Covid-19 wrap | Global death toll surpasses 3 million, WHO not backing vaccination passports for now

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  • The WHO does not back requiring vaccination passports for travel due to uncertainty over whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus.
  • New Delhi on Tuesday imposed an immediate night curfew a day after the nation posted a record coronavirus surge.
  • Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide crossed 3 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally.


Global Covid-19 death toll surpasses 3 million amid new infections resurgence

Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide crossed 3 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, as the latest global resurgence of Covid-19 infections is challenging vaccination efforts across the globe.

Worldwide Covid-19 deaths are rising once again, especially in Brazil and India. Health officials blame more infectious variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa, along with public fatigue with lockdowns and other restrictions.

According to a Reuters tally, it took more than a year for the global coronavirus death toll to reach 2 million. The next 1 million deaths were added in about three months.

At least 370.3 million people or nearly 4.75% of the global population have received a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine by Sunday, according to latest figures from research and data provider firm Our World in Data.

The World Health Organisation is urging countries to donate more doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines to help meet vaccination targets for the most vulnerable in poorer countries.

Reuters

Africa needs $12 bln for vaccines to interrupt Covid-19 transmission - World Bank

The World Bank estimates that Africa would need about $12 billion for Covid-19 vaccines and their distribution to attain sufficient levels of vaccination coverage to interrupt virus transmission, according to new paper by the bank and the IMF.

The paper argued for a further extension of the Group of 20's debt service moratorium through year-end, noting the continued high liquidity needs of developing countries and their deteriorating debt sustainability outlooks.

It said the amount of money Africa needed to interrupt transmission of the virus was about the same as the total amount of official debt service payments already deferred by 45 of the poorest countries participating in the G20's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).

Reuters

WHO does not back vaccination passports for now - spokesperson

The World Health Organisation does not back requiring vaccination passports for travel due to uncertainty over whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus, as well as equity concerns, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said:

We as WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission.

"There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another," she told a UN news briefing.

Reuters

Bogota to impose lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise in Colombia

Eight million inhabitants of Bogota will be put under strict lockdown from Saturday, mayor Claudia Lopez said as the Colombian city battles a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lopez said in a video posted on Twitter on Monday:

This weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, we are all going to stay at home... In all of Bogota, only strictly essential activities will be allowed.

A third wave of Covid-19 had already started, and it depended on people's behaviour whether they could get it under control, the mayor warned in a statement, adding that the restrictions could be extended next week.

Colombia has the second most cases in Latin America at more than 2.4 million, behind Brazil, and the third most deaths (64 293), after its giant neighbour and Mexico.

AFP

New Delhi to impose pandemic night curfew     

The Indian capital on Tuesday imposed an immediate night curfew a day after the nation posted a record coronavirus surge, with financial hub Mumbai also introducing similar restrictions.

Alarm has grown since India passed more than 100 000 new cases in a single day for the first time on Monday.

New Delhi, which is home to 25 million people, and other major cities have all ordered a clampdown on public movement.

The Delhi regional government said the "sudden increase in Covid-19 cases" and "high positivity rate" meant a night curfew was needed.

The ban will be in place from 22:00 to 05:00

with only essential services or people travelling to and from vaccination centres allowed on the streets.

Delhi reported 3 548 new positive cases on Monday, still below its peak of nearly 9 000 in November, when it was one of the worst-hit cities across the nation of 1.3 billion people.

Delhi has meanwhile ordered one-third of all its vaccination sites at government hospitals to open around-the-clock to speed up the pace of inoculation.

AFP
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