Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will visit the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Cape Town on May 17, 2021 to be vaccinated with Covid-19 as part of the South African Phase 2 induction for citizens over 60 years of age. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)
1,757 new Covid-19 cases have been registered in South Africa, bringing the total to 1,615,485. Another 50 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 55,260 deaths.
The US recorded the lowest number of new coronavirus infections since the pandemic began on Sunday. President Joe Biden plans to ship an additional 20 million doses of vaccines overseas by the end of June as supply gradually exceeds demand.
California will keep its mask mandate for another month. The New York City Marathon, a major tourist attraction, will return in November with at least 33,000 runners.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline reported positive results from an interim study showing optimism that their delayed vaccine could be released by the end of the year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the next step out of the lockdown must be taken “with great caution” as further coronavirus restrictions were lifted on Monday.
California to keep the mask rule for another month
California will maintain its mask mandate until it fully reopens its economy on June 15 to encourage more residents to vaccinate and break away from other states that are dropping their requirements on the recommendation of the federal government.
It’s back in the New Jersey classroom
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said all school districts must resume face-to-face learning by September.
The governor announced on Monday that his executive order, which allows districts to provide distance learning, expires at the end of the current school year. Full-time distance learning will no longer be an option, he said.
Murphy also lifted the state’s travel advisory requiring visitors to be quarantined and ended the mandate for outdoor masks in public places. The requirement for masks in indoor public spaces remains, Murphy said.
New York to facilitate the mask mandate
New York will lift its mask mandate Wednesday, under national guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as Covid vaccinations approach 50% of the state’s residents and cases and hospital stays abate.
“All arrows are pointed in the right direction, so we come back to life,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a briefing on Monday. “We have to get the exuberance back, the excitement back.”
Cuomo described the relaxation of the mask mandate as a “radical adjustment of rules and guidelines” and said it took the state a few days to analyze the guidelines and align them with its own.
Italy should let the curfew expire
Italy will expire a national curfew, currently set at 10 p.m., with a view to clearing it on June 21, and bow to calls for the country to reopen after the number of cases has steadily declined.
At a Monday meeting, Mario Draghi’s government agreed to postpone the curfew for low risk areas to 11 p.m. and allow indoor eating from June 1, according to an official who asked not to be named.
Biden to send vaccines abroad
President Joe Biden plans to ship an additional 20 million doses of U.S. coronavirus vaccines overseas by the end of June – including first-time home-use shots where supply is starting to exceed demand.
Biden announced on Monday that he will export 20 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, in addition to 60 million AstraZeneca doses he already planned to deliver to other countries.
BioNTech receives cooling expansion
BioNTech said Monday the European Medicines Agency had agreed to extend the refrigerated storage period for the Covid-19 vaccine made with Pfizer to 31 days, longer than the five days it had previously approved. The change in regulations will allow more vaccinations within Europe. The company said US regulators are considering a similar request.
Britain finds more cases of India burden
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said UK authorities identified 2,323 cases of the Indian strain of coronavirus when the highly transmissible new variant spread.
On Monday, Hancock spoke in Parliament that 86 municipal areas had now identified at least five people with the new tribe.
Over the past week, cases in Bolton, Blackburn and Darwen in northwest England have doubled, and the Indian variant is now the dominant strain of the virus, Hancock said.
He urged the public to get vaccinated and said most of the people with the Indian tribe at Bolton Hospital had not received a shot. Early evidence shows vaccines will still work against this new variant, he added.
New York City Marathon returns
The 50th run of the New York City Marathon, the largest in the world and a major tourist draw for the city, will take place on November 7th, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.
The race, which was canceled last year, will be 60% busy, meaning around 33,000 runners can take part. That capacity can change, said the governor. Registration will open on June 8th.
“The marathon is back,” said Cuomo.
Seychelles with Russia’s Sputnik shots
The Seychelles, which have vaccinated a larger proportion of their population against Covid-19 than any other nation, said they are offering the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in addition to the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm shots.
So far, 99% of the “target group” have been vaccinated with at least one single dose of vaccine and 88% have received two doses, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday. Nonetheless, the Seychelles have seen some increases in recent weeks.
China donates vaccines to the Zimbabwean army
The People’s Liberation Army of China donated 100,000 Simophabian vaccines to the Zimbabwean Armed Forces, the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health said on its Twitter account.
The shipment was received by Defense Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri at the main airport of the capital Harare on Monday. The vaccinations will benefit 50,000 military personnel, including war veterans and their loved ones.
According to the government, Zimbabwe had 38,560 coronavirus infections and 1,582 deaths as of May 16.
Daily cases in the US are falling to the 14-month low
The US recorded 16,857 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the lowest daily total since the pandemic started in March 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. In January, the U.S. was seeing an average of 250,000 new cases per day after a vacation spurt.
Sundays typically have the fewest reported cases of the week. Even so, the Sunday total was the lowest on any day of the week since Wednesday March 25, 2020.
In the week leading up to Sunday, new cases rose 0.7%, the slowest increase in the pandemic. The total weekly number of 232,839 new infections was the lowest in the seven days ended June 21.
Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to the Biden government’s Covid response, said in a tweet Monday that the cases fall across all 50 states.
The World Economic Forum cancels the meeting in Singapore
The World Economic Forum is canceling the annual meeting, which is due to take place in Singapore in August, a spokesman said.
The city-state has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, prompting its government to introduce activity restrictions and tighten border controls.
Pakistan cases fall after a week-long lockdown
According to data from Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University, new infections in Pakistan fell to their lowest level in nine weeks after a one-week shutdown was imposed.
The nation, in the midst of a new virus wave, eased restrictions by resuming public transportation and extending market opening hours.
Philippines signs contract for Pfizer recordings
The Philippines signed an initial 40 million dose vaccine deal with Pfizer, paving the way for the Southeast Asian nation’s largest supply deal. The country is hoping to achieve herd immunity this year to tackle one of the region’s worst outbreaks. DM
– With the support of Robert Fenner, Alessandro Speciale, Harry Suhartono, Jack Wittels, Swetha Gopinath, Philip Heijmans, Sara Marley, Ros Krasny, Ekow Dontoh, Lizzy Burden, Soraya Permatasari, Andrea Navarro, Prim Chuwiruch, Claire Che, Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Max Zimmerman, Suzi Ring, Antony Sguazzin and Keshia Clukey.