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World Coronavirus Dispatch: The Mexican crisis is underplayed, but is worse

UK reports more blood-clotting cases in people who received AstraZeneca vaccine, Chinese vaccines penetrate Eastern Europe amid shortages and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Employees of Electrocomponentes de Mexico are seen during a protest to halt work amid the spread of the coronavirus diseas, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: Reuters

UK reports more blood-clotting cases in people who got AstraZeneca vaccine

Britain reported at least 30 cases of rare blood-clotting in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, raising further concerns about the shot. Scentists say the cases are particulary worrying because they were unusual and involved blood clots combined with unusually low levels of platelets, a disorder that can lead to heavy bleeding. However, the British and European regulators said that they are extremely rare assuming that the cases are related to the vaccine and the AstraZeneca jab must continued to be used. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 130,262,050

Global deaths: 2,838,306

Nations with most cases: US (30,609,691), Brazil (12,910,082), India (12,392,260), France (4,802,457), Russia (4,511,973).

Source: John Hopkins Research Center

Hong Kong executives choose China vaccine to get mainland visas

The Hong Kong government has offered residents a choice between the Pfizer-BioNtech jab, which has a 95 per cent efficacy rate, and the one manufactured by Sinovac, whose efficacy rate is just 50 per cent. Despite the higher efficacy rate of Pfizer, Hong Kong's business executives and expats are taking Chinese-made vaccine in hope that it will speed up access to the mainland following an offer by the Beijing to facilitate easier visa access to those who take locally-made jabs rather than a foreign one. “Visa facilitation applies only to applicants who have been inoculated with Covid-19 vaccines produced in China,” the Chinese government said last month. Read here

A Mexican tragedy: Country's crippling crisis comes into sharp focus

Mexico’s crisis has made fewer international headlines than the catastrophes in the US and Brazil. But the upward revision of death toll last week suggests a calamity of similar proportions has played out. Mexican officials recently acknowledged more than 294,000 Covid deaths – just short of Brazil’s official death toll which was then 310,000. Brazil has a much larger population, with 212 million inhabitants compared with Mexico’s 126 million. So what exactly happened? Was it the same strongman approach of mixed messages, downplaying the virus and boasting of gains when there were none? The behaviour and mixed messaging of politicians are not the only explanations for Mexico’s drama. Read here

Chinese vaccines penetrate Eastern Europe amid shortages

Even though Chinese vaccine companies didn't apply for licences and approvals with the European medical regulator, the jabs are finding their way to the countries in the region, thanks to a sluggish roll out by the bloc. Czech is reportedly approaching Xi to request for Sinopharm vaccines. Similarly, Hungary is among the countries complaining the loudest about a shortage of approved options in Europe and is in touch with the Chinese for the shots. Many experts, however, have expressed concern over a lack of transparency in China's clinical trials, fueling debate over the wisdom of accepting the supplies. Read here

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First Published: Sat, April 03 2021. 13:31 IST