Vietnam put its entire southern region into a two-week lockdown from midnight Sunday as confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 3,000 for the third day in a row.
The lockdown order covers the Mekong Delta and the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s financial and economic center of more than 35 million people – nearly a third of Vietnam’s population.
Officials say they must act as the number of infections has reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak resurfaced in late April after several months of no cases recorded.
Ho Chi Minh City, the gulf’s epicenter, had already announced a complete lockdown a week ago but is now responsible for the majority of cases in the country with more than 2,000 a day.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:00 a.m. ET
What’s happening in Tokyo
A US women’s gymnastics team deputy has tested positive for COVID-19 at a training camp in Japan, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said Monday.
The USOPC did not say whether Olympic champion Simone Biles or any of the other favorites to win the team gold were isolated due to contact tracing. The positive test was the latest in a growing series of daily reports from athletes and others testing positive for the pandemic-delayed Olympics. The unnamed gymnast was the first American.
Earlier, officials said a third athlete at the Olympic Village in Tokyo has tested positive for COVID-19, with the Czech team reporting the latest case on Monday in a player from the country’s beach volleyball team.
Two South African men’s football players announced their COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The players and a video analyst from the team who tested positive the day before were transferred to the “isolation facility” operated by the Olympic Organizing Committee.
Their 21 close contacts around the South African team are now being scrutinized for their first match against Japan in Tokyo on Thursday. The surveillance regimen includes daily testing, traveling in a special vehicle, training separately from unaffected teammates, and locked up in their rooms for meals.
Meanwhile, Toyota, the sponsor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will not run TV commercials related to the Games due to low public support for the Olympics, with two-thirds of Japanese doubting whether the Games can be held safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. -19 pandemic, local media reported.
The Olympics, which have been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, will officially start on Friday and will last until August 8.
Japan has seen a total of 842,018 reported cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, with 14,993 reported deaths.
Tokyo reported 1,008 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the 29th day in a row that the number of cases was higher than seven days earlier. It was also the fifth consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. The Olympics will open under the state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.
-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 7:40 a.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Monday morning, more than 190.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than four million deaths reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In Africa, the Tunisian government decided to deploy the armed forces to vaccinate people in the regions with the highest infection rates and in areas with particularly low vaccination rates. Tunisia currently records one of the world’s highest per capita daily infection rates and has reported the highest number of pandemic deaths per capita in Africa. The country has reported a total of 546,233 cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University case-tracking tool, with 17,527 deaths reported.
In EuropeMore than 100,000 people marched across France on Saturday to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to enforce vaccinations on health workers and demand a COVID-19-free certificate to enter places such as restaurants and movie theaters.
Corks popped, beats boomed and dizzying revelers took to the dance floors as England’s nightclubs reopened Monday as the country lifted most of the remaining restrictions after more than a year of lockdowns, mask mandates and other pandemic-related curbs.
For club-goers and nightclub owners, the moment lived up to its media-given moniker, “Freedom Day.” But the big move out of the lockdown has been greeted with nervousness by many Britons and with concern from scientists, who say the UK is entering uncharted waters by opening up when infections aren’t falling but rising.
From Monday, face masks will no longer be a legal requirement in England, and with the physical distancing rules suspended, there are no limits to the number of people attending theater performances or major events.
In the AmericaNeel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, said many U.S. economic sectors faced rapidly rising prices and struggled to adjust to the reopening after the shutdown.
In the Middle EastSaudi citizens will need two doses of COVID-19 vaccine before they can travel outside the kingdom from Aug. 9, state news agency SPA reported Monday, citing the interior ministry. The decision was made based on new waves of infection worldwide, new mutations and the “low efficacy of a single vaccination dose against these mutations,” the statement said.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea will extend stricter COVID-19 restrictions on private gatherings beyond the Seoul metropolitan area as the country struggles to contain the worst outbreak, the prime minister said on Sunday.
—From Reuters and The Associated Press, last updated at 6:55 a.m. ET