Coronavirus News Update – June 2: U.S. Moves Further to Normalcy as It Records Lowest 7-Day Average for New Cases Since Start of Pandemic

Argentina, Malaysia, and Nepal Are World’s Latest Hotspots

By Jesse Sokolow on 2 June 2021
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For the first time since March of last year, the United States recorded a seven-day average of less than 20,000 new daily coronavirus cases. The figures paint a promising picture for summer in the States, with many places having lifted or planning to lift restrictions to begin a return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded over 172 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.57 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 154.5 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 1.98 billion doses as of Wednesday morning, the equivalent of approximately 25 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 168.4 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Approximately 62.8% of the population over the age of 18 –some 162 million people –has received at least a first inoculation, including 133.5 million people, or 51.7% of the same population, who have received both doses. Meanwhile, 60.1% of the population over the age of 12, or 168.3 million people, have received at least one shot, including 135.8 million, or 48.5% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 40.9% of the population, or 135.8 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Philadelphia lifted many of its lockdown restrictions Wednesday.  The move, which was promulgated a week earlier as planned, came as the vaccination rate for Philadelphians reached 70% for the first jab.  While indoor mask rules will continue to apply, the updated rules eliminate capacity and social distancing requirements for all businesses and events.  This will in turn allow restaurants, stadiums, bars, cafes, and other establishments to host people at pre-pandemic levels.

On Tuesday, Las Vegas completely reopened its downtown area for the first time in over a year, with no masks or social distancing required. Restaurants and casinos may open at 100% capacity.  The city continues, however, to require people who are not vaccinated to don masks indoors.

Argentina, Malaysia, and Nepal are the world’s newest hotspots.   For weeks now in Nepal, a country with a population of approximately 30 million, around 40% of coronavirus tests have been positive, a statistic that is one of the highest in the world. The country is in the midst of battling a second wave of the virus, having recorded over 570,000 cases and 166,000 deaths according to the Worldometer, and the government there is currently considering declaring a health emergency.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the situation there has gotten so bad that authorities have banned people from venturing over 6 miles (9.65 km) from home, while in Argentina, patients are literally overflowing into the hallways of overcrowded hospitals, which lack the capacity to accept any more.

India this week cancelled exams for 12th graders across the hard-hit South Asian country. The nation, which in April recorded 400,000 new coronavirus cases in a day, is still averaging 3,000 new cases per day, a number that, as in the case with Peru, many experts believe to be a gross underestimate. India reported 132,788 new cases on Wednesday and 3,207 deaths.

Jonathan Spira and Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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