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Covid-19 pandemic: A lesson from Chile, Philippine President’s tears & a PM resigns

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: Even a year after the virus forced us inside our homes, the coronavirus pandemic has shown no signs of letting up. The latest count of the deadly pandemic is more than 12 crore cases and 28 lakh deaths.

While cases in Chile have been rising despite a swift and efficient vaccine drive, Qatar might go into another lockdown to fight the surge in cases. And, one bad decision has led to the downfall of the current Slovakian government.

Here are a few headlines from across the world to keep you updated on the latest developments across the world.

Qatar official calls for lockdown amid rising Covid cases

Ahmed al-Mohammed, acting chairman of Qatar’s Hamad Medical Corporation, has suggested the country returns to a full lockdown in the wake of the rising coronavirus cases, reports Al Jazeera.

In an interview, Mohammed said ICU beds are filling up fast, and the country hadn’t had so many people in the ICU even at the peak of the pandemic last year.

Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health blamed the UK variant of the coronavirus for the significant increase in the number of cases.

Qatar has reported 1,79,184 coronavirus cases and 289 deaths so far.

Australia falls 85% short of its vaccine delivery goal

Australia has fallen 3.4 million doses short of its 4 million vaccine doses delivery goal by 31 March, reports BBC.

The government, however, argues that the outbreak in the country has been largely contained so the urgency of demand is low.

However, in recent months, the country has imposed six sporadic lockdowns to contain small outbreaks. This has given a chance to critics to accuse the government of mishandling the vaccine rollout.

Australia has reported 29,300 coronavirus cases and 909 deaths so far.

Also read: New ‘double mutant variant’ of SARS-CoV-2, other variants found in 18 states, says govt

Procuring vaccines made Philippines President Duterte ‘cry’

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed for “patience and understanding’’ amid growing anger over and criticism of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Arab News.

In a nationwide, televised address, President Duterte said his government was “doing its best to manage the health crisis” and said it was “difficult” to procure vaccines.

He said the challenges the administration was facing in procuring vaccines were “almost making me cry”. He added, “If you only knew, I’m like passing through purgatory at this time until I am able to help all Filipinos. I want to cry in front of you, but I’ve run out of tears.”

Philippines has reported 7,41,181 coronavirus cases and 13,191 deaths so far.

Slovakian PM resigns amid Sputnik V vaccine scandal

In the first instance of a European government collapsing due to a decision related to Covid-19, Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matović has formally resigned, reports Euro News.

A political scandal had taken the country’s government by storm after it was discovered that Slovakia struck a secret deal to procure 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The deal was conducted without the support of the government’s coalition partners. Also, Slovakia is a European Union member, which still hasn’t authorised Sputnik V.

Slovakia has reported 3,59,330 coronavirus cases and 9,624 deaths so far.

Despite speedy vaccine drive, cases in Chile soar

Chile has reported a swift vaccination drive, but new cases are fast emerging as restrictions ease in the country, reports The New York Times.

Only Israel, USA and Seychelles have inoculated a larger share of population than Chile — this seems to have given Chileans a false sense of security that has contributed to a sharp spike in infections, says the report.

The surge in cases, even as more than one-third of the Chilean population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, serves as a cautionary tales for other nations.

Chile has reported 9,89,492 coronavirus cases and 23,107 deaths so far.

What else we’re reading:

Hong Kong’s plans to restart travel for residents hinge on issues such as pandemic control, vaccination rate, South China Morning Post

What you need to know about the UK, South Africa, and Brazil coronavirus variants, Quartz Africa

Also read: Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?


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