New Delhi: With the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, novel coronavirus cases have continued to spike across countries despite vaccinations drives. There are currently over 23,26,10,337 cases and 47,62,142 deaths globally.
In news around the world, the number of fully vaccinated people has reached 84 lakh in South Africa and the country has apparently exited the third wave, Norway has lifted Covid restrictions after 561 days, and China reportedly delayed passing information about the virus to US scientists in 2020.
Norway lifts restrictions
In an unexpected announcement, the government of Norway has said that most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. According to Norwegian government officials, more than 76 per cent of Norway’s population has received one vaccine dose, and nearly 70 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.
There, is, however, news that “dozens of disturbances and violent clashes” broke out in big cities after bars, restaurants, and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of the restrictions.
Norway has recorded 1,86,935 Covid-19 cases so far and 850 deaths due to the pandemic.
China was reluctant to share virus data in critical early days, claims report
According to an exclusive report by South China Morning Post, email exchanges show that scientists at the US-based Galveston National Laboratory repeatedly urged their Chinese counterparts to share information about the virus in early 2020 to speed up vital research regarding coronavirus.
“The exchange highlights challenges in international pathogen sharing and points to China’s reluctance to share these materials in the critical early days of the pandemic”, the report said.
The report claimed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology scientist overseeing the transfer reported “little progress”, which also required the Chinese government approval.
China has registered 96,050 Covid-19 cases and 4,636 total deaths so far.
South Africa sees sustained drop in Covid numbers
According to a statement by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the country has “nationally exited” the third wave, as reported in News24, an online African portal.
“Nationally, we have exited the third wave, according to the current definition. The national seven-day moving average of daily case numbers, positivity rate, and testing rate continue to decrease, with sustained decreases seen in all provinces,” the statement read.
The country currently has a positivity rate of five per cent. According to official figures, 46,59,962 people have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, while 37,31,658 have been vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The country has registered 28,96,943 cases and 87,052 deaths due to the virus.
New York may use national guard to fill health worker shortages
Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York, is considering a plan to declare a state of emergency and increase the supply of healthcare workers from other states and countries to fill shortages, with many US healthcare workers yet to meet their Covid-vaccine deadline.
According to a report in The Guardian, around 16 per cent of the state’s 4,50,000 hospital staff, or roughly 70,000 workers, have not been fully vaccinated. Hochul said she was planning to manage the shortfall with medically trained national guard officers.
The US has recorded 43,750,983 deaths and 706,317 deaths so far due to the virus.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)
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