clearn.png
Tuesday June 15th, 2021 6:35AM

The Latest: Philippine pandemic spokesman says he's infected

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MANILA, Philippines — The president’s spokesman, who also has been the country's leading voice on dealing with the pandemic, has tested positive for the coronavirus amid alarm over an infection spike that has forced key cities to reimpose curfews and lockdowns.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque held a regular televised news conference Monday where he disclosed that he has been infected but showed no symptoms. He was last with President Rodrigo Duterte in a provincial trip four days ago but said he tested negative on the eve of the trip and did not endanger the 75-year-old leader.

Roque’s infection is noteworthy because he has been leading a high-profile campaign for the public to do everything to beat back the virus. “The lesson is you can get infected however careful you are ... so, be extra careful all the time.”

The Department of Health has been reporting a surge in infections for more than a week, adding to concerns over a sluggish start of a vaccination campaign that has faced supply problems and public reluctance. The Philippines has reported more than 621,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections, with 12,829 deaths, the second highest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Joe Biden, VP Harris traveling this week to highlight the benefits of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan

— Beyoncé and Taylor Swift set Grammy records at show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era

— Academy Awards nominations Monday will look unlike any other after a pandemic year that shuttered movie theaters

— They've reached March Madness bracket, now college basketball teams face nerve-wracking sequence of virus tests

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says it will start administrating coronavirus vaccines to adults 75 years or older next month as it expands a mass immunization program that aims to deliver the first doses to 12 million people during the first half of the year.

Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said Monday that school nurses, prison workers and people at facilities for the disabled and homeless will also be among groups that will receive their first shots in April.

She said the country will use its next available doses of Pfizer vaccines to inoculate some 3.64 million people who are over 75 and live in communities.

Separately, the country will use AstraZeneca shots to vaccinate some 377,000 people over 65 who live or work in long-term care settings later this month.

People between the age of 65 and 74 who live in communities will receive their first AstraZeneca shots in May or July, she said.

South Korea reported 382 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, which brought its caseload to 96,017, including 1,675 deaths.

___

BEIJING — A Chinese official says the country has administered almost 65 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to its citizens amid plans to immunize up to 80% of its entire population of 1.4 billion.

Teams have been dispatched nationwide to oversee vaccinations and are working with targeted groups according to a schedule, Vice Chairman of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

China has been slower in its vaccination campaign than many other countries, including the U.S., while committing roughly 10 times more doses abroad than it has distributed at home. The lack of urgency is partly due to the near elimination of locally spread cases.

With four approved vaccines, China plans to vaccinate 900 million to 1 billion people by the summer of 2022, seeking to establish herd immunity to stop the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19.

___

BANGKOK — Thai authorities set up mobile testing units Monday near a market on the outskirts of Bangkok where a large virus cluster was confirmed.

Long lines of people, mostly local residents and vendors from the Bangkhae outdoor market, stretched along the main road as health officials in mobile units took nasal swabs. The outdoor market has been closed.

Authorities have reported 107 cases linked to the market, including some in other provinces outside Bangkok.

Rujira Arin, head of Bangkhae district, said conducting as much testing as possible was important to control the situation.

“Vendors in this market are coming from Bangkhae district, nearby districts, even from neighboring provinces. That means the number of the people having contacts with previous cases is quite high. The government and Bangkok city are aware of this problem. So, the faster we can reach the people who are at risks from close contacts, the better and faster we can solve this problem," Rujira said.

Thailand has counted more than 27,000 cases since the pandemic began. It imposed partial lockdown restrictions after a surge in December, then eased the rules after cases dropped in recent weeks.

___

NEW DELHI — A western city began a weeklong lockdown and mask rules were being reinforced in India to battle a virus resurgence.

Western Maharashtra state has been recording almost 15,000 cases every day for the last week and accounts for most of India's active cases. The city of Nagpur began a curfew Monday, while many other districts in the state have implemented night curfews to curb the latest surge.

The country’s health ministry on Monday reported 26,291 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the worst single-day increase since Dec. 24.

