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Coronavirus digest: Sydney anti-lockdown rally turns violent

Dozens of people have been arrested after protesters clashed with police in Australia's largest city. Meanwhile, the US has bought 200 million additional vaccines as a backup. Follow DW for more.

Anti-lockdown protesters face of against police on horseback in Sydney

Protesters threw potted plants and bottles at mounted police officers

In Paris, police estimate 11,000 marched against a bill that would mandate a special pass to enter restaurants and bars and also make vaccines obligatory for health care workers. Large rallies were also held in other French cities while lawmakers debated the measures in Senate, the upper house of the French parliament.  The bid had already passed the lower house of parliament on Friday. 

The majority of French adults are fully vaccinated and the special pass has broad public support. However, members of France's far right and the "yellow vests" clashed with the police in Paris in protest of the measures, with police using tear gas water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Police used tear gas in Paris against demonstrators, some wearing yellow vests

Some demonstrators wore yellow vests in Paris, where police deployed tear gas

Thousands of people took to the streets of Australian cities, including Sydney, to protest COVID-induced curbs as the country battles another surge of the coronavirus. 

Nine News reported that 57 people were arrested and charged in Sydney after the demonstration there turned violent. Large crowds broke through barriers and one group charged at mounted police officers, throwing several potted plants and bottles. 

The demonstrators flouted curbs on non-essential travel and public gatherings soon after authorities said the measures could remain in place until October.

The Greater Sydney area has been in lockdown for the past four weeks as the wider state of New South Wales posts record numbers of new infections. 

Protesters also took to the streets in Melbourne and a car protest rally has been planned in Adelaide. 

anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney

Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters took to the streets of Sydney

Asia

Vietnam has announced a 15-day lockdown in the capital, Hanoi, amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the southern region. The lockdown order bans gatherings of more than two people in public, days after authorities suspended all outdoor activities in the city. 

China is testing all residents in a southwestern county near Myanmar after a spike in COVID infections. Authorities have announced the closure of all businesses, schools and markets in the Yunnan province’s Jiangcheng County on Monday and Tuesday while testing is carried out. 

Traveling in and out of the county will be prohibited. 

In Japan, organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have reported 17 new Games-related COVID cases, bringing the total number of infections since July 1 to 123. The organizing committee said a foreign athlete was among the newly reported cases. 

The Tokyo area is under a coronavirus state of emergency as the Games proceed despite heavy public opposition.

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Europe

Germany has reported 1,919 new cases of the virus, taking the country’s total to 3,754,511, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. With 28 deaths reported, the death toll has risen to 91,520.

Croatia and Montenegro have announced stricter COVID rules along the coast of the Adriatic Sea to prevent a rise in infections from ruining the summer tourism season. 

Croatia is set to restrict the number of people at gatherings next week while Montenegro has temporarily shut down nightclubs and discotheques.

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Americas

The United States is buying 200 million additional doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine to inoculate younger children and possibly provide booster shots to vaccinated adults, the White House has announced.

Half of these doses will be delivered by the end of the year, and the rest by April 2022. 

The country has also been shipping vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to other countries. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said 22 million doses were shipped this week alone.

A fall in the number of coronavirus deaths has led to a degree of optimism in Brazil as several states roll back restrictions. However, there have been major concerns over the Delta variant after Rio de Janeiro recorded its first deaths from the highly contagious variant. 

“It is expected that the Delta variant will soon become dominant in the city," Rio city health secretary Daniel Soranz said at a press conference. 

Latin America and the Caribbean have reported a total of more than 40 million cases since the first COVID infections were recorded last year.

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see/mm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)