27 June 2021

• South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, moved the country to alert level four, banned alcohol and public gatherings, closed schools and limited travel within the country to stop the country’s third wave of coronavirus. Source

• Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel tests positive for COVID-19 days after going to a face-to-face meeting of European Council. Source

• The New York Times reports that at least 59 people with COVID-19 were climbing Mt Everest. Nepal’s government implemented testing, mask and social-distancing requirements, stationed medical personnel at the Everest base camp and had helicopters ready to pick up climbers with COVID-19, but it denied  that anyone on the mountain had the virus – even while people were being airlifted to hospitals and expeditions were cancelled. Some expedition agencies say that COVID-19 was rampant in the base camp, where a record-breaking 408 climbers were and that they were pressured to hide infections. Source

• Participants in a 2,250-person phase II/III  trial of a new AstraZeneca vaccine designed to work against new coronavirus variants receive their first shot. The study is open to adults who are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated in Brazil, Poland, South Africa and the UK. Source

• Namibia, which is currently home to Africa’s most severe coronavirus epidemic, will halt first vaccine doses on 29 June, as vaccine supplies from COVAX have run out, out and other deliveries are delayed. Source

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