COVID scare at London G7 as India delegates test positive

A second wave of the COVID pandemic is continuing to have a devastating effect on India, which has seen oxygen supplies run perilously low and crematoriums operating non-stop.

India’s government is facing growing pressure to impose a nationwide lockdown to stem the devastating coronavirus surge.

UK still looking at COVID booster shot options

British officials are currently looking at which COVID-19 vaccines would offer the best booster shot for vulnerable people later this year but no decisions have been taken yet.

Britain is quickly rolling out vaccines and has been the second quickest country in the world to give a first COVID-19 shot to at least half its adult population.

The government is already assessing the possible need for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for the elderly and vulnerable, to be given in the autumn, after all adults are given their initial two-shot regime.

“The clinicians haven’t yet made their decision when they will need to boost, whether to give more immunity to the most vulnerable, to increase the durability of the protection, or to deal with a variant,” vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News.

 

India’s G7 delegation in self-isolation after COVID infections

The entire delegation of India to the Group of Seven summit in London is in self-isolation after two members tested positive for COVID-19, the UK government has said.

“We deeply regret that foreign minister Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person but will now attend virtually, but this is exactly why we have put in place strict COVID protocols and daily testing,” Reuters reported a senior diplomat as saying.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar did not test positive for the virus, Sky News reporter Joe Pike said on Twitter. Jaishankar was pictured meeting British interior minister Priti Patel on Tuesday.

WTO mulling intellectual property waivers for vaccines

Ambassadors from World Trade Organization countries plan to discuss trade rules protecting the technological know-how behind COVID-19 vaccines amid growing pressure on rich nations to relax them as a way to help developing countries fight the pandemic, The Associated Press reported.

The WTO’s General Council was taking up a temporary waiver for intellectual property protections that South Africa and India first proposed in October. The idea has gained support in the developing world and among some progressive lawmakers in the West.

Authors of the proposal, which has faced resistance from many countries with influential pharmaceutical industries, have been revising it in hopes of making it more palatable.

IPL’s foreign cricket stars scramble to escape India

Cricket authorities in Australia and New Zealand rushed to evacuate star players from COVID-hit India, AFP reported, after the lucrative Indian Premier League was abandoned.

Cricket Australia said plans were under way to fly 38 players and staff – including superstars Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins – to the relative safety of the Maldives or Sri Lanka in the next “two to three days.”

The Indian Premier League, the world’s richest Twenty20 cricket tournament, was suspended on Tuesday and players were sent home, as India battles a massive surge in coronavirus cases.

India reported one in four COVID deaths globally last week: WHO

India accounted for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week and one in four of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

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