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Covid-19 pandemic — Spain sees rise in cases, Britain reports highest deaths since March

ThePrint brings you some important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi:  Covid-19 cases around the world continue to remain high amid ongoing vaccination drives. The current count stands at over 19 crore cases and more than 41 lakh deaths.

Spain is seeing a rise in both Covid cases as well as vaccinations. Kuwait bans unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad. Britain reports the highest Covid deaths since March but there has been a dip in cases in July.

We bring you some of the top stories on the pandemic from across the world.

Covid cases rise in Spain, return of night-time curfews

Despite achieving full vaccination for 55 per cent of its population, Spain is still experiencing one of the worst surges in new Covid-19 cases on the continent, with over 25,000 new cases a day — a sixfold rise from late June, according to figures released Tuesday by its health ministry, reports The New York Times.

The huge spike in new infections has forced several of its regions to reintroduce night-time curfews and other Covid restrictions.

The United States and Germany Monday warned its citizens to avoid travelling to Spain because of its recent rise in cases, which may be a big setback for the country’s economy where tourism plays a vital role.

Spain, which started administering vaccines in late December, took until mid-February to fully vaccinate its first million residents. As of Tuesday, just over 26 million people, out of its total population of 46,774,104, had been fully vaccinated.

Nearly two-thirds of new infections in recent weeks have been among people under the age of 40, Silvia Calzon, the deputy health minister, told reporters Friday.

The country has been administering all types of vaccines acquired by the European Union, including the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, as well as the one-shot vaccine from Janssen, a European subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Spain has reported 4,368,453 Covid-19 cases and 81,323 fatalities.

Also read: Covid pandemic: Cuban vaccine shows good results, Israel’s trained dogs sniff out virus

US urges face masks indoors as Delta variant surges

In a major reversal in regulations that underscored the United State’s struggle to curb the spread of Delta variant, people vaccinated against Covid-19 in high-risk parts of the country are advised to resume wearing masks indoors, reports Agence France-Presse.

US President Joe Biden said the announcement meant that America needs to “do better” on vaccinations, adding that a vaccine mandate for the country’s more than two million federal workers was now “under consideration”.

Citing new data that shows rare breakthrough cases fuelled by the more transmissible Delta variant, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky Tuesday said, “In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings”.

Last week, the CDC had defended its decision in May that vaccinated people did not have to wear masks indoors in most circumstances but on Tuesday, the White House again ordered all its staff to mask up again due to local transmission rates in Washington.

According to the latest CDC data, 63 per cent of the country’s more than 3,200 counties are seeing substantial — 50 to 100 daily cases per 100,000 people over the period of seven days — to high transmission, i.e, more than 100 daily cases per 100,000 over seven days.

The United States has reported 35,353,923 Covid cases and 627,351 deaths

Kuwait bans foreign travel for unvaccinated citizens

The Kuwait government said Tuesday only citizens who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to travel abroad starting on 1 August, reports Reuters. This meant the government effectively grounding 4.2 million population, who still remain unvaccinated as of now.

According to data published by the Ministry of Health, as of 3 July, around 2.3 million citizens have been given the Covid-19 vaccine.

Out of the total number of doses administered, 923,307 people or around 22 per cent of the population have received both doses of the vaccine, while nearly 1.5 million citizens have received at least one shot of the vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNtech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The new rule applies to all except for children under the age of 16, who can show a health ministry certificate saying they cannot be vaccinated, and pregnant women who have a pregnancy proof certificate from authorities.

The civil aviation authority Tuesday also mandated all passengers traveling to Kuwait to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test before they board their flights and must not be showing any symptoms.

All arrivals will have to be home quarantined for a week unless they take a Covid PCR test inside Kuwait that comes out negative.

Kuwait has registered 394,538 coronavirus cases and 2,298 deaths.

Britain reports highest Covid deaths since March

While Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom fell for the seventh day in a row Tuesday, the country saw the highest number of deaths since 17 March, with around 131 people succumbing to the disease within 28 days of testing positive, reports The Guardian.

With the majority of Covid restrictions being lifted in England and as more people throng nightclubs ditching face masks, doctors warned of an increasing number of young people with Covid landing in ICU.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people not to “run away with premature conclusions” about the dip in Covid cases and said more young people getting themselves vaccinated would “help us all to move forward”.

Indicating a desire to open up international travel, the UK ministers Wednesday are poised to announce to end the amber list quarantine for people fully vaccinated in the United States and EU.

The UK has registered 5,745,526 Covid-19 infections and 129,303 deaths.

What else we’re reading:

Nanjing cluster jumps to highest daily infections in China in months: South China Morning Post

Confusion in Malaysia as govt refuses to explain ending of Covid-19 emergency laws: The Straits Times

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)

Also read: Covid-19 pandemic: Australia still lukewarm to AstraZeneca, Israel brings back restrictions




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