Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday

The latest:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appealed for out-of-state help to fight the state’s third wave of COVID-19.

Abbott on Monday directed the Department of State Health Services to use staffing agencies to find additional medical staff from outside Texas.

He also urged the Texas Hospital Association to request that hospitals postpone all elective medical procedures. In addition, the governor ordered an expansion of COVID-19 vaccine availability in underserved communities.

WATCH | U.S. COVID-19 infections surge because of delta variant: 

U.S. COVID-19 infections surge because of delta variant

The United States is now averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 infections every day, a surge brought about by the spread of the more contagious delta variant. About 20 per cent of new cases are in Florida. 5:45

The developments came as Houston’s two county-owned hospitals raised tents to accommodate their COVID-19 patient overflow. Private hospitals in the county already were requiring their staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Hospital officials in Houston said last week that area hospitals with beds had insufficient numbers of nurses to serve them.

Abbott is not lifting his emergency order banning local governments from requiring mask use and physical distancing. He said people are able to make their own decisions on protecting their health.

WATCH | Children hit hard by COVID-19 surge in U.S.:

Children hit hard by COVID-19 surge in U.S.

19 hours ago

The latest surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is mostly in the unvaccinated, especially children who aren’t eligible. With school about to begin, there is debate about how to protect them. 1:51

The Dallas school district announced on Monday that it would require students and staff to wear face masks starting Tuesday. The Houston school district already announced a mask mandate for its students and staff later this week if its board approves.

Also Monday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins filed a lawsuit asking a judge to strike down Abbott’s mask mandate ban.

The rolling two-week daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Texas has increased by 165 per cent to 8,533, according to Johns Hopkins University research data.

In Florida, COVID-19 cases have filled so many hospital beds that ambulance services and fire departments are straining to respond to emergencies.

In St. Petersburg, some patients wait inside ambulances for up to an hour before hospitals can admit them — a process that usually takes about 15 minutes, Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton said.

The strain is being felt across Florida, where COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed the pandemic’s worst previous surge in late July and set a new record of 13,600 on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What’s happening in Canada

A man stands outside his car while waiting to enter Canada at the Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are now eligible to enter Canada without having to go into quarantine if they provide proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least 14 days and proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

What’s happening around the world

As of Tuesday, more than 203.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to the coronavirus tracker maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.4 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state is reporting a new daily high of 356 coronavirus infections. The New South Wales government also reported four more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday. 

More than 80 per cent of the state’s 8.2 million people are in lockdown, including the greater Sydney region. The Sydney lockdown began June 26, and hopes are fading that restrictions will be eased as planned on Aug. 28.

In Bangladesh, the government will begin vaccinating Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, a town on the country’s southeast coast, from Tuesday in a walk-in mass inoculation drive.

About 48,000 Rohingyas, aged 55 and above and registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will be vaccinated between Tuesday and Thursday with the help of the UN agencies, officials said.

Rohingya refugees wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia, part of the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, on Tuesday. (Tanbir Miraj/AFP via Getty Images)

In Europe, health officials in Britain say more than three-quarters of adults in the U.K. have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, a milestone that Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as a “huge national achievement.”

Latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care on Tuesday showed that 39.7 million people have now had two doses. More than 47 million, or 89 per cent of the adult population, have received a first dose.

The U.K. has seen its average number of daily confirmed cases fall in recent weeks. A further 25,161 cases were reported on Monday. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Tuesday that the vaccine rollout has created a “wall of defence” that’s “massively reduced” hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

Germany is ending free COVID-19 testing in an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated. The government will also require people to be either vaccinated, test negative or have a recovery certificate to enter indoor restaurants, take part in religious ceremonies and take part in indoor sport.

Germany had made the tests free for all in March to help make a gradual return to normal life possible after months of lockdown. Although around 55 per cent of Germans are fully vaccinated, the pace of inoculations has slowed.

In the Middle East, Iraqi health authorities have organized a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the holy city of Kerbala ahead of the upcoming annual religious ritual of Ashura.

Iraqis pass by a store displaying religious banners ahead of the start of the first month of the Islamic New Year, called Muharram, in central Baghdad, on Sunday. The tenth day of Muharram is known as the Day of Ashura, when Shia Muslims commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the prophet Mohammad’s grandson, who was killed in the 7th-century battle of Kerbala. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

The city’s health department launched the campaign that targeted owners of restaurants and its employees who interact with visitors as crowds of Muslim Shias from different countries gather.

In Africa, Nigeria has announced it’s postponing the rollout of its second batch of COVID-19 vaccine due to “unforeseen circumstances,” a setback for Africa’s most populous nation as it faces a major surge in confirmed cases. The rollout was scheduled for Tuesday. Less than two per cent of the country’s 200 million citizens have been vaccinated.

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