Sunday, February 28, 2021

Vaccinations pick pace, new mutants found: Covid-19 updates from India and world

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Hinting towards a faster pace of recovery, India’s active Covid-19 caseload has been steadily declining and the recoveries from the viral disease have been on the rise. As of Saturday, there were 148,590 active cases in the country while the number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease has gone up to 10,510,796. 

The cases worldwide have shot up to 10,510,796 and 2,299,388 fatalities have been recorded due to the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University’s virus tracker. 

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Here’s a look at the Covid-19 situation in countries across the world

India: Covid-19 cases in India are steadily declining with only 11,713 fresh cases recorded in the past 24 hours. The daily toll from the disease fell below 100 on Saturday. With 95 related deaths, a total of 154918 people have died of the disease. 

As India is conducting the world’s largest vaccination drive, as many as 54,16,849 health and frontline workers have so far been administered the jab in the first phase. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the vaccination for first recipients among the general public is likely to begin in March. 

China: A team of the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently probing the origins of the virus that causes the coronavirus disease in China’s Wuhan. “We were asked where we wanted to go. We gave our hosts a list … and you can see from where we’ve been, we’ve been to all the key places,” Peter Daszak, part of the WHO expert team, told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Mainland China reported 12 new Covid-19 cases on February 5, down from 20 cases a day earlier and the lowest daily increase since December 17, the national health authority said on Saturday. This takes mainland China’s infection tally to 89,681, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

United States: The US, worst-affected country due to the pandemic, has recorded 26,808,454 infections. The death toll from the disease now stands at 2,299,388. As the country suffers a major economic setback, President Joe Biden said he didn’t think his proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour will survive congressional negotiations to pass his broader coronavirus-relief bill. 

New Zealand: New Zealand health authorities said on Saturday they were investigating a new community coronavirus infection, the fourth in two weeks among people who completed mandatory isolation at an Auckland quarantine facility for returned overseas travellers.

The new case was diagnosed in a person self-isolating at home in Hamilton, who was released from a two-week hotel quarantine on January 30 after testing negative twice for the virus, reported news agency Reuters.

Israel: Israel, which has vaccinated the maximum number of people against Covid-19 in the world, has found it took three weeks for the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE shot to start curbing new cases and hospitalisations, according to news agency Bloomberg. 

Improvement in the number of new cases and hospitalised patients occurred 21 days following the vaccination campaign, the scientists said, noting that the real-life effect of vaccines may take longer than what was demonstrated in clinical trials.

United Kingdom: The UK said it plans to offer all over-50s the first dose of coronavirus vaccine by May, the first time that Boris Johnson’s government has set a target for the next stage of its vaccination program.

The country is currently in the third national lockdown and Johnson hopes the vaccination rollout will allow ministers to start lifting restrictions from March 8, starting with the reopening of some schools, reported Bloomberg.


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