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Copa America Moved to Brazil; Olympic Warning: Virus Update

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After the raging pandemic in Argentina prompted the co-hosts of the Copa America soccer tournament to pull out, the premier South American sports event is set to be moved to Brazil. Some members of the Japanese government’s coronavirus expert panel warned that it would be “difficult” to hold the Olympics this summer if Tokyo’s virus situation remains at the highest of four levels, reports said, even as the first group of foreign athletes arrived for the Games.

Malaysia unveiled a $9.7 billion package to help people and companies through the two-week nationwide lockdown that starts today, which is reported to have shut down production at Toyota and Honda plants. Vietnam is asking Samsung and other foreign companies to find vaccines for their workers as the nation grapples with its own virus surge. Thailand’s Covid panel decided to delay a plan to ease restrictions on some businesses in Bangkok, while the Philippines kept its capital under loose movement restrictions.

Peru updated its official death toll from Covid-19, adding more than 110,000 fatalities than previously reported. U.S. hospital beds occupied by Covid patients on May 28 held steady at the lowest rate since March 14, 2020, while the country reported the lowest level of infection since the early days of the pandemic.

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Some Japan Panel Members Warn Over Holding Olympics (7:30 a.m. HK)

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Some members of the Japanese government’s coronavirus expert panel warned that it would be “difficult” to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer if the capital’s virus situation remains at the highest of four levels, the Asahi newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the first group of foreign athletes arrived in Japan on Tuesday for training ahead of the Games, Kyodo said. The Australian women’s softball team flew in to Narita airport, and are fully vaccinated.

Copa America Moved to Brazil; Olympic Warning: Virus Update

IMF, WHO, World Bank and WTO Heads Call for Vaccine Equity (7:10 a.m. HK)

The heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization called for a “stepped-up coordinated strategy, backed by new financing, to vaccinate the world,” in an editorial published in the Washington Post. The call, issued before the G-7 meeting next week, aims to boost vaccinations in developing countries.

Argentina Logs 28,175 New Cases, Brazil 30,434 (6:02 p.m. NY)

Argentina reported 28,175 new Covid-19 cases Monday, for a total of 3.8 million, according to the country’s evening report. It reported 638 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 78,093.

Meanwhile, Brazil reported a confirmed 30,434 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data. The country’s coronavirus death toll rose by 860 in the past 24 hours to 462,791.

EU Plans to Lift Quarantine Rules for Vaccinated: Guardian (5:24 p.m. NY)

Brussels has proposed lifting all quarantine requirements starting July 1 for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid, the Guardian reports.

Starting Tuesday, the Guardian reports that a system will be in place to let European Union member states issue a digital Covid passport to citizens proving their status and allowing them to travel. A deadline will be set for July 1 for all 27 EU countries to accept the documentation as sufficient proof of vaccination.

Also, the Guardian reported that scientists are urging the U.K. government to speed up second doses of Covid vaccines and delay a decision on easing lockdown restrictions on 21 June in an effort to tackle the creeping spread of new cases.

Peru More Than Doubles Death Toll to 180,000 (3:58 p.m. NY)

Copa America Moved to Brazil; Olympic Warning: Virus Update

Peru, already one of the world’s hardest-hit countries during the pandemic, updated its official death toll from Covid-19 on Monday, adding more than 110,000 fatalities than previously reported.

A total of 180,764 people have died from coronavirus through May 22, according to a report by a group of experts convened by the government to clarify the real number of victims in the country of some 32 million people. That’s 165% higher than the previous official tally of 68,053 and would place it fifth globally in total deaths after the U.S., Brazil, India and Mexico, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Toyota, Honda to Halt Malaysia Production: Nikkei (3:05 p.m. NY)

Toyota and Honda will close shut down production in Malaysia on Tuesday as the country enters a pandemic lockdown, Nikkei reports, without citing where it obtained the information.

Toyota will halt production and sales starting Tuesday, Nikkei reported, while Honda will close two plants during the lockdown.

Denmark Looks to Review Suspension of Astra Vaccine (2:04 p.m. NY)

Denmark’s government has asked the national health authority to review whether the country can resume use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, and include Johnson & Johnson in its inoculation program, after initially judging they were too risky, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke tells state broadcaster DR.

J&J was removed from the Danish vaccine program in May, amid concerns it was linked to blood clots. Denmark suspended AstraZeneca’s vaccine in April.

Turkey’s Erdogan Announces Easing of Lockdown (1:58 p.m. NY)

Restaurants and cafes in Turkey, which have been effectively closed for weeks except for takeaway and delivery, in a partial easing of lockdown measures will be allowed to open in June from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., except for Sundays, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a Cabinet meeting on Monday. Gyms and parks will also reopen in June.

Copa America Moved to Brazil; Olympic Warning: Virus Update

Merkel Ready To Give Up Special Lockdown Powers (1:52 p.m. NY)

Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to allow Germany’s controversial lockdown law to lapse, the latest sign that the pandemic is releasing its grip on Europe’s largest economy.

Germany passed mandatory restrictions in hard-hit areas, including curfews, in April. The powers were set to expire at the end of June, and Merkel confirmed that those “can run out now,” she said Monday in Berlin.

The country has gradually been easing restrictions as infections fall and vaccinations accelerate. On Monday, Germany had 35.1 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, the lowest level since mid-October, and as of Sunday, 43% of the population had received at least one vaccine dose.

Myanmar to Push Vaccines Amid New Cases: Ministry (12:10 p.m. NY)

Myanmar will continue to push for Covid-19 vaccination after cases soared in the last week of May, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports. The country is set to administer more than 800,000 doses of AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines in 15 provinces.

Philippines Extends Region’s Movement Curbs (12:06 p.m. NY)

The Philippines kept its capital under loose movement restrictions under which most businesses can operate in a limited capacity.

Metro Manila and other nearby economic areas will remain under the second-lowest level of curbs called “general community quarantine” until June 30, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised briefing on Monday.

The surge in Covid-19 cases has subsided in the past weeks, prompting renewed calls from officials for reopening to aid an economy that remained in recession last quarter. Vaccinations have been picking up, with almost 5.2 million doses administered as of Sunday.

Soccer Event Moved to Brazil From Argentina (11:18 a.m. NY)

After violent street protests in Colombia and a raging pandemic in Argentina prompted the co-hosts of the Copa America soccer event to pull out, the premier South American soccer tournament will be played in Brazil.

Copa America Moved to Brazil; Olympic Warning: Virus Update

About 12 hours after Argentina announced that it wouldn’t host the event, CONMEBOL, the South American soccer association, said that it will move to Brazil.

“The oldest tournament of national teams in the world will make the entire continent shake,” CONMEBOL said on its official Twitter account.

Brazil, which has the third-most Covid-19 cases in the world, is clearly not a risk-free setting to host the matches. But the local soccer league kicked off its season last weekend without fans in the stands, and Brazil has few if any restrictions to enter the country beyond a negative PCR test.

Bangkok Decision to Ease Curbs Reversed (9:53 p.m. HK)

The Thai government’s main Covid-19 panel decided to delay a plan to ease restrictions on some businesses in the capital. That was only six hours after it was announced that Bangkok, the epicenter of Thailand’s latest outbreak, would allow some venues including museums, nail salons, beauty clinics and massage parlors to resume operations from Tuesday. This means the establishments will remain closed until June 14.

Thailand recorded 5,485 new infections and 19 deaths on Monday, taking the cumulative caseloads to 159,792 and 1,031, respectively. The majority of new infections reported were still found in Bangkok.

U.S. Hospitalizations Steady (8:15 a.m. NY)

Beds in U.S. hospitals occupied by Covid-19 patients on May 28 held steady at 3.67%, the least since March 14, 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The hospitalization rate was little changed from the day before and hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients totaled 25,393.

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