An elderly person receives a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Jakarta International Expo in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 3 March 2021| Photo: Dimas Ardian | Bloomberg
An elderly person receives a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Jakarta International Expo in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 3 March 2021| Photo: Dimas Ardian | Bloomberg
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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 lakh deaths.

The Indonesian government has approved a ‘controversial’ scheme which will allow private companies in Southeast Asian countries to pay to independently vaccinate their staff against Covid-19 instead of waiting for public vaccinations; Denmark’s Prime Minister is under pressure to drop plans of working with Israel on vaccines, and the New South Wales government in Australia has said that residents in aged care facilities are waiting for the vaccines.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Indonesia courts controversy with private vaccine scheme 

The Indonesian government has approved a ‘controversial’ scheme which will allow private companies in the Southeast Asian country to pay to independently vaccinate their staff against Covid-19 instead of waiting for public vaccinations, reports Al Jazeera.

“Given global supply constraints, companies may offer a premium on the price in order to secure supplies,” said the report. Medical experts in Indonesia oppose the plan since they fear that that is a ‘political decision, not a scientific one’.

Indonesia has recorded 13,53,834 cases of Covid-19 and 36,721 deaths.

Denmark under pressure to drop vaccine plans with Israel 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is under pressure to drop plans of working with Israel on vaccines. This mostly concerned jointly financing factories for production of vaccines doses and comes as political allies demand that extra doses of vaccine be shared with Palestinians instead, reports The Guardian.

Denmark Prime Minister intends to visit Tel Aviv and meet Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday to discuss a joint project on producing vaccines.

“The announcement of a potential tie-up with Israel has received a sceptical airing in some quarters at home,” said the report. A local newspaper called Politiken published an editorial headlined, “Israel’s apartheid vaccination policy is a disgrace. Mette Frederiksen should condemn it — not beg vaccines of Israel.”

Denmark has recorded 2,12,798 cases of Covid-19 and 2,370 deaths.


Also read: If countries rely solely on vaccines, they are making mistake, WHO warns as Covid cases climb


Aged care facilities in Australia wait for vaccines amid confusion

The New South Wales government in Australia has said that residents in aged care facilities are waiting for the vaccines. This is due to a lack of information from their federal counterparts about the vaccination drive, reports The Age.

Health Minister Brad Hazard revealed that he had reports of aged care residents sitting and waiting to be vaccinated since inoculations began.

NSW has  inoculated 14,600 people with the Pfizer doses in the first phase of the vaccination drive. It is expected to vaccinate 15,000 people by the end of Wednesday.

Australia has recorded 29,007 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths.

Biden calls decision to end mask mandates ‘Neanderthal thinking’

US President Joe Biden Wednesday criticised the decisions made by governors of Texas and Mississippi to lift statewise mask mandates. He said that this move was a ‘big mistake’ and shows ‘Neanderthal thinking’, reports The New York Times.

Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement lifting mask mandates was a ‘surprising development’ since the state is trailing behind when it comes to vaccinations. Further, more than 7,000 new cases of Covid-19 are being reported each day in the state.

The US has recorded 2,94,56,377 cases of Covid-19 and 5,31,652 deaths.

What else we are reading: 

Covid-19 variant may protect people against reinfection and other variants, research in South Africa shows: Mail and Guardian 

Birmingham residents ask: will it be open for business again: The Guardian 


Also read: Ghana, Ivory Coast get world’s first COVAX shots, Russia as saviour & other Covid news


 

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