New Zealand ‘Left Us Out to Dry’ in Pandemic, Maori Leader Says – VOA Asia

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has recorded almost 238 million global COVID infections and nearly 5 million deaths. The center said early Monday that nearly 6.5 billion vaccines have been administered worldwide.

Maori politicians say that New Zealand could be guilty of committing “modern genocide” if it goes forward with plans to reopen the country.

Ninety-five new COVID cases were reported in New Zealand this weekend and an additional 35 Monday, as the country is attempting to reopen.

Maori politicians are warning that the country’s indigenous people represent more than half of the daily cases.

“At every stage of this pandemic, the government has ignored the advice of our Maori experts. They have left us out to dry,” Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, co-leader of the Maori party, said Monday.

In another development, New Zealand is requiring teachers and workers in the health and disability sectors to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by December 1.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s data, New Zealand has 4,660 COVID infections and 28 deaths from COVID since the pandemic began.

AstraZeneca, the drugmaker that developed one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, said Monday it is seeing promising results with a COVID drug it is developing to combat the coronavirus.

The drug known as ZD7442 reduced severe COVID-19 or death in non-hospitalized patients by 50%, according to AstraZeneca.

“An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease with continued protection for more than six months,” said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president at AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals R&D.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro is upset that COVID-19 protocols prevented him from attending a championship soccer match Sunday in the town on Santos.

Bolsonaro, who is not vaccinated and who has regularly dismissed the seriousness of the disease caused by the coronavirus, said, “I wanted to watch Santos now and they said I needed to be vaccinated. Why should that be?”

Brazil has more than 21 million COVID cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data, and more than 600,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

Source