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EU countries should discuss mandatory Covid-19 vaccination: Von der Leyen

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The European Union (EU) should start a discussion on whether mandatory vaccinations are needed in the fight against the ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases, especially since a third of the EU population had not yet taken the jab, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels.


Acknowledging that such a decision was “pure member state competence,” she noted that around 150 million people in the EU had not taken the jab.





“I think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now — how we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the EU,” she added on Wednesday during a news conference.


“We have the vaccines, the life-saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere,” she said.


Von der Leyen added that the EU’s main Covid-19 vaccine provider, BioNTech or Pfizer, would have shots available for children in the bloc in two weeks, Xinhua news agency reported.


The Commission President said there was not enough information on the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which the World Health Organization said poses a high risk.


“We do not know all about this variant but know enough to be concerned,” she added.


“We know from our experience with the Delta variant that it is a race against time. Till we know more, in two to three weeks, we need to take action. Our best scientists are working day and night. What science tells us already is that full vaccination and boosters give protection against the virus.”


–IANS


int/khz/


 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Covid-19: Districts in west, north Tamil Nadu see high number of cases | Chennai News

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CHENNAI: The state has seen a steady drop in fresh Covid-19 cases; it reported 718 new cases on Wednesday compared to 990 cases on November 1. In the last four weeks, weekly average test positivity rate has also come down marginally from 0.8% to 0.7%, health officials said.
Seven districts – Tiruppur, Namakkal, Chengalpet, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode and Karur – have weekly average test positivity rate above 1%. “Whole genome sequencing reports show that more than 95% of the people carry the Delta variant. While we are strengthening surveillance to prevent entry or spread of Omicron, we have told all districts to ensure they continue to trace and test cases within the state,” said health secretary J Radhakrishnan.
Some districts in the west and north continue to report a high number of new cases. The eight western districts together reported 356 cases on Wednesday, while the districts in the north reported 260 new cases. Districts in the central and south zones reported 62 and 40 cases respectively on Wednesday.
While Coimbatore (118) and Chennai (117) are still reporting cases in three digits, Chengalpet, Erode and Tirupur are among the districts that report more than 50 new cases a day.
Fresh Cases have been hovering around 100 to 125 for nearly a month in Chennai and Coimbatore. Officials said the two districts have been seeing clusters from family reunions, workplaces and educational institutions.
“With fall in cases we have been seeing a steep fall in the number of people wearing masks,” said health minister Ma Subramanian. “Maintaining social distance and washing hands with soap and water are practices we must continue to follow. People should also get themselves vaccinated as early as possible,” he said.
Until Tuesday, 79% of adults in Tamil Nadu had taken the first dose of the vaccine and 44% of them were completely vaccinated. More than 2.6 lakh people took the Covid 19 vaccine at the government vaccination centres on Wednesday.
The number of active cases stood at 8,200. The 11 deaths reported on Wednesday took the cumulative toll to 36,492 and the cases tally reached 27.27 lakh.
Of the 11 deaths, there were two each in Coimbatore, Chennai and Salem and one death each in Chengalpet, Tiruppur, Trichy, Thanjavur and Dindigul. Thirty districts reported zero deaths.

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Countrywide Active Cases Rise to 99,763

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New Delhi: With 9,765 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,69,724 with 477 fresh fatalities including, 403 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am.

Of the 403 deaths in Kerala, 96 were reported over the last few days and 307 were designated as Covid deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, a Kerala state government release said.

The ministry said the daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 158 consecutive days now.

“The active cases comprise 0.29% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35%,” the ministry said.

An increase of 740 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours

“The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.89%. It has been less than 2% for last 59 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.85% . It has been below 1% for the last 18 days,” according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,40,37,054, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36%.

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 124.96 crore.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

The 477 new fatalities include 28 from Maharashtra.

A total of 4,69,724 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,41,025 from Maharashtra, 40,535 from Kerala, 38,213 from Karnataka, 36,492 from Tamil Nadu, 25,098 from Delhi, 22,911 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,498 from West Bengal.

The ministry stressed that more than 70% of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

(PTI)

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