WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer recommend masks for fully-vaccinated Americans indoors or outdoors, including in crowds, according to its new guidance announced on Thursday.
"Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told a White House briefing. "If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic." (U.S.-Cancellation of Mask Mandate)
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GAZA -- The death toll of Palestinians killed in Israel's strikes on the Gaza Strip climbed to 103 on Thursday, as the Israeli-Palestinian clashes continued unabated.
The death toll included 27 children and 11 women, while 580 others have been wounded by the Israeli airstrikes and artillery shellings on the Palestinian coastal enclave since Monday, according to the Health Ministry run by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). (Palestine-Israel-Death Toll)
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HAVANA -- New variants of the coronavirus believed to have entered Cuba in recent months have been linked to higher transmission rates, more severe cases of disease and an increase in deaths in the Caribbean country, the official daily Granma said on Thursday.
Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal said coronavirus variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil have been circulating in Cuba, and all three are suspected of being more infectious and possibly more lethal and resistant to current vaccines, according to the daily. (Cuba-Coronavirus-Variant)
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ATHENS -- The global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will take at least two years, officials and experts told an economic forum held in Athens and online.
"Recovery will take time. Economy cannot start simply by pressing a button. It will take two years," British-Cypriot Nobel laureate economist Christopher Pissarides said on Thursday while addressing the Delphi Economic Forum VI. (Greece-Forum-COVID-19)