You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

World Coronavirus Dispatch: Mecca to accept only vaccinated pilgrims

French authorities probe secret dinner parties in Paris, North Korea pulls out of Tokyo Olympics, Australia & New Zealand agree on travel bubble and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Photo: Shutterstock
Mecca, pre-pandemic. Photo: Shutterstock

Australia and New Zealand agree on a travel bubble starting April 19

Australia and New Zealand have agreed on a comprehensive quarantine-free travel bubble for the first time since the pandemic began last year. Australia’s border has been mostly open to New Zealanders since October, with a few short suspensions when there were small outbreaks in Auckland. But until today’s announcement, New Zealand had delayed returning the favour due to more frequent Covid-19 clusters across Australia. The bubble, which will open just before midnight on April 19, is expected to deliver a boost to tourism and to families that have been separated as both countries enacted strict border closures and lockdown measures. Read more

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 131,828,728

Global deaths: 2,861,100

Nations with most cases: US (30,785,390), Brazil (13,013,601), India (12,686,049), France (4,893,971), Russia (4,538,101).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

North Korea will skip Tokyo Olympics over fears

North Korea said that it had decided not to participate in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, citing the threat of pandemic. This is the first time since 1988, the country has decided to skip the games. North Korea’s decision deprives South Korea and other nations of a rare opportunity to establish official contact with the isolated country. Officials in South Korea had hoped that the Olympics — to be held from July 23 to August 8 — might provide a venue for senior delegates from both Koreas to meet to discuss issues beyond sports. Read more

Mecca to accept only vaccinated pilgrims from Ramadan

Saudi authorities have said that only those who are vaccinated against coronavirus will be allowed to the umrah pilgrimage --- a visit to Mecca. Unlike hajj, the shorter umrah pilgrimage is non-compulsory and can be performed at any time of year. The same conditions also apply for entry into the Prophet’s mosque in the holy city of Medina. The policy comes into force at the start of Ramadan but it was unclear how long it would last. Saudi Arabia has reported more than 393,000 coronavirus infections and 6,700 deaths from Covid-19. Read more

French authorities investigate 'clandestine' dinner parties in Paris

Just hours after French President Macron announced tougher restrictions across the country to contain the coronavirus infections, several videos surfaced showing government ministers and other wealthy guests attending secret dinner parties in Paris. The authorities have now launched an investigation into these claims that broke coronavirus guidelines. Videos showed diners failing to maintain recommended Covid rules including not socially distancing, not wearing masks. Staff were also shown without masks. Read more

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, April 06 2021. 14:07 IST