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World Coronavirus Dispatch: China slams US over WHO probe concerns

Hungary rolls out Sputnik V despite EU frown, Japan scrambles to find 11,000 doctors to administer vaccines, Auckland in three-day lockdown and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

vaccine, pharma, coronavirus, medicine, drugs, medical research, covid, lab
Hungary is betting big on the vaccinations to get the economy moving

Hungary goes all out on mass vaccination

With the economy devastated by the pandemic and a national election looming next year, Hungary has begun vaccinating its population with Russia's Sputnik V, a shot that has not been tested and approved by the European Union regulator. The country is betting big on the vaccinations to get the economy moving. A Chinese shot made by Sinopharm is also likely to be rolled out soon. Critics argue that by moving forward with vaccines that have not been approved in the European Union, Hungary's authorities are undermining the bloc’s joint vaccination programme which coordinates orders and distribution. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 108,545,364

Global deaths: 2,393,899

Nations with most cases: US (27,575,340), India (10,904,940), Brazil (9,809,754), United Kingdom (4,038,929), Russia (4,012,538).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Japan scrambles to find 11,000 physicians to administer vaccines

With Japan expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine against on Sunday, the country's authorities are scrambling to get some 11,000 physicians estimated to be needed for administering the shots. Inocluations may start as soon as Wednesday once the vaccine is approved and about 20,000 health and frontline workers will be prioritised. The vaccinations will be expanded in April to those aged 65 and older. Pfizer's vaccines are given in two doses three weeks apart, and the two-step vaccination of the elderly is due to be completed in a span of 12 weeks. Read here

New Zealand prime minister puts Auckland under three-day lockdown

Following the time and tested approach of "go hard early" New Zealand's prime minister has placed Auckland under a three-day lockdown after three infections were detected in the region. Restrictions have also been tightended across the country. The rest of the nation is moving to level-2 curbs during the same time period, with reviews held every 24 hours. There was “not yet a complete picture” of the spread of the virus, the prime minister said, and health officials were awaiting genome sequencing and serology results. Read here

China hits back after US voices concern over WHO report

The White House has expressed "deep concerns" about the way the findings of WHO’s Covid-19 report were communicated, saying Beijing may have withheld some information from the investigators. Reacting to the allegations, China hit back at the US saying the US had already gravely damaged international cooperation on Covid-19 and was now “pointing fingers at other countries that have been faithfully supporting the WHO and at the WHO itself”. A 14-member team of experts probing the origins of in China's laboratories, disease-control centers and live-animal markets have suggested that the pathogen jumped to humans through an intermediary host species, indicating that more studies are required to come to a definite conclusion. The WHO findings have aided the Chinese theory that the virus might have spread to humans through shipments of frozen food. Read here

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First Published: Sun, February 14 2021. 13:49 IST