Reduced booster shots on trial
Reduced booster shots on trial

Reduced booster shots on trial

Global: The global death toll for Covid has passed 5.8 million, with a figure of 5,890,840 according to researchers Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections remain above 425 million to a worldwide figure of 425,944,300.

A trial in Australia, Indonesia and Mongolia will evaluate the impact of giving people reduced Covid-19 booster shots – as opposed to full doses – as part of an effort to increase access to vaccines. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations will provide as much as $ 8.7 million to support the fractional-dose study, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, according to a statement. As many as 3,300 adults will receive either a full or reduced dose of Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc. or AstraZeneca Plc booster.

News by region

America

U.S: Covid -19 infections have now passed 78.5 million. Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 935,000 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Mexico: Mexico reported 98 Covid deaths and 4,832 new cases.

Brazil: Brazil reported 318 Covid-19 deaths and 37,339 new cases, the health ministry said.

Europe

United Kingdom: Available Covid test in England ends April 1, and those who test positive no longer need to legally isolate themselves from this Thursday, Boris Johnson announced in his’living with Covid‘plan. Britons can now only order a free box of lateral flow Covid-19 tests every 72 hours, according to the government’s website. Charities have warned that the end of mandatory coronavirus rules in the UK will cause “enormous anxiety” for immunocompromised and disabled people, leaving them “abandoned” and “forgotten”.

Nurseries in the UK continue to be hit hard by the pandemic, and the latest official data shows a record number of early years and childcare settings, reporting Covid cases at the end of last month.

The UK registered 38,409 new Covid cases and 15 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test on Monday, government data showed. That compares with 25,696 cases and 74 deaths reported Sunday.

Over 75 and people with suppressed immune systems in the UK will be offered another Covid-19 booster vaccination in the coming weeks to increase potentially diminishing protection, following advice from the government’s vaccine watchdog.

France: France has reported 17,195 new daily coronavirus cases compared to 59,003 on Sunday.

Italy: Italy reported 201 daily coronavirus deaths and 24,408 cases.

Germany: Germany expects vaccinations with Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine to begin nationwide this week, the health ministry said.

Asia and the Pacific

Australia: International tourists and business travelers began arriving in Australia with few restrictions today. On Monday, the country lifted its final travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers.

New Zealand: New Zealand will lift Covid vaccine mandates and social distance measures after the Omicron summit is passed, said its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned protesters against vaccine mandates after ugly clashes with police. When the protest in downtown Wellington went into its 15th day, police said three officers were brought to the hospital for a medical assessment after being sprayed with a stinging substance that has yet to be determined. “The attacks on the police have been utterly disgraceful,” Ardern told reporters. “It is clear that there is a group that is increasingly acting violently towards the police.”

Hong Kong: The worsening Covid outbreak in Hong Kong is likely to claim more than 3,000 lives by mid-May, according to a forecast from a team of medical professors and health data experts. Daily infections are likely to peak at nearly 183,000 in early March, before gradually dropping to around 400 in mid-May, an updated forecast from the Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health and the University of Hong Kong’s WHO Collaborating Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control showed. Deaths would peak at nearly 100 a day in late March, with cumulative losses of 3,206 in mid-May, according to the analysis released Monday.

Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam will hold a briefing in the afternoon to reveal details of a mandatory mass test in the city, local TV station TVB reported, citing unidentified individuals.

One of the last air connections between two major Asian financial hubs has been cut off, with Hong Kong banning Singapore Airlines’ budget carrier Scoot from flying to the city for two weeks after passengers tested positive for Covid on arrival.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines services from Amsterdam are also banned from February 21 to March 6, the Hong Kong Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday night. The ban was introduced after a passenger on a plane on February 18 was tested positive on arrival in Hong Kong, while two others did not comply with the travel requirements.

China: China and Hong Kong will not tolerate a significant number of elderly deaths caused by Covid in the city, and that Hong Kong should adhere to the “dynamic zero” policy, Chinese top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan was quoted as saying by media, including HK01 and Sing Tao. Hong Kong and China’s principle of treating Covid is “prioritizing life and health,” which is different from some Western countries, he said in a pre-recorded video. The city should prevent Covid transmissions by separating patients from the uninfected population and that the infected should not stay at home and be isolated.

Japan: Japan is further considering easing Covid restrictions for those vaccinated, NHK reported. Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida rolled back some of the most stringent virus border measures in the developed world, saying he would stop a ban on new entry from foreigners and ease the quarantine rules.

Thailand: Thailand raised its Covid contingency level to the second-highest on Monday after a rise in new daily cases and deaths. Alarm level 4 advises to avoid group gatherings, visits to places at high risk of infections, social distancing and work from home as much as possible to help stem the outbreak, the health ministry said in a statement. It expects new cases to continue to rise in the next one to two weeks.

Africa and the Middle East

Iran: Iran has returned 820,000 donated coronavirus vaccinesreports State TV.

South Africa: South Africa’s health ministry said it changed the Covid vaccination rules to try to increase enrollment as inoculations have decreased and the country has abundant vaccine stocks.

Economy news

UAE: The number of passengers using Dubai’s main airport should double this year as borders reopen, though a recovery to the level before Covid may take until 2024, the Golf hub CEO said. Customer traffic at Dubai International Airport is expected to hit 57 million this year, spurred on by global efforts to free up travel for vaccinated passengers, Dubai Airport CEO Paul Griffiths said in a Bloomberg Television interview. That compares with 29.1 million people last year.

South Korea: South Korea’s parliament passed a larger-than-planned first extra budget for the year as the government seeks to support parts of the economy worst affected by the country’s biggest coronavirus outbreak of the pandemic. The budget of $ 16.9 trillion won ($ 14.2 billion), approved by Parliament late Monday, aims to offset losses to companies that have worked under some of the most stringent conditions since Covid-19 erupted when virus cases rose from thousands a day to over a 100,000.

Hong Kong: On Wednesday, the Hong Kong government is expected to unveil a budget that is heading further into the red as the rising virus threatens to engulf the economy. To mitigate the economy, Finance Minister Paul Chan is expected to keep fiscal taps open, driving the government’s budget to its fourth deficit in a row in the coming fiscal year, the longest period of deficits in nearly a decade.

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