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Coronavirus live news: Greek health workers strike over conditions; Fauci says political divide added to US deaths Coronavirus live news: Greek health workers strike over conditions; Fauci says political divide added to US deaths
(32 minutes later)
Greek doctors marched in Athens over ‘suffocating’ conditions at hospitals; Fauci says large US death toll ‘should not have happened’Greek doctors marched in Athens over ‘suffocating’ conditions at hospitals; Fauci says large US death toll ‘should not have happened’
Scotland is to look to begin a “substantial” easing of coronavirus restrictions from 26 April, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
AFP reports that the head of Scotland’s devolved government told lawmakers there were “much brighter times ahead”, adding that restrictions were working well alongside a mass vaccination programme that was “motoring”.
The first minister, whose government has devolved powers over health policy, indicated the lifting of restrictions on non-essential business would be more cautious than plans outlined for England by UK prime minister Boris Johnson yesterday.
Johnson yesterday outlined a four-step plan to ease lockdown measures in England, with schools opening again to pupils from 8 March, and non-essential retail from 12 April.
Some fans could be able to attend sporting fixtures from 17 May, while all physical distancing restrictions could be removed from 21 June - all subject to change and depending on scientific data.
Scotland, as well as Wales’ devolved government, has moved faster to reopen schools than England. Primary school students in Scotland aged between four and seven returned to the classroom on Monday.
Sweden is preparing new measures to try to curb a resurgence in Covid-19 cases as the coronavirus strain first detected in Britain spreads rapidly.Sweden is preparing new measures to try to curb a resurgence in Covid-19 cases as the coronavirus strain first detected in Britain spreads rapidly.
Chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference:Chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference:
Sweden has avoided lockdowns throughout the pandemic. Health statistics agency figures today showed 10,933 new coronavirus cases had been registered since Friday, a rise from 9,458 in the corresponding period the previous week.Sweden has avoided lockdowns throughout the pandemic. Health statistics agency figures today showed 10,933 new coronavirus cases had been registered since Friday, a rise from 9,458 in the corresponding period the previous week.
The British coronavirus variant is thought by scientists to be a more infectious strain. Cases of the South African and Brazilian strains have also been detected but are not spreading quickly, Tegnell said.The centre-left government has laid the ground for potential lockdown measures to an extent not seen earlier during the pandemic. The British coronavirus variant is thought by scientists to be a more infectious strain. Cases of the South African and Brazilian strains have also been detected but are not spreading quickly, Tegnell said.
The centre-left government has laid the ground for potential lockdown measures to an extent not seen earlier during the pandemic.
Several of Sweden’s largest regions, including Stockholm on Tuesday, have also taken steps, such as recommending the use of masks in shops, workplaces and public transport.Several of Sweden’s largest regions, including Stockholm on Tuesday, have also taken steps, such as recommending the use of masks in shops, workplaces and public transport.
This is at odds with the health agency’s past reluctance to broadly endorse such moves because of limited evidence of their efficacy.This is at odds with the health agency’s past reluctance to broadly endorse such moves because of limited evidence of their efficacy.
Sweden, a country of 10 million people, has registered 12,713 deaths from Covid. The death rate per capita is much higher than its Nordic neighbours’ but lower than in most western European countries that opted for lockdowns.Sweden, a country of 10 million people, has registered 12,713 deaths from Covid. The death rate per capita is much higher than its Nordic neighbours’ but lower than in most western European countries that opted for lockdowns.
The Netherlands is expected to announce a slight easing of restrictions, allowing schools and hairdressers to reopen, even as infection rates rise again.The Netherlands is expected to announce a slight easing of restrictions, allowing schools and hairdressers to reopen, even as infection rates rise again.
Reuters reports:Reuters reports:
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been telling member of her parliamentary party that the country is experiencing a “third wave” of the pandemic. That’s according to Reuters, citing sources, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been telling members of her parliamentary party that the country is experiencing a “third wave” of the pandemic. That’s according to Reuters, citing sources,
Israel has announced it will send surplus coronavirus inoculations to several countries, in the latest move to suggest limited global supplies will lead to a new form of diplomatic currency.Israel has announced it will send surplus coronavirus inoculations to several countries, in the latest move to suggest limited global supplies will lead to a new form of diplomatic currency.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced it had received multiple requests from unnamed foreign governments and would send a “token amount” of vaccines.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced it had received multiple requests from unnamed foreign governments and would send a “token amount” of vaccines.
