JERUSALEM – Israel’s new prime minister is urging young people across the country to get vaccinated as the number of coronavirus cases has risen in recent days due to a localized outbreak of the Delta variant.
Naftali Bennett’s comments came at a government meeting Sunday in Jerusalem.
“We don’t want to put any restrictions: not on parties, travel or anything like that. But precisely because of this, if you don’t want restrictions, go get your shot today. Talk to your parents and get vaccinated, ”he said.
Israel reinstated an indoors mask mandate amid an increase in new infections over the past week. The Israeli Ministry of Health recorded 113 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday.
The prime minister also said the government had appointed a special director responsible for managing the country’s border crossings – with particular emphasis on Israel’s main international airport – and preventing the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases.
Bennett said the appointment of Roni Numa, a former army general, is aimed at stepping up the country’s efforts “to prevent the entry of this virus and its variants and other future viruses from around the world into Israel.” .
Many of the new cases reported over the past week have been attributed to people arriving from overseas.
MORE ABOUT THE PANDEMIC
– What should I know about the delta variant?
– UK virus cases hit their highest level since February 5 as part of the ‘Gab a jab’ initiative
– Russia imposes vaccination for some as virus cases increase
– Finland sees spike in virus cases among football fans returning from Russia
– Fort Benning Commanding General urges people to get vaccinated to protect soldiers
Follow more information on AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The head of Malaysia has said the country will indefinitely extend a nearly full lockdown that has been in place for a month, as coronavirus infections remain high.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday the lockdown would not be relaxed unless new daily cases fall below 4,000, the vaccination rate reaches 10% and the demand for intensive care in hospitals is reduced. . The national Bernama news agency quoted Muhyiddin as saying he hopes this will happen by mid-July.
Containment was due to expire on Monday.
Daily new cases have stubbornly remained above 5,000, with the health ministry reporting 5,586 new infections on Sunday, bringing the country’s tally to 734,048 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths.
Only 6% of Malaysia’s 33 million people have been fully vaccinated so far, but the government has stepped up its vaccination efforts.
Malaysia has halted most economic and social activities since June 1, after daily cases reached more than 9,000 cases.
It was the second national lockdown in more than a year and is expected to hurt its economic recovery. The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for Malaysia to 4.5% this year, from an earlier estimate of 6%.
LONDON – The UK has recorded its newest coronavirus infections since early February, as the National Health Service launches a ‘win a blow’ initiative to further increase vaccination rates.
Government figures on Saturday showed another 18,270 people tested positive for the virus across the UK, the highest daily number since February 5.
In the past week, nearly 100,000 have tested positive, an increase of about 50% from the previous week. This has raised questions about whether the lockdown restrictions will end as planned.
Daily cases have increased quite sharply in recent weeks due to the delta variant, which was first identified in India and is considered by government scientists to be between 40% and 80% more transmissible than the strain. dominant previous. It represents almost all new cases in the UK
Most of the new confirmed cases are from younger age groups who have not yet received COVID-19 vaccines. The latest spike came as hundreds of walk-in vaccination sites, including stadiums and shopping centers, opened in England over the weekend in a bid to boost the number of vaccines, especially among younger age groups.
Croatian striker Ivan Perišić has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the game against Spain in the round of 16 of the European Championship.
Perišić will have to isolate himself for 10 days, the Croatian team said in a statement on Saturday. The rest of the team and the technical staff have tested negative.
“The medical staff isolated Ivan from the other members of the national team,” said the Croatian team, “and immediately and fully informed the relevant epidemiological authorities of the situation, providing proof of compliance with all necessary measures aimed at to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. “
The quarantine period will also sideline Perišić if the 2018 World Cup finalists reach the quarter-finals on Friday and the semi-finals on July 6.
Perišić scored in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Scotland, which Billy Gilmour was missing after the midfielder tested positive for the coronavirus. No other Scottish player has been asked to isolate himself.
Croatia has returned to its home country from Glasgow. The Euro 2020 squad, minus Perišić, is due to fly from Pula to Copenhagen on Sunday to face Spain the next day.
GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization lamented the lack of coronavirus vaccines immediately given by rich countries to the developing world.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday there was nothing to discuss at a recent meeting of an advisory group established to allocate vaccines.
In his words: “There are no vaccines to allocate.”
Tedros says concerns raised by some donors that African countries do not have the infrastructure to deliver vaccines or that there are issues of vaccine hesitation are of no consequence. He criticized rich countries for using this as a “pretext” not to give vaccines.
RALEIGH, NC – In the two weeks since the state of North Carolina announced that four million dollar prizes would be awarded to vaccinated adults, fewer than 118,000 residents, or about 1% of the state’s population came for a first dose.
Less than half of North Carolinians eligible for a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, even though there are more than 2.1 million doses waiting on the shelves for residents to take.
North Carolina ranks 12th in the country for vaccines administered per capita, according to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
WASHINGTON – U.S. health officials have cleared emergency use of another antibody drug to help hospital patients with the most dangerous cases of COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday evening it was authorizing Roche’s drug Actemra for hospital patients who are already receiving steroids, oxygen and other measures to fight COVID-19.
When added to these treatments, studies have shown that Roche’s medicine reduces the risk of death and shortens the time in hospital.
Actemra does not directly target the coronavirus but rather helps reduce inflammation, a driver of the disease. It is already approved for rheumatoid arthritis and several other diseases.
GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization has said the COVID-19 variant first seen in India, also known as the delta variant, is “the most transmissible of the variants identified to date” and that it is now spreading to at least 85 countries.
During a press briefing on Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the UN agency was concerned about the growing reach of the delta variant, especially among unvaccinated populations.
“We are starting to see an increase in transmission around the world,” Tedros said, adding that “more cases means more hospitalizations… which increases the risk of death”. The WHO previously said two doses of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines appeared to offer strong protection against the variant first seen in India, but warned of lack of access to vaccines in poor countries – which have received less than 2% of the billion doses administered so far – making them extremely vulnerable.
Tedros also said the uncontrolled circulation of the coronavirus could lead to the emergence of even more variants.
“New variations are expected and will continue to be reported,” Tedros said. “That’s what viruses do. They are evolving, ”he said. “But we can prevent the emergence of variants by preventing transmission.”
AMSTERDAM – The European Medicines Agency has approved a new manufacturing site for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, in a move that is expected to boost production of the single-dose vaccine in all 27 countries across the EU.
In a statement released Friday, the European medicines regulator said the new Anagni site in Italy would complete manufacture of the J&J vaccine, which was cleared for use in adults across Europe in March. Production problems have blocked the deployment of J&J throughout the European Union in recent months and millions of doses made in a US factory have had to be discarded due to contamination concerns.
The EU has ordered 200 million doses of the J&J vaccine and expected 55 million by the end of June; to date, less than 14 million doses have been distributed.
J & J’s vaccine rollout was also blocked after the EMA concluded that there was a “possible link” between the coronavirus vaccine and very rare blood clots and recommended that a warning be added to the label. Health officials say the benefits of the vaccine still far outweigh the risks.
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