Under pressure from medical professionals, Sri Lanka extended Friday’s COVID-19 lockdown for an additional two weeks.

The lockdown was scheduled to end Tuesday. According to Kingsly Rathnayaka, the president called for the extension of the measures to Oct. 1.

Experts say that although Sri Lanka has experienced a decrease in daily deaths, oxygen needs and cases, it is still at risk. In the last 24 hours, there were 2,314 confirmed cases.

The lockdown was initially imposed on August 20, and it was extended four more times.

In addition to providing essential services, the government has granted permission for export-oriented factories and agricultural work to continue.

Sri Lanka has reported so far 496,423 confirmed deaths and 11,699 cases.


BEIJING — China reported another 62 COVID-19 cases, even though the total number of Chinese people fully vaccinated is now over 1 billion.

The National Health Commission stated that all but one of the cases were detected in Fujian, an eastern coastal province in China’s latest delta variant outbreak.

31 of them were located in Xiamen’s major port city. 28 others were in Putian, and one was in Quanzhou.

This announcement came just days after officials from the National Health Commission announced that 72% of the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens living in China had been fully vaccinated. According to the National Health Commission, 2.16 billion doses were administered.

Over 300 cases were reported in Fujian during the week. Authorities have taken measures to close schools, bars entertainment venues, and lock down areas.

China has effectively stopped the spread of the disease by placing restrictions on entry and conducting mass testing when new cases are discovered. It also restricts entry to the country, and requires that people arriving in China be quarantined at a hotel for a minimum of two weeks.

However, the efficacy and safety of Chinese vaccines is being questioned. It’s also not known how many people who were newly infected have received their jabs.

China has seen a total 4,636 deaths from 95,577 COVID-19 cases, and 916 people are currently being treated for the disease.


CANBERRA (Australia) — Australia will soon have a third COVID-19 option. 1 million Moderna shots are expected to arrive in Sydney.

Greg Hunt, Health Minister, stated that Moderna will be delivered in two separate shipments over Friday night and the weekend.

As authorities race to strengthen the immunity of the Australian population against the deadly delta variant, which has taken root in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are available to them.

Because of the small risk of AstraZeneca-related blood clots, Pfizer is preferred by many.

Moderna is an mRNA-vaccine, just like Pfizer. Australia is not able to supply enough Pfizer to meet its demand. However, there is an abundance of AstraZeneca locally manufactured.

Hunt stated that more than 70% of Australians aged 16 or older had received at least one dose from a two-shot vaccination.


SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea reported over 2,000 coronavirus cases last month. This alarming rise continues as the country enters its largest holiday of the year.

Friday’s 2,008 cases was the 73rd consecutive daily high of more than 1,000, despite officials not imposing any restrictions on social distancing in the country other than a lockdown at capital Seoul and other major population centers over the past 10 week.

The new cases were more than 1,500 and came from the Greater Seoul region, which is home to half the population of over 51 million people. Infections have risen as schools reopened, summer vacations ended, and people returned from work in the recent weeks.

Transmissions could worsen during the Chuseok holiday break in Korea, which is the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving. It begins on the weekend and runs through Wednesday. Millions of people travel to the region to visit relatives during Chuseok.

Lee Ki-il, Deputy Health Minister, stated that “we plead again for people who have not been fully vaccinated to not visit their elderly parents in their 60s and older.” Transmissions are happening in the greater capital region at indoor gyms and cram schools as well as churches and anywhere else there are people. Residents of the Capital Area should be aware that they can get infected at any moment.

___ JUNEAU (Alaska) — Alaska’s state epidemiologist claims that the country is seeing “one of the most sharp surges” in COVID-19.

Dr. Joe McLaughlin said that it is not clear when the situation will stabilize. He said that a lot will depend upon vaccination rates and measures like masking and ditancing.

According to health officials, hospitals are under stress due to staffing and capacity problems. According to the state health department, 20% of Alaskan patients are suffering from COVID-19.

Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau, announced that staff must be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 15th.


RENO, Nev. — Nevada officials fear that some state employees might follow through on threats of quitting their jobs if they are forced to receive COVID-19 shots.

They said that they expected most people to comply with Gov. Steve Sisolak has directed that all workers in prisons and health care facilities be vaccinated before Nov. 1, or they will face administrative leave or reassignment.

DuAne Young is the governor’s policy advisor. He says they are creating contingency plans for the possibility of more people quitting their jobs than anticipated and closely monitoring the situation.

He stated that they are confident there will be some attrition but that most state employees will “step forward and do the right thing.”


SEATTLE — Seattle officials and King County officials issued a directive requiring proof that COVID-19 has been administered or a negative result to be admitted to certain establishments and large outdoor events.

The order was issued by Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health-Seattle & King County Health Office. It will be in effect on Oct. 25, Duchin stated that the order was prompted by high levels of COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations, as well as increased death rates due to the highly contagious delta variant.

This applies to outdoor events that have 500 people or more and indoor establishments like museums, theaters and gyms.

This order doesn’t affect outdoor dining, takeout orders, or shopping at grocery stores.


JACKSON (Miss.) Mississippi is now the state with the highest COVID-19 death rate in the United States, surpassing New Jersey. About 1 out of every 320 Mississippians have died from the coronavirus.

On Thursday, the top state health official warned of more deaths.

“We are recording well over 2500 (cases per day) in the recent days, far more that we’d like,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, State Health Officer. “A lot of this is going to translate into tragedy.”

At least 9,165 Mississippians have died from the virus since the outbreak. Mississippi has an estimated 3 million residents and one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.

New Jersey was decimated in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. This was long before vaccines were even available.

Dobbs stated that pregnant mothers were a particular concern during the Mississippi delta variant surge. According to the Department of Health, 15 Mississippi pregnant women died from coronavirus during the pandemic. Eight of these deaths took place between July 25th and September 16th.

Mothers who died were between the ages of 23 and 40 years old, with the median being around 30. Dobbs stated that 60% of the mothers who died were Black. None of the women had been fully vaccinated. One woman had her first shot.

Dobbs stated that although some were overweight, the majority of Mississippians are healthy so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they have such a high rate of health.


HELENA (Mont. Officials at Helena’s hospital said that they were forced to adopt crisis care standards due to an increase in COVID-19-related patients.

St. Peter’s Health hospital has the maximum critical care resources. When hospital resources are insufficient to provide care for all patients, crisis standards of care can be implemented. In such situations, care providers may have to make decisions about how to allocate resources like medications and beds.

Dr. Shelly Harkins, chief medical officer at St. Peter’s Health, said that the hospital’s constraints are worse than those seen in the pandemic.

Harkins stated, “For the first-time in my career we are at a point where not all patients in need will receive the care we wish we could provide.” “We are now in a much worse place than we were during the first surge in winter 2020.

The morgue, advanced medical unit, and intensive care unit are all full. The morgue is still full so a freezer truck will be left in the hospital’s parking lot.

St. Peter’s Health has been approached by hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Washington looking for beds to care for patients who are unable to be served in their own states. This news comes as Billings and Bozeman hospitals have announced this week that they are close to the need for crisis care standards.