KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia says it will relax lockdown restrictions on fully vaccinated people as the government seeks to allay public anger against perceived mismanagement of the pandemic.
Daily infections broke through for the first time on Thursday, despite a lockdown since June 1, 20,000. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Sunday the government had decided to give the fully vaccinated some leeway as “many face pandemic fatigue”.
Starting Tuesday, spouses will be able to cross districts to meet with parents whose children are studying in other states.
Muhyiddin said local tourism, contactless outdoor sports and exercise, and dining at restaurants are also allowed in at least eight states and areas where cases have dropped.
So far, 35% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated, and Muhyiddin said that should increase to 50% by the end of August.
Malaysia recorded 18,688 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s number to 1.26 million. Daily deaths hit a new record of 360, bringing the number to 10,749.
MORE ABOUT PANDEMIC:
– Shake hands or not? An ancient human gesture now pending
– Europe will catch up with the US on vaccinations as soon as it lags behind
– Iran reports the most daily virus cases, deaths, pandemics
– American motorists who are on the highways in the summer
– For more AP coverage, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia says the family of every medical worker who died fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the kingdom will be given half a million rials, the equivalent of $ 133,000.
An announcement made on Sunday said the financial award would go to all health care workers who died from complications from the virus, including non-Saudis and staff who worked in the private sector.
The Ministry of Health has not publicly stated how many of the Kingdom’s 8,320 pandemic deaths have involved health workers.
Saudi Arabia, with a population of 30 million, has administered nearly 30 million doses of vaccines. Fewer than 1,000 new cases are currently reported to the kingdom each day.
At the start of the pandemic, King Salman ordered the government to pay for medical treatment for COVID-19 patients in the country. The kingdom has had nearly 533,000 confirmed cases in total and currently has around 1,400 classified as critical.
PORTLAND, Maine – American drivers step on the gas during the pandemic and police are concerned as the streets get crowded with last summer’s trip.
The latest data shows that the number of road deaths in 2020 was the highest in more than a decade, despite the fact that cars and trucks have driven fewer kilometers due to the pandemic.
“Summer is an incredibly dangerous time. And it culminates with Labor Day, that last hurray, ”said Pam Shadel Fischer of the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Traffic data suggests that the higher death toll was related to higher average speeds coupled with higher numbers of people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and a slight decrease in seat belt use.
California Highway Patrol tickets issued for over 160 mph tickets from January through June were nearly double what they were before the pandemic.
In New York state, the percentage of deaths from which speeding was the leading cause and the total number of speeding tickets increased from January through June compared to the year before the pandemic, officials said.
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says people are rushing to get a third vaccination to protect against the emerging Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Bennett pointed to government statistics on Sunday showing that more than 420,000 Israelis over 60 received a booster, more than a third of the total target population. Bennett said the number should grow to half a million people by the end of the day.
The Prime Minister spoke after a weekly cabinet meeting. Israel is seeing an increasing number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19, almost all of them infected with the highly contagious Delta variant. The government has reintroduced its indoor mask mandate and is considering further restrictions.
Israel became the world leader in vaccinating against the virus during its first public campaign. About 5.4 million of the country’s 9.3 million people have received two doses of the vaccine.
The World Health Organization has recently called for a moratorium on the use of booster syringes to preserve supplies so people in poorer countries can get their first doses.
BRUSSELS – The European Union has caught up with once-lauded U.S. coronavirus vaccination efforts despite a sluggish start.
As of mid-February, less than 4% of people living in the 27-state block were at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to nearly 12% in the United States.
Around 60% of EU citizens have now received at least one dose, compared with less than 58% of Americans.
European authorities attribute the success to nationalized health care in some countries and public confidence in the safety of vaccinations in general.
The EU’s slow approval process for the vaccinations set the block back at the beginning, but Dr. Peter Liese, a member of the European Parliament from Germany, said the deliberations paid off because it reassured people that the rapidly evolving COVID vaccine formulas had been thoroughly evaluated.
However, not everything is good in the EU. The discrepancies between the member states are enormous. For example, in the Netherlands, 85% of adults have received at least one dose. In Bulgaria it is less than 20%.
As employees return to the office, friends reunite, and more services shift from Zoom to face-to-face, the question of whether to shake hands is baffling more and more people.
The handshake has been around for centuries. A common belief is that it was created to prove to someone that a person is offering peace and is not holding a hidden weapon.
Nowadays a handshake can symbolize a connection, especially after a long time without being touched. But hands can be germinal. And that is exactly where the conflict lies. Will the handshake ever come back? The answer depends on who you ask.
As the pandemic hit the United States, a meeting and event planning company in the Kansas City area began selling “I Shake Hands” stickers to facilitate awkward social encounters.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the “leading infectious disease expert in the US,” warned last year: “To be honest, we should never shake hands again.”
On the other hand is Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. He thinks the whole trembling controversy is exaggerated.
TEHERAN – Iran has reported more new infections and deaths across the country than any other day since the pandemic began.
Health officials recorded over 39,600 new cases and 542 deaths from the virus. Sunday’s daily death toll broke November’s previous record. The new all-time highs push the total number of infections in Iran to over 4.1 million and the number of deaths from pandemics to over 94,000, most in the Middle East.
The rush of new cases, fueled by the rapidly expanding Delta variant, has overwhelmed the hospitals. The country has never seen so many COVID-19 patients in critical condition, with 6,462 more severe cases reported on Sunday.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered officials last week to discuss the possibility of a full national shutdown. The government has been reluctant to enforce such a lockdown for fear of the damage it would do to an economy afflicted by years of American sanctions.
According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data project, only 3.3% of the total population of around 80 million people are fully vaccinated.
HARERE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls are usually teeming with tourists marveling at the roaring Zambezi River, which plunges more than 108 meters into the gorge below, creating a mist that can be seen from afar.
“The Smoke That Thunders” – the English translation of what the waterfall means in the Sotho language – is still powerful, but the COVID-19 pandemic has turned visitors into a trickle. Typically, Victoria Falls attracts 350,000 tourists annually, but the number has dropped to almost none due to travel restrictions.
To promote Victoria Falls as a safe travel destination, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has provided vaccines to all 35,000 residents of the city that bears the name of the falls. An estimated 60% of the people there have been vaccinated with either the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, both from China.
Although tourists have not returned in large numbers, Victoria Falls has largely been spared the current wave of COVID-19 that has swept across the rest of Zimbabwe and southern Africa, attributing health officials to the city’s relatively high vaccination levels.
Due to the vaccination rate in Victoria Falls, the government reopened two land borders last week that connect the city with neighboring countries Zambia, Namibia and Botswana.
TORONTO – An Italian professional tennis player was removed from qualifying rounds at a tournament in Toronto for leaving the “controlled environment” designed to keep players and their teammates from contracting COVID-19.
Tennis Canada and the ATP men’s tour announced on Saturday that Lorenzo Musetti in 60th place will not be allowed to participate in the National Bank Open.
Musetti is a 19-year-old who reached the fourth round in his Grand Slam debut at the French Open in June.
He even took a two-set lead against number 1 Novak Djokovic at this point, before finally quitting due to lower back pain and cramps while playing 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0 behind, 4-0.
Tennis Canada and the ATP said that in the Canadian Health Authority’s letter of approval that allowed the tournament to continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, “Any person who leaves the controlled environment is in breach of the COVID-19 protocol and cannot do so “. participate again to attend the event. “
Musetti was replaced by Max Purcell in qualifying.