MOSCOW — Russia’s national coronavirus taskforce reports that the number of daily new infections in the country has nearly halved in the past week and more than doubled in Moscow.
It said 13,510 infections were recorded on the previous day, a sharp increase compared to the 9,163 recorded on June 6. Nearly half of the new cases were in Moscow – 6,701 compared to 2,936 a week earlier.
Moscow officials said the wearing of masks and gloves on mass transport, shops and other public places would be strengthened and violators could be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($70).
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ISTANBUL – Turkey is stepping up its COVID-19 vaccination programme, with nearly 600,000 doses given in the past 24 hours.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also tweeted on Saturday that human trials for a home vaccine are in the final stages.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month announced an intensification of vaccination in June as the country seeks to revive its struggling economy, particularly the tourism industry.
Since vaccination began on January 14, more than 33 million doses have been administered, including 13.6 million second injections, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Turkey has a population of about 84 million.
According to official figures, daily infections fell from a high of 63,000 in mid-April to 6,261 on Friday.
Tourism is restricted due to a Russian ban on most flights and a UK requirement that Turkish travelers pay for quarantine hotel stays and PCR tests. But Germany says it will ease quarantine requirements on July 1
On Monday, Turkey is expected to start vaccinating people aged 40-49.
Sacramento, Calif. – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that would remove most of the state’s coronavirus rules.
The order, signed by Newsom on Friday, will take effect Tuesday. It will do away with the state’s stay-at-home order and its various amendments.
From Tuesday, there will be no capacity limit or physical distancing requirement for businesses. Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places.
Newsom said he would not end the declaration of a statewide emergency. It ensures that the governor has the power to change or suspend state laws in the future. This has angered Republican lawmakers who say the announcement is unnecessary.
HONOLULU – Honolulu is easing some restrictions on social activities now as more than half of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The new rules allow outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor gatherings of up to 10.
Karaoke bars and nightclubs can operate at 50% capacity if all attendees are tested for disease or evidence shows they have been fully vaccinated.
The city will allow 25 indoor gatherings and 75 outdoor gatherings once 60% of the population is vaccinated. All limits will be removed when the vaccination rate is above 70%.
Honolulu reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, down 25% from two weeks ago.
CHICAGO — Officials announced a full reopening of Chicago on Friday, eliminating the requirement that people wear face masks at most indoor spaces and lifting capacity limits aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Chicago sometimes shied away from state restrictions and opted to be stricter or more liberal than the state required. But city officials on Friday decided to join the rest of Illinois in lifting restrictions, nearly 15 months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the first stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases began to rise.
People who have not been vaccinated will still be required to wear masks indoors, and everyone will still be required to wear masks in health care facilities, prisons, shelters, schools, taxis, ride-hailing vehicles and public transport. Businesses can still opt to require people to wear masks on their premises.
FALMOUTH, England – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes commitments by the US and UK to share millions of coronavirus vaccine shots with struggling countries. But he says it is not enough.
Without a global effort, Guterres says the coronavirus could “spread like wildfire” to much of the developing world.
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are expected to share at least 1 billion vaccine shots with poor countries, with half the dose coming from the US and 100 million from the UK.
Guterres says that to defeat the virus, countries making vaccines need to create an emergency task force to coordinate an effective response to COVID-19.
“We need a concerted effort, we need a global vaccination plan,” says Guterres, who attended the summit. “If not, the risk is that there will still be large areas of the developing world where the virus spreads like wildfire.”
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom says he is confident his workplace regulator will soon be in line with California’s plan to drop nearly all masking requirements for people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is set to consider revising its conflicting rules on Thursday, two days after the state began easing pandemic restrictions. Newsom said Friday that he hopes to ensure that workplace rules are in effect along with the planned reopening.
Businesses have been baffled by shifting rules about who is required to wear masks and where once the country’s largest state fully reopens from the pandemic.
Jackson, Miss. — Mississippi has moved well more than three-quarters of a million doses from its federal coronavirus vaccine allocation to other states, due to a lack of demand for shots.
