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What you need to know about COVID-19 this past week

What you need to know about COVID-19 this past week

We round up the COVID-19 news from around the world.

What you need to know about COVID-19 this past week

Ardern to make decision on COVID-19 alert levels today

Cabinet will meet today to decide whether the alert levels in New Zealand. Currently, Auckland is at lockdown level 3 and the rest of country at alert level 2.

There was just one community case reported yesterday, Sunday 23 August. Two other cases were in managed isolation.

Ardern is expected to make the announcement at 3 pm.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand this week:

  • 17 August: 19
  • 18 August: 13
  • 19 August: 6
  • 20 August: 5
  • 21 August: 11
  • 22 August: 6
  • 23 August: 3

Queensland tightens borders after first local transmission in a month

Indoor and outdoor gatherings in Queensland have been limited after the state recorded nine new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, 23 August.

The new restrictions limit gatherings in Queensland’s southeast at 10 people, with a 30-person limit elsewhere in the state.

Of the new cases, six of them were connected to a cluster at Brisbane’s youth detention centre. The other three were crew members on cargo ships.

These are the first cases of local transmission in Queensland in more than a month.

Victoria records 208 cases and 17 deaths

As of Sunday, Victoria has recorded 208 new cases and an additional 17 COVID-19-related deaths.

The state is now halfway through it’s a six-week lockdown, with data showing Victorians are beginning to relax on lockdown rules.

Movement data from the State Government shows that while residents in Melbourne and regional Victoria are staying at home during the week, they are spending more time outdoors in the weekend.

The data also showed a spike in public transport use in Melbourne this past weekend compare with the previous.

The rate of infections in Victoria is slowing, with 179 cases on Friday 21 August, the lowest in five weeks.

Children over 12 should wear masks, says WHO

The World Health Organisation is now recommending the wearing of face masks for children aged 12 and over, as a way to help limit the spread of the virus.

The recommendation comes as new studies find that older children are likely to play a more active role in spreading COVID-19 than younger children.

For children aged between six and 11, WHO advises masks on a risk-based approach.

Children under five are currently not required to wear masks.

Blood plasma treatment approved in US

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the use of blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment for the virus.

The announcement comes a day after President Donald Trump pointed blame at the agency for delaying the rollout of vaccines for political reasons.

“The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!,” tweeted Trump.

Early evidence from the FDA suggests a blood plasma treatment can lower the mortality rate and improve the health of patients with COVID-19.

So far, 70,000 patients have been treated with blood plasma.

Scientists rank best and worst face masks

Scientists from Duke University have created a low-cost test for assessing the effectiveness of different face masks against the spread of viruses, like COVID-19.

Hospital-grade N95 masks without valves topped the list, with surgical and polypropylene masks also performed well.

Click here to read the full list. 

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