COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Friday / Saturday, Nov. 19-20


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British journalist, living in Tokyo:

It seems hard to believe now, but at the beginning of June, I was seriously contemplating flying to the United States to get a Covid vaccine.

With just seven weeks to go until the Olympics, only 3.5% of Japan’s population had been fully vaccinated. While friends in the UK were merrily posting vaccine selfies on social media, here in the capital Tokyo, we were joking we might not see a needle till Christmas.

With the Olympics about to open, it seemed astonishing the Japanese government had bungled the vaccine rollout so badly.

Six months later, it couldn’t be more different.

Not only has Japan succeeded in overcoming the early chaos, it’s managed to get a higher percentage of its population vaccinated than almost anywhere else on Earth. Some 76% of Japanese are now fully immunised.

The Olympics was key…

From Monday, limits on social interactions and dining out will be expanded to five people from the current rule of up to two vaccinated people, government ministers told a news conference on Saturday…

Singapore’s daily COVID-19 cases have fallen below 3,000 on average. About 85% of the island nation’s 5.45 million people have been vaccinated.

The number of infections fell to 1,734 cases on Friday from a record daily count of 5,324 in late October.

Business events in Singapore are already bouncing back.

Singapore hosted top executives of big global companies this week at a host of conferences, marking its gradual return to normalcy and underscoring the contrast with long-time rival Hong Kong, which is sticking with some of the toughest quarantine rules in the world…

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Graphic-heavy thread:

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