Israel finds Pfizer 75% effective, Hong Kong’s burner phone surge & other global Covid news


Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine |Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg


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New Delhi: There’s no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic still with the virus continuing to wreak havoc across the globe. Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, over 11 crore cases have been reported and more than 2.4 lakh people have succumbed to the virus.

In this feature, ThePrint offers five hand-picked, interesting stories to keep you up to date with the virus.

Children with special education needs and disabilities in England experience that their education has been ‘pushed to one side’ during the coronavirus pandemic. Business owners in Australia who found themselves in the middle of a coronavirus cluster, are now working hard to assure customers that their businesses are safe. And, electronic shops in Hong Kong are witnessing a surge in the demand for burner phones.


Also read: When will Covid end? In 7 years at today’s vaccination rates


Students in need of special assistance ‘pushed to one side’ during Covid

Children with special education needs and disabilities in England experience that their education has been ‘pushed to one side’ during the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Guardian.

A survey conducted of over 1,000 parents found a ‘widespread failure’ to restore provisions in special education.

“Almost two-thirds of parents of pupils with EHCPs (Education, Health and Care plans) reported that their child’s additional provision had not been fully restored,” said the report.

UK has recorded 40,83,242 cases of Covid-19 and 1,19,387 deaths.

Taiwan & China locked in ‘vaccine war of words’

Taiwan and China are involved in a conflict over who is responsible for a lack of vaccine supplies in Taiwan, reports Asia Times.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party politicians from Taiwan have claimed that China is responsible for Taiwan’s failure to get vaccine shipment. There are accusations that the “mainland has refuted as a lame bid to deflect attention from their own procurement policy failings,” said the report.

Taiwan has recorded 941 cases of Covid-19 and 9 deaths, while China has recorded 89,816 cases and 4,636 deaths.

Business in Australia struggles to not be defined by Covid cluster

Business owners in Australia who had found themselves in the middle of a coronavirus cluster, are now working hard to assure their customers that their businesses are safe from Covid, reports The Age.

“The past year has been devastating for many small businesses, but the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant, the Chadstone Butcher Club and others have had to deal with a mountain of extra and unexpected challenges,” said the report.

Australia has recorded 28,918 cases and 909 deaths.


Also read: Japan discovers 3 new types of UK coronavirus strain


People in Hong Kong rush to buy burner phones over Covid tracing app

Electronic shops in Hong Kong are witnessing a surge in demand for burner phones. This is as the government is easing coronavirus restrictions but promoting the use of a contact-tracing app which has raised concerns over privacy, reports Reuters.

“The former British colony saw anti-government and anti-China protests erupt in 2019 and a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 in response,” said the report.

Hong Kong has recorded 10,821 cases of Covid-19 and 197 deaths.

Medical centre in Israel finds Pfizer 75% effective after one dose

According to data released by Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer in Israel, coronavirus infections decreased by 75 per cent after the first dose of Pfizer vaccine, reports Jerusalem Post.

The study had 9,000 healthcare workers as respondents, out of which 7,000 received their first dose in January.

Professor Gili Regev-Yochay, director of Center’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, said, “In real life, the data looks at least as good as in the clinical trials.”

“The first dose is even more effective than we thought,” he said.

Israel has recorded 7,41,934 cases of Covid-19 and 5,509 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Indoor farming gains ground amid pandemic, climate changes: Al Jazeera

Rich nations stockpiling a billion more Covid-19 shots than needed: The Straits Times

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