DUBAI – The capital of the United Arab Emirates has ended a policy requiring people from other emirates to have a recent negative coronavirus test.
Abu Dhabi made the announcement on Saturday, saying people from the UAE’s other six emirates could enter the capital from Sunday without passing a test.
For months, oil-rich Abu Dhabi restricted travel, even as neighboring Dubai quickly opened up to tourists.
Abu Dhabi also has a requirement in place that people must prove their vaccination status to enter certain public places – a requirement that is more stringent than other emirates in the country.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
– US panel supports COVID-19 boosters only for the elderly, at high risk
– Maskless mayor of San Francisco refuses order for masks at nightclub
– Crisis care standards guide medical decisions as COVID-19 overwhelms hospitals
– UN uses honor system to check vaccinations for a big meeting
– See AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
NEW DELHI – India distributed 25 million doses during a special COVID-19 vaccination campaign held on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
The campaign took place on Friday when Modi was 71 years old. The Health Ministry said on Saturday that the special campaign had brought the total number of vaccinations in India to more than 790 million.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya called the feat “a golden chapter … written in the history of the country and the world”.
Only China administered more. The Chinese government said this week that it had administered more than 2.16 billion vaccines and one billion Chinese were fully vaccinated.
India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, administered at least one dose to over 62% of eligible adults and two doses to around 21%. Health ministry officials said they plan to administer more than a billion vaccines by mid-October.
India has reported more than 33 million cases of coronavirus and 444,529 deaths. The country registers more than 30,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day.
MELBOURNE, Australia – Police used pepper spray to subdue protesters on Saturday during an anti-containment rally in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.
About 1,000 protesters gathered in the Richmond suburb after the location of the protest was changed at the last minute to evade authorities.
There were minor scuffles as well as a violent confrontation involving a handful of protesters. Several demonstrators were arrested.
Most of the protesters defied the regulations by not wearing masks.
Some 2,000 police were deployed to checkpoints and barricades, as well as on itinerant patrols, in an attempt to prevent the gathering from taking place in violation of public health orders.
Melbourne’s 6th lockdown began on August 5. Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria, which on Saturday reported 535 new infections and one death from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Military commanders at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have declared a public health emergency in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alaska.
They also encouraged all staff to avoid places that do not require masks or social distancing, officials said.
U.S. Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar said on Friday the statement would remain in effect for 30 days, but could be shortened or extended depending on cases and community transmission of COVID-19.
Hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 statewide have increased due to the highly contagious delta variant. Alaska reported more than 1,200 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people on Friday in the past two weeks.
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – American Samoa reported its first case of the coronavirus on Friday.
The acting governor and U.S. Territory health officials said the islands’ first case of COVID-19 was from a resident who returned from Hawaii to American Samoa this week.
The infected traveler arrived on Monday, the first day of newly resumed commercial flights from Honolulu to Pago Pago. The course had been suspended since March 2020.
Authorities say the resident was fully vaccinated and had traveled to Hawaii and the Americas. They say the traveler tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding the return flight to American Samoa.
American Samoa requires all travelers to be vaccinated and quarantined.
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – A child is among the last to die from COVID-19 in Louisiana, state health officials said Friday.
Health department figures showed the state’s death toll from the disease rose by 52. One of the victims was a child aged 5 to 11. Fifteen people under the age of 18 have died in Louisiana since the start of the pandemic. And this is the sixth pediatric death since the start of a fourth outbreak this summer.
Coronavirus hospitalizations continued to decline. They fell to 1,367 in Friday’s figures, 64 less than the day before. Hospitalizations are down from a peak of over 3,000 in August, but remain well above pre-peak midsummer levels.