clearn.png
Thursday October 21st, 2021 1:43AM

The Latest: EU secures 300 million more doses of vaccine

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SINGAPORE —- Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus on Friday as the island nation started immunizing its small population.

Singapore took delivery of its first vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, on Dec. 23 and hopes to cover its entire population of about 4.5 million as well as foreign residents. The vaccine will be given out for free.

The government has not said how many it has purchased but has said it hopes to inoculate everyone by the third quarter of 2021.

Health care workers and the elderly will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Pfizer study suggests vaccine works against virus variant

— US registering highest deaths yet from the coronavirus

— Brazil’s pandemic deaths top 200,000 amid a return to fun

— Britain’s National Health Service will from next week employ a little-used field hospital specially built at a huge exhibition center in east London in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last spring.

— South Africa says it will import 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to inoculate the country’s health workers.

——

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive branch has secured 300 million extra doses of the coronavirus Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Speaking during a news conference in Brussels on Friday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement will double the number of doses ordered by the 27-nation bloc. The EU commission later said in a statement that the Commission has proposed to member states to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine, with the option to acquire another 100 million doses.

“This would enable the EU to purchase up to 600 million doses of this vaccine, which is already being used across the EU. The additional doses will be delivered starting in the second quarter of 2021,” the EU said.

Combined with the contract finalized with Moderna — the second vaccine authorized so far in the region — Von der Leyen said the EU has now the capacity to vaccinate 380 million people, more than 80 percent of the EU population.

___

BANGKOK == Thailand reported 205 new virus cases, a slight dip from previous days as it tightened controls on domestic travel.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesperson for the COVID-19 coordinating center, said Friday that 131 of the additional cases were local transmissions, 58 were migrant workers and 16 international arrivals.

That brought the country’s total to 9,841 including 67 deaths. Of that total, 5,367 cases were found from the start of the new surge on Dec. 15 until Friday.

Infections have surged following months that saw only a handful of cases. Most of the new ones have been migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar working in the seafood markets and factories in a province next to Bangkok. Most were quarantined in their dormitories and quickly established field hospitals.

Many of the remainder ones have been blamed on itinerant gamblers, most of them stemming from a single hotspot outside Bangkok last month.

The capital, with a metropolitan area population of about 15 million, recorded 327 cases in that period. Thailand has about 70 million people.

The government has tightened controls on domestic travel and ordered a partial lockdown around Thailand. Schools, bars, gambling parlors and other public gathering places have been closed, although malls, department stores and restaurants remain open with curtailed hours.

___

JERUSALEM — Israel has entered a tightened lockdown as coronavirus cases surge despite an early and rapid vaccination campaign.

Most schools and businesses were closed starting Friday, with people required to remain within 1,000 meters (yards) from home except for essential needs. Public gatherings are heavily restricted and public transportation is limited. The restrictions are to last for at least two weeks.

Thousands of police will be deployed to enforce the restrictions, with roadblocks set up on major thoroughfares. Israel was already in its third national lockdown since the start of the pandemic.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ziv Sagiv called on people to stay home, saying police would operate in “every possible way” to enforce the restrictions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Thursday that Israel is on track to vaccinate all citizens over the age of 16 by March. He called on Israelis to make “one last big effort” to combat the pandemic by adhering to the lockdown.

Israel has already vaccinated nearly 20% of its population of 9 million and is on track to be one of the first countries to emerge from the coronavirus crisis. It has reported 474,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 3,565 deaths.

___

BERLIN— Teachers and parents in Berlin are expressing anger at plans to partially resume in-school teaching next week even as Germany remains in lockdown.

An online petition launched this week has gathered over 20,000 signatures against the Berlin state government’s plan to start teaching some classes in school again from Monday.

Petitioners argue that it undermines other measures imposed to curb infections, including a ban on meeting more than other person from another household.

The country’s disease control agency said Friday that Germany recorded 31,849 newly confirmed cases and 1,188 deaths from COVID-19, the biggest single-day toll since the pandemic began, though figures tend to skew higher toward the end of the week.

___

BEIJING — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test.

The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and its surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China’s most serious recent outbreak of COVID-19.

The offering of cash or other rewards for information on political or social nonconformists has a long history in China, but the pandemic is putting a new face on the practice. Those found noncompliant will be forced to undergo testing and a two-week quarantine at their own expense.

China has largely controlled local transmission through the use of measures considered by some to be extreme and highly intrusive, including lockdowns of entire cities and close electronic monitoring of bans on traveling to and from parts of the country.

With next month’s Lunar New Year travel rush looming, the government is telling people to stay put as much as possible and not travel to or from the capital Beijing, disrupting the country’s most important time for family gatherings. Schools are also being let out a week early, although many, including those in Hebei, have already reverted to online learning.

China on Friday reported 53 new cases, including 33 in Hebei. Of those, 31 were in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, host to some events for next year’s Winter Olympics.

___

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facing a massive surge in coronavirus cases, California has been issuing waivers allowing hospitals to temporarily bypass the nation’s only strict nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses say that being forced to take on more patients is pushing them to the brink of burnout and affecting patient care.

At least 250 of about 400 hospitals in California have been granted 60-day waivers. They allow ICU nurses to care for three instead of two people and emergency room nurses to oversee six patients instead of three.

Nurses in other states have demanded law-mandated ratios like those in California but so far have failed to get them.

___

BEIJING — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test.

The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China’s most serious recent outbreak of infections.

The offering of rewards for information on political or social nonconformists has a long history in China.

