Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates with oil riches, announced that public places will soon only be available to people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus. This is to encourage more people to get shots.
Monday’s Emirati government announcement stated that from August 20, authorities would restrict access to shops, restaurants, cafes and other places where people can engage in sporting activities, museums or gyms. Except for pharmacies and supermarkets, the city will ban all non-vaccinated from entering any businesses.
Abu Dhabi already has a system called “green pass” that restricts public access to people who have received the shot or can prove negative for virus.
This comes at a time when the country is increasingly relying on its quick vaccination campaign for its economic recovery. According to the government, at least 93% have received at least one dose.
Dubai, a neighboring travel hub, has also introduced vaccination restrictions for mass entertainment and sporting events. Malls and other businesses are still open to those who have not been vaccinated.
With 15.1 million doses being administered to the UAE’s population of approximately 9 million, it boasts one of world’s fastest vaccination campaigns. China’s state-backed Sinopharm shot has been a major source of income for the country.
Monday’s announcement was made just days after the Health Ministry reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases in the country, the second consecutive day.
The country’s confirmed cases, as well as confirmed deaths, stood at over 2.1 million since the pandemic started on Monday. This is the highest number in Southeast Asia.
The authorities have only partially vaccinated another 14.2 millions and 13.1 million people in Indonesia.
CHARLESTON (W.Va.) — West Virginia’s active coronavirus cases have fallen to their lowest level in the past 13 months, officials announced Monday.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, there were 1,467 COVID-19 active cases in the state as of Sunday. This was below 1,500 for only the second time since May 18, 2020.
The state COVID-19 dashboard shows that the number of confirmed daily cases exceeded 100 only once since May 29, and 50 times since June 16.
A little over 63% of the population aged 12 years and older have had at least one dose. About 53% are fully vaccinated.
There have been 2 878 deaths from the virus in West Virginia, with two of them on Monday.
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s emergency order regarding the coronavirus pandemic has entered its final days.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills declares that she will lift the “state of emergency” order, which she created in the early days of the pandemic.
Mills was able to use state resources to stop the spread of the virus throughout Maine thanks to the order. The issue of whether the emergency order was too long has been a topic of dispute between Democrats and Republicans for months.
Republicans also claimed that Mills was given too much power and that future orders should be less restrictive. Mills and other Democrats claim that it played an important role in reducing state coronavirus burden.
Mills stated earlier in June that ending an emergency order was a significant milestone. It reflects the fact that “Maine people persevered” and that, while there are still challenges, they will overcome them all together, just like we did last year.
The number of coronavirus cases in the state has dropped to less than two dozen per day.
COPENHAGEN (Danemark) — Sweden is soon allowing bars and restaurants to hold more people and remain open for longer periods of time.
Lena Hallengren, Social Affairs Minister, stated that life can resume as normal as before the pandemic.
Cafes and eateries can now seat 300 people indoors or 3,000 outdoors, and they will be open until 10:30 p.m. on July 1. Since June 1, the country has gradually eased restrictions on virus transmission.
Johan Carlson is the head of Sweden’s Public Health Agency. He stated that “together we have succeeded in pushing back COVID-19 from our country.”
This Scandinavian nation has been praised for its relatively hands-off approach to the pandemic. It has not put down lockdowns, or closed down businesses. Instead, it relies on citizens’ civic duty to manage infections.
More than one million cases have been reported in the country, with 14,619 deaths.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Monday announced that it would ease COVID-19-related restrictions starting next month for people who have received a complete coronavirus vaccine.
A government announcement states that indoor dining is now allowed in restaurants beginning Thursday, but only for those who have been vaccinated.
According to the statement, shrines, cinemas, and marriage halls that were closed in November due to an increase in cases will be allowed back into service for people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus.
Starting Thursday, the government allowed 100 percent attendance to government and private offices.
This latest development comes just hours after Pakistan recorded one of the lowest single-day coronavirus deaths since earlier in this year.
About 14 million Pakistanis have been vaccinated so far. The country has so far reported 955 657 cases and 222 31 deaths from COVID-19.
HONG KONG — Hong Kong has announced that it will ban all passenger travel from the U.K. beginning Thursday in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus variants.
It stated Monday in a statement that the U.K. was now considered “extremely risky” due to the “recent rebound in the epidemic situation in the U.K., and the widespread Delta variant virus strain.”
The classification prohibits people from flying to Hong Kong from the United Kingdom if they have been in the country for more than 2 hours.
After a December restriction, this is the second time the Hong Kong government has prohibited flights from the U.K.
This ban is being issued amid rising tensions between China and the U.K. over semi-autonomous Hong Kong. It was once a British colony, but was given to China in 1997.
Spain and Portugal announced Monday that they will impose a quarantine of two weeks on U.K. citizens unless they can prove they have been fully vaccinated. The same applies to South Africa, India, and Brazil arriving under this rule.
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus has begun the voluntary vaccination of 16-year-olds against COVID-19 after data revealed that almost 30% of new infections occur among socially active young people aged 18 and below.
The Health Ministry of Cyprus announced Monday that teenagers will receive mRNA-based shots, such as Moderna and Pfizer.
Online appointments for vaccinations will be made and parents or guardians will need to sign consent forms.
