Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday

Iran reported a daily record of 588 COVID-19 deaths on Monday and the U.S. said soldiers would be required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus if a plan endorsed by President Joe Biden is approved.

Iran reports 1 coronavirus death every 2 minutes; U.S. troops required to be vaccinated under new plan

A medical staff member performs a PCR test as COVID-19 cases spike, in Tehran, Iran, on July 28. (Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency/Reuters)

The latest:

Iran reported a daily record of 588 COVID-19 deaths on Monday and the U.S. said soldiers would be required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus if a plan endorsed by President Joe Biden is approved. 

One person is now dying from COVID-19 every two minutes in Iran, state TV said on Monday.

Total deaths over the course of the pandemic have reached 94,603, Iranian authorities said, while cases rose by 40,808 in the past 24 hours to 4,199,537 in a fifth wave blamed on the highly transmissible delta variant. Only about four per cent of the country's 83 million people have been fully inoculated.

A railway employee, right, at the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris checks the COVID-19 health pass that all adults in France now need to enter cafes, intercity trains and other venues. (Adrienne Surprenant/The Associated Press)

France took a big step Monday into a post-pandemic future by requiring people to show a QR code proving they have a special virus pass before they can enjoy restaurants and cafes or travel across the country.

The measure is part of a government plan to encourage more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot and slow down a surge in infections, as the highly contagious delta variant now accounts for most cases in France. Over 36 million people in France, or more than 54 per cent of the population, are fully vaccinated.

The special pass is issued to people who are vaccinated against COVID-19, or have proof of a recent recovery from the virus or who have a recent negative test. The measure also applies to tourists visiting the country. All adults will need the pass, unless they are exempt for a medical reason. It will be required for those aged 12 to 17 starting Sept. 30.

In hospitals, visitors and patients who have appointments are required to have the pass. Exceptions are made for people needing urgent care at the emergency ward.

The pass is now required on high-speed, intercity and night trains, which carry over 400,000 passengers per day in France, Transport Ministry chief Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Monday. It is also required on long-distance travels by plane or bus.

People line up to be tested at a COVID-19 screening site in front of a pharmacy in Montpellier in the south of France on Monday. (Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images)

"We're going to enforce massive controls," Djebbari said.

Paper or digital documents are accepted.

Polls show that most French support the health pass. But the measure has prompted strong opposition from some people who say it compromises their freedoms by limiting movements and daily activities outside the home.

WATCH | How convenient COVID-19 vaccine clinics help convince some to get the shot: 

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On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and other French cities for a fourth consecutive week of protests against the measure.

The health pass was already in place for last month for cultural and recreational venues including cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas and theme parks. 

The law also requires French health-care workers to be vaccinated against the virus by Sept. 15.

What's happening in Canada

Visitors present their pass sanitaire (health pass) to an official at the entrance to a cinema in Montpellier on July 29. (Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images)

What's happening around the world

As of Monday afternoon, more than 202.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to the coronavirus tracker maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.4 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia's pharmaceutical regulator has granted provisional approval to Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday,

The first one million doses of the Moderna vaccine will arrive in September, with a total of 10 million doses arriving this year, Morrison said. Australia in May agreed to buy 25 million doses of the vaccine.

In China, more than 30 local officials have been fired or received other punishments for shortcomings in handling the country's latest virus surge.  The National Health Commission said Monday that 94 new cases of domestic transmission had been recorded over the previous 24 hours. 

In the Philippines, nearly a fifth of hospitals are close to full capacity due to a surge in COVID-19 infections, driven by the delta variant of the virus, the country's health ministry said on Monday.

Coronavirus cases in the Philippines, a country of 110 million, have been growing at a rate of around 8,000 to 10,000 infections a day over recent weeks, above the daily average of 5,700 cases reported last month, according to official data.

Drivers heading into Canada line up at the Rainbow International Bridge in Niagara Falls, N.Y., just after midnight on Aug. 9. Canada will now allow fully vaccinated Americans who are entering the country to skip the previously mandatory 14-day quarantine period as part of an easing of COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is reopening Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina to pilgrims from abroad to perform the smaller pilgrimage known as "umrah."

State media reported that for the first time since the pandemic prompted the government to seal off Mecca to international travelers, the kingdom will begin gradually receiving requests for umrah pilgrims from various countries of the world, starting Monday.

Travellers will need to prove they have been vaccinated and will need to quarantine if they are traveling from nations still red-listed by the kingdom, which include many of the countries that once sent the most pilgrims annually. The government plans to increase the capacity of pilgrims to two million per month.

In Africa, more than 6.9 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on the continent since the pandemic began in early 2020, and about 176,000 deaths have been attributed to the illness, according to the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Africa.

Nigeria announced it was postponing the rollout of its second batch of COVID-19 vaccine due to "unforeseen circumstances," a setback for Africa's most populous nation as it faces a major surge in confirmed cases. The rollout was scheduled for Tuesday. Less than two per cent of the country's 200 million citizens have been vaccinated.

In the Americas, the cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 35.76 million as of Sunday, with the death toll reaching 616,828, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Mexico will ask the United States to send at least 3.5 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine as the country faces a third wave of infections, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday.

With files from Reuters and CBC News

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