UAE health: COVID-19 may require an annual vaccine

UAE health: COVID-19 may require an annual vaccine
Doctor Farida Al-Hosani said virus mutations increase the likelihood that there will be a need to re-vaccinate against it annually. (WAM)
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Updated 27 January 2021

UAE health: COVID-19 may require an annual vaccine

UAE health: COVID-19 may require an annual vaccine
  • Around 40-50 percent of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic
  • The UAE has seen a surge of cases recently

DUBAI: People might need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, according to the spokeswoman of United Arab Emirates’ health sector.
Doctor Farida Al-Hosani said virus mutations increase the likelihood that there will be a need to re-vaccinate against it annually in much the same way that people do for influenza, state news agency WAM reported. 
The annual vaccination – like with flu – would need to be adapted each year to the most prevalent strain, she explained.
Around 40-50 percent of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, Al-Hosani added.
“Based on this, we increased the focus on old people. The earlier the detection of the virus among old people and people with pre-existing conditions, the more chance the virus can be contained,” Al-Hosani added.
The UAE has seen a surge of cases recently and the government has introduced some stricter precautionary measures, such as a one-month suspension of non-emergency and elective surgeries as well as decreasing the number of people in gatherings, weddings and parties.
The Gulf country saw on Tuesday another record high in daily coronavirus infections with 3,601 cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP).
Coronavirus cases in the country have climbed for 15 consecutive days.
The country’s COVID-19 caseload is now at 285,147 with recoveries at 259,194, after 3,890 new patients recovered from the disease in the previous 24 hours.
Health authorities also announced seven fatalities due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 805, state news agency WAM reported.


Turkey summons Iran ambassador over accusations Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty: Al Arabiya

Turkey summons Iran ambassador over accusations Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty: Al Arabiya
Updated 22 min 27 sec ago

Turkey summons Iran ambassador over accusations Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty: Al Arabiya

Turkey summons Iran ambassador over accusations Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty: Al Arabiya

CAIRO: Turkey has summoned the Iranian ambassador over accusations by Tehran that Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty, Al Arabiya TV reported Sunday. 

Turkey said it expects from Tehran to stand by Ankara in “combating terrorism”. 

Last week, Iran summoned the Turkish ambassador in Tehran over comments made by Turkish officials accusing Iran of destabilizing the region by getting involved in Iraq and Syria. 


Iran health ministry says virus deaths cross 60,000 mark

Iran health ministry says virus deaths cross 60,000 mark
Updated 54 min 15 sec ago

Iran health ministry says virus deaths cross 60,000 mark

Iran health ministry says virus deaths cross 60,000 mark

Iran's health ministry said the country's coronavirus fatalities broke the 60,000 mark on Sunday, as the Islamic republic battles the Middle East's worst outbreak of the illness.
"Sadly in the past 24 hours, 93 people lost their lives to Covid-19, and total deaths from this disease reached 60,073," health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a televised address.
Iran has registered a total of 1,631,169 infections, according to the ministry.


Russian helicopter makes emergency landing in Syria

Russian helicopter makes emergency landing in Syria
Updated 25 min 42 sec ago

Russian helicopter makes emergency landing in Syria

Russian helicopter makes emergency landing in Syria
  • Russian Defense Ministry said the helicopter was not fired at

AMMAN/MOSCOW: A Russian Mi-35 helicopter made an emergency landing due to technical problems during a flight over Syria’s northern Hasaka province, state agencies quoted Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying on Sunday.
“The crew was quickly evacuated to the airfield. There is no threat to lives of the pilots,” the RIA news agency cited a Defense Ministry statement as saying.
The helicopter was not fired at, it added.
Syrian state media said earlier there were reports of a Russian helicopter crash in northeast Syria that killed the pilot.
It said the site of the crash was in Hasaka province, near Tal Tamr close to a Russian base.


Iranian police official dismissed over protests in Baluchestan Province

Iranian police official dismissed over protests in Baluchestan Province
Updated 55 min 44 sec ago

Iranian police official dismissed over protests in Baluchestan Province

Iranian police official dismissed over protests in Baluchestan Province

CAIRO: The Iranian parliament is reportedly sending a delegation to investigate alleged use of excessive force by government forces against protesters in the southeast Baluchistan region.

Iranian media reports said the delegation will investigate what has been described as “bloody” violence after unrest gripped the remote province following fatal border shootings.

The reports also said that the Iranian police force deputy in the region was dismissed over the violence. 


Vatican envoy to Iraq tested Covid-19 positive: officials

Vatican envoy to Iraq tested Covid-19 positive: officials
Updated 28 February 2021

Vatican envoy to Iraq tested Covid-19 positive: officials

Vatican envoy to Iraq tested Covid-19 positive: officials

BAGHDAD: The Vatican’s ambassador to Iraq Mitja Leskovar has tested positive for Covid-19, two officials told AFP Sunday, just days before Pope Francis’ historic visit.
“Yes, he tested positive, but it will have no impact on the visit,” an Iraqi official involved in the papal plans said.
An Italian diplomat also confirmed the infection.
As apostolic nuncio to Baghdad, Leskovar had been traveling across the country in recent weeks to prepare for the pope’s ambitious visit, including visits to Mosul in the north, the shrine city of Najaf and the southern site of Ur.
During foreign trips, popes typically stay at the nuncio’s residence, but Iraqi officials have not revealed where Francis will reside during his trip, citing security reasons.
Iraq is experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus infections, which the health ministry has blamed on a new faster-spreading strain that first emerged in the United Kingdom.
The country of 40 million is registering around 4,000 new cases per day, near the peak that it had reached in September, with total infections nearing 700,000 and deaths at nearly 13,400.
Pope Francis, as well as his Vatican staff and the dozens of international reporters traveling with him, have already been vaccinated.
Iraq itself has yet to begin its vaccination campaign.