Coronavirus latest: Idaho governor reactivates National Guard to support hospitals

Pennsylvania has issued a mask mandate for schools, with the state facing a Delta variant-fuelled increase in Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations just as students begin the academic year. Effective September 7, face coverings will be required in buildings at K-12 schools and day care centres across the state, governor Tom Wolf said on Tuesday.

Overnight stays by tourists in Portugal rose to 4.5m in the peak holiday month of July, up from 2.6m in the same month of last year, but down 45 per cent on July 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic. A flash estimate by the National Statistics Institute said bed nights for overseas visitors dropped almost 68 per cent compared with July 2019.

New York’s new governor used her first coronavirus press conference to say that the state was exploring ways to expand several requirements in an effort to boost vaccination coverage and slow the spread of Covid-19. Kathy Hochul said on Tuesday her office was working on instituting a requirement for teachers and other staff at New York schools to be vaccinated or tested regularly. “I think that’s a compromise,” she said.

American football’s New England Patriots released their star quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday, less than a week after the former most valuable player missed pre-season practice while abiding by the National Football League protocols for unvaccinated players. The move to cut Newtown is among the most high-profile consequences for an individual without full vaccination status in the US.

The spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has sent US consumer confidence down to its lowest level since February, when cases were high and vaccinations not yet widespread. The US Consumer Confidence Index declined to 113.8 for the month of August, down from 125 in July, according to the Conference Board, a think-tank.

Canada’s economy unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter despite summer reopenings, and the prospects for third-quarter growth are also less upbeat than previously thought. Canadian GDP fell by an annualised 1.1 per cent in the second quarter, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday. That missed expectations for a 2.5 per cent increase. 

India’s economy grew by a fifth in the first quarter of the financial year, despite coronavirus-induced restrictions that limited non-essential economic activity. In a statement on Tuesday, the government said GDP rose by 20.1 per cent in the three months to June. The economy contracted by 24.4 per cent in the same period in the 2020-21 financial year.

Almost 400,000 people in Scotland, or 7 per cent of the population, were waiting to be seen by a doctor at the end of June, the highest number on record, figures from the country’s health service show. At the end of June, 396,771 people with referrals were waiting to be seen, up 12.1 per cent from March 31, Public Health Scotland said.

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