The coronavirus has killed more than 2.5M people and infected over 116M worldwide. Here’s the latest developments for March 6:
Saturday, March 6, 2021
EU seeks access to US-produced AstraZeneca vaccines – FT report
The 27-nation EU also wants Washington to ensure the free flow of shipments of crucial vaccine ingredients needed in European production, the FT report on Saturday said.
“We trust that we can work together with the U.S. to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the U.S. for the fulfilment of vaccine producers’ contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured,” the FT quoted the European Commission as saying.
Hungary’s cases hit 7,269 as lockdown looms
Hungary, which is imposing tough new lockdown measures to curb a spike in infections, has reported a record daily high of 7,269 cases, a jump of 14 percent from Friday.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government on Thursday closed all schools and most shops as the central European country of 10 million grapples with some of the highest infection and death rates in the world.
Russia reports 11,022 cases
Russia has reported 11,022 new virus cases, including 1,820 in Moscow, taking the national case tally to 4,312,181 since the pandemic began.
The government’s coronavirus taskforce said that 441 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the Russian death toll to 88,726.
Sri Lanka to receive over 250K doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on Sunday
Sri Lanka has said it will receive 264,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on Sunday as its first batch of vaccines under the COVAX Facility.
The vaccines, which are being delivered through UNICEF, mark the first allocation of 1.44 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX Facility the Indian Ocean island nation will receive, said the ministry of health. The doses will be procured in stages until May.
Sri Lanka has so far received 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in neighboring India, which donated half of the doses.
Dalai Lama received the first shot of the vaccine
The Dalai Lama, the 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, has received the first shot of the virus vaccine at a hospital in the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala.
After receiving the injection, he urged people to come forward, be brave and get vaccinated.
US Senate adopts Covid-19 jobless benefit compromise
The US Senate has broken a logjam when a centrist Democrat compromised on a key provision of the Covid relief package, setting the $1.9 trillion bill on a likely path to passage.
The Senate approved a Democratic compromise measure setting federal unemployment benefits for workers hit by the coronavirus pandemic at $300 per week through September 6, superseding a Republican measure adopted earlier in the day that would have cut off payments on July 18.
Democrats had struggled to keep Senator Joe Manchin’s support for expanded unemployment aid in the sprawling measure, and he threatened to side with Republicans in the evenly divided chamber.
But the deal, which reduced the jobless benefits, kept Manchin on board and allowed action to resume in the Senate as it navigates toward passage of President Joe Biden‘s top legislative priority sometime this weekend.
Merck says study shows antiviral drug causes quick reduction in virus
US drugmaker Merck & Co Inc said the experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir it is developing with Ridgeback Bio showed a quicker reduction in infectious virus in its phase 2a study among participants with early Covid-19.
“The secondary objective findings in this study, of a quicker decrease in infectious virus among individuals with early Covid-19 treated with molnupiravir, are promising,” said William Fischer, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in a statement from the companies.
Germany reports 9,557 cases
The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany has increased by 9,557 to 2,492,079, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
The reported death toll rose by 300 to 71,804, the tally showed.
Protests in Paraguay over government handling of virus
Protestors angry over the Paraguay government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis have clashed with police, with shops ransacked and cars set on fire.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as clashes in the center of the capital Asuncion reportedly left around 20 injured.
Protestors rallied earlier outside the Congress building to demand the resignation of President Mario Abdo Benitez.
Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni, who has been under attack from lawmakers, including some from the ruling party, and by health worker unions, submitted his resignation, which he made public after a meeting with the president.
Mazzoleni is the latest of several top health officials forced from their jobs in recent weeks amid increasing anger across Latin America over the handling of the pandemic and slow rollout of vaccinations.
Brazil reports 75,495 new coronavirus cases, 1,800 deaths
Brazil recorded 75,495 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 1,800 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said.
Brazil has registered nearly 10.9 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 262,770, according to ministry data.
Britain reports 5,947 new cases
Britain reported 5,947 new Covid-19 cases, down from 6,573 a day earlier, government data showed after a delay in the publication of daily statistics.
Earlier, Britain had reported that over 21 million people had received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and that there had been 236 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
Saudi Arabia eases some coronavirus-related restrictions
Saudi Arabia said it will ease coronavirus-related restrictions on entertainment and events and reopen cinemas, gyms and sports centres starting March 7, the state news agency reported, citing a source in the ministry of interior.
Authorities will increase inspection campaigns to ensure adherence to remaining measures such as restricting the number of gatherings in social events to 20 people only.
Great apes at San Diego zoo receive first Covid vaccines
Nine great apes at San Diego Zoo have become the first non-human primates given Covid-19 vaccinations, officials at the California zoo said.
Four orangutans and five bonobos were given two doses each of an experimental vaccine created specifically for animals by a veterinary pharmaceutical company.
The inoculations were carried out after eight gorillas at the same world-famous zoo contracted the virus from human staff in January.
Daily cases continue above 2,000 in Greece
Greek authorities reported 2,215 new cases with the Attica region remaining the epicentre, reporting almost half with 1,057 infections.
Professor of paediatric infectious diseases Vana Papaevangelou said the viral load has doubled in the last 15 days, with the number of active infections reaching 16,500.
Another 32 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total since the first case was detected In Greece to 6,664.
It has confirmed 201,677 infections since the start of the pandemic.
California relaxes Covid reopening rules for Disneyland, stadiums from April
California paved the way for Disneyland, other theme parks, and outdoor stadiums to welcome guests sooner than expected as it relaxed reopening criteria following a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases and pressure from operators.
The move announced by the state health department will permit ballparks, stadiums, and mega-attractions including Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios to admit visitors from April 1, according to conditions in their county, and at reduced capacities.
Only outdoor activities are affected by the changes, which come as California’s governor Gavin Newsom faces mounting pressure and a bid to recall him from office over his handling of the pandemic.
Theme parks will only be allowed to reopen if their county drops below the state’s most-restrictive coronavirus “tier,” and then initially at 15 percent capacity and for California residents only.
China reports 10 new Covid-19 cases
Mainland China reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, compared with nine cases a day earlier, said the country’s national health authority.
The National Health Commission, in a statement, said all of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 23 from 12 cases a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 89,962, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.
Ecuador to allow municipalities to directly import vaccines
Ecuador’s health ministry said it would allow municipalities to directly purchase vaccines against the novel coronavirus, provided they comply with requirements laid out in the central government’s vaccination plan.
The approval comes after the country’s largest cities of Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca requested that President Lenin Moreno allow them to import vaccines due to the slow progress of the government’s plan.
The government says it has administered the first dose of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine to some 53,000 people, namely healthcare workers in hospitals dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients, and the elderly living in nursing homes.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies