Coronavirus News Update – May 3: EU to Open Borders to Vaccinated Travelers

Many Countries ‘Face a Very Fragile Situation,’ says WHO

By Anna Breuer on 3 May 2021
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The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said it plans to recommend to its member states that they open their borders to fully vaccinated travelers. The proposal will be debated later in the week.  Visitors who have received a vaccine approved by the bloc’s drug regulator, a list that includes the three vaccines offered in the United States, namely those from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson, would be allowed to travel freely.  The proposal would allow individual countries to set tougher requirements for visitors, however.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded over 153.8 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.22 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 131.1 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 1.16 billion doses as of Monday morning. Some 604.5 million people, or 7.8% of the population, have received at least one inoculation and almost 276 million people, or 3.5% of the population, are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Monday, over 147 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 56.1% of the population over the age of 18 – some 144.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 104 million people, or 40% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 31.6% of the population, or 104.7 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

The director-general of the World Health Organization said Monday that there have been more reported Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks than there were in the first six months of the pandemic..”India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  “But there are many other countries all over the world that face a very fragile situation.”

The situation in India continues to be dire.  The country recorded over 392,000 new coronavirus cases and nearly 3,700 deaths Saturday, and 368,000 new cases, and 3,417 deaths on Sunday.  The South Asian nation has been left with a shortage of medical oxygen, and at least 12 people died in a hospital in Chamarajanagar, a city in the southwest part of the country, as a result.

Meanwhile, Australia has banned citizens and residents who are currently in India from returning home, in order to prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections there.

Finally, Disneyland reopened their gates to guests on Friday for the first time in 13 months. Masks are required for at all times but can be removed when eating or drinking, albeit with limitations, “Eating and drinking are permitted only in designated dining areas, and are not permitted while queuing or in attractions. Disney reserves the right to require a guest to leave if they are not properly wearing an approved face covering,” the park’s website reads.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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