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Netherlands stops AstraZeneca vaccine, Chile vaccination champion & other global Covid news

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 novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being 12 crore cases and more than 26 lakh deaths.

Netherlands becomes the latest country to suspend the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Chile is among the top countries vaccinating people and Malaysian delivery personnel will be vaccinated by the Singapore authorities.

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

Netherlands becomes latest country to suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

The Netherlands has become the latest country to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine following concerns about the possible side effects, reports BBC.

Earlier Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland and Thailand had suspended the vaccine over claims of blood-clotting due to the vaccine, the report noted.

The Dutch health authorities were forced to cancel 43,000 vaccination appointments as the government halted the use of the AstraZeneca shot. The report quoted Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge as saying, “We can’t allow any doubts about the vaccine.”

AstraZeneca has, however, said that there is “no evidence of increased risk of clotting” due to the vaccine.

The Netherlands has reported 11,57,192 cases and 16,069 deaths.

Chile becomes Latin America’s COVID-19 vaccination champion

With more than 25 per cent of its population having received at least one shot, Chile is now nearing the top among countries at vaccinating its people, reports the Associated Press.

This is despite Chile being among the nations that were hit hardest by the pandemic. The secret to its success, the report notes, is “the country’s early negotiations with vaccine producers”.

It quotes Chile’s minister of science, Andrés Couve, who said that negotiations with vaccine-producing companies started last April.

“By May, Couve said, a team of experts and officials presented a plan to President Sebastián Piñera, including a road map about how to use the country’s network of trade agreements and its previous contracts with pharmaceutical companies to get vaccines once they were developed,” the report also notes.

Chile has reported 8,91,110 cases and 21,674 deaths.

Also read: Brazil surpasses India in Covid caseload, is number two among virus-hit nations

Third Covid wave sweeps across EU and forces new restrictions

The third wave of the Covid pandemic is advancing across most parts of Europe, reports The Guardian.

“The infection rate in the EU is now at its highest level since the beginning of February, with the spread of new variants of the Covid-19 virus being blamed for much of the recent increase,” the report notes.

Several European countries are set to impose new lockdown measures in the next few days.

For instance, in Italy, which recorded more than 27,000 new cases and 380 deaths Friday, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said, “The memory of what happened last spring is vivid, and we will do everything to prevent it from happening again.”

In France as well, curfews and other social restrictions have been imposed in several regions.

The European Union has reported 2,32,55,514 cases and 5,62,440 deaths.

Malaysian delivery personnel contacted by Singapore authorities for Covid vaccination

Thousands of personnel delivering goods in Malaysia will receive Covid-19 vaccine from Singapore, reports The Straits Times.

The report quoted Malaysian Health Minister Adham Baba as saying, “Singapore has extended their Covid-19 vaccination programme to include Malaysian delivery personnel who travel frequently between the two countries.”

Singapore has also been issuing SMS alerts to the personnel informing them about being chosen for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

3,000 to 4,000 delivery personnel enter Singapore daily. According to the government, vaccinations might become criteria for entering Singapore..

Malaysia has reported 3,23,763 Covid cases and 1,210 deaths so far.

Police blitz targets parties driving Brazil’s deadly Covid-19 surge

Police in Brazil have been targeting parties that are reinforcing “blitzes” against parties in order to curb the virus, reports Reuters.

On Saturday, the Sao Paulo police broke up an illegal party with nearly 600 people in a windowless nightclub.

“With axes and assault rifles, police officers broke down the door of the nightclub in the city’s Capao Redondo district, piercing the darkness with lights on their guns. Hundreds of young partiers, few of them masked, cowered on the dance floor as police silenced the music and arrested organizers,” the report notes.

Police officer, Eduardo Brotero, is quoted as saying, “I could never imagine hundreds and hundreds of people in a place without a single window, with all the doors closed.”

Brazil has reported 1,14,83,370 cases and 2,78,327 deaths.

What else we are reading:

The hits and misses in Kenya’s fight against Covid-19: Nation

Hundreds of Covid cases reported at Tesla plant following Musk’s defiant reopening: The Washington Post

Also read: Overall evidence suggests AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is safe. Here’s what you need to know


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