The office said “it did not expect to have significant ability to assist until the vaccination campaign in Israel is completed”.The office said “it did not expect to have significant ability to assist until the vaccination campaign in Israel is completed”.
However, it added it has accumulated a limited amount of unused vials during the past month and had decided to assist with “a token amount of vaccines”. Batches would go to Palestinian medical staff in the West Bank in a previously announced deal, but also to “some of the countries that have approached Israel.”However, it added it has accumulated a limited amount of unused vials during the past month and had decided to assist with “a token amount of vaccines”. Batches would go to Palestinian medical staff in the West Bank in a previously announced deal, but also to “some of the countries that have approached Israel.”
Local media reported those state included Honduras and Guatemala, two states that Israel successfully lobbied to move their embassies to Jerusalem to bolster its claim to the divided city.Local media reported those state included Honduras and Guatemala, two states that Israel successfully lobbied to move their embassies to Jerusalem to bolster its claim to the divided city.
The Czech Republic, which thrilled Israel in December by announcing plans to open a “diplomatic office” in Jerusalem, was also on the list, according to one report. The prime minister’s office did not confirm the reports.The Czech Republic, which thrilled Israel in December by announcing plans to open a “diplomatic office” in Jerusalem, was also on the list, according to one report. The prime minister’s office did not confirm the reports.
Israel has secured more than enough vaccine shots for its nine million citizens, half of whom have received at least one shot.Israel has secured more than enough vaccine shots for its nine million citizens, half of whom have received at least one shot.
Last week, an Israeli source said the government had agreed to secretly provide coronavirus vaccines for the Syrian regime to sweeten a prisoner swap deal, with reports they would be bought from Russia.Last week, an Israeli source said the government had agreed to secretly provide coronavirus vaccines for the Syrian regime to sweeten a prisoner swap deal, with reports they would be bought from Russia.
Syria’s rebel-held northwest will receive its first shipment of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of next month, the World Health Organisation hassaidSyria’s rebel-held northwest will receive its first shipment of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of next month, the World Health Organisation hassaid
The doses were procured through the UN body’s Covax programme, which aims to provide equitable worldwide access to vaccines against Covid-19.The doses were procured through the UN body’s Covax programme, which aims to provide equitable worldwide access to vaccines against Covid-19.
Thirty-five to 40 percent of the vaccines would be made available in the first quarter of 2021, and 60 to 65 percent in the second quarter, a WHO spokesperson told the AFP news agency.Thirty-five to 40 percent of the vaccines would be made available in the first quarter of 2021, and 60 to 65 percent in the second quarter, a WHO spokesperson told the AFP news agency.
The health directorate for the opposition-held territory said it expected to receive 120,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by next month.The health directorate for the opposition-held territory said it expected to receive 120,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by next month.
“They will cover 60,000 people,” starting with front-line health workers, the elderly and chronically ill people, said its spokesman Imad Zahran.“They will cover 60,000 people,” starting with front-line health workers, the elderly and chronically ill people, said its spokesman Imad Zahran.
Syria’s northwest, much of which is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, is home to some four million people, including 2.8 million in need of urgent assistance.Syria’s northwest, much of which is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, is home to some four million people, including 2.8 million in need of urgent assistance.
Linguists in Germany have collected more than 1,200 new words coined during the pandemic.Linguists in Germany have collected more than 1,200 new words coined during the pandemic.
From coronamüde (tired of Covid-19) to Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle), the project is documenting the huge number of new words coined in the last year as the language raced to keep up with lives radically changed by the pandemic.From coronamüde (tired of Covid-19) to Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle), the project is documenting the huge number of new words coined in the last year as the language raced to keep up with lives radically changed by the pandemic.
The list compiled by the Leibniz Institute for the German language, an organisation that documents German language in the past and present, has already collected more than 1,200 new German words – many more than the 200 they see in an average year.The list compiled by the Leibniz Institute for the German language, an organisation that documents German language in the past and present, has already collected more than 1,200 new German words – many more than the 200 they see in an average year.
It includes feelings many can relate to, such as overzoomed (stressed by too many video calls), Coronaangst (when you have anxiety about the virus) and impfneid (envy of those who have been vaccinated).It includes feelings many can relate to, such as overzoomed (stressed by too many video calls), Coronaangst (when you have anxiety about the virus) and impfneid (envy of those who have been vaccinated).
The South African health minister also said that a committee advising the government had grouped Covid-19 vaccines into three groups and those considered for “immediate use” were the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna shots.The South African health minister also said that a committee advising the government had grouped Covid-19 vaccines into three groups and those considered for “immediate use” were the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna shots.
