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