Coronavirus pandemic has killed over 3.7 million people and infected nearly 174 million globally. Here are updates for June 6:

People stand in a queue as they wait to get a dose of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2021.
People stand in a queue as they wait to get a dose of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2021. (AFP)

Sunday, June 6: 

Sri Lanka receives 1M Sinopharm doses

Sri Lanka has received one million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccines, making it the largest consignment of vaccines to be received by Indian Ocean island on a single occasion.

State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Channa Jayasumana said the latest consignment was purchased by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation and that will be mainly used to provide second doses.

The shipment comes amid a recent surge in infections and vaccine shortage.

Pakistan to ease measures

Pakistan has announced that it would start easing lockdown restrictions following a decline in coronavirus cases across the country.

Schools, universities, restaurants, and beaches will be allowed to reopen in the southern Sindh and northeastern Punjab provinces as of Monday, in addition to extended working hours, the provincial governments announced.

In Sindh, the epicentre of the ongoing third wave of the pandemic, educational institutions will reopen for grade nine and above only, whereas businesses will be open until 8 pm (1500GMT) instead of the previous 6 pm (1300GMT) across the country.

Turkey confirms 5,386 new cases

Turkey has confirmed 5,386 new coronavirus cases, including 482 symptomatic patients, across the country in the last 24 hours.

The number of new cases on Saturday was 6,126, the health ministry said.

Turkey's overall case tally is now over 5.28 million, while the nationwide death toll has reached 48,164 with 96 new fatalities, four down from a day earlier.

Italy reports 51 deaths

Italy has reported 51 coronavirus-related deaths against 57 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 2,275 from 2,436.

Italy has registered 126,523 deaths linked to the virus since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eight-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.23 million cases to date.

UK urges commitment to vaccinate the world by end of 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the Group of Seven wealthy democracies’ summit next week to urge world leaders to commit to vaccinating the global population by the end of 2022.

Johnson is expected to stress the importance of a global vaccination drive when he meets with fellow world leaders on Friday in Cornwall, on England's southwestern coast, for the first face-to-face G-7 summit since the pandemic hit.

Taiwan to quarantine workers to control spike at tech firm

All foreign workers at a plant of major Taiwanese chip packager King Yuan Electronics in Taiwan's northern city of Miaoli will be quarantined as health workers try to stop an outbreak of Covid-19 there, the government said.

While cases had been concentrated in Taipei and neighbouring New Taipei, health authorities are now trying to stop an outbreak at two chip packagers in Miaoli, King Yuan and Greatek Electronics, as well as ethernet switch maker Accton Technology Corp.

The government said the quarantine would only apply to King Yuan, where most of the Miaoli infections have happened.

Russia reports 9,145 new cases, 399 deaths

Russia reported 9,145 new cases, including 2,897 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,117,274.

The government coronavirus task force said 399 people had died of virus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 123,436. 

Too soon to say if English lockdown will end June 21, Hancock says

British health minister Matt Hancock said it was too early to say whether the government would stick to its plan to lift lockdown restrictions in England on June 21.

"It's too early to make a final decision on that. The Prime Minister and I and the team will be looking at all the data over this week. We've said that we'll give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date," Hancock told Sky News.

"We are not saying 'No' to June 21 at this point," he added. 

Taiwan reports 343 new domestic cases

Taiwan reported 343 new domestic cases, including eight added to totals for recent days as authorities readjust infection numbers following delays in reporting positive tests.

The total was down from the 511 domestic infections reported on Saturday. 

In boost for Africa, Senegal to make Covid shots in 2022

Senegal could begin producing vaccines next year under an agreement with Belgian biotech group Univercells aimed at boosting Africa's drug-manufacturing ambitions, a source involved in funding the project told Reuters.

As wealthy countries begin to reopen after securing vaccine supplies early, African nations are still struggling to acquire shots.

On a continent of 1.3 billion, only about 7 million have been fully vaccinated.

The collaboration highlights the opportunities created by a global push to channel money and technology towards production on a continent that makes only 1% of the vaccines it requires.

Univercells announced the signing of a letter of intent for collaboration with the Institut Pasteur in Senegal's capital Dakar in April. The source shared details of the proposal, which were not made public.

Under the agreement, the Institut Pasteur would use vaccine production technology developed by Univercells to supply vaccine shots to countries across West Africa.

The institute would initially begin packaging and distributing vaccines produced by Univercells in Belgium early next year, the source involved in securing financing for the collaboration told Reuters.

Australia's hotspot logs four new local cases

Australia's second most populous state Victoria reported two new locally acquired cases, with the low number raising hopes that a hard lockdown in the state's capital Melbourne will be eased on June 10.

Two other new cases were reported on Sunday by an aged care home, but the state had yet to confirm them.

The four new local infections bring Victoria's total cases to 74, including two recovered cases, in the outbreak that began in late May after a man who tested negative in hotel quarantine in Adelaide returned to Melbourne and tested positive.

The daily rise was down from five new cases reported on Saturday. All four new cases were linked to existing clusters.

Officials said that Melbourne's restrictions would probably be eased on Thursday.

India to ease lockdown rules as case numbers decline

India reported 114,460 new infections, the lowest in two months, while the death toll increased by 2,677, as parts of the country prepared to ease movement restrictions.

India has the world's second-largest number of coronavirus infections after the United States with total cases at 28.8 million, according to health ministry data. The country has suffered 346,759 deaths.

A second wave of the coronavirus that has largely battered the rural interiors of the country is yet to abate but New Delhi and other cities are working towards allowing more businesses to operate and movement rules to be relaxed from Monday onwards.

The western state of Maharashtra, which is India's richest and has suffered the most infections during the second wave, plans to start this week easing in stages a strict lockdown imposed in April.

Scientists have warned of a third wave of the coronavirus that could hit India later in the year, likely impacting children more.

While the country has ramped up its vaccination drive in the past few weeks after a slow start, a majority of its 1.3 billion people are expected to remain unvaccinated by the time a potential third wave hits

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 2,440 - RKI

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 2,440 to 3,700,367, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 74 to 89,222, the tally showed. 

New England's success against virus could be a model

For Dr. Jeremy Faust, the moment he realised the pandemic no longer dominated his workday came over Memorial Day weekend, when he didn’t see a single case over two shifts in the emergency room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Kerry LaBarbera, an ER nurse a few miles away at Boston Medical Center, had a similar realisation that same weekend, when just two patients came through her unit, one of the busiest in New England.

“The past year and a half has been like going through a tornado or something terrible,” she said. “You’re holding on for dear life, and then you get past it and it’s like, ‘What just happened?’”

Massachusetts and the rest of New England — the most heavily vaccinated region in the US — are giving the rest of the country a possible glimpse of the future if more Americans get their shots.

Cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the region have been steadily dropping as more than 60% of residents in all six states have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The Deep South states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, in comparison, are the least vaccinated at around 35%, and new cases relative to the population are generally running higher there than in most of New England.
Nationally, about 50% of Americans have received at least one shot.

In Massachusetts, health officials this past week determined that none of the state’s cities and towns are at high risk for the spread of Covid-19 for the first time since they started issuing weekly assessments last August.

In Rhode Island, coronavirus hospitalisations have hit their lowest levels in about eight months. New Hampshire is averaging about a death a week after peaking at about 12 a day during the virus's winter surge.

And Vermont, the most heavily vaccinated state in the US at more than 70%, went more than two weeks without a single reported coronavirus death.

British PM to urge G7 to vaccinate world by end of 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at next week's G7 summit will urge leaders to commit to vaccinate the whole world against coronavirus by the end of 2022, Downing Street said.

Britain will host the event in Cornwall in southwestern England starting June 11 with leaders of France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the United States and Canada attending.

The British prime minister will call on fellow G7 leaders to make concrete commitments to "vaccinate the entire world against coronavirus by the end of 2022", the statement said.

"Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

Johnson added that "the world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era: defeating Covid and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values".

Coronavirus knocks Rahm out of Memorial after 6-shot lead

Jon Rahm walked off the 18th green after tying the 54-hole record and building a six-shot lead, leaving him on the cusp of joining Tiger Woods as the only repeat winners of the Memorial.

Moments later, he doubled over behind the green and said in anguish, “Not again!”

Rahm was notified he tested positive for the coronavirus, knocking him out of the tournament.

A command performance, that included a hole-in-one Saturday morning to complete his second round followed by an 8-under 64 to tie two tournament records, went to waste.

The PGA Tour said the Spaniard had come in close contact with a person who was Covid-19 positive, meaning Rahm could play provided he was tested daily.

Every test since he arrived Monday came back negative except the one after his second round, which was completed Saturday morning.

The positive test was confirmed as Rahm was playing the 18th hole, knowing nothing except no one was close to him on the leaderboard.

“This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people,” Rahm said in a statement he posted to Twitter.

Hi s immediate response was to put on a mask and head to the scoring room to sign his card, knowing he would not be playing the final round.

Mexico's death toll rises to 228,754

Mexico has reported 2,649 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 186 additional fatalities, bringing total cases to 2,432,280 and the death toll to 228,754, the Health Ministry said.

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

Brazil registers 66,017 cases and 1,689 deaths

Brazil has reported 66,017 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 1,689 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said.

The South American country has registered 16,907,425 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 472,531, according to ministry data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and the second deadliest.

Taiwan to receive 750,000 vaccine doses from US

US Senator Tammy Duckworth has said that Taiwan will receive 750,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from the United States, as part of a plan announced last week to share the country's stocks.

Duckworth made the announcement at a news conference shortly after arriving in Taipei.

Drivers get jabs in first Czech drive-in vaccination centre

Sitting in limos or clunkers, drivers and passengers alike stick their arms out of car windows for a Covid-19 jab in the Czech Republic's first drive-in vaccination centre.

Built in a new car park next to a private hospital in the western city of Plzen (Pilsen), the centre comprising two cabins and several tents has given about 1,400 jabs since it kicked off on Monday.

An EU member of 10.7 million people, the Czech Republic has struggled to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination drive, with only about 1.2 million Czechs fully vaccinated by now.

This makes it the EU's sixth worst performer, according to official data.

The Czech Republic, which topped global statistics for deaths and cases per capita for several months this year, has registered almost 30,000 deaths from more than 1.65 million confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Chad launches vaccination campaign

Chadians lined up for their first Covid-19 vaccine doeses on the capital N'djamena on Saturday, as the country launched its vaccination campaign a day prior.

The campaign was officially launched on Friday after the Minister of Health and other members of the ministry received their first doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.

Chad, one of the latest in Africa to receive Covid-19 vaccine doses, received a donation of vaccines from China earlier in the week.

Nurse Ngasatam Valery told the AP that the priority was currently to vaccinate religious pilgrims, over 65s, military troops and health personnel.

Dr Oumarou Ali was one of the first to be vaccinated on Saturday.

Speaking to the AP following his jab, he said he had one message for Chadians:

"This vaccine is useful for everybody. As you know the coronavirus does not recognise religion or ethnicity. So I ask everybody to come and get vaccinated as soon as possible."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies