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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec 19, declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020
  • Over 230 million infected globally; more than 4.7 million dead
  • 1,232,595 cases reported in Pakistan; 27,432 dead, 1,143,605 recovered

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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Latest
6:30 PM

Romanian hospitals fill up with Covid patients amid widespread vaccine refusal

5:46 PM

Thailand seeks to slash quarantine period for visitors

4:49 PM

Nobel prize banquet postponed again this year due to pandemic

4:41 PM

Read: How to spot the difference between Covid and cold symptoms

4:05 PM

Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid after touting 'blessed' water cure

3:21 PM

Moderna chief executive sees pandemic over in a year

2:40 PM

Melbourne anti-lockdown protests fizzle out as daily cases hit pandemic high

2:25 PM

Russia's Covid-19 deaths return to record daily highs

1:50 PM

Ukraine tightens coronavirus lockdown curbs

1:30 PM

First lady Samina Alvi tests positive for Covid-19

Sep 23, 2021 06:30pm

Romanian hospitals fill up with Covid patients amid widespread vaccine refusal

With the second-lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, Romania is bracing for a fourth wave of the pandemic that looks set to overwhelm hospitals where medical staff are already stretched thin.

After living through three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic without getting sick, 55-year-old Roxana Pascu thought that she was healthy enough to withstand the virus and decided to turn down the vaccine, AFP reports.

“I thought that if I made it through three waves without getting infected, I can make it through another one without a vaccine,” Pascu said.

Read more here

Sep 23, 2021 05:46pm

Thailand seeks to slash quarantine period for visitors

Thailand's disease control committee has proposed a halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals, amid delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist destinations from next month.

"Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travellers and foreign students," senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required.

Under the proposal, to be presented to the government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land, according to a Reuters report.

Sep 23, 2021 04:49pm

Nobel prize banquet postponed again this year due to pandemic

There will be no banquet in Stockholm this year and laureates will receive their Nobel Prize medals and diplomas in their home countries, the Nobel Foundation has said, according to Reuters.

The traditional festivities were replaced last year as well with a mainly digital celebration as the pandemic raged in Europe and the rest of the world.

“I think everybody would like the Covid-19 pandemic to be over, but we are not there yet,” the Nobel Foundation said in a statement, adding it hoped to hold a small, local award ceremony despite the laureates not being present.

The Nobel Foundation said the ceremony will be broadcast on television and live streamed via its Nobel Prize digital platforms.

Sep 23, 2021 04:05pm

Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid after touting 'blessed' water cure

A high-profile shaman who tried to end Sri Lanka's Covid-19 outbreak with “blessed” water has died of the coronavirus, reports AFP.

Eliyantha White, 48, who treated sports stars and top politicians including the country's prime minister, claimed in November he could end the pandemic in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India by pouring pots of his “blessed” water into rivers.

White attracted international attention in 2010 when legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar publicly thanked him for treating a knee injury, saying it helped him hit the first-ever One-Day International double century against South Africa. He had since treated other Indian cricket stars, including Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra.

White's family said he had refused the Covid-19 vaccine.

His body was cremated at Colombo's main cemetery in line with quarantine regulations.

Sep 23, 2021 03:21pm

Moderna chief executive sees pandemic over in a year

Moderna Inc Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel thinks the coronavirus pandemic could be over in a year as increased vaccine production ensures global supplies, he told the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

"If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required," he told the newspaper in an interview.

Vaccinations would soon be available even for infants, he said.

"Those who do not get vaccinated will immunise themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don't do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital."

Read the full Reuters story here.

Vials with a sticker reading, "Covid-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo. — Reuters/File
Vials with a sticker reading, "Covid-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo. — Reuters/File

Sep 23, 2021 02:40pm

Melbourne anti-lockdown protests fizzle out as daily cases hit pandemic high

Melbourne's streets were largely quiet after three days of anti-lockdown protests, with hundreds of police officers on patrol in the city to prevent another rally as Covid-19 cases in Victoria hit a daily pandemic record.

Police in central Melbourne were checking people's reasons for being outside, footage on social media showed, after a violent protest on Wednesday in Australia's second-largest city resulted in more than 200 arrests.

A vaccination centre at the Melbourne Town Hall would be shut until Monday after several of its staff were physically and verbally abused on their way to work, said operator Cohealth.

Read more from Reuters here.

Sep 23, 2021 02:25pm

Russia's Covid-19 deaths return to record daily highs

Russia has reported 820 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, matching an all-time one-day high that it last reached on August 26, Reuters reports.

The government coronavirus task force also said it had recorded 21,438 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the national case tally to 7,354,995 since the pandemic began.

A serviceman of Russia's Emergencies Ministry, wearing protective gear, disinfects Kievsky railway terminal amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Moscow. — AFP
A serviceman of Russia's Emergencies Ministry, wearing protective gear, disinfects Kievsky railway terminal amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Moscow. — AFP

Sep 23, 2021 01:50pm

Ukraine tightens coronavirus lockdown curbs

Ukraine tightened coronavirus lockdown curbs on Thursday, restricting large events and occupancy at gyms, cinemas and cultural sites, after a recent steady increase in new infections, Reuters reports.

Ukraine imposed a nationwide “yellow” code after cases dropped over the summer, allowing it to lift lockdown restrictions. This week, however, the government extended a state of emergency that allows authorities to impose curbs until year-end to rein in infections.

Ukraine's pandemic tally of infections stands at 2.4 million, with 55,284 deaths.

Medical personnel stand next to ambulances with Covid-19 patients as they wait in the queue at a hospital for people infected with coronavirus disease in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 30, 2021. — Reuters/File
Medical personnel stand next to ambulances with Covid-19 patients as they wait in the queue at a hospital for people infected with coronavirus disease in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 30, 2021. — Reuters/File