The Sputnik V, long viewed with suspicion because of the speed of its development, has already been approved by more than fifteen countries, especially in South America. In Europe, France and Germany in particular say they are more and more open to its use.
The Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 2,269,346 people around the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP on Thursday at midday. More than 104,350,880 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed since the start of the epidemic, of which at least 63,406,500 are now considered cured.
The United States is the most affected country with 450,805 deaths, for 26.55 million cases. Brazil follows with 227,563 dead, Mexico with 161,240 dead, India with 154,703 dead and the United Kingdom with 109,335 dead.
>> The map of contaminations in the world (since the start of the pandemic):
GERMANY – Enthusiasm around the Russian vaccine
So the Russian vaccine Sputnik V seems to have been proven to be effective, Berlin is pushing for this vaccine to be developed en masse if it were to be authorized by the competent European agency.
Interviewed on German television, Angela Merkel spoke of a pragmatic approach. “I have spoken with the Russian president about it, every vaccine is welcome in Europe, but it will only be authorized if it provides the necessary data for it,” she said.
In mid-January, Angela Merkel therefore proposed in Moscow that the German Paul Ehrlich institute, which evaluates vaccines, provide assistance to the Russian authorities with the prospect of an authorization in Europe. But Berlin goes even further: the Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday afternoon talks between the Russians and a German laboratory in Saxony Anhalt, with the aim of installing a production center for Sputnik’s Europe in Germany. V.
Politically, this would allow Vladimir Putin to pose as the savior of Europe, entangled in its problems of vaccine deliveries, while from a health point of view, it could only speed up the pace of vaccinations. The Germans will still have to be convinced of this: for the moment they are only 4% to trust the Russian vaccine.
>> Details in La Matinale:
Separately, the number of confirmed cases climbed in Germany to 2,252,001, or 14,211 more cases than the day before, according to data reported Thursday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The institute also reports 786 additional deaths, bringing the total to 59,742 deaths since the start of the epidemic.
ITALY – British variant outbreak detected
An outbreak of the British variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Italy in a town in the north of the country, prompting experts to request “special attention regarding the spread of new variants”.
On January 24, 24 people, students and teachers, tested positive at a school in Corzano, a town of around 1,400 people in northern Italy.
As a result, local health authorities decided to test 189 additional people, contact cases, of which 139 tested positive. Only one was hospitalized, the others having little or no symptoms at all.
NORWAY – AstraZeneca vaccine reserved for under 65s
Norwegian health authorities in turn announced Thursday that AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid vaccine would be reserved for those under 65, for lack of sufficient data on its effects beyond this age.
Norway thus adopts the line chosen by several countries of the European Union, of which it is not a member but with which it has joined for the supply of vaccines.
The health authorities in Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark have also set the age limit at 65 beyond which the vaccine from the Swedish-British laboratory is not recommended.
A first batch of 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is expected in the Nordic country in February.
FRANCE – General vaccination by the end of the summer
Emmanuel Macron assured Tuesday on TF1 that “all French adults who wish” will be offered a vaccine “by the end of the summer”, ie by September 22. He refuted the accusations of slowness.
The president also estimated that, “at the beginning of March”, the 80% of residents of nursing homes who wished, or 500,000 people, will have been vaccinated, ensuring that the vaccination campaign “is proceeding at the rate which was planned”.
“I defend the strategy that we have adopted with Germany, with the European Union, which is precisely to vaccinate in Europe”. France has “exactly the same pace, the same solution as our German neighbors and our other European neighbors,” said Emmanuel Macron.
According to the results of a new study, the variant of the coronavirus detected last December in England is also gaining more and more importance in France, now representing on average nearly 14% of cases of contamination.
Reinforced border control
In addition, France has for a few days engaged large means of gendarmerie at its borders to control road traffic and entry into its territory, especially those it shares with Switzerland.
>> Listen to the report at the Boncourt-Delle customs platform in the Jura, in La Matinale:
RUSSIA – More than 16,700 new contaminations
Russia reported 16,714 new contaminations on Thursday, including 2,095 in the capital Moscow, bringing the total toll to 3,917,918 since the start of the pandemic.
Russian authorities have also reported 521 more deaths in the past 24 hours, for a total of 75,205 deaths linked to the epidemic in the country.
CHINA – WHO investigations around the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Experts from the World Health Organization visited the Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, as part of their investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. The communist regime waited more than a year before allowing the WHO visit.
The experts stayed about four hours at the Institute of Virology and left without making a statement.
This institute, which has several high-security laboratories where researchers work on coronaviruses, had been accused by some of having leaked the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic. While it has always been considered unlikely, researchers have never ruled out this possibility.
But this accusation, made in particular by Donald Trump, has been firmly denied by Beijing, which seeks to evade any responsibility for the outbreak of the epidemic in 2019. The Communist regime has often suggested, without demonstrating it, that the virus could have been be imported to China.
The theory of a leak from a Chinese lab is also denied by the head of WHO experts investigating in Wuhan, calling it an “excellent scenario” for a film according to him.
NORTH KOREA – Request for vaccines
Although North Korea claims to be free of the virus, it has applied for vaccines against Covid-19, of which it is expected to receive nearly two million doses, according to the Vaccine Alliance, a member of the UN Covax program.
This is the first official confirmation that Pyongyang has asked for international aid, when North Korea’s medical infrastructure is considered totally inadequate to cope with a large-scale epidemic.
AUSTRALIA – Nearly 600 tennis players in quarantine
Between 500 and 600 players and people accredited for the Australian Open were placed in isolation on Wednesday evening. The decision was taken by authorities in the state of Victoria after the discovery of a case of Covid-19 in the environment of the tournament, which is due to start next Monday in Melbourne.
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RTSinfo and agencies