KEY COVID NOS. WORLDWIDE
Pos / Country / New Daily cases / Total Deaths / Daily Deaths / Active Cases / Deaths/1M Pop
World 2,90,446 / 48,66,853 / 4,438 / 1,79,68,453 / 624.4
1 USA 21,520 / 7,33,567 / 509 / 98,03,252 / 2,200
2 UK 34,574 / 1,37,735 / 38 / 13,65,107 / 2,015
3 Russia 28,647 / 2,16,415 / 962 / 7,00,831 / 1,482
4 Turkey 28,370 / 66,180 / 196 / 4,84,896 / 774
5 Iran 11,256 / 1,22,592 / 222 / 3,62,299 / 1,436
6 Mexico 6,153 / 2,81,958 / 348 / 3,61,683 / 2,158
7 Brazil 8,639 / 6,01,047 / 167 / 2,95,915 / 2,802
8 Honduras / 9,949 / / 2,47,151 / 985
9 India 19,018 / 4,50,814 / 193 / 2,34,600 / 323
10 Ukraine 11,344 / 58,493 / 162 / 1,92,337 / 1,348
11 Poland 1,527 / 75,869 / 5 / 1,78,011 / 2,007
12 Germany 5,951 / 95,033 / 17 / 1,46,649 / 1,130
13 Romania 10,400 / 39,420 / 211 / 1,42,437 / 2,067
14 Serbia 4,803 / 8,737 / 54 / 1,25,772 / 1,005
15 Malaysia 7,373 / 27,329 / 64 / 1,16,596 / 831
16 Thailand 10,817 / 17,691 / 84 / 1,10,880 / 253
17 Norway 287 / 871 / / 1,03,739 / 159
18 France 3,991 / 1,17,052 / 8 / 99,655 / 1,788
19 Finland / 1,096 / / 98,583 / 197
20 Philippines 12,159 / 39,624 / 119 / 90,927 / 356
35 Pakistan 767 / 28,106 / 19 / 42,541 / 124
90 Bangladesh 481 / 27,688 / 14 / 10,838 / 166
TAIWAN WON’T BOW TO BEIJING’S PRESSURE, SAYS PRESIDENT TSAI
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday Taiwan will not “bow to pressure” and would “resist annexation”, speaking amid rising tensions with China and a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to realise “complete reunification”.
Ms. Tsai, during her National Day address in Taipei, said Taiwan’s “position on cross-strait relations remains the same: neither our goodwill nor our commitments will change.” “We call for maintaining the status quo, and we will do our utmost to prevent the status quo from being unilaterally altered,” she said, adding that “resolving cross-strait differences requires the two sides of the strait to engage in dialogue on the basis of parity.”
Ms. Tsai said Taiwan “will continue to bolster our national defence and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us.” “This is because the path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people,” she said.
On the aerial intrusions, Ms. Tsai said “the routinisation of Chinese military activity in Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone has seriously affected both our national security and aviation safety.” “The situation in the Indo-Pacific region is becoming more tense and complex by the day. After taking complete control of Hong Kong and suppressing democracy activists, the Beijing authorities also shifted away from the path of political and economic development that they had followed since ‘reform and opening up’ began decades ago. At the same time, regional order is being challenged in the South and East China Seas,” she said.
She called on the people of Taiwan to ‘renew with one another our enduring commitment to a free and democratic constitutional system” as well as a “commitment to resist annexation or encroachment upon our sovereignty.”
The Taiwan President also highlighted Taiwan’s importance in supply chains underscored by the global shortage of semiconductor chips, as well as its geopolitical importance because of “a changing situation in the Indo-Pacific.” She referred specifically to the Quad - the India, Australia, U.S., Japan grouping — among those paying attention to the security situation the strait, saying that “the G7, NATO, EU, and Quad have all highlighted the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait, while expressing concern over whether China may unilaterally undermine the status quo of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”
AQ KHAN, FATHER OF PAKISTAN'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAMME, DIES
A.Q. Khan, a scientist known as the father of Pakistan’s clandestine nuclear programme, passed away here on Sunday after a brief illness. He was 85.
The nuclear physicist faced criticism in 2004 when he was forced to accept responsibility for nuclear technology proliferation and was forced to live a life of official house arrest.
Khan, who was born in 1936 in Bhopal and migrated to Pakistan along with his family after the Partition in 1947, breathed his last at about 7.00 a.m. (local time) at Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Hospital.
Geo News reported that Khan was brought to the hospital early in the morning after he faced difficulty in breathing.
According to doctors, Khan’s health deteriorated after bleeding in his lungs. He could not survive after his lungs collapsed.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that all efforts were made to save his life.
Condoling his death, President Arif Alvi said on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Had known him personally since 1982. He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard...”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he was “deeply saddened by the passing of Dr A Q Khan”.
COVID AUSTRALIA: SYDNEY CELEBRATES END OF 107-DAY LOCKDOWN
The Australian city of Sydney has emerged from lockdown after almost four months, with locals celebrating a range of new freedoms.
People queued for pubs and bars that opened at midnight on Monday specifically for the occasion.
Many others have been enjoying anticipated reunions and visits to the homes of relatives and friends.
Covid rules had banned household visits and travel beyond a 5km (3.1 miles) zone, separating many families.
But most restrictions have now been eased for fully vaccinated people.
People can now share meal together at reopened cafes and restaurants, and visit gyms and other shops. There were long queues for barbers, nail salons and beauticians on Monday.
Australia's biggest city was allowed to exit lockdown after the state of New South Wales (NSW) reached a 70% double-dose vaccination target for over-16s.
More restrictions will ease when 80% of over-16s are fully vaccinated. Currently, over 90% have received a first dose.
"It's been a difficult 100 days," state Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.
"But the efforts that people have made right across the state, to go out and get vaccinated, has enabled this great day."
UK TO DROP 10-DAY QUARANTINE FOR INDIANS FROM TODAY
The United Kingdom is easing its travel restrictions starting Monday, allowing travellers from more nations to enter the country. What changes for Indians, who were already allowed to enter the UK, is that their vaccination status will now be recognised eliminating the requirement to mandatorily quarantine for 10 days. The relaxation has been given to Indian nationals who have received both the doses of locally-produced Covishield, an issue which led to brief tension between the two countries.
"No quarantine for India travellers to United Kingdom fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine from 11 October. Thanks to Indian government for close cooperation over last month," British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted on Thursday.
India had on October 1 imposed mandatory 10-day quarantine for British citizens irrespective of vaccination status in response to the UK quarantine rules for Indians who have received both Covishield doses.
In the latest revision of travel rules, UK now has only seven nations in the red list. These countries are: Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Apart from India, vaccinated travellers from Brazil, Hong Kong, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey will be treated the same as returning fully-vaccinated UK residents as long as they have not visited a red-list nation in the last 10 days before arriving in England, the UK advisory said.
MYANMAR TO LAUNCH COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN
Myanmar will launch a Covid-19 vaccination program for schoolchildren aged over 12 years next week, a media report said.
In an attempt to tackle the spread of Covid-19, nearly 1 million middle and high school students -- who have enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year -- will be vaccinated, reported Xinhua.
In Myanmar, nearly 4.11 million people have been fully vaccinated nationwide, while over 5.78 million people have received the first jabs of Covid-19 vaccines as of Saturday, according to the release of the Ministry of Health.
The country has so far reported 4,78,651 Covid-19 cases after fresh 1,318 infections reported on Sunday.
With the fresh 30 new deaths from Covid-19, the total death toll has increased to 18,134.
A total of 431,275 patients have been discharged from hospitals and over 4.5 million samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far, reported Xinhua.
US WILL SEE A DROP IN COVID-19 DEATHS THIS WINTER: ANTHONY FAUCI
US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci expects the number of coronavirus fatalities to go down during the cold season. “I strongly suspect that you're going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalizations; how quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances, which will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors, how well they go by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” Fauci said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, as quoted by The Hill.
“Fortunately, right now, over the last few weeks, we've seen a turnaround in the slope is going down in both cases and hospitalisations. Deaths are still up, but it's really flattening, so it's a lagging indicator,” Fauci said in the interview to be aired on Sunday. In September, the infectious disease expert warned that the Delta variant remains of primary concern in the US, having increased the share of new cases in the United States to over 98 per cent, from 13.5 per cent in June.
US HAS ALREADY LOST TO CHINA IN AI FIGHT, SAYS EX-PENTAGON SOFTWARE CHIEF
Pentagon's former chief software officer Nicolas Chaillan who announced his resignation on Linkedin last month has told Financial Times that his resignation was a protest at the slow pace of technological transformation in the US military. China has already overtaken theUS in the AI fight, he said, adding that he could not stand to watch China overtake America.
“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” the 37-year-old first chief software office for the US Air Force said.
Beijing is heading for global dominance because of its advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber capabilities, he said. Compared to China's advancement, US cyber defences in some government departments were at the kindergarten level.
Chaillan blamed the reluctance of Goggle to work with the US defence department on AI. Chinese companies, on the other hand, are obliged to work with Beijing, and were making “massive investment” into AI without regard to ethics, he said to Financial Times.
Though the US spends at least three times more than China on defence, this is not being translated into any result as theUS is spending in the wrong areas and "bureaucracy and overregulation" stand in the way of change that the Pentagon needs.
RUSSIAN PLANE CARRYING PARACHUTISTS CRASHES, 16 KILLED
A plane carrying a group of parachute jumpers crashed in the Russian region of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six, the emergencies ministry said. The aircraft, which came down near the city of Menzelinsky, had been carrying 20 parachutists and two crew members. Six people were in a serious condition, the health ministry said. A Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, the plane was owned by an aeroclub in the city of Menzelinsk, the TASS news agency reported.
Cosmonauts use the area for training and the aeroclub has hosted local, European and world championships, the club’s director Ravil Nurmukhametov was quoted by TASS as saying. The state-run Cosmonaut Training Facility has suspended its ties with the aeroclub pending an investigation, TASS cited a source as saying. The RIA agency cited local authorities as saying one of the engines could have failed. Photos of some of the parachutists on board posing in kit or with a plane were circulated on social media. Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years but accidents continue to happen. An aging Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in the Russian far east last month killing six people. All 28 people on board an Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop died in a crash in Kamchatka in July.
MALAYSIA EASES TRAVEL CURBS AS 90% ADULTS FULLY JABBED. CHECK DETAILS
In a milestone, Malaysia has fully vaccinated 90 per cent of its adult population, enabling the government to lift interstate and international travel restrictions that have been in place for months.
In a televised interview, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that fully vaccinated Malaysians will be allowed to cross state borders from October 11. Not only that, the requirement to apply for the MyTravelPass scheme to travel overseas has also been dropped for fully-vaccinated citizens, he added.
Even as he announced the lifting of the curbs, Ismail Sabri advised people to continue following Covid-19 protocols such as mask-wearing to keep the virus in check.
“Despite all the concessions that have been announced, the fact is that we have to live with the virus,” Bloomberg quoted Ismail as saying.
“The situation demands that people continue to adhere to SOPs. I’d like to remind people not to be complacent about the relaxations," he added.