UK Calls G7 Meeting Over Omicron; Peru Has Worst Covid Death Rate
As omicron hits the world, news outlets cover calls for vaccinating everyone on the planet, a rapid surge in cases in two major South African cities, and the highest covid death rate: In Peru, where it's officially killed 6,000 out of every million people.
UK Calls Urgent G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting To Discuss Omicron Variant
Health ministers from the world’s richest seven democracies will convene on Monday to discuss the new coronavirus variant of concern, Omicron, the U.K. government announced Sunday. The urgent G7 meeting, called by the U.K. presidency, will discuss developments related to the spread of Omicron, the government said in a statement. South Africa alerted the world to Omicron on Friday after seeing a sharp spike in cases over a week, possibly associated with the new variant, which has a significant number of mutations. There is concern these mutations will render current vaccines less effective. (Collis, 11/28)
Omicron Adds Urgency To Vaccinating World
The emergence of the Omicron variant is bringing new urgency to global vaccination efforts. New variants can emerge anywhere, and can spread everywhere. Getting doses to the developing world — and getting those doses into people's arms — is essential, and that effort has so far been lagging. (Reed, 11/29)
Covid Rising Rapidly In Two Major S. Africa Cities, Council Says
Wastewater analysis shows that Covid-19 infections are surging in two major metropolitan areas, the South African Medical Research Council said. The number of virus fragments found in water samples have jumped this month in Tshwane, the municipal area that includes the capital, Pretoria, and in Nelson Mandela Bay, the municipality that governs the coastal city of Gqeberha, the council said in a statement on Friday. (Sguazzin, 11/27)
Peru Has the World's Highest COVID Death Rate. Here's Why.
People in Iquitos, Peru, refer to their city as "una isla," an island, even though it's not an island. Iquitos is a port city of roughly 400,000 people on the Amazon River in northeastern Peru. Residents proudly note that it's the largest city in the world that's unreachable by road. You can only get there by boat or by plane. In the early days of the COVID pandemic being isolated seemed like an advantage. It might delay the arrival of the virus. It might make it easier to contain. But that didn't turn out to be the case for Iquitos. (Beaubien, 11/27)