COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | 'Start vaccination of health workers & older people in all countries': Ghebreyesus

12 March 2021 - 07:27 By TimesLIVE
A Palestinian girl has her temperature taken by a health worker amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Gaza City on March 11 2021.
A Palestinian girl has her temperature taken by a health worker amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Gaza City on March 11 2021.

March 12 2021 - 15:41

Italy to impose nationwide coronavirus lockdown over Easter weekend

Italy will be placed under a nationwide lockdown over the Easter weekend for the second year running, a draft decree law seen by Reuters said on Friday, underlining the struggle to stem a fresh surge in coronavirus cases.

Non-essential shops will be shuttered nationwide from April 3-5. On those days, Italians will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, health or emergency reasons.

March 12 2021 - 13:06

Unafraid but cautious: climbers return to Everest after Covid-19 closure

Hundreds of climbers are set to return to Mount Everest for the first time next month under strict conditions, government officials and mountaineers said, as the world's tallest peak reopens after a year closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 300 foreign climbers were likely to attempt to scale the 8,849-metre (29,031-feet) mountain in the peak climbing season beginning in April, tourism department official Mira Acharya said, compared with a record 381 climbers who attempted the famed summit in the same period in 2019.

“This is ... despite the one-week quarantine requirement and certificate showing the climber had tested negative for the virus,” said Acharya.

March 12 2021 - 13:05

Americans seek compensation for failed Covid-19 treatments from US fund

In March of last year, Steve Cicala took his wife, Susan, to the emergency room at Clara Maass Medical Center in New Jersey to treat a worsening cough and fever, unaware she had Covid-19.

As her breathing and blood pressure deteriorated, she was given azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine and put on a ventilator. Eleven days after being admitted to the same hospital where she had worked for years as a nurse, Susan went into cardiac arrest and died at age 60.

Steve Cicala is now the first person known to be pursuing a Covid-19 claim with a decade-old US government fund that has up to $30 billion that can be used to compensate for serious injuries or deaths caused by treatments or vaccines in the fight against the pandemic.

March 12 2021 - 12:58

Covid-19 can linger in the gut for up to seven months - new study

For millions of Covid-19 survivors, the common question is always how long will the symptoms and the viral load last?

While for many with mild illness symptoms the virus often clears within a few weeks, a new study by US researchers has revealed that it may linger in the gut up to seven months after Covid-19 symptoms have disappeared. 

Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City detected the virus in some patients long after their symptoms had disappeared, including those who never had gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea.

March 12 2021 - 12:56

Algeria finds 13 with coronavirus variant first seen in Nigeria, 7 with variant tied to Britain

Algeria recorded its first 13 cases of the coronavirus variant first discovered in Nigeria and also tested positive seven other people for the variant first identified in Britain, state research centre Pasteur Institute said on Thursday.

The 13 cases were detected in Algiers and other southern and eastern provinces, it said in a statement.

March 12 2021 - 12:56

Brazil hospitals pushed to limit as Covid-19 death toll soars

Hospitals in Brazil's main cities are reaching capacity, health officials warned, as the country recorded the world's highest Covid-19 death toll over the past week, triggering tighter restrictions on Thursday in its most populous state.

Intensive care wards for treating Covid-19 patients have reached critical occupancy levels over 90% in 15 of 27 state capitals, according to biomedical center Fiocruz.

In Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, the main reference hospital for COVID-19 stopped admitting new cases because all its ICU beds were taken. A Reuters photographer saw patients on respirators crowding emergency rooms.

March 12 2021 - 12:54

Denmark, Norway and Iceland suspend AstraZeneca Covid shots after blood clot reports

Health authorities in Denmark, Norway and Iceland on Thursday suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine shots following reports of the formation of blood clots in some people who had been vaccinated.

Austria earlier stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.

Still, the European medicine regulator EMA benefits said the vaccine's benefits outweighed its risks and could continue to be administered.

March 12 2021 - 12:52

Tanzanian envoy denies Magufuli in bad health, but opposition leader says he's in India with Covid-19

Tanzania's President John Magufuli is in good health and working normally, one of his diplomats has told a broadcaster in Namibia, countering reports he had been flown to hospital in Kenya and then India in a critical condition with Covid-19.

Magufuli, 61, who is Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptic, has not been seen in public since Feb. 27.

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has cited medical and security sources for information that the president was flown to the private Nairobi Hospital in neighbouring Kenya and then on to India in a coma.

March 12 2021 - 12:51

Mozambique to receive extra 1.7 million Covid-19 vaccines by May

Mozambique expects to receive 1.7 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines by May from various bilateral sources, its prime minister said on Thursday.

Mozambique kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination program on Monday after receiving a donation of 200,000 doses from the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) last month.

The government aims to inoculate around 60,000 health workers in the country of about 30 million, nearly half of which are adults. It wants to vaccinate 16 million people by 2022. So far, 15,000 people have been vaccinated.

March 12 2021 - 09:50

South Africa's drugs regulator to start assessing Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine

South Africa's medicines regulator SAHPRA said on Friday that it had received documentation for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac.It added in a statement that it would now start evaluating the data and assessing the efficacy of the vaccine.


March 12 2021 - 09:02

Biden lays out next phase of Covid fight, urges vigilance in national televised speech

President Joe Biden said on Thursday he would direct US states to make all adults eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by May 1 and urged Americans in a televised address to stay vigilant against the virus, hours after he signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law.

In a forceful but sombre speech from the White House on the first anniversary of the pandemic lockdown, Biden said he was working to speed Covid-19 vaccinations to create a greater sense of normalcy in the country by the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

March 12 2021 - 07:25

'Start vaccination of health workers & older people in all countries': Ghebreyesus