Japan to relax travel restrictions; Amazon Drops Mask Rule: virus update


(Bloomberg) – Japan plans to allow business travelers and students to cross its borders but is not relaxing restrictions for tourists, Nikkei reported. Hong Kong has moved in the other direction, toughening the rules for some travelers.

The United States said 80% of adults nationwide have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Tonga, which reported their first case last week after almost two years without Covid, will shut down their largest and most populous island for a week.

The World Health Organization has reopened a search for experts to join a panel to study the origins of Covid-19 to add more specialists in areas such as biosafety.

Amazon.com Inc. has said that its workers vaccinated in the United States will no longer have to wear masks, unless federal or local rules require them to do so.

Key developments:

  • Virus Tracker: cases exceed 247 million; deaths exceed 5 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: Over 7.08 billion vaccines administered
  • Covid injections for children will narrow biggest racial vaccine gap
  • Xi Jinping uses G-20 talks to push for mutual recognition of gunfire
  • Chinese economy weakens as Covid restrictions and electricity crisis hit
  • Impact of Covid-19: The best of Bloomberg’s intelligence research

Colorado Hospitals Near Rationing Care (5:30 a.m. HK)

Eighty percent of Colorado residents have received at least one vaccine against Covid-19, Governor Jared Polis said on Monday, while warning that the spike in infections among the unvaccinated is bringing the state closer to rationing hospital care “In the coming days”.

“It’s the 20% who haven’t been vaccinated that fill our hospital wards,” Polis said at a press briefing in Denver. The state may soon ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to increase overworked hospital staff, he said, in addition to using crisis standards that set guidelines for rationing of care, did he declare.

Idaho, a neighboring state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, is actively rationing hospital care. Idaho, a neighboring state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, is actively rationing hospital care.

Iranian Foreign Minister tests positive (3:50 p.m. NY)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has tested positive for Covid-19, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Monday. Amirabdollahian has been working since quarantine and his “general condition is good,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told the Islamic Republic’s official news agency.

Amazon Ends Mask Rule for Vaccinated Workers (3:20 p.m. NY)

Amazon.com Inc. says its workers vaccinated in the United States will no longer have to wear masks starting Tuesday, unless federal or local rules require them to do so.

“Vaccines are universally available in the United States and vaccination rates continue to increase, reverting to our previous mask policy,” the company said in an employee notice Friday. A spokesperson confirmed the decision.

The online retailer, the second-largest U.S. employer after Walmart, in August ordered employees to resume masking regardless of their vaccination status, as the delta variant spread. The company has so far stopped imposing vaccinations in its ranks, instead offering raffles and other benefits to vaccinated employees.

Tonga’s main island to lock in on 1st case (2:50 p.m. NY)

The Kingdom of Tonga, which reported its first case of Covid last week after almost two years without the virus, will shut down its largest and most populous island for a week.

Locking down Tongatapu, home to the capital Nukualofa, will result in the closure of schools, restaurants and bars and the imposition of a nighttime curfew, the Associated Press reported. Residents can only go out to shop for groceries or access essential services such as medical assistance.

The only case, which arrived via a flight from New Zealand, was a wake-up call for the South Pacific country, which spared hospitalizations and deaths from neighboring countries with larger international links, such as Fiji. and Papua New Guinea.

Novavax CEO considers Shot as “ideal” booster (12:45 NY)

The top executive of Novavax Inc. said the company’s Covid-19 vaccine could be a good booster option for people who have received other injections as the drugmaker seeks to increase production and obtain additional injections. approvals worldwide.

“Our vaccine is ideal for the booster,” CEO Stanley Erck said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday.

Greece cases hit another high (12:10 p.m. NY)

Greece on Monday recorded a new daily record of Covid-19 cases with 5,449 positive tests in 24 hours. This is the second day in a row that the country has hit a daily record since the start of the pandemic. Authorities will discuss the imposition of new restrictive measures in areas with a high level of infection on Wednesday.

US to hit 80% mark on first adult doses (11:41 a.m. NY)

The United States will take another milestone in its vaccination effort on Monday, with 80% of adults having received at least one dose of a vaccine, said Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator.

The United States entered the day at 79.9% of those 18 and over with a single stroke, and will cross 80% when Monday’s data is released at noon. Biden once set a goal of having 70% of adults with at least one stroke, and hit it in August, a month late.

Romania sends patients to Germany (11:35 a.m. NY)

Romania, a European country suffering from one of the worst death tolls per capita in the world in the past two weeks, on Monday transferred six critically ill patients to Germany as its Covid intensive care wards are full, said the the country’s health ministry in a statement on its website.

A total of 18 patients will be transferred to Germany by Wednesday, as the country battles the worst virus outbreak since the start of the pandemic, with more than 1,800 critically ill patients occupying all available Covid intensive care beds in hospitals and field units for a few weeks now. . The second least vaccinated European Union country asked for international aid last month and received medical supplies and staff from the World Health Organization and several countries including Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Moldova.

NYC says 91% of workforce has been vaccinated (10:30 a.m. NY)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the vast majority of city workers comply with the city’s vaccine mandate, resulting in little disruption to services when the requirement goes into effect.

De Blasio said Monday that 9,000 employees have been placed on unpaid leave for not having received the blow and another 12,000 have requested exemptions. This is a small portion of the more than 160,000 people the city said were covered by the latest requirement.

Overall, de Blasio said 91% of the city’s workforce had been vaccinated.

“I’m going to say up front to every mayor of America, every governor of America, every CEO of a company in America, move on to a full vaccination term because that will allow us to end once and for all. the Covid era, “he said.” We have to end it, that’s how we do it. “

The 12,000 workers who have requested exemptions will continue to work while being tested weekly while their claims are reviewed.

WHO wants more experts to study origins (7:24 a.m. NY)

The World Health Organization has reopened a search for experts to join a committee to study the origins of Covid-19 to add more specialists in areas such as biosafety.

Applicants have until Wednesday to express their interest, and the WHO said on Monday it was seeking experts in the social sciences, anthropology, ethics, political science and biosafety.

HK to End Quarantine Exemptions (5:01 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong will end quarantine exemptions for most groups, including senior bankers, directors of listed companies and consulate staff from November 12.

Home isolation is not allowed except for consuls general or representatives in Hong Kong of equivalent or higher level, the government website showed. Only certain essential groups related to the day-to-day operations of the city will benefit from exemptions, including air crews, sea crews of freighters, government officials and drivers of cross-border freight vehicles or coaches.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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