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August 2, 2021

International update: Global Covid infections pass 198 million – delta strain spreads through Australia

By Paul Dennis

2 August

Global: The global Covid death toll has passed the grim milestone of 4 million, with a figure of 4,224,520 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections have passed 198 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 35 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll has passed 613,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida on Sunday broke a previous record in the US for current hospitalisations, as the number of patients in hospitals because of Covid-19 once again broke through the 10,000-person threshold.

Brazil: Brazil had 20,503 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 464 deaths, the country’s health ministry said on Sunday. The South American country has now registered 19,938,358 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 556,834, Reuters reports.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 6,740 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 128 more fatalities, Reuters reports. It brings its total to 2,854,992 infections and 241,034 deaths.

UK: The UK has registered 24,470 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours. There were 911 further hospitalisations and 65 more people have died within 28 days of a positive test.

Italy: Italy reported five coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, down from 16 the day before, the health ministry said. The daily tally of new infections fell to 5,321 on Sunday compared with 6,513 the previous day.

Germany: Germany’s weekly case average of 2,195 was the highest since July 12, the Robert Koch-Institut said. The seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants rose to 17.5, the 26th consecutive gain.

Vietnam: reported a total 150,060 virus cases and 1,306 deaths as of Saturday, with 97% of infections recorded from late April, according to the health ministry. Ho Chi Minh City accounts for about 63% of infections in the current outbreak.

Australia: Sydney reported a record-matching 239 new local cases of Covid-19 over the 24 hours to 8 pm Saturday as the delta-strain outbreak continues to spread in Australia’s biggest city. New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were some signs that the virus is mostly being contained to parts of the city with the strictest curbs. The entire Sydney region is in lockdown until 28 August. There were nine new locally acquired cases in Queensland, which on Saturday imposed a snap lockdown on its most populous region of the southeast, the state’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young, said at a briefing. Victoria state reported four new local cases.

Vaccine news

EU: Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. have increased the prices of their Covid-19 vaccines in the latest supply contracts with the European Union, the Financial Times reported. The price rises come as the bloc deals with supply disruptions and side-effect concerns from other shots, the FT said.

Germany: Germany’s government will recommend the vaccine for all 12- to 17-year-olds on Monday, the Associated Press reported, citing a draft resolution ahead of a planned meeting of state-level health ministers.

Israel: Half of the infections in Israel now are among the fully vaccinated, and public health officials are beginning to see signs of more serious disease among them, said Sharon Alroy-Preis, the nation’s Director of Public Health Services. She said that infections for people vaccinated in January are double those vaccinated in March, an apparent decrease in effectiveness over time that has led Israel to begin booster shots. She said infections were particularly problematic for people 60 and older. “It’s not just the fact that we’re seeing more disease, but they’re getting to severe and critical conditions,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Tunisia: Tunisia, which has one of the world’s highest coronavirus death rates, received 1.5m Covid-19 vaccine doses from Italy on Sunday, the president’s office announced.

UK: More than 88% of adult Britons have received one vaccine dose, and more than 38 million people have been double-jabbed – the equivalent of 72% of the adult population, according to the UK Department of Health and Social Care. From the end of September, people will be required to prove they’ve had both doses to enter nightclubs and music events, and from 16 August, fully vaccinated people will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Several food and travel companies in the UK will start giving incentives and offering discounts to urge Britons to get vaccinated, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. Uber Technologies Inc. will send users a vaccine reminder and give lower rates for young adults who get the shot. Bolt, another ride-share company, is offering free ride credits to vaccine centers, and Deliveroo Plc and Pizza Pilgrims are also aiding the drive. Over 600,000 people were vaccinated at walk-in clinics last weekend and more sites have been made available this week, the department said.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s government is optimistic of achieving its target of fully vaccinating 50% of the nation’s adult population by 31 August, Bernama reported on Sunday, citing Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. About 29% of the adult population had completed both doses of the vaccine so far, and 59% have received one dose, the state news agency cited him as saying. Meantime, the number of daily Covid vaccinations has surpassed a record 500,000 for six straight days, Bernama reported, citing Health Minister Adham Baba.

Lockdown updates

Germany: Thousands turned out in Berlin on Sunday to protest the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to clashes with police and about 600 arrests.

US: US president Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci has told ABC News he does not expect the US will be returning to lockdowns, despite the growing risks of Covid-19 infections posed by the Delta variant.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the Lollapalooza music festival, which attracts as many as 100,000 fans a night, is a model for gatherings despite rising infections in the city. “Ninety percent of people at Lolla have been vaccinated, and hundreds of people who either haven’t been vaccinated or haven’t shown a negative test within 72 hours have been turned away,” Lightfoot told reporters Sunday. Organizers of the four-day festival “have done an incredible job,” she said. Lightfoot said she has no plans to mandate masks or impose tighter lockdown on Chicago, although last week the city recommended that people wear masks in public indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

China: Yangzhou, a city neighboring Nanjing where there’s been an outbreak of delta-variant cases, suspended all passenger flights in and out of the local airport starting Saturday. It also stopped bus, cab and ride-hailing services in the city from Sunday.

Thailand: Thailand is set to expand its quasi-lockdown measures to its regions that are hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and home to about 40% of the population. The most stringent restrictions in 13 provinces, including the capital Bangkok and its surrounding regions, will be extended to 31 August, and those curbs will be expanded to 16 additional provinces, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration said on Sunday.

Vietnam: Vietnam authorities extended the stay-at-home order covering most of the nation’s southern region, including the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, for two weeks. The extension is directed at 19 localities and is part of the government’s aggressive anti-virus measures to contain the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreak, which began in late April.

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