New Delhi: Coronavirus cases have continued to spike across countries despite vaccinations drives, with the emergence of new Covid-19 variants. There are currently over 20,34,55,121 cases and 43,07,456 deaths globally.
Tunisia has begun vaccinating more than half a million people a day while China tests tens of millions as the second wave of the virus hits 17 provinces. The UK wants to ‘hoard’ up to 210 million spare coronavirus vaccines. Meanwhile in Australia, the government has expanded lockdown in New South Wales amid a spike.
ThePrint brings you some of the important global stories on the pandemic.
China tests tens of millions as second wave hits 17 provinces
China reported 94 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases as the virus spread to 17 other provinces in the country, reports South China Morning Post.
The surge follows the detection of the highly transmissible Delta variant among airport staff in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, last month. This gave rise to the country’s most serious outbreak, since last year’s peak in Wuhan in the Hubei province.
Forty-one of the new local infections were found in Henan, the central province hit hard by floods last month, while another 38 were reported from the province of Jiangsu. Another 12 such infections were detected in nearby Hunan and three were in Hubei.
The recent surge in infections triggered mass testing, lockdowns and travel restrictions, with the government even removing and punishing officials over Covid-19 failures.
Nanjing’s 9 million population finished five rounds of mass testing and is conducting the sixth round of partial regional testing, while new rounds of mass testing are continuing in other cities hit by outbreaks.
Nearly 1.77 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
China has in total reported 93,826 Covid cases and 4,636 mortalities.
UK may hoard millions of vaccine doses by December
The UK is on course to “hoard” up to 210 million spare coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year as ministers were accused of leaving poorer countries “fighting for scraps”, reports The Guardian.
According to data from life science analytics company, Airfinity, the United Kingdom will be receiving about 467 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021, out of which only 256.6 million doses will be required to fulfill the expected demand of vaccinating all its citizens aged above 16 and giving a booster shot to the most vulnerable in autumn.
The surplus vaccines, according to a campaign group called Global Justice Now, which campaigns on issues of global justice and development in the Global South, would help inoculate about 211 million people living in the world’s 10 least vaccinated countries.
Nick Dearden, director of the organisation, told The Guardian it was an “insult to the thousands dying each day” that the UK was offering third doses and preparing to vaccinate teenagers while low and middle-income countries were left “fighting for scraps”.
Stressing that the situation may lead to “vaccine apartheid”, Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of inequality policy told The Guardian: “The British government is ignoring the WHO’s advice, issuing booster shots and dogmatically defending vaccine patents. It’s only going to prolong the pandemic, leading to more deaths and, ultimately, to mutations of coronavirus that could undermine the UK’s own vaccination programme”.
Britain has reported 60,69,362 Covid-19 cases and 1,30,320 deaths.
Tunisia vaccinates more than half a million in a day
More than half a million Tunisians got vaccinated Sunday after the North African country received over 6 million vaccine doses from Western and Arab countries to curb the spread of Covid-19, reports Arab News.
President Kais Saied succeeded in his goal of vaccinating 1 million Tunisians as part of his nationwide campaign as over 300 centres across the country held an “open day” for vaccinations for people aged 40 and above, resulting in huge turnouts on Sunday.
The health ministry said 5,51,00 Tunisians got their jab Sunday.
In a period of five months, at least 1.3 million Tunisians have been vaccinated against coronavirus in the country so far.
Last month, Saied dismissed former Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi amid various protests against the government for its handling of the pandemic.
Saied Friday appointed Ali Mrabet as the new health minister and vowed to get 50 per cent of the country’s 12-million population vaccinated with a first dose by mid-October.
With the Delta variant making up more than 90 per cent of Covid cases in Tunisia, the World Health Organization (WHO) had warned authorities that while the country may have passed the peak of the latest wave, the government must still speed up inoculations.
Tunisia has registered 6,10,660 Covid-19 infections and 20,931 deaths.
Australian government expands lockdown in New South Wales
Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales Monday expanded its Covid-19 lockdown to the rural town of Tamworth amid concerns the virus may have spread from Sydney into the countryside, reports Reuters.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the lockdown after people infected with Covid-19 travelled from Sydney to Tamworth without authorisation.
“As a precaution, the health experts have recommended we lock down Tamworth for one week,” Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
The local administration has requested people in the Byron Bay area to get tested after a man, who had travelled from Sydney, the epicentre of the state’s outbreak, to the tourist spot about 767 km to the north, was found positive with the virus.
New South Wales reported 283 locally Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours — up from 262 cases a day earlier.
The state has failed to contain a surge of the highly infectious Delta variant despite a lockdown of Sydney for the seventh week.
Australia reported 36,630 Covid cases and 940 deaths.
What else we are reading
Fake Covid Vaccination Cards Are on the Rise in the U.S., Europe: The Wall Street Journal
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)
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