Iran ordered a 10-day lockdown in 23 of the country’s 31 provinces beginning on Saturday as a fourth wave of the coronavirus has engulfed the country. Iran has logged more than 2 million cases of the coronavirus, with more than 64,000 deaths. The upsurge in cases is in part a result of travel and celebrations during the recent Nowruz Persian New Year celebrations. Gatherings will be forbidden during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli researchers have discovered that the South African variant of the coronavirus can overcome the protection offered by the Pfizer vaccine. The study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest health care provider, Clalit, was released on Saturday. The study, which had a small sample size due to its lack of prevalence in Israel, only looked at people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not at overall infection rates.
One in three people who recover from the coronavirus received a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis within six months, a new study has found. The report in The Lancet Psychiatry journal showed that patients ill with the coronavirus were more likely to develop a brain condition than patients with the flu or other respiratory tract infections.
President Joe Biden announced that every adult in the United States over the age of 18 will be eligible to receive a vaccination against the coronavirus beginning on April 19. the announcement moves the up date by which all states must make vaccines available for all adults by two week, from May 1. Biden said during his announcement on Tuesday that new variants of the coronavirus are spreading quickly throughout the country, and that both cases and hospitalizations are going up.
The University of Oxford announced that it has suspended the trial of a COVID-19 vaccine in children and teenagers. The announcement issued on Tuesday said it was waiting for data on rare blood clotting issues from Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before it decides whether to resume the trial. There have been 30 such blood clotting cases in Britain. Seven of those cases were fatal.
More than 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus arrived in Iran on Monday night. The delivery is the first of the more than 16 million doses Iran purchased through COVAX, the global initiative aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries. Iran has three homegrown vaccines currently in human trials.
Pfizer held up a shipment of 700,000 doses of its vaccine against the coronavirus over concern that a transitional government will not pay the bill. The shipment had been expected to arrive on Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reported. Pfizer told the newspaper that it had fulfilled its initial agreement with Israel for vaccines, and that it is working with the government to renegotiate the agreement and provide more doses. Additional doses would make it possible to inoculate pre-teens and children, and have doses on hand for booster shots should they become necessary.
India registered more than 100,000 new cases of the coronavirus a in a day, becoming the second country in the world after the United States to do so. On Monday, India registered 103,558 new cases, for a total of 12.6 million since the start of the pandemic. The country eased restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing in February.
The US Centers for Disease Control warned against travel to Israel due to the “very high level” of cases of the coronavirus, after lumping it together with the West Bank and Gaza. The CDC warned against the “Very High Level of COVID-19 in Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza,” in its travel advisory released on Monday. Israel has seen very low number of new infections, but cases in Gaza and the West Bank are on the rise.
The Netherlands stopped giving the AtraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus after reports on Friday that at least five people developed blood clots following their vaccinations. At least one person reportedly died. Some 400,000 vaccines were given during that time period. The Health Ministry in the Netherlands is investigating whether the blood clots were caused by the vaccination. Germany also has suspended using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under age 60 due to a small number of reported blood clots.