If you’re interested to know whether vaccine incentives work, Guardian Australia’s Kate Lyons has investigated the issue for you:
More on the Covid outbreak in China from AFP, which reports that authorities in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, are going to test its entire population after the city reported its first local infections in more than a year.
The city of 11 million is “swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing of all residents”, senior Wuhan official Li Tao said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Authorities announced on Monday that seven locally transmitted infections had been found among migrant workers in the city, breaking a year-long streak without domestic cases after it squashed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.
China has confined the residents of entire cities to their homes, cut domestic transport links and rolled out mass testing in recent days as it battles its largest coronavirus outbreak in months.
The outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant has reached dozens of cities after infections among airport cleaners in Nanjing sparked a chain of cases that have been reported across the country.
China has reported 90 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the mainland for 2 August, compared with 98 a day earlier, Reuters reports.
Of the new confirmed patients, 61 were locally transmitted, according to the National Health Commission. That compares with 55 local cases a day earlier.
A total of 45 local patients with symptoms were reported in the eastern Jiangsu province, with five in Nanjing city and 40 in Yangzhou city, the provincial government said on Tuesday.
Six domestically transmitted cases were detected in Hunan province and three in Hubei province, NHC data showed.
Hubei province said all three domestic patients were found in the capital Wuhan city. Henan and Yunnan province reported two locally confirmed patients each, while Beijing city, Shanghai city and Fujian province respectively detected one local case.
China also reported 41 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, which it does not classify as confirmed infections, compared with 60 a day earlier. No new deaths were reported.
As of 2 August 2, mainland China had recorded 93,193 confirmed cases, with the cumulative death toll unchanged at 4,636.
In case you missed it, Guardian Australia’s medical editor Melissa Davey has written a fascinating feature on microbiologist Elizabeth Bik, her uncanny ability for scientific detective work – and the online abuse she received when she raised concerns about a paper that claimed hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid-19.
Japan is to focus on hospitalising patients who are seriously ill with Covid-19 and those at risk of becoming so while others isolate at home, Reuters reports, amid worries about a strained medical system as cases surge in Olympics host city Tokyo.
The country has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases, and is recording more than 10,000 daily new infections nationwide. Tokyo had a record high of 4,058 on Saturday. Fewer elderly people, most of whom are vaccinated, are getting infected, chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
“On the other hand, infections of younger people are increasing and people in their 40s and 50s with severe symptoms are rising,” he said. “With people also being admitted to hospital with heat stroke, some people are not able to immediately get admitted and are recovering at home.”
Prime minister Yoshihide Suga said the government would ensure that people isolating at home can be hospitalised if necessary. Previous policy had focused on hospitalising a broader category of high-risk patients.
Some worry the shift could lead to more deaths, and opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano blasted the change.
“They call it in-home treatment but it’s actually in-home abandonment,” NHK public TV quoted him as saying.
Japan on Monday expanded its state of emergency to include three prefectures near Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka. An existing emergency in Tokyo – its fourth since the pandemic began – and Okinawa is now set to last through 31 August.
Welcome to the Guardian’s rolling updates on the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Livingstone.
At least 70% of adults in the US have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination shot, reaching a target Joe Biden originally said he had hoped to achieve by 4 July. Health and government officials have in recent days painted the resurgence of coronavirus there as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, highlighting that areas of the country with the most spread were those with lower than average vaccination rates.
Hundreds of critical health workers in the Australian state of Queensland have gone into isolation as the country battles a growing Delta outbreak, while New South Wales raced to administer 6m vaccine doses before the scheduled end of lockdown in less than four weeks’ time.
Boris Johnson has ditched plans for tougher quarantine restrictions for some holidaymakers after days of chaos, as it emerged the chief of the Joint Biosecurity Centre that advises on travel rules has departed the job leaving it “rudderless”.
Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening elsewhere over the past 24 hours:
- New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has taken a Covid-19 test after picking up a “seasonal sniffle” from her three-year-old daughter, the government spokesman said on Tuesday. It came back negative.
- Brazil had 15,143 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 389 deaths from Covid-19, the lowest death toll for a Monday since early December, according to Health Ministry data.
- Mexico’s health ministry reported 6,506 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 245 more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,861,498 infections and 241,279 deaths.
- The Philippines will extend a night curfew in the capital, Manila, amid a tightening of curbs in the south-east Asian country to combat a potential surge in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, a government official said today.
- The coronavirus has killed at least 4,227,765 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.
- Health authorities in Iran have reported more than 37,000 cases of coronavirus in 24 hours for the first time, as the country also recorded its highest daily number of deaths from Covid for three months.
- Germany plans to offer booster shots to vulnerable people from September, as well as offer vaccinations to children over 12. Health ministers from the country’s states
- Poland is stepping up security at vaccination points following two arson incidents overnight in a single town and an attempt by anti-vaccine activists to break into another.
- A new study suggests that spending more time indoors and on screens because of Covid restrictions may be linked to an increased rate of short-sightedness in children.