[Pandemia: Virus Outbreak]Covid

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  Authorities in Sydney are rejecting calls from some health experts for Australia’s most-populous city to enter lockdown to control a delta strain outbreak, despite case numbers almost doubling to 31 in the past two days. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it may require employees to be vaccinated as the bank begins to reopen offices.

  Women are more likely to develop persistent symptoms after a coronavirus infection, a condition known as “Long Covid,” a survey conducted in England shows. In the U.S., public-health leaders sought to reassure Americans that Covid-19 shots are safe after reports of post-vaccination heart inflammation cases.

  Hong Kong’s plan to shorten quarantines sparked a wave of searches on travel websites by residents desperate to fly abroad. Japan is considering approving AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and Singapore is preparing a roadmap to reopening.

  Global Tracker: Cases exceed 179.5 million; deaths pass 3.89 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 2.71 billion doses administeredU.K. optimism grows that shots end link between cases and deathsTop U.S. health officials tout vaccines after reports of heart risksShorter Hong Kong quarantine sparks rush to book travel againCan I be required to get vaccinated against Covid-19?: QuickTakecovid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution-world-vaccination-inline

  South Africa’s daily Covid-19 infections rose to 17,493, the highest number recorded in the country’s third resurgence of the virus.

  The number of infections, announced by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases on Wednesday, is the highest since Jan. 14. Of those tested 24.9% were positive for Covid-19 and 62% of the new infections were in the commercial hub of Gauteng, the NICD said.

  The Vietnamese government will accelerate vaccinations nationwide and plans to administer 300,000 to 500,000 shots a day nationwide in the next six months, according to a post on the government’s website.

  The government expects to receive 110 million to 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from different sources in the second half of the year, it said, citing Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen.

  Details of the genetic makeup of some of the earliest samples of coronavirus in China were removed from an American database where they were initially stored at the request of Chinese researchers, U.S. officials confirmed, adding to concerns over secrecy surrounding the outbreak and its origins.

  The data, first submitted to the U.S.-based Sequence Read Archive in March 2020, were “requested to be withdrawn” by the same researcher three months later in June, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said in a statement Wednesday. The genetic sequences came from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the Covid-19 outbreak was initially concentrated.

  The reason cited at the time for withdrawal was that the sequence information had been updated and was being submitted to another database, the agency said. The researcher asked that the data be removed “to avoid version control issues,” it said.

  A second member of the Uganda Olympics delegation that arrived in Japan last week for the summer games has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the Uganda Olympic Committee posted on Twitter. Both cases are asymptomatic, and the entire group from Uganda had been fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca PLC vaccine, according to the committee.

  Prime Minister Scott Morrison is backing health authorities in Sydney to control an outbreak of the Delta strain of the coronavirus without going into a full lockdown, even as some say stronger measures are needed as the cluster spreads.

  The outbreak almost doubled on Wednesday from the day before to 31 cases. While New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has barred about 1 million of Sydney’s population of 6 million from leaving, there’s concern the virus is quickly spreading in the local community and may get out of control.

  Greater Covid-19 Restrictions Imposed On Sydney As Cases Surge

  Workers wipe down a tram in the CBD in Sydney on June 24.

  Photographer: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

  ”I commend Premier Berejiklian for resisting going into a full lockdown,” Morrison said in a TV interview Thursday.

  He said calls from some sections of the business community to abandon Australia’s so-called “Covid zero” strategy, which frequently triggers localized lockdowns, would mean that “we would have to be comfortable with 5,000 cases a day. Now, I don’t think Australians would be happy with that.”

  Singapore plans to speed up vaccination while preparing for how to reopen under the likely possibility that Covid-19 might be controlled in the city-state but may never fully go away, three of the city-state’s key ministers wrote in a column in a local newspaper.

  “We are drawing up a road map to transit to this new normal, in tandem with the achievement of our vaccination milestones, though we know the battle against Covid-19 will continue to be fraught with uncertainty,” Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung jointly wrote in The Straits Times on Thursday.

  The island nation is trying to manage a cautious reopening, looking to quell potential clusters until more people are vaccinated. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said mass vaccination is key to allowing the trade hub to more fully reopen, including relaxing mask, social distancing and travel rules.

  JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it may require employees to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, as Wall Street’s biggest banks ramp up efforts to keep thousands of personnel safe while reopening U.S. workplaces.

  The nation’s largest bank is ordering workers to fill out a questionnaire on their vaccination status by the end of this month, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and other members of the operating committee wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday. Employees who don’t respond will be contacted by managers until they do.

  Midtown Manhattan As Cuomo Lifts Covid Mandates After Reaching 70% Vaccine Goal

  The JP Morgan Chase & Co headquarters in New York.

  Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

  “We need you to enter this information so that we can properly prepare for and manage returning to the office,” the executives said in the memo. “In the future, we may mandate that all employees receive a Covid-19 vaccination consistent with legal requirements and medical or religious accommodations.”

