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COVID-19 death toll in Europe surpasses 21,000

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Brussels, March 30 : The COVID-19 pandemic continued to ravage Europe, with the death toll in the region climbing to over 21,000 out of more than 360,000 confirmed cases.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of coronavirus cases around the world crossed the 700,000 mark near midnight on Monday, of which, 361,457 cases and 21,496 deaths were registered in Europe, Xinhua news agency reported.

Following Italy and Spain, Germany became the latest European nation with over 50,000 confirmed cases, while Spain saw the highest single-day fatalities in the day.

With 838 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, Spain saw the highest daily COVID-19 death toll on Sunday, according to data from its Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Services.

The figure is six more than the previous figure, bringing the total death tally to 6,528 since the first death in the country was confirmed on March 3.

Meanwhile, the country detected 6,549 new COVID-19 patients, pushing the total number of confirmed cases to 78,797.

Madrid continues to be the worst affected part of the country as the pandemic has claimed 3,082 victims, or 47 percent of all deaths nationwide, and infected 22,677 people in total.

In Italy, the worst-hit European country, local news media noted, a day after its death toll topped 10,000, that around one-third of the worldwide death toll from the pandemic so far has been contained within Italy’s borders.

As of Sunday, 10,779 people have died from COVID-19 in the southern European country. That is more than Spain and China, the next two countries suffering the most fatalities, combined.

Meanwhile, the total number of people confirmed to have coronavirus in Italy — combining active cases, deaths, and recoveries — climbed to 97,689 Sunday, 5,217 above the level recorded a day earlier.

Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli said the number of new cases was higher than 3,651 a day earlier, but evidence showed that new cases could be plateauing.

With 3,965 new COVID-19 cases, Germany’s total number has increased to 52,547, making it the third nation in Europe with over 50,000 cases. Meanwhile, the death toll in the country remained low at 389 as of Sunday.

In Britain, the total number is approaching the 20,000 mark. With 2,433 more cases, the country has confirmed 19,522 cases as of Sunday morning.

Also on Sunday, Belgium and the Netherlands became the latest European countries with over 10,000 cases each, after Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Britain and Switzerland.

With 1,702 new cases in the past 24 hours, the total number of confirmed cases in Belgium, a country with some 11 million population, has reached 10,836, while total deaths increased to 431, according to data from the public health institute Sciensano.

In the Netherlands, the total number of cases and deaths has reached 10,866 and 771 respectively. With 132 new deaths, the death toll was the highest single-day figure so far in the country after Friday’s 112 and Saturday’s 93.

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Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 strikes Jammu and Kashmir

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Srinagar, Jan 16 : An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, but there was no report of any damage, officials said.

At 10:01 pm, the earthquake struck at a latitude of 33.03 degrees north and a longitude of 75.93 degrees east — 93 kms east of Katra, they added.

The depth of the earthquake was 10 kms, the officials said.

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Covaxin consent form says vax administered without ph-3 trial

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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New Delhi, Jan 16 : Amid the vaccinaton drive against Covid-19, it has emerged that there is a separate consent form for those who are administered the ‘Covaxin‘ vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

The form says that “In phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trial ‘Covaxin’ has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19, however the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase-3 clinical trial, hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that the other precautions related to Covid-19 should not be followed.”

The form says that in case of any adverse and serious condition, the receiver will be provided utmost care at the health centre and in case of casuality the compensation will be provided by Bharat Biotech.

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor BBIL if the SAE is proven to be casually related to the vaccine,” it said.

Serious concerns were raised in certain quarters including by opposition parties and Congress leader Manish Tewari has questioned the efficacy of ‘Covaxin’ while the Prime Minister has warned people not to believe in “rumours”.

The world’s biggest vaccination drive come almost a year after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, and since then the deadly virus has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives and infected one crore people. The first case came to the fore on January 30, 2020 in Kerala.

Two vaccines — the Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’ manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech — will be administered to priority groups. So far, the central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.

In Delhi, which has 81 vaccination sites, ‘Covaxin’ has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals will receive ‘Covishield’.

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake Hits Russia-Mongolia Border Region

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers

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AN earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the Russia-Mongolia Border Region on Tuesday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers, it added.

The epicenter of the earthquake was registered 277 kilometers southwest of the city of Angarsk, in the Russian Irkutsk region, and 30 kilometers from the Mongolian city of Turt, Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik reported. https://bit.ly/2XtgrJs

There were no immediate reports of damage or victims, the report said.

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