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Malaysia healthcare at ‘breaking point’, UK pharmacies set to offer vaccine & other Covid news

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 Covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world, with over 8.7 crore cases and more than 18 lakh deaths reported so far.

Amid rising infections, Zimbabwe is suffering from a “deepening economic crisis”.

Meanwhile, high street pharmacies in the UK will begin to offer shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine from next week. 

With coronavirus infections in Malaysia hitting a new high, the country’s health chief has called for a targeted lockdown.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Zimbabwe’s healthcare system ‘in shambles’ 

Zimbabwe is suffering from a “deepening economic crisis” characterised by increasing food prices, poverty, water shortages, power blackouts and stagnating salaries, reported Al Jazeera.

“The country’s healthcare sector has not been spared from the vagaries of the economic crisis and is in shambles. With cases rising, the sector is struggling to cope,” said the report.

Zimbabwe has recorded 17,804 cases of Covid-19 and 431 deaths so far.

Also read: New wave leaves South Korea scrambling, Germany sees record deaths & other global Covid news

Malaysia calls for targeted lockdown

With coronavirus infections in Malaysia hitting a new high, the country’s health chief has called for a targeted lockdown, reported The Straits Times.

Health Director General Noor Hisham Abdullah explained that Malaysia’s health infrastructure was at its “breaking point”.

“Malaysia has consistently reported four-digit daily infections since the beginning of the third wave of a pandemic that started in September last year following the Sabah state legislative elections,” said the report.

Malaysia has recorded 1,25,438 cases of Covid-19 and 513 deaths so far.

UK high street pharmacies to start offering vaccine by next week

High street pharmacies in the UK will begin to offer shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from next week. This is part of the government’s plan to vaccinate more than 13 million people in the UK before mid-February, reported The Guardian.

“The news comes amid calls for the NHS (National Health Service) to urgently expand the number of vaccination sites, with the British Medical Association urging every GP (general practitioners) surgery in the country to join the vaccination effort,” said the report.

The UK has recorded 28,36,801 cases of Covid-19 and 77,346 deaths.

Quebec tightens lockdown restrictions

Quebec is the first province in Canada to have imposed an extensive curfew to deal with the second wave of Covid-19, reported The Globe and Mail.

The curfew is part of a four-week expansion of lockdown measures.

“Stores would have to close at 7.30 pm to enable employees to return home. People contravening the curfew are liable to fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000,” said the report.

Canada has recorded 6,26,800 cases of Covid-19 and 16,369 deaths.

China’s Hebei province reports 120 new local cases

On Wednesday, North China’s Hebei province recorded 51 new locally transmitted Covid infections and 69 asymptomatic cases after reporting 63 infections Tuesday, reported South China Morning Post.

“The Hebei outbreak marks China’s biggest rise in Covid-19 infections in recent months,” said the report.

Authorities have launched a mass testing programme to screen its 11 million residents.

China has recorded 87,278 cases of Covid-19 and 4,634 deaths.

What else we are reading:

One million people in Saudi Arabia apply for vaccine through Health Ministry’s Sehhaty app: Arab News

Greek churches open for Epiphany despite coronavirus lockdown: The Guardian

Also read: How WHO will uncover Covid origin, South Korea’s record spike in cases & other global news


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