The spread of the delta coronavirus variant has pushed the threshold for herd immunity to well over 80% and potentially almost 90%, the Infectious Diseases Society of America said.
U.S. President Joe Biden criticized the pandemic response of Florida and Texas Governors, both Republicans. The two states account for about a third of all new U.S. cases in the past week.
Australia had record deaths and cases, while Thailand found a case in the far northeastern city of Cairns. Hong Kong imposed a quarantine on arrivals from Macau and there is growing concern about a resurgence of the virus in mainland China, which has renewed many curbs and is discouraging unnecessary travel.
Global Tracker: Cases rise to 199.4 million; deaths pass 4.24 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 4.21 billion doses administeredBiden assails GOP governors who blocked new mask mandatesVanguard offers $1,000 to employees to get vaccinated How return-to-office policies are shifting with US virus surge
Asia finds cases in Far North.
Sydney reported 233 new cases of the delta variant of the virus on Wednesday, as New South Wales struggle to contain the outbreak while being locked up for more than five weeks. The city had two new deaths, including a man in his 20s who was isolating at home.
The state of Queensland, including Brisbane, are also in lockdown. The state recorded 16 cases within its communities on Wednesday, including one in Brisbane, more than 1,000 miles north of Cairns. There were no new cases in Melbourne, capital of Victoria state.
China outbreak shows no sign of abating.
China reported 86 infections on Wednesday, including 15 asymptomatic cases, since an outbreak caused by Delta shows little signs of abating. The outbreak started with a cluster of infections among airport cleaning staff in the Chinese city of Nanjing in mid-July and has spread to 15 provinces on the eastern mainland, including the original epicenter Wuhan and the highly guarded capital Beijing.
The greater spread of Delta and increased travel during the summer vacation has fueled the spread, making the surge the broadest since China controlled its initial outbreak last year. Authorities have increased vigilance to prevent outdoor events ranging from basketball games to outdoor celebrations and have canceled activities to deal with infections.
Macedonia will conduct Citywide Covid - 19 testing for residents from Wednesday, after four residents tested positive for the covid variant by the same family with the Delta variant. That broke a streak of more than a year without any local cases.
Hong Kong has added Macau to its list of at-risk locations, meaning those who visited the gambling hub for one week after arrival in Hong Kong must quarantine for two weeks. Hong Kong also reported a recent positive-preliminary case involving a man without any preliminary travel history, the South China Morning PostChina Morning Post reported. If confirmed, that would end a 57-day run without an infection in the community.
Thailand today reported 20,200 new Covid - 19 infections and 188 deaths, with both at record levels. According to the data of the United States Health Ministry, Wednesday 672,385 deaths and 5,503 cases were reported.
Yesterday the cabinet approved a double of a budget to fund payments to workers and businesses to roughly 60 billion baht in the wake of an expansion of social-distancing curbs to 29 provinces, from 13 earlier.
FDA Targets Pfizer Approval Soon: NYT Says?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration aims to give final approval to the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccine by the start of next month, the New York Times reported, citing people involved in the effort. While the vaccine was granted first approval last year, final approval could increase inoculation rates, he said.
Covid Doesn't Linger During Young Teens, Study Shows That Almost 1 Too Many K-12ers Never Linger, Kids Say.
Children with Covid - 19 recover within a week, according to a large U.K. study that may help soothe fears about whether children who get sick will face the most severe forms of the disease.
Some 4.4% of 1,734 children with symptomatic Covid in the study experienced symptoms for longer than four weeks, most often fatigue, headaches and loss of smell, researchers found in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.
The research team followed 250,000 children in the U.K. between five and 17 years old, between September of last year and Feb 22.
U.K. to Recommend Vaccine for 16 - and 17-year olds?
The U.K. is set to approve Covid - 19 vaccine shots for those at age 16 and 17, the Telegraph reports citing a government source. The demographic group is advised to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations, matching the guidance for other younger U.K. residents.
Biden Says CDC to issue New Eviction Ban for Biden's Friends.
President Biden said U.S. authorities plan to announce new measures aimed at protecting struggling renters after an eviction moratorium lapsed days ago and set off a firestorm of criticism from fellow Democrats and housing advocates.
The new moratorium by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would apply to counties with high rates of coronavirus infections, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move shows the extent to which the spread of delta variant has upended the administration's agenda.
