The Newest: South Korea mulls dropping masks for vaccinated

Well being Minister Kwon Deok-choel stated Wednesday the plan is contingent on the federal government succeeding in its aim of administering first doses to 13 million folks by the tip of June. Officers say folks will proceed to be required to put on masks indoors or at out of doors gatherings the place it’s troublesome to take care of distance.

Different incentives embrace offering vaccine-takers with reductions at public parks and museums and permitting them to take part in bigger personal gatherings. The nation is at the moment clamping down on social gatherings of 5 or extra folks.

South Korea has wrestled with a slower vaccine rollout than many different developed economies.

Round 3.9 million folks to this point have acquired their first doses because the nation launched its mass immunization program in late February, which represents lower than 8% of the nation’s 51 million inhabitants.

Well being officers have lamented what they describe as extreme public worry of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to uncommon blood-clotting unintended effects.



— Vaccine inequality in India sends many falling by gaps

— International locations desirous to reopen to journey as pandemic recedes

— UN official: Conflicts make controlling COVID tougher

— A rising variety of public faculties within the U.S. are utilizing mascots, meals vehicles and prize giveaways to encourage college students to get vaccinated earlier than summer time trip.

— The British authorities is dealing with accusations of reintroducing native lockdowns on the sly after it printed new tips for eight areas of England that it says are scorching spots for the coronavirus variant first recognized in India.


Observe extra of AP’s pandemic protection at and


The vaccine inventory that arrived early Wednesday is the second donation from China, following a cargo of 600,000 doses in March.

Sri Lanka is dealing with a scarcity of vaccine after the producer in neighboring India failed to supply the promised Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine shares. The federal government on Tuesday agreed to purchase 14 million doses of Sinopharm from China.

The present vaccination program is concentrated on Sri Lanka’s Western province, which incorporates the capital of Colombo and its suburbs. It’s the place the vast majority of the nation’s coronavirus circumstances have been.

Sri Lanka to this point has reported 167,172 coronavirus circumstances and 1,243 deaths from COVID-19.


HONOLULU — Hawaii is not requiring folks to put on face masks outside because the variety of coronavirus circumstances drops and extra folks get vaccinated.

Gov. David Ige stated Tuesday that he’ll preserve a requirement that individuals put on masks indoors, whether or not or not somebody is vaccinated. He additionally says he’ll encourage people who find themselves in giant teams outside to proceed to put on masks.

Ige says that beginning June 1, he’ll permit ocean sports activities competitions like browsing contests and canoe paddling races to happen.

The governor says 57% of Hawaii’s residents have acquired no less than one dose of coronavirus vaccine whereas slightly below half the inhabitants has been absolutely vaccinated.


PORTLAND, Ore. — For the primary time in months, eating places in Oregon’s most populous county — house to Portland — will open for 50% capability for indoor eating after assembly vaccination targets.

Gov. Kate Brown introduced Tuesday that half of Oregon’s counties, together with Multnomah County, will transfer to the “decrease threat” degree Thursday.

This class permits a big discount in pandemic restrictions — permitting 50% capability for indoor dinging, theaters, gyms and different indoor leisure areas. It additionally expands indoor gatherings to 10 folks and retail retailer capability to 75%.

Presently, greater than half of Oregon’s eligible inhabitants who’re 16 or older have acquired no less than a primary dose of coronavirus vaccine.


UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations humanitarian chief says that regardless of final yr’s U.N. name for world cease-fires to sort out the COVID-19 pandemic, many conflicts by no means stopped, together with in Syria, Yemen and Congo and new ones erupted.

Mark Lowcock informed the U.N. Safety Council on Tuesday that this has made it tougher to regulate the unfold of the coronavirus and take care of contaminated folks in lots of international locations. He cites “a number of stories of atrocities” in opposition to civilians caught in conflicts through the pandemic.

Lowcock says insecurity, sanctions, counter-terrorism measures and administrative hurdles are hindering humanitarian operations. And he says the pandemic has made assist deliveries worse due to suspended flights, border closures, quarantine measures and lockdowns.



BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards is scrapping practically each remaining coronavirus restriction in Louisiana and lifting the statewide requirement that college students should put on a masks within the classroom and at college occasions.

