Germany plans travel ban, WHO team starts Wuhan investigation & other Covid news

(Representational Image) walk with umbrellas past stores in Wuhan on 30 April | Photo: Qilai Shen | Bloomberg
Wuhan on 30 April 2020 (Representational Image) | Photo: Qilai Shen | Bloomberg

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 10.2 crore cases and more than 22 lakh deaths.

While New York has undercounted Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes by thousands, Germany is likely to impose a total ban on travellers from Portugal, Brazil, South Africa and Britain over the new virus strains. And the WHO-led team of experts investigating the origins of the virus began meeting with Chinese scientists Friday.

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

Germany to push ahead with Covid travel ban plan as EU tries to coordinate rules

Germany is likely to impose a near-total ban on passengers arriving from Britain, Portugal. Brazil and South Africa over the new strains of Covid-19, reports The Guardian.

The report highlights the remarks of German interior minister, Horst Seehofer, who said, “To protect our population, there should be no entry from regions where these variants of the virus are rampant.”

EU interior ministers, however, met to discuss a “more coordinated approach to international travel restrictions”.

“EU governments are “totally convinced” the bloc’s internal borders must remain open, but equally believe it must be possible to limit non-essential travel when necessary,” the report states.

Germany has reported cases 21,94,562 cases and 56,220 deaths.

Also read: India ranks 86 of 98 countries in Covid response index, New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan in top 3

New York severely undercounted virus deaths in nursing homes, report says

New data from New York’s Health Department has revealed that Covid-19-related deaths of state nursing home residents were undercounted by thousands, reports The New York Times.

The government’s new data adds more than 3,800 deaths to the tally, increasing the toll number by 40 per cent in nursing facilities.

“…the recalculation in the number of nursing home deaths illustrates how unprepared the nursing home industry was in the first and deadliest weeks of the pandemic,” the report reveals.

The report quotes Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried as saying, “This is shocking and unconscionable.”

US has reported 2,63,38,607 cases and 4,43,769 deaths.

WHO-led team in Wuhan probing Covid origins meet Chinese scientists

The World Health Organization-led team of experts investigating the origins of the virus began meeting with Chinese scientists Friday, reports Reuters.

The experts also plan to visit laboratories, markets and hospitals in the city.

The report quotes the remarks of virologist Marion Koopmans, who is among the team of scientists: “First face to face meeting with our colleagues. Corrections: facemask to facemask given the medical restrictions. Discussing our visiting program,” she had tweeted on Friday.

The group will visit the seafood market at the centre of the initial outbreak and is likely to stay for two weeks.

China has reported 89,378 cases and 4,636 deaths.

Also read: Mexico overtakes India to have world’s third most Covid deaths

Mexicans want more information on president down with Covid-19

Mexicans have been demanding news about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s condition after he tested positive for the virus earlier this week, reports Associated Press.

“…the country has grown accustomed to waking to López Obrador as he conducts marathon news conferences every morning, and his public absence is spurring calls for the president who touts the transparency of his administration to share more about his own health,” the report highlights.

It also quotes the remarks of Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell who said, “Not just now, but throughout the president’s whole recovery period, we are not going to reveal any clinical information.”

This has, however, not gone down well with several people who’ve called the withholding of information “unsettling”.  Adriana Báez Carlos of the National Autonomous University even argued that the president’s health is a state affair.

Mexico has reported 18,25,519 cases and 1,55,145 deaths.

Malaysian government urged to lift quarantine rules for vaccinated Singaporeans

The Malaysian government is expected to start a discussion with Singapore to allow the entry into the country of those who have been vaccinated without the need for quarantine, reports The Straits Times.

“Malaysia Tourist Guides Council president Jimmy Leong said it is important for the government to kick-start this discussion as this is critical for the recovery of the local economy,” the report states. Leong also said that the move will be a crucial one for both countries.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels Johor state chapter chairman Ivan Teo also noted that at least 14 hotels have shut down since the beginning of the pandemic.

Malaysia has reported 1,98,208 cases and 717 deaths.

What else we are reading:

The pandemic has been an economic disaster for women. Some took advantage of it: The Washington Post

Delays in Covid-19 vaccine shipments slow down campaign in Spain El País

Also read: US, EU’s immunisation drive stumbles amid vaccine shortages & other Covid news


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