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COVID 19

Ugandan Olympian confirmed to have infected with Delta variant.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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The Ugandan Olympic team member who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan has been confirmed to have infected with the Delta variant, Japan’s Olympic Minister Marukawa Tamayo said yesterday.

The Ugandan man in his 50s, reportedly a coach in the nine-member delegation, tested positive after arriving at Tokyo’s Narita Airport on Saturday. Marukawa told reporters that he has been infected with the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in India.

The man has no visible symptoms, according to a health ministry official, but a second member tested positive for the virus after traveling to Izumisano City of Osaka Prefecture for a pre-Olympic training camp, Kyodo news agency said.

Two drivers and two attendants who were on the bus, as well as three city officials, have been confirmed as having had close contact with the infected team members.

The incident was causing an immediate stir in japan, where a majority of people polled by Japanese media are against the Olympics going ahead in its current format. Several media outlets also claim it proves the difficulty of creating a secure bubble for the Olympics.

Japanese infectious disease experts have already warned that signs of another COVID-19 rebound in Tokyo are beginning to emerge only days after the capital’s state of emergency was lifted, the English-language Japan Times reported on Friday.

A total of 562 positive cases were confirmed in the Japanese capital on Friday. The figure is up 109 from a week earlier, marking a week-on-week increase of more than 100 for the third day in a row.

COVID 19

Germany announces that travelers will be tested for virus on entry.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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Germany declared on Tuesday that it will start testing visitors entering the country for the coronavirus in an effort to curb its spread.

 According to Deutsche Welle, the country’s Health Ministry said that all travelers, even those from low-risk areas, will undergo mandatory testing. The ministry is reportedly seeking “an expansion of test requirements upon entry as quickly as possible,” the outlet reported.

Sources say that air travelers entering Germany at this time are required to provide a negative coronavirus test or proof of their vaccination against the virus only if they are coming from high-risk areas.

The new move comes as Germany aims to take down the rise of delta variant infections. Health ministry officials have not yet made it clear as to whether or not the newly proposed testing requirements will apply to fully vaccinated individuals.

“The coordination in the government on this is underway,” a Health Ministry spokesperson told Reuters. Germany has reported more than 3.7 million coronavirus cases and more than 91,000 related deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins.

 

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COVID 19

Singapore travel corridor with Indonesia suspended.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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Indonesia confirmed its Singapore travel corridor has been postponed while it fights against a huge caseload of COVID-19 infections nationwide. It has developed into a global epicenter of the pandemic with hospitals at breaking point across Java and Bali and micro-lockdowns continuing until next week at least.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the government will revisit preparations for the corridor only when domestic COVID-19 cases show a significant drop.

The tourism ministry will concentrate on opening a corridor to the islands of Batam and Bintan which are popular weekend destinations for mostly Singaporeans. It is also focusing on a Bali travel corridor with various countries.

The travel corridor arrangement program has been delayed because we are implementing PPKM level 4 restrictions but when the situation gets more conducive, we will resume it quickly,” Sandiaga said.

Singapore has also seen a rising number of cases which has derailed its planned travel corridor with Hong Kong. Indonesia reported 28,000 new cases on Monday and nearly 1,500 deaths.

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COVID 19

Sri Lanka surpasses the global vaccination average.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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About 57 percent of the target population have been injected with at least a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Sri Lanka has been able to surpass the global vaccination average, the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) said yesterday.

HPB Director Ranjith Batuwanthudawa told Daily Mirror that Sri Lanka had been able to vaccinate a satisfactory number of the target population which means people above the age of 30 dragging the country above the global vaccination average. “When considering the percentage of people who have received at least a single dose, Sri Lanka have been able to perform better than developed countries. It’s a great achievement,” he underlined.

“We have been able to vaccinate a large number of people within a shorter period of time because of the interest and enthusiasm shown by people in getting the vaccine,” HPB Director said.

He said they were very positive that they would be able to accomplish the target set by the President that people above 30 in the Western Province must be vaccinated before the end of July.

Going into statistics, Dr Batuwanthudawa said at least 90 percent of people above 30 have been received at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in four districts such as Colombo, Gampaha, Matale and Mannar.

“96.8 percent of target population in Colombo has received at least a single dose while it stands at 95.9 percent, 93.7 percent and 90.5 percent in Gampaha, Matale and Mannar districts respectively,” he added.

Also, 15.1 percent of the target population have been offered both doses.

Meanwhile, Dr Batuwanthudawa stressed the point that receiving the vaccine alone would not mean that we all are protected from the virus. “Any COVID-19 vaccine does provide shield against coronavirus. However, if we are to protect fully from the virus, we have to strictly adhere to health guidelines and practices until a considerable period of time,” he added.

 

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