The emergencies chief of the United Nations health agency says COVID-19 vaccination coverage of over 80 per cent is needed to significantly lower the chance that an imported coronavirus case could generate new cases or spawn a wider outbreak.
Dr. Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization said that ultimately, “high levels of vaccination coverage are the way out of this pandemic.”
Ryan’s comments to reporters on Monday in Geneva come as rich nations with access to vaccines are facing pressure from WHO and many global health advocates to share more doses with developing countries that are gravely lacking in access to them.
Britain has been looking at a recent uptick in cases attributed largely to an increase in cases linked to the so-called delta variant, which originally appeared in India.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, noted that the delta variant is spreading in more than 60 countries, and is more transmissible than the alpha variant that first emerged in Britain.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
As of early Tuesday morning, Canada had reported 1,394,128 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 22,844 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,761. More than 26.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far across the country, according to CBC’s vaccine tracker.
There was one new case of COVID-19 reported in New Brunswick, where officials announced that the province had not met its goal of having 75 per cent of those 12 and over receive a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by June 7.
There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Prince Edward Island on Monday.
In Quebec, health officials reported three additional deaths and 193 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday as the province lifted more public health restrictions.
Ontario on Monday reported 15 additional deaths and 525 new cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations stood at 547, with 497 people in ICU, according to a provincial dashboard.
Top Ontario health officials said this week that the delta COVID-19 variant has been detected across the province and it will likely become the dominant strain, as has been the case earlier in the pandemic with more aggressive COVID-19 variants. However, they say vaccinations appear to have protected people infected with the variant from becoming severely ill, especially those who have received two doses.
In the Prairie provinces on Monday, Manitoba reported two additional deaths and 169 new cases of COVID-19. Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said officials are “working on our roadmap to recovery” but cautioned that the health-care system is still under strain.
Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported three additional deaths and 68 new cases of COVID-19.
In Alberta, health officials reported two new deaths of COVID-19 and 127 new cases of COVID-19.
Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories or Yukon on Monday.
British Columbia on Monday reported 482 new cases of COVID-19 for the previous three days, and 12 additional deaths.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 173.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, a tracking tool from Johns Hopkins University said. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.7 million.
In Africa, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes African COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing sites will be identified and some even close to producing by the end of 2021, in the race to deliver more shots to the continent.
In the Asia-Pacific region, India’s daily coronavirus infections have dipped below 100,000 for the first time in more than two months as an overall downturn prompts some states to ease restrictions.
The 86,498 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past 29 million on Tuesday, second only to the United States, which has more than 33 million.
Nepal, meanwhile, resumed its stalled coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday with one million doses given by China after the Himalayan nation made international pleas for help. Nepal’s vaccination campaign began in January but stalled when neighbouring India suffered a coronavirus surge and banned exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine it produces.
In the Americas, New York will lift more COVID-19 rules once 70 per cent of adults have at least one vaccine dose, a target Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes the state could reach in days.
Nearly 69 per cent of New York adults have received at least one vaccination dose, according to the latest federal data.
In the Middle East, Kuwait has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, the state news agency KUNA reported.
In Europe, Denmark researchers are using virtual reality to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations, through a game of manoeuvring through a virus-infected crowd in a city square.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:10 a.m. ET