China has largely controlled local transmission of the virus through the use of measures considered by some to be extreme and highly intrusive, including lockdowns of entire cities, close electronic monitoring of people’s movements and bans on traveling to and from parts of the country.

___

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is almost halving the number of passengers allowed to arrive by plane in a bid to prevent the spread of a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain.

A cleaner at a Brisbane quarantine hotel diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday is the first person infected with the variant found in the Australian community. Other cases have been detected among travelers while in hotel quarantine, where there is little risk of community spread.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that state leaders have agreed that international arrivals to New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia state airports will be halved until Feb. 15. Arrivals at Victoria were already relatively low and will remain unchanged.

Quarantine workers would be tested for the virus daily.

___

MEXICO CITY — Mexico continues to see record increases in coronavirus cases, with a 24-hour caseload of 13,734 confirmed infections setting a new high for the second consecutive day.

Officials also reported a near-record of 1,044 more deaths. The country has recorded about 1.49 million infections and over 131,000 deaths so far in the pandemic.

Experts say Mexico’s extremely low testing rate means that is an undercount, and official estimates suggest the real death toll is over 180,000.

The country’s vaccination effort is moving slowly, with 4,444 shots administered Thursday — a rate similar to previous days.

In Mexico City, the current center of the pandemic in Mexico, 89% percent of hospital beds are full.

___

LONDON — The British government says that beginning next week all people arriving from other countries will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within the 72 hours before departure.

There are exemptions for some, including truckers, airline crew and children under 11.

Many public health experts have long urged the U.K. to adopt the measure as a way of reducing imported infections, though the virus is more widespread in Britain than in many other countries.

The government said Friday that the new measure will help protect against new variants of the virus, such as one recently identified in South Africa.

___

BRISBANE, Australia — Authorities in Brisbane, Australia, are locking the city down for three days beginning Friday, after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain.

The Queensland state government says masks will also be compulsory for the first time in Brisbane and the surrounding municipalities of Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redlands.

The state's chief health officer said “we need to act really, really fast.”

While several cases of the variant have been found in travelers in hotel quarantine, the cleaner is the first person to be infected with it in Australia. Authorities believe the woman was infectious after Jan. 2. She tested positive after showing symptoms Wednesday.

___

SAO PAULO — Brazil has passed 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. That is the second highest total in the world.

The health ministry said Thursday that the country had 1,524 deaths in the previous 24 hours, rising to a total of 200,498 for the pandemic.

The milestone was reached as Brazilians are once again crowding their beaches.

Many Brazilians have been straining against quarantine for months, going to bars or small gatherings with friends, but massive blowouts had been few and far between since the pandemic began. Then big festivities kicked off after the Southern Hemisphere’s summer started Dec. 21.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: EU secures 300 million more doses of vaccine
The European Commission has secured 300 million extra doses of the coronavirus Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
4:43AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Taiwan heralds visit by US ambassador to UN as China fumes
Taiwan says it welcomes a visit from the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations next week in a move swiftly condemned by China
4:38AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Thailand tightens domestic travel as cases rise
Thailand has reported 205 new virus cases, a slight dip from previous days as it tightened controls on domestic travel
4:07AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: China city offers cash for tip on test evaders
A city in northern China is offering rewards of $77 for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test
2:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Calif. nurses asked to take on more patients
Facing a massive surge in coronavirus cases, California has been issuing waivers allowing hospitals to temporarily bypass the nation’s only strict nurse-to-patient ratios
2:34AM ( 2 hours ago )
For nurses, California's virus outbreak has a personal toll
California's massive coronavirus outbreak is taking a toll both on hospitals and those who staff them
1:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Health
Seoul court orders Japan to compensate 12 Korean sex slaves
A South Korean court has ordered Japan to financially compensate 12 South Korean women forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese troops during World War II
3:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
Kim vows to improve ties with outside world at party meeting
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has stressed the need to drastically improve his nation's ties with the outside world
3:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Taiwan welcomes controversial visit by US Ambassador Craft
Taiwan says it welcomes the upcoming visit of a U.S. ambassador next week in the final week of the Trump administration in a move that China has already strongly warned against
2:27AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Global shares climb on Wall Street rally, stimulus hopes
Global shares are rising on hopes for additional economic stimulus after the U.S. Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election
3:49AM ( 57 minutes ago )
More coronavirus relief on the way for small businesses
Millions of business owners are about to get additional help weathering the coronavirus outbreak
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
Police officer's death intensifies Capitol siege questions
A police officer has died from injuries sustained as President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, intensifying the questions about the defeated president’s remaining days in office and the ability of the Capitol police to secure the area
3:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Taiwan heralds visit by US ambassador to UN as China fumes
Taiwan says it welcomes a visit from the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations next week in a move swiftly condemned by China
4:38AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Thailand tightens domestic travel as cases rise
Thailand has reported 205 new virus cases, a slight dip from previous days as it tightened controls on domestic travel
4:07AM ( 38 minutes ago )
No. 19 Clemson seeking historic streak at North Carolina
No. 19 Clemson gets a chance at history this weekend in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
4:01AM ( 45 minutes ago )
No. 9 Tennessee continue busy stretch with game vs Texas A&M
No. 9 Tennessee continues its challenging early stretch in Southeastern Conference play
4:00AM ( 46 minutes ago )
The Latest: Israel enters strict lockdown as cases spike
Israel has entered a tightened lockdown as coronavirus cases surge despite an early and rapid vaccination campaign
3:57AM ( 48 minutes ago )