Novel coronavirus has infected more than 184 million people and killed more than 3.9 million. Here are the latest Covid-related developments for July 4:

A woman is seen on a deserted street during a new strict lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Chattogram, Bangladesh, July 02, 2021
A woman is seen on a deserted street during a new strict lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Chattogram, Bangladesh, July 02, 2021 (AA)

Sunday, July 4:

Bangladesh reports highest number of Covid-19 deaths 

Bangladesh has witnessed 153 Covid-19 deaths, the highest number since the pandemic hit the country, amid a weeklong strict nationwide lockdown in effect since July 1 to curb the spread of the virus.

The death toll in the South Asian country reached 15,065, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

UK reports 24,248 new cases

Britain reported 24,248 new cases of Covid-19, down from 24,885 on Saturday, and 15 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, down from 18, according to government data.

Luxembourg PM hospitalised for observation

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has been hospitalised and will be kept under observation as tests are carried out a week after he tested positive for Covid-19, the government said.

Myanmar reports daily record cases

Myanmar's health ministry has reported a daily record of 2,318 new cases as well as 35 deaths.

Israel in talks over Pfizer vaccines

Israel is in talks with other countries about a deal to unload its surplus of Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccines, doses of which are due to expire by the end of the month, a health ministry official said.

Hezi Levi, the ministry's director-general, did not provide details about the number of doses Israel was looking to hand over in an apparent swap arrangement.

In an interview with Radio 103 FM, he confirmed that such a deal had been discussed with Britain last week but said an agreement had not materialised and w as "a thing of the past".

99 percent of US virus deaths are unvaccinated people - top US infectious disease expert

America’s top infectious disease expert says about 99.2 percent of recent Covid-19 deaths in the United States involved unvaccinated people. And Dr Anthony Fauci says “it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable.”

He tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” it’s frustrating “where you have a formidable enemy” in the coronavirus and “yet we do have a countermeasure that’s highly, highly effective. And that’s the reason why it’s all the more sad and all the more tragic why it isn’t being completely implemented in this country.”

Italian police bar 52 fans from Euro 2020 match

Italian police prevented 52 fans from attending the quarter-final Euro 2020 match between England and Ukraine in Rome on Saturday as they did not comply with Covid restrictions, a statement said.

In an effort to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, Rome last month introduced a five-day quarantine for anyone coming to Italy who had been to Britain in the previous two weeks.

By cross-checking names of travellers of flights from England and Ukraine with those who had bought tickets, the Italian police identified 52 fans who had not complied with the required quarantine time.

These fans also had their tickets cancelled, the Italian police said in a statement.

Russia reports 25,142 new cases, 663 deaths

Russia has reported 25,142 new cases, including 7,624 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,610,941.

The government coronavirus task force said 663 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 137,925.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and has said Russia recorded around 270,000 deaths from April 2020 to April 2021. 

UK data looks 'very positive' for lifting lockdown

The data that will decide if final lockdown restrictions in England can be lifted on July 19 is looking "very positive", thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said.

"The data that we're seeing that the Prime Minister is reviewing at the moment ahead of his decision point on the roadmap looks very positive," he told Sky News.

"It does seem as if we can now move forward and move to a much more permissive regime where we move away from many of those restrictions that have been so difficult for us." 

UAE approves Moderna vaccine for emergency use

The United Arab Emirates has approved Moderna Inc's vaccine for emergency use, the fifth vaccine to receive such approval by the Gulf Arab state, the Health Ministry said in a statement on state news agency WAM.

The UAE, the region's tourism, trade and business hub, has had one of the world's fastest vaccination campaigns but daily coronavirus cases have remained close to 2,000, though below a peak near 4,000 in February.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, has reported the spread of the Beta, Delta and Alpha variants in the country of some 9.2 million people.

Around 73.8 percent of the UAE's population has received one vaccine dose while 63.7 percent are fully vaccinated, the health ministry said in a Twitter post on Saturday.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia on Saturday banned travel to and entry from four countries, including the UAE. The restriction applies to anyone who has been there within the last 14 days. 

More than 43,000 new infections recorded in India

India has registered more than 43,000 new cases and 955 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

It said the death toll stands at 402,005 and infections have reached 30.5 million, including 43,071 cases.

The active caseload has declined to 485,350.

"Daily recoveries continue to outnumber the daily new cases for the 52nd consecutive day. Recovery rate increases to 97.09 %," it said.

Officials maintain that cases are seeing an overall decline after a deadly second wave.

