New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 11.5 crore cases and more than 25.6 lakh deaths.
While Brazil registered a record jump in deaths in a single day due to Covid-19 for the first time since July 2020, Saudi Arabia has announced that a Covid-19 vaccine is necessary or pilgrims visiting for Hajj, whereas Toronto in Canada is facing vaccine supply issues.
Brazil records single-day record of 1,641 Covid deaths
As Brazil grapples with a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, the death toll has risen the highest since July last year. According to the health ministry, the country saw 1,641 deaths due to Covid-19 on 2 March, surpassing the previous single-day high of 1,595 deaths recorded in late July 2020, the Rio Times reported.
Brazilian state governors also said Tuesday that they are getting together to bypass President Jair Bolsonaro’s government and buy vaccine shots directly because of delays in the federal inoculation programme.
More than 257,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Brazil, making it the second worst-affected country in the world only after the US. There have been 10,647,845 cases of Covid-19 in Brazil, out of which 9,527,173 have recovered.
Covid vaccine a must for Hajj in 2021
Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has said that only those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to participate in Hajj in 2021, reported Straits Times. Haj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the Hajj and will be one of the main conditions (for receiving a permit to come),” a circular signed by Health Minister Tawfig Al-Rabiah said. Rabiah has also instructed the formation of a committee to provide Covid-19 shots for worshippers performing the Hajj.
Last year’s Hajj was performed by a limited number of native and foreign Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 378,002 cases out of which 2,571 are active, and 6,505 people have died due to the virus.
Supply issue slows Covid-19 vaccinations in Toronto
Ontario’s vaccine booking system is not going to start functioning up until 15 March as it has to use more of its supplies for health care workers and other priority groups and doesn’t have enough to start on the general population due to supply issues, Globe and Mail reported.
Medical and political officials in Toronto said the municipality has been slower than some other places to shift to vaccinating people over 80 because the city has a greater proportion of high-risk individuals such as 100,000 health care workers, “Because of the unique situation and the uniqueness of Toronto, we have a disproportionately large number of people who qualify in Phase 1 because they are more vulnerable”, according to officials.
Canada has recorded over 872,747 cases of Covid-19 and 22,045 deaths.
R rate climbs up again in Israel
The reproduction rate (R rate), which measures the average number of people each person carrying the coronavirus can infect – rose once again to 1, as Israel prepared for the third phase of the exit strategy from the lockdown, Jerusalem Post reported.
After dropping for several days, the R rate started to climb up again at the end of last week, to 1 Monday, came down to 0.97 Tuesday, and then rose again Wednesday.
Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said Israel might need to enter a fourth lockdown before the general election on 23 March.
Israel has registered 785,218 cases so far, out of which 40,976 cases are active, and 5,790 people have died.
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