(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
The Americas are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday, as it warned that countries with low inoculation rates are seeing increases in COVID-19 and repeated a call for vaccine donations.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Hundreds of people protested in Paris against the introduction of a health pass for some activities and against compulsory vaccinations for health workers as the government seeks to curb a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in France.
* Staff in England's National Health Service, who have been on the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic, will receive a 3% pay rise, the British government said.
* Russia is aiming for 80% COVID-19 herd immunity by November, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said, despite its relatively slow vaccination rate.
* Police fired tear gas and water canon to disperse crowds protesting against coronavirus vaccinations in Athens.
* Croatia will impose obligatory COVID-19 tests for visitors coming from Britain, Russia and Cyprus from July 26, the state health institute said.
* Vietnam has produced the first test batch of Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund and Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm Vabiotech said, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak so far.
* Australia's two largest states reported sharp increases in new cases, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country's population under stay-at-home orders.
* A major Taiwanese Buddhist group said it had signed a deal to buy 5 million doses of BioNTech's vaccine via the German firm's Chinese sales agent, bumping the island's order for the shot up to 15 million doses.
* The U.S. government extended the closure of land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel such as tourism through Aug. 21.
* Chile's Institute of Public Health approved emergency use of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine, joining the country's already massive inoculation program, the institute said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa aims to have given at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 35 million of its 60 million people by Christmas, a senior health official said.
* Tunisian President Kais Saied said the military health department will take over management of the health crisis in the country amid a COVID-19 outbreak, an escalation of a battle over powers with the prime minister.
* Saudi Arabia said it had banned direct or indirect travel by citizens to Indonesia over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak there, the state news agency SPA reported.
* Pfizer and BioNTech have struck a deal for South Africa's Biovac Institute to help manufacture around 100 million doses a year of their COVID-19 vaccine for the African Union, the firms said.
* Markets continued their upward march on Wednesday and yields climbed due partly to positive corporate earnings, despite apprehension about the Delta coronavirus variant and inflation, which spurred a flight to safety earlier in the week.
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