Open Travel Guide for Covid-19

Open Travel Guide for Covid-19

Australia has said it had not yet received more than 3 million doses of previously promised AstraZeneca vaccine doses amid export curbs by the European Union, leaving a major hole in its early nationwide inoculation drive.

Authorities had pledged to administer at least 4 million first doses of the vaccine by end-March, but could only vaccinate 670,000 after the European Union blocked AstraZeneca vaccine exports to Australia in the wake of the drugmaker's failure to meet its shipment pledge to the bloc.

"We were scheduled to have received over 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from overseas by now, which have not arrived in Australia because of the problems with shipments that we've seen happening here and in other parts of the world," Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told Sky News.

Australia began vaccinations much later than some other countries due to low case numbers, recording just under 29,400 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. But the AstraZeneca dose delay leaves it struggling to step up the pace of its vaccination drive.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on April 19.

Ardern said the conditions for starting to open up quarantine-free travel with Australia have been met.

"Our team's success in managing and keeping it out over the past 12 months now opens up the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and resume Trans-Tasman travel," Ardern said in a news conference. 

India reports 96,982 new cases

India has reported 96,982 new infections overnight, taking the overall tally of cases to 12.7 million, data from health ministry showed on.

The country reported 446 deaths, taking the total to 165,547, data showed.

India's caseload is the third-highest globally behind the United States and Brazil.

South Korean health authorities are considering all options to secure enough coronavirus vaccine supplies, a top vaccine official said in response to questions about possible export curbs on locally made vaccines.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany has increased by 6,885 to 2,900,768, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 90 to 77,103, the tally showed. 

United Nations has said that the UN-backed programme to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable people has delivered more than 36 million doses to 86 poor and developing countries to date.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday that COVAX expects to allocate 201 million doses by the end of May. 

Still, he stressed that “the issue of vaccine inequity and unequal distribution of the vaccine remains clear for all to see and remains troubling.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said on March 26 that “60 percent of the Covid vaccine supply was reserved by a handful of wealthy countries," adding that “some developing countries may not receive the vaccine until 2024.”

Dujarric again urged greater financial support to the COVAX facility, which is part of the World Health Organization’s ACT-Accelerator programme. 

The ACT-Accelerator said last week that despite donor contributions amounting to $11 billion, it needs an additional $22.1 billion in 2021 to fund the delivery of over 2 billion doses of vaccines, 900 million tests and up to 100 million new treatment courses.

North Korea will not attend this year's Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pyongyang's sports ministry said, blowing the final whistle on Seoul's hopes of using the Games to restart talks with its nuclear-armed neighbour.

The isolated North's participation in the last Winter Games, hosted by the South in Pyeongchang, was a key catalyst in the diplomatic rapprochement of 2018.

Leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong attended as his envoy in a blaze of publicity, and the South's President Moon Jae-in seized the opportunity to broker talks between Pyongyang and Washington that led to a series of high-profile meetings between Kim and then US president Donald Trump.

But Pyongyang's announcement puts an end to Seoul's hopes of using the postponed Tokyo Games, due to begin in July, to kick off a reset in the now deadlocked talks process.

Brazil has recorded 28,645 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 1,319 deaths from Covid-19, according to the country's Health Ministry.

Brazil has registered more than 13 million cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to332,752, according to ministry data released on Monday.

Mexico's government has reported 1,247 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 252 more fatalities, according to data from the health ministry released on Monday, bringing the country's total to 2,251,705 infections and 204,399 deaths.

The government says the real case numbers are likely significantly higher, and separate data published recently by the health ministry suggested the actual coronavirus death toll may be at least 60% above the confirmed figure.

World Bank estimates that Africa would need about $12 billion for Covid-19 vaccines and their distribution to attain sufficient levels of vaccination coverage to interrupt virus transmission, according to new paper by the bank and the IMF.

The paper argued for a further extension of the Group of 20's debt service moratorium through year-end, noting the continued high liquidity needs of developing countries and their deteriorating debt sustainability outlooks.

It said the amount of money Africa needed to interrupt transmission of the virus was about the same as the total amount of official debt service payments already deferred by 45 of the poorest countries participating in the G20's Debt ServiceSuspension Initiative.

Britain’s slow but steady march out of a three-month lockdown remains on track even as coronavirus cases surge elsewhere in Europe, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced, as he confirmed that businesses from barbers to bookstores will be allowed to reopen next week.

Johnson said it’s too soon to decide, however, whether UK residents will be able to have summer trips abroad. 

He confirmed that the government will test out a contentious “vaccine passport” system – a way for people to offer proof they have protection from Covid-19 – as a tool to help travel and large events return safely.

Four weeks after England took its first step out of lockdown by reopening schools, Johnson said Britain’s vaccination program was proceeding well and infections were falling. He said the next step would come as planned on April 12, with the reopening of hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, nonessential shops and bar and restaurant patios.

“We set out our road map and we’re sticking to it,” Johnson said during a news conference.

But, he added, “We can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries, and we’ve seen how t his story goes.”
Previous Post Next Post