Mississippi Health Department spokeswoman Liz Charlotte said in recent months, the state has transferred 871,950 vaccine doses to Rhode Island, Maine and a nationwide vaccine pool. Maine is one of the states with the highest vaccination rates in the US.
Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with about 29% being vaccinated. As per the data provided by the state health department, just over 930,650 people have been fully vaccinated in the state.
Charlotte said 32,400 doses of Moderna Vaccine set aside for Mississippi by the federal government were sent to Rhode Island and Maine on April 20 with 32,400 doses.
The state has transferred at least 807,150 doses to a federal vaccine pool. The state’s first transfer to Poole took place on May 6.
Charlotte said that each week, the federal government provides each state with a number of available doses and distributed to providers. That number is based on “the demand of the provider and the needs of the individual state,” Charlotte said.
State health department officials review the number of doses available to order each week for Mississippi and determine whether to order additional doses or send doses to the federal pool for use by other states.
LONDON – The UK has recorded its highest coronavirus infections since late February, most from the delta variant first identified in India.
On Friday, government figures showed 8,125 new cases, the highest since February 26. The delta variant, which is known to be around 40% more transmissible than the previous major strain, accounts for more than 90% of all new infections in the UK.
There are concerns that the next planned lockdown in England on 21 June may be eased because of a surge in cases that could be delayed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Monday whether social distancing restrictions will be lifted.
The hope is that the rapid rollout of vaccines will break the link between new cases and deaths, especially since most cases are in the younger age group. On Friday, another 17 coronavirus-related deaths were announced, raising the confirmed total to 127,884, the highest in Europe.
Rome – Italy is recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine only for people over the age of 60, saying young people who got their first AstraZeneca shot should take Pfizer or Moderna for their second shot.
The government’s scientific committee revised its vaccine strategy after reviewing the latest data on cases of rare blood clots in people receiving AstraZeneca. It is now acting as the virus has decreased drastically, thanks to months of restrictions and a vaccine campaign that vaccinated 45% of the population with at least one shot.
While cases of blood clots after the second dose are “extraordinarily rare,” the head of the scientific committee, Dr. According to Franco Locatelli, the committee is recommending a different vaccine for the second dose for people under the age of 60.
Other countries, including France and Canada, have made similar recommendations. The European Medicines Agency still recommends people who received the first AstraZeneca vaccine to follow the same shot.
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka has extended its lockdown for another week amid an increase in deaths from the coronavirus in recent weeks.
There is a nearly three-week lockdown in Sri Lanka, which is set to end on June 14. But on Friday the government announced that it would remain in place till June 21.
The new restrictions come as the coronavirus death toll crossed the 2,000-mark on Friday. It took 14 months to reach the first 1,000 deaths, while the second 1,000 deaths took just 23 days.
There is a ban on people coming out of their homes, while food and other essentials will be distributed through mobile vendors. However, the government says the ban will not apply to people engaged in essential services such as health, food supply, communication and power sectors. Factories, construction sites and agricultural fields can operate.
Doctors and health workers have urged the government to maintain the existing travel ban to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Sri Lanka’s total confirmed cases have reached 216,134.
WASHINGTON – US regulators are allowing the release of 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory.
However, ingredients to make many more doses must be thrown out due to potential contamination, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The FDA announced Friday that it has determined that two batches can be issued from the plant. But it says that several other batches are not suitable for use and additional batches are still under review. The dosage originated at an Emergent Biosolutions factory, known as Bayview, which is making vaccines for Jammu and Kashmir.
A second person familiar with the decision confirmed that it would allow 10 million doses to be released. The two men spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details about it prior to its announcement.
– by Zeke Miller and Linda A. Johnson
TOKYO – The question of allowing any local fans into the Tokyo Olympic venues is still under debate, with a decision not expected before the end of the month.
Fans from overseas have already been banned in what is shaping up to be a largely televised Olympics.
Tokyo organizing committee chairman Seiko Hashimoto originally said he would announce a decision in April but has repeatedly postponed it.
Ticket sales amounted to $800 million in revenue for the organizing committee. Much of that income would be lost and would have to be made up by Japanese government entities.
The postponed Tokyo Olympics are set to open on 23 July.