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While US focuses on a few virus-stricken states, other countries struggle with new infection waves

While US focuses on a few virus-stricken states, other countries struggle with new infection waves

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A surge in virus cases and deaths is hitting all regions of the world, with the increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths happening even in countries where vaccination efforts are finally getting some momentum.

Brazil has reported a 24-hour tally of COVID-19 deaths exceeding 4,000 for the first time, becoming the second nation to go above that daily threshold.

Washington is rushing federal resources to support vaccinations, testing and therapeutics to Michigan in an effort to control the state’s worst-in-the-nation COVID-19 transmission rate.

Read more, or scroll to the end of this story for 10 charts and maps showing vaccinations and infections across the U.S. and world.

Also today:

  • After a false start and an unconventional test run, South Africa on Friday announced the launch of its mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 with a goal of inoculating more than 40 million people by February next year.
  • French health officials said Friday that people under 55 who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should get other vaccines for their second shot because of an extremely rare risk of a blood clotting disorder.
  • Italian prosecutors have accused a top World Health Organization official of lying to them about a spiked U.N. report into Italy’s coronavirus response.

Storylines to watch this weekend

  • As many as 60 countries, including some of the poorest, might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help them are blocked until as late as June.
  • Governors in at least a dozen states are being challenged by lawmakers as their coronavirus executive orders expire. That could create difficulty for managing the pandemic, especially if infections and hospitalizations begin rising dramatically.
  • Black Americans have been hesitant to get vaccinated after a long history of mistrust for the medical community and medical experiments. But in recent months, that hesitancy has slowly dropped. Nationwide, 24% of Black Americans say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, down from 41% in January, respectively.
  • Lofty hopes that the crisis would encourage a new and tighter European Union to face a common challenge have given way to the reality of division: The pandemic has set member nation against member nation, and many capitals against the EU itself, as symbolized by the disjointed, virtual meetings leaders now hold.
  • As they hope for a return to some level of normalcy next fall, colleges across the U.S. are weighing how far they should go in urging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and whether they should — or legally can — require it.
  • Although weddings and other big celebrations are going back on the calendar, business owners who make those events happen expect a slow recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

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