A sudden and sharp increase in coronavirus-related cases in a number of regions of Africa could be a sign of an a third wave across the continent warning The World Health Organization warned on Thursday, signalling greater trouble for a region whose vaccination campaigns have been severely impacted due to funding shortages and inadequate doses of vaccine.
The W.H.O., an arm of the United Nations, said test positives were rising within 14 African countries in the past seven days, and eight of them reported an increase of more than 30 percent for new cases. The number of infections is steadily rising throughout South Africa, where four of nine provinces are fighting the third wave. There’s also been a dramatic rise of cases in Uganda and Uganda, with hospitals flooded of Covid sufferers and authorities considering the possibility of a lockdown.
The W.H.O. blamed the rise on a lack of respect for social rules and the increase in travel with the advent of winter’s season throughout southern Africa.
Experts also believe that the proliferation of new coronavirus strains similar to those recognized within Britain, India and South Africa — are responsible for the increase in cases and the subsequent increase in deaths. Although Africa has been reported to have less then 3 percent all global coronavirus cases, W.H.O. reported that the continent was responsible in 3.7 percent of deaths. It is an extremely low number, considering that in the majority of countries of the African continent, the vast majority of deaths are not officially recorded.
“The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O. region director in Africa, said in an announcement. “It’s crucial that we swiftly get vaccines into the arms of Africans at high risk of falling seriously ill and dying of Covid-19.”
While many countries with higher incomes have a robust vaccination program and some are on track for fully reopen, a lot of Africa’s less developed countries have a major hurdle in getting vaccines.
In a number of 1.3 billion, only 31 million had at the very least one dose the vaccine, Dr. Moeti said. Seven million are completely vaccine-free. In Kenya one of the largest economies in Africa that has over 50 million people just 1,386 have been given two doses of vaccine.
Countries such as Ghana as well as Rwanda have been through their first doses of vaccines via Covax the international facility which works to ensure fair distribution of vaccines.
The vaccination hesitancy is affecting the introduction of vaccines in countries like Malawi and Malawi, while worries about blood clots that are rare and the limits in the capacity of inoculation prompted Congo Democratic Republic of Congo to give millions of doses in other African states prior to expiration.
The rise in cases, as the W.H.O. warned, could cause a crisis for the already shaky health systems in need of a few oxygen and intensive care beds and ventilators. To prevent a complete crisis doctors. Moeti urged “countries that have reached a significant vaccination coverage to release doses and keep the most vulnerable Africans out of critical care.”
U.S. vaccinations >
Following a schyear that was rife with concerns about the dangers of returning to school Experts say they believe that they believe that United States is edging closer towards a safe return to learning in person in the autumn.
There is a lot of positive news on the vaccination front. This month, around 17 million kids ranging from 12-15 became eligible to get the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The company Moderna is planning to request for the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of its vaccine for children aged 12-17 years old.
Since the beginning of the year parents across the United States have scrambled to learn online and to keep their kids focused. (And parents who managed to balance the demands of remote learning and work were among the fortunate ones. A lot of people were laid off from their job or had inadequate internet connectivity or decided to stop working to take care of their families.)
In the meantime, until vaccines are accepted for all children A rapid test for antigens could be the most effective way to avoid cases of this virus. identify them early and ensure that schools open on a regular basis.
There is evidence that Abbott’s BinaxNOW is a widely-available antigen test that is highly sensitive for children in the early years of having symptoms of Covid-19 as per an unpublished study. In children younger than 7 years old, the test was able to detect 100% of cases of coronavirus the researchers report in a paper due out published in The journal Pediatrics.
The study, conducted by researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, included 199 children or young adults who ranged between 2 months and the age of 20. Each participant had at the very least one sign of Covid-19, and were affected for less than one week.
Abbott test Abbott test was a bit less sensitive for older children However, it also produced many false positives for children of all age groups. For children who didn’t carry the infection, anywhere from 8 to 10% tested positive on the test for antigen, scientists found.
“One hundred percent sensitivity in children less than seven years is excellent — outstanding,” said Dr. Alejandro Hoberman, a pediatric physician of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the principal researcher of this study. “The problem was the false positives.”
The results suggest that, while the test may assist day cares and schools be more secure It could be more beneficial in preventing infections than being able to definitively detect them.
Experts believe there is more study required. “It is important data to have, but we need reinforcing studies that replicate what this study has done with larger numbers of children,” the Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatric physician and the founder of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.
Dr. Redlener anticipates that every child will be able to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by the close of the year or in the early part of 2022.
Doctor. Anthony S. Fauci who is Biden’s top medical adviser on the pandemic, told an interview to CNN the day before that the doctor is “cautiously optimistic” that children less than 12 years old would be able to get vaccinations before Thanksgiving.
In the meantime the experts believe that using masks, distancing cleaning of hands, and ventilation — together with quick tests could allow a return full-time , in-person classrooms.
Mara Aspinall, an expert in biomedical diagnostics at Arizona State University, said that children were confident with tests, to the point of taking swabs for themselves. “The perception of testing — that it was expensive, it took a long time, it was tickling your brain — none of that is true anymore,” she explained. “We’ve made such progress on the technology.”
The fact that this type of test is readily available the world, Dr. Redlener stated, “should help reassure schools and parents that it’s safe to return to the classroom.”
— Lauren McCarthy and Emily Anthes
A constant stream of coronavirus cases in Taiwan is straining Taiwan’s healthcare system that is known as one of the most efficient.
