Coronavirus latest: New Orleans issues mask advisory due to jump in new cases


Italian football club Inter Milan said it would not travel to Florida to take part in an exhibition football tournament there, following the withdrawal of English club Arsenal. Inter Milan “will not be travelling to the USA for the Florida Cup due to the current risks involved in international travel as a result of the spread of the pandemic”, the club said in a statement.

NHS workers will be awarded a pay rise of 3 per cent, triple the amount first proposed. Health secretary Sajid Javid said the pay bump, to be backdated to April this year, was offered to health service staff despite a wider public-sector pay freeze “in recognition of their extraordinary efforts” during the Covid pandemic, which has left nearly half a million Britons in need of hospital care.

Large indoor events such as music gigs do not appear to lead to mass outbreaks of coronavirus — provided guests are tested at the door and face masks are worn at all times, a study suggests. The study assessed how in March, before the emergence in Europe of the highly transmissible Delta variant, 5,000 people attended an indoor concert in Barcelona, where they were allowed to sing and dance with no physical distancing required. Fewer than 10 were diagnosed with Covid-19 within a fortnight of the concert.

Some 5,000 people attended an indoor concert in Barcelona in March with no social distancing © AFP via Getty Images

Tunisia’s president has placed the military in charge of managing the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Deaths and infections rates in the country have increased because of the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Kais Saied, the country’s populist president, on Wednesday said the army’s health department would take over from the civilian authorities in a move expected to deepen Tunisia’s political divisions.

A Tunisian woman receives the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in a Tunis clinic on Tuesday © AFP via Getty Images

New York City will require workers in city-run hospitals and clinics to either get vaccinated against Covid-19 or take a weekly test, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The mandate will take effect on August 2. Workers “must show proof” they have been vaccinated, while de Blasio said he hoped the weekly testing rule would encourage more health workers to get vaccinated.

The US will extend restrictions on non-essential travel at its borders with Canada and Mexico for another month, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The nation’s northern and southern land borders will remain closed for some travellers until at least August 21, government filings showed. The existing ban on trips deemed non-essential was due to expire on Wednesday evening.

The coronavirus pandemic will not be over by the end of 2022 unless the global vaccination campaign accelerates, the head of the International Monetary Fund has warned. Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday that even if no new variants emerge, “it is so clear that we are, on the pace we’re on today, not going to end the pandemic . . . by the end of next year”.

Pfizer and BioNTech will begin manufacturing their Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa, as part of an effort to accelerate the rollout of the jab on a continent battling another wave of infections. The US pharma group and German biotech, who together created the first mRNA-based Covid vaccine to win regulatory approval, said on Wednesday that they would work with the Biovac Institute in Cape Town.

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