(Bloomberg) –

Hospitals in the southeastern United States are running low on oxygen, with the worst affected only 12 to 24 hours, said Premier Inc., a hospital supplies buying group.

All NBA referees must be vaccinated for the season that begins in October, the National Basketball Association said on Saturday.

Demonstrations took place in France and Germany against measures against viruses. Japan is investigating the deaths of two people who were injected by Moderna Inc. from batches of vaccine that have since been suspended.

Key developments:

Global Tracker: cases exceed 215.8 million; deaths exceed 4.4 million Vaccine Tracker: over 5.17 billion doses administered Stubborn vaccines in New York convinced by FDA approval, warrants Worst places to be as delta spreads are in South Asia -Is SpaceX, ULA see risk of launching poor oxygen supply amid pandemic Antibodies decline? The immune system has a back-up plan for this

Chilled Morgues Shipped to Central Florida (3:42 p.m. NY)

Hospitals in central Florida have received 14 refrigerated portable morgues to treat a high number of deaths, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Friday.

“The number of deaths right now is unprecedented,” said Lynne Drawdy, executive director of the Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition, the newspaper reported.

Florida reported 1,727 weekly deaths on Friday, the highest number since the state released the reports.

Hospitals in the southern United States run out of oxygen (2:58 a.m. NY)

Hospitals in the southeastern United States are running low on oxygen, with the worst affected only 12 to 24 hours, said Premier Inc., a hospital supplies buying group.

It comes amid the region’s struggle over the summer with a high number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. Hurricane Ida is now expected to hit the Gulf Coast in the coming days.

The Prime Minister has informed the White House, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services of the oxygen shortage in the region, said Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs at the Prime Minister. There is “so much more demand for oxygen than there has ever been,” Childs said.

Canada suspends flights to Morocco (2:56 p.m. NY)

Canada is suspending direct flights from Morocco for 30 days due to an increase in Covid-19 cases among travelers from the North African country, according to a press release from Transport Canada.

The flight ban will go into effect on August 29 and will remain in effect until September 29.

NBA referees mandated to get vaccinated (1:57 p.m. NY)

All NBA referees must be vaccinated for the season that begins in October, the National Basketball Association said in a statement on Saturday. The tenure came as part of an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association, in which referees are to be fully immunized and receive recommended boosters.

The NBA told teams on Friday that all staff near players and referees also needed to be vaccinated. This requirement included coaches, medical staff, security and reception staff.

Players are not required to be vaccinated.

French protest for the seventh week (10:12 a.m. NY)

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in French cities for a seventh consecutive weekend to protest against the government’s health card system, which makes access to restaurants, cafes and other places conditional on proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test. BFM TV reported that 200 protests were planned across the country.

The French government is trying to reach a target of 50 million first vaccines by early September and has sought to step up pressure on those who hesitate or refuse to be vaccinated. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said this week he would start giving booster shots from September 12, starting with the elderly in nursing homes.

German activists arrested during protests (9:49 a.m. NY)

Thousands of protesters gathered in Berlin on Saturday to demonstrate against German pandemic rules. Several dozen activists were arrested, according to local media. German authorities have taken a tougher line on anti-coronavirus rallies after protesters attempted to storm the Reichtstag parliament building last year.

Contagion rates in Germany have been rising steadily for weeks. As of Saturday, there were 72.1 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days – the highest level since mid-May.

Singapore reports 121 new cases (6:20 a.m. NY)

Singapore reported 121 new cases in one day, including 113 from locally transmitted infections and the rest from newly arrived visitors who had previously been placed in isolation.

The city-state had seen a steady decline in cases until a resurgence on August 23. But authorities have not reported any further restrictions, in part thanks to the country’s high vaccination rate. The health ministry said on Friday it expects 80% of the population to be fully vaccinated by the end of August.

Zimbabwe Union goes to court (11:05 am)

Zimbabwe’s largest workers’ union has sued the state and several companies for insisting that employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 before reporting to work, saying there is no law in the statutes of the country providing for compulsory vaccination.

