"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 1st Jul 2021
COVID-19: Nearly 2,000 cases linked to Scotland fans watching Euro 2020 games
- Nearly 2,000 COVID cases in Scotland have been linked to football fans watching Euro 2020 fixtures. Of the 1,991 cases registered by Public Health Scotland (PHS), two-thirds said they had travelled to London to watch England v Scotland on 18 June.
- A total of 397 of these were fans at the game at Wembley Stadium.
- A PHS report said 55 cases were linked to a fanzone in Glasgow, while 38 and 37 respectively were linked to Scotland v Croatia and Scotland v Czech Republic at Hampden Park.
- The report states that it is working to ensure 'all public health actions are taken in the close contacts of these Euro 2020 cases.'
- Cases were tagged if they attended either a Euro 2020 organised event, such as a match at Hampden or Wembley or the fanzone at Glasgow Green, or an informal gathering such as a pub or a house party to watch a match. The figures show nearly three-quarters - or 1,470 cases - with a Euro 2020 tag are people aged 20 to 39, and nine in 10 are men.
- Attendence at hospitality venues was the most frequently reported tag, representing 34% of all tags.
- Following the game in London, which ended 0-0, Scotland's Billy Gilmour had to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.
- England's Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount also had to isolate after coming into close contact with Gilmour.
- It comes amid calls for England fans to watch their side's quarter final clash with Ukraine on Saturday safely - and not attempt to travel to the match in Rome.
- Speaking to Sky News, government minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan called on England fans to 'watch from home and to cheer on the team as loudly as you can.'
COVID-19: Nearly 2,000 cases linked to Scotland fans watching Euro 2020 games
Nearly 2,000 COVID cases in Scotland have been linked to football fans watching Euro 2020 fixtures. Of the 1,991 cases registered by Public Health Scotland (PHS), two-thirds said they had travelled to London to watch England v Scotland on 18 June. The report states that it is working to ensure "all public health actions are taken in the close contacts of these Euro 2020 cases".
Virus infections surging in Africa’s vulnerable rural areas
Africa has recorded over 5.3 million cases and is experiencing the worst of a wave driven by more contagious and deadlier variants. The continent recorded a 39% increase in new cases in the week from June 14-20, according to the World Health Organization. With homesteads spaced far apart, few visitors and rare public gatherings, rural areas appeared so insulated that they drew some people from cities to escape both infection and economic hardship. “It was a dangerous, false sense of security. Now a tragedy is unfolding,” said Dr. Johannes Marisa, president of the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association in Harare.
Indonesia considers broader curbs as coronavirus crisis deepens
Indonesia is finalising emergency measures aimed at controlling Southeast Asia's worst coronavirus epidemic, its president said on Wednesday, as the country reported record COVID-19 cases for the second day this week. President Joko Widodo said authorities were mulling whether to tighten restrictions for one week or two weeks and urged the public to remain vigilant and focus less on the health of the economy. "Today it will be finalised, because the spike is very high," the president, better known as Jokowi, told a business event, referring to the emergency protocols.
Cambodia sees COVID-19 records as government warns of stricter curbs
Cambodia on Wednesday reported record daily rises in coronavirus deaths and cases, reaching what its government called the "red line" in its biggest outbreak so far. The Southeast Asian nation reported 27 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,130 cases on Wednesday. Cambodia successfully contained its outbreaks throughout last year and had among the world's smallest caseloads, but it has been battling to control the spread since its detection of a highly transmissible variant late in February.
France delays some regional unwinding of COVID restrictions over fourth wave concerns
Warnings of 4th COVID wave in France by September or October. Unwinding of restrictions delayed in Les Landes. Presence of Delta variant growing in France Average number of new cases up for third consecutive day. France has world's 9th highest COVID death toll
North Korea Covid-19 outbreak fears after Kim Jong-un warns of ‘huge crisis’ in ‘antivirus fight’
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has sacked several senior party officials over a “grave” coronavirus incident that had threatened public safety, fuelling speculation that the coronavirus has breached the country’s defences. “In neglecting important decisions by the party that called for organisational, material and science and technological measures to support prolonged anti-epidemic work in face of a global health crisis, the officials in charge have caused a grave incident that created a huge crisis for the safety of the country and its people,” the state-run KCNA news agency quoted Kim as telling a meeting of the ruling party’s politburo. KCNA did not explain the nature of the transgressions, but analysts believe Kim’s outburst indicate North Korea is no longer free of Covid-19.
