N.Y. Eases Mask Rules for Kids; Plea From Airlines: Virus Update
Visitors wait to enter a rapid Covid-19 test center in Berlin. (Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

N.Y. Eases Mask Rules for Kids; Plea From Airlines: Virus Update

Airlines from Britain and the U.S. issued a joint plea for the resumption of travel between the two countries, saying government curbs on the world’s most lucrative air route are holding back an economic recovery.

Italy is aiming to vaccinate 80% of its population by September, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced free shots for all adults. Moderna Inc. applied for a conditional marketing authorization in the European Union that would allow its vaccine to be given to adolescents

Rising cases in places from Uganda to Indonesia are a reminder that the pandemic won’t disappear anytime soon. The U.K.’s health secretary said it’s too early to say whether a planned loosening of rules on June 21 can go ahead.

Key Developments:

N.Y. Eases Mask Rules for Kids; Plea From Airlines: Virus Update

Ecuador to Buy 6 million Shots From CanSino (5:30 p.m. NY)

Ecuador is planning to close a deal this week for 6 million shots of the single-dose vaccine made by CanSino Biologics Inc., Health Minister Ximena Garzon told Teleamazonas. The first batch of 3 million shots is expected to arrive in early July and the rest a month later.

Talks with Johnson & Johnson and the Gamaleya Research Institute will also go ahead this week, with the government targeting delivery of at least 1 million shots of Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine this month and a similar amount in July.

Ecuador has administered about 2 million doses, enough to cover 5.9% of its population, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

N.Y. Won’t Mandate Outdoor Masks for Pupils (12:01 p.m. NY)

Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York schools will no longer require children to wear masks outside, including during recess. He said any outside mask mandates will be left up to a local school district, a policy he said was approved by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The governor said lifting the outdoor mask mandate would allow the state to align camp and school guidance.

Airlines Seek Restart of U.S.-U.K. Flights (10 a.m. NY)

Airlines from Britain and the U.S. issued a joint plea for the resumption of travel between the two countries, saying government curbs on the world’s most lucrative air route are holding back an economic recovery.

Leisure and business trips could restart without undermining efforts to combat Covid-19, the heads of Delta Air Lines Inc., United Airlines Holdings Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. said Monday. They were joined by counterparts from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.

While carriers have been pitching for a resumption of trans-Atlantic travel since last summer, the latest push comes days before President Joe Biden is set to attend the G-7 summit in England.

India to Give Free Vaccines to Over 18s (8:04 a.m. NY)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced free shots for all adults in an address to the nation, a move prompted by criticism of his administration’s handling of India’s deadly second virus wave and a botched vaccination roll out.

In a half hour-long address on national television, Modi said all Indians above the age 18 will be vaccinated for free starting June 21, vowing to speed the inoculation drive. His administration will also procure the shots for the states, reversing an earlier policy of asking the provinces to compete for supplies for certain age categories.

The South Asian nation has administrated 232 million doses since the beginning of the world’s biggest vaccination drive that began on Jan. 16, with 3.4% now fully immunized. At this pace, it will take another 22 months to cover 75% of the population, according to Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker.

Study Shows Vaccination Protects Spouses (7:31 a.m. NY)

People are less likely to transmit Covid to their spouses a few weeks after getting their first dose of a messenger RNA vaccine, according to a study from the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics.

Two weeks after a recipient’s first shot of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, their spouses showed 8.7% fewer coronavirus cases than those of unvaccinated people in the research. After 10 weeks, the indirect effectiveness climbed to almost 43%, according to the scientists, who linked several Finnish administrative data sets to try to assess the vaccines’ indirect effectiveness.

Moderna Seeks EU Clearance for Teens (7:30 a.m. NY)

Moderna Inc. applied for a conditional marketing authorization in the European Union that would allow its vaccine to be given to adolescents, after the company found the shot was highly effective in the age group.

Moderna said Monday it had filed for the clearance in 12- to 17-year-olds with EU regulators and was planning to apply for the equivalent status -- an emergency-use authorization -- with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company has also asked Canadian regulators to authorize the shot for that age group.

N.Y. Eases Mask Rules for Kids; Plea From Airlines: Virus Update

Uganda Imposes Second Lockdown (5:48 a.m. NY)

Uganda’s government ordered a six-week closure of schools and places of worship, alongside restrictions on public transport between regions, to contain a fresh flood of Covid-19 infections.

Infection rates in the East African country, which first imposed a lockdown from March to September 2020, have climbed 26% since the start of May, to a total of 52,935 cases by Sunday. Deaths have risen about 12% to 383 during the period, according the Ministry of Health.

Indonesia Cases Jump Most in Three Months (5:45 a.m. NY)

Indonesia added 6,993 cases on Monday, the most since March 4, as the government warned that new infections are set to keep picking up until June or July.

The expected resurgence after the Eid holiday in late May could last for about five to seven weeks as people gradually return from their hometowns, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said. About half of the 72,000 beds allocated for Covid-19 patients have been filled, he added.

Italy Aims for 80% Vaccinated (4:59 a.m. NY)

Italy aims to have 80% of the population vaccinated by September, General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, Italy’s Covid emergency czar, told lawmakers on Monday.

“In order to reach our target we cannot waste resources, people, time” he said. “We need to gradually move the vaccination campaign from central hubs to local structures, closer to citizens”.

Figliuolo said Italy needs to deliver 550,000 shots per day to hit its target, a level it surpassed on Saturday, when 600,000 people were inoculated.

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