France on Monday expanded its vaccination campaign to all people over the age of 75 and to people at risk. China, for its part, announced growth of 2.3% in 2020 and is the only G20 country not to have seen its GDP decline last year.
Since the onset of the disease at the end of December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 2.03 million people worldwide, according to a report established Monday at 12 p.m. by AFP. The number of people diagnosed positive is approaching 100 million.
With 397,600 deaths for 23,937,332 recorded cases, the United States is the most affected country in terms of both number of deaths and cases (in absolute numbers). Brazil follows with 209,847 deaths and 8.5 million cases, then India with 152,419 deaths (10.6 million cases), Mexico with 140,704 deaths (1.6 million cases), and the United Kingdom with 89,261 deaths (3.4 million cases).
In proportion to their population, the country where the epidemic killed the most is, however, Belgium, with 1.76 deaths per 1000 inhabitants, followed by Slovenia (1.54), Bosnia (1.37), ‘Italy (1.36), the Czech Republic (1.35) and the United Kingdom (1.31). Switzerland has just passed the milestone of 1 death per 1,000 inhabitants.
Rich countries grab all doses of vaccine
WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday denounced the “catastrophic moral failure” that is emerging if rich countries continue to monopolize vaccines against Covid-19 to the detriment of poor countries.
In a speech at the opening of a meeting of the executive council of the UN organization in Geneva, he lambasted the “selfish” attitude of rich countries and sharply criticized vaccine manufacturers who seek regulatory approval in states. wealthy rather than submitting their data to the WHO to get a global green light for vaccine use. “This failure will be paid for by the lives and the means of subsistence in the poorest countries of the world,” he said.
The United States administered the most vaccines (12.28 million doses to 10.60 million people, or 3.2% of the population), ahead of China (more than 10 million doses). However, it is in Israel that the largest proportion of the population has already been vaccinated (24.5%). By way of comparison, vaccination coverage is around 6% in the United Kingdom, “leader” of the European continent in this area. It is still less than 2% in the other European countries, Switzerland included.
>> The map of contaminations in the world (since the start of the pandemic):
FRANCE – Vaccination extended to new groups
France expanded its vaccination campaign on Monday, the day after a first evening under a bell, the curfew having been brought forward to 6 p.m. across the country. Vaccines can now be administered to people over 75 years of age who do not live in retirement homes (5 million people), as well as to nearly 800,000 people with “high risk” pathologies (chronic renal failure). , cancer under treatment …).
More than a million appointments for the two injections had been taken as of Friday, while 833 centers were “open and accessible for reservation”, said Minister of Health Olivier Véran. He reiterated Monday that the milestone of one million French people vaccinated would be “largely reached by the end of the month”.
However, the country will receive 140,000 fewer doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine this week than expected, Deputy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on CNEWS on Monday. “We will catch up at the end of the first quarter for the delay this week,” she then reassured.
Pfizer announced on Friday a temporary slowdown in production and deliveries of its vaccines in order to modify the process so as to speed it up afterwards, causing concern in many member states of the European Union.
GERMANY – Pfizer urged to keep commitments
German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged the Pfizer laboratory on Monday to respect its commitments regarding the volumes and delivery schedule of its Covid-19 vaccine. He said he expected a shortage of the vaccine developed by the American laboratory and its German partner Biotech over the next fifteen days following delivery this week.
The minister added, however, that the use of the doses initially reserved for the second injection should make it possible to deal with the problem.
Pfizer announced Friday a temporary slowdown in production and deliveries in order to modify these processes to make them more efficient thereafter.
CHINA – More than 2% growth in 2020 despite the Covid
China’s economy grew by 2.3% in 2020, its national statistics office announced on Monday. Over the past three months, the country has even recorded an insolent + 6.5% growth. At a time when the great powers are worriedly watching their economy contract in the wake of Covid-19, China is therefore standing apart: it is the only G20 country to have experienced growth last year.
In the first quarter of 2020, the epidemic and the drastic measures of the government had however led to a catastrophic contraction of the economy of -7%. But the virus being under control in the spring, the machine quickly got back into motion under the leadership of the authorities, who validated a large number of infrastructure projects. The recovery was also boosted by exports, a real engine of growth last year.
