The WHO asked this Wednesday (4) a moratorium on booster doses against covid-19, while China restricted travel abroad to face the biggest increase in cases in months.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suspending the booster vaccination at least until the end of September would help to resolve the huge inequality in the distribution of doses of the immunizing agent between rich and poor countries.
The head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, indicated that this measure would contribute to moving towards that “at least 10% of the population of all countries is vaccinated”.
To date, the coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 4.2 million people worldwide, according to a count taken on Wednesday by AFP from official sources.
The United States is the country with the highest number of registered deaths, over 614,000, followed by Brazil (about 558,400) and India (425,700 deaths).
– Restrictions in China –
China tightened restrictions on mobility, suspending local transport and limiting travel abroad after seeing an increase in cases.
Immigration services will temporarily stop issuing passports and other documents needed to travel abroad, “unless there is a compelling reason.”
However, the authorities have not completely banned travel abroad.
Liu Haitao, head of the immigration office, declared at a press conference that “those who have a real need, study abroad, have work and business reasons” will be able to obtain their documents to travel.
Since mid-July, nearly 500 cases of covid-19 have been registered across the country.
– First outbreak at the Olympic Games-
Meanwhile, at the Tokyo Olympics, five cases of coronavirus were recorded in the Greek synchronized swimming team, which forced the isolation of the twelve people in the group.
The team had to give up participating in the rest of the Games and the seven members who have so far tested negative agreed to move to a facility created for “contact cases”, said Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya, who stressed that this is the first “outbreak” discovered in the Games.
So far, Tokyo 2020 has detected 322 cases of coronavirus, including athletes, officials and communication professionals. The majority of cases were registered in residents of Japan who work at the Games.
– Argentina will produce the second dose of Sputnik V –
In Latin America, several countries that have opted for the anti-covid vaccine developed in Russia, Sputnik V, have recently complained of delays in the delivery of the second dose.
But on Wednesday, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of the immunizing agent, guaranteed that these delays will be “resolved” in August “thanks to the significant increase in the production capacity of vaccines”.
An aggravation of these delays is that Sputnik V, unlike other vaccines, is made up of two different doses that cannot be switched, so that the population waiting for the second dose is partially immunized.
Guatemala, for example, canceled the purchase of 8 million doses of Russian vaccine that suffered delays in delivery, and Argentina threatened to break the contract.
Still on Argentina, Russia announced on Tuesday that more than three million doses of the second component of the Sputnik V vaccine will be produced in the country in August, at the Richmond laboratory.
Russian serum has been validated in 69 countries but has not yet received WHO endorsement.
– Increased cases in Iran and Indonesia –
The contagions are increasing exponentially in Iran. The country surpassed 4 million cases on Wednesday and in the last 24 hours it set a record of infections for the third consecutive day, with 39,537 cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
Numbers that may be underestimated, according to the authorities themselves.
On Monday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered “necessary measures” to be taken to contain what the government says would be the “fifth wave” of the coronavirus in the Islamic Republic.
The delta variant is also spreading rapidly across dozens of regions in Indonesia, which surpassed 100,000 deaths per covid-19 on Wednesday.
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