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Covid-19

Fiji Announces Plan to Open Borders by November

A Pacific island getaway has been out of reach for many Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Photo: Shutterstock

A Pacific island getaway has been out of reach for many Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that might change in just a few months.

In the midst of battling a COVID-19 outbreak, Fiji has announced plans to reopen its borders to tourists by November 1.

By then the government expects to have fully vaccinated at least 80 per cent of its eligible population, and believes it can safely welcome international visitors again.

“Everybody’s really keen to get things back up and running and started again, and Fiji is ready and waiting for tourists.”

Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill said he was confident the country could reach the vaccination targets in time – but encouraged visitors to seek travel insurance in case they were forced to quarantine.

Brent Hill in the Tourism Fiji office.

“The key thing is, if you’ve got a really strong level of local vaccination, coupled with only accepting fully vaccinated travellers who test negative before they get on the plane, then you’re dramatically reducing the risk,” Mr Hill said.

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Business

Some Shoppers are Shunning Foreign Goods Due to Virus Risk

The coronavirus crisis has altered consumer behavior, with panic buying, stockpiling and e-commerce becoming the norm this year as people around the world learned to live under lockdown.

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Source: CNBC

The coronavirus crisis has altered consumer behavior, with panic buying, stockpiling and e-commerce becoming the norm this year as people around the world learned to live under lockdown.

While lockdown measures are being eased in many countries, uncertainty around the spread of the virus remains — and it could continue to shape our attitudes toward the goods we buy, analysts have found.

A third of global consumers now worry that products shipped from abroad could pose a safety risk, according to market research firm Kantar.

The company surveyed 45,000 people across 17 countries online and over the phone in late April. The “Covid-19 barometer” study had a margin of error of 2%.

A shopper wearing a protective mask walks down an aisle at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

Goods from China and the U.S. were perceived as particularly risky by consumers in other countries, according to Kantar’s findings, with 47% saying they were far less in favor of buying American and Chinese products.

People in South Africa, South Korea, Nigeria and France were most fearful of buying goods imported from China and the U.S., according to Kantar.

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Covid-19

More US Studies Show COVID Vaccines Protect From Serious Illness

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has presented data showing unvaccinated people are four-and-a-half times more likely to contract COVID-19 and 11 times more likely to die from it than those fully vaccinated.

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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has presented data showing unvaccinated people are four-and-a-half times more likely to contract COVID-19 and 11 times more likely to die from it than those fully vaccinated.

In a White House COVID-19 briefing on Friday, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said the data shows “vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of COVID-19”.

“The studies involved more than 600,000 COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths in 13 states”

The studies involved more than 600,000 COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths in 13 states, and large cities from April through mid-July.

“Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about four-and-a-half times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalised, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease,” Walensky said.

Two studies showed that vaccine protection appears to be waning among older people, especially among those 75 and older [Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters]

While protection remained strong against Delta, the study also confirmed an increase in milder COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated people, which the authors said reflected “potential waning of vaccine-induced population immunity”.

Two other US studies also found that COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against hospitalisation and death, even in the face of the highly transmissible Delta variant, but vaccine protection appears to be waning among older people, especially among those 75 and older.

US data on hospitalisation from nine states during the period when the Delta variant was dominant also suggests that the Moderna vaccine was more effective at preventing hospitalisations among individuals of all ages than vaccines from Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.

In that study of more than 32,000 visits to urgent care centres, emergency rooms and hospitals, Moderna’s vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing hospitalisation compared with 80 percent for Pfizer and 60 percent for J&J.

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