More than half all European now fully vaccinated as Germany warns on rising virus cases

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cases in her country were rising "exponentially", while in Japan the delayed Olympic Games were set to open with almost no spectators and with a blanket of Covid rules in situ

More than half all European now fully vaccinated as Germany warns on rising virus cases
Half of Europeans vaccinated as Germany warns on rising virus cases

More than half all European adults are now fully vaccinated, the EU said on Thursday, as countries across Europe and Asia battled fresh outbreaks blamed on the fast-spreading Delta variant.The European financial institution said uncertainty over the wave of infections meant it had been keeping the cash taps hospitable make sure the nascent economic recovery isn't snuffed out.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cases in her country were rising "exponentially", while in Japan the delayed Olympic Games were set to open with almost no spectators and with a blanket of Covid rules in situ The spotlight, meanwhile, once more turned on the origins of the virus after the WHO involved an audit of the Chinese lab at the guts of speculation about where it first emerged, sparking a fiery response from Beijing.

More than four million people have died from the virus since December 2019, and though rates of vaccination are learning globally, Delta is fuelling an increase in infections and prompting governments to re-impose anti-virus measures.The EU said on Thursday that 200 million Europeans had been fully vaccinated, quite half the adult population but still in need of a 70% target set for the summer.

The fresh data came as Merkel urged more Germans to urge jabs, sounding the alarm over a fresh spike in cases in Germany."We are seeing exponential growth," she told a press conference in Berlin, adding that "every vaccination... may be a small step towards a return to normality".Germany has seen an incidence rate of 12.2 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days -- quite double rates in early July.

"With a rising incidence rate, it might be that we'd like to introduce additional measures," she said.- Dominant Delta -Germany joins variety of European nations that have seen cases climb in recent weeks fuelled by the Delta variant, first detected in India.

European financial institution chief Christine Lagarde warned of growing economic uncertainty caused by Delta, because the bank kept its vast stimulus for the eurozone firmly in situ following a gathering of its 25-member governing council.

"The euro area economy is rebounding strongly," Lagarde said, but the Delta variant could damp the post-lockdown recovery "in services, especially in tourism and hospitality", she said.France in the week unrolled new rules requiring a so-called health pass for all events or places with quite 50 people before being extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping centres in August.

People got to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to realize access, after the country reported a replacement surge -- more 21,000 new cases on Wednesday, the very best level since early May.Italy on Thursday also said a health pass would be mandatory for people wishing to access bars, restaurants, swimming pools, sports facilities, museums and theatres from Transfiguration .

It will even be necessary for people eager to attend sports events, concerts and seminars.Cases also are soaring within the UK, where most restrictions were lifted in the week , and on Thursday British supermarkets warned of possible food shortages because staff were being forced to self-isolate.

On Thursday, a one-day international match between the West Indies and Australia at the Kensington Oval in London was cancelled at the last moment thanks to a positive Covid test from a "non-playing member of the West Indies team".

A furious Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis meanwhile blasted his country's Olympic team as six athletes and officials tested positive for coronavirus within the Olympic Village. He called the incident a "scandal".Countries in Asia are seeing a number of their worst outbreaks so far , with Indonesia becoming a replacement global hotspot as Vietnam and Thailand face new anti-virus rules.In Tokyo, the Olympics were thanks to open on Friday after a year-long pandemic delay.

Spectators are mostly banned, and athletes, journalists and organisers are subject to strict virus measures."It's completely different from the last Games (in 1964) when the entire city was crammed with festive mood," said 80-year-old Tokyo resident Michiko Fukui.With no clear end to the pandemic in view , attention turned once more to the international probe origins of the virus.

The WHO said last week that the probe should include audits of Chinese labs, but Chinese Vice Health Minister Zeng Yixin said on Thursday that he was "extremely surprised" by the WHO plan, which he said showed "disrespect for sense and arrogance towards science".

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