New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 9.6 crore cases and more than 20 lakh deaths.
A self-styled holy man in Sri Lanka has reportedly concocted a miracle potion to prevent Covid-19. Israel’s Health Ministry Tuesday announced that citizens above 40 will now be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.
Thousands in Sri Lanka drink ‘miracle’ Covid potion
A self-styled holy man in Sri Lanka has apparently concocted a miracle potion to prevent Covid-19. However, the invention turned ‘sour’ after a minister drank it publicly and had to be hospitalised due to Covid, reports Al Jazeera.
Thousands of people broke Covid restrictions to get the potion made by the holy man.
“Herbal remedies are widely available in Sri Lanka, and at least 15,000 people turned up at the man’s home over four days of sales in December, a local official said,” the report explained.
Sri Lanka has recorded 54,419 cases of Covid-19 and 273 deaths.
Also read: Less than 48 hrs to Covid vaccine roll out, but it could be June before you buy it at a store
Israel starts vaccinating 40-year-olds
Israel’s Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that the citizens above 40 will now be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, reports The Jerusalem Post.
The country also plans to vaccinate 2,50,000 people a day. On Monday, Israel inoculated 1,86,000 people over 24 hours.
“In exchange for medical data, the government persuaded the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to drastically increase the supply of coronavirus vaccine doses from what they had originally agreed upon,” said the report.
Israel has recorded 5,65,629 cases of Covid-19 and 4,080 deaths.
California’s surge recedes but new variant threatens progress
California’s top health officials Tuesday revealed that California’s ‘terrifying’ coronavirus surge appears to be subsiding, reports The New York Times.
Covid-19 hospitalisations in the state have decreased by 8.5 per cent over the last two weeks.
“But even as the cresting case numbers and hospitalisations started to receded, another variant of the virus — separate from one found in the United Kingdom — was found throughout the state,” said the report.
USA has recorded 2,48,06,964 cases of Covid-19 and 4,11,486 deaths.
Also read: Indians trust Covid vaccination the most, 80% willing to take it now, finds global survey
Long-term care residents in Canada’s Alberta to remain priority for Covid vaccine
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has said that residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain a priority, even as the province is dealing with a slowdown in Covid’s vaccine supply, reports Globe and Mail.
“The slowdown is due to Pfizer retrofitting its Belgium-based plant in order to ramp up production down the road,” said the report.
Canada has recorded 7,19,751 cases of Covid-19 and 18,266 deaths.
Experts in Singapore divided on effect of new Covid strain
Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, executive director of the Bioinformatics Institute, believes that the new variant of the coronavirus shouldn’t garner ‘undue worry’, reports The Straits Times.
However, not all experts in Singapore agree with this approach. Association Professor Alex Cook from NUS, believes that the variant is 50 per cent more transmissible.
Singapore has recorded 59,157 cases of Covid-19 and 29 deaths.
What else we are reading:
Hong Kong, Changi lose status as Asia’s busiest airports amid Covid-19 travel curbs: The Straits Times
Covid unlikely to die out, says New Zealand health chief Ashley Bloomfield: The Guardian
Also read: India is missing about 90 infections for every Covid case, latest govt analysis shows