Delta variant taking hold in Europe: WHO

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Europe director has warned that the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant first identified in India is “poised to take hold in the region”, as many countries prepare to ease restrictions and allow more social gatherings and travel across borders .

During a briefing on Thursday, the WHO’s Hans Kluge said the coronavirus variant also known as Delta, has shown signs of being able to evade some Covid-19 vaccines and warned that many vulnerable populations, particularly those over the age of 60, remain unprotected.

The European Parliament has urged the intellectual the EU to reverse its position and support a proposed temporary lifting of property rights (IPR) for Covid-19 vaccines, backing a push by many developing nations to allow more production.

EU lawmakers backed by 355 votes to 263 a resolution on accelerating the global roll-out of vaccines, the parliament announced on Thursday.

The resolution says only a fraction of the 11 billion shots needed to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population has been produced. South Africa and India have been pressing for eight months at the WTO for a temporary waiver of IP rights that could allow more manufacturers to produce shots.

In Canada, researchers have claimed to have demonstrated an effective treatment for a rare blood clot caused by the Covid-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca. “The use of high-dose intravenous immune globulin plus anticoagulation is recommended for the treatment of VITT, a rare side-effect of adenoviral vector vaccines against Covid-19,” scientists at the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario , said in a study published in New England Journal of Medicine.

(With inputs from Anirudh Bhattacharyya in Toronto)


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