Britain is coping with a different coronavirus scenario, with rising instances despite over 70% of the population having at least one vaccination shot and plans to relax restrictions, including in England on Monday. Furthermore, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalised with coronavirus last year, is isolating himself after being exposed to his diseased health secretary.
In Britain, infections increased by 313,647 percent in the previous week, with 54,674 infections recorded on Saturday, the highest number since January and a record 67,803. On Sunday, the increase was 48,161. Fatalities increased 39 percent in one week, with 283 added, including 41 on Saturday and 25 on Sunday, but remain well below the record 1,823 on Jan. 20.
Worldwide, cases increased by 15%, while fatalities increased by 0.1 percent, as Britain, the United States, and Indonesia all contributed to the increase. Coco Gauff, a 17-year-old tennis player, said on Sunday that she will not compete for Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo after testing positive for COVID-19.
One and a half years after the virus originated in Mainland China, the death toll has risen to 4,105,555 and cases are at 191,200,047 by the end of Sunday, according to tracking by Worldometers.info.
The United States is the world leader in total deaths at 624,746 and cases at 34,963,907. Brazil is second in fatalities with 542,262 and India third with 413,609. India is second in cases at 31,106,965, ahead of Brazil with 19,376,574.
Britain ranks seventh in the world each in deaths with 128,708 and cases with 5,433,939.
The situation is worsening in the kingdom though 69.2% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, including the first person in the world in December. The United States has administered at least one dose to 56% of its population with Brazil at 43.9%. China doesn’t report dose percentages but has enough for 51.3% of the world-high 1.5 billion people.
India is a dominant manufacturer of vaccines worldwide, but the nation has inoculated only 23.3% of its population with at least one dose.
Worldwide, a total of 3.6 billion shots have been given in a population of 7.9 billion with a two-dose regimen required for most brands, according to tracking by Bloomberg.
Europe and North America have administered 78 doses administered per 100 people, followed by South America at 52, Asia at 49, Oceania at 28 and Africa at 4.3, according to tracking by The New York Times.
Britain’s prime minister was vaccinated in March. On Sunday, Johnson announced he will be going into self-isolation along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Robert Jenrick. Originally, they said they would not be in quarantine because they are part of a pilot testing program.
Monday is known as “freedom day” when most of the restrictions will be lifted, in England as well as Scotland and Wales. Social-distancing rules in England will end, though guidelines advise face masks should still be worn in enclosed spaces and on public transport, and pubs and bars should be table service only.
But Dr. John Edmunds, who is advising the government, said without the restrictions, like when the first two waves of the pandemic were brought under control, cases will surge to 100,000 per day in a few weeks.
“I think this wave of the epidemic will be quite long and drawn out,” Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, told the Today program. “My hunch is that we are looking at a high level of incidence for a protracted period right through the summer and probably through much of the autumn.
“We started easing restrictions before everybody was vaccinated. That is going to lead to infections in the unvaccinated people — primarily, in this instance, the younger individuals.”
Britain, like other nations, has been dramatically affected by the Delta variant, which is highly contagious and originated in India.
Europe’s cases grew by 35% for a current total of 49,799,659 and deaths by 4% at 1,119,832.
Notably, Russia gained 1% in cases with 174,800 infections, second behind Britain, and 7% in deaths, 5,417, the most on the continent.
In Europe, four nations are in the top 10 for most deaths. Besides Britain, Russia is sixth with 148,419, Italy eighth with 127,876 and France 10th with 111,472. Also, Germany is 12th with 91,896, Spain 14th with 81,096, Poland 15th with 75,215 and Ukraine 18th with 52,726.
Russia reported 764 deaths Sunday, two days after a record 799. Cases were 25,018 compared with the record 29,935 in December.
Also Sunday, other nations added single-digits: Italy three, France five, Germany two, Ukraine eight, Poland three and Bulgaria five. Spain doesn’t release data on the weekend.
Despite restrictions, including an official ban on mass gatherings, many Russians are not following the rules.
The nation has vaccinated only 20.4% of its population with one dose and 10.2% are fully vaccinated as surveys from independent pollsters show mistrust of the government in refusing to get the doses.
“Why would I get vaccinated?” one man with fairly typical views told CBS News. “I’m a healthy man and never got sick, so I don’t need it… If I get sick then I get sick, what’s the difference? That’s my personal choice.”
Besides the Sputnik V vaccine, there are two others made in Russia.
Certain workers are required to get the shots.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spain had vaccinated 62.5% with at least one dose, Italy 60.2%, Germany 59.3%, France 57.7%, Poland 46.6% and Ukraine 9.6%.
