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Delta variant brings death toll in South Africa to over 60,000 – latest updates

The new coronavirus has infected more than 182 million people and killed more than 3.9 million. Here are the latest developments related to Covid for June 29:

Undertakers wearing personal protective equipment carry a coffin during the funeral of a COVID-19 victim at Olifantsvlei cemetery, southwest of Joburg, South Africa, January 6, 2021 (Reuters)

Tuesday 29 June

New Zealand to partially restart travel bubble with Australia

New Zealand said on Tuesday it would partially resume non-quarantine travel with Australia and remove all virus brakes in place in Wellington, as no community cases have been reported in the capital after more than a week restrictions.

Non-quarantine travel will resume with South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria from July 5, COVID-19 Response Minister Chrish Hipkins said at a press conference.

Restrictions in Wellington will be relaxed from midnight Tuesday, Hipkins said.

Australia’s New South Wales sees more cases

Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), reported 19 locally acquired cases on Tuesday as it battles an outbreak of the highly contagious variant of the Delta virus.

Seventeen cases are linked to previously confirmed cases while the source of infection for two cases is under investigation

Delta variant brings death toll in South Africa to over 60,000

South Africa, the continent’s worst-hit country, crossed the threshold of 60,000 deaths from the virus on Monday, health officials said, a day after a stricter lockdown was enforced. .

At least 512 new hospital admissions were reported early on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people hospitalized to 11,801.

The health authority said 12,222 new cases had been registered in the past 24 hours, 28.3% of those tested.

Gauteng province, home to the administrative capital Pretoria and Johannesburg’s financial hub, is the current epicenter of the outbreak, accounting for around 69% of the latest daily increase.

The government and scientists announced this weekend that the highly contagious Delta variant was behind the surge in South African infections, which is testing the capacity of hospitals.

Puerto Rico to receive nearly $ 4 billion in US pandemic funds

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Puerto Rico will receive nearly $ 4 billion in federal education pandemic relief funds to help bolster the U.S. homeland’s fight against the virus.

The announcement was made during Cardona’s official three-day trip to Puerto Rico, the first for a cabinet member in the Biden administration. This is the first time that the island has had full access to these funds.

“The students of Puerto Rico have suffered enough,” he said. “It’s time to get back to school safely and quickly.

About half of the nearly $ 4 billion will be released under the American Rescue Plan Act, which was enacted in March to help offset the impact of the pandemic on the economy and public health.

Mexico reports nearly 1,700 new cases

Mexico’s health ministry reported 1,661 new confirmed cases in the country and 44 additional deaths, bringing its total to 2,507,453 infections and 232,608 deaths.

The government has said the actual number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data suggests the actual death toll is at least 60% higher than the confirmed figure.

Brazilian senators file a complaint against Bolsonaro for vaccine mischief

Three Brazilian senators formally accused President Jair Bolsonaro of embezzlement in the Supreme Court on Monday over allegations he failed to investigate a prominent ally on suspicion of massive corruption in the purchase of vaccines.

“I filed a criminal complaint today with the Supreme Court over the serious accusation that the president took no action after being informed of a massive bribery scheme at the Ministry of Health,” said a lawmaker, opposition senator Randolfe Rodrigues.

Rodrigues is the vice-chairman of a senatorial commission investigating the administration’s response to the pandemic.

Last week, the commission uncovered explosive accusations that Bolsonaro was aware of suspicion of corruption in Brazil’s $ 300 million deal for India’s Covaxin vaccine and did not intervene.

A congressman close to Bolsonaro, Luis Miranda, said the president told him he suspected the scheme was the work of Ricardo Barros, a powerful congressman who heads Bolsonaro’s coalition in the lower house.

Miranda said Bolsonaro told her in March that he would order police to investigate, but never did.

A criminal case against Bolsonaro in the Supreme Court could see him removed from his post, although attorney general Augusto Aras, an ally, is expected to lay charges.

Nigeria will receive nearly 4 million vaccines by August

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, will receive another batch of nearly four million doses of vaccine under the Covax program by August.

Covax was set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.

Nigeria, home to some 200 million people, received around four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March with which it launched a nationwide immunization program.

The virus has killed 2,119 people and infected 167,467 in Nigeria since the first index case in February last year.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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