UK Covid Mental crisis – Cases of psychosis have soared in England over the past two years as an increasing number of people experience hallucinations and delusional thinking amid the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There was a 75% increase in the number of people referred to mental health services for their first suspected episode of psychosis between April 2019 and April 2021, NHS data shows.

The rise continued throughout the summer, with 12,655 referred in July 2021, up 53% from 8,252 in July 2019, according to the charity Rethink Mental Illness.

Pandemic behind South American immigration North

A coronavirus-era financial crisis is driving a new, perilous exodus from South America to the United States as middle- and lower-middle-class families flee the hardship, unemployment and inflation wrought by the health crisis.

The death of a Brazilian nurse, Lenilda dos Santos, whose body was found hunched in the New Mexico desert by border police, has illustrated how desperation is spreading from countries such as Mexico and Guatemala to once more prosperous Latin American nations.

Sydney eases more COVID-19 curbs

Thousands of children returned to school in Sydney on Monday, putting an end to months of home learning, as Australia’s largest city eased more COVID-19 curbs, thanks to rising rates of vaccinations. Masks are no longer mandatory in offices and larger groups are to be allowed in homes and outdoors after the state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, hit a double-dose inoculation rate of 80% at the weekend among those older than 16.

The latest in a series of planned easing of restrictions marks a shift by Australia’s largest cities to living with the virus, a strategy officials have warned will bring a greater number of COVID-19 cases in coming weeks. read more

New Zealand PM Ardern extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country’s biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place for over two months in Auckland under alert level 3, Ardern said at a news conference. read more

Melbourne to ease world’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns

Melbourne, which has spent more time under COVID-19 lockdowns than any other city in the world, is set to lift its stay-at-home orders this week, officials said on Sunday.

By Friday, when some curbs will be lifted, the Australian city of 5 million people will have been under six lockdowns totalling 262 days, or nearly nine months, since March 2020. read more

U.S. to lift restrictions Nov 8 for vaccinated foreign travellers

The White House on Friday will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting Nov. 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States for as long as 21 months.

The White House, which held a meeting late Thursday to finalise the Nov. 8 date, faces some remaining questions, including how and what exemptions the Biden administration will grant to the vaccine requirements. Children under 18, for example, are largely expected to be exempt from the requirements, an official said. read more

Valneva reports positive results for its vaccine candidate

Vaccine company Valneva reported on Monday positive Phase 3 results for its inactivated, adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, for which it is hoping to get a licence.

Valneva added it was preparing for trials in children aged between 5-12 years and for a Valneva sponsored booster trial to evaluate VLA2001’s booster performance for people in need of a COVID vaccine booster shot. read more

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WORLD STATS

Coronavirus Cases:

241,504,038

Deaths:

4,914,586

Recovered:

218,749,711
Highlighted in green
= all cases have recovered from the infection
Highlighted in grey
= all cases have had an outcome (there are no active cases)
Compiled by Karishma Singh