European nations have been reopening their borders.
On July 1, the European Union launched a Digital Covid Certificate, which allows for free movement of travelers between its countries. The 27-nation EU has recommended the United States among countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. Also included is Saudi Arabia despite a spike in cases and deaths.
The Schengen countries, as well as those in the United Kingdom and Ireland, are still forbidden from coming to the United States unless they are U.S. citizens or spend 14 days before to arriving in a country that is not on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prohibited list.
Russia has resumed regular international aviation travel, notably to the United States and China.
During a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden remarked of the easing of the travel restriction to Europe: “It is now being worked on. I’m expecting to hear from our COVID team about when that should be completed.”
France’s 12,532 cases were the most in two months.
Asia leads the continents with 59,035,126 cases, gaining 19% with deaths up 3% and now is at 842,946 in fourth behind No. 1 Europe, No. 2 South America and No. 3 North America.
Three Asian nations are in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides India, Iran is 13th place with 87,161, dropping behind Germany in the past week, and Indonesia 16th at 73,582.
Indonesia’s deaths spiked 21%, including a record 1,205 Friday then 1,093 Sunday, with cases up 44% with 44,721 Sunday after a record 56,757 Thursday. Until mid-June, the most infections were 14,226 and deaths were 476 in January.
Indonesia has inoculated only 15.5% of its population with at least one dose.
The Asian nation’s surge has been fueled by the Delta variant and a “dramatic increase in confirmed cases” after the festive holidays, Indonesia’s Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said earlier this month.
Indonesia entered a lockdown on July 10, when there were more than 30,000 new cases each day. Only 23.3 million tests have been conducted in a nation with a population of 276.5 million.
“Without appropriate testing, many provinces are unable to isolate confirmed cases on time,” the World Health Organization said in a situation report earlier this month.
In India, coronavirus has been trending down from a world record of 4,529 deaths and world cases mark of 414,188.
Infections have decreased by 8% in the last week, while deaths have decreased by 32%.
India recorded 41,157 deaths and 518 fatalities on Sunday, as immunisation and testing rates rose.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the response to the second wave as “unprecedented,” despite the fact that coronavirus is the “biggest problem the world is facing in 100 years.”
The Summer Olympics are set to begin on Friday in Japan, with the host city of Tokyo under a state of emergency and no spectators, even family members, permitted. Many other locations outside of Tokyo will also be closed to fans.
The first two athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Village, tested positive. They are two soccer players and an official, according to the South African Football Association on Sunday.
The team left South Africa Tuesday and arrived in Tokyo the following day when they reported negative test results. The whole team is now under quarantine “until cleared to train,” according to the South African Football Association.
The first case in the village was reported Saturday: an individual, not believed to be an athlete, tested positive.
More than 15,000 Olympic individuals had entered Japan as of Friday, according to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
Athletes are not required to be vaccinated.
Japan has inoculated only 32.3% of its population. The nation is 37th with 15,062 deaths, including three Sunday with a record 216 two months ago. Cases are 3,103 with a record of 7,882.
South Korea has vaccinated 31% of its population. The nation has 2,057 deaths, including two more Sunday, a rise of 1,451 cases, four days after a record 1,615.
Restrictions in South Korea’s greater Seoul area remain in effect, and they will be expanded to other locations.
The pandemic began in late 2019 in Mainland China, although the country with the world’s biggest population of 1.5 billion has recorded only a few deaths in the last year and ranks 67th with 4,636 deaths, trailing Costa Rica with 4,874. According to Johns Hopkins monitoring, China added three instances on Sunday and has provided more than 1.4 billion doses, the highest in the world, dwarfing India with over 405 million and the United States with more than 336 million.
Turkey is sixth in the world in terms of cases (5,529,719) and 19th in terms of deaths (50,554, including 66 on Sunday).
Coronavirus is also on the rise in Thailand, with a 26 percent increase in cases in the last week, with a record 11,397 instances reported on Sunday, and a 30 percent increase in deaths, with 101 reported most recently, for a total of 3,341.
Israel, a country in Asia, has fully immunised 63.4 percent of its people. It has a death toll of 6,449, with 12 recorded in the last week and three on Sunday.
North America’s totals are 929056 fatalities, a 7% rise in seven days, and 41,395,504 cases, a 27% increase.
In one week, U.S. cases were up 27% to 203,082 and deaths rose 1,722 at an increase of 8%, according to Worldometers.info. On Saturday, 114 deaths and 23,708 cases were reported though a majority of states don’t report data. Florida, which only reports data once a week, has dominated cases with 20% of the U.S. total with 45,449 over seven days.
