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Coronavirus digest: Guatemala imposes 'state of calamity'

August 14, 2021

Guatemala has imposed a night curfew and restrictions on public gatherings amid a surge in infections. Meanwhile, authorities in Sydney have described "the most concerning day" of the pandemic. Follow DW for the latest.

A woman walks in  San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala
The Latin American country is imposing a curfew from 10 pm to 4 am.Image: Moises Castillo/AP Photo/picture alliance

The President of Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei declared a "state of calamity" on Friday for 30 days, as the country sees a high number of infections and a very low vaccination rate. The Central American nation reported 4,358 new cases in the past 24 hours.

National media reported that a curfew will be imposed from 10 pm to 4 am, starting on August 15. The authorities are imposing restrictions on public assembly. 


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those with weakened immune systems on Friday. The country is currently battling a wave of the delta variant. 

EU-US travel still not business as usual

The extra dose will be given to organ transplant recipients or those with equivalent weakened immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted in favor of the extra dose. Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were not included in the decision, due to a lack of data. 

After New York City, US cities such as New Orleans and San Francisco will also require people to show proof of vaccination to eat at restaurants, attend a concert, and other such activities, as businesses are set to reopen soon. Los Angeles is also considering this requirement. 

The US state of Hawaii recorded 1,170 on Friday, its single highest daily rise. Governor David Ige said the spike was among the unvaccinated and that the US state was in "crisis mode."

"It is real and it is terrifying,"' Ige said. "And tragically, it's preventable," he added, urging people to get inoculated and avoid crowds.


Russia on Saturday recorded one of its darkest days of the pandemic so far after 819 people died from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours.

Official figures have put the total fatalities from coronavirus at nearly 170,000, making them the highest in Europe.

Stiff resistance against national jabs means that only 32 million people have been vaccinated out of a total population of 146 million.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 5,578 to 3,816,285 on Saturday. The death toll rose by 11 to 91,864, the tally showed.

Middle East

Iran will put into effect a six-day lockdown from Monday to stem what state media called its fifth wave of the pandemic.

Authorities will ban travel between Iranian cities from Sunday and close all bazaars, restaurants, markets and public offices.

Only 3.8 million Iranians out of 80 million have so far been vaccinated, with 466 deaths and nearly 30,000 new cases recorded on Saturday.

Asia Pacific

Australia's biggest city Sydney announced tight restrictions, as the country battles another surge in infections. Police and defense personnel will be enforcing stay-at-home orders. Residents are still permitted to leave their homes for shopping, exercise, healthcare and essential work.

Starting over amidst the pandemic in Australia.

Authorities said Saturday was the  "most concerning day of the pandemic," as Sydney residents are set to face fines for flouting restrictions. The state of New South Wales recorded 466 cases of community transmission.

China reported 30 new locally transmitted infections on Friday, marking a fourth consecutive day of new infections going down. When taking into account people who were infected with the coronavirus while abroad, the mainland reported 66 new cases, down from 99 a day earlier.

China has put safety protocols and mass testing in place as it was seeing a surge in delta variant cases. 

jc, tg/dj (AFP, AP, Reuters)