Greeks Defying Lockdown

World Coronavirus Dispatch: Greece churches defy lockdown, stay open

Nations stretch scarce vaccines by delaying second dose, Australia speeds up vaccine plan, In a Sussex care home, half the residents died over Christmas and other global pandemic-related news

Akash Podishetty | Hyderabad
Business Standard

Tourists take in a sunset from a seaside restaurant in Greece. Representative Image

After vaccine success, Israel facing multiple threats

Israel has powered ahead with its vaccination drive, inoculating millions in weeks, much greater than what the US and EU have been able to do. But the concerns over spreading virus variant mount as the country is set to enter a strict lockdown. The highly contagious variant, first detected in Britain, is likely to spread easily with mutations in the receptor-binding domain. Another uncertainity over containing the virus has to do with the vaccine supplies running low than required to inoculate the population. Read here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Global infections: 87,231,223

Change Over Yesterday: 762,564

Global deaths: 1,884,312

Nations with most cases: US (21,305,037), India (10,395,278), Brazil (7,873,830), Russia (3,274,615), France (2,845,265).

Source: Johns Hopkins Research Center

Greek churches defy lockdown for holiest days in calendar

In what had been described by some as a rebellion, by others a declaration of war, churches across Greece opened their doors on Wednesday – defying nationwide lockdown measures – to mark one of the holiest days in the Orthodox calendar. The move has put the powerful institution on a collision course with the centre-right government, which is struggling to contain a surge in cases at a time when conspiracy theories over the merit of any vaccine are rife. Read here

Australia speeds up vaccine plan

After having initially adopted a wait and watch approach for vaccinations, Australia is looking to speed up its inoculation programme amid growing concerns over new virus strains emerging from the UK and South Africa. The country is planning to start the rollout from mid-to-late February, rather than in late March as initially planned. Having successfully contained the virus, the country had initially decided that it will to watch the rollout of vaccines globally, learn from their experiences and then go ahead with the plans to inoculate its population. But that has changed now. Read here

In a Sussex care home, half the residents died over Christmas

A care home in East Sussex has been devastated by Covid, losing half of all its residents to the disease over Christmas, fuelling fears the new, more transmissible virus variant sweeping the south-east of England is beginning to breach homes’ defences. Thirteen of 27 residents at Edendale Lodge care home in Crowhurst had died with confirmed or suspected Covid since December 13, said the home operator’s managing director, Adam Hutchison, who also runs care homes in Kent. Read here

Nations stretch scarce vaccines by delaying second dose

As countries roll out vaccines, they are beginning to realise that the supplies are woefully short even as the new variants have made it that much more necessary for speedy inoculations. To counter the shortages, nations are considering delaying the second dose or halving the shots, and extract more doses from the limited supplies to inoculate more people. The first to delay the second dose was the UK, and its plan to expand vaccine supplies has been followed elsewhere in Europe and a part of Canada. Read here


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