The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 is at 12,72,097 (till 6 p.m. on Friday) through 24,397 sessions, as per a provisional report of the Health Ministry.
The Ministry added that 267 cases of Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) have been reported till 6 p.m.
Here are live updates:
Hong Kong locks down thousands for compulsory COVID-19 testing
Hong Kong’s government locked down an area of Kowloon peninsula on January 23, saying its 10,000 residents must stay home until all of them have been tested for the new coronavirus and results largely determined.
The government said there were 70 buildings in the “restricted area” of Jordan and that it aims to finish the process within about 48 hours, so that people can start getting to work on January 25.
Hong Kong authorities have taken aggressive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asian financial and airline hub, but Saturday’s move is the first lockdown in theChinese-ruled city.
Many buildings are old and poorly maintained in the small,densely populated area, where subdivided units are common, said health secretary Sophia Chan.
Pfizer to supply 40 million COVID-19 shots for poor countries
Pfizer on Friday committed to supply up to 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year to a World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.
The deal is a boost to the global program known as COVAX, as wealthy nations have snapped up most of the millions of coming shots.
The commitment, announced at a virtual press conference held by the Geneva-based WHO, is seen as important because Pfizer and its partner BioNTech last month won the first vaccine emergency authorizations from WHO and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticised drugmakers for seeking profits from the pandemic and mostly supplying wealthy countries.
Pfizer’s 40 million doses — for a vaccine requiring two doses — are a tiny sliver of what’s needed for COVAX, which aims to vaccinate billions of people in 92 low- and middle-income countries.
YouTube bans German channel that spread virus misinformation
Google says it has banned a prominent German user of its YouTube video platform who had repeatedly posted false claims about the coronavirus outbreak.
Google said Friday that a YouTube channel known as KenFM was no longer available and that the person operating it would not be allowed to start another.
“We have long standing community guidelines policies that strikes are issued when our systems are notified of a policy violation of the rules for how to behave on YouTube,” the company said in a statement.
“Videos on the channel KenFM violated our COVID-19 policies and the channel was removed from YouTube after receiving the third strike for a video within 90 days on November 19th, 2020,” it said.
New U.K. variant of coronavirus may be more deadly, says Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said early evidence suggests that the new variant of coronavirus that was detected in England towards the end of last year may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.
Based on preliminary data briefing by scientists at the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), Mr. Johnson admitted that it would seem the new variant was deadlier but stressed that the two vaccines being administered in the UK — Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca — are effective against all variants.
“In addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant – the variant that was first identified in London and the south east [of England] – may be associated with a higher degree of mortality. It is largely the impact of this new variant that means the NHS [National Health Service] is under so much intense pressure,” Mr. Johnson said in his address at a virtual briefing from 10 Downing Street in London.