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Covid pandemic: England now open to hugs, Brazil suspends AstraZeneca for pregnant women

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: The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of letting up with more than 16 crore cases and over 30 lakh deaths reported so far. While some countries get closer to the new normal after vaccinations, others still suffer.

In recent developments, in England everyone is opening their arms wide open to hug again, Singapore compensates some who suffered serious vaccine side effects, and Brazil is stopping vaccination for pregnant women.

Here are some stories from across the world.

Singapore to compensate 30 people who suffered serious side effects due to Covid vaccines

Singapore will compensate 30 people who reported severe side effects of the coronavirus vaccine — 104 people had applied for compensation, reports The Straits Times.

The health services authority of Singapore has received 2,796 reports of adverse events after vaccination as of 18 April. These constitute .18 per cent of all vaccinations.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, “Only 0.004 per cent of our doses administered have reported serious adverse events. In general, the observed trend of adverse events within Singapore is consistent with those reported overseas.”

Singapore has reported 61,403 coronavirus cases and 31 deaths so far.

Also read: Migraine, breathing issues could stay briefly after mild Covid, serious problems unlikely: Lancet

In England, people allowed to hug again. But there was no ban to begin with

English newspapers and channels reported that people in England will be allowed to hug again. However, reports The Guardian, there was no ban on hugging; it was simply discouraged.

“Throughout the past year, the government has – probably deliberately – muddled the difference between law and guidance, and social distancing has only ever been guidance,” said Adam Wagner, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers who has studied coronavirus legislation told The Guardian.

Throughout the pandemic, says the report, the British government issued instructions as though they were enforceable rules. When in fact they weren’t.

The United Kingdom has reported 4,439,691 coronavirus cases and 1,27,629 deaths so far.

Brazil suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for pregnant women

Brazil has suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine for pregnant women on the advice of national health regulator after a reported death, reports Channel News Asia.

A daily newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo had reported that the government was investigating the death of a woman who had received the vaccine.

Though the government hasn’t confirmed the report, it immediately suspended the use of the vaccine in line with its policy of closely monitoring vaccine side effects.

The state of Sao Paulo has said it will stop vaccinating women with comorbidities.

Brazil has reported 1,52,85,048 coronavirus cases and 4,25,711 deaths so far. 

Also read: From Guwahati to Dimapur, Facebook post drives a ‘movement’ to help people during Covid

Ethnic group steps in as Myanmar’s Covid response falls apart

As Myanmar’s Covid response falls apart because of the military coup, one ethnic armed organization, KIO, has vaccinated more than 20,000 people that live under an area administered by them with China’s help, reports Al Jazeera.

Sinovac vaccines were provided across the border by Red Cross China, a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told Al Jazeera.

The KIO is one of approximately 30 ethnic organisations operating along Myanmar’s borders with China, India and Thailand. Several of these groups have run their own Covid responses since the pandemic started.

Myanmar has reported 142,974 coronavirus cases and 3,210 deaths so far.

What else we’re reading: 

Analysis: S.Korea’s COVID-19 vaccine shortages overshadow Moon-Biden summit: Reuters 

This is how officials are trying to rally teens to get Covid-19 vaccinations: CNN 

Also read: Here is an early warning system for the next surge of coronavirus variants


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