Sept 22 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the
coronavirus right now:
Biden pledges new vaccine donations
President Joe Biden will push world leaders on Wednesday to
do more to curb the pandemic, and announce a U.S. pledge to buy
500 million more vaccine doses to donate to other countries.
Holding a virtual summit to boost global vaccination rates,
Biden hopes to show he is leading by example with the pledge,
which will bring U.S. donations to the rest of the world up to
more than 1.1 billion doses.
The vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech will be made in the
United States and shipped to low and lower middle-income
countries starting in January, a U.S. senior administration
official said ahead of the announcement.
Northern Chinese city in semi-shutdown
China's northeastern city of Harbin, population 10 million,
went into semi-shutdown after reporting new locally transmitted
COVID-19 cases for the first time since early February.
Three of 16 new local cases reported in China for Sept. 21
were in Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, the
National Health Commission said on Wednesday. The last reported
locally transmitted cases in the city were on Feb. 4.
Harbin on Wednesday vowed to complete an initial round of
city-wide testing by Thursday, and told its residents to refrain
from stepping outside their homes, unless necessary, before
their test results are out.
Melbourne police arrest 200 at lockdown protests
Police in Australia's second largest city of Melbourne
arrested more than 200 people after projectiles thrown by
protesters injured two officers on Wednesday, the third
consecutive day of demonstrations against COVID-19 curbs.
New Zealand may not get back to having zero coronavirus
cases in the community, the director general of health said on
Thursday, as the country continues efforts to stamp out the
infectious Delta variant of the virus.
Thailand to accelerate vaccinations
Thailand will speed up vaccinations and introduce urgent
stimulus measures to mitigate the impact of its most severe
coronavirus outbreak, its prime minister said on Wednesday.
Thailand has reported more than 1.5 million infections and
15,000 deaths, about 99% of those since April this year, after a
year of successful containment during which its key tourism
The country has pushed back plans to re-open Bangkok and
some other major cities to foreign arrivals until November, due
to vaccination rates falling short of targets, a senior official
said on Wednesday.
Canada's Alberta replaces health minister as COVID-19 rages
The premier of Canada's Alberta province replaced his health
minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, as a fourth wave of
cases swamped the healthcare system and the government came
under fire for mishandling the pandemic.
Hospitals in Canada's western oil-producing province are
buckling under a record number of cases driven by the Delta
variant. Intensive care units are 87% full, even with extra
"surge beds" added, and Alberta has canceled elective surgeries
and discussed transferring patients to other provinces.
Germany won't pay unvaccinated workers in quarantine
German health authorities are planning new rules under which
unvaccinated workers would not receive compensation for lost pay
if coronavirus measures forced them to quarantine, according to
a draft decision by state health ministries.
The rules would come into force from Oct. 11 at the latest,
a draft document seen by Reuters showed.
China's Clover says its vaccine candidate 67% effective
A potential vaccine from China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals
was 67% effective against COVID-19 and 79% against the Delta
variant in a large, late-stage trial, the company said on
(Compiled by Linda Noakes
Editing by Bernadette Baum)