Coronavirus pandemic has killed over 3.74 million people and infected over 174 million globally. Here are updates for June 7:

Pedestrians wear protective face masks as they walk along Roosevelt Avenue in the Queens borough of New York on May 19, 2021.
Pedestrians wear protective face masks as they walk along Roosevelt Avenue in the Queens borough of New York on May 19, 2021. (AP)

Monday, June 7

New York plans huge post-Covid concert for August

New York is planning to host a major concert in Central Park in August as a way to celebrate the city's "rebirth" following the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.

No program details were revealed, but De Blasio has asked veteran music producer Clive Davis — who often draws A-listers to his events — to organise the line-up.

Ontario to loosen restrictions this week, ahead of schedule

Ontario will loosen restrictions starting June 11, three days ahead of schedule, Premier Doug Ford has announced, as infection rates continue to drift lower after a punishing third wave while vaccinations pick up pace.

The province will enter step one of its reopening plan, allowing non-essential retail to operate at 15 percent capacity, outdoor dining with a maximum of four people per table, and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people to take place.

British tourists rush back from Portugal to escape quarantine

Holidaymakers who flew from Britain to Portugal after restrictions were relaxed three weeks ago have been rushing home to escape renewed quarantine requirements on returning travellers, angering people in the tourism-heavy economy.

"I was supposed to come back on Wednesday, so I had to move it a little bit earlier to avoid the quarantine," said Lisa Keenan, on her way to the departures area of Lisbon airport.

WHO urges jab makers to give Covax 50 percent of doses

The WHO has called for vaccine manufacturers to give Covax first refusal on new doses, or commit half of their volumes to the global jab equity scheme.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said manufacturers should turn their attention to the Covax facility, which has struggled to get donation-funded doses to poorer countries.

Tedros voiced his frustration that several poor countries have been unable to immunise their health workers, the elderly and other populations most vulnerable to severe Covid-19 disease.

Turkey reports over 5,600 new cases

Turkey has registered total of 5,647 cases, including 495 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry announced.

Turkey's overall case tally is now over 5.29 million, while the nationwide death toll reached 48,255, with 91 more fatalities over the past day.

India may raise vaccine spending to $6B this fiscal year

India may raise spending on shots by over a quarter this fiscal year to up to $6.18 billion (450 billion rupees) from its budgeted amount, two government sources have told Reuters after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi free doses to all adults.

The sources, who did not want to be named as they were not authorised to speak with the media, said the government would spend up to 450 billion rupees on vaccines this fiscal year, which started on April 1. 

The previously budgeted amount was 350 billion rupees.

Africa Cup of Nations draw in Cameroon delayed

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations draw, scheduled for Yaounde on June 25, has been postponed, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed.

A CAF official said the delay of the ceremony to an undecided date was due to "logistical reasons related to Covid-19."

UK reports 5,683 more Covid-19 cases, one further death

Britain reported 5,683 more cases of Covid-19 and one further death within 28 days of a positive test, according to official data.

The total number of people to have received a first vaccine dose reached 40,460,576, the figures showed.

Italy reports 65 coronavirus deaths, 1,273 new cases

Italy reported 65 coronavirus-related deaths against 51 the day before, the Health Ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 1,273 from 2,275.

Italy has registered 126,588 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eight-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.23 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 — not including those in intensive care — stood at 4,910, down from 4,963 a day earlier.

Philippines targets workers in next phase of Covid shots

The Philippines will this week start vaccinating around 35 million people working outside their homes, such as public transport staff, in a bid to curb Covid-19 transmission and open up the economy, officials said.

The next phase in the rollout that started in March comes after vaccines were first targeted at healthcare workers, senior citizens and people with existing health conditions.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said those eligible to join the new phase, which includes workers in the informal sector, will be able to register from Wednesday.

Covid far worse for work than 2008 financial crash – UN

The United Nations said that the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the world of work was four times worse than the 2008 economic crisis.

The UN's International Labour Organization said the pandemic had had a "devastating" and even "cataclysmic" effect, as it sought to tackle an uneven recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The ILO on Monday kicked off its annual International Labour Conference (ILC), being held virtually for the first time, and this year focused on fostering a "human-centred" recovery from the pandemic.

Moderna seeks vaccine approval for teens in Europe, Canada

US biotech firm Moderna said on Monday it was seeking conditional approval for use of its Covid-19 vaccine on teens in the European Union and Canada, in a boost for inoculation campaigns as the summer begins.

