India’s entire delegation to the G7 summit in London is self-isolating after two of its members tested positive for COVID-19. The Indian delegation had not yet attended the main summit venue at Lancaster House, and so meetings scheduled for Wednesday went ahead as planned. India is not a G7 member but was invited by Britain to this week’s summit.
According to the WHO, India accounted for nearly half the Covid cases reported worldwide last week. As per the report, India accounted for 46% of global cases and 25% of global deaths reported in the past week. Daily infections rose by 382,315 on Wednesday, a 14th straight day of infections in excess of 300,000. This comes as hospitals across the country are competing for a shortage of resources.
According to experts, coronavirus has drastically affected birth rates in the U.S. Birth rates has dropped by 4%. Decrement in the birth rates have been continuing slowly for years. Birth rates among the women in their late 30s and 40s dipped last year. The latest calculation is the lowest rate. About 3.6 million babies were born in the US last year.
Ambassadors from the WTO countries are set to discuss trade rules protecting the technological know-how behind Covid-19 vaccines. The argument centers on lifting patents, copyrights, and protection of industrial design and confidential information to help expand the production of vaccines during shortages. Opponents say a waiver would be no panacea, stressing production of vaccines is complex.
A town in Japan has used funding from an emergency Covid-19 relief grant to build a giant statue of a squid. Built at a cost of 25M yen ($228,500), the 13m-long (43ft) sea creature lies in the port of Noto, where flying squid is a delicacy. Officials said this is part of a long term plan to lure tourists back after the pandemic. Noto received 800M yen ($7.3M) through the national grants.
President Biden on Tuesday announced a new goal to administer at least one dose of the Covid vaccine to 70% of American adults by the Fourth of July. The administration also plans to see 160M adults fully vaccinated by then. As of Monday, more than 246M vaccine doses have been administered, with more than 56% of the adult population having received at least one dose.
The Biden administration plans to begin shifting how it allocates Covid-19 shots to states. The change away from a strict by-population allocation comes as demand for the vaccines has dropped nationwide, with some states turning down part or all of their weekly dose allotments. The federal government will now shift some of those doses to areas with higher demand.
According to reports, the USFDA is preparing to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 years by early next week. The drugmakers said in March that the vaccine had been found to be safe, effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds in a clinical trial. There’s been no official statement on the same yet.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has announced a new bid to boost Covid vaccinations, offering anyone a free beer for getting their first jab in May. ’We’re not going to be afraid to try new things,’ Murphy said as he unveiled the new program, dubbed ’Shot and a Beer.’ New Jerseyans will have to show their vaccine cards as proof before receiving their reward.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Monday that immediately suspends all outstanding local Covid-19 emergency orders. ’We are no longer in a state of emergency,’ DeSantis said, acknowledging though that Florida was still not done with its fight against the coronavirus. Private businesses can require masks and enforce social distancing and other protective measures.
Oktoberfest is the annual beer festival which is arranged in Bavaria. This highly appreciated festival attracts at least 6 million people’s attendance each year. Because of global coronavirus outbreak, Bavaria state cancelled this year again. So, Oktoberfest has been cancelled two successive years. Markus Soeder, Bavarian premier, told journalist that Oktoberfest might cause a large-scale risk.
Denmark has decided not to include J&J’s COVID-19 shots in its vaccination program. Officials stressed that the ’the benefits of using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the risk.’ Last month, the country stopped using AstraZeneca’s vaccine over a potential link to a rare but serious form of blood clot. The country has fully vaccinated 11.5 per cent of its population.
John Oliver has called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for spreading doubt about the Covid-19 vaccines. This comes as Carlson has repeatedly sewn doubt about the efficacy of the vaccines, and even questioned the need for some groups to be vaccinated at all. Referring to Carlson as a ’scrunch-faced fear baboon,’ Oliver said ’people like Tucker raise questions without bothering to answer them.’
A social media post from an account linked to the Chinese Communist Party sparked controversy for appearing to mock India over the ongoing Covid crisis. The post on Weibo showed an image of a rocket launch in China alongside a photo of the bodies of Covid victims being cremated in India. The post, deleted since, carried a text: ’Lighting a fire in China VS lighting a fire in India.’
Experts say the US is unlikely to reach herd immunity as more contagious COVID-19 variants spread and many Americans remain reluctant to get vaccinated. According to the CDC, currently, just under half of Americans have received one dose of a Covid vaccine, and about a third are fully vaccinated. ’The virus is unlikely to go away,’ Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University, said.
A speedboat carrying about 30 passengers overturned after hitting a sand-laden cargo boat in a Bangladeshi river Monday. At least 26 people have been killed. Several others remain missing. Officials said the boat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide Covid lockdown. It overturned Monday morning in the River Padma in central Bangladesh.
The most wealthy countries’ leaders gathered for the first time in two years. Before their meeting started, all representatives of those countries were taken into Covid-19 test to not spread the virus. US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear deal, Russia and China’s misinformation about Covid-19 were among the discussed subjects. G7’s economy equals less than the half of the world.
A Southwest Airlines flight attendant sued a legal case against Southwest Airlines which holds the company accountable for her husband’s death due to careless Covid-19 protocols that ultimately led to her husband’s death. The compensation case was opened by seeking more than $3 million. The reason was that she got infected by coronavirus after the flight. And her husband took it up from her.
Indian Prime Minister Modi got a significant negative impact on very important state elections which was overshadowed by coronavirus outbreak. After the Covid-19 cases erupts in India, people showed their backlashes as voting for opposition during election by thinking Modi administration could not handle the Covid-19 crisis as it should have been. Modi’s ruling party lost parliamentary majority.
India on Sunday recorded 3,689 COVID-19 deaths, its highest daily toll since the pandemic began. This came as the country recorded 392,488 new cases in the previous 24 hours. The country has now recorded more than 300,000 cases for 10 days, straining its healthcare system. In the capital city of New Delhi, a dozen Covid patients died Saturday after a hospital ran out of supply for 80 minutes.
Dr. Fauci has recommended that India should go into lockdown for several weeks to arrest the current devastating surge in Covid cases. ’No one likes to lock down the country ... But if you do it just for a few weeks, you could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak,’ Fauci stressed. India recorded more than 400,000 new cases on Saturday.
A forum of scientific advisers set up by the government warned Indian officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the Covid taking hold in the country. Despite the warning by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium, the scientists allege the government did not seek to impose major restrictions to stop the spread. Researchers first detected the Indian variant in February.
The widow of a Texas congressman Rep. Ron Wright who died after contracting COVID-19 carried former President Trump’s endorsement into a special election Saturday. Trump waited until just days before the election to endorse Susan Wright. Wright is seen as a favorite in a crowded race to fill the seat of her late husband. Ten Democrats are on the ballot.
A fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward in western India killed 18 patients early Saturday. The cause of the fire at the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state, is being investigated. 31 other patients were rescued. This comes as the country grapples with the worst outbreak yet. India on Saturday set another daily global record with 401,993 new cases. Another 3,523 people died.