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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Russia's Sputnik V sparks division in Europe

New Zealand fires border workers who refused vaccine, Nepal halts domestic and international flights, Covid pass helps Denmark open up--pandemic-related news across the world

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Coronavirus Vaccine | Sputnik for sale | Nepal

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Sputnik V, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, DRL, coronavirus, vaccine, covid-19

Russia's Sputnik V set off discord in Europe Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, which was claimed to be a medical breakthrough by its President Putin, has set off deep divisions among politicians in Europe. Russia hoped to gain as it reached out to the bloc to offer vaccines and many European countries initially showed interest to buy Sputnik vaccine and some even placed orders, thanks to a sluggish rollout in the region. However, politicans across the bloc are divided in finding the real intentions behind Russia's outreach. In France, President Emmanuel Macron talked to Putin recently about possible deliveries of Sputnik, which Macron’s own foreign minister derided as a “propaganda tool.” The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, furious that European regulators have been slow in approving Sputnik, has clashed with Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel, over the bloc’s vaccination programme, which so far involves only Western vaccines. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 153,559,931

Global deaths: 3,213,878

Nations with most cases: US (32,471,762), India (20,282,833), Brazil (14,779,529), France (5,717,160), Turkey (4,900,121).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

halts all domestic and international flights Public fury over Nepal’s growing wave of infections has been rising in the country, with many people blaming travelers from India and several other virus-stricken countries, as well as government ineptitude in handling the pandemic and large political rallies. In response, Nepal announced that it was halting all domestic and international flights. The number of infections that has reported has escalated rapidly since mid-April, from a seven-day average of new daily cases of less than 100 to more than 4,500 as of Saturday, pushing total cases over the pandemic to more than 328,000. Read here How Covid pass is helping Denmark open up Denmark's bars, cafes, restaurants, museums, sports stadiums and tattooists have been open for anyone who can show a negative test result less than 72 hours old, or a completed vaccination, using a pass, which is a digital certificate.

Currently, people have to provide evidence via app, or on a paper printout. At the end of May, the digital pass will be released in its final form. It will also be enough for people to be able to show that they have tested positive for coronavirus and recovered within the previous 180 days. Read here fires nine border workers who refused Covid vaccine New Zealand’s customs agency has fired nine border workers who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine. The country has required all frontline border workers to be vaccinated by the end of April. In February, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the government would not be making the vaccine compulsory for frontline staff, and that those who declined the vaccine would be moved into backroom roles. But no other work could be found to redeploy the nine workers who were in fixed term employment at the maritime border. Read here

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First Published: Tue, May 04 2021. 14:08 IST
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