Coronavirus in the world: half of British adults received a dose of vaccine, increase in cases in Germany

The pandemic has killed at least 2,692,313 people worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Friday at 11:00 GMT.

The United States is the country with the most deaths (540,970), followed by Brazil (290,314), Mexico (196,606), India (159,370) and the United Kingdom (125,926).

These figures, which are based on daily reports from health authorities without including reassessments based on statistical bases, are generally underestimated.

EUROPE

Germany ranks Poland as a high risk country

Germany will restrict crossings at its border with Poland, a country classified Friday in the high-risk Covid-19 zone by the Robert Koch health watch institute.

The measure, which will take effect on Sunday, means that people entering German territory from Poland will have to present a negative PCR or antigen test, according to the institute, which also classified Cyprus and Bulgaria in this category.

Resumption of vaccination with AstraZeneca in several European countries

Germany, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Slovenia resumed vaccination on Friday with the AstraZeneca vaccine, declared “safe and effective” the day before by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

On the other hand, Denmark, Norway and Sweden will wait. Finland has declared a suspension at least until March 29.

In France, the health authority recommended Friday to reserve it for 55 years and over.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, like his British counterpart Boris Johnson. German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have declared that they will be administered this vaccine.

United Kingdom: half of adults received a dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Half of the adult population in the United Kingdom has received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Minister of Health announced on Saturday, welcoming a “huge success” for this country, the most bereaved in Europe by the pandemic. “I am absolutely delighted to tell you that we have now vaccinated half of all adults in the UK. It is a huge success,” Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a video posted on Twitter. He thanked those involved in the vast vaccination campaign launched in early December in the United Kingdom.

“It is so important, because this vaccine is our way out of this pandemic”, underlined the minister, encouraging the population to be vaccinated.

“The British vaccination program is a great success. It is thanks to the hard work of many people. It is not easy, but we are making considerable progress,” he added.

The UK has administered more than 26 million first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. On Thursday alone, 660,276 doses of vaccine were injected.

The vaccination campaign was recently extended to those over 50 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 56, received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday, following assurances from UK and EU regulators on the safety of the serum.

Boris Johnson was vaccinated at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he spent three days in intensive care in April 2020, stricken with Covid-19 disease.

Germany: exponential rise in infections

Germany is facing a “very clearly exponential” increase in Covid-19 infections, linked in particular to the spread of the British variant, said vice-president of the Institute for Public Health Surveillance Robert Koch (RKI).

Italy adopts € 32 billion support measures

The Italian government on Friday adopted in the Council of Ministers a package of aid measures of 32 billion euros to face the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and support businesses and households.

Tightening of restrictions in Sardinia

Sardinia, which was an exception in Italy with relatively few restrictions linked to Covid-19, will see the measures tighten from Monday due to a deterioration in its health situation, announced the Italian Minister of Health.

AMERICA

Venezuela: opposition releases $ 30 million for the purchase of vaccines

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido announced Friday to allocate $ 30 million in frozen funds abroad as part of the sanctions against his country and placed under his control to the purchase of anti-Covid vaccines, via the Covax mechanism.

Authorities said the country is facing a second wave of the epidemic “more virulent” than the previous one.

Beaches closed in Rio, Bolsonaro worried about vitamin D

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro announced Friday the closure of beaches this weekend to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a decision criticized by President Jair Bolsonaro, who said he was concerned about the vitamin D deficiencies of the inhabitants of Rio.

Volkswagen temporarily suspends production in Brazil

Car maker Volkswagen announced on Friday a temporary twelve-day suspension of production at its four factories in Brazil due to the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic that is hitting the country hard.

Resignation of Ecuadorian Minister of Health

Ecuadorian Health Minister Rodolfo Farfan resigned Friday amid the scandal over the vaccination against Covid-19 of people not belonging to priority groups, an official source said.

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