The Democratic governor introduced Tuesday that he’ll hold the statewide public well being emergency declaration in place. However Louisiana can have virtually not one of the guidelines governing companies and conduct during the last 15 months of the pandemic.

Edwards cited the extensive availability of the coronavirus vaccine in Louisiana.

Masks nonetheless can be required on public transit, in well being care amenities and in prisons. Faculties, companies and native authorities officers can resolve in the event that they wish to mandate masks.


WAILUKU, Hawaii — Police in Hawaii say an Oregon lady was arrested final week as a result of she violated journey quarantine guidelines meant to guard the islands from the unfold of coronavirus.

Maui police say 36-year-old Kelsey Newcomer didn’t have a adverse COVID-19 take a look at from an authorized facility when she arrived on a flight from Seattle. Police say she additionally didn’t have authorized lodging the place she may full at 10-day obligatory quarantine.

She was taken to a police station and later agreed to depart the island of Maui and return to Oregon. Vacationers to Hawaii should adjust to the state’s pre-travel testing program, even those that are absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

She couldn’t instantly be reached for remark Tuesday.


HARTFORD, Conn. — A decide has upheld Connecticut’s requirement that kids put on masks in faculties, rejecting a problem by some dad and mom who say masks sporting will be dangerous and schooling officers exceeded their authority.

A Superior Courtroom decide in Hartford launched his ruling Monday in response to a lawsuit filed by the CT Freedom Alliance and several other dad and mom and their kids. The choice affirms the legitimacy of masks necessities in faculties this tutorial yr however doesn’t give steering for the subsequent college yr.

The CT Freedom Alliance says it can enchantment the ruling to the state Supreme Courtroom, saying they will trigger college students misery and falsely claiming they don’t seem to be helpful regardless of assurances from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and different well being specialists that masks assist stop unfold of the coronavirus.


DENVER — Colorado can have a weekly lottery for 5 residents to win $1 million to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations.

Gov. Jared Polis stated Tuesday that the state is setting apart $5 million of federal coronavirus reduction funds that might have gone towards vaccine promoting for 5 residents to win $1 million every. The drawings will happen each week beginning June 4 till July 7.

Each resident who has been vaccinated by the tip of Might can be entered within the first drawing. To be able to be eligible for the drawing, residents must be no less than 18 years previous and have acquired no less than one dose of the authorized coronavirus vaccines.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas can be giving lottery tickets and present certificates for looking and fishing licenses to individuals who get the coronavirus vaccine.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says $20 scratch-off lottery tickets or $20 Sport and Fish present certificates can be supplied to residents who get the primary dose of the vaccine beginning Tuesday.

The incentives can be out there beginning June 1 at native well being items or particular occasions across the state.

Arkansas has had one of many lowest vaccination charges within the nation and Tuesday’s announcement follows efforts in different states to supply incentives.


WASHINGTON — White Home coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt says “we have to get to the underside” of the origins of the pandemic pathogen and the World Well being Group and China have to do extra to supply definitive solutions for the worldwide group.

The exact origin of the virus stays undetermined and hypothesis has reigned about whether or not it jumped from animals to people or whether or not it may have escaped from a Chinese language authorities lab in Wuhan, town that noticed the primary outbreak.

“We want a totally clear course of from China,” Slavitt stated at Tuesday’s coronavirus activity drive briefing. Full help from the WHO is required, and “we don’t have that now.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci stated “many people” really feel prefer it was a pure incidence, however “we don’t know 100%” and it’s crucial to research.


MEXICO CITY — San Diego County and personal companies have donated 10,000 coronavirus vaccines to vaccinate staff at U.S.-owned border meeting vegetation in Tijuana.

International Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says this system is aimed toward serving to equalize vaccination charges at intently related factors alongside the U.S.-Mexico border.

“That is the primary cross-border settlement we now have had. That is absolutely going to develop lots,” Ebrard stated. “We plan to duplicate this all alongside the border.”

The vaccines are being administered by medical personnel from the College of California, San Diego, on the San Ysidro border crossing. This system began Monday with about 150 to 200 pictures administered per hour.

Mexico has had a scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines, and has acquired solely about 34.2 million doses for a inhabitants of 126 million. Since most vaccines require two doses, Mexico has solely vaccinated about 15% of its inhabitants to this point.

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