World Coronavirus Dispatch: Is Pandemic the biggest news story ever?

A Covid-19 testing station outside Seoul Station in Dec. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
China plans cold-chain bridge for vaccines to Africa

After a dent during the pandemic, to regain some credibility and influence, China plans to donate vaccines to those countries who can't afford them. As part of the plan, Beijing is setting up a logistics network, which includes a cold-chain air bridge from Shenzhen to Ethiopia to ship and distribute vaccines to Africa. China is seeking to change the coronavirus origins narrative, alleging the virus may have originated outside the country. One paper even concluded that the virus orgins link back to India. Egypt has already received two shipments of 100,000 vaccine shots from China's Sinopharm. Morocco is using a Chinese vaccine to inoculate 80 per cent of its adults. Sudan too has ordered 8.4 million vaccines from the country. Read more

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 79,845,538

Change Over Yesterday: 449,507

Global deaths: 1,750,617

Nations with most cases: US (18,761,365), India (10,169,118), Brazil (7,448,560), Russia (2,963,290), France (2,604,595).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Pope Francis calls for equitable vaccine access

In his annual Christmas address, Pope Francis called for equitable access of vaccines for the humanity, a goal which he said will only be met if the global leaders and international agencies unite. He also urged countries to shun nationalism and share vaccines for the good of people. "We cannot allow the various forms of nationalism closed in on themselves to prevent us from living as the truly human family that we are,” the pope said. As countries roll-out immunisation drives, there is growing concern that the developing world and poor nations will be left behind, rendering millions vulnerable to the raging pandemic. Read more

Rising demand for Iranian traditional medicine

Iran is struggling to procure vaccines due to the US sanctions even as pandemic crisis continues to worsen. In this backdrop, the demand for ancient medicines is growing in the country, a trend which is proving contentious. Emdedded deep in the culture, the widespread popularity of these medicines, which some believe is a cure for Covid-19, is putting the conventional drugs on the back seat. Health authorities have made clear they do not recognise overuse of these medicines. Read more

Scientists suspect a culprit behind vaccine allergies

Scientist are suspecting a component of vaccine, polyethylene glycol, for cause of allergic reactions after taking the jab. Even though the investigations are going on as to why is this happening, Pfizer said it is monitoring the developments closely and prescribed quick medical care incase of any adverse reaction. A doctor who has taken Moderna vaccine too has reportedly developed severe allregy and later recovered after treatment. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on mRNA technology, where a thread of messenger induces virus-like protein spikes, that trigger immune response. Polyethylene glycol sorrounds the mRNA. Read more

Only World wars come close to Covid for news coverage

The pandemic, and the devstating impact on the lives and livelihoods, might just be the biggest covered event ever in the history, an analysis by the Economist shows. Only world war comes close in the news coverage. During the year, both New York Times and Economist have published nearly half of the total articles which included "coronavirus or Covid-19." During the world wars, the share of Economist stories referring to “war” hit 53 per cent in 1915 and 54 per cent in 1941. For the New York Times, it stayed at 39 per cent in 1918 and 37 per cent in 1942. Read more

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