Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.
Germany’s national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said late Monday that Britain, Portugal, Russia, India and Nepal will be removed from the country’s highest risk category of “virus variant areas” effective Wednesday. They will move into the second-highest category of “high-incidence areas.”
Meanwhile Israel will deliver about 700,000 expiring doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine to South Korea later this month, and South Korea will give Israel back the same number, already on order from Pfizer, in September and October.
More on these stories shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key developments from the last few hours:
- Indonesia is calling for oxygen to be redirected to its hospitals, where there are major shortages. During an oxygen outage at a hospital in Yogyakarta city on Saturday 33 people died. Indonesia reported on Monday a record 29,745 new coronavirus infections and 558 deaths, health ministry data showed.
- Save the Children said more vaccines need to reach Indonesia to stop the spread of the virus. The charity said children are suffering from the current outbreak in Indonesia, with almost 600 killed.
- Bangladesh has suffered its worst day, with 164 deaths and 9,964 new infections. The government has extended the current lockdown into next week as hospitals on border areas struggle with the Delta variant, which was first identified across those borders in India.
- Africa recorded its record number of cases over the past week, according to a count by AFP. There were 36,000 new infection reported per day, driven by a surge in South Africa.
- England will lift regulations on wearing face masks and social distancing in public spaces. There has been strong opposition however to the idea of allowing people to ride public transport without face coverings, especially as infections are currently rising.
- Spain recorded more than 30,000 new infections since Friday, an 85% increase on the previous weekend. The Delta variant has spread among mostly unvaccinated young people.