Taking advantage of the paralysis of the rest of the world, the sector has captured a large part of global orders. Chinese factories in particular have faced for months a significant demand for electronics and other interior design products, usually from economies that are now plagued by health restrictions and quarantines.
>> Listen to the analysis of the RTS correspondent in China in La Matinale on Monday:
LATVIA – Campaign to counter “disinformation” on vaccine
Latvia will campaign, also in Russian, on vaccine safety in order to counter “misinformation” and boost the vaccination rate, its Health Minister Daniels Pavluts announced on Monday. He said the situation was “very problematic” in Duneburg (Daugavpils), Latvian second city, where the population is predominantly Russian speaking.
Daniels Pavluts brought up “disinformation” about vaccines in the Russian-language media, along with more international “anti-vaccine propaganda”.
Latvia has vaccinated 15,756 people so far, barely 0.8% of its population. The campaign was started by medical staff, but at Duneburg Regional Hospital only 10% of staff agreed to receive the vaccine last week, citing concerns over its safety.
UNITED KINGDOM – Vaccine possible from 70 years old
The United Kingdom on Monday extended its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 to those over 70 years old. Until now, doses have been reserved for people over 80 years old. These remain a priority, as do the residents of retirement homes and their caregivers, as well as health personnel.
“About five million more people” can claim a first injection, said Monday the medical director of the national health service for England Stephen Powis. Struck by a variant of the virus up to 70% more contagious, according to health authorities, the United Kingdom deplores the heaviest toll in Europe, with more than 89,000 deaths.
Accused since the start of the crisis of having confined too late, then deconfined too quickly by ignoring the advice of scientists, the government of conservative Boris Johnson is focusing its efforts on mass vaccination to get out of the containments in place. The latter welcomed the fact that “140 vaccines per minute” are administered in the country, his Minister of Health Matt Hancock stressing that half of those over 80 have already been vaccinated.
Since the campaign began on December 8, more than 3.8 million people have received a first dose of the vaccine in the UK, the first western country to start the process, or around 5.8% of the population. To vaccinate as widely as possible, the government has decided to postpone the second dose up to 12 weeks, but also to expand “by the end of January” the time slots when it is possible to receive your injection.
JAPAN – Government criticized for late action
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday pledged to tackle head-on the worrying increase in Covid-19 cases in the country and to restore a normal situation “as soon as possible”. Eleven Japanese departments, including Tokyo and its suburbs, were placed in a state of emergency during the month of January. However, a large part of the Japanese believe that this measure, which is to last until February 7, has come too late.
Since coming to power last September, his popularity has collapsed and his handling of the crisis has come under heavy criticism. His government has thus lost six points of popularity since the end of December and now collects only 39% of positive opinions. At the start of its mandate, the government was supported by 74% of the population.
Compared to other countries, Japan has been relatively spared from the Covid-19 pandemic, with around 4,500 deaths for 323,000 contaminations. However, the number of daily cases has been breaking records since the start of the year, with more than 6,000 new cases per day in mid-January, compared to around 500 in the first wave. The country has ordered enough doses of Covid-19 vaccine for its 125.7 million people, but the inoculation campaign is not expected to start until the end of February, as no vaccine has yet been approved by authorities Japanese sanitary facilities.
Uncertainty is growing as to the possibility of organizing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer, already postponed last year because of the pandemic. Yoshihide Suga, however, reiterated on Monday that Japan was determined for them to take place, as “proof of humanity’s victory over the virus”.
BRAZIL – First two vaccines approved
The Brazilian regulator on Sunday approved the emergency use of two vaccines against Covid-19, the British from Oxford / AstraZeneca and the Chinese from SinoVac, the first two to get the green light in Brazil, where the pandemic has already made. almost 210,000 dead.
The CoronaVac designed by the Chinese firm SinoVac is developed in partnership with the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, while the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is produced in Bombay by the Serum laboratory, in partnership with the Fiocruz Foundation of the Ministry of Health Brazilian.
Six million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine are already in the state of Sao Paulo, a region whose governor Joao Doria is competing with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to lead the vaccination campaign.
RTSinfo with agencies