Germany has since Saturday closed its borders to five countries severely affected by the various Covid-19 vairants, in particular the United Kingdom and Ireland. France will follow suit on Sunday by closing its borders to countries outside the European Union.
The pandemic has killed more than 2.19 million people around the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established Friday evening by AFP from official sources. More than 101.4 million cases of infection have been diagnosed.
The United States is the country with the most deaths (436,217), followed by Brazil (222,666), Mexico (155,145), India (154,010) and the United Kingdom ( 103’126).
>> The map of contaminations in the world (since the start of the pandemic):
INDIA – One year after the arrival of the Covid, the number of cases down
India on Saturday reported its lowest number of new active cases of the coronavirus in seven months, a year after the virus was detected in the country. To stop the spread of the virus, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed confinement on the entire population of the country at the end of March 2020, i.e. 1.3 billion inhabitants.
The lockdown, under which domestic and international travel was banned and factories, schools, offices and all non-essential businesses closed, crippled India’s economy, which is expected to contract 7.7% for the current financial year, at March 31.
The number of cases in the country fell until April 2020, but started to rise again from May, before peaking in mid-September to reach nearly 100,000 new daily infections.
CHINA – WHO visits the first hospital for Covid patients in Wuhan
World Health Organization (WHO) experts tasked with investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, under close control of their Chinese hosts, visited a hospital in Wuhan city, the suspected birthplace of the coronavirus in central China.
Two days after the end of a two-week quarantine period, the team went to Jinyintan hospital, where doctors had taken samples from patients with unidentified pneumonia in late 2019.
The WHO mission takes place in a delicate context, between delays in the authorizations granted by Beijing for the arrival of experts, questions about their ability to have unrestricted access and criticism of the United States, which accused China for having concealed the initial scale of the health crisis.
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FRANCE – Borders closed but no re-containment
Give yourself “another chance to avoid containment”: the head of government Jean Castex announced on Friday new restrictions in the face of the Covid epidemic, including the closure of borders to non-EU countries, but postponed any radical decision in the “next days”, deemed “decisive”.
>> Details in the 10:30 p.m. newspaper:
First measure put forward by the Prime Minister: from Sunday 00:00, France will close its borders to countries outside the European Union, “unless there is a compelling reason”. A negative PCR test will also be required for any entry into France from an EU country, “with the exception of cross-border workers”. This measure, already in force for maritime and air transport, must therefore be extended to land.
Finally, all trips to and from overseas territories will also be subject to compelling reasons. Its nature will be specified by decree but should mainly concern health and the family, according to a government source.
GERMANY – Borders closed with five severely affected countries
Germany is restricting entry to its territory by land, sea and air from Saturday. Five countries strongly affected by the different variants of Covid-19 are affected by this restriction, the government said on Friday.
This decision, valid until February 17 at first, concerns the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal and South Africa. It aims to “protect the German population”, said the German health ministry.
These restrictions will however include several exceptions, in particular for Germans living in these countries, nationals of these countries residing in Germany, passengers in transit or the movement of goods, according to this document.
UNITED STATES – Improvement through prevention and immunity
For two weeks, the trend has been clear: new cases of coronavirus and hospitalizations have fallen in the United States, even if the total number of daily positive cases is much higher than in the summer.
According to experts, the reasons for this improvement range from respecting barrier gestures (wearing a mask, physical distancing) to the fact that the holiday season, favorable to gatherings, is far away.
And, at least in some states of the country, the virus has already infected a good part of the population. But the situation remains precarious and too rapid relaxation of restrictions could upset the current balance, and cause a new peak in the epidemic which has already killed more than 430,000 people in the United States, worry the scientists.
BRAZIL – Last step before large-scale production of AstraZeneca vaccine
The British laboratory AstraZeneca and the Brazilian foundation Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) – a prestigious scientific institution associated with the Ministry of Health – on Friday asked the health authorities to give their final green light to the anti-Covid vaccine that the British laboratory has developed, in order to be able to produce it on a large scale in Brazil.
The demand comes as the pandemic is on the rise in Brazil, where there are further fears that a new variant that has appeared in Amazonas state, which could be highly contagious, could spread to the rest of the country.
Brazil only started its vaccination campaign twelve days ago, giving priority to caregivers, the elderly and the indigenous population.
PERU – Arrival of one million doses of Chinese vaccine in early February
A first batch of one million doses of the vaccine from the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm against Covid-19 will arrive in Lima on February 9, and will allow the immunization of 500,000 people, announced the Peruvian government on Friday.
Immediately after receiving the doses from Beijing, “vaccination will begin in Lima” and in the departments (of the interior of the country) in order to immunize the health workers on the front line, announced the Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez during of a press conference.
This first batch of Sinopharm vaccines is part of a total purchase of 38 million doses, the remainder of which is expected to arrive before the second half of the year.
VIETNAM – Astrazeneca vaccine approved
Vietnam has approved its first COVID-19 vaccine and cut short a key meeting of the ruling Communist Party, state media reported on Saturday, as the country battles the steepest rise in the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
Vietnam, a country of some 98 million people that has so far successfully tackled the virus, has registered 180 new cases since two locally transmitted cases in northern Hai Duong province were reported on Thursday.
This is a rapid spread for the country given that it has registered only 1,739 cases since the disease was detected a year ago, including 873 infections transmitted locally, thanks to mass testing and a centralized quarantine program.
NORWAY – Relaxed containment in the Oslo region
The Norwegian government will gradually relax from February 3 the containment measures implemented to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the region of the capital Oslo, allowing certain shops and leisure activities to reopen, the minister said on Saturday. Bent Hoeie Health.
The outbreak of a more contagious variant of Covid-19, first identified in Britain, resulted in stricter measures being put in place in the country on January 23, including the closure of all non-stores essential for the first time in the pandemic.
The situation in and around the capital Oslo, however, remains uncertain and the easing will therefore be gradual, added the Minister.
RTSinfo and agencies