COVID-19 rising among children as Indonesia crisis grows
The number of Indonesian children contracting the coronavirus has almost tripled since May, with infant deaths from COVID-19 rising sharply as the country suffers its most severe wave of infections so far, a senior paediatrician said on Wednesday. Indonesia has been hit by a surge in cases this month, with new records on six days since June 21 including a daily high of over 21,807 on Wednesday, putting pressure on the government to impose tighter measures.
COVID scare reaches Alice Springs, deep in Australia's outback
The town of Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia's vast outback wilderness and gateway to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uluru, on Wednesday joined four major cities by locking down, to prevent a potential outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant. In the past few days, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin imposed lockdowns, though the number of cases recorded daily nationwide were still being counted in tens rather than hundreds. Around one in two Australians are now under stay-at-home orders, with millions of others subjected to movement curbs and mandatory mask-wearing amid flare-ups of the highly contagious strain in several locations.
Zimbabwe imposes dusk to dawn curfew in new COVID-19 restrictions
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, banned inter-city travel and cut business hours with immediate effect in response to increasing coronavirus infections. The southern Africa nation, which has recorded more than 47,000 cases since the outbreak last year, has seen its 7-day average infection rate increasing five times to 727 compared to two weeks ago.
COVID-19 cases worsen in Latin America, no end in sight - health agency
Cases of COVID-19 may be declining in North America but in most of Latin America and the Caribbean the end to the coronavirus pandemic "remains a distant future", the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday. While infections in the United States, Canada and Mexico are falling, in Latin America and the Caribbean cases are rising and vaccination is lagging badly. Only one in ten people have been fully vaccinated, which PAHO director Carissa Etienne called "an unacceptable situation.
U.S. to ship 2.5 million doses of J&J vaccine to Colombia
The U.S. plans to ship 2.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to Colombia, the White House said Wednesday. The Colombian president's office said Monday that U.S. President Joe Biden told President Ivan Duque of the donation in a call during which they also discussed reactivating the economy, jobs, climate change and shared democratic values and human rights.
World Bank says will boost financing for COVID-19 vaccines to $20 billion
The World Bank on Wednesday pledged to boost available funding for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion from a previous target of $12 billion, citing a sharp increase in overall financing demand from developing countries. World Bank President David Malpass said the global development bank had already provided more than $4 billion to 51 developing countries for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and would add billions for 25 more countries soon.
Virus infections surging in Africa's vulnerable rural areas
For Pelagia Bvukura, who lives in a rural part of north-central Zimbabwe, COVID-19 had always been a “city disease,” affecting those in the capital, Harare, or other, distant big towns. “There was no virus for us. We only used to hear it was in Harare or other towns or when city people died and we buried them here,” she said recently, referring to the custom in Zimbabwe where those who move to the city often are buried at their family’s rural home.
Britain starts planning for vaccine booster shots from September
Britain is starting to plan for a COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign starting later this year after top vaccine advisers said it might be necessary to give third shots to the elderly and most vulnerable from September. The government said that a final decision on whether a vaccine booster campaign was needed had not been made, but officials had advised that preparations should begin on a precautionary basis.
Australia Covid: Queensland says Pfizer vaccine supply will run out in days
The Australian state of Queensland has just eight days of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine left, authorities warned on Wednesday, as confusion over who should receive the AstraZeneca jab continued and outbreaks across the country grew. The state’s health minister, Dr Yvette D’ath, said the federal government had denied Queensland’s request for more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, despite having given another state, Victoria, 100,000 doses three weeks ago. “So we are getting to that point that we’ll have to start prioritising only second doses if the commonwealth do not have any vaccine left,” she said.
Thailand buys 5 mln doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccine
Thailand said on Wednesday it would import nearly four million doses of Moderna’s mRNA coronavirus vaccine towards the end of this year and a further one million in early 2022, for use by private hospitals. Thailand’s vaccinations strategy so far has relied heavily on the viral vector vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization in a statement said 3.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine would be delivered in the fourth quarter and 1.1 million doses in the first quarter of 2022.
