5 July

Global: The global Covid death toll is still rising with a figure of 3,977,172 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections exceed 183.7 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 33.7 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll has passed the grim milestone of 605,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

More than a quarter of people in the US say they’re unlikely to get a Covid-19 shot, with 20% saying they definitely won’t and 9% saying they probably won’t, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. That compares with a combined 24% in April in a poll by the same outlets. The data illustrate the challenge for the Biden administration and state and local officials in expanding vaccination beyond the 67% who have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the poll, 35% said US officials are exaggerating the threat of the delta variant of the virus, with more Republicans than Democrats holding that view.

New York’s statewide positive-test rate increased for the fifth consecutive day, according to official data. Governor Andrew Cuomo urged more residents to get vaccinated, saying “don’t delay.”

Meanwhile, a triumphant President Joe Biden all but announced an end to the pandemic in the US on Sunday, celebrating what he called a “heroic” vaccination campaign on the country’s Independence Day holiday. Speaking at a party on the White House’s South Lawn, Biden declared that the US had achieved “independence” from the coronavirus. “It no longer controls our lives, it no longer paralyzes our nation and it’s within our power to make sure it never does so again,” he said, appealing for Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shots.

UK: The UK has recorded 24,248 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to official figures.There were a further 15 deaths, bringing the overall death toll to 128,222. Meanwhile, 86 % of adults have had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 63.8% received both doses.

Brazil: Brazil has seen recorded 27,783 new Covid-19 cases and 830 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday. The news comes as tens of thousands took to the streets of the South American country’s biggest cities on Saturday to demand the removal of President Jair Bolsonaro, who they deem responsible for the death of over half a million people.

Russia: Russia has recorded 25,142 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday – the highest number since January 2. The news comes after Covid deaths in the country hit at a record high for five days in a row this week. President Vladimir Putin has for now refrained from calling another lockdown.

South Africa: South Africa recorded more than 26,000 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, its highest daily number since the pandemic broke out.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh recorded 153 deaths, its highest daily toll yet, in the 24 hours to this morning, the Dhaka Tribune reports.

Indonesia: Indonesia will start importing oxygen cylinders to meet surging demand from Covid-19 patients as the country battles an exponential rise in infections that overwhelms its hospitals. The government is urging those with mild symptoms to be treated at home because hospitals are full, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a media briefing on Monday.

France: A wave of infections may hit France by the end of July because of the delta variant, based on what’s happening in the UK, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Twitter. He said cases in France have rebounded in the past five days and urged residents to get vaccinated to limit the wave.

Luxembourg: Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was hospitalized on Sunday, a week after testing positive for Covid-19. He had tested positive days after attending a June 24-25 summit meeting with fellow European Union leaders in Brussels.

Vaccine news

US: The Oakland zoo in northern California has administered an experimental Covid-19 vaccine to animals deemed at highest risk. The two-dose jab has been approved by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed to nearly 70 zoos.

South Korea: South Korea is in talks with mRNA vaccine makers including Moderna and Pfizer to make as many as 1 bilion doses in the country, Lee Kang-ho, the director general for the global vaccine hub committee under South Korea’s health ministry, told Reuters in an interview.

Lockdown updates

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on Monday set to confirm the fourth and last step to lifting lockdown will go ahead on July 19, despite warnings that doing so would be like building “variant factories”.

Schools in England are “bleeding out” with thousands of teachers having to isolate under a bubble system that is harming the most vulnerable children, ministers have been warned, The Guardian’s Josh Halliday reports.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s Prime Minster Pham Minh Chinh ordered Ho Chi Minh City and adjacent provinces to take more effective actions to slow infections, warning the nation’s commercial hub could see virus infections grow to uncontrollable levels. Ho Chi Minh City, which extended social distancing measures indefinitely June 29, is now the nation’s worst virus-hit region with 6,206 local infections as of Monday morning since the latest outbreak began in late April.

Iran: Iran announced today it was reimposing coronavirus restrictions on major cities, as the spread of the highly contagious delta variant spurs fears of another devastating surge in the nation, the Associated Press reports.

Australia: Sydney’s outbreak of the delta-variant of the coronavirus is raising concern Australia’s most-populous city may need to extend its two-week lockdown beyond Friday. The city of about 6 million people recorded 35 new cases in the community on Monday, raising the total infections since mid-June to 312.

Economy updates

Global: Hotels, airlines and travel companies are reporting an increase in corporate bookings during recent weeks, led by domestic markets where travel is easy, the Financial Times reported. Bookings from financial and professional services companies are returning strongly, but small and medium-sized companies are driving thhe increase because they can make decisions faster, Paul Abbott, chief executive of American Express Global Business Travel, told the newspaper.