Iran sets new record for coronavirus infections amid holiday surge - Arab News

by arabnews 04/07/2021

TEHRAN: Iran has shattered its daily record for new coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, with 20,954 new cases reported on Wednesday. The country is in the midst of one of the most severe surges of the coronavirus to date, following a two-week public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which drove millions to travel to vacation spots across the country


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(Reuters) - Italy has recommended that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS EUROPE * European countries should make their own decisions about how to handle the risk of rare blood clots from AstraZeneca's vaccine, based on prevailing infection rates and the availability of alternative vaccines, the EU drugs regulator said. * Germany is about to start bilateral negotiations with Russia to obtain its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, a source told Reuters. * Norway hopes to gradually unwind many restrictions by the end of June, but must see a decline in infection rates and hospitalisations before it does so, its prime minister said. AMERICAS * The highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom has become the most common strain of the virus in the United States. * The Biden administration is in extended discussions with U.S. airlines and other travel industry groups to provide technical guidance for vaccine passports. * Brazil has recorded its first confirmed case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa. * Chile's health regulator has approved emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company CanSino. ASIA-PACIFIC * India reported a record 115,736 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a 13-fold increase in just over two months, raising pressure on the government to expand its vaccination campaign. * Taiwan accused China of using an offer of vaccines to lure Paraguay to break off diplomatic relations. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * Algeria will start producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September in partnership with Moscow, and part of the production will be intended for African countries. * Tunisia will extend its nighttime curfew hours and will prevent all gatherings and weekly markets, as intensive care units near maximum capacity in most hospitals. * Dubai will offer vaccines to official representatives of countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, due to be held from October this year to March 2022. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * Moderna Inc Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said the company should be able to provide a booster shot for protection against variants of the coronavirus by the end of this year. * The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc. * One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems. ECONOMIC IMPACT * Federal Reserve officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the U.S. central bank's latest policy meeting showed. * The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February as the nation's economic activity rebounded more quickly than that of its global rivals and could remain elevated this year. * The S&P 500 and the Dow closed modestly higher and Treasury yields reversed slight losses after the Federal Reserve said that economic recovery remains far from complete despite showing signs of progress. (Compiled by Ramakrishnan M. and Juliette Portala; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Anil D'Silva)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on both women's and men's employment – but at different stages of the crisis due to the gender segregation of economic activities in many countries. UNCTAD analysis shows that early measures to curb the spread of the virus first hit jobs held predominantly by women, such as personal services. At the outset of the pandemic, a higher prevalence of the virus correlated with a higher rate of female unemployment (Figure 1).

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On the streets of Rome, frustrations with pandemic curbs boiled over this week as desperate protesters, many of them restaurant owners and small-business owners, complained that restrictions and repeated lockdowns aimed at suppressing the transmission of the coronavirus are ruining them.  "We can no longer go on like this," 51-year-old pizzeria owner Ermes Ferrari told reporters. "I just want to work." Outside the parliament in the Italian capital, protesters Tuesday called for an immediate end to Italy's grinding lockdown. At one point they clashed with riot police.