THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Corona virus worldwide

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Millions of refugees in Pakistan could miss Corona vaccination, infections despite vaccination in U.S., Hong Kong considers donation of unused vaccine doses.
More than 167.6 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.4 million infected people have died. More than 1.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

In Pakistan, millions of Afghan refugees could miss out on the Corona vaccine. Some 2.8 million Afghans live in the South Asian country, some without any documents, others with a special refugee card. There is no decision yet on whether Afghans will be admitted for the vaccinations, a health ministry official said in the capital, Islamabad. In Pakistan, registration to the national vaccination program is done through the number of the identity card. According to a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, it is in talks with the Pakistani government to find a solution for Afghan refugees.
Of about 101 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S., 10,262 still contracted the coronavirus. This was announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of the end of April on Tuesday (5/25). The CDC assumes that there may be significantly more cases, but that those affected probably did not get tested because of mild courses or lack of symptoms.
Hong Kong is considering donating unused vaccines to countries in need, including through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative. According to a government statement on Tuesday (May 26), demand for vaccinations has gradually slowed. Of the roughly two million doses of Biontech/Pfizer vaccine already delivered, 840,000 were still in stock and would expire in mid-August, it said. In total, Hong Kong has ordered 7.5 million doses. However, there is a great deal of skepticism about vaccination there.
In the U.S., half of the approximately 260 million adults are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus. “This is a great success, folks,” U.S. President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening (local time). His spokeswoman Jen Psaki also pointed out that when Biden took office on Jan. 20, only one percent of adults had been fully vaccinated. “This is definitely a significant development,” Psaki praised. The Corona vaccination campaign had begun in the U.S. in mid-December. The 50 percent mark was reached Tuesday, data from the CDC health agency showed. Nearly 62 percent of adults in the country, about 160 million people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. About 85 percent of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 74 percent are fully vaccinated. Relative to the total population of 330 million, the rate of fully vaccinated people in the U.S. is now about 40 percent.


According to a clinical trial, Moderna’s vaccine is also effective in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. No new safety issues emerged, the manufacturer announced Tuesday (May 25). An emergency license application is expected to be filed in the United States in early June with the results of the study, and approval for minors could come in July. Moderna vaccine is approved in the U.S. for people 18 and older.
EU countries plan to donate at least 100 million doses of vaccine to poorer countries by the end of the year. This is according to a decision taken at the EU summit on Tuesday (May 25). Support is also to be provided for the establishment of local vaccine factories. According to recent forecasts, EU countries will still receive more than one billion Corona vaccine doses from the four manufacturers licensed in the EU by the end of the year.

By next Sunday, 170 million Europeans should have been vaccinated against Corona at least once. That would be 46 percent of the adult population in the European Union, said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the summit in Brussels on Tuesday (May 25), according to EU sources. About 300 million doses of Corona vaccine would be delivered in the EU by May 30, with 245 million doses administered.
Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, reintroduced restrictions Tuesday (5/25) after nearly three months without locally transmitted Corona infections with near-normal life. Melbournians must once again wear masks in all indoor public spaces and limit the number of guests in their own homes to five people. Five new infections had been discovered in the last three days in the city of five million. They appear to be linked to the illness of a man who had earlier ended a two-week hotel quarantine.
China has denied a U.S. media report that three scientists at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan were hospitalized in November 2019. It was a “complete lie,” China’s state-run Global Times newspaper quoted the head of the Wuhan institute, Yuan Zhiming, as saying on Monday (May 24). Earlier, the Wall Street Journal, citing a U.S. intelligence report, wrote that three employees of the institute fell so seriously ill in November 2019 that they had to be hospitalized. This with symptoms that could be related to both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses.

  • source: nzz.ch/picture: pixabay.com
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