China on Thursday recorded its first Kovid-19 death in eight months, as experts discussed new strains of coronovirus spreading rapidly around the world.
His colleagues landed in Wuhan for a long-term mission to trace the origins of the virus as the World Health Organization’s emergency committee gathered in Geneva.
According to widely undervalued figures, more than 91 million people have been infected, of which nearly two million are dying.
The majority of the planet is covered in the second or third wave of disease, with populations under painful and economically damaging restrictions.
China – where the virus first emerged – has again shut down millions of people as it fights to control a fresh outbreak that has now claimed its first victim, sparking suffering on social media.
The hashtag “New Virus Death in Hebei” quickly gained 100 million views on Weibo platforms such as Twitter.
“One user wrote,” I haven’t seen the word ‘VirusDot’ in such a long time, it’s a bit shocking! I hope the epidemic can pass soon.
The death comes as a politically sensitive investigation that traced the origins of the Kovid-19 pandemic to the eventual arrival of a 10-strong team in Wuhan, where the virus emerged in late 2019.
Mission leader Peter Ben Ambreck said the group would start with a two-week quarantine at a hotel before the investigation began in earnest.
But, he warned, “it can be a very long journey before we get a full understanding of what happened”.
Beijing has argued that Wuhan may not be where the virus originated, only where it was identified.
“I don’t think we’ll have clear answers after this initial mission, but we’ll be on the way,” Embarek said.
Despite the virus’s origins, scientists say mass vaccination is the only way to avoid its crack.
The programs have set life apart in many countries, although progress is slow, with many hoping.
In the United States, where more than 4,000 people are dying of the disease every day, about 10 million have received the first pill.
Disneyland, California opened its doors on Wednesday as a vaccination site, with 81-year-old Gary Dohman in front of the queue.
“Easy – piece of cake, nothing for it. There was not even a feeling that it would go in,” he said after injecting his.
“I’m kept in a house for 10 months, can’t go anywhere. I want to take my second shot and travel a little bit.”
There was some good news for those who already have Kovid-19, a British study suggested that recovery makes immunity for most people at least five months.
The research will be welcomed by UK under-pressure healthcare workers who will struggle to combat the growing caseloads caused by a new, more contagious strain of the virus.
This tension, and another identified in South Africa, was going under the microscope in Geneva on Thursday when the WHO’s emergency committee gathered.
Newly identified variants have been logged in dozens of countries.
The committee typically assembles every three months, but the WHO said that the Director General “proceeded the meeting to consider the issues that needed immediate discussion”.
One lakh pilgrims
Sport has provided a measure of diversion for many stranded in their homes, but this week top flight athletes were warned that they would have to lead by example.
The owners of the English Premier League told clubs that players could be sanctioned if they shook hands or shook after a goal.
“We are fortunate to have and continue to play our competition for fans at home and around the world,” said EPL’s Chief Executive Masters.
“This brings appropriate additional scrutiny and should lead the Premier League to follow the right example.”
A widespread pandemic was being overcome by Hindu pilgrims gathering on the banks of the Ganges River in India.
One lakh people were expected to show up on Thursday for the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
Organizer Siddharth Chakrapani said, “The epidemic is a bit worrying, but we are all taking precautions, but he said that he was not too worried for the faithful.”
“I am sure Maa Ganga will take care of their safety,” he said referring to the holy river.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)