Australia announces independent inquiry into Covid-19 response

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends a MIKTA meeting (a grouping of Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia) during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Sydney, Australia, Sep 21 (EFE).- Australia on Thursday announced an independent investigation into its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “This Inquiry will look at the Government’s responses and will give advice on what worked, what didn’t, and what we can do in the future to best protect Australians from the worst of any future events” … Read more

Guayaquil on alert for dangerous drug cocktails that may include fentanyl

A young man receives treatment for synthetic drug use, at the Bicentenario Municipal Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 04 September 2023 (issued 19 September 2023). EFE/Mauricio Torres

Cristina Bazan Guayaquil, Ecuador, Sep 19 (EFE).- Fentanyl, the powerful and cheap synthetic drug with opiates, widespread in countries such as the United States, has now put Guayaquil, Ecuador, on alert, as it is apparently appearing mixed with other dangerous drug cocktails. The arrival of four drug users with severe body aches and bulging, disoriented … Read more

South India on alert after 2 deaths due to deadly Nipah virus

A Medical personnel wearing protective clothing comes out of a quarantined hospital in Kochi, Kerala, India during a Nipah outbreak on 6 August 2019. EFE-EPA FILE/Prakash Elamakkara

New Delhi, Sep 13 (EFE).- Authorities in India’s southern state of Kerala sounded a high alert on Wednesday after they confirmed a fresh outbreak of the deadly Nipah (NIV) virus in the state, which has killed at least two people so far, even as containment measures have been enforced. Authorities shut down some schools and … Read more

Red Cross ends financial support for Afghan healthcare

An Afghan Police officer inspects the office of the Red Cross following a militant attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 29 May 2013. EPA/FILE/ABDUL MUEED

Kabul, Aug 31 (EFE).- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will no longer be responsible for the financial support of dozens of Afghan hospitals, as the Taliban takes over management from Friday. “The responsibility (to manage the hospital finances) will be handed over on September 1,” health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman Amar told … Read more

Thai ex-PM Thaksin’s daughter defends his hospitalization after arrest

Family members of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra leave after visiting him at the Police Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand, 28 August 2023. EFE-EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

Bangkok, Aug 29 (EFE).- The daughter of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been hospitalized in police custody, said on Tuesday that he was fatigued and stressed, amid criticism over the supposed favorable treatment meted out to the detainee. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, a leader of the Pheu Thai party, said that the bad health … Read more

Bahamas moves to legalize marijuana for medical, religious purposes

A file photo shows a technician checking a cannabis crop for medicinal use, in the municipality of Dagua (Colombia). EFE/Mario Baos

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug 25 (EFE).- The Bahamas government unveiled on Friday a compendium of bills to decriminalize marijuana for medical, religious, and scientific research, thus transforming its consumption from a strictly illegal activity to a regulated industry. A total of 11 pieces of legislation will establish a framework for local cannabis production to … Read more

Vaccine shortage amid chickenpox outbreak hits migrants at Mexican border

Migrants protest the lack of vaccinations and medical care outside the US Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, August 24, 2023. EFE/ Joebeth Terríquez

By Manuel Ayala Tijuana, Mexico, Aug 25 (EFE).- Migrants stranded at Mexico’s northern border are complaining of unavailability of vaccines amid a chickenpox outbreak that has infected 70 children. Families awaiting the opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States are missing immigration appointments due to the inability to cross the border with an … Read more

Sister gifts womb in UK’s milestone uterus transplant

A Romanian activist shouts feminist slogans while beating a drum during a protest named 'OUR UTERUS IS NOT YOUR PROFIT!' held in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, 08 March 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/Robert Ghement

London, Aug 23 (EFE).- A woman born with a reproductive disorder has received her sister’s womb in the first uterus transplant by doctors in the United Kingdom. As per various British media reports on Wednesday, the 34-year-old woman, who has preferred to remain anonymous, received the uterus of her sister, 40, in February. Some 20 … Read more

South Korea to downgrade Covid-19 infection level to same as seasonal flu from Aug. 31

Quarantine officials introduce procedures for Covid-19 tests to entrants from China upon their arrival at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, 02 January 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

Seoul, Aug 23 (EFE).- South Korea will downgrade the infection level of Covid-19 to that of seasonal flu from Aug. 31, thereby removing all restrictions and returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. South Korean health authorities announced the decision on Wednesday after the number of infections decreased for the first time in two months last week. “The … Read more

North Korea’s 1st international commercial flight after Covid pandemic lands in Beijing

North Korean travelers wait in line at a check-in counter of North Korea's Air Koryo at Beijing International Airport, China 22 August 2023, as flight services between North Korea and China reopened three years and seven months after they were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. EFE-EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

Beijing, Aug 22 (EFE).- A flight of North Korean state carrier Air Koryo from Pyongyang landed at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, becoming the country’s first international commercial flight since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. An electronic board shows the arrival of an Air Koryo plane, JS151, from Pyongyang at Beijing International Airport, … Read more

Dengue cases break annual record in Bangladesh as death toll nears 500

Twelve-years old Shahana (L) receives treatment for dengue fever at Mugda Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 15 August 2023 EFE-EPA FILE/MONIRUL ALAM

Dhaka, Aug 3 (EFE).- Bangladesh’s serious dengue outbreak has now resulted in the highest-ever annual caseload as the country’s health authorities on Monday reported 2,197 hospitalized cases, taking the total number of cases this year to 102,191. Meanwhile nine new deaths were reported since Sunday, taking this year’s death toll to 485. The number of … Read more