Jabs stockpiled for ‘mix and match’ vaccine boosters later this year to help UK live with Covid-19
Ministers and the NHS are ramping up preparations for a potential “mix and match” booster vaccination programme in the autumn following growing evidence that giving people a new vaccine may produce extra protection against Covid-19. Research published this week suggested that mixing doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines may be more effective than sticking to just AstraZeneca. However, the scientist leading the study said it was too early to decide the optimal future strategy, and the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid is awaiting more evidence before he makes a decision.
Vaccine Mandates Are Coming. Good
Today, vaccination rates are stalling in many areas of the United States, and now nearly all Covid-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated. In Indiana, where I live, only half of people 18 or older are fully vaccinated. Some states, including neighboring Ohio, have engaged in lotteries or prize giveaways in an attempt to entice people to get vaccinated. Those are carrots, or positive behavioral nudges. When it comes to incentives, most people like carrots. Sometimes, though, people need sticks.
Covid-19 passports to go live in Northern Ireland 'from next week'
Covid-19 vaccination passports could be available in Northern Ireland from as early as next week. Northern Ireland’s Department of Health announced the passes could be live by Monday, July 5 – ahead of the previously expected July 19 date. The Covid passport allows people to prove they’ve had both jabs when travelling abroad. The passports are planned to go live by next week “providing cyber security checks are cleared successfully”, according to a statement from the NI government.
S.Korean capital delays relaxation of social distancing as COVID-19 cases surge
South Korea's capital Seoul and its neighbouring regions will delay by a week the relaxation of social distancing rules due to a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, authorities said. The government had said it would relax social distancing and allow private gatherings of up to six people in the greater Seoul area, from the current four, starting July 1 as the country's inoculation drive has been picking up speed
Brazil suspends Covid-19 vaccine deal with Indian firm amid allegations of contract irregularities
Despite a desperate need for Covid-19 vaccines, Brazil is suspending a deal to purchase 20 million doses of the Indian-made Covaxin vaccines, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday, after questions were raised about a pricing increase.
Tuskegee relatives promote COVID-19 vaccines in ad campaign
Tuskegee is the one-word answer some people give as a reason they’re avoiding COVID-19 vaccines. A new ad campaign launched Wednesday with relatives of men who unwittingly became part of the infamous experiment wants to change minds. Omar Neal, 63, a former mayor of the Alabama town, said he was hesitant at first about the shots. Neal is a nephew of Freddie Lee Tyson, a family man who was among several hundred Black men who decades ago became involved without their consent in the federally backed syphilis study. Neal said he agreed to appear in the national campaign after doing research to gain confidence in the vaccines.
As Covid Rages, Putin Pushes Russians to Get a (Russian) Vaccine
President Vladimir V. Putin urged Russians to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Wednesday — his most extensive comments on the matter yet — as his country scrambles to contain a vicious new wave of the illness. Speaking at his annual televised call-in show, Mr. Putin spent the opening half-hour trying to convince Russians to get one of the country’s four domestically produced shots. It was the latest instance of a marked change in tone about the pandemic from Russian officials, who for months did little to push a vaccine-wary public to get immunized but are now starting to make vaccination mandatory for some groups. “It’s dangerous, dangerous to your life,” Mr. Putin said of Covid-19. “The vaccine is not dangerous.”
Covid-19: GP staff have faced threats and abuse during vaccination programme, poll finds
Over half (52%) of GP practice staff have received threats of physical abuse while working on the covid-19 vaccination programme, a survey has found. The poll of 222 GP practice staff by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) also found that over half (53%) of staff said that their surgery or vaccination centre had been defaced by anti-vaccination material. The survey included GPs, nurses, and practice managers at surgeries in the UK. One respondent said, “Staff of all disciplines are leaving the profession in droves because of the behaviour of the public creating unbearable working situations. Morale is the lowest I have ever known, anyone near retirement is retiring early.” Another said, “Abuse—especially written and posted in the prescription box on the gate—has resulted in staff being very concerned for their safety at the surgery.”
Variant surge at border forces Bangladesh into new lockdown
In a state-run hospital near Bangladesh’s border with India, Shahinul Islam prays his father does not become one of the facility’s more than 300 patients who’ve died this month from the coronavirus. Hundreds like his father are struggling to breathe in the COVID-19 treatment unit, while Islam waits in an emergency room packed with people. Relatives rush in and out, desperately trying to find oxygen cylinders for their loved ones. The crowds of COVID-19 patients and worried kin are new scenes for the 1,200-bed Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, which serves border communities being overrun by the more infectious delta variant first detected in neighboring India.