“Our intensive-care beds are full every day,” said Dr. Lee Chi-yu, a doctor in the MacKay Memorial Hospital in Taipei. The hospital has been changing regular room for treatment into Covid Wards according to Dr. Lee said, but serious cases continue to come into.
“Medical workers are becoming more and more anxious,” the doctor said.
Officials from the health department in Taiwan announced 472 local illnesses on Friday, extending an ongoing streak of three weeks of daily cases with triple-digit numbers. Before the outbreak Taiwan had been able to stay out of the virus for more than one year. With less than 3.5% of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people vaccinated health experts suggest it may take a while before the spreading of the virus slows substantially.
Taiwan’s efforts to inoculate received an increase on Friday, thanks to the gift to Taiwan of 1.2 millions doses AstraZeneca vaccination from Japan. Taiwan is receiving vaccines from the United States says it will give the vaccine to Taiwan to complete a grant in the amount of 25 million doses for different regions and countries across the globe.
Taiwan is working to reduce hospital burdens by only directing seriously sick patients with Covid-19 to be treated at the hospital. Patients suffering from milder illnesses are being instructed to remain in quarantine hotels or home. Health officials announced last week that only half of the 4,900 hospital rooms devoted to Covid patients were filled.
The facilities are stretched more across the northwestern cities of Taipei as well as New Taipei, where the recent outbreaks were focused. Hospitals in these cities that are overburdened have sent patients to hospitals elsewhere within the island.
Taiwan’s nurse-to doctor ratios are not as high as those of countries with richer standards. Recently, Taipei hospitals have enlisted doctors from all specialties and departments to assist in the frontline tests and treatment.
“They generally have been trained, but maybe they haven’t actually done it before, so they’re out of practice,” said Dr. Chen Liang-fu. spokesperson on behalf of Taipei Doctors Union. “The psychological pressure is very great.”
So so far, Taipei has not had to force medical students to treat Covid patients, as was the case the previous year within United States hospitals.
“We at least don’t want to repeat the same sacrifices that other countries made,” the Dr. Vincent Yi-fong Su. respiratory disease specialist in Taipei City Hospital’s Yang-Ming Campus at Taipei City Hospital.
Travelers who are returning from Britain coming from Portugal and its islands territory that comprise Madeira and Azores will not be in a position to avoid quarantining from the beginning of Tuesday British official said Thursday. making it more difficult for plans of travelers who are hoping to enjoy a relaxing trip this summer.
In the last month, Britain had put Portugal as well as 12 other countries and territories that have coronavirus cases that are low on the “green list,” allowing travelers from Britain to skip the quarantine process upon their return from those areas.
Britons exhausted by a dreadful winter and a lengthy national lockdown were already making their way to Portugal due to the fact that most of the green-listed destinations weren’t accepting tourists or were not already popular destinations. The process involved a variety of types and P.C.R. virus tests, which can be as high as thousands of dollars.
The decision to take the country from the green list was an “safety first approach” Grant Shapps the British transportation secretary, told the BBC on Thursday.
Portugal was still in Britain’s green list because the number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has increased by 37 percent over the last two weeks. British supporters flocked to Porto’s city Porto to watch two of England’s best football teams, Chelsea and Manchester United to play each other at the Champions League final last Saturday. (Chelsea won.)
Portugal has witnessed the spreading of the virus variant that was first recognized in India which is which is now known as Delta the disease, the Mr. Shapps said in an official statement that was released on Thursday.
Officials have not added no new nations to the green listthis decision also brought a setback to Spain especially in its two tourist-dependent archipelagos that include that is, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands which have seen an increase in the number of people with HIV. British tourists comprise the largest number of international visitors to Spain which accounts for 18.3 million out of 84 million people who visited Spain in 2019 prior to the outbreak.
The announcements disappointed British tourists who had already booked travel or believed that travel across Europe was on the rise. The announcement also caused a sigh of dismay on the tourism industry that has been slammed by the epidemic.
In Portugal the vendors were happy to welcome tourists back However, some people in the country were unhappy over foreigners not following local rules, such as wearing masks outside and the 10:30 p.m. curfew.
The decision by British officials comes at a time when cases remain low across Britain although officials have been trying to stop the rise in those with the Delta variant.
Milloni Doshi, a 25-year-old student from India who is scheduled to begin her master’s program this year in Columbia University in New York she has had two doses of the Covid vaccine. However, her vaccination was Covaxin which is a vaccine developed from an Indian manufacturer that is extensively utilized in India.
The vaccine isn’t recognized from the World Health Organization, as required by the university. This is why Columbia has advised her that she needs to be inoculated with an alternative vaccine after she arrives at the campus, however, no one is able to determine for certain if it’s appropriate to do this.
“I am just concerned about taking two different vaccines,” she explained. “They said the application process would be the toughest part of the cycle, but it’s really been all of this that has been uncertain and anxiety inducing.”
Since March, over 400 colleges and universities across the United States have announced vaccine requirements that require students to get immunized against the Covid-19 virus, however the guidelines were designed specifically with students from the United States in mind. They can access the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna as well as Johnson & Johnson vaccines, three of the eight approved from W.H.O., according to the spokesperson for the agency responsible for health.
Many international students are in a state of confusion, particularly located in India and Russia Both of which heavily rely on vaccines made in the United States which haven’t been approved from the W.H.O.