Vietnam has placed its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown from midnight Sunday, as confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 3,000 for the third day in a row.
The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s financial and economic center with more than 35 million people, or nearly a third of the Vietnamese population.
Officials say they must act as the number of infections has reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak re-emerged in late April after several months without any recorded cases.
Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the outbreak, had already announced a full lockdown a week ago but now accounts for most of the country’s cases with more than 2,000 a day.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s going on in Tokyo
A substitute for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19 at a training camp in Japan, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said on Monday.
The USOPC did not say whether Olympic champion Simone Biles or any of the other favorites to win team gold were isolated due to contact tracing. The positive test was the latest in a growing string of daily reports from athletes and others testing positive at the Olympics delayed by the pandemic. The unnamed gymnast was the first American.
Earlier, officials said that a third athlete from the Tokyo Olympic Village tested positive for COVID-19, with the Czech Republic team reporting the latest case on Monday in a player from the Tokyo beach volleyball team. country.
Two South African footballers saw their COVID-19 cases announced on Sunday. The players and a team video analyst who tested positive a day earlier were transferred to the “isolation center” run by the Olympic organizing committee.
Their 21 close contacts around the South African squad are now under scrutiny ahead of their first game on Thursday against Japan in Tokyo. The surveillance regime includes daily testing, trips in a dedicated vehicle, separate training of unaffected teammates, and confinement to their rooms for meals.
The Olympics, which have been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, are expected to officially open on Friday and run through August 8.
Japan has recorded a total of 842,018 reported cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, with 14,993 reported deaths.
Tokyo reported 1,008 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the 29th day in a row that cases were higher than seven days earlier. It was also the fifth day in a row with over 1,000 cases. The Olympics will open under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.
-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated 7:40 a.m. ET
What is happening in the world
As of Monday morning, more than 190.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, with over four million reported deaths.
In Africa, the Tunisian government has decided to deploy armed forces to immunize people in regions with the worst infection rates and in areas with particularly low vaccination rates.
Tunisia has one of the highest daily per capita infection rates in the world and has reported the highest number of pandemic deaths per capita in Africa. The country has reported a total of 546,233 cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University Case Tracker, with 17,527 deaths reported.
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In Europe, more than 100,000 people marched across France on Saturday to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to force vaccination of health workers and require a COVID-19-free certificate to enter places such as restaurants and cinemas.
Corks popped, rhythms erupted and dizzy revelers rushed to dance floors when nightclubs in England reopened on Monday as the country lifted most remaining restrictions after more than one year of lockdowns, mask warrants and other restrictions related to the pandemic.
For club goers and disco owners, now is the time to live up to its media nickname, “Freedom Day”. But the big step forward on the lockdown has sparked nervousness from many Britons and concern from scientists, who say the UK is entering uncharted waters by opening up when infections do not abate but soar. As of Monday, face masks are no longer legally required in England, and with physical distancing rules removed, there is no limit to the number of people attending theatrical performances or major events.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. The announcement made by his office on Sunday overturns an earlier claim that, unlike most people, he would not be quarantined. Johnson met with Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Friday, who later tested positive for COVID-19. Contacts of positive cases usually need to self-isolate for 10 days.
In the AmericasBrazilian health regulator Anvisa said on Monday it had approved trials with a third dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. Anvisa said a third dose of the vaccine would be given to 10,000 volunteers between 11 and 13 months after the second injection.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve Chairman Neel Kashkari said many U.S. economic sectors were facing rapid price hikes and struggling to adjust to reopening after the shutdown.
In the Middle EastIran on Monday imposed a weeklong lockdown on the capital, Tehran, and the surrounding region as the country grapples with a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported. The lockdown – the country’s fifth so far – will begin Tuesday and last until next Monday. All bazaars, markets and public offices will close, as well as cinemas, gymnasiums and restaurants in Tehran province and neighboring Alborz province.
Iran reported 25,441 new cases on Monday and 213 deaths in the past day, bringing the total death toll to 87,374 from more than 3.5 million confirmed cases in the pandemic.
Saudi citizens will need two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before they can travel outside the kingdom from August 9, the official SPA news agency reported on Monday, citing the Interior Ministry. The decision was made on the basis of new waves of infection around the world, new mutations and the “low efficacy of a dose of vaccination against these mutations,” the statement said.
In the Asia Pacific region, South Korea will extend tighter COVID-19 restrictions on private gatherings outside the Seoul metropolitan area, as the country works to contain its worst outbreak, its prime minister said on Sunday.
-From Reuters and The Associated Press, latest update 9:50 a.m. ET