India’s health ministry said Saturday that 84,332 new COVID-19 infections had been reported in the previous 24-hour period, its lowest daily count in 70 days.
Russia said Saturday it had a daily toll of 13,510 new cases from previous day, more than 1,000 more than it reported Friday.
Johns Hopkins said early Saturday that the global count of COVID-19 infections has reached more than 175.2 million. The U.S. has recorded the most cases at 33.4 million, followed by India with 29. 3 million. Russia has recorded more than 5 million cases, according to Hopkins.
The main doctors’ union in Britain is calling on the government to delay its plans to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions, as new data shows a spike in cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The British Medical Association said Friday a “sensible delay” would help to stop infections from rising.
Government figures on Friday showed 8,125 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily total since February. The Delta variant, originally identified in India, now accounts for 90% of all new cases in the country.
According to the COVID-19 Roadmap laid out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, all pandemic-related restrictions were scheduled to be lifted June 21, a week from Monday.
However, in an interview Friday, British vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the nation must be very careful about the opening, given the dominance of the Delta variant.
Zahawi said the government should examine the data from this coming weekend very carefully and share it with the nation, and then decide about reopening.
Johnson is expected to announce Monday that the restrictions will stay in place, likely for another four weeks.
Meanwhile, Chicago became the largest U.S. city to fully reopen Friday. During a news conference formally announcing the reopening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that for more than a year, Chicago residents have endured so much, but they did their part every step of the way.
“You masked up, you got vaxxed up, and now it's time for you to get up, get out of the house this summer and fully and safely enjoy the events of the best city on the planet, our beloved city of Chicago," Lightfoot said.
Earlier Friday, leaders from the G-7 nations announced they will donate a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to low- and medium-income nations. The U.S. will donate 500 million shots, while Britain will donate 100 million doses.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 64% of Americans 18 and older had had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The Associated Press reported Friday that because of slowing demand for vaccinations, some states have stopped new orders for vaccine doses and others have sent millions of doses back to the federal government. States sending vaccines back to the government include Tennessee and North Carolina, even though less than half of their populations have been vaccinated.
In other developments Friday, Malaysia’s government said it would extend a two-week nationwide lockdown by another two weeks because daily infections remain high at more than 6,000.
Sri Lanka also extended its lockdown for another week as deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Friday.