COVID-19: Top news stories about the February 24 pandemic
COVID-19: Top news stories about the February 24 pandemic

COVID-19: Top news stories about the February 24 pandemic

  • This daily news summary provides you with a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top News Stories: The Caribbean falls behind in the fight against COVID-19, warns Pan American Health Organization; COVID-19 infection increases the risk of mental health problems – new study; New Zealand and Thailand report record increases in cases.

1. How COVID-19 affects the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 has passed 429.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.91 million. More than 10.65 billion vaccination doses has been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Discussions are beginning in the World Health Organization (WHO) today new rules for dealing with pandemicswith a target date of May 2024 for a treaty to be adopted by WHO member countries.

New Zealand has reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections of over 6,000, with 250 admissions. It happens when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was hit by protesters who were against COVID-19 restrictions.

It says US health authorities prolongation of the interval between the first two doses of the country’s most widely used COVID-19 vaccines to eight weeks for young men can reduce the rare risk of heart inflammation.

Thailand has reported a record daily increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases – 23,557.

AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with Canada for 100,000 doses of its antibody therapy to prevention of COVID-19 in some high-risk patients.
Switzerland will donate up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries by the middle of this year, the government said yesterday.

Romania must also donate 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Italian government will end its COVID-19 state of emergency on March 31, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced yesterday.

Iceland will lift all of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions Friday, its health ministry said yesterday.

Slovakia is also set to lift most of its COVID-19 restrictions over the next month.

Cambodia has started vaccinate children as young as three years old against COVID-19.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.

Image: Our world in data

That COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs – soon to continue its work as the Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship – was launched in April 2020 in response to the devastating effects of the pandemic. Co-founded by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship with Ashoka, Echoing Green, GHR Foundation, Skoll Foundation and Yunus Social Business.

The alliance provides a trusted community for the world’s leading companies, investors, governments, intermediaries, academics and media, who share a commitment to social entrepreneurship and innovation.

Since its inception, it has since grown to become the largest coalition with multiple stakeholders in the social enterprise sector: its 90+ members collectively support over 100,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide. These entrepreneurs, in turn, have a direct or indirect impact on the lives of an estimated 2 billion people.

Together, they work to (i) mobilize support for social entrepreneurs and their agendas; (ii) take action on urgent global agendas using the power of social entrepreneurship and (iii) share insights from the sector so that social entrepreneurs can flourish and lead the way in an inclusive, fair and sustainable world.

The alliance is working closely with member organizations Echoing Green and the GHR Foundation as well as the Center for New Economy and Society on the rollout of their 2022 roadmap (soon to be announced).

2. The Caribbean is falling behind in the fight against COVID-19, warns PAHO

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned about this The Caribbean is lagging behind in its efforts to tackle COVID-19where only 63% of the eligible population is vaccinated and major regional discrepancies arise.

Of the 13 countries and territories in America that have not yet reached the WHO target of 40% coverage, 10 are in the Caribbean, said PAHO Director Carissa Etienne.

The region registered 2.2 million new COVID cases last week, a decrease of 28% compared to the previous week.

“And after six consecutive weeks of increases, we saw the deaths fall for the first time since the beginning of the Omicron wave, to 29,000 new deaths reported in our region, a fall of 9%,” Etienne said.

She warned that although cases and deaths are declining, the improvements have not been uniform across countries and territories in the region.

3. COVID-19 infection increases the risk of mental health problems – new study

Psychological stress from the pandemic can be widespread, however those who have had COVID-19 have a much higher risk of new mental health problems than people who have managed to avoid the virus, according to a new study.

Researchers found that over the course of a year, infection survivors were more prone to new anxiety disorders, new depressive disorders, new antidepressant use, new opioid use disorder, and new non-opioid substance abuse disorder.

Their risk of newly discovered neurocognitive decline was also 80% higher, with the risk of a new diagnosis of sleep disorders 41% higher.

The risk of these problems “was increased even among people who were not hospitalized”, but was highest among those who had been hospitalized for COVID-19, the researchers reported in BMJ.

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