Israel’s attorney general has warned Benjamin Netanyahu that he cannot single-handedly share the country's surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and that such an important decision cannot be made by the prime minister alone. In an official letter, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit argues that Netanyahu should have consulted the Cabinet for such a plan. The justice ministry released the letter, addressed to the national security adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat, on Monday.
Coronavirus had already wreaked havoc in China, where it was reported first globally in the city of Wuhan, and Italy too had been ravaged by it.
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Pakistan’s civil aviation authority is extending restrictions on travel from the U.K., South Africa and some other countries until March 14 to avoid the spread of more contagious new coronavirus variants. The measures were imposed in January after other countries also applied restrictions on travel from Britain and South Africa. Later Pakistan also imposed similar restrictions on travel from Portugal, Netherlands, Tanzania, Botswana, Columbia, Comoros, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Zambia, Brazil and Mozambique.
The researchers, including those from Public Health England (PHE), compared the rate of hospitalisation and deaths in confirmed COVID-19 patients aged over 80 who were vaccinated more than 14 days before testing positive, with unvaccinated cases.
The move comes as new figures show the jab is effective at reducing hospitalisation and symptomatic Covid in older people.
An upscale Hong Kong shopping centre has moved to end its tenancy agreement with a Chinese restaurant at the centre of a recent coronavirus outbreak, while the city confirmed 13 new infections on Tuesday. Seven of the latest infections were locally transmitted, including four from untraceable sources. Of the six imported cases, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates each accounted for two. More than 10 preliminary-positive infections were recorded, including at least nine that could not be traced.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The planned ousting of Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining from Tsim Sha Tsui’s K11 Musea came as the cluster connected to the eatery had grown to 48 people as of Monday. “The amount of fresh air supply inside Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining was below its license requirement. We looked into the matter seriously and have decided to terminate the tenancy agreement with the restaurant,” a K11 Musea spokeswoman said on Tuesday afternoon. A day earlier, government pandemic adviser Professor Yuen Kwok-yung said the restaurant’s fresh air supply was only a third of the expected amount. The spokeswoman added the restaurant had a separate ventilation system and was not connected to other shops or restaurants in the mall, which she said used a system “close to the highest standards used in hospitals”. The Post has contacted the restaurant for comment. Only hours earlier, Hong Kong’s IT minister said visitors who used the government’s coronavirus risk-exposure app in stores at K11 Musea – not just those who visited the restaurant – had been notified of the need to be tested as soon as possible. But the app in question serves as more of an “electronic logbook” for users than a true contact-tracing device, one health expert has argued, urging the government to create a version that will automatically track users’ movements and mandate its use at high-risk premises. Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit Wing-hang said shoppers who used the government app at 200 stores in the mall had been notified of their exposure risk. “Previously, only those people who had been to Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining and scanned the code … would be notified,” Sit told a local radio show. “But as the situation developed, and after taking expert advice into account, we decided to notify customers at the other shops as well.” Sit urged anyone receiving a notification to go in for screening as soon as possible, later adding that updating the app to include notifications for mandatory testing would take one to two weeks. Meanwhile, among Tuesday’s untraceable cases was an employee of the University of Science and Technology whose case could be related to a patient who was confirmed with the coronavirus in Shanghai on Sunday. The university employee had meetings on February 23 and 25 with the patient who had arrived in Hong Kong from Shenzhen on February 17. The latest additions brought the city’s tally of infections to 11,032, with 200 related deaths. The “super-spreader” cluster at the Chinese restaurant has raised concerns over the efficacy of the government’s risk-exposure app. Although one of the conditions of relaxing social-distancing measures was mandating all venues to display a QR-code so customers could log their visits through the app, the government also said visitors could write down their details instead. Bookings for Hong Kong’s first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations to open on Wednesday As of Monday, 15 people who visited Mr Ming’s Chinese Restaurant remained untraceable. Officials earlier suggested contact details left by the diners could be faked. Respiratory medicine specialist Dr Leung Chi-chiu on Tuesday said the government should quickly introduce a feature on the “Leave Home Safe” app that automatically recorded where users had been, including on public transport, and incentivise more people to use it. He added that the government app should also include a record of users’ contact details to help health authorities track them down in the event of a possible outbreak. Names, addresses and phone numbers are not currently necessary to sign up. “The ‘Leave Home Safe’ app should not be mistaken for a contact-tracing tool. It’s merely an electronic logbook for users to keep track of their whereabouts and receive notifications if they were at the same location as an infected person at the same time,” he said. “The app should be made mandatory in high-risk venues such as bars and karaoke lounges to enhance contact-tracing efforts. Authorities should also provide alternatives to the app, like electronic tokens, so those who do not have smartphones can also be traced.” The restaurant industry, meanwhile, said it was difficult to verify the contact details customers leave if they choose not to use the government app. Opinion: Beach, please: when will the tide turn on Hong Kong’s coastal closures? “We don’t have the manpower to manually check people’s identity cards and phone numbers. Doing so could lead to many arguments and fights,” said Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades. “We’re not in charge of enforcement. The easiest solution would be mandating the public to use the ‘Leave Home Safe’ app.” Restaurateur Simon Wong Kit-lung, who runs 39 eateries under the LH Group, agreed it was not the industry’s responsibility to check customers’ contact details. “All we can do is make sure that customers have filled in the form completely and trust that the information they wrote down is correct,” he said. It‘s important for customers to understand that this is a measure to help protect public health. Ultimately, they have to think about whether they want to be contacted if they’re at risk of infection.” Scepticism over Sinovac jab as Philippines rolls out vaccination programme Separately, Chinese University respiratory health expert Professor David Hui Shu-cheong suggested people who had to travel back and forth between Europe and Hong Kong should choose the shots jointly developed by the German firm BioNTech and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, as those had been proven to protect against coronavirus variants from Europe and South Africa. Registration for BioNTech shots opens on Wednesday. Hui said cases of adverse reactions after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine were likely to have been caused by unconscious reactions in the nervous system, such as rising heart rates due to a fear of needles or blood. “If you are afraid of needles, maybe don’t look at the needle,” he said on another radio programme. “There’s no need to worry, the needle is there to help you develop immunity.” Not eating breakfast was unlikely to have anything to do with people experiencing discomfort after the shots, Hui said, responding to a previous claim by Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: bookings for Hong Kong’s first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations to open on Wednesday, with jabs starting next weekChina using Covid-19 as ‘yet another way to control journalists’, media group saysThis article Hong Kong’s K11 Musea moves to evict restaurant after Covid-19 outbreak; city confirms 13 new infections first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The former Indian international shared the photo of him getting the dose on social media and was left impressed by the hospital staff's professionalism
The attack in Nigeria early last month was just one of many on health workers globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year. Researchers found that about 400 of those attacks were related to COVID-19, many motivated by fear or frustration, underscoring the dangers surrounding health care workers at a time when they are needed most.
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago’s airport in late January, and Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press.
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