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U.K. reports no new covid-19 deaths for first time since March 2020

A cyclist wearing a mask bikes in London on May 21. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)
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The United Kingdom announced no new deaths Tuesday from covid-19, within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020, as that nation maintains one of the world’s highest vaccination rates. Infections in the U.K. are rising, however, and health officials warned that the crisis is not over.

In the United States, deaths have fallen by about 10 percent in the past week. New deaths worldwide have also decreased in recent weeks, although the number of new cases has increased slightly.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The World Health Organization will now classify new coronavirus variants with letters from the Greek alphabet. So the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in Britain, is Alpha; the one found in South Africa, Beta; the one in Brazil, Gamma; while the B.1.617.2 variant first discovered in India will be Delta.
  • Air travel in the United States picked up over the Memorial Day weekend. About 5.2 million travelers passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, compared with fewer than 950,000 during the same period last year.
  • Walmart is expanding its hours of operation for the first time in months, the retailer announced. Stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. nearly every day — a notable increase, but still well short of the 24-hour service it provided pre-pandemic. The change comes after Walmart lifted its capacity limit and its mask mandate for vaccinated workers and shoppers.
  • The WHO issued emergency use approval for the Chinese-developed Sinovac vaccine, which a new study suggests may offer better protection in “real-world settings” than clinical tests had shown.
  • Amid the coronavirus pandemic, China announced a possible first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu. Chinese health authorities emphasized that there was no evidence that the strain can spread from human to human.
  • Peru adjusted its official pandemic death toll to include more than 100,000 additional fatalities it says can now be attributed directly to covid-19. The addition makes Peru the nation with the worst coronavirus mortality rate per capita.
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Here's what to know:

The World Health Organization will now classify new coronavirus variants with letters from the Greek alphabet. So the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in Britain, is Alpha; the one found in South Africa, Beta; the one in Brazil, Gamma; while the B.1.617.2 variant first discovered in India will be Delta.
Air travel in the United States picked up over the Memorial Day weekend. About 5.2 million travelers passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, compared with fewer than 950,000 during the same period last year.
Walmart is expanding its hours of operation for the first time in months, the retailer announced. Stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. nearly every day — a notable increase, but still well short of the 24-hour service it provided pre-pandemic. The change comes after Walmart lifted its capacity limit and its mask mandate for vaccinated workers and shoppers.
The WHO issued emergency use approval for the Chinese-developed Sinovac vaccine, which a new study suggests may offer better protection in “real-world settings” than clinical tests had shown.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, China announced a possible first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu. Chinese health authorities emphasized that there was no evidence that the strain can spread from human to human.
Peru adjusted its official pandemic death toll to include more than 100,000 additional fatalities it says can now be attributed directly to covid-19. The addition makes Peru the nation with the worst coronavirus mortality rate per capita.

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