Almost a year after the pandemic began, the world is still affected by the effects of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as it continues to infect thousands across countries. Tough restrictions were imposed in the UK on Monday as the number of cases continues to grow. In the US, Pfizer Inc and partners shipped the first vaccines to 141 of 145 locations targeted by the US government on the first day of a nationwide rollout on Monday. Singapore was the first Asian country to approve the Pfizer vaccine and expects to receive shots by the end of the year.
In India, daily coronavirus cases fell to their lowest level since July 6, as 22,065 new cases of the deadly virus were recorded. In Italy, the government is considering tough nationwide restrictions as the Christmas holidays are near.
Here is the latest update on the Covid-19 pandemic:
1) In London, a new variant of the coronavirus has been identified that is believed to be responsible for the spike in certain cases. It was originally discovered in the south east of England, where falls are now increasing the fastest. However, there is no scientific evidence that the variant is more dangerous or contagious. “The variant may or may not help,” Whitty said at a press conference, adding, “We don’t know what cause and effect are,” said UK Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty on Monday when he warned against the blame for giving the tip.
2) The World Health Organization (WHO) also confirmed the new variant of Covid-19; According to the World Health Authority, he is aware of a genetic variant of the virus that has been identified in around 1,000 people in the UK. During a press conference Monday, WHO Executive Director Michael Ryan said, “This virus develops and changes over time, and we’ve seen different varieties.” The WHO is working with an international laboratory network to determine whether the variant is becoming increasingly common internationally.
3) In India, doctors from a Delhi hospital observed an increase in rare fungal infection cases as coronavirus patients recover. According to hospital authorities, the fatal infection, which if not detected early, can kill half of patients and cause loss of vision or jaw in others, was caused by Covid-19. In the past 15 days, ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have seen 13 cases of “Covid-19-induced mucormycosis (black fungus)”.
4) A group of researchers in France found that dogs can spy out Covid-19 and identify patients, including those who are asymptomatic. In the preliminary study in PLoS One, conducted in March, dogs who sniffed swab samples of armpit sweat were able to determine which samples were from Covid-19 patients and which were from people who tested negative for the new coronavirus. Dogs can identify infected people with an accuracy of 85% to 100% and rule out infection with an accuracy of 92% to 99%, reported the Reuters news agency, citing Dominique Grandjean of the Alfort Veterinary School in France.
5) Singapore was the first Asian country to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. Shots are expected to be received by the end of the year. The government also expects to have enough vaccines for everyone by the third quarter of next year.
(With agency entries)