor Paul Harrison, who headed the study.

"This information will be essential if the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 are to be prevented or treated effectively."

India’s leading COVID-19 last-mile responders

Each of our Top 50 social enterprise last mile responders and multi-stakeholder initiatives is working across four priority areas of need: Prevention and protection; COVID-19 treatment and relief; inclusive vaccine access; and securing livelihoods. The list was curated jointly with regional hosts Catalyst 2030’s NASE and Aavishkaar Group. Their profiles can be found on www.wef.ch/lastmiletop50india.

Top Last Mile Partnership Initiatives to collaborate with:

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