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A New COVID-19 Challenge: Mutations Rise along with Cases

The race against the virus that causes COVID-19 has taken a new turn: Mutations are rapidly popping up, and the longer it takes to vaccinate people, the more likely it is that a variant that can elude current tests, treatments and vaccines could emerge.

The coronavirus is becoming more genetically diverse, and health officials say the high rate of new cases is the main reason. Each new infection gives the virus a chance to mutate as it makes copies of itself, threatening to undo the progress made so far to control the pandemic.

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British Virus Variant Prompts New Measures in Belgium

Belgium on Monday prepared to fight the spread of the British variant of the coronavirus after outbreak reports in schools and retirement homes of the strain believed to be more infectious.

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Disneyland Paris Postpones Re-Opening to April

Disneyland Paris, Europe's biggest tourist attraction, said Monday it now expects to reopen on April 2, seven weeks later than planned, because of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

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Tens of Thousands Skip India's Vaccine Drive Launch

India on Monday stepped up efforts to bolster trust in coronavirus vaccines after it was revealed that nearly a third of those invited to get jabs at the launch of a nationwide drive failed to turn up.

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World Facing 'Catastrophic' Moral Failure on Vaccines, Says WHO Chief

The world is on the "brink of a catastrophic moral failure" if rich countries hog Covid-19 vaccine doses while the poorest suffer, the head of the WHO said Monday.

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China Locks Down Another Three Million after Travelling Salesman Spreads Virus

Nearly three million people were put under lockdown in China Monday after a surge in coronavirus cases linked to a travelling salesman in the country's northeast.

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Emirates Airline Vaccinates Staff against Covid-19

Dubai-based airline Emirates on Monday launched a coronavirus vaccination programme for its staff based in the UAE, seeking to bolster the tourism sector.

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Malawi Imposes First Lockdown Measures as Virus Flares

Malawi is set to roll out a first set of anti-coronavirus restrictions this week, the president said, after overruling a court ban on lockdown measures to tackle a surge in cases.

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France, UK Boost Vaccine Campaigns, Britain Shuts Travel Corridors

France and Britain on Monday joined a growing list of nations starting mass vaccinations for all elderly citizens as London began quarantining arrivals to try and halt the spread of a new Covid-19 variant. 

The French drive aims to cover all people over 75 and comes after Brazil and India, which figure among the worst-affected countries, administered their first jabs over the weekend.

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Israel Trades Pfizer Doses for Medical Data in Vaccine Blitz

After sprinting ahead in the race to inoculate its population against the coronavirus, Israel has struck a deal with Pfizer, promising to share vast troves of medical data with the international drug giant in exchange for the continued flow of its hard-to-get vaccine.

Proponents say the deal could allow Israel to become the first country to vaccinate most of its population, while providing valuable research that could help the rest of the world. But critics say the deal raises major ethical concerns, including possible privacy violations and a deepening of the global divide that enables wealthy countries to stockpile vaccines as poorer populations, including Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza, have to wait longer to be inoculated.

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