Australia has recorded the first local case of Covid-19 in more than two weeks after a doctor tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting restrictions on area hospitals and urgent contact tracing of its patients.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, the prime minister of the state of Queensland, said that last week the anonymous doctor treated two patients who had recently returned to Australia and had tested positive for the UK variant.
“We know that this doctor, who tested these two COVID-positive patients, was in the hospital at the time. Now, he developed symptoms, ”Palaszczuk said, quoted by Reuters. It was Australia’s first local infection since February 24.
As officials seek to determine the size of the outbreak, Palaszczuk said, all hospitals in the state capital will be closed to visitors. Authorities have yet to determine how many people the doctor treated before testing positive.
Australia has reported just over 29,000 coronavirus infections and 909 Covid-19 deaths, far fewer than many developed countries.
Russia reported 9,908 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, including 1,600 in Moscow, bringing its total case count to 4,380,525 since the pandemic began, Reuters reports.
The government’s coronavirus task force also said 475 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 91,695.
India to review Oxford vaccine side effects amid blood clot fears
India A review of the side effects of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is to begin after several countries suspended its distribution for fear it was causing blood clots in otherwise healthy recipients.
The World Health Organization has said there is no reason to stop using the vaccine, but Denmark, Norway and Iceland have stopped its use as a precautionary measure. India has so far distributed at least 28 million injections in a vast vaccination program. Most of these have been AstraZeneca vaccines, which are produced at the Serum Institute of India.
At least 2 million people were vaccinated on Friday alone, as Covid-19 cases increased in different states of India after weeks of decline.
“We are looking at all adverse events, particularly serious adverse events such as deaths and hospitalizations. We will come back if we find something that worries us, ”NK Arora, a member of India’s national working group on Covid-19, told AFP.
Arora said that “there was no immediate problem of concern as the number of adverse events (in India) is very, very low. We are reviewing (adverse events that were reported) to see if there were any blood clotting problems. “
“Until yesterday there were 59 or 60 deaths, and they were all coincidental,” he said, adding that the hospitalization cases were being reexamined.
“In fact, there is a real effort on our part that once the complete investigation is done, put its results in the public domain, on the website of the Ministry of Health,” added Arora.
the Philippines has detected its first case of the variant of the coronavirus identified for the first time in Brazil, Reuters reports citing the country’s Ministry of Health.
A ministry statement said a Filipino returning from Brazil had tested positive for the P.1 variant after 752 samples were sequenced in the center of the genome.
The ministry also reported 59 new B117 variant infections first detected in Britain and 32 cases of the B1351 variant discovered in South Africa. This brings the cases for those variants to 177 and 90, respectively.
Infections are on the rise again in the Philippines, which has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia. The country began a mass vaccination program on March 1.
The Health Ministry reported 5,000 new coronavirus cases, the largest single-day increase in more than six months and an additional 72 deaths. Confirmed cases have risen to 616,611 while confirmed deaths have reached 12,766.
Thousands of UK businesses sign up for rapid testing program, says health secretary
Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, has said that more than 48,000 companies have signed up to offer rapid coronavirus tests to their employees, a move he said would be a “big step forward” for companies to “get back to business. stand”.
Rapid and periodic coronavirus testing is seen by the government as key to preventing workplace outbreaks, and testing is now available to all companies. In January it emerged that he had spent £ 800 million on tests which were later found in a pilot to give incorrect results up to 60% of the time.
In announcing the latest scheme, Hancock said:
We have built a huge asymptomatic testing system from scratch, which is an essential part of our plan to reopen cautiously.
Rapid tests have been implemented on a large scale in a variety of industries, and it’s great that now more than 48,000 companies have signed up to offer quick tests to employees. This is a huge step forward for businesses to recover and help keep people safe.
Since approximately one in three people with the virus have no symptoms, regular testing is essential to monitor the virus and identify new variants of concern as we work to restore normal life.
I strongly encourage all businesses to register their interest before the March 31 deadline.
This is Damien Gayle kicking off the blog live from London. If you have any comments, advice, or suggestions on what we can cover today, feel free to write to me, either by email at [email protected], or by direct message on Twitter at @damiengayle.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism