News – PH – The Latest: Vatican defends Pope’s Iraq trip, stadium crowd


VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is defending Pope Francis’ decision to continue his trip to Iraq this weekend despite increasing coronavirus infections there and there concerns about crowds wanting to see him

The Vatican says that health care precautions will be taken and the trip is an “act of love for this country, its people and its Christians”

Francis will visit Iraq from Friday to Monday on his first trip abroad since the pandemic began000 people to celebrate

Coronavirus cases have increased in Iraq over the past month, and infectious disease experts say a high-profile trip by a world leader to a country with a fragile health system is not a good idea

The Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni was asked why the trip could not be postponed for a few months. Bruni stated that Iraq has a predominantly young population, the number of infections compared to the total population was low and the papal events were Iraqi ones Health protocols will follow, including limited participation and social distancing
BRUSSELS – A Belgian virologist says the country is facing a major third surge in COVID-19 cases due to a surge in hospital admissions

Steven Van Gucht of Sciensano, the government’s scientific institution, says, “There is a clear risk that this is the start of a third wave”

He says infections have increased up to 25 percent in the past few days, adding that hospital admissions rose rapidly to 204 people last Friday, after the numbers were between 100 and 150 last month Patients in the intensive care unit increased from about 300 to 410

The government will consider Wednesday whether people over 55 should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, but recent studies have shown that shots can be used for all ages

Coronavirus restrictions have been in place since November, including mandatory outdoor mask wear, night curfews, shopping restrictions, and a ban on unnecessary travel

In Belgium with 11 inhabitants, more than 22000 coronavirus deaths confirmed5 million

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia reported the first cases of the UK variant of the coronavirus

Indonesian Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono says there are two cases in the fourth largest country in the world

Indonesia announced 5th daily712 new cases, bringing the confirmed total to 1347026 increased The total number of confirmed deaths reached 36518

Wiku Adisasmito, spokesman for the National COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force, says cases are falling in Indonesia with enforcement of restrictions on public activities in Java and the Bali Islands

WASHINGTON – A Biden administration official says drug company Merck will help manufacture rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine

The announcement comes as the White House tries to accelerate production of the single-dose vaccine, according to official sources, J&J had unexpected production problems with its vaccine, producing only 39 million doses before the company’s emergency clearing on Saturday well on the way to dispensing 100 million cans by the end of June

Merck’s support should help J&J meet its manufacturing commitments and further expand its offering

NEW DELHI – An estimated 10 million people in India have signed up for the vaccination since the country expanded its vaccination campaign beyond health care and frontline workers on Monday

The Indian Ministry of Health claims that 5 million registrations have been registered in an online system for registrations On average, each registration is for two people to take the recordings, India has more than 200 in the last 24 hours000 people who are older than 60 years or suffer from an underlying disease are vaccinated

As of January, India has administered over 148 million vaccine doses. More than 67 million health workers and 53 million other frontline workers have received the first dose of the vaccine. Nearly 2, 6 million health workers have received both doses, according to the Ministry of Health

In the past two weeks, cases have increased in several states after months of decline. Scientists are concerned about variants of the virus

LONDON – A key researcher behind the AstraZeneca vaccine hopes data from England showing the effectiveness of the shot in older adults will alleviate concerns in European countries that have been slow to adopt the vaccine

Data from England’s mass vaccination program showed that both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines were about 60% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in people over 70 after a single dose This found an analysis released late Monday by the country’s health department also found that both vaccines were about 80% effective at preventing hospitalization in people over 80

Professor Andrew Pollard, the lead researcher in clinical trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the University of Oxford, told the BBC, “Whether you’ve had a Pfizer vaccine or the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, you have a very high level of protection ”

Public Health England made the results of the study available to the public prior to publication in a medical journal. The study was not peer-reviewed

DAKAR, Senegal – Almost 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in the Nigerian capital, Abuja

It is the third and largest shipment from the global COVAX initiative created to ensure that low and middle income countries have fair access to cans

The COVAX program, which missed its goals to get vaccines quickly for the world’s most vulnerable people, has been delivered 3 According to UNICEF and its partners, 94 million doses of AstraZeneca were received by the Serum Institute of India from Mumbai to Abuja. Vaccine made

The delivery is part of a first wave of vaccinations for Nigeria. On Tuesday, the West African nation recorded 156017 cases and 1915 confirmed deaths

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Bosnia has filed a dispute with the international COVAX mechanism about a delay in planned deliveries 10000 vaccines received from neighboring Serbia

