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COVID-19: Lockdown protests in Australia as Cuba approves new vaccines

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to upend activity across the globe as cases rise in many countries.

There have been 210.9 million cases worldwide and 4.4 million deaths reported officially, according to Johns Hopkins University, although the number could be much higher.

Here”s a look at COVID-19 updates from around the world.

Australia

Police in Sydney arrested over 40 people at an anti-lockdown protest on Saturday after city authorities extended its two-month lockdown for another month.

Over 200 people were also arrested at a much larger anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne. Just 30% of Australians have been fully vaccinated so far.

Brazil

The authorities in Rio de Janeiro reported that over 90% of the city’s adults have now received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

South America’s economic giant has registered over 20 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began and the official death toll has now passed 570,000 according to the Health Ministry.

It’s the world’s third-worst outbreak after the United States and India.

China

Top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan has claimed that the country is on course to achieve herd immunity by the end of the year when 80% of people will have been fully vaccinated.

China is trying to contain a Delta variant outbreak and reports that the number of people infected with it remains low with only 20 people confirmed to have contracted it, mostly in Shanghai, on Friday.

Cuba

Cuba’s drug regulatory authority has approved the use of two new homegrown vaccines: Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus.

It states that they’re over 90% effective, but critics say the data hasn’t yet been internationally verified in any peer-review medical journals.

They arrive as Cuba suffers an average of 8,000 cases and 70 deaths per day in a population of 11 million.

It has the highest incidence rate of the disease in the Americas and one of the highest in the world with 1,173 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 15 days, according to its Ministry of Health.

The island has had to cope with the pandemic under the effects of the US economic embargo, a shortage of medicines, lack of oxygen, its overcrowded hospitals and collapsed funeral services.

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