PANDEMIC UPDATE – New measures, new reports and highlights. An update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.
Italy, Poland and Austria have slightly relaxed their health restrictions in the face of the coronavirus. Global tourism, however, takes new blows: the EU on Monday 1 February approved new measures for visitors from outside the Union, Dubai is closing its bars and France is extending the closure of its ski resorts for the month of February. At the same time, deliveries of vaccines to the European Union must accelerate.
- Easings in several European countries
Italy is relaxing the anti-Covid restrictions in force in most of its regions, notably allowing the reopening of bars and restaurants during the day and museums during the week. In Poland, museums, libraries, art galleries and shopping centers are reopening but most schools will remain closed until at least March. The Austrian government announced Monday evening an easing of the containment in place since December 26 to stem the spread of the virus: schools, museums and shops will reopen on February 8.
- Vaccines: new doses of Pfizer for the EU
The German laboratory BioNTech promises to deliver to the European Union up to 75 million additional doses of its vaccine developed with Pfizer. The German pharmacy giant Bayer for its part announced that it would produce from 2022 the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by its compatriot CureVac. The European Commission at the same time indicated on Monday to distance itself from the AstraZeneca laboratory after the major delivery delays.
»SEE ALSO – Vaccine against Covid-19: “We Europeans must also be even more effective”, asks Macron
- New European travel restrictions
EU country ambassadors on Monday approved new restrictions for travelers from countries outside the Union, including the presentation of a negative PCR test.
- Ski lifts stationary in France
The ski lifts of French ski resorts will remain closed in February, without a reopening date having been set, the services of Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday.
The emirate of Dubai, a major tourist destination, announced Monday that it will close bars until the end of February.
- First vaccines in South Africa
South Africa received its long-awaited first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Monday with the goal of vaccinating at least 67% of the population by the end of the year, or around 40 million people.
- Phase II for a second Cuban vaccine
A second Cuban vaccine project moved into phase II clinical trials on Monday, with the country working on a total of four candidates, state television said on Monday.
- Argentina wants to produce Russian vaccine
Argentina is seeking to secure a technology transfer from Russia that would allow it to produce Russian Sputnik V vaccine on its territory, an Argentinian diplomat said on Monday.
- Massive screening in England
British health authorities are launching a massive screening operation in eight areas of England where cases of the coronavirus variant that have appeared in South Africa have been detected, some with no established link to any travel.
- Germany helps Portugal
Berlin will send a medical team of 26 people, 50 breathing apparatus, 150 infusion devices and 150 medical beds to Portugal on Wednesday, the country currently most affected by the pandemic in the world.
- Emirates offers to deliver vaccines
The Emirates airline, the largest in the Middle East, is proposing to make Dubai a storage center for anti-Covid-19 vaccines and ensure its distribution to developing countries.
- United States: Australian home tests
The United States announced Monday that it has signed a contract of nearly $ 232 million with the company Ellume to manufacture rapid tests for Covid-19 that can be performed at home and without a prescription.
- Fall in ICU mortality
Improved hospital care has reduced ICU death rates by more than a third since the early months of the pandemic, but the pace of that progress is slowing and may now stagnate, according to a study released Tuesday.
- More than 2.2 million dead
The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 2,227,605 people worldwide since the end of December 2019. The United States is the country with the most deaths with 443,060 deaths, followed by Brazil (225,099), Mexico (158,536) , India (154,392) and the United Kingdom (106,158).