COVID-19

Two million deaths 'very likely' even with vaccine, WHO warns

Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies head, said the figure could be higher without concerted international action.

Almost one million people have died with Covid-19 worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.

Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally.

The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.

So far, the US, India and Brazil have confirmed the most cases, recording more than 15 million between them.

Covid: US death toll passes 200,000

More than 6.8 million people are known to have been infected in the US, more than in any other country.

The milestone comes amid an increase in cases in a number of states, including North Dakota and Utah.

In March, President Donald Trump said if deaths were between 100,000 and 200,000, the country would have done a "very good job".

The previous month, when 15 cases had been reported in the country, he predicted that the number was going to be "close to zero" within a couple of days.

India infections top five million mark

The virus is spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 for the five days up until Tuesday.

More than 80,000 people have died, amid reports of shortages of intensive care beds and oxygen supplies.

But the death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload.

The rise in infections comes as the government continues to lift restrictions throughout the country to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.

Five new Covid-19 cases recorded in Papua New Guinea

Four of them are from the Tabubil township in the Western Province and one case is from the National Capital District, all were men.

This brings the national total of Covid-19 cases to 516 with six deaths from the coronavirus recorded so far.

The majority of Papua New Guineans who have tested positive have displayed only mild to moderate symptoms of the virus.

The controller of the national pandemic response, David Manning has again repeated calls for residents to strictly adhere to Covid-19 regulations to prevent community transmission.

     

Australian family hit with huge quarantine bill to visit dying father

Mark Keans, 39, has terminal cancer and is at home in Brisbane, Queensland, while his four children are in Sydney.

Queensland authorities have refused repeated pleas to grant an exemption to tough Covid-19 travel restrictions.

More than A$200,000 has now been raised after the case caused outrage.

Australia has implemented extremely tough travel restrictions to control Covid-19, including on movement between the country's states and territories.

Mr Keans was initially told he needed to choose just one child who would be permitted to see him.

Kiribati extends its border closure until the end of December

The Government advises that this extension will remain effective until the end of December, 2020.

Some exceptions have been made for humanitarian flights to transport essential equipment and medical supplies for the Government as it enters the final stages of its preparations for repatriation of nationals. 

A group of 20 nationals from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) will be the first to be repatriated.

All repatriated nationals would be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at a Government-designated facility on South Tarawa.

Air NZ grounds Boeing 777 fleet due to Covid-19 impact on travel

In May, the airline grounded most of its seven 777-300 aircraft until the end of the 2020 calendar year. It signalled it was unlikely to fly its eight 777-200 aircraft in the foreseeable future and began preparing to send these into long term storage overseas.

In a release, the airline said four of the aircraft will be stored in Victorville in the Californian desert and three would remain in Auckland where they can be used if required.

Batman filming paused after Robert Pattinson 'tests positive for coronavirus'

The pause in filming, confirmed by Warner Bros, is because lead actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for the virus, according to US media.

Warner Bros said a member of the production team was self-isolating but it did not say who.

Filming began in Glasgow earlier this year but was halted due to the pandemic.

A spokeswoman for the studios said: "A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19, and is isolating in accordance with established protocols. Filming is temporarily paused."

OFC Champions League cancelled due to Covid

The competition reached the quarter-final stage after pool play in February and March before the pandemic took hold.

The OFC Champions League playoff matches were due to be played in April and May but were delayed multiple times.

Clubs from New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tahiti, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia had advanced to the knockout stages.

The winner of this year's OFC Champions League was set to attend the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar in December.

Former Cook Islands PM dies in Auckland from Covid

The 82 year old had been admitted to hospital on 13 August and passed away last night.

Dr Williams' death is the second this week associated to the latest Auckland outbreak of the coronavirus.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said Dr Williams' death brings the total number of people who have died from the coronavirus in New Zealand to 24.

The Pasifika Medical Association announced his passing, saying he was a well-respected and much loved man.