Mexico’s death toll has up 1%, with 225 fatalities on Sunday, putting it fourth in the world with 236,240. Deaths in Mexico are significantly down from a one-day high of 1,803. Instances in the United States have increased by 38%, placing the country in 16th place with 2,654,699 cases, including 12,631 lately.
In one week, the number of cases in Canada has decreased by 26%, while the number of deaths has decreased by 17%. Canada set a record of 257 on December 29th, with a total of 26,499 in 25th place, including seven on Sunday. The number of recorded cases was 259, down from the previous high of 11,383 on January 3rd.
Mexico has a vaccination rate of 29.2 percent, despite being the first Latin American country to start vaccinating citizens. And Canada has surged to 69.7 percent, behind the US by nearly 14 percentage points after trailing by several points for months.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel and fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.
Canada, Mexico and the United States have mutual travel bans for non-essential travel through July 21. It began one year ago in March.
Mexico City will remain medium risk yellow for at least the next week on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight map. Neighboring Mexico state will drop to yellow from low risk green. Yucatan, which includes Cancun and Cozumel, is orange light, the second highest of the four color levels.
In South America, deaths decreased 9% and cases dropped 12%.
South America has four nations in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides Brazil, Peru is fifth with 195,146, Colombia ninth with 116,307 and Argentina 11th with 101,549.
Overall, South America has 1,054,008 deaths and 34,5595,176 cases.
Brazil’s deaths are down 4%, while the number of cases is down 10%. Three weeks ago, the country hit a record of 114,139 instances, with 34,126 most recently. In January, there were 4,211 fatalities.
Chile has the highest vaccination rate on the continent, at 69.6 percent, and ranks 20th in the world in terms of deaths, with 34,514 and 111 deaths on Sunday, trailing Argentina, which has a rate of 48.2 percent, Colombia, which has a rate of 28.9 percent, and Peru, which has a rate of 19.6 percent.
According to experts tracking vaccines, Brazil is failing to adequately vaccinate its citizens, with around 3.1 million needing a second injection.
“There is this drive to speed up vaccination with the first dose,” Dr. Bahia, one of the researchers tracking immunizations, said in a report by the BBC. “And the second dose has ended up on the backburner.”
Unlike other nations, Brazil has held back supplies for second doses.
Colombia reported 476 deaths Sunday, Argentina added 115 and Peru gained 99.
“Growing violence, instability and crowded shelters could become active hotspots for COVID transmission,” Dr. Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, the WHO’s regional bureau for the Americas, said last week. “Limited supplies and violence are also hindering the ability of health workers to safely care for patients in need. In some cases, patients may be avoiding seeking to due to safety concerns.”
At the other extreme, geographically and in terms of the pandemic, Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 1,369 deaths with an increase of 35%, or 46, in one week and cases are 89258, up 7,904 to 59%.
New Zealand’s deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia’s toll increased to 914, with one reported Sunday and three in a week.
New Zealand reported 11 cases Sunday, tallying 47 in one week, for a total of 2,814, and Australia was up 129, which is 807 in a week, for 31,899.
Australia has vaccinated 26.9% of its population. New Zealand has administered first doses to 17% of its population.
The Australian state of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, is in a lockdown from Thursday through Tuesday after New South Wales, which includes Sydney, is in a five-week lockdown that will last at least through the end of the month. On Sunday, New South Wales reported 105 local cases and one death and 16 local infections.
The outbreak also has been surging in Fiji with 98 total deaths, compared with 55 one week ago and four by May 3. Cases have climbed from 121 on May 3 to 16,471, including a record 1,180 Saturday, one day after the previous mark of 1,405. On Sunday, it reported 1,043 cases and 13 deaths.
Africa’s fatalities increased by 13% in one week to 158329, while weekly case change decreased by 0.6 percent to 6,2284,603.
South Africa’s 99,469 illnesses accounted for 35% of the continent’s total of 283,546 infections. Deaths are up 5% and account for 41% of all deaths on the continent, at 2,570. South Africa ranks 17th with 66,859 fatalities, including 183 on Sunday. And the number of cases increased by 11,215 percent.
Tunisia surpassed Egypt for the second-most cases in Africa in the last week, 17,354 vs. 16,439 Tunisia added 140 Saturday and 173 Sunday.
A highly infectious variety emerged in South Africa, which has immunised at least 7.4 percent of the population.
“Deaths have climbed steeply for the past five weeks,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a United Nations news release. “This is a clear warning sign that hospitals in the most impacted countries are reaching a breaking point.”