Coronavirus News Update – June 21: Only Vaccinated Fans Will Be Allowed at the 2022 World Cup, Says Host Country Qatar

Japan to Allow Limited Number of Non-Foreign Fans to Attend Olympic Matches

By Anna Breuer on 21 June 2021
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Camels resting at the Al-Shahaniya camel racing track in Doha

The government of Qatar announced that everyone who attends the World Cup, which will be held there next year, must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Officials there expect over 1.5 million fans fromacross the globe to attend the world’s largest football, or in the United States, soccer, tournament, which will be held in November 2022.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 179.3 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.88 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 163.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll, which last week crossed the 600,000 mark, is now 617,168.  Since the start of the pandemic the country has recorded over 34.4 million individual cases, a higher figure than any other country and second only to India which has seen 29.94 million cases.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 2.62 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Monday morning, the equivalent of over 34 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, over 177 million people in the United States – or 53.3% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 45.1%, or 149.7 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to 317.9 million. Breaking this down further, 65.4% of the population over the age of 18 – or 168.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 55.8% of the same group – or 143.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.

In other news, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. government of interfering in China’s internal affairs after the United States shipped 2.5 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to Taiwan, which China regards as Chinese territory.  “We urge the U.S. not to use vaccine assistance to engage in political manipulation and not to interfere in China’s domestic affairs,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a news briefing. Taiwanese officials had previously blamed “Chinese intervention” in blocking a deal to distribute the German BioNTech vaccine there.

The Tokyo Olympics will allow a limited number of non-foreign spectators at the 2021 games, overriding advice from doctors there.  The organizing committee will allow up to 10,000 fans to attend each event.

Meanwhile, a member of Uganda’s Olympic team tested positive for the virus shortly after arriving in Japan on Saturday.  The athlete traveled with eight other individuals, who have thus far tested negative, according to local media reports.

In India, a deadly black fungus has gone from a negligible number of cases to over 30,000 in just three weeks. The disease has sickened recovered coronavirus patients across the country and the federal Health Ministry there has not yet released death toll figures from the condition, known as mucormycosis.

In Brazil, where the death toll just recently crossed the 500,000 mark, second only to the United States, the number of new coronavirus cases is almost 73,000 and the daily death toll is averaging 2,000.  The rollout of vaccinations against the virus has been slow and only 11% of the population is believed to be fully vaccinated.  The country’s leader, Jair Bolsonaro, has been strongly criticized by the public for failing to take the pandemic seriously and impose measures that could have stemmed the spread.

Finally, officials in France said on Monday that concerts with a standing audience could resume on June 30 and that nightclubs could reopen from July 9.  The move was welcomed by the country’s entertainment industry, which has suffered greatly due to the lockdown measures that until recently were necessary under the pandemic.

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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