In Photos: Egypt's Sisi tours Police Academy on Friday    Real Madrid coach Zidane tests positive for coronavirus    Russia welcomes US proposal to extend nuclear treaty    Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad    Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan    Fernandes and Cavani have made Man Utd contenders, says Rooney    Anfield has fallen: Burnley end Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League home run    Saudi Arabia releases Egyptian fishing boat seized for illegal fishing, trespassing    Sisi orders Interior Ministry's new facilities comprise service complexes    AfDB, EIB ink joint action plan to boost public, private investments in Africa amid COVID-19    Africa's economy shrank by 2.1% in 2020, will grow by 3.4% in 2021: AfDB's president    Egypt's parliament approves re-extending state of emergency for three months    Egypt's banking sector forecast to remain stable in 2021 – Moody's    Egypt seals 5 gold exploration deals in Eastern Desert for $13 mln    Africa's COVID-19 death rate now higher than global rate    On Britain's COVID-19 frontline, medics and patients fight for life    Donald Trump says goodbye to the White House    BREAKING: Egypt resumes diplomatic relations with Qatar ending 4-year boycott    Egypt reports 899 new coronavirus cases, 58 deaths on Tuesday    Egypt's newly elected parliament reviews the government reform plan    Back, and better    Happy New Year Bel Araby show at The Marquee Theatre is a must go    Isis Temple reopens    New discoveries at Saqqara    Egypt sends medical supplies to help Jordan battle coronavirus    Egypt supports tourism, aviation sectors with EGP 5bn during COVID19 crisis    Egypt government allocates $1.6 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines – FinMin    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Keeping up with Covid-19
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 11 - 2020

Countries around the world have been forced into a second lockdown due to what has been called the plague of the 21st century. Others know it as Covid-19.
It has been almost a year since the first cases of the coronavirus began to surface in China. Today, more than 58 million cases have been confirmed around the world, with around 1.35 million deaths. As the winter cold creeps in, more and more infections are being reported daily.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, more cases have been recorded globally over the past four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic at the beginning of this year.
79-year-old Cairo retiree Ahmed Mohamed spoke to Al-Ahram Weekly via video call describing his nine-day nightmare after he tested positive for Covid-19.
“I couldn't eat, couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything at all. You are in a constant state of fatigue,” Mohamed said. “The worst part is how it affects you mentally because you are all alone in a room and nurses only come in to prick you with needles from time to time,” he added, rolling up his sleeves to show the marks of injections.
Since then Mohamed has recovered and has now been sent back home. But others have not been as fortunate as the virus takes its toll and the number of deaths rises.
This pandemic is already causing a shortage of medical staff, healthcare workers and care-givers, along with other essential workers.
Around the world hundreds of thousands of health workers have contracted the virus.
34-year-old Tripoli-based Basma Ali was one health worker who tested positive after taking care of patients infected with the virus.
“There came the point when I would get changed in the garage because it was too much of a risk to go in to my family home after being at the hospital for my shift,” Ali said. “There aren't many options: you go into the job knowing the risks and the sacrifices that you have to make,” she added.
According to Johns Hopkins University researchers in the US, the sharpest rise in cases has been seen in North America. In the US, there have been 12 million cases and over 250,000 deaths, one of the highest numbers recorded.
Over 60 per cent of all new cases over the past week have been recorded in Iran. Countries like Jordan and Morocco are right behind Iran, however, as their number of coronavirus cases is continuing to rise.
In Lebanon, five members of the same family all passed away after contracting the virus in the space of six weeks, leaving their hometown of Bakhaoun in shock. The Al-Samad family are now mourning three of their sons, a grandson, and a daughter-in-law.
In the Middle East region, more than 3.6 million people have fallen ill with the virus, and it has caused the deaths of over 76,000 people in the past nine months.
Although most countries within the region have not implemented strict lockdowns, precautionary measures have been taken, affecting the day-to-day lives of ordinary citizens.
For months, news of a vaccine being put together has been a main topic of discussion worldwide. In the race to find a coronavirus jab, Oxford University researchers in the UK have shown efficient results after results announced by drug companies Moderna and Pfizer.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine showed protection against the virus rising from 70 to 90 per cent in its phase three trials in the UK and Brazil.
Although the Pfizer and Moderna jabs show five per cent more protection, the Oxford vaccine is cheaper and easier to store, thus making it easier to distribute. AstraZeneca plans to sell the jab for $3 to $4 per shot, while the other two companies are pricing theirs at $20 and $25.
While this has been exciting news for some people, others are against the idea of a vaccine as they are sceptical about its efficiency.
“My family and I have decided not to take the vaccine until we've seen what it can actually do in the long run. I won't be injecting something into my children until I am sure it is safe,” said London-based Millie Ashley.
The mother-of-two is among many others who have voiced their opinions on social media.
For most, however, the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 26 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.