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China students protest stringent lockdowns, corruption scandal in Kenya & other 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 and the latest count is over 3.2 crore cases and more than 9.8 lakh deaths.

The pandemic has ravaged the working class population of Mexico. In Kenya, top officials and businesspeople have allegedly been misusing millions of dollars meant for Covid supplies and Chinese students are protesting online against harsh lockdowns imposed by their universities.

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

Mexico’s Covid deaths cross 75,000, working class hardest hit

The number of coronavirus deaths in Mexico surpassed 75,000 Thursday, reports Reuters, and the hardest hit in the Latin American country is the working class population.

“The sprawling and densely populated working-class neighborhoods of Mexico City have been among the hardest hit in the region by the virus and the ensuing economic pain,” the report explains.

Despite this, Mexico’s testing rate is below most other large countries as indicated by its health officials. The country has reported 7,15,457 cases and 75,439 deaths.

Students protest China’s stringent university lockdowns 

In China, students have been protesting online against strict restrictions and blanket lockdowns imposed by the management of various universities, reports the South China Morning Post.

“For example, at Shanxi University in central China, students have been put on strict lockdown and security guards were sent to attend the school gates at all times to ensure no students left the campus without approval from school administrators,” the report quotes a student as saying.

Such campus lockdowns have affected nearly 37 million students across China. Chinese university students took to Weibo, a Chinese social media site, over the weekend to protest against these lockdowns. “A hashtag relating to the topic was read more than 150 million times before it was censored,” notes SCMP.

China has recorded 85,322 cases and 4,634 deaths till now. The infection is under control in most of the country and new cases are coming from abroad.

Also read: Global Covid death toll will touch 1 million in a few days but real number could be double

Coronavirus is still mutating, US study finds

A study by US researchers has found that the SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and perhaps becoming more contagious, reports The Guardian.

Scientists in Houston, Texas analysed 5,000 genetic sequences of the virus and found that the virus continues to mutate as it was transmitted.

David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “noted that this could mean that the virus might continue to mutate even after a vaccine is available, meaning the vaccine will have to be tinkered with”, the report adds.

The US has reported 71,85,471 and 2,07,538 deaths, as of Friday.

Iran anticipates ‘third wave’ as toll surpasses 25,000

Iran seems to be on the brink of a third wave of Covid infections as the number of deaths surpassed 25,000 Thursday, reports Al Jazeera.

The report quotes health ministry spokesperson Sima Lari, who said, “In the past 30 days, 5,000 people infected with the coronavirus have died and 80,000 new infections have been registered.”

Health experts in the country also said the third wave could be worse than the first two.

Iran has recorded 4,36,319 cases and 25,015 deaths till now.

Also read: Two cats in UK get Covid-19 from owners, scientists on alert

Corruption allegations over Covid supplies in Kenya

An investigation by the Kenyan government has indicated that top officials and businesspeople have been misusing millions of dollars meant for buying Covid-19 medical supplies, reports the BBC.

“The first phase of investigations has centered around the alleged misuse of $7.8m meant to purchase emergency PPE for healthcare workers and hospitals across the country,” the report notes.

The second phase will scrutinise the involvement of companies who had allegedly profited from tenders.

The scandal was unveiled weeks after health workers went on strike to protest against the lack of supplies, including PPE kits.

“The state body responsible for purchases, the Kenya Medical Supply Authority (Kemsa), has denied that any money was stolen,” the report adds.

Kenya has recorded 37,489 cases and 669 deaths.

Also read: China reports mysterious, first asymptomatic cases in 35 days in 2 port workers

France sees record spike in Covid infections

France reported a record new cases of coronavirus after 16,069 people tested positive within 24 hours Thursday, reports France 24.

“The number of coronavirus patients in Paris hospitals had more than doubled in three weeks, from 150 to 330, and would probably reach 600 by month’s end,” the report quotes Francois Cremieux, deputy director of the city’s hospital authority AP-HP (Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris), as saying.

In response to the sudden surge in cases in the past week, the government Wednesday announced a slew of measures, including the closure of bars and restaurants in Marseilles and earlier closing time in Paris.

In total, France has reported 4,97,237 cases and 31,511 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Brazil’s unemployment rises as isolation goes down: The Brazilian Report

How ‘coronavirus escapism’ altered Middle East screen habits: Arab Times

Also read: Europe is struggling again as UK and France report record new infections


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