Coronavirus: latest global developments | ASEAN Post
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
The Kremlin accuses the Russians
The Kremlin admits its coronavirus vaccination campaign is struggling and blames Russians for not getting vaccinated as deaths and cases hit new records, adding 1,064 deaths. “We are in a worse situation than a whole series of European countries as regards vaccinations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“With the sudden rise of more aggressive variants, more and more people are getting sick. This is the reality,” he said.
Authorities have warned that the worst is yet to come, with only 35% of the population fully vaccinated.
Kiev reimposes borders
The capital Kiev decides to reimpose strict restrictions after Ukraine recorded a record number of COVID deaths for the second day in a row, at 614. Authorities have warned that the worst is yet to come.
“Dear friends, we are now approaching this peak,” said Oleksiy Danylov, head of the National Security and Defense Council.
“It is a very frightening situation,” he told reporters on Friday.
Pfizer for kids
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the disease in children aged 5 to 11, according to the company. The new data was published on the website of the Food and Drug Administration, which convened an advisory group of independent experts to meet on Tuesday to vote on whether to give the green light.
The analysis was based on approximately 2,250 trial participants, randomized to receive the vaccine or a placebo, with data accumulated through October 8. Most of the positive cases have occurred when the Delta variant was dominant in the United States (US) and around the world.
Mass testing in China
Beijing is set to test tens of thousands of people after four new cases are found in a suburban neighborhood, as a new outbreak leads to school closures and flight cancellations across the country. China has maintained a strong zero COVID strategy with strict border closures, long quarantines and targeted lockdowns.
But the world’s most populous nation is now working to reduce dozens of infections in several provinces. The latest outbreak has brought hundreds of flights to a standstill, the closure of scenic areas and schools, and a wave of stay-at-home orders at affected residential complexes.
Friday prayer in Tehran
Iran is allowing people to attend prayers at Tehran University, the capital’s main weekly service, for the first time in nearly 20 months. Hundreds of worshipers attended prayers, wearing masks and respecting social distancing as workers sprayed disinfectant, an AFP photographer said. Iran, the country in the Middle East hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, has gradually closed mosques following the announcement of the first cases of COVID-19 in February 2020.
Bollywood cinemas reopen
Cinemas are starting to reopen in the movie craze of Mumbai, the homeland of Bollywood, with cinemas placing their hopes there in next month’s hit releases to bring back the crowds. The pandemic has torpedoed the industry around the world, but films have a special place in Indian culture, with stars enjoying almost divine status and people often lining up to watch the same film multiple times.
Lockdowns and a devastating increase in coronavirus cases in April and May have pushed Indians away from the big screen, putting dozens of small cinemas into bankruptcy and squeezing production companies hard.
The suffering of Greek tourism
The number of foreign tourists arriving in Greece has rebounded sharply this year, according to central bank data, but the key tourism sector still remains well below pre-pandemic levels. Foreign tourists seeking sun and sand drive Greece’s tourism industry, which accounts for one-fifth of the global economy, but pandemic travel restrictions have kept it most away in 2020 and hit the industry.
Data from the Greek central bank showed that the number of tourist arrivals has jumped 80% this year to more than 8.6 million.
England will play the coronavirus-delayed final match of their 2021 series of tests against India in July next year, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced. The match was due to take place last month at Old Trafford, but the tourists said they were unable to field a team due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19 within their camp.
Due to the complexity of the matches in next season’s English cricket calendar, the five-match series final, which India leads 2-1, will now take place at Edgbaston grounds in Birmingham from July 1 following an agreement between the ECB and the Control Council for Cricket in India (BCCI).
More than 4.9 million dead
The coronavirus has killed at least 4,926,579 people since the outbreak of the epidemic in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources established by AFP on Friday.
The United States has suffered the most COVID-related deaths with 733,218, followed by Brazil with 604,679, India 453,042, Mexico 285,669 and Russia 228,453.
The countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 1,812, followed by Russia with 1,064 and Ukraine with 614.
Given the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the total number of deaths could be two to three times higher. – AFP