Coronavirus latest: Steep increase in cases in Fiji, supplies delivered to individuals in lockdown

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will require current and future employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The bank told its 1,100 employees that they were required to be fully vaccinated by the end of August in order to continue working there, Neel Kashkari, the bank’s president, revealed in a blog post.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pushed back against suggestions that people who test negative for coronavirus after being asked to self-isolate should be allowed to go free. At present, people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 are required to self-isolate for up to 10 days, even if they subsequently test negative.

Health officials in Mississippi, the least vaccinated state in the US, have revealed that more than 75 per cent of coronavirus infections during a 10-day period in June were Delta variant cases. Thomas Dobbs, the state’s health officer, said on Twitter that 78 per cent of Covid-19 cases from June 16 to 25 were the more transmissible variant.

While the US, China and Europe show signs of a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, many countries face a surge in infection rates, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said. Georgieva warned of a “deepening divergence” among countries in a surveillance note for the G20 nations, ahead of that group’s July 9-10 meeting in Venice, Italy.

UK ministers are allowing lorry drivers to work longer hours in an attempt to solve an acute staff shortage that is disrupting deliveries and threatening to push up consumer prices. But both haulage companies and unions said changing rules designed to ensure safety would make little difference in the short term — and would if anything worsen the sector’s long-term recruitment problems by making already difficult working conditions even less attractive.

New York City on Wednesday celebrated its essential workers with a ticker-tape parade in their honour, but a heat advisory in effect until this evening cut short the festivities. First responders, doctors, nurses, teachers and transport workers rode more than a dozen floats through the city’s Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan, as water was handed out along the parade route. 

The stricken Brazilian state of Amazonas has reported zero coronavirus-related deaths for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The vast rainforest state was the site of harrowing scenes throughout the pandemic, particularly in January this year when a lack of oxygen supplies in the capital city Manaus triggered a number of deaths from asphyxiation.

The UK is to share its genomic sequencing technology with other countries as concern grows around the world about the spread of new variants of coronavirus. Public Health England said on Wednesday that it would send equipment, technical advice and training to Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan, which would help them to identify and track the virus.

Global demand for air travel is being “stymied” by excessive government restrictions, the International Air Transport Association has said. Total demand for flights ticked up marginally in May but was still 62 per cent below levels recorded during the same month in 2019, Iata said. April’s figures showed a 65 per cent drop.

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