A nurse handles a vial of the the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Wolfson medical center in Holon | Israel Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg
A nurse handles a vial of the the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Wolfson medical center in Holon, Israel, on 20 December 2020 | Photo: Kobi Wolf | Bloomberg


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New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the world. The latest count being more than 13,24,37,230 cases and 28,74,232 deaths.

We highlight some of the important stories from around the world.

A year after the pandemic, Haiti still doesn’t have a single vaccine to offer its population of 11 million people. Pfizer has stopped shipments of the coronavirus vaccine to Israel after the country failed to pay for the last 2.5 million doses supplied to it. Authorities in France have opened up an investigation into claims that government ministers have been attending secret dinners in Paris which violated Covid guidelines.

French authorities investigating ‘clandestine’ dinner parties in Paris 

Authorities in France have opened up an investigation into claims that government ministers have been attending secret dinners in Paris which violated Covid guidelines, reports The Guardian.

A television channel broadcast hidden footage from a restaurant where high profile guests were eating caviar and champagne.

“The film showed diners failing to maintain recommended Covid rules, including not socially distancing, not wearing masks and some greeting each other bises (kissed on the cheek),” said the report.

France has recorded 48,33,263 cases of Covid-19 and 96,875 deaths.


Also read: Are Indians social distancing, following mask protocol as cases surge? This survey finds out


Haiti awaits vaccines amid ‘apathy’ 

A year after the pandemic, Haiti still doesn’t have a single vaccine to offer its population of 11 million people, reports Associated Press. This has raised concerns regarding healthcare access of people in Haiti amid violence and political instability in the country.

The country is expecting to receive 7,56,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through a UN programme that provides vaccines to countries which can’t afford it.

“The free doses were scheduled to arrive in May at the latest, but delays are expected because Haiti missed a deadline and the key Indian manufacturer is now prioritising an increase in domestic demand,” said the report.

Haiti has recorded 12,803 cases of Covid-19 and 251 deaths.

Pfizer halts vaccine shipments to Israel over payment 

Pfizer has stopped shipments of coronavirus vaccine to Israel after the country failed to pay for the last 2.5 million doses that were supplied to it, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Officials at Pfizer remained concerned over government not paying up and that the vaccine manufacturer didn’t want to be taken ‘advantage of’.

“They (Pfizer) said that they do not understand how such a situation can occur in an organised country,” said the report.

Israel has recorded 8,34,603 cases of Covid-19 and 6,248 deaths.


Also read: Here’s how CM and Mumbai Police can control the rise in Covid cases: Kavita Khanna


Japan fears Covid-19 variants fuelling next wave

Health authorities in Japan fear that coronavirus variants are fuelling a ‘nascent’ fourth wave of infections, reports The Japan Times. This rise in infections comes at a time when there are just 109 days remaining for the Tokyo Olympics to commence.

A Covid-19 variant, which was first found in the UK, had spread in Japan’s Osaka region, said Koji Wada, a government advisor on the pandemic. Wada predicted that this fourth wave is going to be ‘larger’.

“The variants appear to be more infectious and may be resistant to vaccines, which are still not widely available in Japan,” said the report.

Japan has recorded 4,95,325 cases of Covid-19 and 9,231 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Germany faces calls for nationwide approach to Covid restrictions: The Guardian 

Concerns that AstraZeneca clotting case may hurt public confidence in vaccine: The Age 


Also read: Can AI tell us how severe patient’s Covid infection will be? Study finds promising results


 

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