Coronavirus - 24 August


• Scottish government opens inquiry into pandemic response

• Delta variant has 300x higher viral load, according to South Korean research

• First Paralympic athlete tests positive for Covid-19

• Berlin nightclubs set to reopen after court repeals ban

• An Australian study finds a $500 financial incentive could increase vaccine uptake by 12x, as a means of overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

World news

• The Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration – the first jab to be licensed in the nation. Initially, the vaccine had emergency use authorisation.

• According to Public Health Scotland figures, 40% of 16 and 17 -year -olds in Scotland have now received the first dose of a vaccine.

• In total, 156,958 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid -19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The highest number on a single day was 1,484 on 19 January. During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on 8 April 2020. Additionally, 42,805 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid -19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

• The Scottish government has opened an inquiry to look at decisions and learn lessons for future pandemics. Particular consideration is to be given to cases and deaths in care homes, as well as the impact on education and the economy. Members of the public are being encouraged to share their ideas and comments on email by 30 September.

• Hawaii’s governor has asked that visitors and residents reduce travel to the islands through to the end of October.
Berlin nightclubs are set to reopen after a court repealed a blanket ban on dance events in closed rooms, but only for the vaccinated or those who have recently recovered.

• WHO director general, Dr Tedros, said that booster vaccines should be delayed, as priority ought to be given to raising vaccination rates in countries where only 2% of the population have been inoculated.

• A study into overcoming vaccine hesitancy in Australia has found a large proportion of the undecided could be swayed by the use of financial incentives, with take-up almost 12 times more likely if a $500 payment is on offer. However, the findings, contained in a research paper from Community and Patient Preference Research (Cappre), also show the use of social restrictions for the unvaccinated (such as the inability to travel or attend major events) would be enough for many to change their minds without any need for financial incentives.

• The 2020 Paralympic Games will begin today in Tokyo, with the opening ceremony starting later tonight.

• An athlete has tested positive for Covid -19 in the Paralympic village for the first time.

• According to a South Korean study, people infected with the more transmissible Delta variant have a viral load 300 times higher than those with the original version of the virus. However, the amount gradually decreased over time – to 30 times in four days and more than 10 times in nine days.

• Greece has announced it will end free testing for unvaccinated people.