India has reported more than 11.3 million cases of coronavirus infection, the world’s third-highest total after the United States and Brazil. The cases had been falling steadily since a peak in late September, but experts say increased public gatherings and laxity toward public health guidance is leading to the latest surge.

Meanwhile, India’s aviation ministry on Sunday said flight passengers who do not wear their masks “properly” could be de-boarded or put on the no-fly list for at least three months.

India began its vaccination drive in January and nearly 30 million people have gotten a shot, though only 5.45 million are fully vaccinated with both doses.

___

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took a dig at the U.S. government Sunday, saying the United States has not helped Mexico with coronavirus vaccines.

López Obrador thanked India and Russia, which have sent small amounts, and China, whose firms have promised millions of doses.

López Obrador said “I hope that soon I will be able to say thanks to the U.S. government, because I am sure they are going to help too, it is just that that haven’t done so so far.”

Mexico has seen almost 195,000 deaths, and almost 2.2 million cases. The country has approved six vaccines and has administered about 4.34 million shots.

The White House has rebuffed requests from U.S. allies, including Mexico, Canada and the European Union, for vaccine doses produced in the United States, where months of production runs have produced vaccine solely for use in the country.

The U.S. is scheduled to have enough approved vaccine delivered by mid-May to cover every American adult.

___

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser says he doesn’t understand why some people are refusing a vaccine proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “I just can’t comprehend what the reason for that is when you have a vaccine that is 94 to 95% effective and it is very safe. I just don’t get it.”

Fauci commented on NBC’s “Meet the Press” after he was asked to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy. Polling shows divides by race and politics, with Black Americans and supporters of former President Donald Trump expressing more skepticism about the vaccines.

The issue of vaccine hesitancy is important because most Americans must be vaccinated in order to defeat the virus.

Fauci said vaccines have rescued the U.S. from smallpox, polio, measles and other diseases.

