A house in the Spanish city of Seville (representational image) | Pixabay
A house in the Spanish city of Seville (representational image) | Pixabay
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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 7.3 crore cases and more than 16 lakh deaths.

Sale of single-family homes are at “record-high levels” in Spain as many look to settle outside cities. Indonesia decides to inoculate the young people first. And Nigerian doctors express concerns over Covid-19 vaccine.

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

Covid exodus: Spaniards look to buy larger homes outside city

Sale of houses in Spain has been at record-high levels as several people are looking to live in larger homes outside the city, reports El País.

The report is based on statistics from the Notary General Council that states that while sale of single-family homes went up by 25.9 per cent in September and 13.2 per cent in October, when compared to last year, “the sale of apartments fell” by 0.1 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

It also quotes a sales manager at a real estate agency, Mar Herranz, as saying, “They (clients) are looking for much larger homes, with more light, that have a space to work remotely, balconies, garden.”

Property director-general of Neinor Homes, Mario Lapiedra, also remarked that this trend is likely to last for the next five years. However, the prices of properties as a whole have dropped by 2 per cent in October when compared to last year.

Spain has reported 17,71,488 cases and 48,401 deaths.


Also read: 43 lakh people could have been infected by Covid in Iran’s first wave, study in Lancet says


Younger people to get Covid vaccines first in Indonesia

While many countries have drawn up plans to inoculate the elderly, Indonesia is planning to vaccinate its young working-age population, reports The Straits Times.

The first country in Southeast Asia to receive the vaccine, Indonesia will administer it to those between 18 and 59 years of age.

The report quotes Amin Soebandrio, director at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta, who said, “With the most active and exposed group of population — those 18 to 59 — vaccinated, then they form a fortress to protect the other groups.”

For now, the government is likely to prioritise those whose jobs are most mobile in order to curb transmission.

“Health workers on the islands of Java and Bali…will receive the 1.2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine that arrived on 6 Dec. That will be followed by front line workers in the rest of the country,” the report notes.

Indonesia has reported 6,29,429 cases and 19,111 deaths.

Nigerian doctors sceptical of Covid-19 vaccine

The Nigerian Medical Association has stated that it will remain sceptical of the Covid-19 vaccine unless the dosage is subjected to another clinical trial in the country, reports Nation.

“While the Pfizer vaccine was found to be 95 per cent effective in clinical trials…the doctors insist these trials are germane because the biology, environment and genetics of Nigerians is different from that of people who were tested,” the report highlights.

The report quotes NMA president, Innocent Ujah, who said that it doesn’t matter if the vaccine is 100 per cent efficacious in the US and Europe.

Nigeria has reported 74,132 cases and 1,200 deaths.

French theatre, cinema workers protest against closure

Thousands of people working in the French theatre and cinema industries took to the streets Tuesday against the prolonged closure of entertainment facilities, reports The Associated Press.

The report details that theatre, cinemas and other performance halls are to remain shut till 7 January.

It quotes Veronique Bellin, deputy director of the new theatre of Montreuil, who said, “Today we see that the government accepts that churches reopen, and these are the exact same conditions, but people can’t go to the theatre or cinema. We don’t understand.”

The protests come despite the government’s announcement of a 35-million euro stimulus package for the entertainment industry.

France has reported 23,91,447 cases and 59,072 deaths.

Sweden failed to protect elderly from Covid, finds commission 

An official commission in Sweden has found that the government has failed to protect the country’s elderly against the pandemic, reports Reuters.

The report explains that the country’s pandemic strategy, including “shunning lockdowns and masks” had been coupled with “the goal to ‘ring-fence’ the elderly. But there were still an overwhelming number of deaths among the elderly.

“The commission said previously known structural problems within the elderly care system, for which authorities, regions, private care givers and municipalities share responsibility, were to blame for the many deaths,” the report notes.

It also quotes Mats Melin, the commission chairman, as saying, “The government should have taken measures to ensure the elderly care was better equipped to deal with the pandemic.”

Sweden has reported 3,41,029 cases and 7,667 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Critical to vaccines, cold storage is Wall Street’s shiny new thing: The New York Times

South Korea: from early Covid success to fears over ‘ferocious spread of virus’: The Guardian


Also read: New Zealand says its strict Covid lockdown is paying off as economy rebounds


 

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