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Israeli city offers free drinks to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among young people



(Asian News Hub) – At the Jenia bar at Dizengoff Square in Israel’s Tel Aviv, curious passersby were lured with free beer and coffee in exchange for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine jab.

The latest bid, initiated by the city’s government starting last weekend, aims to encourage its young people to take the vaccine shots as Israel’s vaccination drive, which has inoculated since last December about half of its population, started to slow down.

Mai Perez, 29 years old, was one of the first young people to get a free beer alongside a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Jenia bar.

“It is a great idea to appeal to the young people here and an easy way to make them receive the vaccine,” she said.

The vaccination drive is operated by Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency service in conjunction with Tel Aviv municipality and Ministry of Health, which has set up mobile vaccination sites at various public locations.

MDA now is dispatching across the city its special mobile caravans, which are equipped with refrigerators capable of storing the vaccines at their designated temperature.

Ilee Levanon, an MDA paramedic, said that they are going to the popular places to make it easier for people to get the vaccination, adding that some young people have not received vaccines because they prefer to avoid standing in long queues in vaccination centers or because the applications for vaccines are too complicated.

“So we give people a chance to receive vaccines easily without all the red-tape,” he said.

While the elderly rushed to vaccination centers, younger populations were much more hesitant about getting jabs. Around 90 percent of Israelis above the age of 60 received the COVID-19 vaccine, while only half of the people aged 16-39 have been inoculated, said the Israeli Health Ministry.

Younger generations feel less pressure and urgency to take the vaccine, mostly because the virus seems to be less deadly and dangerous for them.

Eytan Schwartz, Tel Aviv municipality spokesperson, told Xinhua that “right now, Israel has enough vaccines to inoculate the entire population within a month. There is no shortage of vaccines, but there is a shortage of willingness. And that is what we are trying to tackle,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz reminded the young people that if they miss bars, nightclubs, and parties, then they should take the responsibility to get vaccine shots so the dynamic nightlife of Tel Aviv can finally return.

XINHUA News Agency

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



(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



(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



(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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