COVID-19 deaths down in most WHO regions

The June 29 WHO epi update’s global overview saw the lowest weekly mortality figure since early Nov 2020, however disease incidence ‘remains very high’. All regions recorded a fall in death rates except Africa, which was the stand-out with sharp increases in both mortality and new cases (42 and 33 percent respectively). Highest increases in new case numbers occurred in Russia (24 percent), India (12) and Colombia (5), but on a per capita basis the top three ranking countries were the Seychelles, Namibia and Mongolia.

In the Western Pacific region, weekly new cases have declined since a peak in mid-May, however Indonesia is currently reporting test positivity rates of 22 percent and the IFRC judges it to be balancing ‘on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe’.

The Tanzanian president has given an update on COVID-19, the first in over a year, declaring there have been 100 infections since the third global wave hit and ‘about 70 are on ventilators’. Read more

In related news:

- The ECDC has issued an updated warning on the implications of the delta variant in the region this northern summer, estimating that as many as 90 percent of infections will be due to the VOC by late August.

- Thailand is planning to fully open its borders in October when it is hoped that 50 percent or more of the population will have received a vaccine. In the meantime, visitors with proof of vaccination will be allowed in to some of the smaller tourist destinations, starting with Phuket this week and followed by Ko Samui on July 15 and Krabi and Phang Nga in August. A government minister said that visitors will incur costs for ‘requirements such as $100,000 Covid insurance cover and the cost of multiple tests’. Read more

- On June 24 the TGA announced it had granted provisional determination for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Elasomeran.  

- ‘The mRNA Vaccines Are Extraordinary, but Novavax Is Even Better’. Read more in The Atlantic.

- ‘Stopping, blocking and dampening – how Aussie drugs in the pipeline could treat COVID-19’, explained in The Conversation.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.