New Delhi: Coronavirus cases have continued to spike across countries despite vaccination drives, with the emergence of new variants. So far, since the beginning of the pandemic, over 23,87,12,932 cases and 48,68,662 deaths have been registered globally.
While Australia’s Sydney is reopening after a four-month-long lockdown, Romania is grappling with a fourth Covid wave on top of an overburdened healthcare system.
Meanwhile, health experts in Turkey are warning of an increased number of Covid-19 cases among children.
Australia’s Sydney emerges out of lockdown
The four-month-long lockdown in Sydney came to an end, and people ventured out of their homes Monday, Al Jazeera reported. With the number of new cases falling and 70 per cent of the population vaccinated, the city is getting back on its feet.
However, some restrictions will remain — schools will remain closed, as will borders, and mass gatherings will be disallowed. The state of New South Wales aims to achieve an 80 per cent vaccine rate by late October. The unvaccinated have been asked to stay at home until 1 December.
Australia has reported 1,29,567 cases and 1,448 deaths.
Pfizer to vaccinate all over age 12 in Brazil city
Vaccine maker Pfizer has announced that it will administer Covid-19 shots everyone above the age of 12 in the city of Toledo, Brazil, to test the safety and effectiveness of its vaccine, The New York Times reported.
Around 98 per cent eligible residents of the city have already received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The company will monitor the participants and follow up for one year to test how long vaccine effectiveness lasts and protects them from the virus.
Before Toledo, another experimental mass trial was conducted in the south-eastern Brazilian town of Serrana over three months, which proved to be successful as the number of cases and deaths dropped.
Brazil has registered 2,15,75,820 cases and 6,01,047 deaths due to the pandemic.
Increasing number of cases among kids in Turkey
Health experts in Turkey have warned against the rising number of Covid cases among children, Daily Sabah reported. Ümit Savaşçı, a University of Health Sciences professor, pointed out that a sedentary lifestyle and less intake of Vitamin D makes kids more susceptible to Covid-19 infection.
“Patients below the age of 20 and with underlying diseases find themselves in intensive care within a few days of infection,” he said.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca had earlier pointed out that people under the age of 30 constitute more than a half of the total number of Covid cases in Turkey.
The vaccination programme in the country is open to those above 15 years of age, and younger children with chronic diseases.
Turkey has reported 74,44,552 registered cases of Covid-19 and 66,180 deaths.
Fourth wave hits Romania
Romania, which had one of the “weakest vaccination campaigns” against the virus in Europe, has been hit by a “catastrophic” fourth wave, Al Jazeera reported.
Ambulances have been waiting outside hospitals for beds to become available, and that only happens when a patient dies. The country’s death toll of 385 Friday was the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
Romania is also considering transferring 200 to 300 patients outside the country for treatment, due to the overcrowding in its hospitals.
The country has recorded 13,56,640 cases and 39,420 deaths due to the virus.
What else we are reading:
Covid-19 Booster shots are available for all in Israel. Younger people aren’t convinced, The Wall Street Journal
Covid-19 vaccine registration open for kids aged 5-11, B.C. health officials say, The Globe and Mail