• New Zealand to pursue Covid zero strategy indefinitely
• Israel mandates testing for children to enter schools
• GP urgent cancer referrals up 50% YoY in June
• UK office footfall 18% of pre-pandemic levels in July
• Sinovac antibodies decline below threshold levels within 6 months
• A report from the Centre for Cities thinktank said worker footfall in 30 large UK cities stood at an average of just 18% of pre -pandemic levels. The biggest migration of workers back to the office has occurred in Brighton, with 49% of people having returned. Followed by Gloucester (39%), Southend (38%) and York (37%). Lowest was Glasgow, with (8%) followed by London and Oxford (15%) and Sheffield and Milton Keynes (16%).
• The UK economy grew by 4.8% in the second quarter of 2021, the Office for National Statistics has said. GDP rose 1% in June as lockdown restrictions were eased.
• New Zealand will continue to pursue its elimination strategy indefinitely.
• France is to share 670,000 vaccine doses with Vietnam.
• Finland has set a new record for infections over a two-week period, but reports that the number of inpatients has declined and that the number of intensive care patients is levelling off.
• Ireland has started registering children aged 12 to 15 for vaccinations. Over 78% of adults are fully vaccinated. • At the end of June, 5.45m people were waiting to start treatment on the NHS. The number of people waiting for over 52 weeks to start treatment fell to 304,803 in June from 336,733 the month before. The figure from the previous year was 50,536.
• The number of urgent cancer referrals made by GPs in June rose by 50% on last year to 230,110.
• Authorities in China have suspended operations at a terminal at the Ningbo - Zhoushan port on the east coast, which handled almost 1.2bn tonnes in 2020 (the world’s third-busiest), after a worker was infected.
• In Helsinki as of 20 August, indoor events will be limited to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 50.
• From next week, Israel is to require tests on children aged 3+ to enter schools, swimming pools, hotels or gyms.
• Chinese researchers have reported findings from a study of blood samples from adults aged 18 -59 that among participants who received two doses, two or four weeks apart, only 16.9% and 35.2% respectively still had neutralising antibodies.