Global vaccination to take up to 6 yrs — Australian expert



The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

CANBERRA — An Australian infectious diseases expert has warned that it could take six years to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, reports Xinhua.

In an address to the National Press Club (NPC), Sanjaya Senanayake — an infectious disease physician and associate professor at Australian National University’s medical school — said that just 10 percent of people in the world’s 70 poorest countries would be vaccinated by the end of 2021.

HAVANA — Cuba reported on Wednesday 858 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths in the last 24 hours, for accumulated totals of 34,922 cases and 249 deaths, the Ministry of Public Health said.

Francisco Duran, the ministry’s national director of hygiene and epidemiology, highlighted the common risk factors of most of the deceased, including high blood pressure and diabetes, in the daily report.

NEW YORK — New York City’s COVID-19 test positivity rate on a seven-day average went up to 8.48 percent, compared with 8.09 percent one day earlier, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, de Blasio said that there were 265 new hospital admissions and new cases of the coronavirus reached 3,859, adding that “You can help stop the spread. Get a free COVID-19 test today.”

BERLIN — Germany will extend lockdown efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic for three more weeks till March 7, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 federal state leaders decided on Wednesday.

According to the decision paper published following a video conference, the restrictions tackling the spread of the virus, which are due on Feb. 14, will extend to March 7.

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait reported on Wednesday 987 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 173,983 and the death toll to 980, the Kuwaiti Health Ministry announced.

The ministry also announced the recovery of 553 more patients, taking the total recoveries in Kuwait to 163,264. Meanwhile, it said that 9,739 coronavirus patients are receiving treatment.

MALABO — A batch of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, on Wednesday.

This is the first batch of vaccine aid provided by the Chinese government to African countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Tuesday at a press briefing.

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