The Latest: Pakistan sees surging infections, deaths
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan on Wednesday reported 141 deaths from COVID-19, one of its highest tallies since May.
According to Pakistan’s National Command and Operations Center, more than 4,000 new coronavirus infections were also reported in the past 24 hours.
The surge comes amid widespread violations of social distancing and new rules regarding vaccinations.
Pakistan announced Tuesday vaccinations will be required of teachers, professors, school staff and students older than 17 and unvaccinated people will be barred from entering educational institutions starting Oct. 15.
Unvaccinated people also will not be allowed to use public transport or enter shopping malls from Oct. 15.
Pakistan, with a population of about 220 million, has reported more than 1,134,000 infections and 25,220 deaths in the pandemic.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
— In visit to Hanoi, Harris says US will provide Vietnam with 1 million vaccine doses
— Virus disrupts more Florida classrooms as governor’s lawyers argue against mask mandates
— Flurry of employers requiring workers to get vaccinated after Pfizer got full FDA approval
— Japan to further expand virus emergency areas as cases surge
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 2,155 new coronavirus cases, nearly matching a record daily increase set earlier this month amid an alarming spread of infections.
With Wednesday’s report, the country has tallied more than 1,000 new cases for 50 consecutive days, including a record 2,221 on Aug. 11.
The virus has shown no signs of slowing despite officials enforcing strong social distancing restrictions short of a lockdown in Seoul and other large population centers where private social gatherings are banned after 6 p.m.
The Health Ministry is concerned that transmissions could further increase during next month’s Chuseok holidays, the Korean version of Thanksgiving when millions of people travel across the country to meet relatives. It is considering measures to reduce travel during the period, such as limiting train occupancy.
SYDNEY — Australia’s New South Wales state has recorded another new daily high of 919 coronavirus infections. It also has had two more deaths related to COVID-19.
New South Wales’s previous high for a 24-hour period was 830 infections reported Sunday.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Wednesday that the health system in Australia’s most populous state is under pressure but is coping.
The COVID-19 death toll has reached 76 in New South Wales since the outbreak of the delta variant was first detected in Sydney on June 16.
Neighboring Victoria, Australia second-most populous state, reported 45 new infections Wednesday.
Both states are locked down.
JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi’s top health official says he has received threats from people who are spreading lies accusing his family of receiving payments for him urging the public to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Mississippi has seen a rapid increase in cases since early July, driven by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus and the state’s low vaccination rate. State health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has been imploring people for months to get vaccinated.
On Tuesday, Dobbs wrote on Twitter that he has gotten threatening phone calls from people repeating unfounded “conspiracy theories” involving him and his family.
Dobbs says one lie is that his son, who is also a physician, receives a World Bank-funded kickback whenever Dobbs urges people to get vaccinated. In Dobbs’ words: “I get zero $ from promoting vaccination.”
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A poison control hotline in Alabama is fielding increasing calls about possible poisoning with ivermectin poisoning, an animal de-wormer that doctors are warning people not to try as a home remedy for COVID-19.
The Alabama Poison Information Center at Children’s of Alabama has fielded 24 ivermectin exposure cases so far this year, of which 15 were related to COVID-19 prevention and treatment. It says there have been five other calls seeking information about ivermectin.
By comparison, the center had six total calls involving the de-wormer in 2019 and 12 in 2020.
Federal regulators have approved ivermectin to treat people and animals for some parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions, but the drug is not approved for COVID-19. The human and animal formulations are not the same, and doctors say it is dangerous for people to self-dose, particularly with the large quantities given to animals.