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COVID-19 pandemic alarming as global cases surpass 90 mln, new variant spread

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Global cases hit 60 million on Nov. 25, surpassed 70 million on Dec. 11 and hit 80 million on Dec. 26. It took 16 days to climb from 60 million to 70 million, 15 days from 70 million to 80 million, and 15 days from 80 million to 90 million.

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New delhi, Jan 11: The raging COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating as confirmed cases worldwide have exceeded 90 million and a new variant genome has been detected in Japan.


The global case count reached 90,045,410, with a total of 1,931,571 deaths worldwide as of 3:22 p.m. local time (2022 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.


The United States has been the hardest-hit country worldwide both in terms of infections and fatalities with 22,293,281 cases and 373,588 deaths, accounting for 24 percent and over 19 percent of the global total respectively, followed by India with 10,450,284 cases, and Brazil with 8,075,998 cases but with the world’s second largest death toll of 202,631.


Countries with more than 2 million cases also include Russia, Britain, France, Turkey, Italy and Spain, while other countries with over 50,000 deaths include India, Mexico, Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Iran and Spain, according to the CSSE tally.


Global cases hit 60 million on Nov. 25, surpassed 70 million on Dec. 11 and hit 80 million on Dec. 26. It took 16 days to climb from 60 million to 70 million, 15 days from 70 million to 80 million, and 15 days from 80 million to 90 million.


NEW COVID-19 VARIANTS


Japan’s health ministry said on Sunday that four passengers who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport from Brazil earlier this month had been infected with a new variant of COVID-19.
The ministry said the four people, who arrived at Haneda airport on Jan. 2 from Amazonas, Brazil, tested positive after the airport quarantine.

Among them, a man in his 40s had been hospitalized due to breathing difficulty and a woman in her 30s had symptoms of throat pain and headaches, said the ministry. A male teenager had developed a fever while a female teenager had shown no symptoms.


Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said there was no evidence so far that the new mutant strain was highly infectious though the variant showed some similarities to those reported in Britain and South Africa.


Besides, the variants earlier found in Britain and South Africa have spread to many countries during the past 24 hours.


As of Sunday, France confirmed 47 cases of the new COVID-19 variant detected in Britain after seven people were diagnosed with the mutated virus in Marseille, the country’s second largest city, local authorities said.


Also on Sunday, Iran’s Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki confirmed four people infected with the new variant of the virus have been detected and placed under quarantine.


The new variants have also been spreading to India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Vietnam, among other nations.

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Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar

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(Asian News Hub) – Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, Associated Press reported quoting hospital official and an eyewitness.

The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Also Read: Amit Shah warns Pakistan, refers to surgical strike

Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.

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At least 20 killed, over 300 injured in an earthquake in Pakistan

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(Asian News Hub) – At least 20 people were killed and over 300 others injured after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province early on Thursday, October 7, 2021, according to PTI quoting media reports.

Disaster management officials said the death toll may increase, Geo News reported.

According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said many of the dead were women and children.

The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan.

Images on social media showed people in the city of Quetta out on the streets in the aftermath of the quake, Dawn newspaper reported.

Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20 am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway, with an emergency declared in all hospitals.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

He said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged. Many people were left buried under the rubble.

The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.

According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.

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World surpasses 5M COVID-19 deaths

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(Asian News Hub) – The coronavirus death toll around the world surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to Reuters’s tally.

Around the world, an average of 8,000 deaths a day were reported, according to the outlet. However, it noted that the global death rate has slowed in recent weeks.

Reuters reported that it took over a year to accumulate 2.5 million deaths, but it took under eight months to accumulate the second 2.5 million deaths.

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