Bosnia has threatened to sue the program if vaccines don’t arrive as agreed The country has asked for 1.2 million vaccines that would cover about a third of the population

Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic flew to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo to deliver the AstraZeneca vaccine to the authorities there000 people enough Vucic described the step as an act of solidarity and called for closer cooperation between the Balkan countries

Serbia started vaccinations in January, mostly with Sinopharm and to a lesser extent Pfizer, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority extends travel restrictions to USAK, South Africa and some other countries up to the 14th March to avoid the spread of more contagious new coronavirus variants

The measures were imposed in January after other countries also put restrictions on travel from the UK and South Africa

Pakistan later imposed similar restrictions on travel from Portugal, the Netherlands, Tanzania, Botswana, Colombia, Comoros, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Zambia, Brazil and Mozambique March persist

The latest development came with Pakistan reporting 42 additional deaths and the country’s COVID-19 toll to 12938 increased Pakistan also reported 1163 new cases

BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbia’s epidemiologists have urged the government to institute a state of emergency and strict lockdown to stop a surge in coronavirus infections in the Balkan country

The number of new cases every day has risen sharply from 7 million across the nation, despite a mass vaccination campaign that has already reached 1 million people

The chief epidemiologist Predrag Kon told the state television RTS on Tuesday: “We have to forbid contacts, otherwise we will break and then realize what it means when the health system collapses”

According to health authorities, more than 4000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and the country reports a few thousand new cases every day Serbia has almost 4500 virus-related deaths recorded

Experts have attributed the recent surge to parties and nightclubs that violated virus regulations, as well as ski resorts that stayed open all winter

Serbia has the most people vaccinated with Sinopharm shocks in China, followed by Pfizer, Russia’s Sputnik V, and more recently AstraZeneca

BRUSSELS – According to the European Commission, almost 10% of all warnings for dangerous non-food products sold in the EU market in the past year were linked to COVID-19

The EU executive on Tuesday released data on its alert system designed to remove dangerous items from the market, according to the annual report, 9% of all alerts triggered in 2020 related to coronavirus products “Mostly masks that are designed to protect but don’t. The commission also mentioned disinfectants that contain toxic chemicals or UV disinfectants that expose users to radiation

There were a total of 161 warning messages about masks, 13 warning messages about hand sanitiser and 18 warning messages about UV lamps More than 2200 warnings were exchanged by the 31 participating countries, resulting in 5377 follow-up actions resulted – an increase of more than 20%

TAIPEI, Taiwan – China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign was a surprising success: According to a country-by-country record by The Associated Press, the company has pledged around half a billion doses of its vaccines in more than 45 countries

With only four of China’s many vaccine makers claiming they will be able to produce at least two6 billion doses this year, a large portion of the world’s population will not be vaccinated with the fancy Western vaccines, which have hit the headlines , but with China’s humble, traditionally made shots

Given the lack of public data on China’s vaccines, concerns about their efficacy and safety are still widespread in the countries that depend on them, as well as concerns about what China might want in return for supplies started in more than 25 countries, and the Chinese shots were fired to an additional 11, according to the AP balance sheet, based on independent reports in those countries along with government and corporate announcements

MADRID – Spain’s unemployment rate surpassed 4 million people for the first time in almost five years

The Department of Labor, which released the latest unemployment figures on Tuesday, attributed the surge to the “heavy impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy with “severe restrictions on movement”

In addition to the unemployed, there are almost 900000 people on vacation and around 600000 self-employed without work

Pablo Casado, leader of the opposition People’s Party, said the numbers were a “social disaster” “

BERLIN – Austria’s Prime Minister says his country and Denmark intend to stop relying solely on the European Union for coronavirus vaccines and will work with Israel to produce second generation vaccines

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz plans to travel to Israel on Thursday with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and talk to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about cooperation in vaccine research and production

The EU has been criticized for its slow introduction of vaccines while Israel has vaccinated a large part of its population. Kurz told the Austrian press agency on Tuesday that it was fundamentally right to take a Europe-wide approach to vaccination, but claimed that the European Medicines Agency had been too slow to approve vaccines and pointed to the supply bottlenecks of the companies

He added, “We need to prepare for more mutations and should no longer rely solely on the EU to produce second generation vaccines”

APA reported that Kurz said Austria and Denmark would “no longer be dependent on the EU in the future and will work with Israel to produce second-generation vaccine doses for further coronavirus mutations and jointly explore treatment options”

