Asia, Europe see spike and a WHO warning: Global Covid-19 surge weekly round-up
Covid-19 surge: Delta and Omicron variants continue to dominate a fresh wave in Asia with China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea witnessing a surge daily cases. Here's a round-up of the Covid-19 surge across the world in 10 points
The pandemic was a long way off, the World Health Organization warned this week, with several nations across the world witnessing a spike in Covid cases yet again. With some South East Asian nations also seeing a surge, India has been prompted to keep the guards up. China is battling with a rise in daily cases driven by the highly infectious 'stealth Omicron variant'. The country saw its first deaths since January 2021 this week.
Here's a round-up of the Covid surge across the world in 10 points:
1. Delta and Omicron variants continue to dominate a fresh wave in Asia with China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea witnessing a surge in coronavirus infections.
2. China’s national health authorities reported two Covid-19 deaths, the first recorded rise in death toll since January 2021, as the country battles a surge, reports said. China reported only two Covid deaths for all of 2021, the last of those on Jan 25.
3. Singapore on Saturday reported 10,244 new cases, taking the total tally to 1,007,158, according to news agency ANI. Three deaths were also reported on Saturday, bringing the overall count to 1,194.
4. Hong Kong reported a single-day spike of 16,597 cases on Saturday, down from more than 20,000 a day earlier, reported Reuters.
5. The Hong Kong administration is finding itself unable to manage the pandemic with some fearing the government's failure to get the virus under control has accelerated Beijing's creeping authority over the semi-autonomous territory, ANI reported, citing local media.
6. England will begin rolling out its fourth coronavirus vaccine shots, the National Health Service (NHS) has said. The fourth shot, or the second booster dose will be made available to care home residents, people aged over 75 and the immunosuppressed, according to news agency AFP.
7. Cases are soaring once again across the UK due to a rampant Omicron variant, with estimates suggesting that 1 in 20 people is currently infected, as per AFP. The UK has been one of the world's hardest hit countries during the pandemic, with more than 163,000 people dying after contracting the disease.
8. WHO said on Friday that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was a long way off, citing a rise in cases in its latest weekly data. The UN health agency has previously said that the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year.
9. “The end of the pandemic will depend on how quickly we meet its target to vaccinate 70% of the population in each country, among other factors,” Reuters quoted the UN health body as saying.
10. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Friday that countries should provide free Covid-19 testing for refugees from Ukraine to avoid outbreaks as more than three million people flee their war-stricken homeland.
(With inputs from AFP, AP, Reuters)