Tracking variants, new hotspots, and more coronavirus news

Researchers are tracking the new The variables in Africa, the increase in cases in India, and the progress in launching the vaccine in the United States even with obstacles. Here’s what you should know:

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Scientists in Africa are racing to find new variants in regions where testing is delayed

This week, a coalition of scientists and laboratories across Africa released a preliminary version of a new variant that was first detected in travelers entering Angola. Research is part of a new effort Samples identification and sequencing In the region, and we hope it will enhance scientists’ understanding of how the virus travels across the continent. This may be difficult in regions where testing is delayed, but it is an international necessity. Vaccine distribution efforts in Africa are moving slowly Rich countries stored the initial shots, Which means the virus can It continues to spread and mutate for a long time.

Meanwhile, in Europe and the United States, several contagious variants – notably B.1.1.7, which were first seen in Britain – are believed to be behind High percentage of new cases. This week, the CDC said that this alternative is now The dominant source of new infection in the United States.

India is struggling to continue vaccinations as infections soar

India is quickly emerging as the A new global hotspot. New infections beat previous records several times this week and the death toll was higher than it had been since November. To date, 90 million shots It has been administered in the country, and most are the first of two doses, meaning that only a small percentage of the country’s 1.3 billion people are partially protected.

Moreover, vaccines in India are now said to be in severe shortage of supply. The mayor of Mumbai said Friday that without additional supplies, the city will The shots took place on Saturday. Serum Institute in India, the largest vaccine maker in the world, already Exports were halted earlier this month, Citing the need to control the growing infection at home. The CEO of the pharmaceutical company said exports could resume by June but that this could have a big impact World show.

The vaccine rollout continues to move quickly in the United States, but not without hindrances

Vaccinations are continuing apace in the United States. Earlier this week, President Biden announced this 150 million shots were givenAnd set the country on target to achieve its goal of 200 million doses by his 100th day in office. Biden also raised the deadline to make all adults eligible for vaccination through April 19, although many states have already done so. Around 20 percent From the country now fully. However, some officials predict that next week may complicate mass vaccination plans, as Johnson & Johnson deliveries are expected to drop by more than 80 percent in In the aftermath of industrialization struggles.

There were other hurdles in launching the vaccine in the country as well. On Thursday, two sites of mass vaccination Temporarily closed After many people had negative reactions. Medical experts say there is no reason to believe vaccines are wrong. in another place, An increasing number of unclaimed appointments In states like Mississippi, it appears that many people are still reluctant to get vaccinated.

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One question

How does the epidemic affect cities?

Civilians have preached the pandemic as a possibility An opportunity to remake cities For the better, prioritize the experience for pedestrians and cyclists Over cars And discover ways to make it Buildings breathe better. Other researchers have noted that the roads The urban crime rate has decreased In 2020, it provides important information that can help cities increase safety, and do so more equitably, even after a pandemic. However, there is no doubt that the epidemic has affected urban life. One example: Mass transitThe lifeblood of cities like New York is in grave danger.

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