Qantas says Covid-19 vaccine will be a must – latest updates


The novel coronavirus has infected more than 59.5 million people and cut short over 1.4 million lives. Here are the updates for November 24:

November 24, 2020

Qantas to require Covid vaccine on international flights

International travellers will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to fly with Australia’s Qantas, the company has said, the first major airline to suggest that such rules could become common across the industry.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the Australian flag carrier would implement the measure once a coronavirus vaccine was made available to the public.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” he told Channel Nine television.

Joyce predicted the rule would likely become standard practice around the world as governments and airlines currently consider the introduction of electronic vaccination passports.

Other major regional airlines, however, said that it was too early to comment on what travel requirements might be when a vaccine becomes widely available.

Philippines targets 60 million for vaccination

Philippine officials say about 60 million Filipinos are being targeted for vaccination against the coronavirus next year at a cost of more than 73 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) to develop considerable immunity among a majority of Filipinos.

Carlito Galvez Jr., who oversees government efforts to secure the vaccines, said late on Monday that negotiations were underway with four Western and Chinese pharmaceutical companies, including US-based Pfizer Inc. and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., to secure the vaccines early next year. One company based in the UK, AstraZeneca, can commit to supply up to 20 million vaccines, he said.

“We will target the most vulnerable and the poorest communities in areas that were affected,” Galvez said, addressing who would be prioritised for vaccination.

The Philippines has had more than 420,000 confirmed cases, the second-most in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia, and 8,173 deaths.

China reports results of mass testing

China has reported new cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones.

The National Health Commission said that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also reported 20 cases among people who had arrived from overseas.

In Shanghai, the mass testing of 17,719 workers at the city’s Pudong airport found one infection, a Fedex employee. Everyone else tested negative.

Hundreds of flights at Pudong International Airport were cancelled since a small clutch of Covid-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers.

Three UPS workers at the airport have also tested positive in recent days, along with the wife of one of them.

In all, Shanghai has reported eight non-imported cases since Friday.

In Tianjin, where 2.3 million people had been tested as of Monday, the city reported one case in a person who developed symptoms after testing positive earlier. China does not include people without symptoms in its confirmed case count.

To date, the health commission has recorded 86,464 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths.

India records nearly 38,000 new infections

India recorded 37,975 new infections of coronavirus, with the daily increases, tallied by Reuters, remaining below the 50,000 mark for more than two weeks, having peaked in September.

The latest increase brought the total number of cases to 9.18 million, the health ministry said. Deaths rose by 480, with the total now at 134,218.

India has the second-highest number of cases in the world, after the United States.

Germany’s confirmed cases rise by 13,554

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 13,554 to 942,687, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 249 to 14,361, the tally showed.

Brazil adds over 300 more fatalities

Brazil reported 16,207 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 302 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry has said.

The South American country has now registered 6,087,608 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 169,485, according to ministry data, in the world’s third worst outbreak outside the United States and India.

Mexico adds nearly 7,500 new cases

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 7,483 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 250 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 1,049,358 and the death toll to 101,926.

Health officials have said the real number of infections is likely significantly higher.

Belize’s PM tests positive

Belize’s Prime MinisterJohnny Briceno has tested positive for Covid-19, and will remain in isolation for the following two weeks, after which he will be tested again, the prime minister’s office has said in a statement.

Spain’s King Felipe in quarantine 

Spain’s King Felipe VI has started 10 days of quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who later tested positive for the new coronavirus, a Royal House source said.

The king, 52, has cancelled his public appearances during the quarantine period after the person tested positive on Monday, one day after they were in close contact, the source added.

Felipe VI had chaired a scientific meeting in Madrid earlier on Monday.

Queen Letizia and their two daughters will continue their royal activities, the source said.

Spain has registered more than 1.58 million Covid-19 cases – western Europe’s second-highest tally after France – and 43,131 deaths.

Eight positive in latest Premier League tests

The Premier League has said that eight people had returned positive results in its latest round of coronavirus tests conducted on players and staff last week.

The league said the individuals who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus would now self-isolate for 10 days.

“The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 16 November and Sunday 22 November, 1,530 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19,” the league said in a statement.


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