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India’s COVID-19 infection tally now at 5.9 million

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2020)

India’s coronavirus tally reached 5.9 million cases on Sunday after 88,600 new infections were recorded in a 24 hour period. 

The total number of cases is now at 5,992,532 public health ministry data showed. 

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have reported the most new cases in the last 24 hours and together account for around 55 percent of the country’s new infections on Sunday.

Both Houses of Parliament adjourned last week due to the virus as over 20 MPs tested positive for the virus. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India would help in vaccine production. 

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Modi said: “As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today.” 

“India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis.” 

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus meanwhile welcomed Modi’s assurance that India will use its vaccine production capacity in helping nations fight the pandemic. 

He said on Twitter: “Thank you for your commitment to solidarity .. Only together, by mobilizing our forces and resources jointly for the common good can we end the COVID-19 pandemic.”


EU provides another 35 million euros in fight against COVID-19

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 26, 2021)

The EU-Delegation in Kabul announced additional support in the form of 35 million euros to tackle the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and mitigate its socioeconomic impacts in Afghanistan.

The EU said in a statement on Tuesday that since the start of the pandemic it has mobilised almost 147 million euros to address the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need.

“The pandemic has exacerbated an already grim situation in Afghanistan, creating even
bigger needs in a country for decades plagued by war.

“Together with partners and in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the EU’s contribution aims to support those who suffer the most from this crisis. The three projects launched today will contribute to this further,” said EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt.

The 35 million euros announced today will contribute to strengthening the response capacity of health systems, to test and treat patients, to improve infection prevention, to raise awareness and to reduce nutritional risks through three projects implemented by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and a consortium led by the Aga Khan Foundation.

“ As preparation for vaccine rollout signals new hope in Afghanistan’s fight against COVID19, continued investment in testing, surveillance, clinical care, protection of health workers and essential health services remains vital for containing the spread of the virus in addition to offering quality medical care,” said David Lai, Officer in Charge at the WHO.

The EU stated that import restrictions and widespread unemployment have worsened food insecurity, and through the support of the EU and its partners 300 000 children and their mothers will also receive community nutrition services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on the already weak health system and worsened underlying health and gender vulnerabilities. This generous EU funding will allow UNICEF to respond quickly to this secondary wave of challenges which profoundly affects the health and safety of children and women,” said Sheema Sen Gupta, Representative of UNICEF Afghanistan.

The projects implemented by UNICEF and the Aga Khan led consortium includes actions to mitigate women’s, children’s and teenager’s vulnerability to various forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence.

“With the support of the EU, the Aga Khan Foundation led consortium with Cordaid will
reach 8.4 million direct and indirect beneficiaries in 16 provinces,” said Sheherazade Hirji, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative.

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Norway concerned as death toll rises to 29 from COVID vaccine 

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)
Norway has raised concerns about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine after reporting that 29 Norwegians died after receiving the inoculation. 
According to Bloomberg, it’s unclear exactly when the deaths occurred, but Norway has given at least one dose to about 42,000 people and focused on those considered most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly.
Until Friday, the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was the only one available in Norway, and “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine,” the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a written response to Bloomberg on Saturday.
“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency told Bloomberg.
All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. 
“Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”
Bloomberg states that official reports of allergic reactions have been rare as governments rush to roll out vaccines to try to contain the global pandemic. However, US authorities reported 21 cases of severe allergic reactions from December 14 to 23 after administration of about 1.9 million initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 
The first Europe-wide safety report on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is due to be published at the end of January.
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WHO team in Wuhan to probe Coronavirus origin

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 15, 2021)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a team of scientists to China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, to probe the origins of the Coronavirus, WHO confirmed.

The WHO stated in a tweet a 13-member team of expert has arrived in Wuhan on Thursday. 

“The international team of 13 scientists examining the origins of the virus that causes COVID19 arrived in Wuhan, China, today,” WHO tweeted.

The organization stated that the experts will begin their work immediately during the two weeks quarantine protocol for international travelers.

The WHO added that 13 team members have arrived in Wuhan, but two others have been tested positive for Covid-19 before leaving Singapore to China.

“Two scientists are still in Singapore completing tests for COVID-19. All team members had multiple negative PCR and antibody tests for COVID-19 in their home countries prior to traveling,” the organization said.

“They were tested again in #Singapore and were all negative for PCR. But two members tested positive for IgM antibodies. They are being retested for both IgM and IgG antibodies.”

In early 2020, the virus spread in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, and soon the virus spread worldwide.

China has sought to keep information about the spread of the virus under tight control. The country has also punished people for publishing information. The Chinese officials allowed the international team to Wuhan after months of diplomatic disputing.

In December last year, a Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in jail for reporting the spread of the virus from Wuhan. 

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge used by the Chinese government against the critics.

According to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, so far, 93,075,435 people around the world have been infected with the virus and 1,993,164 people have died of the virus.

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