Massive Surge in Papua New Guinea

COVID-19 is hitting Papua New Guinea “like a tornado,” forcing hospitals to close because so  many doctors and nurses are ill, Reuters reports.
The Pacific Island nation has reported 2,351 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic’s onset—but half of the cases were recorded this month, and 600 in just the past week. Only 55,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in a population of 8.78 million.
Australia has pledged to send 8,000 vaccines. First in line: the 5,000-strong health workforce.

No Freedom From Covid-19 in Uruguay 

After touting a “freedom with responsibility” strategy, Uruguay overtook hard-hit Brazil on Sunday as the Latin American country with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases per million inhabitants (355.65 to Brazil’s 314.5), according to the BBC.

The indicator fluctuates, and Uruguay had kept deaths relatively low and has been rolling out vaccines fast.

But complacency is kicking in, warns Universidad de la República’s Julio Medina: “Sometimes you are held hostage to your own success: things were going well, people relaxed - that explains a good part of what is happening.”

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