U.S. Cases at Six-Month High; Asia Spread Worsens: Virus Update
New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have rebounded to more than 100,000 a day on average, returning to the levels of the winter surge six months ago.
The number of U.K. hospitalizations of fully-vaccinated patients with the delta variant is rising, prompting warnings from officials that the shots can’t stop some people from getting seriously ill. Protests broke out across France against the government’s vaccination pass.
The delta outbreak is worsening across the Asia-Pacific region. Cases in Sydney and Melbourne hit highs for the current outbreak, infections and deaths in Thailand reached record levels, while Philippines officials warned of surging infections.
- Global Tracker: Cases top 202 million; deaths pass 4.28 million
- Vaccine Tracker: More than 4.41 billion doses administered
- Once largely Covid free, Asia economies are now upended by delta
- Delta’s spread to Indonesia’s outer islands spurs vaccine rush
- In rural Arkansas, a shocking loss wards off vaccine hesitancy
- It’s chaos on Wall Street as delta complicates return to work
N.Y. New Cases Rise Above 4,000 (3:37 p.m. NY)
New York state’s new cases topped 4,000 for first time since late April, as hospitalizations continued to climb, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. The 4,385 new cases reported Saturday was a jump from 3,700 the day before. New cases remain far below the daily record of almost 20,000 in mid-January but average daily cases have more than doubled over the last two weeks. Another 11 people died, the most since mid-June.
Police in Colorado Could Face Firing (3:15 p.m. NY)
Denver police, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who don’t get vaccinated will face disciplinary action and possible termination, the city’s director of the Department of Public Safety told the Denver Post.
On Monday, the city mandated all city employees be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15.
“That order says city employees shall be vaccinated,” Murphy Robinson was quoted as saying. “If our folks don’t comply with it in the time that is allotted by the mayor’s office and the Department of Public Health and Environment, then I am prepared to do what is necessary to hold people in compliance and hold people accountable.”
Protests Break Out Across France (2:13 p.m. NY)
Almost 200 demonstrations took place around France on Saturday against the so-called “health pass,” with some 237,000 protesters, according to Le Parisien, which cited Interior Ministry numbers. It’s the fourth consecutive Saturday of protests against the vaccination pass, which on Monday will be extended to bars and restaurants, including terraces, as well as hospitals, planes, high-speed trains and some malls.
The protests add pressure on President Emmanuel Macron, who faces re-election next year. Meanwhile, the delta variant continues its progression, with 32 new hospital deaths in France in the past 24 hours, Le Figaro reported. More than 441,000 Covid-19 total vaccine shots were administered in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of people having received both shots in France to more than 37.1 million, according to health authorities.
Florida Church Reports Six Covid Deaths (12:35 p.m. NY)
A Florida minister said six of his parishioners have died of Covid-19 in the last 10 days, four of them under 35 years old.
“All of them were healthy, and the only thing they had in common was they were not vaccinated,” George Davis of Impact Church in Jacksonville told News4Jax. As many as 20 others are hospitalized, he said. He said the church has followed virus protocols from the U.S. government and has pushed for vaccinations.
Florida has been breaking records for new infections and hospitalizations, reporting more than 134,000 cases over the last week.
Ontario Cases Surge (11:41 a.m. NY)
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, reported 378 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the most since mid-June.
New infections have been on the rebound since Ontario entered Step 3 of its reopening plan, which includes indoor dining and other social gatherings, with some capacity limits.
Nearly 81% of Ontario’s eligible population have received at least one dose as Canada is set to welcome fully-vaccinated U.S. travelers on Aug. 9.
Malaysia Shifts Indicator for Easing (8:09 a.m. NY)
Malaysia will shift to using the number of new symptomatic Covid-19 hospital admissions as a gauge for whether to ease curbs in states in the first stage of its recovery plan.
The indicator will replace the current measure -- daily Covid-19 cases -- if a state’s level of full vaccinations with a double dose reaches 50% of adults, Finance Minister Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in a statement Saturday.
