Coronavirus

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Ireland at 'tipping point' as COVID-19 cases rise

Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "We are at a tipping point."

He added that a few weeks ago there were just 61 new reported cases for a seven day period but last week there were 533 cases.

The tightening of restrictions comes ahead of the reopening of schools over the next two weeks.

Taoiseach (Irish PM) Mícheál Martin said that if the current rates of COVID-19 continue to rise "it will be impossible to stop the spread of the virus to our most vulnerable and our most compromised".

New South Wales premier apologises over cruise ship outbreak

Last week, an inquiry found New South Wales health authorities made "serious mistakes" in allowing about 2,650 passengers to disembark when the ship docked in Sydney in March.

Those people were not tested for the virus, despite suspected cases aboard.

The ship was ultimately linked to at least 900 infections and 28 deaths.

Prior to Australia's second wave of the virus - which emerged in Melbourne in June - the cruise ship had been the source of Australia's biggest coronavirus cluster.

Over 50 new COVID-19 cases announced

Out of these cases, 38 are from Western Province while the rest is from the National Capital District.

“The new cases are linked to community transmission in NCD and a cluster of cases at the Ok Tedi mine,” said Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning.

Of the total cases, 221 are from NCD, 85 from Western Province, 5 from Morobe, 1 from West Sepik, 1 from Southern Highlands, 1 from New Ireland, 5 from Central, 2 from East New Britain, 1 from Eastern Highlands and 1 from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Cook Islands closes border over re-emergence of Covid-19 in NZ

The Office of the Prime Minister said this came after concern over the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the Auckland community.

A review of the order is expected on 17 August, ahead of the next flight from Auckland to Rarotonga, scheduled to arrive in Rarotonga on 21 August.

The Cook Islands News reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration saying preventing Covid-19 from entering the county was a top priority for the government, and this was the appropriate response "while the source and extent of spread in New Zealand is being determined".

Seven new cases of COVID-19 in the community in NZ today

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said there were no new cases to report from managed isolation.

The one new case that remains under investigation is in addition to the one case yesterday that is being investigated.

"But in both cases we feel quite confident that they will be linked to the outbreak."

He said 54 people linked to the cluster have been moved to a quarantine facility, including 24 of the people who have tested positive.

The seven new cases reported today bring the total number of confirmed cases to 1258.

UAE sends medical aid to Pacific Island countries in fight against COVID-19

The countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Cook Islands, and Niue.

Commenting on the delivery, Abdulla Al Subousi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Australia, said, "Today’s aid shipment to Pacific island countries reflects the UAE’s continued efforts to support and stand by these countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 by providing critical medical supplies and protection to strengthen the efforts of healthcare personnel."

Coronavirus: Australia encouraged by drop in new COVID-19 cases

Official data on Thursday showed there were 292 new infections in the past 24 hours, down from 428 on Wednesday.

It is the lowest daily total since 20 July. Victoria had by far the most infections - 278. Its capital Melbourne began its shutdown on 3 August.

Health Minister Greg Hunt voiced cautious optimism about the new data.

"We now believe, cautiously, that we have early signs of the flattening of the curve," he said.

'Hundreds dead' because of COVID-19 misinformation

A study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene says about 5,800 people were admitted to hospital as a result of false information on social media.

Many died from drinking methanol or alcohol-based cleaning products.

They wrongly believed the products to be a cure for the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously said that the "infodemic" surrounding Covid-19 spread just as quickly as the virus itself, with conspiracy theories, rumours and cultural stigma all contributing to deaths and injuries.

Auckland confirms 13 new cases in community, one in managed isolation

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says the 13 new cases are all linked to one Auckland cluster - the four people who were reported as confirmed cases yesterday and the day before.

He says the one new case in managed isolation is a woman in her 30s who arrived from the Philippines.

There are now a total of 36 active cases in New Zealand.

Dr Bloomfield says 17 of these are linked to the new outbreak: "Given that all these cases are linked, we are treating them as a cluster."

Youth leading the way in COVID-19 solutions

“Young people have been frontline responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, mobilising across the world. They are health workers, activists, innovators and social and community workers,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on August 12th.

“To reach and engage young people during this pandemic, we must share information, clarify misinformation and we must equip them to take action to contain the spread of the virus. We must validate the leadership of young people and uphold their human rights.