New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world. The latest count is more than 154,998,238 cases and 3,241,462 deaths.
We highlight some of the important stories from around the world.
From the most vaccinated Covid-19 country re-introducing curbs, to people in Indonesia being arrested for reusing nasal swabs and Pfizer seeking permission to inoculate 2-year-olds in the US by September, here are some of the big stories.
Most vaccinated country against Covid-19 reintroduces curbs
Seychelles, a country that has vaccinated its adult population against coronavirus most compared to any other country, re-introduced curbs as infections began to surge in the African island nation.
Some of the curbs include closure of schools, cancelling of sporting activities, bans on intermingling of households and early closure of bars, reports Bloomberg Africa. Seychelles has vaccinated more than 60 per cent of its adult population with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.
At a press conference Monday, Seychelles’ health minister Peggy Vidot said, “Despite of all the exceptional efforts we are making, the Covid-19 situation in our country is critical right now with many daily cases reported last week.”
However, little information is available for the reason behind the surge in Covid cases, barring people taking less precautions.
Seychelles has reported over 6,300 Covid cases and 28 deaths due to the virus.
Pharma firm staff held for reusing nasal swabs in Indonesia
An Indonesian pharmaceutical company is facing a potential lawsuit for allegedly reusing nasal swabs for Covid testing. Many employees of the state-owned pharmaceutical company, Kimia Farma, have been arrested for allegedly washing and reselling used Covid nasal swab test kits, reports BBC.
According to the police, close to 9,000 passengers at an airport in Medan might have been tested with reused swab sticks. Passengers coming to Indonesia are either required to have a Covid negative test or there is also the option of getting tested at the airport.
Airport authorities use rapid antigen test kits supplied by Kimia Farma.
Kimia Farma now might face a lawsuit on behalf of the traveller, reports BBC.
The police say the scam has been on since last December in North Sumatra, but it is not yet known how they discovered or got to know of the practice.
Indonesia has reported 16,86,373 Covid-19 cases and over 46,000 deaths due to the virus
Pfizer to seek nod to vaccinate kids as young as 2 yrs old
Pfizer told Wall Street analysts and reporters Tuesday that it will apply to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September for emergency authorisation to administer its Covid-9 vaccine to children between the ages of 2 and 11 years.
The pharmaceutical company also said it expected to have clinical trial data on the safety of its vaccine on pregnant women by early August.
The FDA is expected to issue an emergency use authorisation by next week to allow the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15-year-olds, which will be a big step in US’ fight against Covid-19, reports The New York Times.
Obtaining full FDA approval would allow companies to market the vaccine directly to consumers, but the approval process is expected to take months.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine was the first to receive emergency authorisation in the United States. Emergency authorisations are usually temporary, and can be revoked when a public health emergency is over.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a news conference Tuesday she did not want to get ahead of FDA but that the Biden administration was preparing to “make that accessible to additional, younger populations”.
The US has reported more than 3.3 crore Covid cases and over 5.9 lakh deaths due to the virus.
Europe’s medicine regulator tests Chinese vaccine
Europe’s medicines regulator Tuesday said it had started a real-time review of China’s first Covid vaccine Sinovac’s (SVA.O). The real-time review was based on initial results from animal and human trials, which suggested that the Chinese vaccine provides an immune response against the coronavirus.
This is the first Chinese vaccine that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is studying real time and the fourth vaccine under review. Other include CureVac , Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) and Russia’s Sputnik V, reports Reuters.
EMA said data on the vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated, will be assessed as they are made available to help speed up potential approvals.
Sinovac is currently authorised for use in China, Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey and has shown efficacy rates between 50 per cent and 90 per cent in different studies, reports Reuters.
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