Here are the top international COVID-19 updates this Sunday
Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll tops 500,000
Over 500,000 people in Brazil have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, informed Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga on Saturday.
“The pandemic, which struck our Brazil and the entire world, has claimed 500,000 lives. I am relentlessly working to vaccinate all Brazilians as soon as possible and change the scenario that has been tormenting us for more than a year,” the Minister tweeted. Queiroga expressed condolences to the friends and relatives of those who died due to the disease. The country has registered more than 17.8 million COVID-19 cases.
According to CNN, there is barely a person in Brazil today who hasn’t lost a loved one to coronavirus said local scientists, as the country reached the grim milestone of half a million deaths.
The South American nation, which holds half the continent’s population, is being decimated by the virus. The 500,000 death toll is twice as high as it was six months ago, a sign that the mortality rate is accelerating, according to experts.
“In June of last year, we reached 50,000 deaths for Covid-19. In just one year we have multiplied this number 10 times. It’s very scary,” says Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, who in January predicted that the country would reach 500,000 deaths in July. “At the time, people thought that the number was exaggerated,” he recalls.
The country has suffered from a slow vaccine rollout and staunch resistance to containment measures by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has downplayed the gravity of the virus.
With no lockdown and just 11.4% of the population fully vaccinated, the country is considered a “barn of new variants” and is increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. To date, more than 100 countries are restricting the entry of Brazilians, according to the foreign relations ministry.
Israel reports COVID-19 outbreak in 2 schools, 45 students infected
The Israeli Ministry of Health on Saturday reported a COVID-19 outbreak in two schools in the town of Binyamina, 60 km north of Tel Aviv.
The outbreak concerns a primary school and a middle school, where 45 students in total were tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the ministry. An extensive testing operation, which began after one of the middle school students had been tested positive, revealed the outbreak.
Hundreds of flights cancelled, strict COVID curbs imposed amid new outbreak in Southern China
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and part of a city is under lockdown in Southern China as the province of Guangdong witnesses a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Guangdong’s health commission reported a total of six new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, including two from Shenzhen and one each in Foshan and Dongguan, South China Morning Post reported. The other cases were in the provincial capital Guangzhou and identified among the quarantined close contacts of previously confirmed patients.
Among the new cases, one is a 21-year-old waitress working in a restaurant at Shenzhen Airport. According to the authorities, she has contracted the Delta strain of the virus.
Argentina reports 495 new deaths from COVID-19
Argentina on Saturday reported 15,631 new COVID-19 infections and 495 more deaths from the disease, raising the total caseload to 4,258,394 and the national death toll to 88,742.
According to the Ministry of Health, 7,386 patients are currently hospitalized, with intensive care unit bed occupancy reaching 74.6 percent nationwide. So far, a total of 18,014,829 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 14,335,638 people having received one dose and 3,679,191 having received both.
Argentina is continuing to enforce social distancing measures to try to contain the spread of the virus. The measures will last until Friday.
Cuba reports 1,472 new COVID-19 infections
Cuba registered on Saturday 1,472 new COVID-19 infections and 16 more deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 166,368 and death toll to 1,148.
“The epidemiological situation is very difficult with unfavorable indicators that express the strong transmission taking place throughout the country,” the Public Health Ministry’s director of hygiene and epidemiology Francisco Duran said during his daily report. Havana maintained a declining trend in terms of the number of cases, recording 325 in the last day, and the incidence rate, which decreased to 276.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, but still the highest in the country.
UAE’s Emirates airline to resume flights from India to Dubai from June 23 as COVID curbs ease
As Dubai eases travel curbs for passengers from India, Emirates airline said it will resume flights connecting India, South Africa and Nigeria to the city from June 23.
“Emirates welcomes the latest protocols and measures announced by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management to allow the safe resumption of passenger travel from South Africa, Nigeria and India to Dubai and onwards,” said the airline’s spokesperson in a statement. On Saturday, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai said that the passengers from India with a valid residence visa who have received two doses of a UAE-approved vaccine will be allowed to travel to Dubai, Gulf News reported.
Palestinians cancel Pfizer vaccine agreement with Israel