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Coronavirus digest: Florida COVID cases reach new high

  • August 01, 2021

Florida has reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday showed how quickly the number of cases is rising in the Sunshine State. Only a day earlier, Florida reported 17,093 new daily cases.

The previous peak was 19,334 cases reported on January 7.

The state now accounts for around a fifth of all new cases in the US.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the Florida Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose measures meant to stop the spread of the virus.

Here are the other major developments on coronavirus from around the world.

Middle East

Israel has begun vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11 at risk of health complications.

The country is also looking at developing an oral vaccine, according to news agency AFP.

Everyone above 60 years of age can receive a third shot of COVID vaccine. They should have received the second shot at least five months ago to become eligible for the third.

Nearly 60% of Israel’s population have gotten two shots, mostly with the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.

Despite the success, Israel reported 2,435 new cases on Saturday, the highest since March, and 326 people were hospitalized.

Saudi Arabia opens its border to fully vaccinated tourists from today after a 17-month pause.

They will not be required to quarantine if they can provide health authorities with a negative COVID-19 report. 

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Socially-distanced worship

    Ordinarily, thousands of Muslim worshippers flock to Mecca’s Ka’bah, Islam’s holiest site, during the hajj. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, Saudi authorities have limited the number of worshippers. This year, only 60,000 Saudi Muslims are permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Islam’s holiest site

    Journeying to Mecca is one of several key acts a pious Muslim is expected to perform in life. Islam’s most sacred sites are treated with utmost deference. The area surrounding the Ka’bah, in Mecca’s Great Mosque, is given a meticulous clean before worshippers arrive.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Strict hygiene measures apply

    Strict hygiene measures are in place during the hajj, with mask-wearing now a norm among worshippers. This year, Saudi Arabia is only allowing fully vaccinated Muslims to embark on the hajj. Currently, only 12% of Saudis are inoculated.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    ‘Feast of sacrifice’

    Eid al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice,” is the most important holiday in the Muslim world. It commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s (known as Abraham to Christians and Jews) willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God’s behest. God is said to have suddenly intervened and spared Ishmael’s life. In his place, a ram was sacrificed. Here, Nigerian Muslims prepare a ram for sacrifice.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Blood red

    A Bangladeshi vendor colors the horns of his livestock. The red color symbolizes the blood of the sacrificial animals. During this important Muslim holiday, meat from sacrificed livestock is usually donated to the needy.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Halal slaughter

    Animals sacrificed in celebration of this holiday are slaughtered according to traditional halal principles. This archive image from Turkey shows the practice. Halal slaughter involves cutting an animal’s throat without stunning it beforehand. Animal rights activists take issue with this method, and Germany mandates that animals must be stunned before undergoing halal slaughter.

  • Pandemic overshadows hajj, Eid al-Adha celebrations

    Time for celebration

    Above all, the Feast of Sacrifice brings together old and young, and is typically celebrated together with families. Here, crowds gather to mark the first day of Eid al-Adha festivities next to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City

    Author: Kersten Knipp

Asia Pacific

Olympics organizers recorded 18 new cases at the Tokyo Games on Sunday. The figures bring the total number of Olympics-linked cases to 259. 24 athletes have tested positive so far.

Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, recorded 239 new cases of delta variant of the virus, matching the record daily number of cases on Thursday.

There are currently 222 people are in hospital and 54 of them are in intensive care in the state.

In Queensland, there were 9 new cases, the state’s highest number in a year.


South Africa kicks off its inoculation drive for people aged between 35 and 49. It threw open registration for those in the group in the middle of July.

Some 12 million people are eligible for the vaccines in the age group, with 1.5 million enrolling within the first 48 hours.


The number of cases in Germany rose by 2,097 and the number of deaths increased by 1 on Sunday. The total number of cases now stands at 3,771,272 and deaths at 91,659.

Meanwhile, new rules for unvaccinated tourists entering Germany came into force on Sunday.

A survey published by the German newspaper Bild showed that 27% of those who were unvaccinated were willing to receive their shots.

Some 54% said they would not like to be vaccinated and 19% said they were undecided.

rm/mm (AP, DPA)

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