Surging coronavirus cases prompt new restrictions, travel bans in Asia region

Here are some significant developments:

  • The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee reported a record number of new daily coronavirus cases linked to the Olympic Games on Friday. At least nineteen new infections were detected, including three athletes who tested positive, just hours before the opening ceremony.
  • Israel’s Health Ministry released new data late Thursday suggesting that the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is only 39 percent effective at preventing infection from the delta variant. Protection against severe illness remained high, however, at 91 percent, the ministry said.
  • Italy has ramped up pressure on its unvaccinated population, announcing Thursday that a digital or printed health pass would be necessary for accessing a range of everyday leisure activities, from theaters to indoor dining.
  • The United States is at “another pivotal moment” in the pandemic as the more transmissible delta variant tears through unvaccinated communities, causing hospitals to reach capacity in some areas, Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday.

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