Poland tops one million cases, France represses skiers: COVID-19 bulletin

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Poland has recorded more than a million cases since the start of the pandemic after 13,855 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours.

The United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to use and says it will be rolled out nationwide starting early next week.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said a vaccine for all European countries would be a top priority for the country when he takes over the EU presidency in January.

The number of new deaths in Russia increased by 589 in the past 24 hours, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, to bring the cumulative toll to 41,053.

France to conduct random border checks to prevent people from becoming infected while traveling to countries where ski resorts remain open, according to the Prime Minister of the country, Jean Castex.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were no plans for a vaccine passport to allow travel after people were vaccinated because “we do not yet know how much it [the vaccine] stops you from transmitting COVID-19. ”

Japan has announced plans to allow “significant” numbers of foreign visitors to attend next year’s delayed Olympics. without the need for mandatory vaccinations or quarantine as long as they submit a negative test result and download tracking apps.

Norway withdrew from December World Cup cross-country skiing competitions in Germany and Switzerland amid fears of travel during the pandemic.

International arrivals to Spain fell 87% year-on-year, according to data from the country’s National Statistics Institute.

Italy to launch large-scale free vaccination program early next year, with health workers and the elderly to prioritize, according to the country’s health minister, Roberto Speranza.

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Navied Jabarkhyl à Londres

The UK became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Officials plan to launch the vaccine next week, with older people in care homes and frontline health workers among those who will get it first. The country has ordered 40 million doses.

The UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has approved the use of the jab, which tests have shown to be 95% effective against capturing COVID- 19.

Meanwhile, England have emerged from their second domestic lockout of the year. It lasted for four weeks and brought down infection rates in the country. But the economic damage could increase, with many shops, pubs and restaurants reopening for the first time since early November.

Trent Murray in Frankfurt

According to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute, 17,270 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Germany. This is about 7% lower than last week, showing that the spread of the disease is slowing.

However, 487 new deaths have also been reported, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.

The data comes as German Health Minister Jens Spahn said all necessary preparations are underway to start vaccinations as soon as one is approved. “We are working hard at all levels to prepare for future vaccinations. Our vaccination centers should be ready for use by mid-December, ”he said.

The UK became the first country in the world to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. / AP

The UK became the first country in the world to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. / AP

Ross Cullen in Paris

President Emmanuel Macron urges French citizens not to travel for the Christmas ski holidays to places like Andorra or Switzerland, where ski resorts are still open.

The prime minister said there would be random border testing for people returning to France after a festive ski vacation abroad. Jean Castex says there will be a seven-day isolation period for people returning from winter sports abroad.

On Tuesday, Macron said: “We will have restrictive and dissuasive measures, which will be refined in the coming days with the government”.

The stations in France are still technically open but the ski lifts and the cable cars are closed and all equipment rental is closed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called for a Europe-wide deal to close all ski slopes until January.

Toni Waterman in Brussels

The first flights carrying coronavirus vaccines passed through Brussels airport, positioning small amounts of jabs for rapid distribution once their use was approved. Although large-scale distribution doesn’t start until January. Brussels Airport, which already transits 20 percent of the world’s vaccine supply, is expected to be a main distribution hub for the import and export of vaccines in Europe.

Meanwhile, the number of infections continues to slowly decrease in Belgium. Just over 2,300 new infections were recorded on average last week. There are also now less than 4,000 patients with COVID-19 in the hospital.

Linda Kennedy in Budapest

A new vaccine website will be launched in Hungary, vakcinainfo.gov.hu, but the country’s chief medical officer said “no vaccine is suitable for Hungary yet.”

The country recorded 3,951 rew infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 221,073. The majority of the 154 deaths during the same period were elderly patients. The total death toll now stands at 4,977.

The number of current active infections is 151,294, while 20% of the active infected, 23% of the dead and 25% of the cured are from Budapest.

France must carry out random border checks to prevent people from becoming infected while traveling to countries where ski resorts remain open. / AP

France must carry out random border checks to prevent people from becoming infected while traveling to countries where ski resorts remain open. / AP

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