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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec 19, declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020
  • Over 136 million infected globally; more than 3 million dead, over 77.4 million recovered
  • 725,602 cases reported in Pakistan; 15,501 dead, 634,835 recovered

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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Latest
11:11 PM

UK reports highest number of new Covid cases since April 1

10:40 PM

Ontario hospitals may have to withhold care as Covid-19 fills ICUs

10:00 PM

Efficacy of Chinese vaccines not high; authorities weigh options to bolster protection

9:15 PM

Japan begins Covid-19 shots for over 65s as fourth infection wave looms

8:30 PM

Coronavirus pandemic 'a long way from over': WHO chief

8:25 PM

Protesters scuffle again with Italian police over Covid-19 curbs

7:26 PM

Sindh reports 348 new Covid-19 cases

7:13 PM

Businesses in India's richest state choke under new Covid-19 curbs

5:00 PM

India approves Russia's 'Sputnik V' Covid-19 vaccine: Economic Times

3:47 PM

Thousands participate in India's Kumbh Mela festival amid deadly Covid wave

Apr 12, 2021 10:40pm

Ontario hospitals may have to withhold care as Covid-19 fills ICUs

Doctors in the Canadian province of Ontario may soon have to decide who can and cannot receive treatment in intensive care as the number of coronavirus infections sets records and patients are packed into hospitals still stretched from a December wave, Reuters reports.

Canada’s most populous province is canceling elective surgeries, admitting adults to a major children’s hospital and preparing field hospitals after the number of Covid-19 patients in ICUs jumped 31 per cent to 612 in the week leading up to Sunday, according to data from the Ontario Hospital Association.

The sharp increase in Ontario hospital admissions is also straining supplies of tocilizumab, a drug often given to people seriously ill with Covid-19.

Hospital care is publicly funded in Canada, generally free at the point of care for residents. But new hospital beds have not kept pace with population growth, and shortages of staff and space often emerge during bad flu seasons.

Apr 12, 2021 10:00pm

Efficacy of Chinese vaccines not high; authorities weigh options to bolster protection

Apr 12, 2021 09:15pm

Japan begins Covid-19 shots for over 65s as fourth infection wave looms

Japan began Covid-19 vaccinations for its sizeable elderly population on Monday, with imported doses still in short supply and the pace unlikely to stop a fourth wave of infection, according to Reuters.

Shots for people aged 65 and above began at some 120 sites across the country, using Pfizer Inc’s vaccine made in Europe and delivered to the regions in the past week.

Just 2,810 people in Tokyo are expected to get a shot from the first batch, while most regions will receive 1,000 doses or fewer, according to a health ministry schedule. Japan has a rapidly ageing population totalling 126 million.

Touring a vaccination centre in Hachioji, west of Tokyo, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he expected to secure some 100 million vaccine doses by the end of June, more than enough to give two doses to the elderly population of 36 million.

Apr 12, 2021 08:30pm

Coronavirus pandemic 'a long way from over': WHO chief

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that confusion and complacency in addressing Covid-19 means the pandemic is a long way from over, but it can be brought under control in months with proven public health measures, Reuters reports.

“We too want to see societies and economies reopening, and travel and trade resuming,” Tedros told a news briefing. “But right now, intensive care units in many countries are overflowing and people are dying — and it’s totally avoidable.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a long way from over. But we have many reasons for optimism. The decline in cases and deaths during the first two months of the year shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped,” he added, saying transmission was being driven by “confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures”.

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. — AFP/File
World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. — AFP/File

Apr 12, 2021 08:25pm

Protesters scuffle again with Italian police over Covid-19 curbs

Protesters scuffled with police for a second week running on Monday as frustrated restaurant and small business owners demonstrated against continued coronavirus restrictions that are pounding the economy, Reuters reports.

Around 200 people from all over Italy tried to reach Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office, but were held back by lines of police in full riot gear.

Chanting “we are all workers”, some protesters hurled stones at the police lines, and let off fireworks, which filled the street with billowing smoke.

“The problem is we just don’t know what to do. They tell us that we can only do take-aways, but in my neighbourhood with a population of 3,000, what kind of take-aways can I do?” said Silvio Bessone, a chef from the northern Piedmont region.

The government has imposed repeated curbs over the past 14 months to try to contain Covid-19, which has killed more than 114,000 people in Italy, the second worst official tally in Europe after Britain.

Apr 12, 2021 07:26pm

Sindh reports 348 new Covid-19 cases

Sindh has reported 348 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to an update from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s office.

This has taken the provincial caseload to 269,474 while the death toll remains at 4,530.

As per the update, 146 more people recovered from the virus in Sindh, whereas 8,642 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

Apr 12, 2021 07:13pm

Businesses in India's richest state choke under new Covid-19 curbs

Retailers, restaurants and theatres in India’s richest state are reeling under the impact of harsh restrictions imposed last week by authorities scrambling to curb a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, Reuters reports.

The western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, has been the worst hit in the pandemic, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s 13.5 million case load.

Last week, the local government shut down restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres and non-essential stores in a blow to businesses that had barely recovered from the nationwide lockdown last year.

After closing for more than eight months, theatres in Maharashtra reopened in November despite sporadic Bollywood releases and capacity restrictions.

But with the new surge in cases and the spectre of more curbs, theatre owners say they may never recover from the losses and be forced to shut down.

Apr 12, 2021 05:00pm

India approves Russia's 'Sputnik V' Covid-19 vaccine: Economic Times

India has approved the use of Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine against Covid-19 based on strong immunogenicity data, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Monday.

It would be the third Covid-19 vaccine approved in India after AsztraZeneca’s Covishield, and local firm Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN.

India is battling a massive second wave of Covid-19 infections, with more than 13.5 million cases. The country of 1.3 billion surpassed Brazil on Monday to become the world’s second worst affected country by Covid-19.