What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
In the 'bubble' and the Tokyo outside
The Tokyo Olympics is running a village for athletes and coaches where more than 80% are vaccinated against the coronavirus, testing is compulsory and movement is stringently curtailed. Organisers have administered nearly 275,000 tests, with athletes screened daily and journalists tested before events and every four days in the press centre. None of that is true for the giant Japanese capital that surrounds the Olympic "bubble".
Footfall around Tokyo's Shinjuku station, the world's busiest, is now down just 37% as lockdown fatigue has set in, with many Tokyoites saying the government's enthusiasm for pressing on with the Olympics has made stepping out acceptable. Tokyo's Covid-19 infections began to spike shortly before the Olympics began, to a record 3,865 on Thursday, from less than 1,000 daily in mid-July, although serious cases and deaths have remained subdued.
Biden pushes cash reward to get vaccinated, new rules for federal workers
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday urged local governments to pay people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and set new rules requiring federal workers to provide proof of vaccination or face regular testing, mask mandates and travel restrictions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that 69.3% of U.S. counties had transmission rates of Covid-19 high enough to warrant indoor masking in public spaces and should immediately resume the policy.
Masks will be required indoors in Washington, D.C., for everyone 2 years and older starting Saturday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Thursday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
Delta outbreak at Nanjing airport
China reported on Friday 64 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 29, compared with 49 cases a day earlier, the health authority said. A majority of the local cases were reported in Jiangsu province, the authority said. The province's capital city of Nanjing is currently facing an outbreak of the Delta variant that surfaced earlier this month.
The official Xinhua news agency reported that the source of the outbreak was inadequately protected airport staff who were cleaning planes after international flights. Authorities have since conducted mass testing in the city and closed the airport on Tuesday.
Micronesia mandates Covid-19 vaccination
The small South Pacific island nation of The Federated States of Micronesia has mandated that its adult population be inoculated against Covid-19 to prevent the pandemic from reaching its shores.
The Federated States of Micronesia, with a population of just over 113,000 and covering more than 600 islands, has not recorded any locally acquired cases after it shut its international borders.
Britain warns Covid-19 could infect half of Myanmar in next two weeks
Britain's U.N. ambassador warned on Thursday that half of Myanmar's 54 million people could be infected with Covid-19 in the next two weeks as Myanmar's envoy called for U.N. monitors to ensure effective delivery of vaccines.
"The coup has resulted in a near-total collapse of the healthcare system, and health care workers are being attacked and arrested," British U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told an informal Security Council discussion on Myanmar. "The virus is spreading through the population, very fast indeed."