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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 112.9 million infected globally; more than 2.5 million dead, over 63.7 million recovered
  • 577,482 cases reported in Pakistan; 12,804 dead, 542,393 recovered

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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Latest
7:15 PM

Israel says half its population has received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine

6:41 PM

UK to prioritise next stage of Covid-19 vaccines by age, not job

6:00 PM

Pandemic leaves many Romanian patients without critical care

5:15 PM

Vaccination ‘passports’ may open society, but inequity looms

5:14 PM

Sindh reports 322 new coronavirus cases, 13 more deaths

4:37 PM

Macron says he would take AstraZeneca vaccine if it was offered

3:38 PM

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth encourages public to get Covid shot

2:40 PM

US Navy warship in the Middle East has Covid-19 cases, another ship to run tests

2:09 PM

AstraZeneca, Sputnik vaccines face hurdles if Covid shots become annual affair

1:28 PM

Japan to end state of emergency for six prefectures this month

Feb 26, 2021 06:41pm

UK to prioritise next stage of Covid-19 vaccines by age, not job

Police and teachers will not jump to the head of the queue in the second phase of Britain’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout, with people instead prioritised by age, according to officials advising the government who described this as the best way to keep up the pace of immunisations.

Some frontline workers such as police and teachers had been calling for their prioritisation on the basis of their jobs, but Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chairman for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said such an approach could complicate the rollout.

“Following an age-based programme will be simple, and simplicity has been one of the cornerstones of the current programme in terms of speed and its success,” he told a news conference.

The JCVI said that an age-based approach remained the most effective way of reducing death and hospitalisations from Covid-19. — Reuters
The JCVI said that an age-based approach remained the most effective way of reducing death and hospitalisations from Covid-19. — Reuters

Feb 26, 2021 06:00pm

Pandemic leaves many Romanian patients without critical care

A year ago this week, Romania reported its first case of Covid-19, prompting the country’s strapped medical system to turn its focus to treating Covid-19 patients. As a result, many patients with other conditions — including cancer — have either been denied critical care or have stopped going to their regular appointments, fearful of becoming infected.

Romania’s government is acknowledging the problem and has announced plans to reorganise the country’s hospitals so more non-Covid-19 patients can get access to health care.

“Patients who didn’t have Covid-19 didn’t seek medical care because they were afraid of becoming infected,” Dr Andreea Moldovan, a state secretary in the health ministry, told AP.

Previously, she said, there was “a lot of pressure to have as many beds available for Covid-19 patients as possible”.

Read more here.

Feb 26, 2021 05:14pm

Sindh reports 322 new coronavirus cases, 13 more deaths

Sindh has reported 322 new coronavirus cases and 13 more deaths in the last 24 hours, according to a statement from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

The provincial total of infections has risen to 257,730 while the death toll has reached 4,335.

According to the statement, 10,865 tests were conducted over the last 24 hours while 273 more people recovered from Covid-19.

Feb 26, 2021 04:37pm

Macron says he would take AstraZeneca vaccine if it was offered

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he would gladly accept being inoculated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine if it were offered when his turn came, Reuters reports.

“In view of the latest scientific studies, the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been proven,” Macron told reporters after a virtual European Union summit.

“My turn will come, but I’ve got time. If that’s the vaccine that’s offered to me, I will take it, of course.”

French President Emmanuel Macron stands outside the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 28. — Reuters/File
French President Emmanuel Macron stands outside the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 28. — Reuters/File

Feb 26, 2021 02:40pm

US Navy warship in the Middle East has Covid-19 cases, another ship to run tests

A U.S. Navy warship operating in the Middle East has a dozen cases of the novel coronavirus, while another warship in the region is investigating whether some of its members are also infected, Reuters reported.

The USS San Diego which has the confirmed cases is at port in Bahrain. It sails with about 600 sailors and Marines aboard.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, which carries some 380 sailors, is expected to pull into port for further testing. The port was not disclosed.

“Once we became aware of possible Covid-19 aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), we took immediate actions to identify, isolate, test & treat affected Sailors & Marines aboard the two ships”, the US 5th Fleet said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Feb 26, 2021 02:09pm

AstraZeneca, Sputnik vaccines face hurdles if Covid shots become annual affair

Vaccines from AstraZeneca, Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and Johnson & Johnson fight the coronavirus with another virus, leaving scientists concerned the shots may lose potency if annual inoculations become necessary to fight new variants.

So-called viral vector shots — also used by several Chinese Covid-19 vaccine developers — use harmless modified viruses as vehicles, or vectors, to carry genetic information that helps the body build immunity against future infections.

However, there is a risk that the body also develops immunity to the vector itself, recognising it as an intruder and trying to destroy it.

Read full Reuters story here.

Feb 26, 2021 01:28pm

Japan to end state of emergency for six prefectures this month

The Japanese government has said it will end a state of emergency in all but Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures at the end of this month, a week earlier than scheduled, as new coronavirus cases decline, Reuters reported.

Emergency coronavirus measures will now be removed in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka prefectures, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters after a meeting of the government’s advisory panel, which approved the move.

“But the lifting comes with conditions,” Nishimura said, adding that experts on the panel wanted close monitoring of the spread of new strains of the virus and a sufficient supply of hospital beds.

They also expressed concern about a potential resurgence in cases as restrictions are eased, warning against complacency, he said.