World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries and companies controlling the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to prioritise supply to the vaccine sharing programme COVAX in order to meet vaccination targets.
Here are the latest updates:
England eases COVID-19 testing rules for most incoming passengers from October 24
Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from October 24 will no longer have to take expensive COVID-19 tests, the British government said on Thursday.
Last month the government simplified the rules for international travel to England in a boost to the tourism industry, which has blamed the testing and complicated rules for the slowness of a recovery in air travel over the summer. Reuters
India has faced Covid crisis with resilience and fortitude: Sitharaman
India has not only faced the COVID-19 crisis with great resilience and fortitude but has also played a major role and “walked the talk” on the global fight against it, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
Pointing out the fast recovery of India’s economy, Sitharaman in her address to the Development Committee of the World Bank said the Modi Government, besides taking economic relief measures, has also undertaken significant structural reforms to turn the crisis into an opportunity and emerge stronger.
“The measures undertaken by the government have set a strong foundation for India’s sustained economic growth,” she said. – PTI
Sydney to end COVID-19 quarantine for international travellers
Sydney will end its COVID-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated international travellers from November 1, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Friday, foreshadowing the full return of overseas travel after more than 19 months.
“We want people back, we are leading the nation out of the pandemic … we are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world,” Mr. Perrottet told reporters in Sydney, the State capital. – Reuters
India reiterates demand for finding origin of COVID-19
India’s Raman Gangakhedkar, a renowned epidemiologist and Dr. C.G. Pandit National Chair at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is among 26 members of the Scientific Advisory Group for determining the origins of the virus, according to the WHO.
“Let me just reiterate what we have stated till now. We have our interest in further studies and data on this issue of the origin and the need for understanding and cooperation by all concerned,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. –PTI
Biden to meet with Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate
U.S. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the UK for global economic and climate change meetings.
Mr. Biden plans to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and poverty during his meeting with the pope, according to the White House.
The meeting will take place on October 29, and Mr. Biden will then attend two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Rome, before heading to Glasgow, Scotland for the UN climate conference known as COP26. – AP
FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID-19 shot for booster
U.S. health advisers said on October 14 that some Americans who received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine should get a half-dose booster to bolster protection against the virus.
The panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID-19.
The recommendation is non-binding but it’s a key step toward expanding the U.S. booster campaign to millions more Americans. Many people who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are already getting a booster after the FDA authorised their use in September. – AP