Coronavirus News Update – May 8: Spain Lifts National Lockdown Restrictions, But Regional Measures Will Remain

France Adds New Countries to Quarantine List

By Anna Breuer on 8 May 2021
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The Souq Waqif in Doha

The state of emergency in Spain will expire midnight on Sunday, removing most of the country’s lockdown restrictions, although regional measures will follow in many cases.  Four regions plan to maintain the 11 p.m. curfew currently in place and regions with higher positivity rates will also continue strict lockdown rules for the time being.  The number of new daily cases, most recently 6,200, is the lowest in over a month.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded over 158 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.29 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 135.5 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 1.24 billion doses as of Friday morning, the equivalent of over 16 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Saturday, 151.3 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 57.7% of the population over the age of 18 – almost 149 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 111.6 million people, or 43.2% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 33.9% of the population, or 112.6 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

In France, the number of new Covid-19 infections is rising much more slowly, while hospitalization due to the virus are declining as well, in the first week after the government there eased its third national lockdown. Officials there added seven countries to the list of countries from which arrivals must undergo a ten-day quarantine. Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates were added to the list that already has Argentina, Chile, India, and South Africa.

India’s Health Ministry reported 414,188 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, a new all-time high.  Infection rates in some parts of India are soaring out of control. In one state, Goa, over 50% of people tested had a positive result.

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus cases has climbed dramatically in countries around India, ranging from Nepal to Sri Lanka to the Maldives.  The virus is also surging in other parts of Souteast Asia including Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

A man who led a hike of the Grand Canyon with over 150 people was charged with violating Covid-19 restrictions and charging for tours in court.  Joseph Don Mount was charged in U.S. District Court in Arizona with giving a false report, interfering with a government employee acting in an official duty, soliciting business in a federal park without a permit, and violating Covid-age restrictions for group sizes for park visits. Park officials had warned Mount not to violate the ban on groups larger than 11 people prior to his hike.

The International Olympic Committee said that athletes and officials traveling to the Summer Games in Tokyo who haven’t yet been vaccinated will be offered doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before travel. The move comes as Japanese and Olympic officials attempt to assuage fears and concerns of the many Japanese citizens who are in favor of cancelling the games.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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