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The British government has put Portugal and eleven other countries on the so-called Green List of Low Risk Areas. Brits returning home from these areas do not need to be quarantined.
From Monday, Portugal allowed unnecessary travel from all but five European countries.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– A fall in cases brings a glimmer of hope in India but the lack of beds and the oxygen show virus crisis are not over yet
– Britain is preparing to reopen on Monday but new Spark variants are worried
– The vaccine candidate from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline elicited strong immune responses. Production should start soon
– For more information on AP’s pandemic, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE HAPPENS WHAT OTHER HAPPENS:
HONG KONG – The start of a planned quarantine-free travel bubble with Singapore has been postponed after the Southeast Asian city-state saw a surge in incomprehensible cases, according to the Hong Kong government.
A press release on Monday said the two governments had decided to postpone the launch of the air travel bubble originally planned for May 26, “in light of the recent COVID-19 epidemic in Singapore.”
Both governments remained committed to the bubble and would continue to monitor developments in both places closely, with a focus on the effectiveness of the reinforced anti-epidemic measures, which went into effect in Singapore from Sunday and should run through June 13, with another announcement on or around that date to “resume air traffic between the two … gradually and properly under a string of strict public health protocols,” the memo said.
The announcement came after Singapore restricted gatherings to just two people and restaurants to only delivery or take-out services.
The number of new cases rose from 48 the week before to 71 in the past week as infections increase from a cluster connected to Changi Airport. Infections unrelated to identified cases rose to 15 in the last week, more than double what it was the week before.
The Ministry of Health said the pattern of infections unrelated to known cases indicated the virus was spreading and current measures were insufficient to stop it.
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan reported 333 domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases on Monday. This was the island’s largest outbreak since the pandemic began.
Local governments ordered the closure of all schools in the capital for two weeks from Tuesday. The large-scale school closure marks a first for the island, which has otherwise been a success story, keeping infections and deaths low. There were 2,017 confirmed cases and 12 deaths during the pandemic.
Of Monday’s new cases, 158 were in Taipei and 148 in neighboring New Taipei City, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.
NEW DELHI – For the first time in weeks, daily cases in India fell below 300,000 and continued to decline as the country battled a sharp spike in COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health said around 280,000 cases and 4,106 deaths have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. Both numbers are almost certainly undercounted.
India’s general vaccination effort is also having problems. Since the country opened vaccinations to all adults this month, the pace of the administration of doses has slowed, and many states say they don’t have enough supplies to hand them over. In the past month, cases have tripled and deaths have increased six times – but vaccinations are down 40%.
The southern state of Karnataka has suspended vaccinations for the 18-44 age bracket at government-run centers, and a number of states are trying to get shots directly from overseas to address a domestic shortage. On Sunday, health officials said around 5 million doses will be shipped to the states this week.
India has the second highest number of cases after the US with more than 24 million confirmed infections and over 270,000 deaths.
BEIJING – China is rolling out new controls in a northeastern province believed to have seen several new cases of COVID-19.
China reported five new local transmission cases on Monday, all in Liaoning province or believed to be related to its cases.
Checkpoints have been set up at toll stations, airports and train stations in three cities in Liaoning, and travelers will be required to have proof of a recent negative virus test, according to state media reports on Monday. Mass tests were ordered in part of Yingkou, a port city with shipping links to more than 40 countries.
China had largely stopped the transmission of the coronavirus domestically through public restrictions, contact tracing, mass testing and, increasingly, vaccinations. Health officials suggest that the domestic cases may have spread through contact with an imported case.
China has reported 90,872 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,636 deaths since the virus was discovered in Wuhan in late 2019.