Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage.
The French government faces a stand-off with tens of thousands of health workers and carers Wednesday over a new rule requiring them to receive a Covid-19 vaccine or face suspension without pay.
Starting Wednesday, hospital staff, ambulance drivers, retirement home workers, private doctors, fire service members and people caring for the elderly or infirm in their homes – some 2.7 million people in total – must be able to prove they have had at least one shot of a vaccine.
Meanwhile Idaho’s public health officials say crisis standards of care are imminent for the state’s most populated region as hospitals continue to be overrun with unvaccinated coronavirus patients.
More on these stories shortly. In the meantime here are the other key recent developments:
- The WHO warned that Africa has been left behind the rest of the world because of vaccine inequality, with its head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying rich countries and pharmaceuticals have held up efforts to fairly distribute vaccines.
- The Russian president, Vladimir Putin is self-isolating after cases of coronavirus were detected among close contacts. The Kremlin has said that he will no longer travel to Tajikistan this week as planned for regional security meetings and will instead do them by video conference. He will self-isolate for “a certain period”, the Kremlin said.
- Turkey reported its highest number of cases since May and a near-record 276 deaths.
- A WHO official said the vaccine hub established in South Africa may need a year to replicate the Moderna vaccine, as talks with the company on sharing information have not progressed.
- Mauritius is battling an explosion of coronavirus cases. Hospitals are overwhelmed, ventilators in short supply and cemeteries are running out of space.
- The UK vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has said he is hopeful that the over-50s booster campaign will be the “last piece of the jigsaw” for ending lockdowns, as the government announced its winter plan for dealing with the coronavirus. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said it hoped the boosters would top up immunity. MRNA vaccines are being recommended, regardless of which vaccine was originally administered.
- Sierra Leone has ended a curfew in place since early July after infections dropped to single figures over the past few weeks.
- A Republican governor in the US, Kim Reynolds, has said she will appeal a temporary order by a federal judge allowing schools in Iowa to make face masks mandatory amid coronavirus. Meanwhile, in Florida, governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to fine cities and counties that force employees to get coronavirus vaccines.