Focus on the world’s COVID-19 (20210705)

UK to outline final step in lockdown easing pathway

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans for the final step of easing lockdown in England on Monday, including guidance on social distancing, face coverings and working from home, the government said, Ruters reports.

The remaining legal restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease are due to be lifted on July 19, with the decision whether to go ahead scheduled for July 12.

Data suggests that infections will continue to rise as restrictions are eased, but the link to hospitalisations and deaths has been weakened by the vaccination programme, the government said.

People will learn to live with the virus as they do already with flu, Johnson is expected to say, meaning that hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths will continue but at a much lower level than before widespread vaccination.

“Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination program, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap,” Johnson said in a statement. “But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.

“As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgement when going about our lives.”

The take-up of vaccines in Britain has been strong, with 86 percent of adults receiving a first dose and 64 percent receiving two doses as of Sunday, government data shows.

However, infections have risen in recent weeks, driven by the now-dominant Delta variant, and the final step of lockdown easing was delayed by four weeks to enable more people to be vaccinated.

Data from Public Health England shows that vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalisation from this variant, the government said.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Sunday face masks would no longer be mandatory after the final step in lockdown easing.

Britain logs 24,248 new coronavirus infections

Britain reported 24,248 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, down from 24,885 on Saturday, and 15 deaths from the disease within 28 days of a positive test, down from 18, according to government data.

A total of 45,274,497 people have received a first dose of vaccine and 33,614,952 have received two doses, the government said.

US completes 330.6 million doses of coronavirus vaccinations

The United States has administered 330,604,253 doses of vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning and distributed 383,068,740 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, Reuters reports.

Those figures are up from the 329,970,551 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by July 3 out of 383,067,560 doses delivered.

The agency said 182,412,776 people had received at least one dose while 157,323,738 people are fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech , as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine as of 6 a.m. ET (1000 GMT) on Sunday.

830 more die in Brazil from coronavirus disease

Brazil registered 27,783 new coronavrus disease infections and 830 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

That brought the total in Brazil to 18,769,808 patients and 524,417 deaths from the coronavirus disease.

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