The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 1.93 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established on Monday by AFP from official sources. More than 90.19 million cases of contamination have been officially diagnosed since the start of the epidemic.
The United States is the most affected country with more than 374,340 deaths. Brazil (203,100 recorded deaths), India (151,160), Mexico (more than 133,700) and the United Kingdom (more than 81,400) follow. The global death toll is globally underestimated. It is based on the daily reports of the national health authorities. Update on the consequences of the pandemic around the world.
The eagerly awaited World Health Organization (WHO) investigators tasked with looking into the origin of the new coronavirus will finally arrive in China this week, Beijing announced on Monday, a year after the first death was reported in this country .
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The visit of the 10 experts, ultra-sensitive for Beijing, is due to start Thursday, January 14, a week after the postponement of the trip scheduled for last Wednesday. Their goal is to determine how the virus was able to mutate from bats to humans.
France: towards a third confinement?
The government is preparing for “all the assumptions” but wants “to avoid until the end a confinement of schools”, entrusted one of the participants in a meeting on Monday of the parliamentary liaison committee, where the Prime Minister took stock with the group leaders in the Assembly and the Senate. Jean Castex declared that “it was not necessary to exclude a third confinement as a last resort”, according to BFMTV.
“At this stage, there is no reconfinement planned but obviously we are monitoring the situation with a lot of attention (…) and obviously we will continue to take the necessary measures, especially in some cities”, explained in the morning the government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, on Europe 1. Some believe that it is inevitable. “The only solution is to reconfine and wait for it to drop,” said epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola in an interview in L’Express.
No collective immunity in 2021, according to WHO
Although vaccines have started to be distributed in many countries, collective immunity against Covid-19 will not be achieved this year, the World Health Organization warned on Monday. “We are not going to achieve (…) collective immunity in 2021”, launched the WHO scientific officer, Soumya Swaminathan during a briefing in Geneva, stressing the importance of continuing to apply the measures protection such as physical distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask to control the pandemic.
Mass vaccination centers in England
Seven mass vaccination centers opened on Monday in the United Kingdom, where the government intends to immunize some 15 million people by mid-February to stem the outbreak of new coronavirus contaminations and start lifting the containment. These facilities are hosted in conference centers or sports stadiums in England, notably in London and Birmingham.
BioNTech estimates that it can manufacture 2 billion doses in 2021
The German biotechnology company BioNTech estimated on Monday to be able to produce “2 billion doses” of the vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of 2021, significantly more than the previous target of 1.3 billion doses.
The German SME, associated with the American giant Pfizer, arrived at this new estimate by taking into account the “new standard” allowing the administration of 6 doses per bottle instead of 5, according to a document posted on its website. BioNTech is also counting on “the expansion of its current facilities”, including the commissioning, expected at the end of February, of another European production site, in Marburg, Germany.
New variant detected in Japan
After variants from the UK and South Africa, here’s another one to watch out for. This third variant has been detected in Japan. Four people have been infected, the Japanese health ministry said on Sunday. These are travelers returning from Brazil. The Japanese infectious disease research institute still has little data on this new variant, as indicated by franceinfo.
Second dose of the vaccine for Joe Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden will receive the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, three weeks after the first injection, the administration of which was broadcast live on television to encourage the population to do the same, announced his transition team. The second injection will also be administered in front of the media.
Sputnik V: 1.5 million vaccinated in the world?
Russia said on Monday that 1.5 million people around the world have been administered its vaccine against the Sputnik V coronavirus, strongly promoted by the Kremlin, which has made it an instrument of geopolitical influence. Russia was the first country in the world last August to approve a vaccine against the coronavirus, an announcement deemed premature by the international community, even before the start of mass clinical trials (phase 3) and the publication of scientific results.
In Greece, primary schools reopen after two months
Primary schools and kindergartens reopened on Monday in Greece after two months of closure due to the pandemic but the strict containment imposed since November 7 will continue at least until January 18, according to the government.
More than 850,000 students under the age of twelve have returned to their schools, closed since November 16, a week after the strict confinement imposed to deal with the second wave of the pandemic, much more virulent than that of spring.
First case in Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia, a Pacific island nation which remained one of the last countries in the world spared by Covid-19, reported on Monday a first case of contamination. President David Panuelo conceded that this news was “alarming” for the archipelago of 100,000 inhabitants, while claiming that the infected person was under close surveillance.
Record of deaths and hospitalizations in Portugal, soon to be reconfigured
With 122 dead in 24 hours and nearly 4,000 people hospitalized, the Covid-19 pandemic reached new records on Monday in Portugal, which is preparing this week for new strict containment.
At a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday, the government “will decree something very similar to the first lockdown in March,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Monday. “I think there is no alternative to general confinement,” President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had already warned this weekend, who is seeking a second term in the election scheduled for January 24.