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Covid-19 pandemic: China sees its worst outbreak, Cambodia begins giving booster shots

ThePrint brings you some important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi: Despite the vaccination drives across the world, coronavirus cases have continued to rise. There are currently 19,90,22,838 cases and 42,40,374 deaths globally.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across countries. Iran is now going into lockdown, countries like the UK are trying to incentivise taking the vaccine, while China is now witnessing a surge in cases so high that it puts the Wuhan outbreak in perspective.

Iran to go into lockdown again

Iran is now facing a fifth wave of coronavirus infections as the country sees one president replace another — Ebrahim Raisi is taking over from Hassan Rouhani. Now, a two-week long lockdown has been proposed to ensure the country’s healthcare system doesn’t collapse.

“The pressure is so high that I’m worried even this plan won’t be enough, unless we reduce the exponential load of illnesses through quick preventive measures and boosting adherence to health protocols,” outgoing health minister Saeed Namaki wrote in a letter to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Al Jazeera reports.

So far, 39,03,519 Covid-19 cases and 90,996 deaths have been reported from Iran. Much like others across the world, Iran blames the spike on the Delta variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

Also read: Covid lab leak theory back in focus, Republican report says evidence points to Wuhan institute

China sees worst-ever Covid outbreak since Wuhan

China is currently witnessing its worst-ever outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic was first reported in the Wuhan province between late 2019 and early 2020. High numbers of cases are now being reported from five of its provinces, which first began spreading from Nanjing.

A case was first detected at the city’s busy airport on 20 July. Since then, another 200 cases have been reported. To arrest the spread, flights from the Nanjing airport have been cancelled till 11 August.

“All 9.3 million of the city’s residents — including those visiting — will be tested, said state-controlled Xinhua news,” a BBC report said.

Officials here also blamed the Delta variant for this spike as they face stark criticism from residents for failing to react in time.

China has so far reported 93,103 cases and 4,636 deaths.

Cambodia to switch between AstraZeneca & Sinovac as booster shot

Cambodia has now begun offering booster shots for the Covid-19 vaccine and will switch between the UK-made AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen, launching the vaccination campaign for 12-17 years old, said on Sunday that the third dose will be offered to between 500,000 to one million frontline workers as a priority,” a Reuters report said.

Those who received Sinopharm or Sinovac as their first two doses will be given the AstraZeneca shot, while those who have received two shots of the Oxford-made vaccine will get Sinovac as the booster shot.

Cambodia is also looking at procuring US’s Johnson & Johnson shot to inoculate its indigenous population in the northeast region.

The South Asian country has reported 77,914 cases and 1,420 deaths.

UK tries to incentivise taking the vaccine

In the United Kingdom, delivery services and restaurants such as Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are now offering free or discounted services for those who have received the Covid-19 vaccination. Over 90 per cent of the British population has received at least one dose.

“The program, announced Sunday by the Department of Health and Social Care, is designed to boost the vaccination rate among adults under 30 as Britain races to inoculate as many people as possible before colder weather arrives,” Associated Press reported.

The country is witnessing a spike in cases owing to the Delta variant and is keen on increasing its vaccination rate. However, the idea of such an incentive is not new — the United States has offered a $100 reward for residents of New York and Minnesota for getting the shot.

The UK has reported 58,80,667 cases and 1,29,719 deaths in total.

What else we are reading:

How Japan could have avoided a karaoke Olympics: South China Morning Post

Vaxed, waxed, but definitely not relaxed: Welcome to the pandemic swerve: The Washington Post

Also read: Why following the science isn’t curing Covid confusion over the Delta variant


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