Japan Investigates Deaths After Moderna Shooting (4:35 p.m. HK)

Japan said it is investigating the deaths of two people who received Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines.

Although the relationship between the deaths and the gunshots is unclear, the health ministry will conduct investigations with outside experts and continue to assess the safety of the vaccine, according to a statement released on Saturday.

Russia Reports Over 19,000 New Cases (4:31 PM HK)

Russia reported 19,492 new cases of Covid-19 in one day, according to the government’s virus response center. The total number of cases has reached 6.86 million.

The death toll from Covid-19 in July rose to 50,421, the highest monthly total since the outbreak began, amid the spread of delta variant infections and continued public resistance to campaigns vaccination.

Seven-day Tokyo average case drops 16% (4:04 p.m. HK)

Tokyo reported 3,581 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, lowering the seven-day average by 16% from a week ago, a sign that the Japanese capital’s worst outbreak to date could peak. Still, the number of severe cases in Tokyo rose to 297 from 294 the day before, indicating that the country’s medical system is likely to remain under pressure.

Among the new cases, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s had the most cases. Japan is in the middle of its fourth state of emergency which is expected to last until September 12, provided the spread of the virus is better controlled.

The Philippines added a record 19,441 Covid cases on Saturday.

UK could start vaccinating young teens (3:40 p.m. HK)

From next month, the British government could start vaccinations against Covid-19 for 12 to 15 year olds. The ministers asked the National Health Service to begin preparations before a final decision by government scientists on whether to continue the deployment to young children.

If the program continues, schools will be required to make space for the vaccination of pupils or to give children time to withdraw from class to visit vaccination sites. These 16 and 17 years old are already eligible to receive a vaccine against the Covid. “Throughout the pandemic, the government has planned ahead so that we can respond to changing circumstances,” said Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs. “This is why, while I wait for the updated advice from JCVI on the 12-15 cohort, I have asked the NHS to make preparations.”

Scotland weigh passports for pub vaccines (3:30 p.m. HK)

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday she was “actively considering” vaccine passports for Scots wishing to go to a pub or nightclub.

Sturgeon said that although she had not singled out the hospitality industry, such sites would fall under the category of places where the Scottish government could introduce an entry requirement for the vaccine passport. “I’ve always been clear, we shouldn’t rule it out,” Sturgeon said Friday. “It can be an extra layer of protection and mitigation.” His comments came as Scotland saw a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections, forcing Sturgeon to deny that authorities were considering a circuit breaker lockout.

Swiss hospital cancels surgeries as intensive care units fill up (2:56 p.m. HK)

Zurich University Hospital will postpone surgeries for patients “not presenting a direct danger to life and physical integrity” as a spike in coronavirus cases fills intensive care beds in Switzerland, reported the Neue Zurcher Zeitung newspaper.

There are around 230 coronavirus patients in intensive care unit beds, up from around 20 in July, according to the newspaper. At Geneva University Hospitals, which could accommodate 10 coronavirus patients, 17 intensive care beds are now occupied by Covid patients, reported the Tribune de Genève newspaper.

Just over 51% of the Swiss population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, one of the lowest rates for a large economy in Europe.

India inoculates 10 million per day (12:39 HK)

India administered a record 10.3 million vaccines on Friday, the government said, bringing the cumulative number of doses administered beyond the 620 million mark. The South Asian nation added 46,759 Covid cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to nearly 360,000.

Manila Restrictions Extended (10:20 am)

The Philippines has extended virus restrictions for another week in its capital region, until September 7, as the government tries to balance the need to contain the pandemic with the revival of the economy.

Metro Manila will remain under the so-called “modified enhanced community quarantine”, the second most stringent restriction on movement, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement on Saturday. While most businesses are allowed to operate, many non-essential industries such as beauty salons and bars remain closed.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the number of hours in the first paragraph and blurb on oxygen starvation.)

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