Ursula von der Leyen News – France develops new rapid virus test, Somalia bans street protests & other Covid news
New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 11.2 crore cases and more than 24 lakh deaths.
The European Union sends notices to six member states over tight border restrictions, French researchers are producing a quick and accurate Covid-19 test and Somalia has banned street protests in the wake of an increase in Covid-19 cases.
ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.
EU tells six countries to lift Covid border restrictions
The European Union has told six member states to roll back tight Covid-19 border restrictions, reports The Guardian.
The six are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Sweden, that now have 10 days to respond to the commission’s notices.
The report notes that restrictions by Germany at its border with the Austrian Tyrol region have particularly been a cause for concern as it is thought to have done more harm than good.
“The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, a former German minister, has said she is determined to avoid a repeat of the early months of the pandemic when a series of unilateral decisions caused chaos at the borders and threatened supply chains,” the report states.
The European Union has reported 2,11,13,083 cases and 5,15,519 deaths.
Also read: Why 50% Indians will be happy to have some Neanderthal DNA. Hint: It has to do with Covid
French researchers develop new, accurate Covid-19 test
Researchers in France are producing a Covid-19 test that can detect the virus faster and more accurately, reports Reuters.
The prototype test, called CorDial-1, is being produced using antibody particles extracted from a family of animals that includes camels and llamas. Nanobodies from these animals “are grafted onto the surface of an electrode”, and trigger a change in the electrical current when they come in contact with the “spike protein”.
According to the report, initial trials on 300 samples have shown a 90 per cent accuracy rate.
“The prototype test can deliver results within 10 minutes and can be used outside the laboratory, according to the team developing it, while PCR testing typically takes hours and needs lab conditions,” the report states.
France has reported 36,29,891 cases and 85,044 deaths.
Somalia bans street protests to curb Covid-19
Somalia has banned street protests citing the rising number of Covid-19 cases, reports Nation.
The report notes that the announcement came “a day after opposition presidential contenders announced they will hold protests” to criticise President Mohamed Earmaajo over the delay in elections.
The Security Ministry said that “appropriate measures” will be taken against those who defy the ban. Meanwhile, the country’s Ministry of Health has said there has been a significant rise in the number of cases.
Somalia has reported 6,246 cases and 208 deaths.
Also read: All the coronavirus in the world could fit inside a Coke can, with room to spare
US vaccine supply to increase after snowstorms caused delays
The US government on Tuesday said that the supply of coronavirus vaccines to the states will increase as manufacturers are ramping up production, reports The New York Times.
The weekly shipments to states will rise by one million doses to 14.5 million.
The report notes the statement by the White House press secretary, who said that this was the fifth boost in the distribution in five weeks.
“Both firms (Pfizer and Moderna) promised earlier this month to deliver a total of 400 million doses by the end of May, weeks ahead of schedule, and a total of 600 million by the end of July,” it further notes.
The boost in supply comes after snowstorms disrupted vaccine distribution last week resulting in many vaccination appointments being disrupted.
US has reported 2,88,97,718 cases and 5,14,996 deaths.
What else we are reading:
Spain among world leaders in administering second Covid-19 dose, but strategy under debate: El País
Not to be sniffed at: Agony of post-COVID-19 loss of smell: The Associated Press
Also read:Only 30% Indians say there is mask compliance, 56% say social distancing not followed: Survey
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Ursula von der Leyen News - France develops new rapid virus test, Somalia bans street protests & other Covid news