Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world overnight - Wednesday, September 15

Here's the latest on the pandemic from around the world overnight. 

Europe

UK

Britain will begin a COVID-19 vaccine booster programme for older and more vulnerable people soon as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government relies on vaccines rather than further lockdowns to navigate a "bumpy" winter.

Britain is highly likely to require front-line health and social care workers in England to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of its plan to contain the virus through the winter.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved more than 112,000 lives and averted 24 million cases of the disease, British officials said on Tuesday.

Britain recorded 26,628 new cases on Tuesday and a further 185 deaths.

Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he was self-isolating after several members of his entourage fell ill with COVID-19, including someone he worked with in close proximity and had been in close contact with all of the previous day.

Netherlands

The Dutch government on Tuesday announced they are easing COVID-19 restrictions from September 25 and will introduce a "corona" pass showing proof of vaccination to go to bars, restaurants, clubs or cultural events.

Italy

Italy reported 72 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday against 36 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 4021 from 2800.

Asia-Pacific

Indonesia

Indonesia plans to start opening its borders to foreigners in November once 70 percent of its target population have received at least one vaccine shot, its health minister said on Tuesday.

Singapore

Singapore's health ministry reported 837 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest since August last year.

Australia

A tradie has appeared in court on fraud charges after pretending to have COVID so he didn't have to go to work.

Philippines

The Philippines' capital region will exit wide-scale restrictions from Thursday, as the government launches a pilot test of localised lockdowns, amid efforts to balance reopening the economy and containing the spread of the coronavirus.

China

New local COVID-19 infections more than doubled in China's southeastern province of Fujian, health authorities said on Tuesday, prompting officials to quickly roll out measures including travel restrictions to halt the spread of the virus.

The National Health Commission said 59 new locally transmitted cases were reported for September 13, up from 22 infections a day earlier. All of them were in Fujian, a province bordered by Zhejiang to the north and Guangdong to the south.

Middle East and Africa

Less than 3.5 percent of Africans are vaccinated against COVID-19, far short of its official target of 60 percent, John Nkengasong, director of Africa's Centers for Disease Control, said on Tuesday.

Efforts to develop an African base for COVID-19 vaccine production will focus on trying to replicate Moderna's shot, but a lack of progress in talks with the US company mean the project will take time, a senior WHO official told Reuters. Moderna said last October it would not enforce patents related to its shot during the pandemic.

The African Union accused manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines of denying African countries a fair chance to buy them, and urged manufacturing countries - in particular India - to lift export restrictions on vaccines and their components.

Americas

US

The Biden administration said most federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than November 22 as it drafts rules to require large employers to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly.

Vaccines and research

A study of 614 fully vaccinated health workers in India found a "significant" drop in their COVID-fighting antibodies within four months of the first shot.

Reuters / Newshub.