Coronavirus: Singapore investigates 'unusual' COVID surge
Singapore, Oct 28: Singapore is looking into an "unusually high" rise in infections as the city-state recorded an all-time high of 5,324 new cases of the virus within 24 hours. With 10 new deaths, the toll has risen to 349.
"The infection numbers are unusually high today," the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement late Wednesday.
"MOH is looking into this unusual surge in cases within a relatively short window, and closely monitoring the trends for the next few days."
Last week, Singapore extended some virus-linked curbs to ease the pressure on the country's healthcare system.
Restrictions, including limits on social interactions and limiting dining out to two people, have been reimposed.
Notably, about 84% of Singapore's population has been vaccinated against COVID.
Here are some more coronavirus headlines from around the world:
New Zealand is set to loosen border quarantine requirements to make it easier for New Zealanders stuck abroad to return home starting next month. However, the borders will not be open for tourists.
Starting next month, most people arriving in the country would need to spend seven days in a quarantine hotel, which is half the previous requirement.
Some people arriving from low-risk Pacific island countries could even skip quarantine altogether by isolating at home.
Further reopening will be announced once over 90% of New Zealand"s population aged 12 and over is fully vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
Australia has eased its COVID-related travel advisory for several countries, including the United States, Canada and Britain, as the country moves towards opening borders next week.
Australia"s outbound travel ban will be lifted for fully vaccinated residents from November 1.
"The changes announced today are a vital next step in re-uniting Australian families and safely re-opening Australia to the world," Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said on Thursday.
Germany has reported 28,037 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the country"s total tally to 4,534,452, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
With 126 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, Germany"s death toll has risen to 95,485.
A cheap antidepressant has shown promise in reducing the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19, a new study has shown. Usually used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, the pill is known to reduce inflammation.
Researchers have sent their results to the US National Institutes of Health and hope to receive a World Health Organization recommendation.
If recommended, the pill, called fluvoxamine, would cost $4 for a course of COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, antibody IV treatments cost nearly $2,000 and Merck's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 costs about $700 per course.
A New York judge has refused to remove a vaccine mandate for New York City"s municipal workforce, which is scheduled to take effect on Friday.
Under the mandate, police officers, firefighters and most other city workers must show proof of vaccination by 5 p.m. Friday to stay on the job.
Brazil's Rio de Janeiro has lifted its mask requirement for outdoor areas from Thursday, the state's governor announced.
"We are going to relax the requirement on wearing masks outdoors, which is cause for celebration," Governor Claudio Castro wrote on Twitter.
"More than a year and a half after thestate of public emergency was declared over the pandemic, this is an important victory for us all."
Masks will now be required only in indoor public spaces.
Honduras has set aside doses of COVID vaccines for citizens of neighboring Nicaragua and set up vaccination sites along the country's border.
The government of Honduras said it has set aside 100,000 doses for its neighbors.
Nicaraguans have flocked to these vaccination stands to the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as their country only offers Cuban and Russian shots.
Israel is set to allow vaccinated tourists into the country starting November 1 after a successful booster campaign that helped drive down infections, the government has announced.
Travelers from all countries will be allowed if they can show a vaccine certificate that is less than six months old. They will also need to take a virus test on departure and arrival.