Australia bans overseas travel until December

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Medical residents and doctors attend a 24-hour strike amid to protest the government's medical reform plans
Medical residents and doctors attend a 24-hour strike amid to protest the government's medical reform plans

Mexico has highest COVID-19 toll for healthcare workers in the world, with more than 1,300 deaths, says Amnesty.

  • More than 7,000 healthcare workers have died worldwide from coronavirus, according to Amnesty International, with Mexico logging the highest death toll among medical staff. 
  • The death toll from the coronavirus disease in the Middle East surpassed 50,000, but numbers still may be an undercount, as testing in war-torn nations like Libya and Yemen remain extremely limited.
  • Steroids have been confirmed to reduce the risk of death in patients suffering from severe cases of COVID-19.
  • More than 26 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and at least 866,598 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 17.4 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, September 4

New Zealand to maintain coronavirus curbs until mid-September

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would keep its current coronavirus restrictions in place until at least mid-September as a precaution.

Authorities had earlier lifted a lockdown in the city of Auckland following an outbreak there that began last month, but they continue to limit gathering sizes across the country and mandate that people wear masks on public transport.

“The best economic response remains a strong health response. If we get it right we will ultimately shake off restrictions faster and lessen the risk of bouncing around,” Ardern told a news conference.

New Zealand reported five new virus cases on Friday, two among returning travelers already in quarantine and three connected to the Auckland outbreak.

Australia extends international travel ban

Greg Hunt, the Australian health minister, extended restrictions on international travel and the entry of cruise ships until December 17 to protect the country against the spread of the coronavirus.

He cited the “unacceptable public health risk” posed by COVID-19 for the decision.

The restrictions on all international visitors were announced in March, with Australians and permanent residents also banned from leaving the country unless granted an exemption.

South Korean doctors expected to end strike

South Korean doctors have agreed to end a two-week strike which has hindered efforts to curb a new wave of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said, after overnight talks over the government’s medical reform plans.

Chung said the government, the ruling party and the Korean Medical Association that represents the industry have reached a “dramatic compromise” and he expects “they will sign an agreement today”.

A Korean Medical Association spokesman said an event to sign an agreement was expected but nothing was final until it actually takes place.

Some 16,000 intern and resident doctors have been on strike since August 21.

Medical residents and doctors attend 24-hour strike amid COVID-19 pandemic in Seoul
Medical residents and doctors attend a 24-hour strike amid to protest the government’s medical reform plans

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