pandemic update

New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

– Curfews and containments –

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The Netherlands experienced their first curfew since the Second World War overnight from Saturday to Sunday. Imposed between 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT) and 4:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. GMT), it will be renewed every evening at least until February 9.

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The Norwegian government has announced semi-containment measures, the strictest since the start of the epidemic, in Oslo and its region, after the detection of cases of the English variant in a locality near the capital.

In Brazil, after ten days of curfew, the state of Amazonas, the country most affected by the pandemic, has decided to impose a seven-day lockdown.

In Hong Kong, thousands of residents of one of the poorest and densely populated neighborhoods stayed at home on Saturday as part of the first confinement ordered by the authorities.

– Anger in Brazil –

Thousands of people marched through several Brazilian cities on Saturday to protest the delay in the vaccination campaign and demand the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the pandemic.

At the call of left-wing parties and organizations, a noisy procession of some 500 vehicles marched through the main avenues of the economic capital Brasilia, displaying slogans such as “Vaccine pour tous”, “Oxygène”, “Bolsonaro out”, or “Impeachment yes”.

– Delays in vaccine deliveries worry Europe –

After the delays announced by Pfizer in deliveries of Covid vaccines, the similar announcement from AstraZeneca worries Europe, where some countries are even forecasting up to 80% fewer deliveries than expected.

This announcement immediately aroused “deep discontent” from the European Commission and member states.

– Israel vaccinates its adolescents –

Israel has started vaccinating teenagers against the coronavirus as part of its nationwide campaign which has already covered a quarter of the Israeli population.

This new stage of the campaign comes as the country experiences a third strict national lockdown since the end of December.

– Spain: vaccinated, but not a priority –

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The chief of staff of the Spanish army has tendered his resignation after being accused along with other soldiers of having used a privilege to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

In addition to the military, politicians from different parties received the first dose of the vaccine, without belonging to a priority group either. One of them, a regional councilor, was forced to resign.

– An anti-inflammatory effective against Covid –

A large clinical study shows that colchicine, a potent anti-inflammatory drug used for the treatment of gout, reduces the risk of complications from Covid-19, the Montreal Heart Institute (ICM) announced.

Among 4,159 Covid-19 positive patients, colchicine has reduced hospitalizations by 25%, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50%, and deaths by 44%.

– Crowdfunding in Malawi –

In Malawi, a citizens’ crowdfunding initiative raised $ 100,000 in one week to increase resources to fight Covid-19 in public hospitals.

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The fundraiser, which started with a appeal last week, has already secured oxygen cylinders and essential medicines for Malawi’s four main aid-dependent public hospitals.

– More than two million dead –

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The pandemic has killed more than 2.1 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Saturday at 11:00 GMT.

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The United States is the country with the most deaths (417,337), followed by Brazil (216,445), India (153,184), Mexico (147,614) and the United Kingdom (95,981).

– More than 60 million vaccinated –

At least 61.7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide, according to an AFP count from official sources on Saturday at 6 p.m. GMT. If 64 countries or territories have started their vaccination campaign, thirteen of them concentrate more than 90% of the injected doses.

burs-jba-jah / alc / ybl

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