The European Union is reaching a new milestone in the months following coronavirus pandemic social and economic lockdowns: reopening to travel. E.U. officials on Friday stated that they are planning to reopen the bloc of 27 countries to travel and tourism from outside countries on July 1, with the exception of a few that are deem to be high risk due to their current infection rates, according to The New York Times.
The criteria to be on the list of excepted countries is gauged on scientific principles, not political, based on daily infection rates and credibility of their public health reporting. In addition, there are several exceptions including health care workers, diplomats and those repatriating. The list of accepted countries will be updated every two weeks as countries' conditions improve or worsen.
The finalized list on Friday includes Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Uruguay. Countries that currently no not qualify include Brazil, Russia, and notably, the United States.
In the United States, some states have begun pausing their reopenings in light of a record high of nearly 45,000 new infections recorded on Friday. Texas and Florida have gone so far as to order bars to close and place new social restrictions in order to slow their intensifying spread.
According to the Associated Press, rural counties in states like California, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and Florida have seen their confirmed cases more than double in a week from June 19 to Friday. In some cases, spikes in cases were attributed increased testing efforts in prisons and outbreaks like the Tyson Foods
Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. top infectious disease scientist, stated: "There are more cases. There are more hospitalizations in some of those places and soon you'll be seeing more deaths," in an interview with CNBC on Friday. "Even though the deaths are coming down as a country, that doesn't mean that you're not going to start seem them coming up now."
However, Fauci noted that the virus is mostly infecting young people as opposed to those that are older and more vulnerable in the beginning of the United States's outbreak.
Total Global Cases: Over 9.89 Million
Total Deaths: Over 496,000
Total Recovered: Over 5.34 Million
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updated its website on Friday to say that it will send Gilead Science Inc's
Starting on Monday, H.H.S. said that it will start shipping doses, depleting the full donation of treatment courses from Gilead. Last month, after receiving an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, Gilead donated 120,647 treatment courses of remdesivir to the H.H.S.
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminthan noted on Friday during a news briefing that AstraZeneca's
"Certainly in terms of how advanced they are, the stage at which they are, they are I think probably the leading candidate," said Swaminathan, reported by Reuters. "It's possible they will have results quite early."
Swaminathan also stated that Moderna's
"We do know that Moderna's vaccine is also going to go into phase three clinical trials, probably from the middle of July, and so that vaccine candidate is not far behind. But I think AstraZeneca certainly has a more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials," Swaminathan added.