New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the world. The latest count being more than 15,89,74,260 cases and 33,06,830 deaths.
We highlight some of the important stories from around the world.
The mayor of Madrid appealed to people to be responsible even as thousands celebrated the end of Spain’s six months state of emergency. On Sunday, Tunisia started a week of coronavirus-related restrictions as hospitals in the North African country were battling to ‘stay afloat amid soaring’ Covid-19 cases.
As Madrid celebrates end of lockdown, Mayor urges caution
The mayor of Madrid appealed to people to be responsible even as thousands celebrated the end of Spain’s six months state of emergency, reports The Guardian.
In October 2020, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had declared a state of emergency which included nationwide curfews, ban on large gatherings, etc.
“As the clock struck midnight on Saturday and the state of emergency ended, fireworks were let off in Madrid and people congregated in Puerta del Sol, the central square where revellers traditionally gather to see in the new year,” said the report.
Spain has recorded 35,67,408 cases of Covid-19 and 78,792 deaths.
Also read: Here is an early warning system for the next surge of coronavirus variants
Africa ramps up Covid variant monitoring to avoid India-like crisis
Currently, the African continent accounts for only two per cent of global vaccinations. However, in light of the soaring infections in India, health officials in Africa are now ramping up the monitoring of coronavirus variants, reports The Age.
“The continent’s top health official as well as leaders at its main virus genome sequencing laboratories in Nigeria and South Africa said they were trying to avoid a crisis like the one in India,” said the report.
While confirmed cases have been rising steadily in Africa, restrictions on movement have been able to slow the pace of these rising infections.
Africa has recorded 46,73,457 cases of Covid-19 and 1,24,715 deaths.
Tunisia introduces strict Covid lockdown as hospitals struggle to ‘stay afloat’
On Sunday, Tunisia started a week of coronavirus-related restrictions as hospitals in the North African country were battling to ‘stay afloat amid soaring’ Covid-19 cases, reports Al Jazeera.
Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, Friday, had said that the country is going through “the worst health crisis in its history”. For the next week, mosques, markets and non-essential shops have been closed and large gatherings have been banned.
“Tunisia, a country of almost 12 million, has officially recorded more than 3,19,000 coronavirus cases and 11,350 deaths,” said the report.
Also read: Scientific data was India’s strength in polio, leprosy fight. In Covid, it’s a silent victim
Health experts in Saudi Arabia discuss vaccine exemptions
Even as Saudi Arabia rolls out its inoculation programme, there are concerns over who can be exempted from receiving the vaccine, reports Arab News.
Dr Wail Bajhmom, infectious disease consultant at King Fahd Hospital, Jeddah, said, “It’s difficult to numerate the people who should be exempt from taking the vaccine as each patient has their own story depending on subjectivity, and their medical condition.”
On Friday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development had announced that workers must be immunised completely before they return to office and that exceptions will be kept to a minimum.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 4,26,384 cases of Covid-19 and 7,072 deaths.
What else we are reading:
A New Covid Dilemma: What to do when vaccine supply exceeds demand?: The New York Times
Singapore and Malaysia start accepting applications for cross-border travel on compassionate grounds: The Straits Times
Also read: UK & Indian Covid strains two most widely circulated mutant variants in India, scientists find