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India expands jab access with under 4% fully vaccinated – latest updates

Coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 3.8M people and infected over 179M globally. Here are the latest Covid-related developments for June 21:

A health worker inoculates a woman with the jab of Covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus during a vaccination camp held at a salon in Amritsar on June 20, 2021.
A health worker inoculates a woman with the jab of Covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus during a vaccination camp held at a salon in Amritsar on June 20, 2021. (AFP)

Monday, June 21

India expands jab access with under 4% fully vaccinated

India has opened up free vaccinations to all adults in an attempt to bolster its inoculation drive.

The country’s vaccination drive has significantly slowed in recent months due to a shortage of jabs and hesitancy, even as it battled a vicious surge in cases in April and May that overwhelmed the healthcare system in many places.

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Cases are down now and experts worry reopenings will spur another surge.

Only less than 4% of India’s people are fully immunised. Experts caution that by the end of the year, vaccination rates must go up significantly to protect most Indians from the virus that has so far already killed more than 386,000 people — a figure considered to be a vast undercount.

The government expanded the vaccine rollout to include all adults aged below 45 on May 1 but states and private hospitals had to procure and buy the shots themselves for the younger age group, leading to confusion and shortages.

Now New Delhi will procure 75 percent of vaccine supplies and distribute them to states so that they can inoculate people for free.

Starting Monday, every adult in India will be eligible for a shot paid for by the federal government. The new policy, announced last week, ends a complex system of buying and distributing vaccines that overburdened states and led to inequities in how the shots were handed out.

Russia reports 17,378 new cases, 440 deaths

Russia has reported 17,378 new Covid-19 cases, including 7,584 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,334,204.

The government coronavirus task force said 440 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the previous 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 129,801.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and has said Russia recorded around 270,000 deaths related to Covid-19 from April 2020 to April 2021

Taiwan reports 75 new domestic cases

Taiwan has reported 75 new domestic Covid-19 infections, down from the previous day’s figure of 107.

It was the first time the daily figure has dipped below 100 since May 15, when the government raised the alert level for Taipei and its neighbouring city in the wake of a sudden spike of 180 domestic cases.

Dongguan becomes latest city in China’s Guangdong to be hit by Covid-19

The major manufacturing hub of Dongguan in China’s most populous province of Guangdong launched mass testing on Monday for the coronavirus and cordoned off communities after detecting its first infections in the current outbreak.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 has dominated infections in the provincial upsurge, the first time it has hit China. Seen by experts as highly transmissible, the variant was first identified in India.

Dongguan launched a citywide testing programme on Monday, following two cases reported since last Friday.

City authorities told residents not to leave, except for essential reasons.

Indonesia to tighten restrictions for 2 weeks as cases rise

Indonesia will tighten mobility restrictions in some areas for two weeks starting from Tuesday after a rise in Covid-19 cases, including limiting the number of workers in offices and barring religious activities at houses of worship, a minister said.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs AirlanggaHartarto told a streamed news conference on Monday the curbs would apply to “red zones” where infections have been rising more quickly.

The Southeast Asian country reported 13,737 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the highest daily rise since Jan 30, with deaths from the respiratory disease also rising. Indonesia has recorded a total of 1.99 million coronavirus cases and more than54,600 fatalities.

India reports 53,256 new cases

India has reported 53,256 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, a government statement showed, taking the country’s total cases to 29.9 million.

The south Asian country’s deaths from coronavirus rose by 1,422 to 388,135.

Germany’s cases rise by 346

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 346 to 3,722,327, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 10 to 90,395, the tally showed.

Mexico posts 1,578 new cases, 36 more deaths

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 1,578 new confirmed cases in the country and 36 more fatalities, bringing the total figures to 2,477,283 infections and 231,187 deaths.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published in March suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.

US extends travel restrictions at Canada, Mexico land borders through July 21

US land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, the US Homeland Security Department has said.

The 30-day extension came after Canada announced its own extension on Friday of the requirements that were set to expire on Monday and have been in place since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The US government held working-group meetings with Canada and Mexico last week.

Homeland Security said in a statement it noted “positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other US agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.”

Brazil reports 44,178 new cases, 1,025 deaths

Brazil recorded 44,178 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, along with 1,025 deaths, the Health Ministry has said.

Brazil has registered more than 17.9 million cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 501,825, according to ministry data.

UK airline industry appeals for action over virus crisis

The British Airline Pilots Association has called for more help and clearer guidelines from the UK Government with regard to aviation and navigating an exit from the pandemic.

Many businesses have suffered during the UK lockdowns but aviation has been particularly badly affected.

Brian Strutton, spokesperson for British Pilots, has accused the government of playing “hokey cokey” with decisions over “taking holidays” and “visiting families abroad.”

The Delta variant which has been sweeping across the British Isles has created confusion and u-turns from the government over travel guidelines.

The restrictions have caused flight cancellations, which in turn have led to job losses.

Many people living near the airports rely on them for work, and have been forced to seek out different industries to work.

Chile admits violation of virus protocols at Copa America

Chile captain Claudio Bravo has admitted that teammates of its Copa America squad violated the tournament’s coronavirus protocols after a “barber” visited the players’ hotel in the Brazilian city of Cuiaba.

The Real Betis goalkeeper spoke during a news conference ahead of clash against Uruguay in Cuiaba.

The number or names of players involved were not disclosed.

Head coach Martin Lasarte told that his players made “a serious mistake” but all will remain eligible for the match against Uruguay.

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