The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has killed more than 2.2 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources , Saturday January 30. More than 102 million cases of infection have been diagnosed. The number of casualties worldwide is globally underestimated; it is based on the daily reports of the national health authorities.
AstraZeneca to deliver 40 million doses of its vaccine to European Union in first quarter, says Ursula von der Leyen
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced on Twitter, Sunday, that AstraZeneca would deliver 40 million doses of its vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter.
The company, whose vaccine was authorized on the European market on Friday, had announced a three-quarter reduction in deliveries promised to the EU in the first quarter, arguing a “Drop in yield” on a European manufacturing site to explain its delays. This delay would therefore be partly made up for, according to Mme von der Leyen, who ensures that nine million additional doses to this drop announcement will be delivered.
AstraZeneca “Will start deliveries one week earlier than planned” – is “A priori, the second week of February”, a European source told Agence France-Presse – and “Will also expand its manufacturing capacity in Europe”, also wrote the president of the European Commission on Twitter. The leader, who spoke on Sunday with the heads of companies with which the EU has contracted for vaccines, also maintained in an interview with the German channel ZDF the objective of the EU to vaccinate 70% of adults from here ” the end of summer “.
Demonstration despite the ban in Austria, arrests in Brussels
In Austria, in Vienna, about five thousand people demonstrated on Sunday against the curfew and confinement decided by the government in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus. However, the police had banned the gathering.
Among the thousands of protesters who nevertheless responded on Sunday to the appeal of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ, far right), which organized the demonstration and tried “Scandalous” its ban, include neo-Nazi activists and hooligans. The police proceeded to arrests, while the crowd refused to disperse and wanted to march in the direction of Parliament, blocking traffic.
In Belgium, nearly 500 people were pre-emptively arrested on Sunday in Brussels to prevent two protests banned by the authorities against anti-Covid measures, a local police spokesperson told AFP. “We are beyond two hundred arrests for the moment”, mainly near the stations of the Belgian capital, said this spokesperson at midday.
In addition to the central station, demonstrators were called on social networks to gather at the Atomium, an emblematic monument of the city, where a few dozen people were present. “People who despite everything intend to demonstrate in Brussels today will be approached, dissuaded from staying and, if necessary, administratively arrested”, added the Brussels police on Twitter.
Berlin threatens legal action labs
The German government on Sunday threatened the laboratories with legal action. “Not respecting their obligations” delivery of vaccines to the EU. “No company can favor another country over the EU after the fact”, said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, in an interview with the German daily The world.
The tone has risen in recent weeks between European leaders and the British laboratory AstraZeneca, which has accumulated delays in the delivery of its vaccine against Covid-19. The group explained that they could only deliver” a quarter “ doses initially promised to the EU in the first trimester, showing a “Lower yields” in a European factory.
The EU implicitly accuses AstraZeneca of having favored Great Britain, to the detriment of its contractual obligations with Brussels, and reacted by adopting on Friday a mechanism to control exports of vaccines produced on its territory.
New vaccination campaigns
A number of countries have in turn started their vaccination campaigns. TheAlgeria, for example, launched his on Saturday in the city of Blida with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, according to the official Algerian press agency APS. The largest Maghreb country will also receive the first doses of the British vaccine AstraZeneca-Oxford on Sunday, as will Egypt, which has already started its vaccination campaign with the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm.
WHO experts in the Wuhan market
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) who are investigating China on the origin of the coronavirus went to the Huanan market in Wuhan on Sunday, the first known focus of the epidemic, according to AFP journalists on the spot.
This market, where live wild animals were sold, has been closed since January 2020, and guards only let in vehicles from the WHO investigative group. This visit is politically highly sensitive for Beijing, accused of having delayed reacting to the first cases of Covid reported at the end of 2019 in the immense metropolis of central China. On Sunday, experts did not answer any questions when they arrived at the market.
The nationalist daily Global Times published an article a few days ago relativizing the importance of this market in the origin of the pandemic, affirming that « investigations » suggested that he was not the source of the outbreak. As for the communist power, it minimizes the scope of the mission of foreign specialists.
Masks mandatory in transport in the United States
Masks will be compulsory in transport everywhere United States from Tuesday, the country’s main federal public health agency said. This measure, which follows a promise from Joe Biden, will apply in planes, buses, trains, taxis or ferries, said the Centers for the prevention and fight against diseases (CDC) in a document issued Friday evening.
Failure to comply with this measure, which will come into force Monday at 11:59 p.m. local time (5:59 a.m. in Paris on Tuesday), will be considered a violation of federal law. Surgical or fabric masks, purchased or homemade, reusable or single use, are accepted. They may be temporarily removed to eat or take medication or to verify a person’s identity.