The Delta variant is scary. Israel in the face of an increase in infections, he postpones the opening of the country to tourists to August 1, restoring the obligation of masks in closed places. The reason is explained by the Minister of Health: the Pfizer vaccine loses its effectiveness against the Delta variant, the most contagious.
A loss of efficacy of about 30%, tripled compared to the 10% estimated in June: while not preventing infections, the vaccine continues to protect against hospitalization and death. The reduction in the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 – which according to the Israeli ministry is now at 64 percent compared to the initial 94.3 percent in May, when the variant first diagnosed in India was less widespread – it therefore entails measures of prudence and protection, such as those already used. But it does not mean that the vaccine is ineffective or does not work: its task, in fact, is to protect against the consequences of the Sars-Cov-2 infection, very serious and even fatal consequences.
UK reopens from 19 July
The Covid epidemic has resumed racing in the United Kingdom, again due to the Delta variant, but the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced the reopening of England for July 19. Via the obligation of masks and limits to social interactions smart working will no longer be required. In addition, all pubs, night clubs and discos will reopen, with no limits to the number of people admitted. Commercial establishments and businesses will be able to decide independently to request immunization tests from patrons, but there will be no type of vaccination pass in force. In case of contact with a positive, self-isolation remains valid but those who have already received two doses will be able to avoid it.
New record of deaths in Russia from causes attributable to the coronavirus. This was announced by the Russian task force in charge of monitoring the progress of the pandemic in the country, reporting 737 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total death toll is thus updated to 139,316. Almost double, compared to the official figures provided by the Moscow government, is instead the death toll according to the federal statistical office which speaks of about 270 thousand deaths from April last year to April 2021. With regard to infections, on the last day 23,378 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, including 5,498 in Moscow.
Germany eases travel restrictions
Germany is lifting travel restrictions to Britain, Portugal, Russia, India and Nepal introduced to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Robert Koch Institute, in charge of monitoring the progress of the pandemic in the country, said the easing of measures began today. Great Britain had been inserted by Berlin into the risk areas as of 23 May. Last Tuesday it was also the turn of Russia and Portugal.
Alert also in Spain
The authorities of some regions of Spain are evaluating the application of new health restrictions following the explosion of infections, especially among young people, in their territories. Navarre, the northern region, was the first to announce new measures: from 7 July, nightclubs will have to close no later than one in the morning. Even in Catalonia, where positive cases among the under 30s are skyrocketing, the authorities are about to announce new restrictions, even if which ones have not been decided: this was stated by Laura Vilagrà, councilor for the presidency of the regional government, in a ‘ interview on Catalan public television. Also in the Valencian Community, in Murcia and in the Basque Country, the application of new restrictions is not ruled out.
The virus runs in Africa
In the last week, 36,000 new infections have been recorded per day, a record since the beginning of the pandemic. The WHO has raised the alarm on the Delta variant and on the effects in African countries, with a “third aggressive wave” of infections and deaths, which have registered a + 15%. Among the most affected with over 1,000 daily infections, the main increases were observed in Zimbabwe (1,150 cases per day, + 72% in a week), Tunisia (5,230 cases per day, + 52%) and South Africa, where the most half of the new cases detected in the continent (19,140 per day, + 27%). Only 1.2% of the population is fully vaccinated in Africa.
Yesterday Brazil recorded 695 new deaths from Covid-19, for a total that has now reached 525,112 since the start of the pandemic. In addition, 22,703 new infections were also reported, with the total number of confirmed infections in the country rising to 18,792,511. San Paolo is concerned, the city that has the heaviest toll both in terms of victims and infections, where the first case of the Delta variant has been identified, while three other suspected infections are under observation. Other cases of the Delta variant have already been identified in the country, including two that proved fatal.
Still dramatic numbers in India even if in sharp decline compared to the past few weeks. According to new data from the New Delhi Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours there have been 34,703 new infections and 553 deaths for a total of 30,619,932 infections, of which 403,281 proved to be lethal. Victims are also decreasing, 170 fewer than those surveyed yesterday.
Australia, no Formula 1 and MotoGp
For the second consecutive year, due to the restrictions and logistical problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the organizers of the Formula 1 and MotoGp Grand Prix in Australia have canceled the events.
Tokyo: Covid risk, no public along the marathon
At the Tokyo Olympics the public will be asked not to arrange themselves along the route of the marathon, for the fear that gatherings of the public could spread the infections from Covid, as the organizers explained. «In light of the current Covid situation, it will be necessary to reduce the risk of infection by restricting the movement of the public. It was therefore decided to ask the public to refrain from assisting along the way, ”said the organizers in a statement.