It has been more than a year since the Covid-19 was first discovered, but the fact still remains that a majority of the global population continues to remain vulnerable to contracting the virus. Till date, 103 million people around the world have been diagnosed with Covid infection and around 2.22 million have succumbed to the disease.
As of January 2021, a lot of new vaccines have been developed to combat the pandemic; some vaccines have been approved for use, while many are still in the trial phase. Russia has developed the Sputnik V vaccine, while China has developed the Sinovac, Sinopharm, and CanSino vaccines.
The three most widely used and accepted vaccines are the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines. They have been approved for use in the UK, US, and Europe.
After the election of President Biden to the White House, many new changes have been implemented to control the spread of the disease in the US. It is currently the country with the most number of infections in the world; about 26 million Americans have been confirmed with coronavirus infection till date, with about 438,200 fatalities due to the disease.
As part of the new processes implemented by the WH to control the spread of the virus, the CDC has declared everyone using any form of public transport need to wear a face mask at all times, including while waiting, boarding, disembarking, and travelling. People who fail to comply with this rule may face criminal penalties. The CDC further clarified that it is hoping for the cooperation of the public and voluntary compliance of the rule, so as to prevent the imposition of the criminal charges.
The new WH administration issued a statement that it is currently running ahead of the schedule with regards to the vaccination drive in the country. Till date, around 28 million people have been vaccinated in the US and nearly 50 million doses of vaccine have already been distributed around the country.
Over the last week, about 1.2 million vaccines were administered across the country on a daily basis. The WH stated that it is hoping to increase it to 1.5 million vaccinations per day.
New variants of the Covid virus have been detected in patients in 3 different states, i.e., Maryland, Minnesota, and South Carolina. Even though, vaccinations have been going on at a rapid pace in the country, administrations have found it difficult to vaccinate people of color and poor people. Also, unforeseen situations like the recent freezer failure in a Seattle hospital have put a spanner in the works, with regards to the efficiency of the drive. It may however be noted that despite the freezer failure, all vaccine doses were administered to anyone who turned up at the hospital. Thus, no dose was wasted.
The EU placed a hold on export of the vaccines, but somewhat relaxed the restrictions after an outcry. WHO has also criticized this move by the EU, but the union has stayed put on its resolve.
Canada has mandated self-quarantine in a hotel at own expense for people travelling into the country.
India, which has one of the highest number of infections in the world, has undertaken a massive vaccination drive. It has already vaccinated 3 million citizens in just 2 weeks. It has donated over 5.5 million vaccine doses to neighboring countries. It is also turning out to become one of the largest commercial exporters of the vaccine.
India is one of the few countries that has been able to mitigate the health effects of the virus, even though its economy suffered and plunged due to the strict and prolonged nationwide lockdown. The vaccination and gradual opening up of businesses may lead to a sharp upturn in the economy of the country.