Germany’s coronavirus infection rate has risen to its highest level since the start of the pandemic, public health figures showed on Monday, and doctors warned they will need to postpone scheduled operations in coming weeks to cope.
Worries over COVID-19 have been rising in Europe as several countries face increasing case numbers.
In the Netherlands, a group of hospitals in the southern province of Limburg on Tuesday called for the government to take new measures to stem rising cases, saying they have no space or staff to handle more coronavirus patients. Five hospitals in the province that borders both Belgium and Germany raised the alarm in a statement, which says they are “heading straight for a health-care blockage and the entire system is grinding to a standstill.”
Bulgaria reported a record number of daily coronavirus deaths on Tuesday as the European Union’s least-vaccinated country grapples with a fourth wave, official data showed.
In Romania, hundreds of people have been dying each day for the past two months. The country has been among the hardest-hit in the current virus onslaught raging through Central and Eastern European nations, where far fewer people have been vaccinated than in Western Europe.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s government on Monday proposed reinstating the use of a digital “corona pass” to be presented when Danes visit indoor bars and restaurants, as the country is entering a third wave of the pandemic.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 9:10 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 250.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the online case tracker maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than five million.
In the Americas, the U.S. government will buy another $1 billion worth of the COVID-19 pill made by Merck & Co and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the companies said on Tuesday. The government in June agreed to buy 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir for $1.2 billion and is now exercising options to buy 1.4 million more.
In the Middle East, Israeli health officials will decide behind closed doors whether to allow child COVID-19 vaccinations, citing concerns that decision-makers would otherwise not speak freely due to aggressive anti-vaccine rhetoric by members of the public.
Following the green light given by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for using the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on children aged five to 11, Israel’s Health Ministry is set on Wednesday to hold a decisive discussion among experts on whether to follow suit. There have been an increasing number of threats against officials at the Health Ministry, police say, and at least one senior health official has been assigned a personal security detail.
In Europe, coronavirus deaths in Russia have hit a new record two days after a nine-day non-working period ended in most of the country’s regions. The state coronavirus task force reported 1,211 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, Russia’s highest daily death toll of the pandemic. The task force also reported 39,160 new confirmed cases.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines’ annual economic growth slowed in the third quarter as renewed COVID-19 restrictions crimped demand, giving the central bank more reason to keep interest rates at a record low.
Meanwhile, a report found unvaccinated people are 16 times more likely to end up in intensive care units or die from COVID-19, Australia’s New South Wales state, with officials urging people to get inoculated as Australia begins to live with the coronavirus.
In Africa, Kenya’s ministry of health on Monday reported no additional deaths and 20 new cases of COVID-19.
-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 9:10 a.m. ET