With almost a year since the pandemic, the world is still affected by the impact of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), as it continues to infect thousands in all countries. In the United Kingdom, the strictest restrictions were placed on Monday, as cases continue to rise in record numbers. Meanwhile, in the United States, Pfizer Inc. and its partners delivered the first vaccines to 141 of 145 US government-targeted locations for the first day of a nationwide launch on Monday. Singapore became the first Asian country to approve the Pfizer vaccine and said it expects to start receiving vaccines by the end of the year.
In India, the number of daily coronavirus cases fell to its lowest level since July 6, with 22,065 new cases of the deadly virus. In Italy, the government is considering strict restrictions at the national level as the Christmas holidays approach.
Here is the latest Covid-19 pandemic update:
1) A new variant of coronavirus has been identified in London, which is said to be responsible for increasing cases. It was initially detected in the south-east of England, where cases are now growing the fastest. However, there is no scientific evidence that the variant is more dangerous or infectious. “The variant may or may not contribute to this,” Whitty told a news conference, adding: “We don’t know the cause and effect,” England Medical Director Chris Whitty said Monday, warning against charges for the tip.
2) The World Health Organization (WHO) has also confirmed the new variant of Covid-19; the world health agency said it was aware of a genetic variant of the virus identified in about 1,000 people in the UK. At a press conference on Monday, WHO Executive Director Michael Ryan said: “This virus is evolving and changing over time, and we have seen different variants.” WHO is working with an international network of laboratories to see if the variant becomes more widespread internationally.
3) In India, doctors at a Delhi hospital have seen an increase in cases of rare fungal infection in the recovery of coronavirus patients. According to hospital officials, the deadly infection, which, if not detected early, can kill half of patients and lead to loss of vision or jaw in others, has been triggered by Covid-19. In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have seen 13 cases of “mucovycosis triggered by Covid-19 (black fungus)”.
4) A group of researchers in France have found that dogs can sniff Covid-19 and identify patients, including asymptomatic ones. In the preliminary study in PLoS One in March, dogs that sniffed armpit sweat samples could tell what samples came from patients with Covid-19 and who were from people who tested negative for the new coronavirus. Dogs can identify infected people with 85% to 100% accuracy and can rule out infection with 92% to 99% accuracy.
5) Singapore became the first Asian country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and said it expects to start receiving vaccines by the end of the year. The government also said it expects to have enough vaccines for everyone by the third quarter of next year.
(With agency entries)