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June 22, 2021

International update: Covid transmission rising again in poorly vaccinated US states

By Paul Dennis

22 June

Global: The global Covid death toll is still rising with a figure of 3,873,388 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections exceed 178.7 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 33.5 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll has passed 602,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US reached the milestone of dipping below 300 weekly deaths linked to Covid-19 for the first time since March last year. However, Covid-19 transmission is accelerating in several poorly vaccinated states, primarily in the South, and more young people are turning up at hospitals. The data present the clearest sign of a rebound in the US in months. In Missouri, Arkansas and Utah, the seven-day average of hospital admissions with confirmed Covid-19 has increased more than 30% in the past two weeks, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services. In Mississippi, the hospitalization rate is up 5% in the period.

Russia: Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that the coronavirus situation in some Russian regions is getting worse, as authorities began promoting the idea of revaccination in an effort to stem new cases

India: India added fewer than 50,000 new cases in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 24. The dip is a heartening sign for the nation that is still recovering from a devastating second wave. However, less than 5% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. Some experts are already warning of a third wave as the economy re-opens from lockdowns.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh on Monday reported 4,636 new cases, the most in a day since mid-April, raising its total to 851,668. The reported death toll is 13,626.

Singapore: Singaporean authorities found 13 new coronavirus cases locally, as the government widened mandatory testing in a large neighborhood outside the city center where a cluster has been expanding since mid-June. Singapore has been pursuing a strategy of ringfencing clusters with aggressive testing as the authorities remain cautious over the loosening of restrictions.

Germany: German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned of the possibility of a fourth wave of the pandemic as the delta variant spreads, saying it’s important to remain cautious as the country plans for a potentially challenging autumn and winter.

Vaccine news

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to jail anyone refusing to get the vaccine in a televised address when he expressed how “exasperated” he was by his own citizens.

Venezuela: Venezuelan doctors said they are having to turn people away from appointments for second doses because they are running so low on vaccines.

Africa: The World Bank will work with the African Union to quickly deliver vaccines by helping to finance purchases under a new initiative. They hope the scheme will help reach 400 million people.

South Africa: South Africa is planning to make vaccines locally using messenger RNA, the breakthrough technology of the global inoculation effort against Covid-19. The manufacturing will be conducted by the state-owned Biovac Institute, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, told reporters Monday. That will be part of a broader vaccine technology-transfer hub in the country, he said.

US: The Biden administration is expected to fall short of the president’s commitment to shipping 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June, as demand in the US plummets.

The US said 150 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to a statement on Twitter by Cyrus Shahpar, White House Covid data director.

India: India gave out a record 8.3 million vaccine doses today under a federal campaign to inoculate all adults for free after weeks of criticism that a chaotic rollout had worsened a second wave that killed hundreds of thousands.

UAE: The UAE has quietly launched vaccine tourism, with the emirate of Abu Dhabi offering visitors free jabs after approving the inoculation of all those with visas issued by its authorities.

Kenya: Kenya will receive 358,000 AstraZeneca doses donated by Denmark on Monday to shore up depleting stocks for the second round of vaccinations, according to Willis Akhwale, chairman of the Covid-19 vaccine advisory task force. A total of 1.18 million vaccines have so far been administered across Kenya, but fewer than 200,000 people had received a second dose as at June 20, according to the Health Ministry.

Lockdown updates

Bangladesh: Seven districts surrounding Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka have been locked down following a spike in cases, according to a government notice. The curbs will remain in place until 30 June.

Canada: The Canadian government announced a loosening of Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people amid warnings that a return to a completely open border will take awhile longer.

UK: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England is on course to be able to lift coronavirus restrictions as planned on July 19, despite the spread of the delta variant. But Johnson also warned that foreign travel is likely to continue to be disrupted this year, with delays and complications for travelers.

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