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G7 to provide 1bn Covid-19 vaccine doses ‘to world’ – latest updates

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“The individuals are asymptomatic and currently in isolation.”

It said that the ship exceeded US Covid-19 guidelines, and all guests were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative Covid-19 test before sailing

Coronavirus has killed more than 3.78 million people and infected over 175.5 million globally. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for June 11: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 during a vaccination campaign at the Mega Mall, on the outskirts of Panama City, June 9, 2021. (AP) Friday, June 11

G7 to provide 1 bn Covid vaccine doses 'to world': UK

G7 leaders will agree to expand global Covid vaccine manufacturing to provide at least one billion doses to the world through sharing and financing schemes, Britain has said.

The announcement came after the United States said it would donate 500 million jabs to 92 poor and lower-middle-income nations.

The UK, which is hosting the big powers' gathering in southwest England, added it would donate at least 100 million surplus doses within the next year, including five million beginning in the coming weeks.

The commitments follow growing calls for richer countries to step up their efforts to share Covid-19 shots with less developed nations, with charities warning the current situation is leading to “vaccine apartheid.”

Britain, which has orders for more than 400 million doses, has faced criticism for failing to begin making donations to poorer countries.

But on the eve of welcoming world leaders from the group of seven wealthy nations to their first summit in almost two years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that would soon change.

“As a result of the success of the UK's vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them,” he said.

“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges.”

A Downing Street statement said: “At the Summit world leaders are expected to announce they will provide at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world.. and set out a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing in order to achieve that goal.”

Two cases on one of first N. American cruises since virus hit

Two guests on one of the first cruise ships to sail from North America since the Covid-19 pandemic hit tested positive, the cruise company has said, adding all passengers and crew had been vaccinated.

The Celebrity Millennium, carrying about 600 passengers and 650 crew, set sail from the Caribbean island of St Maarten on Saturday for a seven-day tour including stops in Barbados, Aruba and Curacao.

Two guests sharing a stateroom onboard Celebrity Millennium tested positive for Covid-19 while conducting the required end-of-cruise testing,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

“The individuals are asymptomatic and currently in isolation.”

It said that the ship exceeded US Covid-19 guidelines, and all guests were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative Covid-19 test before sailing.

Brazil plans to allow vaccinated people to not wear face masks – Bolsonaro

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has said that the health minister was preparing a measure to no longer require face masks for people who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus or previously infected.

Bolsonaro, who has opposed lockdowns and social distancing despite his country having the second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak, said in a speech that quarantines should be only for infected people.

“They are useful for people who are infected,” he said, adding: “Quarantines are for those who are infected.”

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said Bolsonaro has asked him for a study on the use of masks in Brazil.

The minister, however, testified this week before a Senate commission of inquiry that masks should be used to prevent transmission. He also contradicted Bolsonaro on the use of hydroxychloroquine, saying there was no evidence the anti-malaria drug is effective in treating Covid-19 patients.

Australia's Victoria reports zero cases as lockdown ends

Australia's Victoria state has reported zero locally acquired cases of Covid-19 for the first time in nearly three weeks as state capital Melbourne came out of a snap two-week lockdown after an outbreak that has seen about 90 cases since May 24.

Melbourne exited the lockdown on Thursday night but some restrictions on travel and gathering will remain, including a rule that would force the city's five million residents to stay within 25 km (15 miles) of their homes.

Neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) state and Queensland, meanwhile, are on virus alert after an infected woman and her husband travelled from Victoria through several country towns in both states.

Chile approves J&J's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

Chile's Institute of Public Health has said it had approved the emergency use of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Belgian laboratory Janssen for US pharmaceutical Johnson & Johnson.

The single-dose vaccines will arrive through the global COVAX mechanism, which distributes vaccines to low and middle-income countries and is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Vaccines Alliance (GAVI).

Chile shuts capital Santiago once more as vaccines fail to quell rampant cases

Chilean health authorities have announced a blanket lockdown across the capital Santiago following some of the worst Covid-19 case numbers since the pandemic began, despite having fully vaccinated more than half its population.

The development, which will alarm authorities elsewhere who are debating how fast to reopen as vaccination campaigns gather steam, comes as Chile's confirmed daily caseload surged 17 percent in the past two weeks nationwide and 25 percent in the Metropolitan region that includes Santiago and is home to half the country's population.

Intensive care beds in the capital region are now at 98 percent capacity. Jose Luis Espinoza, the president of Chile's National Federation of Nursing Associations (FENASENF), said his members were “on the verge of collapse.”

New federal Covid-19 safety rules exempt most employers

The Biden administration has exempted most employers from long-awaited rules for protecting workers from the coronavirus, angering labor advocates who had spent more than a year lobbying for the protections.

The Labor Department included only health care workers in its new emergency temporary standard published on Thursday.

The rules require employers to draw up a virus protection plan, and tighten requirements for recording and reporting Covid-19 cases among workers. They also require employers to provide workers with paid time off for Covid-19-related absences, including getting vaccinated and recovering from the shot's side effects.

Rather than issue mandatory rules for other workplaces, the Biden administration released new non-binding guidance that relaxed some recommendations. Most workplaces where people are fully vaccinated no longer need to provide any protection from the coronavirus, according to the guidance issued by Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for protecting workers. In a separate order, the Biden government also lifted a 25 percent cap of employer capacity inside federal buildings, though it kept in place flexible remote work policies.

Brazil's top court dismisses bids to block Copa America

Brazil's Supreme Court has rejected two of three injunctions sought to prevent the Copa America soccer tournament being held in the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 10-nation South American event is due to kick off on Sunday at Brasilia's Mane Garrincha stadium despite criticism of its organiser for hastily relocating the tournament from co-hosts Colombia and Argentina.

The court is expected to throw out a third injunction bid and allow the tournament to go ahead.

Venezuela says payments to COVAX vaccine system have been blocked

Venezuelan officials have said the country's government has been unable to complete a payment required to receive coronavirus vaccines because transfers to the global COVAX vaccine program had been blocked.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro for months said it was unable to pay for the COVAX program because of US sanctions, and then in March announced that it had made almost all the required $120 million payment.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in a televised broadcast on Thursday said the government had been unable to pay down the remaining $10 million because four operations had been blocked.

Brazil reports another 2,504 deaths in 24 hours – ministry

Brazil has had 88,092 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 2,504 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry has said.

The South American country has now registered 17,210,969 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 482,019, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest.

Mexico posts 3,672 new cases, 227 more deaths

Mexico has reported 3,672 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 227 more fatalities, bringing total infections to 2,445,538 and the death toll to 229,580, according to health ministry data.

Separate government data recently published suggested the real death toll may be at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies