Chickenpox rife in NE state; COVID-19 update

Local government officials in the NE state of Bihar have reported hundreds of cases of chickenpox, with infections in all age groups. The virus has been spreading rapidly across several villages in Gaya district. Read more  

IN ITS latest COVID-19 epi update, the WHO reported a 6-week run of increasing case numbers and noted that the SE Asian and Western Pacific regions recorded the greatest rises last week. India (with 11 ‘states of grave concern’), Bangladesh and the Philippines have all reported a sharp surge in new cases as, according to the Apr 6 JH newsletter, ‘India surpassed both Brazil and the US to become #1 globally in terms of total daily incidence’. Turkey, another hotspot, recorded a 43 percent hike in new cases, occupying fourth ranking over the week. Read more. In Thailand, varying levels of control measures have been put in place to manage infection surges ahead of the Songkran holiday next week, with entertainment venues in the districts of Klong Toey, Watthana and Bang Khae ordered to close until Apr 19.

In other COVID-19 news -

-Starting from Ramadan, Saudi Arabia will grant permits for the Umrah pilgrimage to three categories of travellers who have the appropriate documentation/vaccinations. ABC News reports that it’s still uncertain whether, or under what conditions, the Hajj pilgrimage will proceed this year. Read more

- The IATA Travel Pass, which documents the results of COVID-19 tests and any vaccinations received, will be an accepted check for entry into Singapore from next month. Read more

-Carnivac-Cov is a veterinary COVID-19 vaccine developed in Russia and tested on dogs, cats, Arctic foxes, minks, foxes and other animals. Production of the vaccine is expected to commence this month. Read more

-Last week the US CDC announced an update to the conditional sailing orders for cruise companies, providing technical instructions which focus on ‘requiring cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers’.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.