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Coronavirus digest: Singapore is now the most vaccinated country

The Asian island state has fully vaccinated 80% of its population. Elsewhere, Japan is struggling to keep its inoculation campaign on track over tainted Moderna vaccines.

By: Deutsche Welle |
August 29, 2021 10:00:37 pm
A resident registers for swab test at a COVID-19 testing center in Singapore | Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto/picture alliance

Singapore has fully vaccinated 80% of its population against the coronavirus, the health minister said on Sunday.

This makes it the world’s most inoculated country, as several parts of the world struggle to control the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

“We have crossed another milestone, where 80% of our population has received their full regimen of two doses,” Ong Ye Kung said in a post on social media.

“It means Singapore has taken another step forward in making ourselves more resilient to COVID-19,” he added. “It is the result of the collective effort of many people working behind the scenes, and the people of Singapore coming forward to take care of themselves and the people around them.”

With most of its 5.7 million population vaccinated, Singapore now has the world’s highest rate of complete vaccinations. The small city-state is on track to ease coronavirus-linked restrictions.

Here are the latest developments on coronavirus from around the world.

Asia

Japan is looking to fully vaccinate its population by October or November, according to Taro Kono, the minister in charge of the country’s vaccine rollout. He also promised booster shots for medical workers and the elderly early next year.

“Japan is aiming for 80% vaccination levels,” Kono said on a Fuji TV show.

This comes as Japan struggles with contaminants in certain lots of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which have been linked to the death of two people in the country.

Inoculations at a large-scale vaccination center in the Okinawa prefecture were suspended on Sunday after contaminants were found in a lot that was different from the earlier suspended shots.

Oceania

Australia’s second-biggest city Melbourne is extending its four-week virus-linked lockdown in order to quell the spread of the Delta variant.

“We still have too many cases in the community for too long for us to be able to open up and give back… those freedoms that we cherish and those freedoms that we desperately want back,” Victoria state premier Dan Andrews said, as the state recorded 92 new cases overnight.

Victoria’s neighboring state of New South Wales, the country’s current COVID epicenter, registered 1,218 new cases, pushing Australia to a new record high.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand may need to make a few changes in managing the outbreak as the country reported 83 new cases of the Delta variant on Sunday.

“If we need to tighten up our restrictions further, we will,” she told a televised briefing, days after the lockdown was extended until midnight on Tuesday.

While restrictions were to ease in parts of the country, Auckland — the epicenter of new infections — would remain locked down for longer.

Europe

Germany has reported 8,416 new cases of the virus, taking the country’s total tally to 3,932,547, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. Twelve deaths were recorded in the latest one-day period.

The new numbers were reported a day after several thousand demonstrators gathered in Berlin to protest the German government’s coronavirus policies despite bans.

Americas

Just about 50% of male players at the US Open have been vaccinated, an ATP spokesperson said, adding that the men’s tour “continues to strongly recommend vaccination to players.” The spokesperson stated similar numbers for the women’s tour.

While spectators at the US Open are required to have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, players and their team members do not need to be vaccinated.

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