COVID-19: Global death toll surpasses 2.59 million

Washington, Mar 8 (FN Bureau) The global death toll from COVID-19 has gone past 2.59 million, while over 116 million cases of the disease have been detected till now, said the Johns Hopkins University in its latest update regarding the pandemic. Sri Lanka has received the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines through the international COVAX facility run by the World Health Organization(WHO). The first delivery to the South Asian island country included 264,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. By May, Sri Lanka is expected to receive 1,440,000 doses.

Meanwhile Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said the country could approve it’s second coronavirus vaccine after Pfizer’s as early as in May or June, Minister Norihisa Tamura said on Sunday. South Africa has been fighting the menace posed by fake covid vaccines, the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Sunday warned that fake COVID-19 vaccines are available on the black market and told citizens to stay alert and not put themselves at health risk. Earlier this week, Interpol said that South Africa had seized fake coronavirus vaccines. The SAPS later disclosed details about the police operation that led to the arrest of four smugglers of counterfeit COVID-19 jabs at a warehouse in the northern Guateng province. According to the police, fake vaccines and masks worth nearly $400,000 were seized in mid-November.