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UK, Zimbabwe Announce New COVID Lockdowns

FILE - People shop in the Selfridges department store on Oxford street, in London, Britain, Apr. 2, 2021.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce Monday that the lifting of U.K. restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic will be pushed back for another two to four weeks.

The delay is attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, first identified in India, that has taken hold in the U.K.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is reintroducing a lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of a COVID outbreak.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said in a televised speech this weekend that complacency has resulted in a spike in COVID cases.

In the U.S., a federal judge in the state of Texas has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a hospital’s COVID vaccine requirement for its employees.

U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, in the Southern District of Texas, wrote that the employees of Houston Methodist Hospital “are not participants in a human trial.”

He said “Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer,” in a ruling released on Saturday.

On Monday, India reported 70,421 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24-hour period, the lowest number of new infections the South Asian nation has recorded in 74 days, the health ministry said.

Public health officials have cautioned that India’s tolls may be undercounted but the country has a total of 29.5 million coronavirus infections early on Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Only the U.S. has more cases at 33.5 million. Brazil follows the U.S. and India with 17.4 million COVID cases.