The country's most populous city, Sydney, and all of Victoria state, totaling nearly half the country's 25 million population, are under stay-home orders after a flare-up of the highly infectious virus strain began last month
Covid-19 has infected over 190 million people and killed more than 4 million. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for July 18: An advertisement for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is displayed at Narita international airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan June 1, 2021. (Reuters) Sunday, July 18:
Adults in Britain offered vaccines ahead of reopening
Every adult in the United Kingdom has been offered a first dose of vaccine, the health ministry said on Sunday, ahead of the end of legal restrictions in England on Monday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's target was for every adult who wanted to a shot to be able to get one by July 19.
So far, 87.8% of adults have received a first shot, with the government also meeting a target to give two-thirds of adults two doses of vaccine by Monday.
Johnson is proceeding with the full reopening of the economy despite a fresh surge of cases fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant. New infections are running at their highest level since January.
Some scientists have expressed concern about the reopening given the high case rates, the substantial proportion of the population which is not yet fully vaccinated and the projected increases in hospitalisations and deaths.
Johnson's health ministe r, Sajid Javid, on Saturday said he had tested positive and was self-isolating.
Johnson argues that the vaccine rollout has substantially weakened the link between cases and deaths, and that summer is the best time to reopen the economy since pressures on the health service are lower
More Olympic athletes test positive ahead of Games
Tokyo Olympics organisers on Sunday reported more cases among competitors residing in the athletes' village, as its population swells ahead of the start of the pandemic-hit Games next week.
Two athletes from the same country and competing in the same sport staying in the village in the Harumi waterfront district tested positive, organisers said without providing further details.
Organisers on Sunday reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including a third athlete who was not staying in the village and down from 15 new cases a day earlier.
An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive upon on landing in Tokyo.
Ryu Seung-min, a former Olympic athlete, is vaccinated, reflecting the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees.
Infection rates are climbing among the general population of the capital, topping 1,000 new cases for four consecutive days.
Polls show many Japanese oppose holding the Games with the influx of overseas visitors it entails.
Australia reports slight dip in cases
Australia's two largest states on Sunday reported slight declines in new infections, prompting authorities to say it could be days before tough lockdown measures showed progress in containing the spread of the Delta variant.
The country's most populous city, Sydney, and all of Victoria state, totaling nearly half the country's 25 million population, are under stay-home orders after a flare-up of the highly infectious virus strain began last month.
New South Wales (NSW) state, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 105 new cases in the previous day, down from 111 the day before, while Victoria logged 16 new cases, down from 19.
NSW also recorded an additional death from the virus, taking the total to four since the start of the year and the national total to 914 since the pandemic began.
Vietnam puts southern region in lockdown as surge grows
Vietnam put its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting midnight Sunday, as confirmed cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row.
The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City metropolis, the country’s financial and economic hub with over 35 million people, nearly a third of Vietnam's population.
Officials say they have to act as the number of infections reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak reemerged at the end of April after several months of no cases being recorded.
Most of the 225 dead, 190 of them, have occurred since April.
South Korea to airlift troops from virus-stricken ship
South Korea will airlift all troops from a ship on anti-piracy patrol in the Middle East, the Ministry of Defense said on Sunday, while a replacement team will steer the vessel back home after dozens of soldiers on board tested positive.
South Korea, once cited as a success story for keeping the virus under control, is battling record infections as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads throughout the country after prompting a semi-lockdown in the Seoul area.
Two aerial tankers will depart for the Middle East later on Sunday, the ministry said, confirming that 61 additional troops on the ship had tested positive following media reports of seven cases.
The government had said on Thursday it would send a medical team to address the outbreak on the vessel.
EU says vaccine rate higher than in US
European Union leaders have celebrated their vaccination programme reaching a higher proportion of its people than in the US, which had outpaced the bloc for months.
“We promised it and it's done. The EU this week overtook the US as the continent with the most first doses in the world,” Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote on Twitter.
Citing statistics website Our World in Data, France's Europe minister Clement Beaune wrote that the EU had now given 55.5 percent of people a first dose, compared with 55.4 across the Atlantic.
Thailand reports daily record cases
Thailand has reported a record 11,397 new cases, the third consecutive day that the Southeast Asian country has registered record numbers.
The country's virus taskforce also reported 101 new deaths, bringing the total number to 3,341 fatalities and 403,386 cases since the pandemic started last year.
Mexico's deaths, cases surge
Mexico's health ministry has reported 12,631 new confirmed cases in the country and 225 more fatalities, bringing the total to 2,654,699 infections and 236,240 deaths.
The number of daily new infections has surged this past week to levels not seen since February.
Brazil registers 868 new deaths
Brazil registered 868 new deaths and 34,339 additional cases, according to data released by the country's Health Ministry.
Brazil has now registered a total of 541,266 deaths and 19,342,448 total confirmed cases.
Czech Olympic team staff member tests positive
A Czech Olympic team staff member has tested positive after arriving in Tokyo on a charter flight from Prague, Czech Olympic officials said, adding that all the athletes were fine and in the Olympic Village.
The staff member – who had two negative PCR tests before departure and had no symptoms – is now in isolation along with several close contacts from the plane, team officials said in a statement. They did not name the staff member.
“Within two hours we implemented an action plan and we prepared individual rooms for all athletes and members of the escort from the plane who arrived in the village,” Martin Doktor, sports director of the Czech Olympic Committee said.
“In any case, the training activities and plans of the athletes are not limited in any way.”
Senegal's bus operator suspends intercity services
Senegal's national bus operator has announced that it will suspend intercity transport due to a recent surge in infections in the West African country.
Bus routes between cities will stop running from Sunday, operator Dakar Dem Dikk said in a statement.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies