Coronavirus worldwide: Israel reports significantly lower effectiveness of Pfizer/Biontech vaccine, spectators at Olympics to be reduced

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About 184 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.98 million infected people have died. About 3.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

The latest developments
In Israel, the effectiveness of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccination against the coronavirus has waned significantly in recent weeks, according to the Health Ministry. In parallel, the more aggressive delta variant has spread in the country, the ministry announced on Monday evening (July 5). Since June 6, the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infection in Israel has dropped to 64 percent, it said. This is also the case in preventing disease with symptoms, it said. However, the vaccination averted severe illness and hospitalization 93 percent of the time, according to the report. In February, the Ministry of Health had said the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine prevented corona disease 95.8 percent of the time.

Japan’s government plans to hold the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics with only a reduced number of VIP spectators. The Asahi newspaper reported this Tuesday (July 5) ahead of talks this week with the International Olympic Committee and other organizers.
Events at major venues and night events after 9 p.m. would also be held without spectators, while the number of VIPs at the opening ceremony would be sharply reduced from an initial estimate of about 10,000, the newspaper said, citing several unidentified government sources.
The Games are scheduled to open July 23, amid fears that the influx of tens of thousands of people from around the world could trigger another wave of infection in the country.

In England, all Corona measures are due to end on July 19. Nightclubs will then also be allowed to reopen, distance rules and mandatory masks will be dropped, as will a limit on spectators at major events, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday (July 5). He stressed that the binding decision would be made after a further review of pandemic data next Monday (7/12). In the UK, the number of new Corona infections had recently increased significantly due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The reason for this is the highly contagious delta variant, which now accounts for almost all cases in the UK.

Norway is postponing the next major step in lifting restrictions related to the pandemic until the end of the month at the earliest. Prime Minister Erna Solberg justified the move on Monday (5/7), citing the risk that the delta variant could trigger a fourth wave of infection in the unvaccinated portion of the population.
Duchess Kate remains in domestic quarantine for several days after contact with a person who tested positive. The wife of Prince William has no symptoms, Kensington Palace announced Monday (5/7) in London. Kate is following all government guidelines and isolating herself at home. This means the 39-year-old will miss an event honoring the National Health Service (NHS). This was honored on Monday by Queen Elizabeth II with the highest civilian award for bravery, the George Cross.

— source: nzz.ch/picture: pixabay.com

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