China administered total of 1.296 billion doses of vaccines 

China administered about 12.9 million doses of vaccine on July 3, taking the total to 1.296 billion doses, data from the National Health Commission has shown. 

Serbia team member tests positive on arrival in Japan

One of Serbia's Olympic boat team members tested positive on arrival in Japan, the second time the infection has been confirmed in an overseas team member in the country, broadcaster NHK has reported.

One out of the five team members that arrived in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics tested positive during a screening at the Haneda airport on Saturday night, the national broadcaster said.

That individual was sent to a medical facility while the other four were moved to a separate facility near the airport, Kyodo news agency said.

The Serbian team was scheduled to travel on to Nanto city in Toyama prefecture, central Japan, to hold their training camp.

The long-delayed Tokyo 2020 Summer Games are due to start on July 23 amid concern that the influx of thousands of people from around the world could unleash another wave of infections in the country.

One of the team members of Uganda's Olympic squad tested positive for the coronavirus on arrival in Japan in June and a second member was also confirmed as having the virus a few days later.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 559

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 559 to 3,730,912, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has shown. 

The reported death toll rose by 7 to 91,030, the tally showed.

Australian state reports drop in new cases

Australia's New South Wales state has reported a fall in new daily coronavirus cases, following two days of record 2021 infections, as officials implored Sydney residents to follow rules so they could end a lockdown next week.

Australia's most populous state recorded 16 new infections on Saturday, data showed on Sunday, of which 13 were already in isolation. That was down from 35 new cases on Friday - the highest number of daily cases so far this year for that state - and 31 on Thursday. 

"Whilst the numbers overnight are very encouraging, we know they have potential to bounce around. The next few days are absolutely critical," NSW state premier Gladys Berejiklian told a press conference.

Australia has managed the coronavirus pandemic better than many other nations due to strict lockdowns, swift contact tracing and tough social distancing rules.

But an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant over the past few weeks has alarmed authorities amid a sluggish nationwide vaccination drive, and sent three state capitals into lockdown last week.

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state and home to a fifth of Australia's 25 million population, has been particularly hard hit by the latest outbreaks of the Delta variant. Residents are half way through a two week lockdown.

Youngsters on Barcelona streets amid virus spike

Young revellers gathered to drink in the El Born district of Barcelona evening amid a new spike in Covid-19 infections in Catalonia.

According to official figures the region has seen more than 5,000 new confirmed cases each of the past three days.

Saturday's figure reached 5,379 infections, leaving the total toll in the region at 726,544.  

The number of new cases is overwhelmingly higher among young people between 10 and 29 years of age.

Brazil registers 54,556 new cases of Covid-19

Brazil registered 54,556 new cases of coronavirus and 1,635 new Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.

This brings the total number of cases in Brazil to 18,742,025 and total fatalities to 523,587. 

Animals get vaccinated at Oakland Zoo

A San Francisco Bay Area zoo is inoculating its big cats, bears and ferrets against the coronavirus as part of a national effort to protect animal species using an experimental vaccine.

Tigers Ginger and Molly were the first two animals at the Oakland Zoo to get the vaccine this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The doses were donated and developed by veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis in New Jersey.

Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at the zoo, said none of the animals have gotten the virus, but they wanted to be proactive.

Tigers, black and grizzly bears, mountain lions, and ferrets were the first to receive the first of two doses. Next are primates and pigs.

Europe in vaccination race against delta variant

Countries across Europe are scrambling to accelerate coronavirus vaccinations and outpace the spread of the more infectious delta variant, in a high-stakes race to prevent hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives.

The urgency coincides with Europe’s summer holidays, with fair weather bringing more social gatherings and governments reluctant to clamp down on them. 

Social distancing is being neglected, especially among the young, and some countries are scrapping the requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Incentives for people to get shots include free groceries, travel and entertainment vouchers, and prize drawings.

Portugal to vaccinate 1.7 mln in two weeks as infections rise

Portugal said it hoped to vaccinate a further 1.7 million people against Covid-19 over the next two weeks as authorities scramble to contain a surge in infections caused by the more contagious Delta variant.

Cases in Portugal, a nation of just over 10 million, jumped by 2,605, the biggest increase since February 13., taking the total cases since the pandemic began to 887,047.

New cases are being reported mostly among unvaccinated younger people so daily coronavirus deaths, currently in single digits, remain well below levels in February, when the country was still under lockdown after January's second wave.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies