The latest: China penalizes 30 officials who failed to prevent pandemics

Over 30 Chinese officials were fired or punished for failing to properly respond to the latest coronavirus outbreak in China.

The latest: China penalizes 30 officials who failed to prevent pandemics

A vice mayor, head of city districts, health commissions and staff in hospital management, aviation and tourism were among those who were fired.

China's National Health Commission announced Monday that 94 cases of domestic transmission were recorded in the past 24 hours.

The airport in Nanjing, the eastern city, is the source of the latest outbreak. The highly contagious delta variant spread quickly among airport workers, and then spread to the north from the tropical Hainan province in south to Inner Mongolia.

The epidemic has led to increased travel restrictions, community lockdowns, and the complete sealing off of Zhangjiajie with 1.5 million people.


MELBOURNE (Australia) -- The pandemic lockdown in Victoria, Australia, will be lifted starting Tuesday, with the exception of Melbourne.

Australia's second-most populous country imposed a seven day lockdown on Thursday last week due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus delta variant.

However, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrew claims that all cases in Victoria have been detected in Melbourne in the past few days. There were 11 more cases reported Monday. The lockdown in the rest of the state will be lifted at Monday's end.

Monday's report from New South Wales, a neighboring state, reported 283 coronavirus cases and one COVID-19-related death during the last 24-hour period. 29 people have died in the latest virus outbreak, which was first reported in Sydney on June 16.

Since June 26, Sydney has been under lockdown and will remain so until Aug. 28, when strict pandemic restrictions will be in place.


NEW ORLEANS -- New coronavirus cases in Louisiana mean that the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will not be returning to New Orleans this year.

The festival is usually held in spring, but it was originally scheduled to be Oct. 8-10 and October 15-17. It was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, organizers announced that the festival would not take place as planned on Sunday due to "current exponential growth" in new cases in the region and the city.

According to them, the dates for next year are April 29-May 8

Jazz Fest is a celebration of the Louisiana and New Orleans' indigenous music and culture. Nearly every genre of music is represented: blues and R&B, gospel and Cajun, Zydeco and Afro-Caribbean, folk and Latin, rock, rap and contemporary jazz, country and bluegrass, and everything in-between.


MIAMI -- Are you ready to party at South Beach's most prestigious nightclubs? Get ready to party! LIV offers free COVID vaccinations to high-rollers outside of the Miami club, where they can spend as much as $20,000 for a table.

Star-studded nightclub where Super Bowl champs party at parties that have inspired lyrics by Drake and Kanye West, opened pop-up COVID vaccination sites over the weekend in an effort to attract the younger crowd.

Over the weekend, another record was set by the Sunshine State. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 23903 COVID-19 new cases on Saturday. This surpasses the record for Friday's 22,783 cases.

The pandemic saw Clubs LIV & Story close for nearly a year. They reopened in April. David Grutman is the owner of South Beach's famous nightlife scene. He also owns a hotel and restaurant with Pharrell. "We are excited. We want to keep open. And we know that the only way to make this happen is if people get vaccined. So we want it to be as accessible as we can."


NEW YORK -- Moviegoing was once expected to return to semi-normal levels, but is still being affected by the pandemic and the in-home streaming of the coronavirus.

James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad", a critically-acclaimed, carnage-ridden smash that failed to sell with an estimated $26.5 million in ticket sales, is the latest victim.

One pandemic record could be held by the Warner Bros. film that was simultaneously released on HBO Max: Its highest R-rated opening. The Suicide Squad, the first DC Comics film by the director of "Guardians of the Galaxy", seemed to be poised for a greater hit. This was assuming that the delta version wasn't keeping many moviegoers away.


LONDON -- Britain’s competition watchdog has announced that it will investigate the cost of coronavirus testing in travelers' pockets after Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, complained about high prices. This was in response to the fact that some people were not able to go on vacation because of the high costs.

Most travelers require PCR tests at a cost of 75 pounds ($104) per test, or 300 pounds for four people. However, many companies charge much more. The prices quoted by the government website vary from 17 pounds ($24), to 250 pounds ($347).

Javid stated Sunday that he had asked the Competition and Markets Authority for help in cracking down on "unfair markets practices" by test provider.

The watchdog can intervene when it discovers unjust practices, but it can also give advice to ministers to help them take faster action.


PHOENIX -- Arizona officials reported over 2,000 more COVID-19 patients for the fifth consecutive Sunday, as virus-related hospitalizations continued their rise.

The state's coronavirus dashboard recorded 2,639 more cases and 12 deaths, bringing the total pandemic to 946,054 and 18,388 deaths.

Officials reported that there were 2,653 cases and 34 deaths on Saturday.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the seven-day average daily number of new cases has nearly doubled in the past week from 1,145.1 on Tuesday to 2,227.6 Thursday.

The daily average death rate has more than doubled in the same time period, from 6.3 to 16.9.


TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisia's largest coroanvirus vaccination campaign has been launched as the country struggles with a surge in cases.

Authorities plan to immunise over 1,000,000 people over 40 in one day. This is a significant improvement on the 30,000-60,000 vaccinations per day that were done previously.

In a Sunday televised address, President Kais Saied urged people to get the shot to "return life to normal in Tunisia."

Many schools have been equipped with vaccination centers and buses provided by the authorities.

Tunisia is home to 12 million people. It has also reported the highest number of pandemic deaths per capita than any other African country. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 20,000 Tunisians. Only 9% have been fully vaccinated so far.


WILMINGTON (Del. WILMINGTON, Del. -- The FDA is expected to approve coronavirus vaccines within a month of their top infectious disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that this would lead to a surge in vaccine mandates from the private sector, as well as schools or universities.

FDA has granted only emergency approval to Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines. Pfizer is expected to receive full FDA approval soon.

Although the Biden administration stated that the federal government would not require vaccinations for anyone beyond the federal workforce (though it is urging more state and local governments, as well as businesses, to reconsider such mandates.

Fauci stated on Sunday to NBC's "Meet the Press," that mandates at the local level are needed to stop the spread of the virus.


WASHINGTON -- Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy said he disagreed with GOP governors from Florida and Texas that are blocking mask mandates despite coronavirus cases rising higher.

Cassidy is a Louisiana doctor. He stated Sunday that local officials should be heard if ICUs at a hospital in a community become full from rising infections. School officials also need to make sure they implement safeguards like mask-wearing before students return in the fall.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order in May. Greg Abbott issued an executive directive prohibiting local governments to impose mask mandates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a July order prohibiting school districts from requiring students to wear masks during in-person instruction.

Due to the highly contagious Delta variant, infections are on the rise in these states and elsewhere. Officials stress the importance of vaccinations, but children younger than 12 years old are not eligible.


KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia) -- Malaysia has announced it will lift lockdown restrictions on people who have been fully vaccinated. This is in response to public anger at the government's mismanagement of the pandemic.

Even though there had been a lockdown since June 1, daily infections exceeded 20,000 on Thursday for the first time. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stated Sunday that the government had decided to allow some flexibility for people who are fully vaccinated because "many are facing pandemic fatigue."

Spouses and parents can meet up in different districts starting Tuesday.

Muhyiddin states that local tourism, non-contact sports and exercise will be permitted in at least eight states.

So far, 35% have been fully vaccinated.


RIYADH (Saudi Arabia) -- Saudi Arabia has announced that it will give $133,000 to each family member of any medical worker who was killed fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday's announcement stated that the financial award would be available to all affected health care workers, non-Saudis as well as personnel working in the private sector.

The Health Ministry did not disclose publicly the number of pandemic deaths in which health workers were involved.

Saudi Arabia is home to 30 million people and has administered close to 30 million vaccine doses. There are currently less than 1,000 new cases per day in the kingdom.


PORTLAND, Maine -- American motorists pushed the limits during the pandemic. Police are concerned as the roads become congested with summer travel.

According to new data, the 2020 highway death toll was the highest in over a decade, even though trucks and cars drove less due the pandemic.

Traffic data shows that the higher death rate was due to slower speeds and more people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. There has also been a decline in seatbelt usage.

The California Highway Patrol issued nearly twice as many tickets for speeding exceeding 100 mph between January and June than they did before the pandemic. The percentage of deaths caused by speeding in New York increased from January to June, as compared with before the pandemic.


JERUSALEM -- The Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet says that people are running to get the third shot of vaccines as protection against the rising coronavirus variant.

Bennett pointed out Sunday's government statistics showing that over 420,000 Israelis aged 60 and older have had booster shots, more than a third the target population. Bennett predicted that the number would reach half a million by Sunday's end.

Israel is witnessing an increase in COVID-19-infected patients, nearly all of whom are from the highly contagious delta strain. The government has reinstated its indoor mask mandate and is adding more restrictions.

Israel was the world's leader in vaccination against the virus after its first public campaign. Approximately 5.4 million people in Israel have had two doses of vaccines.

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