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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec 19, declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020
  • Over 245 million infected globally; more than 4.9 million dead
  • 1,271,027 cases reported in Pakistan; 28,414 dead, 1,219,174 recovered

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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Latest
8:22 PM

WHO, partners seek $23.4 bn for new Covid-19 war chest

7:29 PM

Covid caused record fall in migration in 2020: OECD

6:46 PM

Pfizer gets US contract for 50m Covid-19 vaccine doses for kids

6:05 PM

Cheap, generic anti-depressant may reduce severe Covid-19 disease, study finds

5:29 PM

Moscow shuts most workplaces as infections, deaths soar

4:47 PM

Tens of millions of J&J Covid-19 shots sit at Baltimore factory

4:01 PM

Japan's Covid-19 booster shots to be open to anyone fully vaccinated: report

3:17 PM

Germany's Covid caseload makes biggest leap in two weeks

2:32 PM

Moscow embarks on sweeping lockdown as Covid-19 deaths surge

1:47 PM

Third Chinese city placed under Covid-19 lockdown

Oct 28, 2021 08:22pm

WHO, partners seek $23.4 bn for new Covid-19 war chest

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other aid groups have appealed to leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies to fund a $23.4 billion plan to bring Covid-19 vaccines, tests and drugs to poorer countries in the next year.

The ambitious plan outlines the strategy of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator until September 2022, expected to include the use of an experimental oral antiviral pill made by Merck & Co for treating mild and moderate cases.

"The request is for $23.4 billion. That's a fair amount of money, but if you compare with the damage also done to global economy by the pandemic it is not really that much," Carl Bildt, WHO Special Envoy to the ACT-Accelerator, told a pre-briefing for selected journalists.

Read more from Reuters here.

Oct 28, 2021 07:29pm

Covid caused record fall in migration in 2020: OECD

The flow of immigrants to developed countries fell at its fastest pace ever at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Reuters quotes the OECD club of leading economies as saying in a report.

Some 3.7 million people immigrated last year to the 38 leading developed and emerging economies that make up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the lowest level since 2003, the OECD said in its annual migration report.

“The Covid-19 crisis caused the sharpest drop on record in migration flows to the OECD, of more than 30 per cent,” the report added.

Oct 28, 2021 06:46pm

Pfizer gets US contract for 50m Covid-19 vaccine doses for kids

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have said they expect to deliver 50 million more doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to the US government by April-end, as the country prepares to vaccinate children, according to Reuters.

The move comes after a panel of outside advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted on Tuesday to recommend its authorization for the vaccine in children aged 5 to 11. The agency's decision on the vaccine for the age group is awaited.

If authorised and subsequently recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) advisory panel, the companies said they expect to then begin shipping the vaccine immediately, in 10 microgram pediatric doses, as directed by the US government.

Oct 28, 2021 05:29pm

Moscow shuts most workplaces as infections, deaths soar

The Russian capital has started a nonworking period intended to stem coronavirus infections as new daily cases and deaths from Covid-19 surged to all-time highs, AP reports.

The country's official death toll from the pandemic, by far the highest in Europe, now stands at 235,057.

To slow the spread of the virus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a nonworking period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7, when most state organizations and private businesses are to suspend operations.

Oct 28, 2021 04:47pm

Tens of millions of J&J Covid-19 shots sit at Baltimore factory

An estimated 30 million to 50 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine made early this year sit idle in Emergent BioSolutions Inc's plant in Baltimore awaiting a green light from US regulators to ship, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Emergent, a contract drug manufacturer, is waiting for the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the release of those doses. The agency must still inspect and authorise the plant before Emergent can ship newly manufactured drug substance, one of the sources said.

The exact number of doses sitting idle cannot be determined, the source said, because Emergent only makes raw vaccine substance and does not fill vials with finished product.

Read the full Reuters story here.

Oct 28, 2021 04:01pm

Japan's Covid-19 booster shots to be open to anyone fully vaccinated: report

Japan's health ministry says it has decided to offer Covid-19 booster shots to anyone who has already received two vaccine doses, news agency Jiji reported.

Reuters reports that Japan had initially considered giving booster shots to frontline health workers and others who required priority first.

A woman receives a dose of the coronavirus vaccine at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan, August 16. — Reuters
A woman receives a dose of the coronavirus vaccine at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan, August 16. — Reuters

Oct 28, 2021 03:17pm

Germany's Covid caseload makes biggest leap in two weeks

Germany's coronavirus caseload has seen its biggest jump in two weeks with over 28,000 new infections, the Robert Koch Institute said, adding heft to worries about restrictions this winter.

The number of new infections per 100,000 people over seven days — one of the metrics used to determine policy measures — stands at 130.2, up 12.2 points from 118.0 the previous day. New infections have been steadily creeping up since mid-October.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units has risen 15 per cent within a week, the head of the German Hospital Federation, Gerald Gass, told the Redaktionsnetwork Deutschland media group.

Read more from Reuters here.

Oct 28, 2021 02:32pm

Moscow embarks on sweeping lockdown as Covid-19 deaths surge

The Russian capital has brought in its strictest lockdown measures since June 2020 as hospitals confront a rising wave of coronavirus cases that has sent one-day pandemic deaths to record highs, Reuters reports.

The partial lockdown, in which only essential shops like pharmacies and supermarkets are allowed to remain open, while schools and state kindergartens are shut, comes ahead of a nationwide week-long workplace shutdown from October 30.

Moscow's residents are allowed to leave their homes freely unlike the lockdown of summer 2020, but the new measures point to rising concern among officials over record numbers of deaths that the Kremlin has blamed on the slow vaccination rate.

People receive a vaccine against the coronavirus at a vaccination centre in the State Department Store, GUM, in Moscow, Russia, October 26. — Reuters
People receive a vaccine against the coronavirus at a vaccination centre in the State Department Store, GUM, in Moscow, Russia, October 26. — Reuters

Oct 28, 2021 01:47pm

Third Chinese city placed under Covid-19 lockdown

China has placed a third city under lockdown today to tackle Covid-19 cases, with around six million people now under orders to stay home as Beijing chases zero cases before the upcoming Winter Olympics, AFP reports.

The resurgence prompted officials this week to lock down Lanzhou city — with a population of over four million — and Ejin in the Inner Mongolia region.

After confirming one new case, authorities in Heihe in Heilongjiang province followed suit today, ordering people to stay at home and forbidding residents from leaving the far northern city except in emergencies, according to a local government statement.