Skipping infections in Singapore; Top 650,000 US Deaths: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) – Singapore authorities are not ruling out reimposing pandemic restrictions after Covid-19 infections peak in a year. The Philippines has backed down on easing borders in the capital region, as Malaysia prepares to reopen cinemas.

The death toll has exceeded 650,000 in the United States, reaching three-quarters of adults with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson’s shot reduced the risk of infection by about half in a trial of South African health workers. The study, which found the vast majority of breakthrough infections to be mild, included several weeks of a third wave of infections.

Israel is showing the world how the assessment of progress against the virus is evolving. Although the country has become a pandemic hotspot, the number of severe cases appears to have peaked.

Key developments

Global Tracker: cases exceed 221.8 million; deaths exceed 4.58 million Vaccine Tracker: more than 5.56 billion doses administered Covid wave in Israel shows the world what’s coming hits 75% of adults with at least one dose of vaccine Covid is a regional pandemic in the States United: Johns Hopkins (Video) How Delta Strengthens Covid Boost Case: QuickTake

Victoria in Australia to lift regional lockdown (10:35 a.m. HK)

The Australian state of Victoria will end its lockdown of all regional areas outside Melbourne except one council area with a high number of cases, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday during a press conference.

The lockdown will end for all parts of the Victoria area except the Grand Shepparton. Regions will have relaxed movement restrictions with sites also allowed to open with number caps. Schools will also reopen.

Vietnam May Relax Some Travel Restrictions (10:32 HK)

Vietnam’s health ministry is considering easing travel restrictions for those fully vaccinated on a trial basis in some unspecified southern localities, the government website reported.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City is planning green cards for vaccinated residents and will ease social distancing restrictions for those partially and fully vaccinated, Tuoi Tre reported, citing the city’s mayor.

IMF Approves $ 600 Million Loan to Tanzania (9:02 a.m. HK)

The International Monetary Fund has approved nearly $ 600 million in emergency loans for Tanzania’s health system and economic recovery efforts as the country battles the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The fund’s board approved a total of $ 567 million in funds – $ 189 million under the Quick Credit Facility and $ 378 million under the Quick Finance Instrument. The resources will help cover the country’s “urgent balance-of-payments needs” resulting from the virus, the IMF said.

South Korea to Switch to ‘Living with the Virus’ (7.45am HK)

The head of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the country would be ready by the end of October to move from suppressing Covid-19 to managing it while leading a normal life, Yonhap reported on Tuesday. .

KDCA commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong told lawmakers in a parliamentary session that the KDCA aims to complete the job of fully immunizing 90% of the elderly and 80% of adults by the end of October.

Indonesia clears J&J, CanSino Shots (7:41 a.m. HK)

The government has issued an emergency use authorization for the Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by CanSino Biologics Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing the food and drug regulator. Both injections will be given to people 18 years of age and older.

Japan plans to expand viral emergencies (7:34 a.m. HK)

The Japanese government is making arrangements to extend the state of emergency in areas like Tokyo until the end of September, the Asahi newspaper reported, citing several unidentified officials. Emergencies are scheduled to expire on September 12.

Japan May Approve Glaxo’s Covid Drug (7:26 a.m. HK)

Japan’s health ministry plans to hold an expert meeting later this month to decide whether or not to approve the Covid-19 Sotrovimab antibody from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc., broadcaster NHK reported, citing an unidentified person.

If approved, it will be the second drug that can be used to treat patients with mild symptoms in Japan.

Vietnam Extends Loan Repayment Times (7:15 a.m. HK)

Vietnam’s central bank has ordered commercial banks to continue delaying payments on certain loans until June 30, 2022, in order to help businesses affected by the pandemic, the State Bank of Vietnam said.

The central bank has also asked lenders to exempt or reduce interest payments on certain loans until June 2022.

The infection rate in the United States has been grossly underestimated (3:57 a.m. HK)

The actual number of infections in the United States at the end of 2020 was over 100 million, just under a third of the population and well over the 20 million previously reported, according to a study cited by the National Institutes of Health . Many cases have gone undetected due to the limited number of tests and asymptomatic infections at the start of the pandemic.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University, used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the number of people who tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which indicates past infections. The researchers calculated that only 11% of all cases were confirmed with a positive test result in March 2020.

Biden to Offer $ 600 Relief Packages to Meatpacking and Farm Workers (3:07 HK)

The Biden administration plans to distribute one-time pandemic relief payments of $ 600 to U.S. meat-packing and farm workers.

The move expands an agricultural assistance program that so far has mainly benefited farm owners to include a low-income, largely immigrant food chain workforce. The plan sets aside up to $ 700 million for aid, which will be distributed through state agencies, tribal entities and nonprofit groups.

Venezuela receives first vaccines from WHO (1:46 p.m. NY)

Venezuela received 693,600 vaccines from Sinovac Biotech Ltd., the first shipment purchased through Covax. The shots were due to arrive before August, but had been delayed for undisclosed reasons. The country is expected to receive a total of 12 million doses under the program sponsored by the World Health Organization.

Myanmar seeks 24 million doses by November (1:25 p.m. NY)

The Burmese junta has said it wants to receive 10 million doses each in September and October and 4 million in November. The country aimed to immunize half of its population by the end of the year.

Boris Johnson Raises Taxes to Offset Covid Costs (1:17 p.m. NY)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the insurance payroll tax will increase by 1.25 percentage points from next year to help save the National Health Service from arrears generated during the pandemic. A tax on dividends will also increase by 1.25 percentage points.

All working adults, including those who have reached retirement age, will face higher levies, which are expected to generate 36 billion pounds ($ 50 billion) over the next three years. The House of Commons is expected to vote on the tax package on Wednesday.

Separately, around 80% of people aged 16 and over have been vaccinated with both doses in Britain. About 89% received a dose. More than half of 16 and 17 year olds in England have received their first vaccine.

US hits 75% mark for adult immunization (12:43 p.m., NY)

Three-quarters of American adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The country hit the 70% threshold in early August, four weeks beyond President Joe Biden’s target.

The spread of the delta variant has caused a new wave of infections in the United States in the past month and accelerated vaccinations. But the reluctance of many Americans has left the nation far behind many other countries for inoculation. Biden plans to tackle efforts to curb the pandemic on Thursday.

J&J Shot Halves Healthcare Worker Infections (11:59 a.m. NY)

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine reduced the risk of infection by about half, according to a trial of nearly half a million health workers in South Africa. The vast majority of breakthrough infections were mild, the study co-lead said, citing unpublished data.

The Sisonke study included several weeks in which South Africa was going through a third wave of coronavirus infections, stimulated by the delta variant.

Philippines backtrack on easing (7:37 a.m. NY)

Authorities in the Philippines have postponed easing restrictions on public movement in the capital region, maintaining current restrictions potentially until September 15, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Metro Manila, an area that accounts for about a third of the Philippine economy, will remain under the second most stringent movement restrictions. Restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery, while beauty salons and spas are closed.

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