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South Africa Enters Third COVID-19 Wave Amid Sluggish Vaccine Rollout

South Africa Enters Third COVID-19 Wave Amid Sluggish Vaccine Rollout

Covid-19 Update
South Africa has officially entered its third wave of coronavirus infections, health authorities said, with rising caseloads and a sluggish vaccine rollout fuelling fears of fresh strain on the health system. “South Africa technically entered the 3rd wave today as the national 7-day moving average incidence (5959 cases) now exceeds the new wave threshold as defined by the Ministerial Advisory Committee,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases tweeted on Thursday. The health ministry later announced that it had detected over 9,100 cases in 24 hours — approaching the levels seen at the peak of South Africa’s second wave in December. Chilly winter weather is also fuelling concerns of a resurge in Africa’s worst-hit country. Four of South Africa’s nine provinces were...
Katy Perry, Beckham, Others Call On G7 To Share COVID-19 Vaccines With Poor Nations

Katy Perry, Beckham, Others Call On G7 To Share COVID-19 Vaccines With Poor Nations

Covid-19 Update
Nearly 30 celebrities, from singer Katy Perry to footballer David Beckham, called on the G7 Tuesday to share COVID-19 vaccines with poorer countries ahead of a summit in Britain this weekend. The entertainment and sports figures urged the seven countries — France, Italy, the UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, and the United States — to pledge at least 20 percent of their supply between June and August, amounting to 150 million doses. “The world has spent a year and a half battling the Covid-19 pandemic, but the virus is still spreading in many countries and producing new variants with the potential to put us all back where we started,” the missive warned. “This means more school closures, more healthcare disruptions, and greater economic fallout — threating the futures of families a...
British Woman Dies In Cyprus After AstraZeneca Jab

British Woman Dies In Cyprus After AstraZeneca Jab

Covid-19 Update
A 39-year-old British woman died in a Cypriot hospital after a blood clotting incident after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the official Cyprus News Agency said Monday. Charalambos Charilaou, spokesperson for the state health services, told CNA that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would investigate the death. The woman, treated at Nicosia General Hospital’s intensive care unit, received the first dose of the vaccine on May 6 in the resort town of Paphos on the western coast of the Mediterranean island. The woman, who was not named, suffered symptoms days later. According to the Cyprus Mail newspaper, the woman suffered a brain haemorrhage and was in a coma before she died. Cyprus health authorities have opened an investigation to see if the “serious thr...
Malta Leads EU With 70 Percent COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

Malta Leads EU With 70 Percent COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

Covid-19 Update
Malta, which leads the European Union in coronavirus vaccinations, will on Monday reach its target of giving 70 percent of adults at least one dose, the health minister announced. The Mediterranean island, which has a population of around 500,000, declared it had reached “herd immunity” — although the EU’s definition for such a milestone is tougher. After around 475,000 doses, around 42 percent of the population is fully vaccinated with both doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine, or with a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, officials said. “Today we have reached herd immunity. The vaccine is our weapon against the virus,” Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne told reporters. He added: “It means that the virus’ transmiss...
Coronavirus Pandemic To Be ‘Far More Deadly’ This Year, WHO Warns

Coronavirus Pandemic To Be ‘Far More Deadly’ This Year, WHO Warns

Covid-19 Update
The World Health Organization issued a grim warning on Friday that the second year of Covid-19 was set to be “far more deadly”, as Japan extended a state of emergency amid growing calls for the Olympics to be scrapped. “We’re on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The mood also darkened in Japan where the coronavirus state of emergency took in another three regions just 10 weeks before the Olympics, while campaigners submitted a petition with more than 350,000 signatures calling for the Games to be cancelled. With Tokyo and other areas already under emergency orders until the end of May, Hiroshima, Okayama and northern Hokkaido, which will host the Olympic marathon, will now jo...
Nigeria Discharges 796 COVID-19 Patients In 24 Hours

Nigeria Discharges 796 COVID-19 Patients In 24 Hours

Covid-19 Update
 By Nnenna Odoh The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has discharged 796 more people who tested negative for COVID-19 in the aftermath of their treatment. NCDC disclosed this via Twitter on Saturday night, adding that the nation’s total recoveries had increased to 156,250 in the past 24 hours while active cases stood at 7,823. “Our discharges today include a backlog of 795 community recoveries in Adamawa managed in line with guidelines,” NCDC said. However, 30 new COVID-19 infections were reported in three states, thus raising the total number of cases in the country to 165,370. Of the 30 new infections recorded, the health agency said Lagos had 21, Adamawa, eight and Rivers, one. According to NCDC, no new death was recorded from the disease which had already...
Free Beer And Doughnuts To Promote COVID-19 Vaccines In US

Free Beer And Doughnuts To Promote COVID-19 Vaccines In US

Covid-19 Update
Free beer, free doughnuts, savings bonds — government officials and businesses are teaming up to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. President Joe Biden wants 70 percent of adults to have received at least one shot by Independence Day on July 4 and overcoming vaccine hesitancy is key to reaching the goal. “We know there are millions of Americans who need a little bit of encouragement to get the shot,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. Some 56 percent of American adults — more than 145 million people — have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine but the pace of vaccination has been declining lately. Federal, state and local officials are partnering with pharmacies, restaurants, breweries, supermarkets and sports teams to come ...
UK Sends 1,000 More Ventilators To India

UK Sends 1,000 More Ventilators To India

Covid-19 Update
The UK said Sunday it was sending an extra 1,000 oxygen ventilators to Covid-struck India, as a group of doctors staged their own intervention by offering long-distance telemedicine from Britain. Britain has already sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators to India as the country grapples with a devastating surge in coronavirus cases, and is shipping three larger production units, dubbed oxygen factories. “We’re going to be sending out another package of 1,000 ventilators, very shortly,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC television. Raab is set to meet India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday on the margins of G7 talks this week in London. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also due to hold a virtual meeting with Indian counterpart Na...
India Records Over 400,000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours

India Records Over 400,000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours

Covid-19 Update
India recorded on Saturday over 400,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours for the first time, the first country to do so in the pandemic, official data showed. According to the health ministry, 401,993 new infections were registered taking the total caseload to 19.1 million. There were 3,523 deaths, bringing the toll to 211,853. Many experts suspect that because of insufficient testing and inaccurate recording of cause of death, the real numbers are much higher. Indian authorities lowered their guard in the early part of the year after infections fell below 10,000 per day, lifting restrictions on most activity. Mass religious gatherings such as the Kumbh Mela, attracting millions of Hindu pilgrims, and political rallies were allowed to continue even when cases numbers began r...
COVID-19: New Delhi Extends Lockdown As India Cases Hit New Record

COVID-19: New Delhi Extends Lockdown As India Cases Hit New Record

Covid-19 Update
India’s capital New Delhi on Sunday extended its lockdown as the country’s COVID-19 crisis grew with infections and deaths hitting record highs. The vast nation of 1.3 billion people recorded 349,691 fresh cases and 2,767 deaths — the highest since the start of the pandemic. The northern megacity — home to 20 million people and the worst hit in India — had imposed a weeklong lockdown on Monday as hospitals’ beds and oxygen supplies ran out. “We have decided to extend the lockdown by one week,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a video statement. “The havoc of corona(virus) continues and there is no respite. Everyone is in favour of extending the lockdown.” The announcement came as the healthcare system struggled to cope with the huge spike in cases, with repo...