England reports no Covid deaths; South Africa registered …

(Photo: EPA-EFE / YURI KOCHETKOV)

In South Africa, 1,548 new Covid-19 cases were registered for a grand total of 1,599,272. Another 71 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 54,896 deaths.

The gap between the most heavily vaccinated countries and the lagging countries is widening.

England reported no deaths The German health minister was optimistic about falling infection rates. Greece has set itself the goal of vaccinating the inhabitants of all of its islands by the end of June in order to boost the country’s image for tourists.

Meanwhile in Asia, Taiwan announced limits following Singapore’s attempt to restrict foreign labor in a wave of new borders in countries trying to root out small outbreaks after months of Covid-19 containment. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha warned that local cases could increase in the next few weeks, and the Vietnamese capital banned large gatherings.

Key developments

Netherlands to lift some restrictions

The Netherlands will reopen gyms, zoos and amusement parks from May 19, when the number of Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions continues to fall.

The government will decide on Monday whether to use a “stop button” to stop easing restrictions, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Tuesday. From May 15, travel to countries with a low infection rate will be possible again and a color-coded system will be used to provide travel advice.

The Dutch health service reported 47,108 Covid-19 cases in the last seven days on Tuesday, compared with 52,987 in the previous week. Hospital admissions fell from 1,763 the previous week to 1,379 in the past week.

Uber, Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination sites

The White House announced new efforts to vaccinate Americans, including an expansion of Free rides by Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to take pictures and partnered with community colleges to deliver vaccines.

Lyft and Uber will offer free rides to anyone vaccinated in the United States through July 4th, the White House said Tuesday. It is an extension of the programs they have already offered to some low-income users in collaboration with pharmacies and nonprofits.

UnitedHealth CEO sees the effects of Covid wearing off

UnitedHealth Group expects much of the negative effects of Covid-19 to wear off over the next year, CEO Andrew Witty said Tuesday.

“Our plan, one assumption, is that the effects of Covid will wear off from 2022,” said Witty, speaking at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Virtual Health Care Conference.

U.S. health insurers reported mostly robust earnings in the first quarter but remained conservative and forecast uncertainty for the remainder of 2021, citing the pandemic. Health insurers saw medical costs decline during Covid as people avoided regular doctor visits and elective surgeries in the early stages of the pandemic.

Brazil stops Astra recordings for pregnant women

The Brazilian health authority recommended officials stop giving AstraZeneca Covid-19 shots to pregnant women as authorities are investigating Reported death a woman in Rio de Janeiro who received the vaccine.

Anvisa, as the regulator is known, said the use of the shot in pregnant women should be “suspended immediately,” according to a statement on its website late Monday.

Scotland to ease restrictions

The Scots will be able to drink alcohol indoors in pubs and restaurants starting next week and meet more people in their homes after a reduction in the number of new cases, said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The general success of the vaccination rollout means some restrictions are being lifted early, she told reporters in Edinburgh. Cinemas, theaters, and casinos can reopen from Monday, and the government is also reviewing physical distancing rules.

The rules could be relaxed further at the next review in three weeks, Sturgeon said.

Greece wants to vaccinate all island communities by the end of June

Greece plans to fully vaccinate permanent residents of all islands by the end of June, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a meeting with local officials. The country wants to support island communities and economies and at the same time send a positive signal for the image of Greek tourism, said Mitsotakis.

EU requests court order for Astra cans

The European Union is asking a Belgian court to order AstraZeneca to deliver 90 million cans to the block, European Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker told reporters in Brussels.

The move is part of the EU’s legal action against the company where the block insists it breached its contract by failing to deliver cans under an extended sales contract.

Malaysia should follow a uniform protocol

Malaysia will follow a standardized protocol nationwide to make it easier for people to adhere to social distancing procedures, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters on Tuesday. The decision will be made one day after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin extended restrictions on movement across the country to stem a new wave that has put some hospitals on beds.

Hanoi prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people

Hanoi banned gatherings of more than 10 people in public places and called for the suspension of non-essential meetings and events, according to a post on the Ministry of Health’s website. The Vietnamese capital, which only urges residents to leave home for essential reasons, closed parks after a new outbreak began in north Vietnam on April 27.

Japan is discussing more Moderna cans

The Japanese government is currently in talks with Moderna over an additional 50 million doses of their vaccine, said Christophe Weber, CEO of Takeda Pharmaceutical, which is responsible for regulatory approval and distribution of the shot in Japan. The deal would bring Japan’s total Moderna doses to 100 million. Weber said he expected the vaccine to be approved in Japan this month.

England reports zero Covid deaths

England reported no deaths from Covid-19 in its latest daily update, a milestone that underscores the effectiveness of the UK vaccination program. Sunday was the first day since July that England had no deaths recorded. More than 112,000 people have died since the pandemic started more than a year ago. DM

– With the support of Joe Schneider, Chris Reiter, Christian Wienberg, Lenka Ponikelska, Charles Penty, Shruti Singh, Stacie Sherman, Keshia Clukey, Riley Griffin, Charles Capel and April Roach.

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