The emerging corona virus (Covid-19) in the United States of America has reached more than 25 million cases. While the British Minister of Health confirmed that it is not completely certain that the new strain of the virus is linked to greater death rates, several countries have tightened lockdown measures.
According to the World Meter website, which specializes in monitoring statistics related to the outbreak of the epidemic in the world, the number of infections in the United States reached 25 million 583 thousand and 190 cases, to be the first country in the world in the outbreak of the epidemic, while the number of deaths in it reached 427 thousand and 795.
The data of the “Covid Tracking” project indicates that the weekly average of new infections registers a decrease after reaching its peak on January 12 this year, but the path of deaths has not changed.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, which together make up the main Federal Public Health Agency in the United States, expects the number of deaths due to epidemic injuries to reach between 465 thousand and 508 thousand by mid-February.
Priorities and aspirations
US President Joe Biden included fighting the epidemic at the top of his mandate, which began less than a week ago, as his administration unveiled last Thursday a detailed roadmap to combat the outbreak of Covid-19, which is mainly based on increasing vaccinations in parallel with the increase in the number of examinations.
This administration is also looking for congressional approval to spend an estimated 1.9 billion dollars, of which 20 billion are earmarked for vaccines and 50 billion for tests.
The Democratic President had pledged to inject 100 million doses of the emerging anti-Corona vaccine in the first 100 days of his term.
The authorities hope to license new vaccines in the coming weeks, especially the “Johnson & Johnson” vaccine, which is given only one dose.
Figures and statistics
Globally, the number of injuries reached 99 million and 520 thousand and 105 injuries, according to the World Meter website, at 8:30 pm Makkah time (17:30 GMT).
While the number of deaths exceeded the two million and 134 thousand, the number of people recovered reached 71 million and 534 thousand and 866 recoveries.
India still ranks second in terms of the number of injuries with 10 million and 668 thousand and 332 injuries, and it is the third in the world in terms of the number of deaths with more than 153 thousand deaths.
Brazil followed in the number of injuries with 8 million and 816 thousand and 254 injuries, recording 216,475 deaths, ranking second in the world in the number of deaths after the United States.
Expectations and fears
In Britain, British Health Minister Matt Hancock said that it is not completely certain that the new strain of Corona virus is associated with higher mortality rates.
Hancock explained that the studies provided different figures regarding the virulence of the new strain and its cause of death, but there is a possibility that it is more deadly, and he confirmed that it is faster spreading.
The British minister did not rule out imposing new restrictions on the borders due to concern about new strains that have not been discovered yet, explaining that the government is still studying the effect of the vaccine on the Brazilian and South African strains.
Hancock said there was still a long way to go to lift the general lockdown restrictions, due to the large number of deaths and the overwhelming pressure on hospitals.
And earlier today, Sunday, the health authorities announced the registration of 30 thousand and 4 new infections with the emerging corona virus, and 610 deaths due to infection with it during the past 24 hours.
Government data indicated that the total deaths since the start of the pandemic reached 97,939 cases.
Procedures and restrictions
Meanwhile, countries and provinces around the world have tightened their measures to confront the outbreak of the Coronavirus. In Hong Kong, the authorities imposed a complete lockdown on thousands of residents of Yao Zsimung District.
And the Hong Kong authorities clarified that residents will not be allowed to leave their homes until their test results appear.
This comes at a time when Hong Kong has been struggling to contain a new wave of Corona virus since last November.
For its part, Sweden banned entry to visitors from Norway after the outbreak of a focus of infection with the British mutated version of the Corona virus near Oslo, and Stockholm had imposed the same procedure on the United Kingdom and Denmark.
The Swedish authorities indicated the danger of the Norwegian visitors transferring the modified version, after the Norwegian government imposed a partial closure in Oslo and its surroundings.
It is expected that exceptions will be approved, especially those residing and working in Sweden. The ban will take effect from midnight on Monday until February 14th, and the ban on visitors from the United Kingdom and Denmark has been extended to the same date, after it was imposed last month.
In a related context, a decision is expected this week regarding the impact of the curfew imposed in France, which could witness the announcement of “new measures” such as “closure”, in the event that the number of people infected with the new Corona virus in hospitals does not decrease, and in the event that the spread of mutated versions of it continues.
In an interview with “Le Parisien” newspaper published on Sunday, French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand said that he was waiting “to be informed of the effects of the curfew,” explaining that it would happen “next week.”
And he warned that “if (the numbers) do not decrease and in the event that mutated versions of (Covid-19) spread everywhere,” the government will “take additional measures”, including “closure.”
On Saturday, about 25,900 people with Covid-19 are hospitalized in French hospitals, of whom about 2,900 are in critical condition, meaning they are in resuscitation units.
These numbers are considered stable compared to the previous day’s tally, after several days of slowly increasing numbers. The number of hospitalized patients decreased in early December, and since then it has remained stable, ranging between 24,000 and just under 26,000.
The Elysee Palace announced that a meeting of the Defense Council will be held next week, at a date not yet disclosed.
Vaccines and procedures
Regarding vaccines, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said – today, Sunday – that his country will take legal measures against the companies producing vaccines Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, against the backdrop of the delay in the date of delivery of doses of the vaccine against the Corona virus.
Di Maio added to the Italian (government) Rai Radio that the goal is to secure the vaccine doses that Rome had contracts to receive.
The Italian minister explained that the authorities are seeking, through the European Commission and all available channels, to make these companies respect their contracts.
Earlier Sunday, European Union Council President Charles Michel announced a plan to use the available legal tools to ensure pharmaceutical companies adhere to contracts concluded on the delivery of anti-virus vaccines.
Michel talked about delays that European countries have witnessed during the recent period regarding the delivery of anti-corona vaccines, and said, “We plan to use the legal tools available to us to ensure that pharmaceutical companies adhere to the vaccine contracts they signed.”
A vaccination campaign
In the Arab world, on Sunday, Egypt witnessed the vaccination campaign with the first doses of the Coronavirus vaccine. According to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the activities of receiving the first doses of the Chinese vaccine, “SinoPharm”, were launched from inside the Abu Khalifa Isolation Hospital in Ismailia Governorate (northeast), in the presence of Minister of Health Hala Zayed.
A doctor and a nurse received the first doses of the vaccine, which arrived in Egypt early this month.
The minister said that there are 5 categories that will be vaccinated gradually, namely, medical staff in isolation, then staff in triage hospitals (sorting out infected cases), then the elderly, followed by those with chronic diseases, and finally ordinary people.
She indicated that Egypt will get 40 million doses of the Corona vaccine from the “Global Vaccine Alliance”, 40 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, and 20 million from the British AstraZeneca vaccine.
As of Saturday, Egypt had recorded 161,143 cases of Coronavirus, including 8,902 deaths, and 126,176 cases of recovery.