Britain Expected to Delay Lifting COVID-related Restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the delay of the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions due to the growing presence in the U.K. of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India.

A prominent British epidemiologist told the BBC that she supports the delay. Sian Griffiths said, “From a public health point of view, we’re seeing the cases increase, we’re seeing a slight increase in hospitalization in areas where there are a lot of cases, and the vaccination does work, but we need to get second doses into everybody over 50 and expand the vaccination program to keep everybody safe. I think waiting a little bit longer to sustain the progress is necessary.”

On Sunday, India’s Health Ministry reported 80,834 new COVID cases in the previous 24-hour period. The tally is the country's lowest new case count in 71 days. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said early Sunday that India has more than 29 million COVID cases.

Only the U.S., which has reported more than 33 million infections, has more cases than India, according to Hopkins.

Meanwhile, Russian officials are encouraging its citizens to get vaccinated as the country is experiencing a concerning uptick in COVID cases, especially in Moscow. Russia reported more than 13,000 new cases Saturday.

In Japan, All Nippon Airways is vaccinating pilots and cabin attendants on international flights. Japan is attempting to get an increasing number of shots into the arms of its citizens as the country prepares to host the Olympics in about six weeks.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro was fined $100 for not wearing a mask at an “Accelerate for Christ” motorcycle rally in Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria had warned the president he would be fined if he did not adhere to state regulations about masks.

Brazil follows the U.S. and India in the number of COVID infections with 17.4 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

The global count for COVID infections is 175.7 million, Johns Hopkins reported early Sunday, with 3.8 million deaths.

Source: Voice of America