Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Washington, United States | Mon, July 26, 2021

Australia’s most populous state reported a rise in new cases despite a weeks-long stay-at-home order, while police vowed to crack down on any repeat of a wild anti-lockdown protest at the weekend.

Europe

  • Britain is expected to remove France from its “amber” category of coronavirus risk countries and could drop quarantine for travellers from France as soon as next week, The Times reported.
  • The French parliament approved a bill that will make vaccinations mandatory for health workers as well as require a bolstered health pass in a wide array of social venues.
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has said he fears the number of new cases in Germany could soar to 100,000 a day in about two months unless many more people get vaccinated.

Asia-Pacific

  • China reported its highest number of cases since the end of January amid a surge of local infections in the eastern city of Nanjing, as it starts a second round of mass testing to contain the outbreak.
  • South Korea has kicked off vaccinations for people ages 55-59 to speed up its inoculation campaign.
  • Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Sunday that COVID-19 restrictions would be extended from July 26 to August 2, though he said infections and hospital bed occupancy rates in some provinces in Java had declined.
  • Malaysia will not extend a months-long national state of emergency when it ends on Aug. 1, law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said on Monday.

Americas

  • Top infectious disease official Anthony Fauci has said Americans who are immune-compromised may end up needing vaccine booster shots.
  • A COVID-19 surge ignited in parts of the United States by the highly contagious Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy has led to new mask mandates and deep confusion among some people about which guidance to follow.

Middle East and Africa

  • Ghana hopes to receive over 18 million doses of vaccines before October as it struggles to contain a third wave of infections.
  • Algeria will reimpose restrictions on gatherings to cope with a rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
  • South Africa has lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol on weekdays and the movement of people between provinces as President Cyril Ramaphosa said a third wave may have peaked

Medical Developments

  • AstraZeneca is “scouring” its global supply chain to try and boost vaccine supplies to Thailand and Southeast Asia.
  • People who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may need a booster shot to fend off some of the worrisome variants, a study suggests.

Economic Impact

  • Asian shares skidded to seven-month lows on Monday as regulation concerns upended Chinese equities and strong US corporate earnings sucked funds out of emerging markets into Wall Street.
  • Japan’s factory activity expanded at the slowest pace in five months in July, underscoring the world’s third-largest economy’s struggle to stage a convincing recovery from the pandemic.

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