New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect countries across the world. Currently, the total number of cases stands at 179,936,285 and 3,898,261 deaths.
The Philippines president has asked citizens to choose between Covid vaccine or jail. Biden will likely fail to administer one Covid dose to 70 per cent of adults by 4 July and Turkish Covid-19 vaccine begins Phase 3 trials.
We bring you some of the top stories on the pandemic from across the world.
Choose between vaccine or jail, says Duterte
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Monday said he will either imprison people who refuse to get Covid-19 vaccine doses or give them Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug, reports Reuters.
“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said at a press conference, following reports of low turnout at several vaccination sites in the capital Manila.
“But for as long as you are here and you are a human being, and can carry the virus, get vaccinated. Otherwise, I will order all the village captains to have a tally of the people who refuse to be vaccinated. Because if not, I will have Ivermectin meant for pigs injected into you,” Duterte said.
Ivermectin is considered an alternative treatment for Covid-19 but American and European regulators and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended against it.
Speaking against his health officials, who have said getting vaccinated is voluntary, Duterte said, “Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country. I’m just exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government.”
He also stood by his decision to not let schools reopen.
The Philippines has reported 1,364,239 cases and 23,749 deaths.
Donate $10 and fund Covid vaccine for poor, Australian scientists plea
Some of Australia’s top infectious diseases scientists have urged people to provide a Covid-19 vaccine for a person in a developing country by donating $10 after receiving their own jab, reports The Age.
Their calls come following reports of a series of nations across Africa and Asia having exhausted the initial vaccine doses they have received in the first humanitarian shipments from Covax, a global programme aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
The initiative is being led by Australia’s Immunisation Coalition and University of Sydney vaccine and infectious diseases pediatrician Professor Robert Booy, who said, “Highly infectious variants of coronavirus, such as Delta, were emerging in developing countries and were spreading rapidly due to a lack of vaccines and healthcare systems collapsing”.
The World Health Organization Tuesday said that more than half of the poorer countries relying on the global vaccine sharing scheme Covax do not have enough doses to continue vaccinating.
Australia has reported 30,356 Covid cases and 910 deaths.
Turkish Covid-19 vaccine begins Phase 3 trials
Turkish Covid-19 vaccine, named “Turkovac” by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, started Phase 3 trials on Tuesday, reports Daily Sabah.
The vaccine will be tried on thousands of volunteers and will be made available by November.
The vaccine is being developed in cooperation with Erciyes University and Health Institutes of Turkey and will be the first locally-made vaccine if it receives approval from the Health Ministry after safety tests.
Currently, the government is administering vaccines developed by Sinovac, Pfizer and BioNTech.
It has also granted an emergency use authorization for Russia’s Sputnik V.
Over 5,375,593 have tested positive for Covid-19 in Turkey, while 49,236 died of it.
US likely to miss its 4 July vaccine target
White House officials Tuesday said the country will likely fail to meet President Joe Biden’s goal to deliver at least one Covid-19 vaccine to 70 per cent of adults by July 4, reports Reuters.
The officials also said the Delta variant first detected in India poses the “greatest threat to United States” eradication efforts.
They said the administration is poised to meet the target for adults 27 and older on 4 July, the US Independence Day, but will fall short of Biden’s goal for adults 18 and older.
“Our focus from the beginning has been continuing to redouble our efforts among demographics and groups where we need extra assistance,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
White House Covid-19 senior adviser Jeffrey Zients said it would likely take a few weeks beyond 4 July to meet Biden’s target.
According to reports, the rate of vaccination in the US has increased by less than one percentage point over the past two weeks and would have to be more than doubled over the next two weeks for the United States to hit Biden’s target.
The United States has registered 33,190,195 Covid cases and 596,003 deaths.
What else we are reading:
Over 150 Texas Hospital Workers Are Fired or Resign Over Vaccine Mandate: The New York Times
Patients on ventilators in England ‘up 41% in last week’: The Guardian