As disease outbreak strikes, Libya on alert as deaths continue to climb

First shipment of coronavirus vaccines for children arrives in Canada; Russia’s deaths toll hovers near all-time highs Vaccines against the new coronavirus that has killed more than 60 people in the Middle East have…

As disease outbreak strikes, Libya on alert as deaths continue to climb

First shipment of coronavirus vaccines for children arrives in Canada; Russia’s deaths toll hovers near all-time highs

Vaccines against the new coronavirus that has killed more than 60 people in the Middle East have reached the Canadian Health Care Distribution Centre, raising hopes that the disease can be controlled effectively with the introduction of a vaccine, the health minister was reported as saying on Monday.

The federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq said she was pleased with the transportation of the first batch of 250,000 doses, which originated in Qatar and went via Israel to Canada. The vaccine should begin rolling out in coming weeks.

“Our efforts are just beginning. I’m pleased that it has taken so long to get them in here,” Aglukkaq said in an interview in Ottawa. “We understand this is not an easy situation to be in but I believe that through the good partnership with our international partners that we’re moving in the right direction.”

The coronavirus that has killed hundreds of people in an unprecedented outbreak could cause further health scares, with scientists warning it could mutate into a deadly and easily transmitted form of the respiratory disease. But health officials hope that the first shipment of the vaccine, in its tests, can stop its spread and kill off the virus.

As doctors fight the new coronavirus as a potential global health emergency, health experts in the Middle East said on Monday that the fight against it is not being helped by the global media’s over-reliance on news about cases in Britain, Libya and Saudi Arabia, where more than half of the fatalities have occurred.

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It also continues to lack information on how many of the dead were Muslims. “There’s a huge gap of communication and a lack of long-term strategic thinking from the media,” said Ayman Safiahed, who studies the family planning and sexual health clinic network in the United Arab Emirates.

Russia’s deaths toll hovers near all-time highs

The death toll from the winter flu season in Russia, which has been particularly bad, has risen to 78, which is not far off the all-time record high, says health officials.

Federal authorities have declared three regions an official emergency zone and appealed to citizens to keep their distance from infected people.

“Since the current level of illnesses is comparable to that of previous years, the territory of the affected areas must be avoided or sanitised,” the Russian health ministry said.

• World without drugs or vaccines? This is one place we would fear to be.

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