Vaccine woes in Philippines, pandemic takes ‘wind out of Dutch politics’ & other Covid news

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Quezon City, Manila on 1 March 2021 | Photo: Veejay Villafranca | Bloomberg
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Quezon City, Manila on 1 March 2021 | Photo: Veejay Villafranca | Bloomberg

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 11.4 crore cases and more than 2.5 lakh deaths.

The Philippines began the biggest vaccination drive in the country’s history on 1 March, political analysts in Netherlands say that the coronavirus pandemic has “completely taken the wind out of Dutch politics” and even as coronavirus infections in Alberta, Canada are increasing, the province could move into the next phase of reopening post coronavirus lockdown.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Philippines starts vaccination drive amid woes around supply

The Philippines began the biggest vaccination drive in the country’s history on 1 March. Even though it has recorded the second largest Covid-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia, Philippines is the last nation to have started its inoculation programme, reports The Straits Times.

There are concerns over vaccine supply and lack of support for the government’s vaccination programme.

The country had secured almost 148 million vaccine doses — it has a population of 107 million plus. However, the government still has to close the supply deal on when these doses will arrive.

Minister Carlito Galvez said, “Let’s not wait for the best vaccine. There’s no such thing. The best vaccine is the one that’s safe and effective — and arrives early.”

Philippines has recorded 5,76,352 cases of Covid-19 and 12,318 deaths.

Also read: Lower-income countries slashed education budgets by 65 per cent due to Covid-19 pandemic

Covid takes ‘wind out of Dutch politics’ 

Political analysts in the Netherlands say that the coronavirus pandemic has “completely taken the wind out of Dutch politics”.

They predict a few changes in the coalition government after the upcoming March elections, reports The Guardian.

“Analysts said the limited relaxation represented a compromise between the need to continue controlling the virus and the imperatives of politics,” said the report.

The Netherlands has reported 10,88,690 cases of Covid-19 and 15,563 deaths.

What living with long Covid in Lagos, Nigeria looks like 

Generally, citizens in Nigeria understand Covid-19 to be a virus which causes mild illness, a few weeks after which most patients recover. However, with an increasing number of patients experiencing longer Covid-19 symptoms, it has ‘complicated’ the understanding of this pandemic, reports Mail and Guardian.

“The lack of a coordinated national policy for understanding and managing long Covid could cause a public health crisis,” said the report.

Nigeria has recorded 1,55,657 cases of Covid-19 and 1,907 deaths.

Pandemic widens gap in Japan’s clothing business

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the divide between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in the retail apparel sector in Japan. This comes as a higher number of people prefer ‘reasonably priced functional’ clothes over traditional business apparel, reports The Japan Times.

“Men’s business wear and luxury apparel retailers continue to struggle with a decline in sales that began even before the pandemic as the country’s working population decreases in the graying nation,” said the report.

Japan has recorded 4,31,740 cases of Covid-19 and 7,860 deaths.

Covid restrictions in Alberta, Canada to be relaxed despite fears

Even as coronavirus infections in Alberta, Canada are increasing, the province could move into the next phase of reopening post coronavirus lockdown, reports The Globe and Mail.

This decision is guided by the government’s reliance on hospital admission numbers which have been decreasing for the past two months.

This move is expected to come even though new infections have been increasing for the past two weeks. At the same time, hospital admissions continue to decline but “these numbers can lag behind new infections.”

Canada has recorded 8,66,503 cases of Covid-19 and 21,994 deaths.

What else we are reading: 

UAE Covid cases decrease 22% as vaccination peaks: The Khaleej Times

Eviction orders being issued despite UK government Covid pledge: The Guardian

Also read: Roald Dahl would want you to get vaccinated — he told me himself


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