Women register to get a shot at the Oman Convention & 
Exhibition Centre during the second phase of the national immunisation plan in Muscat.
Women register to get a shot at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre during the second phase of the national immunisation plan in Muscat.

Rome: Italy’s leader is pitching for tourists to start coming from the United States, Canada and Japan to give a vitally needed boost to Italian hotel and restaurant businesses.

In a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, Premier Mario Draghi noted Italy has recently allowed people from those three countries to now come for tourism, previously not allowed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourists must be vaccinated, have certification that they have recovered from the illness or have a negative COovid-19 test taken within 48 hours of entering Italy.

“We want to allow them to come safely into Italy to help our hoteliers and restaurateurs bounce back after a year-and-a-half of difficulty,” Draghi said.

Delta to account for 90% new cases in Europe by Aug-end

Stockholm: The Delta variant, identified for the first time in India, could account for 90 percent of new Covid cases in the EU in the coming months, the bloc's disease control agency said Wednesday. "The Delta variant is more transmissible than other circulating variants and we estimate that by the end of August it will represent 90 percent" of new cases in the EU, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.

Singapore cuts stay-home notice for travellers

Singapore has shortened the stay-home notice period for new travellers arriving in the city-state from higher-risk countries, including India, or regions from 21 to 14 days from Thursday, the health ministry said on Wednesday. This is “based on updated evidence gathered over the past month”, the Ministry of Health said.

Brazil probes deal to buy Covaxin vaccine

Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office is investigating possible irregularities in a Health Ministry contract to purchase 20 million doses of the Covaxin vaccine manufactured by Indian lab Bharat Biotech. The deal signed in Feb commits the ministry to pay $320 million, at $15 a dose, to Precisa Medicamentos, the BB representative in Brazil, as per a document sent to AP by the attorney general’s press office.

UK tracks 41 cases of Delta K417N variant, extra measures

Health officials in England have tracked 41 cases of the Delta K417N variant and said extra measures have been in place for 2 weeks to probe the new Delta variation causing concern in parts of India.

Dashboard

-- Covid-19 delta variant now 20% of US cases

-- France adds Russia to list of banned countries

-- Italian PM Mario Draghi receives Pfizer 2nd shot

-- Argentina has reported 792 fatalities, highest in a day to date, raising death toll to 90,281

-- Pakistan receives another 2 million doses of China-made Covid vaccine

-- Community spread of delta variant in Hawaii

-- Nepal to resume domestic and international flights with restrictions

-- Poland introduces mandatory 7-day quarantine for UK arrivals

Oxford experts to study ivermectin’s efficacy

London: A team of scien­tists at the University of Oxford have on Wednesday announced a trial to probe the efficacy and safety of ivermectin — an antipara­sitic drug — for people at more risk of serious illness from Covid-19. Previous studies of ivermectin, which show early administration with ivermectin can reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild Covid, have gen­e­rally been small or low quality. WHO in March and the US FDA had, in April last year, recomm­end­ed ag­ainst the use of iverme­c­tin in treating Covid patients.

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