June 18, Friday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The head of the Japanese government’s advisory panel on the coronavirus and other volunteer experts have submitted their views on possible virus situations before, during and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The experts have been warning that simulations show infections could pick up in July and August even if the vaccine rollout proceeds smoothly across Japan. They also warn that the virus resurgence could pick up speed due to more transmissible variants.
2. The Japanese government has decided to end the coronavirus state of emergency in most areas covered by it and replace it with focused restrictions. The challenge now is how to curb infections in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. The government decided to end the declaration on Sunday for nine of the 10 prefectures. Seven of the nine prefectures will then have rigorous restrictions involving focused steps through July 11.
3. Russian authorities say the Delta coronavirus variant, first detected in India, is spreading rapidly in the country amid a resurgence of cases.