Global: The global death toll for Covid has passed 5.8 million, with a figure of 5,886,634 according to researchers Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections remain above 424 million to a worldwide figure of 424,278,476.
Covid antibody levels for people who have had AstraZeneca or Pfizer / BioNTech jab decrease with age and are higher in women and people who have previously had Covid, according to data published by the British Medical Journal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said countries battling rising Covid infections could shorten the recommended 14-day quarantine duration in some situations. The UN agency said its new guidelines could be useful for places where important services are under pressure.
News by region
U.S: Covid -19 infections have now passed 78.4 million. Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 935,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Canada: Police said they have largely cleared the center Ottawa of the anti-vaccine protests that have plagued Canada and its capital over the past three weeks as an economic aggression was expanded to help prevent similar disruptions.
Mexico: A Mexican court has ruled that children ages 5 to 11 should have access to Covid-19 vaccinations, reports the Mexican newspaper Excelsior. The decision by judges at an administrative court based in Mexico City calls on federal judges to grant rulings allowing the use of the vaccine on children, and concludes that they are at risk because health authorities have refused to grant the benefit, the newspaper reports.
United Kingdom: Scrapping of free coronavirus tests and the requirement for self-isolation in the UK could result in a “sudden change” in public behavior and lead to “rapid epidemic growth”, UK government advisers have warned. The government’s advisory pandemic modeling group SPI-MO warned against easing the rules further ahead of the prime minister’s unveiling of his “Living with Covid” plan on Monday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended his plan to lift the remaining Covid-19 restrictions in England from criticism from the medical community. While acknowledging that the virus remains dangerous, he said the declining number of cases and hospitalizations justifies a relaxation of the rules.
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s 95-year-old monarch, has tested positive for Covid-19, Buckingham Palace confirmed. The Queen is experiencing mild “cold-like symptoms” but expects to continue “light duties” in Windsor in the coming week, the palace said.
People no longer have to show a Covid passport by law to enter major events, cinemas and nightclubs in Wales after the rule expired at midnight. As of Friday, venues are no longer required to ask customers for proof of two Covid jabs or a recent negative lateral flow test result.
Germany: Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, has rejected calls for a faster easing of restrictions to control Covid, warning that the country was in a more vulnerable situation than comparable countries due to the relatively high number of unvaccinated people in the age group over 60.
Meanwhile, travelers from the US, UK, Spain and Ireland and a dozen other countries will not be quarantined if traveling to Germany. The country’s public health institute removed the nations from a list of high-risk countries from Sunday.
Slovenia: Slovenia will lift all virus restrictions in industry, trade, tourism and hospitality and other services from Monday, the country’s state news agency reported Saturday night. The government will also extend the opening hours of restaurants and reopened nightclubs.
Asia and the Pacific
Australia: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania recorded a total of 45 Covid-related deaths. In the meantime Western Australia recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases for the pandemic with 257 local infections.
South Korea: South Korea reported 109,831 new Covid cases on Friday, marking the first time daily reported cases have exceeded 100,000 since the pandemic began. Despite the increase in cases, the authorities announced a partial easing of some restrictions, including a later curfew for restaurants and bars.
Hong Kong: While Hong Kong finds itself engulfed in soaring Covid cases and hospitals reach breaking point, charities warn that the city’s foreign domestic workers are being “abandoned”, with some forced to sleep hard or being denied treatment after testing positive.
Hong Kong is considering stricter socially distancing measures to try to curb an escalating outbreak that has strained its hospitals and revealed an inadequate health infrastructure.
The current wave of infections, by far the most severe city has been exposed to during the pandemic, is testing Hong Kong’s zero tolerance approach to the virus. Scenes of elderly patients lying on stretchers on the streets because hospitals have no more space and frightened residents flooding emergency rooms have shocked residents and drawn an unusual direct intervention from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Japan: In Japan, health authorities have now approved a plan for more targeted restrictions in areas where infections are still relatively high. From Sunday, the boundaries of mobility and trade will end in five prefectures, where the virus appears to have peaked, but the curbs will be extended until March 6 in 17 areas with a high level of cases.
Africa and the Middle East
Africa: Six African countries – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia – will be the first on the continent to receive the technology needed to produce their own mRNA vaccines from a World Health Organization scheme. The project aims to end a large part of the African countries’ dependence on vaccine producers outside the continent.
Egypt: Egypt is ready to export locally produced Vaccines against covid to African nations seeking to position themselves as a hub for inoculations on the continent battling the virus.
Israel: Israel will allow unvaccinated tourists of all ages to enter the country from March 1. However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists must take two coronavirus PCR tests: one before boarding the plane and one on arrival in the country.
Australia: The NSW government announced one job package to support workers affected by the closure of coal-fired power plants in the state. State Treasurer Matt Kean says the investment in clean industries will create 3,700 jobs.