World Coronavirus Dispatch: Russia realised late it has a vaccine problem
Australia’s widening Covid-19 outbreak forces more curbs
While other developed countries such as the US UK are racing to move past lockdowns myriad restrictions by ramping up vaccinations, millions of Australians have once again been put under dreaded curbs to contain the growing outbreak, thanks to a sluggish vaccination drive the highly contagious Delta variant. While the count of new local cases was comparatively low, including 30 in New South Wales state, officials fearful of the Delta variant warned the tally may climb. The suddent outburst puts more pressure on the government to step up a vaccination program that has lagged behind some other developed nations. Read here
Let’s look at the global statistics
Global infections: 180,790,437
Global deaths: 3,917,281
Vaccine doses administered: 2,857,793,801
Nations with most cases: US (33,621,537), India (30,233,183), Brazil (18,386,894), France (5,830,394), Turkey (5,404,144).
Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center
Delta variant threatens to destroy another European summer
Just a month ago, hotel managers resort owners in the European Union were gearing up for a vibrant summer with the majority of the hotels booked. But the virus has other plans. Just as the northern hemisphere summer season kicks off the European Union’s Covid-19 travel certificates become available, the region’s path back to normalcy is at risk of being upended by the delta strain. While some governments desperately want to put out the “Open for Business” sign, there was a gloomy assessment this week from the EU’s disease prevention agency. Read here
Dozens came down with Covid-19 on Everest. Nepal says it never happened.
By the end of the climbing season early this month, at least 59 infected people had been at the Mount Everest base camp, including five others who reached the top, according to interviews by New York Times with climbers expedition companies the personal accounts of social media users. But according to the Nepal government, there was never any Covid-19 on Everest. Tourism officials dismissed the accounts of climbers, calling one a pneumonia patient. Coughing, they added, is nothing new in the dry mountain air. Nepal’s tourism department, which oversees Everest expeditions, maintained this position even as people were being airlifted off the mountain expeditions were being canceled. Read here
Russians scramble to get vaccine amid new restrictions
Russia has finally admitted it has a vaccination problem – but with an “explosion” of new cases driving the country’s daily toll to its highest since January, the question is whether that public realisation has come too late. Just 11 per cent of Russia’s 146 million population is fully vaccinated – whether due to vaccine skepticism, doubts about Sputnik or other Russian-made vaccines, or “nihilism”, as a Kremlin spokesperson has suggested. But with more than 20,000 new cases reported across Russia in the last two days, as well as tough new restrictions on those who have not received their jabs, public vaccination centres have been swamped. Read here