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Sunday October 17th, 2021 11:55AM

The Latest: Court orders Dutch govt to end virus curfew

By The Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch court has ordered the government to end the curfew it imposed last month to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, saying the ruling coalition was not entitled to use emergency powers to enforce the restrictive measure.

In a written statement, The Hague District Court on Tuesday called the curfew a “far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy” that also indirectly curtails the rights of freedom of assembly and demonstration.

The court adds that “This requires a very careful decision-making process.”

The government extended the 9 p.m.-to-4:30 a.m. curfew to March 2 last week. It used a law allowing it to bypass the usual legislative process in emergencies.

However, the court says the introduction of the curfew did not require the use of the fast-track process as it had been discussed at length during the coronavirus crisis.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— South African health care workers eagerly await Johnson & Johnson vaccine jabs

— Pandemic stresses take a huge toll on college students, who struggle to pay for food and housing as jobs and internships dry up

— U.S. Hospitals still ration medical N95 masks even as stockpiles swell by millions

— Vaccine delays leave grocery workers feeling expendable

— India’s dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped

— Explaining the UN vaccine plan for poor countries as it nears rollout

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PARIS — The long lines of young people waiting for food aid that stretch through Paris neighborhoods several times a week are a dramatic symbol of the toll the coronavirus has taken on France’s youth.

On a recent evening, Leïla Ideddaim waited to receive a bag of food, along with hundreds of other French young people who are unable to make ends meet. She saw the chitchat that accompanied the handout as a welcome byproduct, given her intense isolation during the pandemic.

The 21-year-old student in hotel and restaurant management has seen her plans turned upside down by the virus crisis. With restaurants and tourist sites shuttered and France under a 6 p.m. curfew, her career prospects are uncertain. Odd jobs that were supposed to keep her going during her studies hard to come by.

The pandemic has devastated economies the world over. In France, the economic fallout has weighed particularly heavily on young people — and their woes have only been compounded by disruptions to their studies and social interactions.

Nearly a quarter of French young people can’t find work — two-and-a-half times the national unemployment rate and one of the highest in the European Union’s 27 nations. Many university students now rely on food aid and several organizations have rallied to meet the need.

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CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s regulator on Tuesday approved the AstraZeneca vaccine as its second for use against COVID-19.

Pfizer’s product will be available in Australia next week. It will be given in two doses three weeks apart, while AstraZeneca’s will be administered in two doses 12 weeks apart.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the regulator, found the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the AstraZeneca vaccine will prevent serious COVID-19 illness.

Morrison will be vaccinated with the Pfizer product and Hunt with AstraZeneca in a demonstration of confidence in both vaccines.

Australia has contracted 53.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 50 million of those will be manufactured in Australia.

The government has also secured 20 million Pfizer vaccines for a population of 26 million.

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ELANDSDOORN, South Africa — After testing thousands of people for coronavirus, South African nurse Asnath Masango says she can’t wait to get vaccinated.

“So many people, I test them and within days they have passed away,” said Masango. “I want protection.”

Health care workers at the Ndlovu Care Group in rural northeastern South Africa are eagerly awaiting the first jabs of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will be given out to medical staff starting this week.

That’s despite the fact that the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine — unlike the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines — has not been approved for general use anywhere in the world.

No matter, say many South African health workers who are enthusiastic about getting the J&J jab, which comes amid a huge shift in the government’s vaccination strategy.

South Africa, with nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 including more than 47,000 deaths, has had 41% of Africa’s reported cases.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand reported no new virus cases in the community for a second day, raising hopes a lockdown in Auckland will be lifted Wednesday.

The three-day lockdown of New Zealand’s largest city was the nation’s first in six months.

Lawmakers say their final decision on whether to lift the lockdown will depend on any new information or cases that crop up over the next day.

The lockdown was prompted by the diagnoses of three family members, but how they got it remains a mystery.

The mother in the family works at a catering company that does laundry for airlines, and a possible link to infected passengers is being investigated. So far, other people at her workplace have tested negative, officials said.

Health officials have ramped up testing, administering more than 15,000 tests on Monday and processing the results of nearly 6,000.

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TEL AVIV, Israel — Dr. Anthony Fauci has won the $1 million Dan David Prize for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines now being administered to protect people from the coronavirus.

The Israel-based Dan David Foundation on Monday named President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser as the winner of one of three prizes. It said he had earned the recognition over a lifetime of leadership on HIV research and AIDS relief, as well as his advocacy for the vaccines against COVID-19.

In its statement, the private foundation did not mention former President Donald Trump, who undermined Fauci’s follow-the-science approach to the pandemic. But it credited Fauci with “courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.”

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  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Business
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