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Covid-19 pandemic: Netherlands to restore restrictions, Hong Kong plans booster shots

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

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New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to worry even as the ongoing vaccination drives hold out hope for a return to normalcy. The world has so far recorded 248,385,611 cases and 5,031,006 deaths.

Western Europe is experiencing a new surge in cases due to which the Netherlands is bringing back Covid restrictions. The Czech Republic is also recording nearly 10,000 cases a day for the first time since March. 

Netherlands to bring back Covid restrictions 

The Netherlands is reintroducing Covid restrictions in the wake of a fresh surge in Covid cases, becoming one of the first countries in Western Europe to bring back restrictions, AFP reported. Prime Minister Mark Rutte Tuesday said the government will be reintroducing social distancing rules, and extending Covid passes to places such as museums and restaurant terraces. 

In late September, social distancing rules were removed, leading to a rise in the number of cases. The upcoming restrictions include mandatory wearing of masks at public places, and people are also being advised to work from home for at least half the week and avoid rush-hour travel. 

The Netherlands has reported 2,147,473 Covid-19 cases and 18,441 deaths in total.

Also read: Covid-19: Social distancing lifted at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Scotland enforces vaccine passports

Czech Republic nears 10,000 cases daily  

For the first time since March, the Czech Republic is nearing 10,000 cases daily, Reuters reported

Last Tuesday, the country reported 6,284 infections, which rose to 9,902 in a week. Hospitalisation has also reached more than 2,000 a day. So far, 6.095 million people in the country of 10.7 million have been fully vaccinated. 

The country has recorded 1,783,227 cases and 30,840 deaths due to Covid.

Hong Kong plans to roll out booster shots 

Hong Kong is planning to roll out booster doses for its population starting next week, South China Morning Post reported. The booster dose will be first given to the priority group, including elderly and those with comorbidities. Sixty-five per cent of Hong Kong’s population has been fully vaccinated against Covid till now. However, 85 per cent of those above 80 have not been vaccinated till now. 

So far, Hong Kong has reported 12,353 Covid cases and 213 deaths. 

President Duterte to punish officials for slow vaccine rollout

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that local government officials will be punished for not completing their vaccination targets, Straits Times reported.

The president said there is no reason “why daily vaccinations could not be ramped up to at least a million from an average of 500,000 since the country has sufficient stock of vaccines”. “We saw fault lines in the overall picture of our vaccination programme. I am not contented,” he added. The Philippines was at the bottom of Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking last month. Only a quarter of its population has been vaccinated so far. 

Philippines has recorded 2,793,898 Covid cases and 43,586 deaths. 

What else are we reading:

In New Zealand, criminals from notorious street gangs film public service announcement urging Kiwis to get the jab  The Daily Mail

What next for zero-Covid China as herd immunity faces Delta hurdle? South China Morning Post 

Also read: Covid-19 pandemic: Green Pass must for workers in Italy, S Korea to ease curbs on gatherings




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