26 June 2021

• Indonesia reports a record-breaking 20,574 daily coronavirus cases and 355 deaths, bringing the country’s total cases to 2,053,995 and deaths to 55,949 – both are the highest in Southeast Asia. Source

• In South Africa’s Gauteng province, coronavirus cases are surging and expected to be twice as high as they were during the country’s first and second waves as overwhelmed hospitals are short on staff. Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, noted that at current staffing levels, only about 100 of about 1,000 extra beds that have been specially equipped for Covid-19 are able to be used. It seems the province forgot to budget or employ staff to manage those facilities,” Madhi said. “It needs to happen by this weekend or else we are going to be in deep trouble.” Source

• The premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, announces a two-week lockdown for greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong until midnight on Friday 9 July. Source

• German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Europe remains “on thin ice” as experts predict that the Delta variant will become dominant across the continent in the coming months. Source

• Matt Hancock, Britain’s Health Minister, resigns the day after a tabloid publishes photos of him embracing a co-worker in violation of the country’s social-distancing guidelines. Source

• Spain announces that tourists from Australia, China, Israel, Japan, Thailand, the UK and the US can enter the country without proof of coronavirus vaccination or a negative test result. Source

• Latin America has become home to the longest-lasting school shutdowns; in some places, for nearly 16 months; 100 million children in the region are in full or partial remote learning – and some have no access to education, including five million children in Brazil. In addition, children are leaving primary and secondary schools in droves to earn money; Mexico says 1.8 million children and young people have dropped out, while Ecuador lost 90,000  primary and secondary school students and Peru lost 170,000. Source

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