What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

PUBLISHED: Tue, 22 Jun 2021 05:03:30 GMT

June 22 (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Philippines’ Duterte threatens jail for refusing vaccination

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Philippines battles one of Asia’s worst outbreaks, with over 1.3 million cases and more than 23,000 deaths.

“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday following reports of low turnouts at several vaccination sites in the capital Manila.

Duterte’s remarks contradict those of his health officials who have said that while people were urged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it was voluntary.

Olympics-Tokyo residents criticise alcohol sales plan

Olympic organisers will allow the sale of alcohol to Tokyo 2020 spectators, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday, drawing criticism as residents of the capital grapple with curbs on bars to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Alcohol will be served at Olympic venues at limited times, Kyodo reported, citing anonymous sources, a decision that follows the approval on Monday of up to 10,000 domestic spectators at venues at next month’s delayed Games.

Social gatherings with drinking have been a target of government action as they are seen as driving infections by encouraging loud speaking, close contact and lingering at bars.

Australia’s New South Wales extends mask mandate for Sydney

Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), on Tuesday reported its biggest rise in new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in nearly a week, prompting authorities to extend a mask mandate in Sydney for a week.

Ten new locally acquired cases were reported in NSW on Tuesday, as officials fight to contain a latest cluster of the highly infectious Delta virus variant.

U.S. to ship millions of COVID-19 shots to Latin America, Africa, Asia

The White House laid out a plan on Monday to share 55 million U.S. COVID-19 vaccine doses globally, with roughly 75% of the doses allocated to Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

The plan fulfills President Joe Biden’s commitment to share 80 million U.S.-made vaccines with countries around the world. The president sketched out his priorities for the first 25 million doses from that pledge earlier this month.

The United States has come under pressure to share more of its vaccine supply with countries that are still struggling with the deadly virus and its variants.

Turkey to further ease coronavirus restrictions from July

Turkey will further relax restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 from next month, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday after the number of daily coronavirus cases in the country fell to around 5,000.

Lockdowns that had been imposed on Sundays and curfews from 1900 GMT on weekdays would be lifted from July 1, Erdogan said after a government cabinet meeting.

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(Compiled by Tom Hogue; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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