Coronavirus digest: Russia′s daily death toll reaches all-time high | News | DW | 16.10.2021

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Coronavirus digest: Russia's daily death toll reaches all-time high

More than 1,000 people have died in Russia over the past 24 hours due to COVID-19, and there have been 33,208 new infections. Follow DW for the latest.

Russian health care workers pictured in protective clothing at a hospital in Moscow

Russia's daily COVID-19 death toll has breached the 1,000 mark

Russia has hit a grim milestone, recording more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours. This is the highest daily death toll yet to be recorded as the country battles a surge in cases.

According to the national coronavirus task team there have been 33,208 new infections.

Government has resisted introducing more stringent measures to help curb the spread of the virus,due to concern over the impact it might have on the economy.

Currently just over 30% of the population of around 145 million has been fully vaccinated.

Russia's rollout program is being hampered by a high degree of vaccine skepticism, despite the country having developed its own Sputnik V vaccine.

Here are the latest major coronavirus developments from around the world:

Oceania

Australia saw thousands of fully vaccinated residents allowed to attend the popular Everest Cup horse race on Saturday. Ten thousand spectators flocked to the races as the city emerged from a lengthy lockdown.

Race-goers will also be allowed to attend the country's most prestigious horse racing event, The Melbourne Cup, to be held early next month.

The state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, managed to hit its target of fully vaccinating 80% of its population on Saturday. The country's largest city came out of lockdown on Monday.

In New Zealand health officials managed to vaccinate at least 2.5% of its population on Saturday as government forged ahead with plans to accelerate its vaccination program.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was pleased with efforts and said: "We set a target for ourselves, Aotearoa, you've done it, but lets keep going." 

On the day, 124,669 shots were administered. On Friday 62% of the country's population had been inoculated.

New Zealand managed to remain mostly virus-free during the pandemic, but a recent Delta variant outbreak has meant a rethink in strategy.

Watch video 02:32

New Zealand: 'Zero Covid' increasingly questioned

Europe

In Italy's capital Rome, tens of thousands of people flooded the streets for an anti-fascist protest. Italians and members of various trade unions gathered under the banner "No more fascism: For work, participation and democracy." 

The protests were in response to last week's protests over so-called "green passports" which descended into violence. Under new regulations, workers are required to carry a certificate showing proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from COVID-19.

During the chaos, members of the radical right-wing party Forza Nuova, among other neofascist groups, attacked the headquarters of the left-leaning Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), and managed to break into its premises.

Watch video 01:48

Italy introduces strictest COVID pass rule in Europe

In the Vatican City, Pope Francis said on Saturday he understands that he is considered to be a pest in some quarters for defending the poor.

Francis has called on pharmaceutical companies to release vaccine patents so there could be more shots available for the world's poor.

The pope was addressing a collection of grassroots organizations that highlight inequality.

North America

In the United States at least two dozen lawsuits have been filed by people looking to have hospitals administer ivermectin as a treatment. The anti-parasitic drug has been promoted by some conservative commentators, but its efficacy in terms of treatment for COVID-19 is yet to be proven.

Hospitals have said that they are unable to administer drugs that have not been approved for use against COVID-19 and contend that a dangerous precedent could be set if medical professionals are overruled by judges.

Watch video 02:36

A look at promising treatments for COVID-19

Meanwhile in Chicago, a judge on Friday banned the president of a police union from making public statements on the city's COVID-19 strategy.

The city has become the latest battleground in the debate over the government's vaccine mandate, compelling government workers to get vaccinated.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot sought an injunction against police union head John Catanzara. The judge granted a 10 day restraining order preventing Catanzara from encouraging members to withhold reporting their vaccination status.

kb/csb (AP,AFP, Reuters)

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