Low-income countries have received only 0.27% of the COVID-19 doses administered worldwide while high-income countries (30%) and upper-middle-income countries (52%) have acquired more than 80%.
Of the 27 nations termed as low-income, 23 are in Africa. Due to this wide disparity in vaccine supply, of the 52 countries in Africa, 38 have given at least one dose to <5% of population. Worryingly, many African countries have recorded a recent uptick in cases, most of which were due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Here are the latest updates:
Pakistan bans domestic air travel for people who are not vaccinated
Pakistan has banned the domestic air travel for people who are not vaccinated of over 18 years of age. This will be applicable from August 1,
“Restriction is for domestic air travel and people travelling from Pakistan to abroad or from abroad to Pakistan are exempted from restriction. It is also not applicable on link flights if these are within 72 hours of arrival or departure,” according to an NCOC document. – PTI
Macron appeals for French unity in virus fight
French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed for national unity and vaccination to fight the resurgent virus, and lashed out at those fueling anti-vaccination sentiment and protests.
About 160,000 people protested around France on Saturday against a special COVID-19 pass for restaurants and mandatory vaccinations for health workers.
Many marchers shouted “liberty!” and said the government shouldn’t tell them what to do.
Mr. Macron visited a hospital in French Polynesia on Saturday night Tahiti time.
He asked “what is your freedom worth if you say to me I don’t want to be vaccinated,” but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?” He said protesters are “free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner.” But Mr. Macron said demonstrations won’t make the coronavirus go away. – AP
UK health minister Sajid Javid’s COVID recovery remarks spark anger
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who had been in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, posted an update on Twitter to announce his “full recovery” but his choice of words in the post sparked anger.
Mr. Javid, 51, said people should no longer “cower” from coronavirus as he urged everyone to get their vaccine doses to protect against the deadly virus.
“Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” he wrote in a tweet, which he deleted on Sunday and issued an apology after he was accused of insensitivity towards people following lockdown rules. – PTI
Over 3.29 crore unutilised vaccine doses still available with states, pvt hospitals: Govt
More than 3.29 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states, union territories and private hospitals, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.
Over 45.37 crore vaccine doses have been provided to the states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 11,79,010 doses are in the pipeline, it said.
Of this, the total consumption, including wastage, is 42,08,32,021 doses (as per data available at 8 am Sunday), the ministry said. – PTI
India logs 39,742 new cases, 535 fresh fatalities
India added 39,742 new cases of coronavirus infection taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,13,71,901, while the death toll rose to 4,20,551 with 535 fresh fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.
The active cases have declined to 4,08,212 and comprise 1.30% of the total infections and the national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 97.36%, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.
A decline of 765 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. – PTI
With ‘negative wastage’, Karnataka extracts 1.76 lakh more doses of COVID-19 vaccine
After reporting a high vaccine wastage of nearly 7% in the initial four months after COVID-19 vaccination was rolled out in January, Karnataka has managed to not only curtail wastage, but also extract and administer more doses from each vial since May.
Vaccine usage is calculated as the proportion of vaccine administered out of the total vaccine allotted. According to official data, the State has recorded a negative wastage (-2.23%), thereby administering vaccine to 1,75,165 more people than intended in the assigned stock to vaccination centres from May 1 till July 23. State health officials attributed this to meticulous micro-planning of vaccine sessions and efficient vaccine administration.
Green light for Delhi metro, buses to run at full capacity
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to allow metro trains and public buses to run at full capacity for the following fortnight.
Cinemas, auditoriums and spas will also be allowed to open, subject to enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour.
According to the DDMA order, for two weeks starting Monday (July 26 to August 9), metro trains and public buses will be allo-wed to carry passengers up to 100% of their capacity. The number of attendees at funerals and marriage ceremonies has also been increased to 100. Cinemas and auditoriums, according to the order, are allowed to open at 50% of their total capacity.
Cases of `Kappa’ variant of coronavirus found in Gujarat
For the first time, five cases of `Kappa’ variant of coronavirus have been detected in Gujarat, the state health department said on Saturday.
Three cases were found in Jamnagar, two in Godhra in Pahchmahal district and one in Mehsana, it said in a release.
Kappa is a “variant of interest” but not a “variant of concern” as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the release said. – PTI
India delivers medical supplies to Indonesia
India on Saturday delivered 300 oxygen concentrators and 100 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen to Indonesia to help the country fight rising cases of coronavirus infection, officials said.
The supplies were transported to the Indonesian capital Jakarta by an Indian Navy ship.
According to reports, Indonesia has been reeling under increasing cases of Delta variant of COVID-19 in the last few weeks. – PTI