1. A rollercoaster of Covid-positivity rate was seen in Pakistan
Arriving in early 2020, Pakistan recorded the world’s 29th highest death toll and experienced three different waves of the virus. Punjab was among the most affected province by Covid before Sindh. Pakistan reported nearly 2500 cases on the 1st of January and the highest number of cases were recorded on the 12th of August 2021.
In Early 2021, Pakistan received Covid vaccine aids from different countries and subsequently, the frontline workers were the first ones to receive it. On the other hand, relief packages were introduced by the federal government in order to help the affected citizens of Pakistan. Whereas, the government initiated mass vaccination by opening up vaccine spots for the citizens of Pakistan.
On the 20th of December, nearly half a million people were fully vaccinated as Pakistan reported only 360 new Covid cases, with 354 recoveries. Currently, there are 10 critical cases of Covid-19 in the country.
2. Covid did not even spare the Ashes in Australia
The series of Arch rivals Australia and England was not even spared by the coronavirus. As, two of the broadcasting members of BBC were tested positive for the virus at the Adelaide Oval. At the same time, the Australian pacer, Pat Cummins, did not feature in the 2nd test as he was deemed a close contact of a person who had tested positive for Covid-19.
Covid-19 in Australia had forced the government to close inter-state borders, restricting the employed staff to work from home. On the 1st of December, the Australian Prime Minister halted the plans to reopen its international borders after a closure of more than 20-months. It is pertinent to mention that Australia’s border has been closed to most non-citizens for more than 20 months, as PM deems it necessary to curb the virus. Australia has also detected five cases of the Omicron variant.
3. Fast spread of Covid’s Omicron variant was witnessed in the UK
The United Kingdom has seen a rise and fall of Covid positivity ratio in the country as the country now battles the Omicron variant. Boris Johnson also imposed the strict Covid SOPs in the country after Omicron was seen as the dominant variant in the country. The UK health officials have also said that the Christmas holidays might act as a fast spreader for the Omicron variant.
At the same time, the UK has also rolled out vaccine boosters to the elderly population. Currently, 31% of the UK’s population is unvaccinated, and 27% of the people in England have received booster shots. It is pertinent to mention that the UK has recorded over 10,000 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid as the Covid positivity rate in the UK continues to rise.
4. New Zealand became the 1st country to be Covid-free but was thrown into lockdown after first case was reported in six months
Late 2020, New Zealand became the 1st country to be Covid-free however, Jacinda Ardern imposed another lockdown as another case of Covid was reported in Auckland after six months. The Kiwis were regarded as the only nation to strictly follow the Covid SOPs by limiting public gatherings and imposing lockdowns.
Currently, the inter-state borders of New Zealand are opened as travellers can now travel for Christmas celebrations. Nearly 86% of the New Zealand population is vaccinated, with more than 90% vaccination rate in some areas. During the Covid pandemic, New Zealand reported 13,495 cases with 49 Covid-related deaths.
5. Canada plans to ban non-essential travel amid the spread of Omicron variant
With nearly 2 million reported Covid-19 cases in Canada and over 30,000 Covid-related deaths, the Canadian government hints at banning non-essential travel by foreign nationals to Canada. As the rapid spread of the Omicron variant is seen in Canada, Justin Trudeau has planned to impose a lockdown on non-essential travelling.
Different provinces in Canada go by various rules to curb the virus; however, everyone up to 12 needs to show proof of vaccination to board domestic and international flights departing from Canada. Canada saw a downward trend of Covid positivity ratio during June, July, and August before the positivity ratio went upwards. However, Canada has administered nearly 66 million doses of Covid and almost 86.5% of their population is fully vaccinated.