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Covid pandemic: Australian businessman backs Covid nasal spray, Oman detects ‘black fungus’

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: Covid-19 cases across the world have begun to decline as countries ramp up vaccination. There are currently more than 17 crore cases and over 38 lakh deaths, globally.

The UAE has issued Covid safety warning as cases spike after Eid, and the US’ top health body has called Covid-19 Delta variant a ‘variant of concern’.

We bring you some of the top stories on the pandemic from across the world.

Oman detects ‘black fungus’ in three Covid-19 patients

Doctors in Oman have detected a mucormycosis, or ‘black fungus’, among some Covid-19 patients in the county, reports Al Jazeera. According to the country’s Health Ministry, three Covid-19 patients had become infected with the condition.

The fungal condition causes discolouration over the nose, blurred vision, chest pain, respiratory difficulties, and coughing of blood.

The announcement comes as Oman faces a surge in coronavirus infections, an acute shortage of hospital beds, a slow vaccine rollout and relaxed movement restrictions.

India has been battling the rare and sometimes fatal fungal disease amid its second wave of Covid-19, with some states declaring it as an epidemic.

Other countries like Egypt have reported scattered cases in recent months as infections spiked.

Oman has registered 2,38,566 Covid cases and 2,565 deaths, so far.

Also read: ‘Pay us if you want us to take vaccine’: Bihar Mahadalits say follow election campaign ‘model’

Nearly a third of UK hospital Covid patients had ‘do not resuscitate’ order in first wave

A new study suggests 31 per cent of patients in the UK admitted to hospital with suspected Covid-19 during the first wave had a “do not resuscitate” decision recorded before or on their day of admission, reports The Guardian.

A do-not-resuscitate order, or DNR, is a legal order in which a person indicates that they do not want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops beating.

The study, conducted by the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), also found that this is higher than the rates reported in previous studies of conditions similar to Covid-19 before the pandemic.

The research found that roughly 59 per cent of patients with this legal order survived their illness while 12 per cent received intensive treatment aimed at saving their life.

The UK has registered 45,81,006 cases and 1,27,917 deaths.

US CDC calls Delta variant a ‘variant of concern’

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called the Delta Covid-19 variant, first detected in India, a “variant of concern”, reports CNN. Previously, the CDC had considered the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, to be a variant of interest.

The CDC has now stated that the variant shows increased transmissibility and potential reduction in neutralisation by some monoclonal antibody treatments under emergency authorisation.

As of 5 June, the health body estimates, the variant accounted for almost 10 per cent of cases in the US.

Though states like New York have opened up due to robust vaccine roll-outs, there are still concerns in the US about the spread of the Delta variant.

The US has recorded 3,43,52,185 cases and 6,15,717 deaths.

Also read: Safety is key, health ministry says but doesn’t know Bengaluru lab still studying Nagaland bats

Australian businessman ‘Twiggy’ Forrest backs Covid nasal spray

Melbourne-based biotech company Ena Respiratory has netted funding from famous Australian businessman, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, to develop a Covid-19 nasal spray hoped to help protect vulnerable populations, reports The Age.

Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has contributed towards the biotech company’s goal to raise $32 million for the new project. The funding comes as the local biotech industry is looking towards coronavirus preventatives and treatments to complement vaccinations in the country, as new variants loom.

Ena Respiratory focuses on treatments for at-risk patients. Its nasal spray, INNA-051, is designed to boost the body’s existing immune response to viruses by waking up TLR-2 receptors, a protein in humans which are key to triggering action from the immune system.

Australia has recorded 30,285 cases and 910 deaths.

UAE issues Covid safety warning as cases spike after Eid 

A top UAE official said the country has been seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases, especially after the Eid holidays, reports Khaleej Times.

According to Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector, large gatherings and residents failing to adhere to coronavirus safety measures are to blame for the recent spike.

With summer holidays set to begin at June end and Eid Al Adha break in July, the official urged residents to follow all safety guidelines including wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

The UAE has reported 6,01,950 cases and 1,734 deaths.

What else are we reading:

China ramps up vaccinations, but uneven rollout leaves borders closed: Reuters

Israeli Health Ministry Gave Authorities COVID Info on Millions of Citizens: Haaretz

Also read: Covid immunity lasts for a year, vaccine boost helps fight variants, study says


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