The world struggles to respond to virus mutations

As the virus is mutating and the vaccination goals are missing, nations are racing against time to study the virus and give shots to more and more people before the virus changes its nature even more. The highly contagious coronavirus variants detected first in Britain and South Africa have been spreading at alarming speeds. Multiple studies have pegged the UK variant’s transmissibility between 50 to 70 per cent. That variant has been found in at least 45 countries, leading to border closures, quarantines and lockdowns. Read more

Let’s look at the global statistics

Global infections: 89,654,944

Change Over Yesterday: 559,310

Global deaths: 1,926,918

Nations with most cases: US (22,137,930), India (10,450,284), Brazil (8,075,998), Russia (3,344,175), United Kingdom (3,026,342).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

China has vaccinated more than 9 million so far

As China prepares for a bigger risk of the virus spreading in winter, with people travelling for holidays, the authorities have said they had vaccinated more than nine million people. The inoculation is focused first on vulnerable groups and the shots are free for all citizens according to the officials. The country is steadily ramping up capacity to vaccinate more and more people. Some 7.5 million doses have been given since December 15, officials told a briefing in Beijing. Read more

Jamaica accuses rich nations of ‘hoarding’ vaccines

The coronavirus has battered Jamaica’s tourism industry, and if they are to reopen the borders, its population should be inoculated. But, it feels rich nations have thrown billions of dollars to buy more vaccines than what they need and it amounts to hoarding. Inoculation is seen as one of the keys to restarting Jamaica’s tourist-dependent economy. The island’s tourism income is down about 70 per cent due to the global pandemic, the prime minister told Bloomberg. Read more

Residents of Sydney’s northern beaches proud of solidarity under lockdown

Even as the lockdown of the northern beaches in Sydney ruined the travel and gathering plans during Christmas for many, residents have taken pride in the resilience they have shown during the period. The three-week lockdown, imposed on the back of the rising cluster in Sydney’s northern beaches, has come to an end. One positive to emerge from the curbs, residents said, was a real sense of solidarity. The community came together, took the restrictions seriously, and managed to emerge relatively unscathed. Meanwhile, the New South Wales government is assessing what financial support should be provided to northern beaches businesses. Read more

Indonesia relies on vaccine rollout

Battling a strong outbreak, Indonesia is relying heavily on the vaccinations to tame the virus with experts warning the outbreak has gone out of control. Last week, the daily infections rose to a record on consecutive days, ending with 10,617 infections on Friday. The Chinese made Sinovac vaccine will be first deployed to inoculate its population, with 3 million of 125 million doses already delivered and being distributed at health facilities across the country. Read more


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