Associated Press reports that the US, the death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed that of the 1918-1919 ‘flu pandemic. Source

• In Harbin, China, a single case of COVID-19 among 10 million residents prompted the government to close temples, churches and other religious sites as well as gyms, cinemas, bathhouses, mahjong parlors and other leisure venues. Source

• Fujian, China, facing the Delta variant, reports 42 new coronavirus cases,which now total 408. Source

• Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, announces that the country has vaccinated 80 percent of its adult residents. Source

• Johnson and Johnson issue a press release with confusing data from the 30,000-person, phase III ENSEMBLE 2 trial (which looks at efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of two doses of J & J’s coronavirus vaccine versus one dose and a placebo). In the US, at two weeks post-vaccination, a second dose of the J & J vaccine provided 100 percent protection (CI, 33%-100%) against severe/critical COVID-19 and 75 percent protection against moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 globally (CI, 55%-87%).  The company also reported that antibody levels increased among people who received a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine six months after their first shot. Source

• During his address to the UN General Assembly, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, defends his pandemic response and environmental policies. Because he is unvaccinated, Mr. Bolsonaro has been unable to dine indoors as per New York City’s regulations. Source

• During his opening address to the United Nations, Secretary General António Guterres said he was “ …here to sound the alarm: The world must wake up,” adding that it faces “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.” He noted the glaring inequalities exposed by COVID-19 which las left poorer countries without enough vaccines. “Instead of the path of solidarity,” Mr. Guterres said, “we are on a dead end to destruction.” Source

• The requirement that fully vaccinated visitors to the UK must quarantine for 10 days has enraged Indians who received Covishield (a version of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine produced under license by India’s Serum Institute), especially since the UK has purchased five million doses of Covishield. Source

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