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced that Muslims who wish to undertake the annual Hajj pilgrimage this year will need to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19

The government says it will consider coronavirus vaccination to be the “primary condition of participation” in the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims who can must do once in their lifetime

The statement did not state whether the Hajj, which traditionally attracts around 2 million Muslims from around the world, would exclude pilgrims from outside the kingdom to prevent contagion

Last year, Saudi officials only allowed a very limited number of pilgrims already in the country to perform the hajj amid the growing pandemic, the decision dealt a devastating blow to millions of believers around the world who have been planning the trip for years and years look forward to it

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The Sri Lankan government announced Tuesday that it had earmarked a small island off the north coast to bury the bodies of those dying of COVID-19

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the health authorities are now preparing rules for a safe burial on the island of Iranaithivu

The government last month approved burials for COVID-19 victims after insisting that groundwater could be contaminated All those who died from the disease were cremated, a rule considered impervious to by many religious beliefs, especially against Muslims, was rejected

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean authorities are expanding contact tracing and safety review in thousands of factories after coronavirus spreads among migrant workers

Lim Seung-kwan, a doctor who leads antivirus efforts in Gyeonggi province near the capital, Seoul, said at least 84 foreigners in Dongducheon city, one of eight locations, over the weekend on Tuesday the province has settled, test stations for migrant workers tested positive

Lim said Gyeonggi also did a conditions inspection in around Nov.000 factories initiated in the region employing migrant workers and living in dormitories

Health officials have stated that the poor working and living conditions of migrant workers, who often live in overcrowded and poorly ventilated shelters, would make them more susceptible to the virus

The infections in Dongducheon emerge after more than 120 migrant workers, mostly from Asian countries including Cambodia and Nepal, tested positive after an outbreak at a plastics factory in the nearby town of Namyangju

South Korea reported 344 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the national case number to 90372 cases and 1606 deaths increased

SAO PAULO – Brazilian health authorities are calling for nationwide lockdowns and curfews because intensive care beds are becoming scarce in hospitals because COVID-19 is more than 1 day a day000 lives in the country claims

“The return of the pandemic in several states is leading to the collapse of their private and public support networks and carries the imminent risk of spreading them to all regions of Brazil,” Brazil’s National Council of Health Secretaries said Monday, adding that the nation is witnessing the worst moment since the beginning of the pandemic

The letter from the council, which represents the country’s 27 health secretaries, proposed lockdowns in cities where ICU beds are not available, as well as curfews between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Less than 4% of the Brazilian population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Almost 260000 people have died from the disease

BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombia became the first country in America to receive a vaccine shipment from the UN on Monday-supported COVAX initiative

The program aims to ensure vaccinations against COVID-19 for the most vulnerable people in the world, but has been hampered by limited global supply and logistical issues

The arrival of 117000 doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in the capital, Bogota, came days after the year-long anniversary of the first coronavirus case discovered in the region
The Pan American Health Organization expects to improve regional access to vaccines through the COVAX effort by the end of the year to bring around 280 million doses to America and the Caribbean

Colombia – the third largest country in terms of population in Latin America – had already started vaccinations and received its first vaccine shipment in mid-February.The government has announced that it will vaccinate 35 million people this year, including hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants and refugees

TORONTO – Canada’s most populous province began vaccinating police officers in front of people aged 80 and over

A Toronto police spokesman said police officers and sergeants who respond to emergency calls that may require medical attention were upgraded to the current stage by the Ontario provincial government on Monday

The provincial government has announced that people over 80 will be vaccinated in the third week of March However, some regions of the province have already started vaccinating these residents while the province is setting up an appointment site

Authorities did not say which key workers to vaccinate, but police started getting doses on Monday

GENEVA – World Emergency Health Organization chief said it was “premature” to believe the pandemic could be stopped by the end of the year, but introducing vaccines could at least help drastically reduce hospital stays and deaths. p>

Dr Michael Ryan said at a press conference on Monday that the world’s unique focus right now should be on keeping COVID-19 transmission as low as possible

“If we’re smart,” he said, “we can finish the hospitalizations and the deaths and tragedy associated with this pandemic by the end of the year”He said the emerging data reassured WHO that many of the approved vaccines appear to help curb transmission.”

But Ryan warned against complacency, saying that if an epidemic unfolds, nothing is guaranteed “Right now the virus is very much in control”

Iraq, Pope Francis, Catholic Church, Vatican City

News – PH – The latest: The Vatican defends the Pope’s trip to Iraq, stadium fair