Gulf Today

COVID-19 vic­tims’ toll rac­ing to­wards 100m

UAE re­ports 3,566 new cases, 4,051 re­cov­er­ies, 7 deaths and 87,720 more doses of vac­cine have been ad­min­is­tered; new test, giv­ing re­sults in five min­utes, ‘in­vented’.

- Mariecar Jara-puyod, Se­nior Re­porter/ Agen­cies

A warn­ing from As­trazeneca that ini­tial sup­plies of its COVID-19 vac­ci­na­tions to Europe will be lower than ex­pected has sparked new con­cern over the roll­out of in­oc­u­la­tions, with some coun­tries plan­ning for a sharp drop in de­liv­er­ies.

Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment by the Bri­tish phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal firm fol­lowed an­other last week by Pfizer, which said it would de­lay ship­ments of its vac­cine for up to a month due to works at its key plant in Bel­gium.

The com­pa­nies’ warn­ings come with worry deep­en­ing over new COVID-19 vari­ants, par­tic­u­larly one that emerged in Bri­tain and which is more in­fec­tious than the orig­i­nal strain.

Over­all, Europe has now recorded more than 692,000 deaths and nearly 32 mil­lion in­fec­tions.

The Min­istry of Health and Preven­tion has an­nounced that 87,720 doses of the #COVID-19 vac­cine were given in the past 24 hours.

The to­tal num­ber of doses pro­vided up to Satur­day stands at 2,426,793 with a rate of vac­cine dis­tri­bu­tion of 24.54 doses per 100 peo­ple.

The MOHAP an­nounced that it con­ducted 174,172 ad­di­tional COVID-19 tests and de­tected 3,566 new cases.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry, the in­fected The min­istry also an­nounced 7 deaths due to COVID-19 com­pli­ca­tions It also noted that an ad­di­tional 4,051 in­di­vid­u­als had fully re­cov­ered from COVID-19.

A new test, con­sid­ered a break­through, which de­ter­mines whether one is in­fected with the Novel Coron­avirus (COVID-19) in five min­utes from the nor­mal 30 min­utes, has been in­vented.

Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham-col­lege of Life and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sciences (UOB-UK Cam­pus) Biotech­nol­ogy pro­fes­sor Dr Tim Daf­forn said this new method is still use­ful in an­swer to Gulf To­day’s ques­tion of its rel­e­vance, in re­la­tion to the roll­out of vac­cines in some coun­tries, against the in­fec­tious and mu­tated SARS-COV2. He added the new method has noth­ing to do with the en­try of the new SARS-COV2 vari­ant. The lab­o­ra­tory re­search to­talled nine months in 2020. Its brain­child is Uob-chem­istry PHD stu­dent Jake Carter.

The Chi­nese city of Wuhan marked one year since the start of its trau­matic 76-day coron­avirus lock­down Satur­day, while the pan­demic raged else­where and gov­ern­ments scram­bled to put in place new mea­sures.

Thou­sands of Hong Kongers in Jor­dan, one of the city’s poor­est and most densely-packed dis­tricts, were or­dered to stay home Satur­day un­less they can show a neg­a­tive test, in the city’s first lock­down.

Around the world, more than 2.1 mil­lion peo­ple have died of COVID-19 since it emerged in China in De­cem­ber 2019, with over 98 mil­lion in­fected.

US Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den on Fri­day said “well over 600,000” Amer­i­cans could die of the coron­avirus as he stepped up fed­eral aid in the world’s worst-hit coun­try, while less wealthy na­tions an­tic­i­pated beter ac­cess to tests and vac­cines thanks to sev­eral in­ter­na­tional deals.

“The virus is surg­ing. We’re at 400,000 dead, ex­pected to reach well over 600,000,” Bi­den told a news con­fer­ence, giv­ing his high­est es­ti­mate yet for the US out­break’s even­tual toll.

His new ad­min­is­tra­tion boosted stim­u­lus hand­outs as well as pay­ments to help fam­i­lies buy food, with more poor chil­dren go­ing hun­gry ater the school lunches they de­pended on dis­ap­peared as class­rooms shutered.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion has re­peat­edly warned that richer coun­tries are hog­ging the vac­cine. But there was good news Fri­day for poorer na­tions, as the WHO and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals gi­ant Pfizer an­nounced a deal for up to 40 mil­lion ini­tial doses of the Pfizer-bion­tech vac­cine to be made avail­able to them through the Co­vax global pool.

In Bri­tain, Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son said a new strain of the virus that has swept his coun­try and be­yond could be more deadly as well as more trans­mis­si­ble, with the vari­ant hav­ing spread to more than 60 coun­tries al­ready.

A group of Bri­tish doc­tors have writen to Eng­land’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer to tell him to cut the gap be­tween doses of the Pfizer and Bion­tech vac­cine to six weeks from up to 12.

Bri­tain is pri­ori­tis­ing giv­ing first doses of COVID-19 vac­cine, al­low­ing up to 12 weeks be­fore a sec­ond dose, to give the max­i­mum num­ber of peo­ple some ini­tial pro­tec­tion.

But Pfizer and Bion­tech have warned they have no ev­i­dence their vac­cine would con­tinue to be pro­tec­tive if the sec­ond dose is given more than 21 days ater the first.

 ?? Agence France-presse ?? Rus­sian youth, liv­ing in Prague, hold ban­ners dur­ing a protest in sup­port of Rus­sian op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny on Satur­day.
Agence France-presse Rus­sian youth, liv­ing in Prague, hold ban­ners dur­ing a protest in sup­port of Rus­sian op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny on Satur­day.

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