WHO begins shipping Chinese vaccines despite some reservations

AFRICA – The World Health Organization’s pandemic programme plans to ship 100 million doses of the Sinovac and Sinopharm COVID-19 shots by the end of next month, mostly to Africa and Asia, in its first delivery of Chinese vaccines, a WHO document shows. The Chinese shipments will help the sputtering global COVAX vaccine sharing programme which is far behind its pledge to deliver 2 billion doses this year following supply problems and export curbs imposed by major producer India. It could also boost Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy efforts despite concerns over…

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COVID-19 crisis in Indonesia worsens as the country reports a 2m milestone of reported cases

INDONESIA – The Southeast Asian nation Indonesia, hit the 2 million mark as its hospital occupancy rates soars to over 75percent in Jakarta and other hard-hit areas with increased COVID-19 related deaths being reported. Official figures as of Monday showed Indonesia had recorded a daily record high of 14,536 cases, taking the total to just over two million with nearly 55,000 deaths, among a population of nearly 270 million. The infamous milestone comes after the daily recorded rate double in recent weeks with the country’s authority identifying the presence of…

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Decline in health tech momentum even as investors plunge deeper into funding rounds

INDONESIA – Preliminary data on investments in health tech startups in Southeast Asia suggests a slowing momentum this year even as major players continue to pull more funds. One of the largest telemedicine providers in the region, Alodokter, has announced its latest funding round backed by MDI Ventures, the investment arm of Indonesia’s Telkom Group, and Samsung Venture Investment Corporation. Last month, its fiercest rival in Indonesia, Halodoc, announced an $80 million round led by local conglomerate Astra International and joined by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Halodoc has raised at least…

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