World Coronavirus Dispatch: Why UK is delaying second dose of vaccines

America's leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has said recently that he is not in favour of delaying the second dose. (Bloomberg)
Loss of smell and taste may be lasting in some patients

One of the first likely symptoms of Covid-19 is the loss of smell, that is sooner or later accompanied by loss of taste. Many patients experience this during the initial stages of getting infected and recover as they test negative. But, in some cases, the loss is lasting several months and even beyond. Even as research is going on to find out exactly why this is happening, as more and more people get infected experts fear that the pandemic may leave many with a permanent loss of smell and taste. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 84,602,857

Change Over Yesterday: 638,916

Global deaths: 1,836,136

Nations with most cases: US (20,429,852), India (10,323,965), Brazil (7,716,405), Russia (3,179,898), France (2,700,480).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

How Taiwan plans to stay Covid-free

Taiwan is among the tiny few nations that have written success stories in the pandemic, while the virus wrecked havoc across the world. As countries roll-out vaccines,  many are increasingly under pressure from the public to relax restrictions and also the focus turned to sagging economies. But Taiwan's officials feel they aren't under any pressure to open its economy in haste, only to later realise that it was too soon. Strict quarantine rules and universal mask wearing were key to the island nation stamping out the outbreak. Once there is enough evidence that current vaccines offer enduring immunity, “only then can we really start to relax a bit,” the country's health official was quoted as saying in the story. Read here

Fresh wave is testing South Korea’s no-lockdown strategy

South Korea has so far contained the sporadic outbreaks with out any draconian measures, including a lockdown, with effective testing and contact tracing, which many feel as one of the best in the world. But the strategy is losing its steam, thanks to the relentless spike in cases in last few weeks. The spike particularly alarming because of widespread nature of infections through out the country as compared to earlier outbreaks which more or less came from specific region or groups. The colder weather is making things worse as more people spend time indoors, something which the the virus relishes. Read more

Virus chased nursing homes across the world

Almost a year into the pandemic, there is enough data and evidence now to come to the conclusion that some sections of the society are hit hard by the virus. One such group is the nursing home residents around the world, the most vulnerable ones to the virus with co-morbidities and other ailments. An analysis by the Wall Street Journal in about 24 countries revealed that as many as 233,000 deaths have occurred in elder-care facilities. This is about a third of total Covid-19 deaths in these nations. The analysis also finds that nations moved at snail-pace in effectively containing the outbreaks in these care homes. Read here

Why is Britain delaying the second dose of vaccines

England is delaying the second dose of coronavirus vaccines to those who received the first dose, saying the move is to ensure more number of people receive the first dose as quickly as possible. However, some experts say it has created chaos among those who got the first dose. America's leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has said recently that he is not in favour of delaying the second dose. Some other scientists feel with a new variant spreading rapidly, vaccinating more people – possibly with less efficacy – is better than giving second doses to fewer people. Read more

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