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Covid-19 pandemic — Bangladesh lockdown triggers exodus, Tokyo Olympics ‘difficult’ now

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: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world. The latest count being more than 13 crore cases and over 29.7 lakh deaths.

We highlight some of the important stories from around the world — from South Korea witnessing a fourth wave, to Bangladesh workers’ exodus due to a Covid-19 lockdown and the possibility that Japan will cancel the Olympics yet again.

South Korea warns of possible fourth wave

Registering over 731 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the highest since January, the health authorities in South Korea have warned of a possible fourth wave, reports South China Morning Post.

According to the data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), South Korea has reported 1,11,419 infections and 1,782 deaths.

The fresh cases have emerged largely from the greater Seoul area and have further spread to other cities and provinces despite strict social distancing rules.

South Korea Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol reminded how people flouting social distancing protocols have led to this surge.

“Cluster infections have been spreading from nightspots, churches and cram schools to ordinary households, workplaces and schools as cases with light or little symptoms have been piling up,” Kwon Deok-cheol was quoted as saying. “We are standing at a crossroads – flattening the curve or letting in a fourth wave of infections.”

According to the KDCA data, nearly 1.24 million South Koreans have been administered the first doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines, and more than 60,000 had taken booster shots as of Tuesday.

Bangladesh Covid-19 lockdown triggers exodus

In an effort to contain the spread of Covid, the Bangladesh government has imposed a complete lockdown in the country from 6 am Wednesday to the midnight of 21 April, reports Al Jazeera.

This has caused chaos as tens of thousands of people rushed to get last trains, buses and ferries to their hometowns, before the nationwide lockdown froze the public transport.

According to the directives released by the Cabinet Division Monday, all offices and shops will be closed for eight days and no one will be allowed to go outside except for the purpose of medical treatment, essential services and burial or funeral.

Bangladesh had recorded 684,756 cases and 9,739 deaths so far, but the number of daily cases has increased seven-fold in a month.

The country reported 7,462 Covid-19 infections on 9 April, the highest single-day increase in infections since last year.

Japan says holding Tokyo Olympics ‘difficult’ after virus spikes

The Tokyo Medical Association Wednesday warned that Japan might not be able to hold the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was already postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, to this summer following a surge in infections, reports The Straits Times.

At a press conference, Haruo Ozaki, the head of the Tokyo Medical Association, said, “If infections spread further, in reality it would be difficult to hold the Olympics in its regular form with athletes coming from various countries, even if the Games are held with no spectators”.

The newspaper said that according to the Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare official website, Japan has vaccinated about just 1.1 million of its 126 million people till now. This means it has vaccinated less than 1 per cent of its population.

However, Tokyo 2020 organisers told CNN Wednesday that they were preparing to hold “a safe and secure Games without presuming there will be a vaccine and even without vaccines.”

Japan’s Osaka region registered 1,099 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, breaching the 1,000-mark for the first time since last year. Meanwhile, with 510 new cases, the cumulative number of Covid infections in Japan’s capital city Tokyo rose to 1,26,794.

Japan has reported over five lakh Covid-19 cases and more than 9,400 deaths so far.

What else we are reading:

Israel may be reaching herd immunity: BBC

China’s CanSino says no blood clots reported from COVID-19 shot: Reuters 

Also read: After govt move to review remdesivir MRP, pharma firms say will cut it to under Rs 3,500/vial


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