The firm said it also plans to file for emergency approval with the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, where the Pfizer/BioNTech jab is already being administered to adolescents age 12 and up.

Norway speeds up vaccination amid ample supply

Norway will shorten the interval between vaccine doses to nine weeks from the current 12 weeks, thus speeding up the inoculation process, the Health Ministry has said.

"We'll have ample supply of vaccines in the time ahead," Health Minister Bent Hoeie said in a statement.

Norway uses vaccines made by Moderna Inc as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech partnership, each requiring two injections.

Malta reports no new cases of virus

Malta has said it had recorded no new cases in the past 24 hours, the first time this has happened since July 25, 2020.

The Mediterranean island nation currently has only 72 cases, the Health Ministry said.

Months of restrictions are gradually being eased, with bars allowed to reopen on Monday for the first time since October.

Venice hopes to restart business as curbs are lifted

Venetians have breathed a sigh of relief as the lagoon city finally moved into a low-risk "white zone", meaning most pandemic restrictions were lifted and a nightly curfew scrapped.

Face masks and social distancing rules remain in place, but bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open without any time limits — something locals hope will entice visitors back.

Indian PM Modi announces free vaccines for all adults

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Indian federal government would provide vaccines free of charge to all adults from later this month in an effort to turn the tide of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands in India.

Modi said in a televised address that the federal government would take over the task of vaccination from state governments.

"It has been decided that from June 21, all adults over the age of 18 will be vaccinated free," he said.

WHO: Funding and vaccines sought from G20 nations for COVAX

A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official has said that talks were being held with G20 countries, including China and India, regarding financial and vaccine donations to the COVAX dose-sharing facility.

Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the WHO director general and the agency's coordinator of the ACT-Accelerator, also told reporters WHO wanted the United States, European Union member states, Britain, Canada and Japan to contribute doses.

Chinese city to stay indoors amid new outbreak

Residents of the southern Chinese city of Guanzhou will not be able to leave unless they can show that it is absolutely necessary to do so, following an outbreak of Covid-19 that has sickened dozens of people in recent days.

Anyone who is given permission to leave must show a negative test for the virus taken in the previous 48 hours, according to rules issued by the city government that take effect on Monday. The same rule applies to anyone seeking to leave the surrounding province of Guangdong.

Germany eases virus restrictions

Germany has dropped restrictions on who can get vaccinated against Covid-19, but many people still will have to wait some time to get a shot.

A prioritisation system in place since vaccinations started after Christmas officially ended, and everyone 12 and older is now entitled to make an appointment. Up to now, Germany has been working through the oldest and most vulnerable, as well as people in selected professions.

Also joining the campaign on Monday are more than 6,000 doctors who work for companies and will help inoculate their workforces.

Spain opens borders to all vaccinated travellers

Spain has opened its borders to vaccinated travellers from all over the world, hoping an influx of visitors will revitalise its all-important tourism sector which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Spain is a safe destination," Health Minister Carolina Darias insisted, adding that the country was "in the process of reclaiming its global leadership in tourism".

Non-vaccinated Europeans – who can currently enter Spain with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours – will from Monday be able to take a cheaper antigen test instead.

But in a setback, the United Kingdom, a huge tourism market for the country, has not yet removed Spain from its list of at-risk countries, meaning British travellers will have to quarantine on their return home as well as pay for expensive Covid-19 tests.

The British normally make up the largest contingent of tourists to Spain – in 2019 over one-fifth of Spain's 83.5 million arrivals were from the United Kingdom.

Regardless, those in the tourism sector are still hoping for a summer surge of visitors.

Some Shanghai malls, residential complexes demand to see Covid vaccination proof

A few malls and residential complexes in Shanghai have started asking visitors to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, with one shopping centre's temporary decision to bar entry sparking a backlash on social media.

A video showing a local arguing with security guards about the legitimacy of barring unvaccinated people at the entrance of the Pacific Life Plaza in Shanghai has been shared tens of hundreds of times on China's Twitter-like Weibo.

Several vendors told Reuters that the mall was blocking unvaccinated customers at the entrance, though people could still sneak in from the exit.

The mall operator could not be immediately reached for comment.

Indonesia reinforces hospitals amid worrying Covid surge

Indonesian authorities have drafted in more doctors and nurses to two areas on the islands of Java and Madura after hospitals there approached full capacity amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the country's health minister said.

Health experts and officials are worried about the risk of a broader spike in virus cases fuelled by variants and a jump in travel last month as many in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country travelled back to hometowns for holidays after Ramadan.

In the district of Kudus in Java and Bangkalan in the neighbouring island of Madura, hospital capacity had hit at least 90%, according to media reports.

In Kudus, about 300 healthcare workers had contracted the respiratory disease, local media reported.

Meanwhile in Bandung, the capital of the country's most populated province of West Java, hospital capacity was at 79%, said Ahyani Raksanagara, the head of the city's health agency.

Of Indonesia's 72,000 isolation beds, 31,000 were currently occupied, up from 22,000 people last month, said Budi.

Indonesia has reported about 1.86 million Covid-19 cases and over 51,000 deaths, with Monday's 6,993 infections the highest daily increase since March 4.

EMA highlights guidance not to use heparin for Covid-19 vaccine-linked clots

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has pushed guidance for doctors not to use the blood thinner heparin to treat rare blood clots and low blood platelets in people who got AstraZeneca's or Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 shots.

Europe's drugs regulator, seeking to ensure proper treatment, highlighted the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) interim guidance. In April, the ISTH concluded "management should be initiated with non-heparin anticoagulation upon suspicion" of vaccine-linked clotting and low platelets.

The EMA move underscoring the ISTH guidelines is in line with recommendations of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control, which have issued strong warnings against using heparin for such cases, on the grounds it appeared to make the condition worse.

Alternative anticoagulants include fondaparinux or argatroban.

Taiwan tech sector hit by coronavirus outbreak

A leading Taiwanese chip testing and packaging company has said that all its migrant employees have been suspended from working for around two weeks to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

At least 206 employees, mostly migrant workers, at facilities run by King Yuan Electronics Company (KYEC) in northern Miaoli county have tested positive, according to the government.

The cluster is the first major outbreak in Taiwan's semiconductor industry, which is operating at full capacity to meet a worldwide shortage.

KYEC employs more than 7,000 people, including around 2,100 migrants, and counts some top international tech firms as clients, such as Intel, Qualcomm and Nvidia.

KYEC said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its June output and revenue are expected to drop 30 to 35 percent due to the suspension of work.

Slovakia becomes 2nd EU nation to use Sputnik V

Slovakia has become the second European Union country to administer the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.

Slovakia has 200,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine and approved its use on May 26. But so far, only about 5,000 people have registered to receive the two-shot vaccine in the nation of 5.4 million.

Hungary was the first EU nation to use Sputnik V, which has not been authorised by the European Medicines Agency.

Face masks add to sea pollution at popular Philippines dive site

The coronavirus pandemic is adding a new unwelcome element to sea pollution off the town of Bauan, a popular dive site in the Philippines' Batangas province.

Regular visitors and locals have reported a rise in the number of face masks and PPE shields being collected from the seabed.

Fears mount as Fiji's daily virus numbers hit record

Fiji has transformed its largest hospital into an emergency Covid-only facility, as the country reported a record number of new cases and a surge in the quick-spreading Delta variant, first identified in India.

The South Pacific island nation went a full year without recording any new community cases until April when it was hit by a second wave of infections.

Since then, numbers have steadily increased, with 83 new cases announced late on Sunday, bringing the total to 489 active infections. The surge has posed a major challenge to Fiji's under-developed health care system.

Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said 11 of the new cases were from unknown sources, raising the prospect of widespread community transmission in the nation of almost 930,000.

Pakistan reports lowest daily cases since March

Pakistan has reported nearly 1,500 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily figure since March when the third wave of the virus hit the South Asian country, the Health Ministry said.

The country had reported 1,353 infections on March 8.

With new 1,490 cases over the past 24 hours, the total number of infections in the country reached 933,630, with 864, 931 recoveries.

Some 58 people also lost their lives to the virus over the past day, bringing the nationwide death toll to 21,323.

The number of active cases also dropped to 47,376, down from over 70,000 on May 15, according to the Health Ministry.

The recent decline in the number of cases is viewed as the result of a strict government lockdown over the last two months.

All schools in northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have reopened on Monday.

More than 9.2 million people have so far been vaccinated in the country, according to the National Command and Operation Center, a state-run agency that oversees the country's anti-virus strategy.

India reports 100,636 new infections, 2,427 deaths

India has reported a daily rise in new coronavirus infections of 100,636 cases during the past 24 hours, the lowest daily rise in infection for the past two months, while deaths from the disease rose by 2,427.

The South Asian nation's tally of infections now stands at 28.9 million, while the death toll has reached 349,186, health ministry data showed. 

The country has continued to see a decline in daily Covid-19 cases, with data from the health ministry over the weekend showing the daily rise in cases stayed below the 200,000 mark for more than a week.

India to ease lockdown rules as coronavirus case numbers decline.

Thailand starts long awaited Covid-19 vaccination drive

Thailand has kicked off a long-awaited mass vaccination campaign as the country battles its third and worst wave of the coronavirus epidemic.

The government aims to administer 6 million doses of locally-made AstraZeneca and imported Sinovac vaccines this month, hoping to assuage worries about the slow roll-out and supply shortages.

"The government will ensure that everyone is vaccinated," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in televised comments after he visited an inoculation centre in Bangkok.

The government plans to vaccinate 70 percent of Thailand's population of more than 66 million people by the end of the year.

So far, 2.8 million people deemed most vulnerable, including frontline health and transport workers, have received a first dose.

But the government has come under fire from opposition politicians who accuse it of complacency and an over-reliance on the locally-made AstraZeneca doses.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 1,117 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 1,117 to 3,701,484, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has showed.

The reported death toll rose by 22 to 89,244, the tally showed.

Australia's Victoria logs biggest rise in cases in a week

Australia's Victoria state has reported its biggest rise in new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in nearly a week as authorities scramble to track the source of the highly infectious Delta variant found among infections.

Authorities reported 11 new cases, up from just two a day earlier, but noted that all were linked to existing clusters, as residents of state capital Melbourne wait to hear if an extended snap lockdown will end as planned on Thursday night.

"Nothing is on or off the table," Victoria state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, when asked if some areas of the city could remain locked down while other areas start to ease curbs.

Melbourne entered its 11th day of a hard lockdown on Monday after officials on Friday found the Delta virus variant, which they said was likely to spread more easily than many other strains, for the first time among infections.

The source for the Delta variant infections has yet to be identified and there has been no genomic match so far with any other cases in Australia.

The new case numbers take the total number of locally acquired cases in the latest outbreak in Victoria, the country's second-most populous state, to 83.

Brazil reports 39,637 cases and 873 deaths

Brazil reported 39,637 new cases in the past 24 hours, and 873 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry has said.

The numbers reflect a weekend drop in the number of registered cases and deaths. On a rolling seven-day average, Brazil is reporting more than 1,800 deaths a day.

The South American country has now registered 16,947,062 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 473,404, according to ministry data, in the world's third-worst outbreak outside the United States and India, and its second-deadliest. 

Spain's Sergio Busquets tests positive for Covid-19

Sergio Busquets has left Spain's pre-Euro 2020 training camp after testing positive for Covid-19, the country's football federation (RFEF) announced.

In a statement, the RFEF said Barcelona midfielder Busquets tested positive earlier on Sunday, with the rest of the squad all testing negative.

Morocco to resume international passenger traffic on June 15

Morocco will reopen its airports and ports to international passenger traffic from June 15, both for its own citizens and foreign nationals, the foreign ministry said.

All travellers will be admitted into the country if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or had a negative PCR test, the ministry said in a statement.

Nationals of countries where the coronavirus is surging or those lacking reliable data will have to provide a special permit to enter Morocco and have a negative test, it said.

The North African country has so far outperformed others on the continent by administering 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, as it pursues plans to inoculate all people aged over 17. 

Uganda re-imposes lockdown as cases surge

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has re-imposed a strict lockdown that included the closure of schools and the suspension of inter-district travel to help beat back a surge in Covid-19 cases in the East African country.

The new measures, effective from Monday morning, include the closure of all educational institutions, some bans on travel, the shutdown of weekly open markets, and the suspension of church services.

Most of the new restrictions, Museveni said, would be implemented for 42 days.

An assessment of their impact will then help the government decide whether to ease or prolong them, he added.

Uganda implemented one of Africa's tightest lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, but it was gradually lifted as cases slowed to a trickle.

Last month however infections started to spike and new cases, particularly among younger people, have surged, fuelling fears that the country could slip into an out-of-control second wave.

The East African country has thus far reported nearly 53,000 positive cases and 383 deaths.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies