COVID-19 in the World: Events and Challenges

New Zealand registers first COVID-19 patient death in more than 200 days

Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, recorded about 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and three people died.

Speaking to reporters in Sydney, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new outbreak is expected to peak in the next couple of weeks.

She noted that 40 percent of the state’s adult population has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

New Zealand authorities reported Saturday the first COVID-19-related fatality in more than 200 days. Doctors reported that the patient, who was in his 90s, had several related health problems in addition to COVID-19.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday that the government plans to issue COVID-19 vaccination certificates over the Internet.

The publication said the certificates are for overseas travel, not for use at home.

In Brazil, federal regulator Anvisa has suspended more than 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 90 days because they were produced in a factory that did not obtain approval.

Some Brazilian cities began offering a third (booster) dose of the vaccine, although most citizens had not yet received second doses. The revaccination was prompted by concerns among older Brazilians about the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccine.

Plans to begin revaccination in the U.S. on Sept. 20 have run into difficulties, which could delay the introduction of a third dose for those who have received the Moderna vaccine, Biden administration officials said Friday.

Revaccination is under way in Russia, Hungary and Serbia, though those countries have seen a lack of demand for the first vaccines amid massive vaccine shipments.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide as of Sunday was about 220.3 million, with about 4.56 million deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Resource Center. More than 5.4 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide, according to the center.