COVID-19

14th person dies in French Polynesia's Covid-19 pandemic

10 of them are in intensive care.

Just over 200 new infections were recorded in the previous two days.

The French High Commissioner has described the rapid spread of the virus as a brutal aggravation.

All but 62 of the 3797 cases were detected after the borders were reopened and mandatory quarantine requirements were abolished in July.

Among those to test positive are the president Edouard Fritch and his predecessor Gaston Flosse, whose joint appeal court case this week had to be deferred until November.

YouTube bans misleading Covid-19 vaccine videos

It said any videos that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities, such as the NHS or World Health Organization, will be removed.

It follows an announcement by Facebook that it would ban ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

However, that restriction will not apply to unpaid posts or comments.

YouTube had already banned "medically unsubstantiated" claims relating to coronavirus on its platform.

But it is now explicitly expanding the policy to include content relating to vaccines.

     

Bars to shut in four more French cities with alert level raised

The cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will become zones of maximum alert from Saturday.

Bars and restaurants will have to close, as they did in Paris earlier this week and Marseille last month.

The measures were announced as France saw a near-record 18,129 new cases.

"The situation has deteriorated in several metropolises in recent days," French Health Minister Olivier Veran said at a news conference on Thursday. "Every day, more and more people are infected."

WHO urges Pacific to remain vigilant amid pandemic

The Pacific Island Times reports Takeshi Kasai also advised Pacific island countries that have remained Covid-free to work hard to maintain their health status.

In a virtual press conference, Dr Kasai asked Pacific countries to immediately address the high incidence of non-communicable diseases in the region as people with these conditions have a very high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

He also said many small island countries in the region are vulnerable because of already difficult living conditions and limited healthcare capacity.

US President says he'll leave hospital on Monday

"Feeling really good!" Mr Trump tweeted just before a scheduled briefing from his doctors. He said he would be discharged at 18:30 (22:30 GMT).

But questions remain over the seriousness of Mr Trump's illness after a weekend of conflicting statements.

The true scale of the outbreak at the White House remains unclear.

"Don't be afraid of Covid," he tweeted. "Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!!"

New Zealand PM says Auckland will move to level 1 this week

Ardern says Cabinet met via Zoom to review the Auckland's alert level and that all signs point to the city's cluster being under control.

She says there were 179 cases attached to the cluster but that there has been no new cases within that cluster for 10 days now.

"There has only been one case in the past two weeks and only five people from the cluster are yet to recover."

She says there is now a 95 percent probability of the cluster being eliminated, according to research.

"I know for many, this one has felt harder, especially for Aucklanders."

Trump briefly leaves hospital to greet supporters

Wearing a mask, the president waved inside a car moments after tweeting that he would pay a "surprise visit".

Mr Trump, who has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic, also said he had learned a lot about the virus.

Earlier, his doctors said Mr Trump continued to improve and might be discharged as early as Monday.

Dr Sean Conley said the president's oxygen level dropped twice since his diagnosis, and he was started on a steroid called dexamethasone.

Aigagalefili Fepulea'i-Tapua'i speaks up for South Auckland students

She is of Samoan descent, and has spoken out against the continuing negative media portrayal of her community, who were often on the front line as essential workers. She spoke to Kim Hill on Saturday Morning.

In the first leaders debate on TVNZ Aigagalefili asked the leaders of the Labour and National parties, Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, what the next government would do to support low decile students forced to drop out of school to support their families through Covid-19 - a topic she's been vocal about this year.

Victoria's Health Minister resigns after falling out with Premier

In a statement posted to social media Mikakos said she had written to Victoria's Governor to resign as minister, and will also be resigning from the Parliament.

But she defended her handling of the pandemic, and said she disagreed with parts of Andrews' statement to the inquiry.

"I have never wanted to leave a job unfinished," she said.

"But in light of the Premier's statement to the board of inquiry and the fact that there are elements in it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in this Cabinet."

Two million deaths 'very likely' even with vaccine, WHO warns

Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies head, said the figure could be higher without concerted international action.

Almost one million people have died with Covid-19 worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.

Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally.

The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.

So far, the US, India and Brazil have confirmed the most cases, recording more than 15 million between them.