Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments


Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Paris, May 8 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th May, 2021 ) :Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis: - India's rocketing records - India reports a record 4,187 new Covid-19 deaths and more than 400,000 new cases as the country grapples with the world's worst coronavirus surge.

Members of the opposition call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a national lockdown as the country's official death toll to date hit 238,270.

- Infections mount in Nepal - Infections are also spiralling in neighbouring Nepal, including at the Everest base camp, threatening the climbing season.

In the last three weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases has shot up with two out of five people testing positive.

- Pakistan Eid shutdown - Pakistan begins a nine-day shutdown affecting travel and tourist hotspots in a bid to prevent a surge during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Businesses, hotels and restaurants as well as markets and parks will be closed, while public transport between provinces and within cities has been halted.

International flights have also been slashed and border crossings with Iran and Afghanistan closed, except for trade.

- Pope urges 'universal' vaccine access - Pope Francis urged patent waivers to "allow universal access to the vaccine" for the virus. The Argentinian pontiff also called for the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights and condemned what he termed the "virus of individualism" that "makes us indifferent to the suffering of others".

- Macron appeals to US - French President Emmanuel Macron urges the United States to end its de facto ban on coronavirus vaccine exports.

"I call very clearly on the United States to put an end to export bans not only on vaccines but on vaccine ingredients, which prevent production," Macron says.

Influential voices have risen to back the push to waive patents, not least Pope Francis, who criticises putting "the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity".

- Merkel joins export, patent debate - German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined the debate on freeing up export of coronavirus vaccine exports, observing the EU had exported much of its own production and America should follow suit.

"I do not think that a patent waiver is the solution to make more vaccines available to more people.

Rather, I think that we need the creativity and the power of innovation of companies, and to me, that includes patent protection," said Merkel.

- BioNTech/Pfizer-EU deal - The EU concludes a deal with BioNTech/Pfizer for up to 1.8 billion extra doses of their Covid-19 vaccine, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says.

The contract, on top of the 600 million BioNTech/Pfizer doses the commission has already secured, aims to supply the bloc -- population 450 million -- with enough jabs for booster shots, the EU says.

- WHO call on jabs for children - The World Health Organization says countries should not offer vaccination to children until elderly people and those at risk have received jabs.

Canada this week became the first nation to authorise the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 12 years and up. The US is set to follow suit next week and Germany says it will do the same by the end of August.

- Nearly 3.3 million dead - The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,272,332 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were India with 4,187 new deaths, followed by Brazil with 2,165 and the United States with 826.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 580,901 deaths from 32,652,028 cases.

- First jabs arrive on Madagascar - Madagascar received its first batch of vaccines through the Covax global sharing scheme, one of the last African countries to obtain supplies after months of resistance by President Andry Rajoelina, who has promoted a locally brewed herbal drink as the only required coronavirus "cure".

An unprecedented infection resurge last month forced Rajoelina to bow to growing criticism of his handling of the pandemic and agree to a vaccine rollout which saw a first shipment of 250,000 Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs arrive Saturday.

- Seychelles situation 'worrying' but 'manageable'-The health situation in the Seychelles is "worrying" but "manageable" as coronavirus contaminations rise despite much of the population having received a jab, the foreign and tourism ministries said. The Indian Ocean archipelago this week had the world's highest incidence of new cases at 1,223 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data compiled by AFP.