He said, “We’ve got to disassociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Health, College Sports, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hope that South Africa's COVID-19 corruption inspires action
A special unit in South Africa is investigating nearly $900 million worth of government procurement contracts related to the coronavirus pandemic for possible corruption
4:26AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Denied benefits, Chinese single moms press for change
Sarah Gao, a single mom, has been to court three times since 2017 to try to get her maternity benefits
4:25AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Philippine pandemic spokesman says he's infected
The president’s spokesman, who also has been the country’s leading voice on dealing with the pandemic, has tested positive for the coronavirus amid alarm over an infection spike that has forced key cities to reimpose curfews and lockdowns
4:01AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
68 teams punch their ticket. Now comes the hard part
Now that the 68-team field for March Madness is set, the next few days figure to be the most nerve-wracking part of the seasons
2:29AM ( 2 hours ago )
Stuck in quarantine, Virginia has spot in tournament waiting
Virginia has a spot in the NCAA Tournament
2:25AM ( 2 hours ago )
Amazin' at-bat: Mets' Guillorme draws 22-pitch walk vs Hicks
New York Mets backup Luis Guillorme had quite an at-bat in spring training Sunday
12:26AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest on Selection Sunday: Kansas to leave 3 behind
Kansas coach Bill Self says three Jayhawks players will not travel with the team to Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19
7:57PM ( 8 hours ago )
Pelicans say some players, staff received COVID-19 vaccine
Some players and other members of the New Orleans Pelicans organization have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations, following changes in the eligibility standards for Louisiana residents
7:44PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest on Selection Sunday: Purdue lone Indiana team
In an NCAA Tournament that will take place entirely in the state of Indiana, Purdue is the only in-state team in the field of 68 teams
7:43PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Chinese single moms, denied benefits, press for change
Sarah Gao is a single mother in China who has been dealing with a court case since 2017 because she could not get her maternity benefits
12:22AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Mexico's president knocks US over vaccines
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken a dig at the U.S. government, saying the United States has not helped Mexico with coronavirus vaccines
10:43PM ( 5 hours ago )
Brazil wonders about whereabouts of vaccine mascot
Rumors and conspiracy theories swirled this week regarding the whereabouts of Zé Gotinha, the mascot for Brazil's national vaccination program
6:20PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Health
The Latest on Selection Sunday: Tide, Bonnies win titles
Alabama, St. Bonaventure and Colgate have locked up automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament by winning conference championships a few hours before the field of 68 is revealed
4:14PM ( 12 hours ago )
Fewer brackets but same number plan bets on March Madness
Fewer Americans expect to fill out brackets for the NCAA's college basketball tournament this year, but the overall number of people making bets on March Madness is likely to remain about the same as the last time the tournament was held, in 2019
4:05PM ( 12 hours ago )
No. 6 Alabama adds another SEC title, edges LSU at tourney
Herbert Jones drove for a go-ahead layup with 19.5 seconds and No. 6 Alabama won the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the first time since 1991, holding off a late flurry to edge LSU 80-79
3:36PM ( 13 hours ago )
College Sports
'Republic of Queues': 10 years on, Syria is a hungry nation
Syria is marking the 10th anniversary of the start of its conflict
2:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares mixed as China reports so-so economic data
Shares are mixed in Asia as China reported a variety of data that painted a complicated picture of its recovery from the pandemic
1:13AM ( 3 hours ago )
Australians rally at Parliament to demand justice for women
Australians are rallying in several cities demanding justice for women and calling out dangerous workplace cultures as the government reels from two rape allegations
1:07AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Timing key in consulting deal between FirstEnergy, regulator
Shortly before utility lawyer and lobbyist Sam Randazzo was appointed Ohio’s top regulator over electric and power generating companies, he received $4.3 million from top executives at one of the companies whose fortunes would soon be in his hands
8:34AM ( 20 hours ago )
The Latest: All Duke University undergrads must quarantine
Duke University issued a quarantine order for all of its undergraduates effective Saturday night due to a coronavirus outbreak caused by students who attended recruitment parties, the school said
9:25PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Italy plans 80% vaccinated by end of September
The new Italian government says it aims to have 80% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September
1:27PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Conflict grows between US and allies over vaccine supply
Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses are in cold storage in the U.S. but can’t be injected because they are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration
2:56PM ( 2 days ago )
Conflict growing between US and allies over vaccine supply
Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses are in cold storage in the U.S. but can’t be injected because they are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration
2:14PM ( 2 days ago )
US, Indo-Pacific allies to expand India's vaccine production
President Joe Biden and fellow leaders of the Indo-Pacific group known as the Quad have announced a plan to expand coronavirus vaccine manufacturing capacity in India
1:18PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
No. 9 Buckeyes edge No. 4 Michigan, make Big Ten title game
Duane Washington Jr. scored 24 points and E
7:18PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 3 Illinois gets past No. 5 Iowa, into Big Ten title game
Kofi Cockburn scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half, and No. 3 Illinois beat No. 5 Iowa 82-71 to advance to the Big Ten Tournament title game
6:07PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 15 Florida State holds off North Carolina 69-66 in ACCs
Anthony Polite hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:06 left, and No. 15 Florida State held off North Carolina 69-66 in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
12:30AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Hope that South Africa's COVID-19 corruption inspires action
A special unit in South Africa is investigating nearly $900 million worth of government procurement contracts related to the coronavirus pandemic for possible corruption
4:26AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Denied benefits, Chinese single moms press for change
Sarah Gao, a single mom, has been to court three times since 2017 to try to get her maternity benefits
4:25AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Merkel's party faces German election 'wake-up call'
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is considering how to respond to historically bad state election results that a senior member described as a “wake-up call,” six months before a national vote that will determine who succeeds Germany’s long-time leader
3:54AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Former TV presenter puts race on Dutch political agenda
A former television presenter who is arguably the best-known Black Dutch woman is leading a small party that wants to put ending racial inequality front and center on the political stage before and after the Netherlands’ general election
3:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pandemic sets back Italian women's long fight for jobs
Worldwide, working women paid a high price during the pandemic as many quit jobs to care for children when schools closed
3:20AM ( 1 hour ago )