Philippine State Locks Down (6:39 a.m.)
Bataan, a province north of Manila, will be under a strict lockdown starting Aug. 8 through Aug. 22, the president’s spokesman said in a statement.
U.K. Fully-Vaccinated Delta Hospitalizations (5:29 p.m. HK)
The number of fully-vaccinated people in the U.K. being admitted to hospital with the delta variant is growing as officials warn the shots cannot stop everyone catching Covid-19.
In the last fortnight, nearly 35% of those hospitalized were fully vaccinated, compared with 55% who were unvaccinated, according to a statement from Public Health England Friday. The delta variant accounts for 99% of cases in the U.K.
U.K. Scientists Say Lockdowns Unlikely (4:39 p.m. HK)
Complete lockdowns are unlikely to be required again in the U.K. as the country transitions to a new period of learning to live with Covid-19, according to a number of top scientists.
The epidemic will now “transition quite quickly in a few months to be more something we live with and manage through vaccination rather than crisis measures,” Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London and former Covid-19 adviser to the U.K. government, told the Times of London in an interview.
His comments were echoed by John Edmunds, an infectious disease specialist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who told the Times the key issue was the National Health Service and while pressure remains on healthcare services “I very much doubt they won’t be able to cope.”
Russian Covid Infections Slip (5:00 p.m. HK)
New Russian cases of Covid-19 slipped slightly, the task force in charge of combating the virus said.
In the past 24 hours, 22,320 cases of the coronavirus were registered, compared with 22,660 the previous day, taking the total to 6.42 million, it said. The number of deaths increased by 793 to 164,094 over that period.
Philippines Official Warns on Infections (4:54 p.m. HK)
Infections in the Philippine capital region could reach tens of thousand by end-September even if a two-week lockdown currently in force is extended to six weeks, CNN Philippines reported Saturday, citing Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The Philippine health department reported 11,021 infections on Saturday, the second day cases exceeded 10,000 even after the capital region returned to a tighter lockdown to contain the spread of the delta variant.
Infections in Germany Rising (2:34 p.m. HK)
Germany is seeing a continuation of a trend of slowly increasing Covid cases. The country reported 3,206 new infections on Saturday. The 7-day incidence rate now stands at 21.2 after falling below 5 in early July.
U.S. Average Daily Cases Break Above 100,000 (2:28 p.m. HK)
New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have rebounded to more than 100,000 a day on average, returning to levels seen during a winter surge earlier this year.
Businesses and colleges should consider requiring people to get vaccinated against the virus in light of the jump in U.S. cases driven by the delta variant, Anthony Fauci said Friday.
The chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden said he opposed a federal vaccine mandate but that the velocity of Covid’s spread should spur private organizations to think about requiring shots.
Australia Outbreak Worsens (10:22 a.m. HK)
The delta outbreak worsened across Australia’s biggest cities, with cases in Sydney and Melbourne hitting fresh highs for the current outbreak.
Sydney recorded 319 new cases, New South Wales state’s Minister for Health Brad Hazzard told reporters on Saturday. There were 5 deaths.
Since the highly contagious variant leaked into Sydney’s community in mid-June, the delta strain has caused havoc on Australia’s eastern coast, its most populated area. About two-thirds of the country’s population is in lockdown, including its three largest cities.
Thailand Hits Record Cases, Deaths (10:15 a.m. HK)
Thailand on Saturday saw record new daily coronavirus infections as the highly-contagious delta variant continues to spread across the country.
The Southeast Asian nation added 21,838 new infections while it saw 212 deaths, the first time the daily total surpassed 200. About 60% of Thailand’s new coronavirus cases in recent days have been reported from outside the capital and its surrounding provinces, the current epicenter of the outbreak.
The Bank of Thailand earlier this week cut its 2021 gross domestic product growth forecast to 0.7% from 1.8% due to the latest outbreak and restrictive measures such as curfews and business closures to contain it.
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