In a second group where South Africa is interested but requires more technical information are Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and shots from China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac, Zweli Mkhize also said.In a second group where South Africa is interested but requires more technical information are Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and shots from China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac, Zweli Mkhize also said.
A third group where vaccines “may not be suitable for immediate use in South Africa” includes the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, Mkhize added.A third group where vaccines “may not be suitable for immediate use in South Africa” includes the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, Mkhize added.
South Africa’s Minister of Health Sweli Mkhize has said that the government has proposed that Johson & Johnson’s vaccine is ‘preferentially deployed’ in Southern Africa so authorities can rapidly deal with a coronavirus variant becoming dominant there.South Africa’s Minister of Health Sweli Mkhize has said that the government has proposed that Johson & Johnson’s vaccine is ‘preferentially deployed’ in Southern Africa so authorities can rapidly deal with a coronavirus variant becoming dominant there.
On twitter, Mkhize also said that the procurement of the vaccinesOn twitter, Mkhize also said that the procurement of the vaccines
This is Ben Quinn picking up the blog now while Mattha takes a break.This is Ben Quinn picking up the blog now while Mattha takes a break.
The head of the Mexican navy, Rafael Ojeda, has said he had tested positive for Covid for the second time.The head of the Mexican navy, Rafael Ojeda, has said he had tested positive for Covid for the second time.
Ojeda, who said on Twitter he would be working in isolation from home, announced his first positive test in October. The news came less than a week after the head of the Mexican army, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said he had coronavirus.Ojeda, who said on Twitter he would be working in isolation from home, announced his first positive test in October. The news came less than a week after the head of the Mexican army, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said he had coronavirus.
Brazil has fully approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, health regulator Anvisa has announced, although it remains to be seen if Brasilia and Pfizer can end a dispute and agree a supply deal, Reuters reports.Brazil has fully approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, health regulator Anvisa has announced, although it remains to be seen if Brasilia and Pfizer can end a dispute and agree a supply deal, Reuters reports.
Ten orangutans have been airlifted back to their natural habitat on Indonesia’s Borneo island, in the first release of the apes into the wild for a year due to the dangers of coronavirus infection, AFP reports.Ten orangutans have been airlifted back to their natural habitat on Indonesia’s Borneo island, in the first release of the apes into the wild for a year due to the dangers of coronavirus infection, AFP reports.
The UN has warned that hunger levels are soaring across much of Central America as countries battle economic crises sparked by responses to the pandemic and extreme climate events, AFP reports.The UN has warned that hunger levels are soaring across much of Central America as countries battle economic crises sparked by responses to the pandemic and extreme climate events, AFP reports.
Greek hospital doctors have gone on strike today and dozens marched in Athens to protest “suffocating” conditions at hospitals during the pandemic.Greek hospital doctors have gone on strike today and dozens marched in Athens to protest “suffocating” conditions at hospitals during the pandemic.
Reuters reports:Reuters reports:
The World Bank has threatened to suspend financing for Lebanon’s Covid-19 vaccination drive in its second week after it emerged that some lawmakers would get their shots in parliament today.The World Bank has threatened to suspend financing for Lebanon’s Covid-19 vaccination drive in its second week after it emerged that some lawmakers would get their shots in parliament today.
Reuters reports:Reuters reports:
First in the EU, Hungary is to start vaccinations tomorrow with jabs purchased from Chinese company Sinopharm, the Hungarian government has said.First in the EU, Hungary is to start vaccinations tomorrow with jabs purchased from Chinese company Sinopharm, the Hungarian government has said.
Hungary’s right-wing government, a strong critic of sluggish EU vaccine rollout, has been the first of the 27 member states to buy and authorise Russian and Chinese vaccines not yet approved by Brussels, Reuters reports.Hungary’s right-wing government, a strong critic of sluggish EU vaccine rollout, has been the first of the 27 member states to buy and authorise Russian and Chinese vaccines not yet approved by Brussels, Reuters reports.
Hungary announced last month that it had reached a deal with Sinopharm to buy 5 million doses of its vaccine.Hungary announced last month that it had reached a deal with Sinopharm to buy 5 million doses of its vaccine.
Senegal has begun its coronavirus vaccination campaign with 200,000 doses that it purchased from China’s Sinopharm, which it received last week.Senegal has begun its coronavirus vaccination campaign with 200,000 doses that it purchased from China’s Sinopharm, which it received last week.
Reuters reports:Reuters reports: