Novel coronavirus has infected more than 185 million people and killed more than 4 million. Here are the latest Covid-related developments for July 6:

Commuters cross the London Bridge, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in London, the UK on July 6, 2021.
Commuters cross the London Bridge, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in London, the UK on July 6, 2021. (Reuters)

Tuesday, July 6:

UK reports highest Covid-19 case count in past five months

UK has reported the highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases since January 29, and the greatest number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test since April 23.

The figures showed that there were 28,773 new cases, up from 27,334 the day before, and 37 deaths.

As of the end of Monday, 86.2 percent of British adults had received one dose of a vaccination against Covid and 64.3 percent had received two doses.

EU orders nearly 40 million additional J&J vaccines

European Union countries have ordered nearly 40 million additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, a spokesman for the EU Commission said, despite the company's supply shortfalls in the first half of the year.

The move is a sign of confidence in the single-dose vaccine but it also shows a cautious approach as the order placed is far below what was possible under the contract.

Turkey registers 5,299 cases and 37 deaths

Turkey has reported 5,299 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, and 37 deaths, while 4,446 more patients recovered from the virus.

Turkey has administered over 54.59 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January, according to official figures.

More than 36.59 million people have gotten their first doses, while over 16.05 million have received their second doses, the Health Ministry count showed.

Greek reports jump in cases after weeks of decline

Greece has reported a jump in daily Covid-19 infections after many weeks of declining numbers that prompted authorities to lift most of the country's coronavirus restrictions.

Public health authorities reported 1,797 new daily cases, more than twice the level of 801 cases reported on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 429,144. Covid-related deaths have reached 12,754.

Health experts have voiced concern over the coronavirus and its more contagious Delta variant after infections started rising again in recent days. 

Portuguese told to stay alert as Delta variant surges

Prime Minister Antonio Costa has urged the Portuguese to keep up their guard up against a fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, with the more infectious Delta variant causing nearly 90 percent of new cases.

The infection rate jumped after Portugal opened to visitors from the EU and Britain in mid-May, and is now back at levels last seen in February, when a lockdown was in force.

Now, most businesses have reopened and, as the summer tourist season kicks off, beaches are packed.

Russia reports record 737 deaths, changes entry rules

Russia has reported a record 737 deaths from coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours as the country stepped up efforts to vaccinate its population of more than 144 million people.

From Wednesday, Russia will change the rules for citizens returning from abroad, scrapping the obligation to undergo two PCR tests upon arrival, a decree published and signed by Anna Popova, head of the consumer health watchdog, showed.

From July 7, all those vaccinated or officially recovered from Covid-19 do not need to take a PCR test. 

Those who do not fall into these two categories when they enter Russia, will need to self-isolate before receiving results of one PCR test.

Italy reports 24 coronavirus deaths, 907 new cases

Italy has reported 24 coronavirus-related deaths against 31 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections increased to 907 from 480.

Italy has registered 127,704 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year and has reported 4.26 million cases to date.

Finland to allow in travellers subject to restrictions and tests

Finland will allow travellers from abroad who are fully vaccinated, can show they have had Covid-19 within the last six months, or come from a country with a low infection rate to freely enter the country, the government said.

Other potential visitors will have to take a Covid-19 test before entering Finland or at the border, then self-isolate on arrival and take another test after three days or face a fine, health officials told a news conference.

Mexico proposes reopening border with US city by city depending on vaccination rates

The Mexican government has proposed to the United States a staggered reopening of the shared US-Mexico land border city by city depending on vaccination rates, Mexico's foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

US land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, the US Homeland Security Department said last month, extending restrictions that were put in place last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Vietnam tightens movement curbs in economic hub to contain virus
Vietnam's halted dozens of flights in and out of its biggest city to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus, after reporting more than 1,000 new cases for a second successive day.

Ho Chi Minh City has ramped up its testing in recent days and the southern economic hub accounted for more than two-thirds of the 1,029 new cases reported.

The government said 9 cities and provinces have suspended flights to and from the city of 9 million people, with record new infections reported in three of the past six days.

German football gets green light for fan return next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said after a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states.

Most matches in Germany's top football league were played behind closed doors last season because of the Covid-19 virus.

The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13 and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000.

COVAX says it's negotiating with new vaccine suppliers

The Covax vaccine-sharing facility expects to have 1.9 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines available by the end of this year, including 1.5 billion earmarked for the poorest countries, its managing director said.

Aurelia Nguyen was addressing a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) as Covax seeks to put early supply difficulties behind it.

She said the GAVI vaccine alliance, which runs Covax with the WHO, expects a "very strong increase" of vaccines available towards the fourth quarter, as supplies from new manufacturers come onstream.

Indonesia imports oxygen as Covid-19 explosion batters hospitals

Indonesia warned it was bracing for a punishing surge in Covid-19 cases as its daily toll soared to a record 728 deaths and hospitals crumble under the weight of the country's deadliest wave yet.

Emergency oxygen supplies for virus patients were being flown in from neighbouring Singapore, while the government said Southeast Asia's worst-hit nation could see cases soar to more than 50,000 a day.

Hospitals in the hard-hit capital Jakarta were topping 90 percent occupancy and more than a dozen facilities in Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya shut out new patients because they could no longer handle the huge influx.

Spain's Catalonia reimposes measures as cases spike

Spain's Catalonia region said it will reimpose virus restrictions such as curbs on nightlife to try to tame a surge in infections, especially among unvaccinated young people.

Nightclubs will be closed as of this weekend and a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination will be needed to take part in outdoor activities involving more than 500 people, said a spokeswoman for the regional government.

Bangladesh hits record 11,525 daily virus cases

Bangladesh has reported 11,525 positive cases, the highest in a day since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another 163 people died in the last 24 hours, raising the total number to 15,392, according to the government. 

Bangladesh’s cases of new infections increased last month when the delta variant – first discovered in India – hit the country’s border regions in the northern and southwestern Bangladesh.

Global Covid-19 deaths top 4M

Global Covid-19 deaths have topped the 4 million mark, according to data from Worldometer tracker.

The US tops the list as the country with the highest number of deaths, 621,335.

Brazil is second with 525,229 and India third with 403,310 deaths.

The global case tally is at a staggering 189.9 million as the highly contagious Delta variant wreaks havoc across the world.

US, Brazil and India also dominate the top three slots with the highest number of cases.

Israel sees drop in Pfizer-BioNTech protection against infections

Israel has reported a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic illness, but said it remained highly effective in preventing serious illness.

The decline coincided with the spread of the Delta variant and the end of social distancing restrictions in Israel.

Vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64 percent since June 6, the Health Ministry said. 

At the same time the vaccine was 93 percent effective in preventing hospitalisations and serious illness from the virus.

The ministry in its statement did not say what the previous level was or provide any further details. 

However ministry officials published a report in May that two doses of the vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalisation and severe illness.

A Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment on the data from Israel, but cited other research showing that antibodies elicited by the vaccine were still able to neutralise all tested variants, including Delta, albeit at reduced strength.

Australian F1 and MotoGP races cancelled for 2021

The Australian Formula One Grand Prix and MotoGP round have been cancelled for the second successive year on Tuesday because of the border controls in place to keep the virus out of the country.

The 2020 edition of the Formula One race was cancelled at the last minute as the pandemic took hold and this year's Melbourne round was shifted from its traditional season-opening spot to November 21.

Australia's borders are still effectively closed, however, and the requirement for any body entering to quarantine for 14 days looks set to remain in place until the end of the year, at the earliest.

Victoria's Sports Minister Martin Pakula said it was possible that situation might have improved by October but the government was not able to make a commitment on that now.

Pakula was confident that the country's vaccine rollout, which has been one of the slowest in the developed world, would be accelerated to the extent that restrictions would not impact the Australian Open tennis tournament in January.

