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Covid pandemic: Philippines approves Moderna for 12-17 year olds, Delta hits Vietnam hard

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

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New Delhi: Parts of the world are witnessing the third wave of coronavirus, with over 22 crore cases and more than 45 lakh deaths having been reported across the globe. The virus has now made its footprint in 223 countries and territories worldwide.

As Covid starts infecting children, the Philippines has approved Moderna vaccine for those aged between 12 and 17, while the United Arab Emirates has said that strict action will be taken against teachers who refused to take the vaccine. Meanwhile, Thailand’s prime minister is facing a protest demanding his resignation for mishandling the pandemic.

As Delta infects children, the Philippines approves Moderna for them

The Delta variant of coronavirus has increasingly begun impacting children. The Philippines is one such country witnessing a rise in cases among children.

To tackle this, the Philippines government has approved emergency use of Moderna vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 17.

“With the Delta variant affecting a lot of children, the experts saw that the benefit of using the vaccine outweigh the risks,” FDA Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo said, according to a Reuters report.

The island country has reported 2,020,484 cases and 33,680 deaths due to Covid.

UAE says teachers must be fully vaccinated or action will be taken

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Education has announced that action will be taken against teachers who refuse to take the coronavirus vaccine without “verified exemption from health authorities.”

“The Ministry of Education (MoE) had earlier said all school staff and teachers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to return to campuses for the new academic year. Children aged 16 and above also have to be fully vaccinated,” The Khaleej Times reported.

Not only are teachers and students expected to be fully vaccinated, this criteria is extended to anyone entering the school campus — including parents. Schools in the UAE opened on 29 August. “Education authorities had, however, offered students the option to either study from home (remote learning) or attend school physically (face-to-face learning) or choose a combination of the two (hybrid learning model),” the report said.

UAE has reported 720,330 cases and 2,043 deaths so far.

Also read: What newly-discovered C.1.2 lineage of SARS-CoV-2 is & why it’s not yet a ‘variant of concern’

Protest grows against Thailand PM over Covid management

People thronged the streets of Thailand, demanding Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s resignation for his poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has infected 1,249,140 people and taken 12,374 lives so far.

“Thursday’s demonstration at the Asoke intersection in central Bangkok was one of the biggest such gatherings this year despite a warning from the police earlier in the day that protests were banned due to coronavirus restrictions,” Al Jazeera reported.

Only 13 per cent of Thailand’s population has been fully vaccinated, a core reason behind why protests against the prime minister have been gaining momentum. This is happening in the backdrop of Prayuth and some of his cabinet members facing corruption accusations, which they have denied.

Delta variant hits Vietnam hard

Vietnam has reported 486,727 coronavirus cases and 12,138 deaths. In the face of this, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh underlined the possibility of a long battle against Covid, one that cannot be fought relying on lockdowns and quarantine measures alone.

“Vietnam has deployed soldiers and forced residents of its biggest city to stay in their homes in recent weeks, in its most drastic measures yet to fight an outbreak that has shattered what was one of the world’s best containment records,” The Straits Times reported.

While the pandemic was well handled by the small country for the longest time, the Delta variant has impacted it severely.

“Restrictions were causing ‘material and mental hardship’, Mr Chinh said while meeting experts to hear ideas on fighting the virus,” the report added.

Also read: Antibody cocktail, given to Trump, could reduce hospitalisation in high-risk Covid patients: Study

What else are we reading

Drug-resistant infections have increased in hospitals during the pandemic: The New York Times

Israel COVID resurgence offers lessons in adaptation for Asia: Nikkei Asia

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