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A man receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by a medic staff at a vaccination center in Anglet, southwestern FranceSaturday, July 17, 2021. Tens of thousands of people protested across France on Saturday against the government's latest measures to curb rising COVID-19 infections and drive up vaccinations in the country. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

 

The head of the Catalan regional health service says a new peak of COVID-19 infections at the end of this month could place hospitals under severe pressure, just as some staff go on their summer vacation.

Gemma Craywinckel told RAC1 radio in an interview Sunday that the northeastern Spanish region could within two weeks see as many as 500 people in intensive care, up from the current almost 300.

She said the Catalan public health system is already “under a lot of strain” due to a surge in infections blamed on the Delta variant.

Craywinckel said authorities had failed to convey to local people the danger that the Delta variant represented. She also criticized people who have confronted police officers enforcing a night-time curfew.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— Vaccine inequity: Inside the cutthroat race to secure doses

— In U-turn, Boris Johnson to quarantine after COVID-19 contact

— Tunisia puts military on vaccination duty as cases soar

— Vietnam puts southern region in lockdown as surge grows

— Nightclubs elated, but doubts cloud England’s ‘Freedom Day’

 

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PARIS — The European Union’s vaccination campaign is catching up with the United States.

European officials vaunted figures from Our World in Data showing that 55.6% of EU citizens have had at least one dose, compared to 55.4% in the U.S. It was the first time the EU figures outpaced those across the Atlantic.

Our World in Data says the U.S. still has a higher proportion of fully vaccinated people. The figures are 48% in the U.S. versus 42% in the EU. Britain and some other countries are moving faster than either.

The EU took a more cautious approach to vaccines initially and got off to a slower start than the U.S.

EU markets commissioner Thierry Breton noted that half of vaccines made in the bloc have been exported to more than 100 countries overall. But extreme global vaccine inequalities remain. Only a small fraction of vaccines reaching the poorest populations in Africa and elsewhere.

Italy's fans celebrate in Rome, Monday, July 12, 2021, after Italy beat England to win the Euro 2020 soccer championships in a final played at Wembley stadium in London. Italy beat England 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

 

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ROME — Daily new caseloads of confirmed COVID-19 infections are surging in Italy.

Health experts say it’s clear that nationwide celebrations by Italian fans after European Championship soccer matches are a significant factor.

Thousands of fans jammed Rome’s streets on July 12 to cheer an open-topped bus tour by Italy’s national team, which won Euro 2020 by beating England the night before.

The number of newly confirmed cases in the Lazio region that includes Rome more in the last three days. The region had the highest daily new caseload on Saturday.

A pediatric specialist who advises Italy’s government on anti-pandemic health measures told La Repubblica daily in an interview Sunday that “the gatherings and the crowding favored the viral circulation.”

Dr. Franco Locatelli said the average age of infected people in Italy is now 28.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.

The announcement by his office on Sunday reverses an earlier statement that unlike most people, he would not face quarantine. Johnson met Friday with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who later tested positive for COVID-19. Contacts of positive cases usually have to self-isolate for 10 days.

Johnson’s office initially said the prime minister would instead take a daily coronavirus test as part of a pilot project. And the same would apply to Treasury chief Rishi Sunak who also was contacted. But Johnson’s office said later after an outcry that both men would self-isolate and “will not be taking part in the testing pilot.”

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, left, leave Downing Street to attend a cabinet meeting in London.  Johnson has been contacted by the country’s test-and-trace system as a contact of a confirmed coronavirus case. The prime minister's office says that unlike most people, he won’t have to self-isolate. But Johnson’s office says the prime minister will instead take a daily coronavirus test as part of a pilot project. The same applies to Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, who also was contacted. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

 

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LONDON — Thousands of young people across England plan to dance the night away at “Freedom Day” parties as soon as it turns Monday.

The country’s nightclubs are reopening for the first time in 17 months as almost all coronavirus rules are set to be scrapped. Sparkling wine and full dance floors are anticipated. But not masks or proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, negative test or recent recovery from the disease.

Businesses and ravers are jubilant. But many others are deeply worried about the U.K. government’s decision to go ahead with shelving social distancing at a time when virus cases are on another rapid upswing.

Many health experts fear the government is overly confident in its vaccine rollout.

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BARGNY, Senegal — Health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are surging in Senegal as millions in the West African nation prepare for the Tabaski holiday.

New confirmed cases have risen in just weeks from dozens a day to a record of 738 on Friday. And the health ministry says they then nearly doubled overnight to 1,366 on Saturday.

President Macky Sall and his Cabinet are limiting public gatherings and travel and urging the public to continue wearing masks and frequently sanitize their hands.

Tabaski is celebrated on July 21 in Senegal and sees thousands of people come together in large family gatherings to celebrate. Many health officials are worried. People throng marketplaces and gather at auctions to buy sheep in the runup to the holiday.

A member of staff at The Piano Works club in Farringdon, London, Friday, July 16, 2021, prepares for its reopening as part of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. Thousands of young people plan to dance the night away at “Freedom Day” parties as the clock strikes midnight Monday, when almost all coronavirus restrictions in England are due to be scrapped. Nightclubs can open fully and are not required to use vaccine passports. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

A man rides a scooter on a quiet street in Vung Tau, Vietnam, Sunday, July 18, 2021. Vietnam has put its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting midnight Sunday, as confirmed daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row. (AP Photo/ Hau Dinh)

 

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KESRA, Tunisia — Tunisian authorities have deployed military personnel to vaccinate remote populations as coronavirus infections mount and hospitals struggle to cope.

The North African country is facing its worst coronavirus virus of the pandemic. The infections forced some regions back into lockdown and prompted donations of vaccines or medical aid from China, France, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

Tunisia’s government decided to deploy the armed forces to vaccinate people in the regions with the worst infection rates and in areas with particularly low vaccination rates.

Tunisia is currently recording one of the world’s highest daily per-capita infection rates and has reported Africa’s highest per-capita pandemic death toll.

Adama Ndiaye, pulls a sheep gifted by the Secours Islamique France, in Bargny, Senegal, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Ndiaye got up before dawn to travel about 25 miles, hoping that she would be able to get a sheep for Tabaski celebrations. As millions in Senegal prepare for Tabaski, health officials warn that COVID-19 cases are surging in the West African nation. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

 

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PARIS — Global health experts say they expected vaccine distribution to be unequal between rich countries and poor countries.

But no one thought it would get to this point. Less than 1% of the world’s poorest citizens have received a dose.

And experts say it could be 2023 until vaccines are widely available everywhere. That’s fueling more infections and variants that could keep the pandemic around longer.

The African Union’s envoy for vaccine acquisition compared the inequity of distribution to a famine in which “the richest guys grab the baker.”

Shersina Roby fills out a form to get her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine dose while 3-year-0ld Gezelle Fanny has a snack at a vaccination clinic in Honolulu, July 14, 2021. The pandemic has underscored the importance of collecting and reporting racial data. Honolulu City Councilwoman Esther Kiaʻāina says the pandemic's toll on Pacific Islanders who are not Native Hawaiian inspired her to introduce a resolution urging Hawaii government agencies to collect more specific data about Pacific Islanders. (AP Photo/Jennifer Since Kelleher)

 

 

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HONOLULU — Advocates in Hawaii say the pandemic has underscored the importance of collecting and reporting racial data.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Esther Kiaʻāina says the pandemic’s toll on Pacific Islanders who are not Native Hawaiian inspired her to introduce a resolution urging Hawaii government agencies to collect more specific data about Pacific Islanders.

Kiaʻāina worked at the federal level to separate Native Hawaiian data from Asian data in the 1990s. That was prompted by concerns that Native Hawaiian students were considered overrepresented in colleges when counted as Asian.

But all other Pacific Islanders have remained in one category since then.

A soldier administrates the COVID-19 vaccine to a woman in Kesra,130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Tunis, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. As part of the efforts from the Tunisian government to try to stop the increasing number of infections in the country, the militaries were deployed to some cities and rural areas hardly affected by COVID-19 or with a very low rate of vaccination, to vaccinate people. (AP Photo/Saber Zidi)

 

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HANOI, Vietnam — The Vietnamese government has put the entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting at midnight.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row. The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City metropolis. There are more than 35 million people in the country’s financial and economic hub. That’s nearly a third of Vietnam’s population.

Officials say they have to act as the number of infections reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak reemerged at the end of April after several months of no cases being recorded. Ho Chi Minh City is the epicenter of the surge.

FILE - In this Sunday, June 27, 2021 file photo, people receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP)

People sit close to the beach on a summer's day in Laredo, northern Spain, Saturday, July 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

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