New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the world. The latest count being more than 12 crore cases and 27 lakh deaths.
We highlight some of the important stories from around the world. Papua New Guinea, a country in Oceania, has reported that the number of Covid-19 cases has tripled in a month. Bali, in Indonesia, isn’t expected to bring back tourists until the end of this year or even into 2022. An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company is on its way to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial of the world’s first oral Covid-19 vaccine.
Covid cases in Papua New Guinea triple in a month
Papua New Guinea, a country in Oceania, has reported that its number of Covid-19 cases tripled in a month. Doctors in the country warn that their healthcare system is “at the brink” of being overwhelmed, reports The Guardian.
On 20 March, the country recorded 242 new cases of Covid-19 which brought the total cases to 3,359 cases and 36 deaths.
“The impact of Covid is being keenly felt in the Pacific country, which has roughly 500 doctors to serve a population of around nine million, and was already struggling to deal with outbreaks of measles, drug-resistant tuberculosis and polio,” said the report.
Also read: Covid antibodies, vaccines may become less effective against virus variants, study says
Future for Bali’s tourism industry looks bleak
Bali, wary of the coronavirus outbreak, isn’t expected to bring back tourists until the end of this year or even into 2022, reports Asia Times.
The resort island in Indonesia has witnessed its economy plummet over the pandemic, falling to -5 per cent in 2020.
So far, Bali has recorded 36,448 Covid-19 infections and 576 deaths.
“Despite an effort to crank up domestic tourism, the impact on Bali itself is believed to have been greater, far worse than in the aftermath of the 2002 terrorist bombings,” said the report.
Israel company claims oral Covid vaccine on its way
An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company is on its way to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial of the world’s first oral Covid-19 vaccine, reports Jerusalem Post.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced their joint venture with Premas Biotech to develop this oral vaccine. “Oramed’s technology can be used to orally administer a number of protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection,” said the report.
Israel has recorded 8,27,772 cases of Covid-19 and 6,092 deaths.
Also read: Pakistan bans travel from 12 countries till 5 April to curb Covid spike
Melbourne’s mass vaccination drive to target 20,000 jabs a week
On Monday, people living in Melbourne, Victoria started receiving coronavirus vaccine as Phase 1b of Australia’s national vaccine rollout began, reports The Age.
People who are over 70 years of age, with an underlying medical condition or disability, healthcare workers who haven’t been vaccinated, will be immunised in the rollout.
State Health Department’s Covid testing commander Jeroen Weimar said, “I reckon we’ll do 20,000 to 25,000 this week, the rate will go beyond that, and we’ll get to around 3,00,000 by the end of April.”
Australia has recorded 29,205 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths.
What else we are reading:
Saudi Arabia vaccinates 3 million against Covid-19: Arab News
Bouquets of flowers are now ‘substitute hugs’, says booming florist: The Guardian
Also read: Going to malls, bus & railway stations in Mumbai? Like it or not, you must get Covid tested