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COVID cases in the US have dropped significantly after months of continued pressure on hospitals across the country. Health care facilities were forced out, and continued to provide only emergency medical services, as the number of patients in intensive care remains exceptionally high.

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Elsewhere, a damning report has condemned the UK government’s response to the pandemic, with the failures described by ministers and scientific advisers as “costing thousands of lives”. In Sydney, business and life are beginning to return to relative normality thanks to fully immunizations after more than 100 days of lockdown in the city.

Meanwhile, debate about vaccine and mask mandates continues in the US after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting businesses from imposing such restrictions on workers.


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Texas governor issues executive order halting vaccine mandate

Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday banning any entity, including private business, from enforcing vaccine mandates on workers and calling on allies in other states to pursue similar laws.

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It is being seen as a response to the Biden administration’s rules that require employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly for the virus.

The abbot laid down the laws, arguing that no one should be restricted from day-to-day activities, including work, for reasons such as religious beliefs or medical issues.

No entity in Texas may compel any person, including an employee or consumer, to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for any reason in personal discretion, on the basis of religious belief, or for medical reasons. Opposes vaccination, including prior recovery. from COVID-19.

Abbott, who was previously vaccinated and later tested positive for COVID-19, noted in his order that “the vaccine is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive, but for Texans should always be voluntary”.