According to the ministry, scientific data has shown that adolescents have the same virus characteristics as adults, with the exception of symptoms and transmission.
ATHENS (Greece) — Greece will offer young adults 150 euro ($180) credit to get vaccinated. It launches a two-tier policy this summer.
Monday’s announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitchells that beginning July 15, all citizens of Greece under 26 years old would be eligible to receive a credit in a digital wallet upon receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine.
Mitsotakis stated in a televised speech that “we hope that young people will benefit from this opportunity.”
Greece, which is heavily dependent on tourism, is seeking to reopen its economy. It recently made the vaccine available to all ages and has since begun to look for other ways.
CANBERRA (Australia) — Australia struggled to contain COVID-19 clusters in the country Monday. This was the most dangerous stage of pandemic since its inception, according to experts.
On Monday, Sydney (east) and Darwin (north) were both locked down. Perth, in the West, made masks mandatory for three days. They warned that a resident who visited Sydney more than one week ago could be locked down.
In Brisbane and Canberra, wearing masks is now mandatory. South Australia announced Tuesday new restrictions that will apply to all residents.
Australia has had a relatively easy time containing the pandemic clusters, with fewer than 31,000 cases recorded since the outbreak. The new clusters highlight the slow vaccination rate of 5%, which has left only 5% of the population fully protected.
The majority of new cases are attributed to a Sydney limousine driver who was infected with the delta variant on June 16. This variant is more contagious. The driver was not vaccinated and he reportedly didn’t wear a mask. He is believed to have contracted the virus while transporting foreign crew members from Sydney Airport.
MADRID – Spain’s Prime Minister says that all visitors from the United Kingdom to the Balearic Islands must show proof of having been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cadena SER radio’s Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister, stated Monday that the measure would go into effect Thursday in order to allow tour operators and travelers the time to adjust to the new rule.
Britain added the Mediterranean islands (which include Mallorca and Ibiza) to its “green list” of safe travel destinations last week amid pressure from travel companies and airlines to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
The countries of the Southern European Union are eager for British tourists to visit their country and help them recover from the economic effects of the epidemic. However, a U.K. spike in the number of infections caused by the delta variant has made them cautious.
MADRID — Spanish island of Mallorca authorities have ordered hundreds of high school students to stay at their hotels following a COVID-19 epidemic.
Officials claim that more than 800 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in eight areas across Spain, all linked to the Mallorca virus. It began last week.
Numerous infected teenagers are still living on Mallorca. Others are still in their hotel rooms while others were moved to a hotel by the local authorities to isolate those suffering from mild symptoms. Nine are suffering from mild symptoms and are being treated in a local hospital.
After the outbreak was discovered, hundreds of students were subject to mass testing by the Mallorca health authorities. The virus is believed to have spread from hundreds of students who gathered at street parties and concerts.
BANGKOK — Monday’s announcement by Thai health authorities of 5,406 new cases of COVID-19 was a sign that the country is struggling to deal with the new coronavirus variants. The announcement comes as Thailand struggles to contain the virus’ rapid spread in the capital Bangkok and the southern provinces.
Nine cases were brought in from prison, with the remainder coming from the general population. This is a record for this category of patients.
Since the pandemic started last year in Thailand, there have been 249,853 confirmed cases of COVID. This is more than 88% from the third wave coronavirus, which began this April. The death toll from the third wave of coronavirus has now reached 1,934, 95%, with 22 deaths related to the pandemic.
Officials from the Bangkok Health Department also revealed that they had found the first known case of the beta variant. It originated in South Africa. The patient was a Bangkok market worker whose son traveled from Narathiwat, in the south, to visit him. It is believed that the beta variant entered Thailand via Malaysia.
From April to June, random testing of virus samples in Thailand by the Department of Medical Sciences found that 86.3% of the samples were the alpha variant of Britain, 12.3% from India, and 1.4% the beta variant.
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has reinstated strict restrictions, including a ban of alcohol sales and an extended overnight curfew to combat a rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
President Cyril Ramaphosa claims that South Africa’s new growth is being driven by the delta variant, which was first found in India.
South Africa had more than 15,000 cases of death on Sunday. This brings the total number of deaths to close to 60,000.
Gauteng, the country’s most populous provincial, is the worst-affected by the current surge. It accounts for 66% of all new infections. This province also includes Johannesburg, the capital Pretoria, and the largest city.
Health officials are worried that Gauteng’s eight other provincial hospitals will soon experience a spike in patients. There, COVID-19 beds are scarce and patients are being transferred to other provinces. The deaths, hospitalizations, and cases in neighbouring Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique are increasing.
KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia) — Malaysia’s state has said it will relax lockdown restrictions despite federal government’s decision to keep a nation locked down indefinitely to combat the pandemic.
Hajiji Noor is the chief minister of Sabah state, Borneo’s island. He says that more industries, including furniture, rubber and timber factories, will be allowed to reopen starting Tuesday. He said that dine-in is possible at restaurants and hotels as well as hair salons. Sports that don’t involve physical contact, such as fishing and golf, can also resume. He said Monday however that some restrictions will still be in effect.
The implementation of lockdowns is under the control of the state governments. Sabah is currently the only state to have relaxed curbs.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stated that the national lockdown, which has been in place since June 1, will continue until daily cases fall to below 4,000 and 6% have been vaccinated.