India is the epicentre of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak. India has reported more than 300,000 new cases every day for the last 5 days and virologists say that they expect India to soon be reporting half a million cases a day.. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called this second wave “a storm”, and has encouraged people to receive vaccinations. The capital city, Delhi, has extended its lockdown by one more week. There are reports of people being unable to find hospital beds and people are dying because of a shortage of oxygen throughout India. The government has sent trains and planes to move oxygen. The European Union and The United States have promised to send oxygen to India, and the United Kingdom will send ventilators. Speaking to the BBC Doctor Atul Gogia from Delhi said that he had never seen a situation like this...
“It’s been twenty years or so I’ve been in this profession and I’ve never seen this kind of crisis situation. And I hope that nobody else sees it and we never see it again because the kind of numbers [that] are there, the lack of infrastructure we are facing, the supplies and the physical stress.”
Israel has the opposite story to India - on Friday Israel reported no new COVID19 deaths for the first time in 10 months. Israel has the highest rate of vaccination of any major country - over 62% of people have receive at least one dose of a vaccine, and 58% have received both doses. Israel has said that it will accept tourists from next month, as long as they are vaccinated.
The Indonesian navy has confirmed that one of their submarines has sunk. 53 people are expected to have died after the KRI Nanggala sank close to the island of Bali.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said that he will stop his hunger strike, after 24 days. Navalny was protesting against not being able to see a civilian doctor - which he now says has happened.
In Iraq a fire at a hospital has killed at least 82 people. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi suspended Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi after the fire at a coronavirus intensive care unit.
The United States has officially recognized the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as ‘genocide’. During World War One around one million ethnic Armenians were killed by soldiers from the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor state to Turkey. Turkey does not consider that a genocide happened, and the foreign ministry said that the decision ‘hurt’ the Turkish people.
US Vice President Kamala Harris has said that she aims to fight the ‘root causes’ of migration from Central America. In an interview with CNN Harris said that the main reason that people were leaving home was because of hunger. She said that the Biden Administration would help farmers and agricultural programmes in Central America as well as providing emergency aid to recover from the effects of hurricanes. This year, over half a million people have been caught trying to illegally cross the Mexico-US border - more than during all of 2020.
In Burkina Faso a vaccine against malaria has proved highly effective, according to scientists from Oxford University. The vaccine, which was given to 450 babies in Burkina Faso was shown to be 77% effective. This is considered an important step in fighting malaria, which kills around half a million people every year.
In Somalia there has been fighting between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Two weeks ago Somalia’s parliament voted to extend Mohamed’s presidential term for another two years in order to prepare for a direct election.
The European Union is now vaccinating people much faster than it was in previous months. Maya Dil reports...
The number of Covid19 vaccines being given in European Union countries is rising after a slow start. After months of delays in the production and distribution of vaccines, more than 110 million doses are now being given in the EU every day. Around the world, over one billion doses of covid vaccines have now been given. The countries that have given the most are The United States, with 225 million, China with 216 million doses, and India with 138 million.
Albania held a parliamentary election yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been declared, however the socialist party of Prime Minister Edi Rama are expected to win the most seats. Rama has said that he will resign if the socialists don’t win a majority of seats.
And in France 15 people have finished living in a cave for 40 days. Volunteers were part of an experiment to see how a lack of daylight and communication would affect their sense of time. Surprisingly, most of the group felt that they had been underground less than forty days, and most of them said that they enjoyed the experience.
That’s all for today. Thank you to Rafaella from Brazil for your lovely message! Go to send7.org for transcripts or to send us a message. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.