March 2, 2021, 12.41 PM

The country is suffering from the highest per-capita Covid-19 death rates in the past week, according to the Our World in Data website.

It is following Hungary in rolling out the Russian vaccine despite it lacking approval for emergency use within the EU.

Asia

Turkey will lift weekend lockdowns in its low and medium-risk cities and limit coronavirus restrictions to just Sundays in high and very high-risk areas.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country is starting a "controlled normalization" of coronavirus measures and said that the list of measures would be updated every two weeks on a province-by-province basis.

Istanbul was categorized as high risk, while the capital Ankara was in the medium-risk category.

China has said it plans to vaccinate 40 percent of its population by June.

Zhong Nanshan, the head of a group of experts tied to the National Health Commission, said China has delivered 52.52 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of February 28.

Also readLocally Made GeNose Covid-19 Detector Available at Indonesia’s Airports in April

The country has vaccinated 3.56 percent of its population of 1.4 billion so far, according to Zhong.

The target is first China has announced publicly since it began its mass inoculation campaign for key groups in mid-December.

Iran passed the grim milestone of 60,000 known coronavirus-related deaths, according to a Health Ministry report released on Sunday.

The number of infections in the country since the pandemic reached over 1.63 million. Iran has been one of the worst-hit by the global pandemic.

India expanded its vaccination drive beyond frontline and health care workers on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the first to receive a vaccine in the most recent cohort.

People older than 60 as well as those over 45 who have underlying conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are now also eligible for a vaccine.

So far the government has managed to administer at least one dose to 6.6 million of the 10 million health care workers and 5.1 million of the 20 frontline workers that it had planned to vaccinate by now. India still hopes to immunize 300 million people by August.

Health experts urged the Pope to call off his trip to Iraq on Friday — the first papal visit ever to the country — fearing that his visit may become a superspreader event.

The Philippines launched its coronavirus vaccination program on Monday. President Rodrigo Duterte, along with other top officials, was among the first to be vaccinated to encourage uptake in one of Southeast Asia's worst-hit countries.

Health workers, police, and the military were also vaccinated in Manila with some of the 600,000 doses donated by China.

Middle East

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled the government must limit its use of the domestic spy agency to track coronavirus infections, saying "draconian" surveillance compromises democracy.

The Israeli government began deploying the Shin Bet's surveillance technologies in March 2020, when infections began to peak, but it was quickly blocked. The court argued that legislation was required to authorize the program.

Also readWorld Leaders Discuss Global Covid-19 Recovery

In July, however, parliament passed a law allowing the surveillance when "an epidemiological investigation cannot be completed otherwise."

After four civil society groups challenged the law, a seven-judge panel said the government must curb its use of the tracking agency beginning March 14 this year.

"From this day on, the use of the Shin Bet will be limited to cases in which a confirmed coronavirus patient was not cooperating in his (epidemiological) investigation, whether intentionally or not, or gave no report of his encounters," the court said.

Americas

Mexico's coronavirus czar Hugo Lopez-Gatell had to be hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment over the past five days, a health official said on Sunday. The man behind the Mexican coronavirus strategy has been criticized for downplaying the importance of wearing masks and widespread testing.

The country reported 458 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 185,715.

Oceania

The mayor of New Zealand's biggest city Auckland called for the residents to be given priority in the country's vaccination strategy after the city of two million was put into a weeklong lockdown.

Mayor Phil Goff defended his plea by saying that each day under lockdown costs the city an estimated 200 jobs and more than NZ$30 million ($21.7 million).

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