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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Australian scientists doubt Oxford vaccine

Worst is yet to come for UK, Tokyo Olympics 'impossible' to delay as public opposition grows, New Zealand job market bounces back and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Coronavirus, vaccine, covid, drugs, clinical trials

Britain reels under impact of new strain

With over 1,000 deaths a day, Britain is reeling under the pandemic as the new varaint sweeps through the country, but the worst is still to come. The pandemic has led to more deaths in the country last year than any other year in the last century, surpassing even the toll during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, according to government data. The variant is straining the already overwhelmed hospital and the crisis is only worsening with each passing day. Some hospitals have been forced to erect temporary centres to keep the dead after mortuaries ran out of space. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 91,625,322

Change Over Yesterday: 559,310

Global deaths: 1,962,759

Nations with most cases: US (22,846,79), India (10,413,417), Brazil (7,961,673), Russia (3,297,833), United Kingdom (2,898,052).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

Tokyo Olympics 'impossible' to delay as public opposition grows

Japan is going through a third wave of infections, straining healthcare and also threatening the Tokyo Olympics that have already been delayed by a year. This comes as public sentiment is heavily tilted against holding the games, with a poll recently finding as many as 77 per cent people rooting for cancelling or postponing the event. The Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had deferred the event in March last year due to the pandemic. However, the event organising head and the former prime minister said preparations for the summer Olympics will continue, and that postponing the games a second time would be “absolutely impossible.” Read here

New Zealand jobs market bounces back close to pre-pandemic levels

New Zealand is starting to reap the benefits of containing the outbreak early as the jobs market shows growth close to pre-Covid levels. Much to the envy of the rest of the world, New Zealand has been unscathed by the pandemic, by acting fast. The country closed its borders to international visitors last year in March, which led to a shortage of foreign workers in many industries. The sectors that saw the most vacancies included IT and communications, manufacturing, transport & logistics and trades & services. Jobs in customer-facing roles have taken the hardest hit. Read here

Australian scientists doubt Oxford vaccine

While the developing world including India, bet everything on the vaccine against developed by Oxford and Astrazeneca, Australian scientists have cast a doubt on the efficacy of the vaccine, raising concerns that it is not effective enough to tame the pandemic through herd immunity. They urged the government to review its inoculation strategy. The scientists feel the vaccine made by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna has shown higher efficacy in trials and the government must procure more doses from them. However, the Australian government said it will not go back on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Read here

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First Published: Wed, January 13 2021. 15:16 IST