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Covid-19: Thailand opens for vaccinated tourists, island nation Tonga locks down after 1st case

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

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New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to worry the world as cases remain high even as the ongoing vaccination drives allow some semblance of normalcy to return. The world has so far recorded 24,75,75,555 cases and 50,17,413 deaths.

While Thailand has opened tourism after an 18-month gap, despite rising cases and restrictions for local residents, England has begun offering Covid vaccine booster doses and Tonga has imposed a lockdown in its largest island after recording its first Covid case ever.

Also read: Climate change, Covid pandemic in focus as PM Modi meets world leaders at G20 Summit

Thailand reopens borders to fully vaccinated tourists

Thailand opened its international borders Monday to fully vaccinated tourists, after 18 months, in a bid to boost its economy, despite high daily Covid case counts, the BBC has reported.

“Vaccinated tourists from more than 60 ‘low-risk’ nations are allowed to enter the country and avoid hotel quarantine. Tourist numbers are forecast to jump to as much as 15 million next year, bringing in more than $30 billion,” the BBC added.

Meanwhile, the country continues to record between 5,000 and 10,000 new Covid cases every day. According to the online database Our World in Data, about 44 per cent of the population in Thailand has been fully vaccinated.

Thailand has recorded 19,20,189 Covid cases and 19,260 deaths so far.

Also read: Drug to treat OCD could reduce hospitalisation risk in Covid patients, study in Lancet says

England’s NHS offers walk-in Covid booster shots  

England’s National Health Service (NHS) started offering Covid booster shots to at-risk groups Monday, The Guardian reported.

One has to have received his or her second vaccine dose at least six months earlier to qualify for a booster dose. Those eligible for a booster dose include those aged over 50, care home workers, frontline workers in health and social care, and those aged over 16 and with comorbidities, among others, The Guardian added.

According to Our World in Data, about 67 per cent of the population in the UK has been fully vaccinated. The UK has reported 90,57,629 Covid cases and 1,40,632 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Also read: Scientists, doctors, or politicians? Report shows who we trust the most after the pandemic

Tonga goes into lockdown after first-ever Covid case 

The small Pacific Island nation of Tonga imposed a seven-day lockdown in its largest island, Tongatapu, Monday, after recording its first-ever Covid case — a passenger repatriated from Christchurch (New Zealand) — local media house Matangi Tonga reported.

The lockdown restrictions include a night curfew between 8pm and 6am, closing down of all restaurants, bars and nightclubs, shutting of schools and church services, as well as closing of workplaces, with the exception of shops selling essentials.

Despite the absence of any prior Covid community transmission in Tonga, the island nation has been at work vaccinating its small population. Around 39 per cent of Tonga’s population has been fully vaccinated so far, according to Our World in Data.

What else we’re reading

Mariners can now get Covid-19 vaccines at port after months stranded at sea: The Wall Street Journal

The F.D.A. is assessing whether the Moderna vaccine can cause heart problems in adolescents: New York Times

Also read: WHO-Covaxin-Modi govt is a triangle of confusion. No one knows what’s going on


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