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Published: 11:50, August 06, 2022 | Updated: 14:54, August 06, 2022
Australian official 'concerned' about slowing booster uptake
By Agencies
Published:11:50, August 06, 2022 Updated:14:54, August 06, 2022 By Agencies

A health worker speaks to arrivals at a COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane on Aug 17, 2021. (PATRICK HAMILTON / AFP)

SINGAPORE / WELLINGTON / HANOI / SEOUL / CANBERRA - Australian authorities have revealed concerns over third COVID-19 vaccine dose rates as the country continues to battle against the wave of Omicron sub-variant infections in winter.

According to the latest data, about 14.1 million Australians, or 71.4 percent of the eligible population, had received at least three vaccine doses as of Friday

According to the latest data, about 14.1 million Australians, or 71.4 percent of the eligible population, had received at least three vaccine doses as of Friday.

The figure represents an increase of 2.5 percent from the about 13.74 million people who had received three vaccine doses as of June 5.

The slowing increase in the booster vaccine rate comes despite federal, state and territory governments running campaigns encouraging uptake amid Australia's winter wave of COVID-19 infections.

ALSO READ: Work stoppages, no chat at lunch: Japan Inc grapples with COVID

"We got the third booster dose flights have flatlined, which is something I'm very concerned about," Mark Butler, the minister for health, recently told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"There are still five million people who are more than six months since having their second dose, and I really encourage those people to go out and get it."

On Saturday, Australia reported more than 25,000 new cases and more than 80 deaths.

There were 4,613 cases being treated in Australian hospitals on Friday, including 155 in intensive care.

Anne Ruston, the Opposition Coalition's health spokesperson, described the government's response to the winter wave as "worrying."

"They have ended a range of supports that have helped Australians through the pandemic and have been forced to backflip on the pandemic leave disaster payment," she told the Australian Associated Press.

"With no explanation and no apparent advice or modeling to support their decisions, 70 COVID-19 related telehealth items, free rapid tests for concession card holders and aged care homes, and Operation COVID-19 Shield have all ended." 

A health worker administers Covishield vaccine for COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Hyderabad, India on July 15, 2022. (MAHESH KUMAR A. / AP)


India's daily COVID-19 caseload on Saturday fell below the 20,000 mark a day after showing an increase, officials said.

According to federal health ministry data released on Saturday morning, 19,406 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,126,994 in the country. Currently, the active caseload stands at 134,793.

The country also logged 49 related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 526,649, the ministry said.

The ministry said so far 43,465,552 people have been successfully cured and discharged from hospitals, of whom 19,928 were discharged during the past 24 hours.

A man wearing a face mask walks on a street during a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in Wellington on Aug 18, 2021.(MARTY / MELVILLE / AFP)

New Zealand

New Zealand reported 4,790 new community cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

The ministry also reported 648 current hospital admissions, including 19 cases in ICU or HDU on Saturday.

There were 104 new cases that have recently traveled overseas, according to the ministry.

New Zealand has reported 1,639,058 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. There are now a total of 1,638 deaths in the country confirmed as attributable to COVID-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor, said the ministry. 

A medical worker wearing protective gear in a booth, takes sample from a woman during a COVID-19 testing at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, Aug 12, 2021. (LEE JIN-MAN / AP)

Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea reported 110,666 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Friday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 20,383,621, the health authorities said Saturday.

The daily caseload was slightly down from 112,901 the previous day, but it was higher than 81,981 tallied a week earlier, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

For the past week, the daily average number of confirmed cases was 97,334.

An Antigen Rapid Testing Self-Test Kits vending machine is seen in Singapore, Sept 28, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)


Singapore reported 6,270 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total tally to 1,749,144.

Three new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Friday in Singapore, bringing the total death toll to 1,534

Of the new cases, 699 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 5,571 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 662 were local transmissions and 37 were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 5,386 local transmissions and 185 imported cases.

ALSO READ: India's daily COVID-19 caseload breaches 20,000 mark again

A total of 659 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with 18 cases in intensive care units.

Three new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 1,534, the ministry said.

A man passes walks past a billboard on the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec 4, 2021. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 2,075 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up by 59 from Thursday, according to its Ministry of Health.

The newly reported infections brought the country's total tally to 11,192,043. No new deaths from the pandemic were reported on Friday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,094.

As of Friday, there were 46 severe cases in need of assisted breathing in the Southeast Asian country, according to the ministry.

Nationwide, 9,957,655 COVID-19 patients, or nearly 89 percent of the total infections, have so far recovered.

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