Delta variant fuels record infections in Fiji

Struggling to contain an outbreak of the highly-transmissible Delta variant, Fiji reported a record 636 infections and six deaths, with the mortuary at Pacific island's main hospital already filled to capacity.

Since the pandemic began, Fiji has reported a total 39 deaths, but most have come since the emergence of the Delta variant in April.

Located some 2,000 km north of New Zealand, and with a population of less than a million people, mostly concentrated on two islands in the archipelago, Fiji had initially succeeded in keeping the virus at bay.

The government has resisted calls for a national lockdown.

The infections that erupted in the past few months were suspected to have been caused by someone breaching quarantine.

The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in the capital, Suva, is Fiji's largest public hospital with 500 beds, and has been assigned the task of treating virus patients.

On Monday, the government said many patients were seeking treatment too late, and the hospital's mortuary was full, even though some victims were dying at home.

About 54% of Fijians have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca or Sinopharm vaccines, according to official data, while almost 9% have received a second.

Israel to ship 700K Pfizer doses to South Korea in swap deal

Israel is sending 700,000 vaccine doses to South Korea in exchange for a future shipment of the jabs, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday.

In a statement, Bennett said Israel will transfer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to South Korea in an effort to inoculate more of the Asian nation's citizens this month. 

South Korea will return the same number of doses to Israel as soon as September, he added.

“This is a win-win deal," Bennett said in his statement. The agreement will "reduce the holes" in the vaccine's availability.

Bennett said the agreement, which he personally negotiated with Pfizer CEO Albert Burla, is the first of its kind between Israel and another country.

The Israeli vaccines still need to be tested after their arrival in South Korea, he added.

Germany eases some travel restrictions

Germany is easing strict restrictions on travel from Britain, Portugal and some other countries that were imposed because of the rise of the more contagious delta virus variant.

Germany’s national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said late Monday that Britain, Portugal, Russia, India and Nepal will be removed from the country’s highest risk category of “virus variant areas” effective from Wednesday. They will move into the second-highest category of “high-incidence areas.”

The UK had been in the top coronavirus risk category since May 23, and was joined last Tuesday by Russia and Portugal, one of Germany’s partners in the European Union.

Airlines and others are restricted largely to transporting German citizens and residents from “virus variant areas,” and those who arrive must spend 14 days in quarantine at home.

Mexico sees 67 more fatalities

Mexico reported 1,805 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 67 more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,541,873 infections and 233,689 deaths, according to health ministry data published on Monday.

Brazil's death toll tops 525,000 

Brazil registered 22,703 new Covid-19 cases and 695 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry has said.

That brought the total in Brazil to 18.79 million cases and 525,112 deaths.

Canada, US are easing pandemic border-crossing restrictions

Pandemic restrictions on travel between Canada and the US began to loosen on Monday for some Canadians, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said plans to totally reopen the border would be announced over the next few weeks.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full dose of a coronavirus vaccine approved for use in Canada can skip a 14-day quarantine that has been a requirement since March 2020. 

Eligible air travellers also no longer have to spend their first three days in the country at a government-approved hotel.

Restrictions barring all non-essential trips between Canada and the United States, including tourism, will remain in place until at least July 21.

Trudeau said the easing of the rules marks a "big step" toward re-opening the border.

“We’re very hopeful that we’re going to see new steps on reopening announced in the coming weeks,” he said at a news conference in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 

Morocco’s Sothema to produce Sinopharm vaccine

Moroccan pharmaceutical firm Sothema will soon start producing 5 million doses of China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine in the North African country, state news agency MAP has reported.

The announcement was made at a ceremony on Monday chaired by King Mohammed VI during which the Moroccan government, Sinopharm and Sothema, whose formal name is Société Therapeutique Marocaine, also signed deals to produce the vaccine in the African country, which has a population of about 36 million.

During the same event, the Moroccan government also signed a deal with Sweden’s Recipharm to set up a plant in Morocco to produce other key vaccines.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies