INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
Relaxing Marion County health orders. Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine will ask the City-County Council tonight to relax some of Indianapolis’ COVID-19 emergency health orders.
Dr. Caine will seek council approval to allow fully vaccinated residents to remove their masks.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, 43% of Marion County residents are fully vaccinated as of Sunday, 45% had at least one dose of the vaccine, and the county’s positivity rate has dropped to 4.8%, just below Dr. Caine’s “gold standard” for progress against the pandemic.
Under her request, Dr. Caine will seek approval for four out of 10 county residents to remove their masks as soon as the council approves the change order.
Brits push for global vaccinations. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the Group of Seven wealthy democracies’ summit next week to urge world leaders to commit to vaccinating the global population by the end of 2022.
Johnson is expected to stress the importance of a global vaccination drive when he meets with fellow world leaders on Friday in Cornwall, on England’s southwestern coast, for the first face-to-face G-7 summit since the pandemic hit.
“The world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the postwar era: defeating COVID and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values,” he said in a statement Sunday. “Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history.”
Doses for Taiwan. The U.S. will give Taiwan 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, part of President Joe Biden’s move to share tens of millions of jabs globally, three American senators said Sunday, after the self-ruled island complained that China is hindering its efforts to secure vaccines as it battles an outbreak.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who made a three-hour stop in Taiwan with fellow Democrat Christopher Coons of Delaware and Republican Dan Sullivan of Alaska, said their visit underscores bipartisan U.S. support for the democratic island that Beijing claims as its own renegade territory. Taiwan faces a severe vaccine shortage and has geopolitical significance as a flashpoint in U.S.-China relations.
“I’m here to tell you that the United States will not let you stand alone,” Duckworth said at the airport after landing on a U.S. military transport plane. “We will be by your side to make sure the people of Taiwan have what they need to get to the other side of the pandemic and beyond.”
Taiwan was included on a long list of places announced last week that would receive 25 million doses from the United States in what the Biden administration says is the first tranche of at least 80 million doses to be distributed globally. Most of the first tranche, including Taiwan’s, will be sent through COVAX, a U.N.-backed program to distribute vaccines to low and middle-income countries.