  Women are more likely to develop persistent symptoms after a coronavirus infection, a condition known as Long Covid, and their risk increases with age, according to a survey of more than 500,000 adults in England.

  Nearly one fifth said they had contracted Covid-19, according to the React-2 study from Imperial College London. One third of those who experienced symptoms had at least one of them linger for 12 weeks or more. That equates to more than 2 million people nationwide, the researchers concluded.

  Indian Economy Faces Resilience Test Amid Risks From Virus

  Women wait in line to register at a Covid-19 testing site at a village in Uttar Pradesh, India earlier in May.

  Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

  “Symptoms are subjective and if people attribute them to Covid, it’s something we’re going to have to understand better,” said Helen Ward, one of the researchers and a professor of public health at Imperial College London. Further research is needed to determine if the symptoms stemmed from ‘Long Covid’ or another health problem, she said.

  Japan’s health ministry is considering approving AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 18 and older for public use, though recommending it to only those aged 60 and above, Kyodo reports, citing an unidentified person.

  Hong Kong’s plan to shorten quarantine sparked a wave of searches on travel websites by residents desperate to fly abroad, even if it means a week of isolation in a hotel room and Covid tests galore upon return. Hong Kong search traffic on travel-booking website Skyscanner Ltd. soared 43% Monday, when the government said quarantine would be cut to seven days from June 30 for fully vaccinated residents arriving from all but the riskiest virus hotspots.

  Cathay Pacific Aircraft At Hong Kong International Airport As Airline Reports Earnings Results

  An aircraft takes off from the Hong Kong International Airport.

  Photographer: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg

  U.S. public-health leaders sought to reassure Americans that Covid-19 shots are safe and to get vaccinated after reports that a relatively small number of mostly young men had suffered a heart problem after being immunized.

  About 1,200 cases of heart inflammation have been reported in people who received messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers were reported at a Wednesday meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

  After the numbers were made public, top U.S. health officials, regulators and doctors said that the risk potentially posed by shots developed by the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE partnership and Moderna Inc. is extremely low, and that it is much more likely that the coronavirus itself would pose a serious threat to people’s health.

  South Africa’s daily Covid-19 infections rose to 17,493, the highest number recorded in the country’s third resurgence of the virus.

  The number of infections, announced by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases on Wednesday, is the highest since Jan. 14. Of those tested 24.9% were positive for Covid-19 and 62% of the new infections were in the commercial hub of Gauteng, the NICD said.

  More than 1,200 cases of heart inflammation have been reported in people who received messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  The numbers were reported at a Wednesday meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is weighing heart risks from the vaccines. The meeting is expected to be wide-ranging, with discussion of heart inflammation, booster shots and the use of mRNA vaccines in adolescents.

  New York City will begin offering free at-home vaccinations to anyone who wants one, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

  The city, faced with full vaccination rates of 27% among Black residents and 35% among Hispanics, has tried education and free giveaways as inducements to increase inoculations among those groups, with limited success. White residents have been fully vaccinated at a rate of 43%, according to city Health Department statistics, highlighting the disparity.

  Mobile Covid-19 Vaccine Buses Offer Shots At NYC Beaches

  A mobile Covid-19 vaccine clinic at Brighton Beach in the Brooklyn borough of New York earlier in May.

  Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

  “We’re going to keep innovating in incentivizing people,” de Blasio said in a briefing Wednesday. The program will expand on a homebound campaign that has so far delivered 15,000 shots to people where they live. The city will expand the program with home deliveries to anyone who fills out a form on the city website, nyc.gov/homevaccine.

  An estimated 20 million individuals in the U.S. were likely infected with Covid-19 by mid-July of last year, about 17 million more than previously thought, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health scientists published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. The data suggest that during that time period, for every one diagnosed case there were nearly five undiagnosed cases.

  While the researchers said the findings speak to the prevalence of asymptomatic coronavirus infections, they also likely reflect a dearth of Covid-19 diagnostic testing infrastructure.

  The results were based on blood samples obtained from about 8,000 volunteers, which were tested for coronavirus antibodies. Some of the positivity rates were among people of color, particularly Black individuals; residents of mid-Atlantic and Northeast states; adults ages 18 to 44; people living in cities; and women, the study found.

  Seychelles, which has inoculated a greater proportion of its population than any other country, said it remains unsure how effective the shots it has administered are and will have to determine if boosters are required.

  “We don’t know yet the validity of these vaccines. So once that is clear we will look at the additional booster shots that we need to offer,” Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Sylvestre Radegonde told the Qatar Economic Forum on Wednesday.

  The delta strain could put a halt to Europe's improving virus numbers

  Source: Johns Hopkins

  Note: Figures are totals, not scaled for population. Spanish/French numbers adjusted for revisions.

  

  — With assistance by Linly Lin, Felix Tam, Shirley Zhao, Henry Goldman, Emma Court, Jerrold Colten, and Katharine Gemmell

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