Bangladesh to deploy army in lockdown to curb COVID-19 surge
Bangladesh is deploying army troops from Thursday to enforce a strict lockdown amid a record spike in coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant first detected in India, the government said on Wednesday. Most restrictions imposed as part of a strict lockdown introduced in April have since been lifted, but a record spike in cases this week of the highly contagious Delta variant has prompted the government to order a week of tight controls.
Heart inflammation after COVID-19 shots higher than expected in study of U.S. military
Members of the U.S. military who were vaccinated against COVID-19 showed higher-than-expected rates of heart inflammation, although the condition was still extremely rare, according to a study released on Tuesday. The study found that 23 previously healthy males with an average age of 25 complained of chest pain within four days of receiving a COVID-19 shot. The incident rate was higher than some previous estimates would have anticipated, it said.
Iran launches 2nd domestic COVID-19 vaccine
Iranian Health Ministry has authorized the emergency use of the second domestic COVID-19 vaccine, the Pasteur Vaccine, semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported Wednesday quoting Health Minister Saeed Namaki. Iran on Wednesday reported 11,748 new COVID-19 cases, raising the country's total infections to 3,204,557. The pandemic has so far claimed 84,264 lives in Iran, up by 137 in the past 24 hours, the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education said. A total of 2,876,828 people have recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals across the country, while 3,183 remain in intensive care units, according to the ministry.
Coronavirus vaccines are widely available in the U.S. So why are scientists working on new ones?
As the United States begins to relax and revert to normal this summer, Izabela Ragan won’t stop working. For the next seven months, the scientist will drive from her home in the Rocky Mountains to a warren of secure biocontainment laboratories nestled next to the foothills to test an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
CureVac COVID-19 vaccine records only 48% efficacy in final trial readout
CureVac said its COVID-19 vaccine was 48% effective in the final analysis of its pivotal mass trial, only marginally better than the 47% reported after an initial read-out two weeks ago. The German biotech firm said that efficacy, measured by preventing symptomatic disease, was slightly better at 53% when excluding trial participants older than 60 years, an age group that is by far the most severely affected. CureVac said on June 16 its COVID-19 vaccine, known as CVnCoV, proved only 47% effective in an initial trial read-out and that new variants had proved a headwind, denting investor confidence in its ability to take on rival shots.
C.D.C. Director Reaffirms the Vaccinated Don’t Need Masks Most of Time
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday stood by advice that people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus do not need to wear masks in most situations, but added that there are instances where local authorities might impose more stringent measures to protect the unvaccinated. The comments came after the World Health Organization recently reiterated longstanding guidance that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks and take other precautions, following a global surge in infections of the highly contagious Delta variant. On Monday, Los Angeles County recommended that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors.
Australian Officials Split Over AstraZeneca Vaccine Advice
A rift has emerged between Australia’s federal government, state leaders and medical groups over vaccination advice, with several officials issuing public objections to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to make the AstraZeneca vaccine available to those under 40. Australia’s vaccine advisory body has recommended that people under 60 should be vaccinated with the Pfizer shot because the AstraZeneca vaccine is associated with a very small risk of a serious blood-clotting disorder. But the country’s vaccination campaign was initially planned around AstraZeneca, and supplies of other shots are so far relatively constrained, with Pfizer appointments not yet open to most people under 40.
Delta Variant’s Spread Prompts Reconsideration of Mask Guidance
Throughout the pandemic, masks have ranked among the most contentious public health measures in the United States, symbolizing a bitter partisan divide over the role of government and individual liberties. Now, with a new variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreading across the globe, masks are again the focus of conflicting views, and fears, about the course of pandemic and the restrictions required to manage it.
CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine safe for children as young as three
A clinical trial has proven that the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children and adolescents aged between three to 17. The CoronaVac vaccine, which is manufactured by Sinovac, has recently been approved for emergency use in China for children over the age of three. In a randomised controlled trial of the vaccine, researchers concluded that two doses of the vaccine are safe and generate a strong antibody response. The findings have been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.