The delta-fueled surge could mean strains for the largest diagnostic maker, as Quest Diagnostics indicated it is looking at increasing capacity. 'Our average positivity rate has also steadily increased over the past six weeks, making it more difficult to pool specimens, a method of screening multiple samples at once as a way for turning test results around faster while using fewer resources, Quest said in a statement.
Quest said its tests can pick up infections with the delta variant and other strains and is still turning around most Covid - 19 tests within a day. U.S. president Joe Biden singled out Florida and Texas, where cases are exploding, criticizing the Pandemic Response by the Republican governors in these states. The two states are responsible for about one-third of all new cases in the U.S. in the past week, administration said Monday.
'We need leadership from everybody, Biden said during briefing. 'Some governors aren't willing to do the right things to make this happen. I say to these governors, please, if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way for people who are doing the right thing.
The number of people hospitalized with Covid - 19 in Florida reached a record 11,863, even as Governor Ron DeSantis reaffirmed his stance against new public health mandates.
Vanguard Group Inc. is offering $500 for employees who get vaccinated in October, says a person familiar with the matter.
The asset manager is extending the payments to all workers who can show they've gotten a Covid - 19 vaccine, even if they were immunized before the firm extended the offer. A Vanguard spokeswoman confirmed the company is offering incentive.
Brazilian states and cities are preparing to suspend most restrictions on businesses and gatherings as Covid cases and deaths drop to the lowest in months and vaccinations pick up.
In Sao Paulo, many schools have reopened at full capacity for in-person classes this week, and the state will end short curfews on opening hours and capacity starting Aug. 17 for most businesses. Rio de Janeiro also plans to ease rules on September 2 including on the use of masks. The reopening will include a four-day celebration, Mayor Eduardo Paes said, adding that the New Year's festivities will be largest in the city's history.
How can we prevent from pandemics, Fauci says?
The U.S. government is in 'active' and'sensitive' discussions about investing in a comprehensive anti-pandemic preparedness program, said Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
At a Tuesday event with the Center for Strategic International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, Fauci said the U.S. is continuing to plan for the future, always-focused on how vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics might be used to combat future pandemics.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund said it agreed to produce 3 million doses of the second shot of its Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina this month, after a presidential adviser in the Latin American country criticized delays in deliveries.
Laboratorios Richmond SA will begin making Sputnik vaccines available in Argentina this week with an initial batch of 150,000 doses, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, who is in charge of Venezuela's international rollout, said by email on Tuesday.
Bill Neidhardt is set to require proof of vaccination for workers and customers at indoor restaurants and gyms, according to New York City Mayor Bill Neidhardt, the press secretary. Neidhardt will announce the mandate during his Tuesday cardinal briefing on virus issues, Bill de Blasio said.
City workers must get Covid shots or be tested every week.
CureVac and Arcturus Therapeutics rose after Sanofi agreed to buy Translate Bio Inc. for $3.2 billion. Sanofi and Translate were partnered on Covid-19 vaccine development before the Massachusetts-based drugmaker made a bid for the French biotech.
Arcturus also said it got the go-ahead in Singapore to advance two mRNA candidates for a Phase 1-2 study.
Weekly cases in the Netherlands continue to fall with 21,005 reported infections on Tuesday, down from 37,343 in the previous week. The national health service reported the country appears to have reached a peak in Covid - 19 hospitalizations, with 541 new admissions reported in the past week, down by 23.
Scotland to proceed With lifting of restrictions on lifting of sea travel bans in Scotland.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the country will lift most viral restrictions on Aug. 9 in line with the government's plan and after a drop in infections.
Tyson Foods Requires Shot for U.S. workers:
Tyson Foods Inc. is requiring all of its U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated no later than Nov 1. The move by Tyson, America's largest meat company, is among the most aggressive yet to prevent another wave of infections that shuttered food production plants in 2020.
Tyson said Monday that all company leadership must be vaccinated by Sept. 24, all in-office workers by 1 Oct. 1 and all other employees by Nov. 1.
Walmart Inc., the biggest employer in the U.S. and Walt Disney Corp. announced vaccination requirements for some employees last week.
The Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine has failed to produce sufficient antibodies in a quarter of elderly people tested in Budapest voluntarily, according to a study by the opposition-led Budapest City Hall.
The results were distributed just as Viktor Orban's government, which faces opposition criticism for have widely given old people shot by Sinopharm, started an eighth chance to anyone who wants them this week.
After Peru, Hungary was the only country in the European Union to have applied a Covid-19 flu vaccine.