The Australian Grand Prix Formula One race planned for November has been canceled. Japanese Emperor Naruhito has received his first vaccine dose, while Tokyo is considering tighter alcohol restrictions, according to local media.
Elsewhere in Asia, Vietnam is going to extraordinary lengths to protect its reputation as a vital cog in the global tech supply chain — with thousands of workers sleeping on factory floors to minimize disruption amid a resurgence of local cases.
The delta variant continues to boost case numbers worldwide, with Indonesia and Bangladesh reporting record infections.
Japanese Emperor Receives Vaccine Shot (6:50 a.m. HK)
Japanese Emperor Naruhito received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday at the Akasaka Imperial Residence in Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK reports, citing the Imperial Household Agency.
Tokyo May Tighten Alcohol Restrictions (6:20 a.m. HK)
The Japanese government is considering tighter alcohol restrictions in Tokyo and its three surrounding prefectures as it struggles to contain Covid outbreak in the capital area, Nikkei reports, without citing anyone.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and relevant cabinet ministers reached agreement Tuesday that stricter restrictions on alcohol are needed if the government were to extend its controling measures in the area.
Pentagon Mulls Mandatory Troop Vaccination (5:40 a.m. HK)
Pentagon officials are discussing whether to require troops to take Covid-19 vaccines as the Food and Drug Administration moves toward full approval of the shots, top military spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.
Mexico Allows Vaccinations for all residents older than 18 (5:30 a.m. HK)
Mexico opened registrations for Covid-19 vaccines to the entire population over 18, an attempt to fulfill the government’s promise that all adults would have at least one dose by October.
Currently, 37% of the adult population has a shot, according to government statistics, but a rise in the number of Covid cases in recent weeks has led the country to speed up vaccine distribution.
British & Irish Lions Rugby Tour of S. Africa Disrupted (3 p.m. NY)
The British & Irish Lions rugby team’s tour of South Africa has been disrupted by a wave of Covid-19 infections in the country. Four Georgian players along with five South African players and six members of the South African team’s management including head coach Jacques Nienaberhave tested positive for the disease.
Botswana’s Beer Tie to Virus Challenged (1:43 p.m. NY)
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s division in Botswana filed a lawsuit against the government for banning alcohol sales to combat the spread of Covid-19, saying there’s no scientific basis for the move and 200,000 jobs are under threat.
Kgalagadi Breweries Ltd. filed the claim in the High Court in Gaborone, according to a statement on Tuesday. The prohibition is having a devastating impact on the industry and its “extensive value chain,” spokesman Masegonyana Madisa said.
Long Covid Threat for U.K. Young (12:52 p.m. NY)
So-called long Covid is set to soar among younger people in England when remaining coronavirus restrictions are lifted, England’s chief medical officer warned.
“Since there’s a lot of Covid at the moment and the rates are going up, I regret to say I think we will get a significant amount more long Covid — particularly in the younger ages where the vaccination rates are currently much lower,” Chris Witty said at the Local Government Association’s virtual conference Tuesday.
Long Covid occurs when a wide range of health problems keep happening weeks or months after patients seemingly recover from even a mild case.
On Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans Monday to end social distancing and capacity limits at venues in England from July 19, with a final decision to be taken next week. Health Minister Sajid Javid, meanwhile, warned that new cases could rise to 100,000 a day over the summer.
Greece Re-tightens Bar, Club Limits (12:11 p.m. NY)
Greece plans to re-tighten pandemic measures on bars and clubs after 1,797 new cases were recorded Tuesday, the highest daily increase since June 1.
The spike in cases was associated with younger adults attending large night-time entertainment venues, Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Tuesday. From July 8, such venues will revert to seated spaces only with capacity limitations, according to Hardalias.
MRNA Vaccine Gains Outweigh Heart Risk (11:07 a.m. NY)
The benefits of messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines clearly outweigh the risks despite heart complications seen in a relatively small number of mostly young men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Roughly 1,200 cases of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart wall, were reported in people who received mRNA vaccines, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Tuesday. But with about 296 million doses of mRNA vaccines having been administered as of June 11, the benefit is clear in all populations, including adolescents and young adults, the researchers reported.
Vaccines made by Moderna Inc. and the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE partnership are the only mRNA inoculations authorized for emergency use in the U.S. The issue was first explored in a June 23 meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Netherlands Cases Rise (9:45 a.m. NY)
Weekly coronavirus cases in the Netherlands more than doubled from the prior week. The national health service reported 8,541 infections on Tuesday, a significant rise from the 4,208 cases reported on June 29.
At least 180 people contracted Covid-19 after visiting the Aspen Valley nightclub in Enschede on June 26, reports the Dutch news agency ANP, citing the local health service.
Health minister Hugo de Jonge has asked that people only visit a nightclub two weeks after they have been fully vaccinated, adding that this adjustment to the rules will take effect “in the short term.”
U.S. Vaccines Headed to Africa (9:28 a.m. NY)
The African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have advised health ministers on the continent that they have 15 million Covid-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. ready for distribution.
The shipment, to be distributed by the vaccine-sharing initiative Covax, consists of 5 million Johnson & Johnson doses, administered in a single shot, and 10 million doses of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine, given in two shots. The advisory, seen by Bloomberg, came in a July 5 communication from the two groups to member states.
Bangladesh Sees Record Cases in Day (8:19 a.m. NY)
Bangladesh on Tuesday reported a record 11,525 virus cases, raising the overall tally to 966,406 as the delta variant spreads in both urban and rural areas despite a stringent lockdown.
The South Asian nation logged 163 new deaths from the disease.
The government has redeployed doctors to the Covid-19 units of hospitals in remote districts, according to Health Minister Zahid Maleque. Bangladesh extended its lockdown measures by a week to July 14.
“Urgent action” is needed to increase vaccine supplies for Bangladesh as “hospitals reach capacity and oxygen supplies run short across the country,” the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in an emailed statement.
U.K. to End Isolation for Vaccinated Contacts (7:49 a.m. NY)
From Aug. 16, “anyone who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been fully vaccinated,” U.K. government Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in Parliament. School-aged children under age 18 will also no longer have to automatically isolate if exposed to the virus.
Javid warned on Tuesday that new cases could rise to 100,000 a day over the summer as the country prepares to relax rules on July 19.
“By the time we get to the 19th, we would expect case numbers by then to be at least double what they are now, so around 50,000 new cases a day,” Javid said on the BBC Radio “Today Programme.” “As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly and they could go as high as 100,000 case numbers.”
What matters most is that the link with hospitalization and death “has been severely weakened,” he said.