DrIn some European countries, such as Poland and Belgium, new restrictions went into effect on Saturday amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Across the Atlantic, Argentina has decided to suspend flights with Brazil, Chile and Mexico to deal with importing new cases of COVID-19.
In the face of unequal access to vaccines, the World Health Organization declared an immediate need for ten million doses to help 20 countries that do not have them, and called on the international community to provide these vials.
As vaccination continues to accelerate worldwide this week, 500 million doses have already been administered, in at least 164 countries or territories, according to an AFP tally on Friday.
At the top of the rankings are Israel, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. At the other end of the scale, the beginnings are in their infancy for many poor countries, which are starting to vaccinate thanks to the Covax mechanism, launched in particular by the World Health Organization and the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).
France cries out for “blackmail”
For its part, the European Union continues to face supply difficulties, and the tone is rising between Brussels and London. The European Union threatened Thursday to prevent the export of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The European Commission has already strengthened its export control mechanism to restrict it severely in countries that either produce them or whose populations are already vaccinated on a large scale.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned: The Swedish-British laboratory, which delivered to only twenty-seven 30 doses of the 120 million doses it promised in the first quarter, “will have to catch up first” and fulfill its contract. Before being able to export outside the continent.
France accused the UK on Friday of “blackmailing” the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccine because it had a “problem” with stocks of administering a second dose to Britons who had already been vaccinated once.
Vaccine Impact Policy
Paris also accused Russia and China of using their vaccines as propaganda tools.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that “China and Russia are leading the policy of influencing the vaccine.”
The previous day, President Emmanuel Macron, at the conclusion of a hypothetical European summit, had mentioned “a world war of a new kind”, “attacks” and “destabilizing trends – Russian and Chinese – to influence the vaccine.”
Russia has refuted these criticisms.
It refused to comment on the accusations by France and Germany, and reiterated its willingness to use the Sputnik V vaccine to fight the epidemic, subject to approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
For its part, Friday’s EMA gave the green light to AstraZeneca vaccine production plant in the Netherlands.
The agency has also allowed the storage of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine at freezing temperatures, above those permitted so far, which will facilitate its distribution.
Rock Concert, a clinical study in Barcelona
The pandemic has killed at least 2.756 million people worldwide since the end of 2019, according to an AFP tally on Friday. Coronavirus infections continue to accelerate this week, even if they remain much lower than they were at the start of the year.
In the United States, the worst-affected country with 548,052 deaths, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he will double the goal of vaccination against COVID-19 within the first 100 days of his term, bringing the number to 200 million.
Brazil, the second most affected country, on Friday recorded a new record of deaths from the Corona virus within 24 hours, with 3,650 deaths.
In an interview published Friday, former Brazilian President Lula said that the incumbent head of state, Jair Bolsonaro, should “apologize” if he “has a little bit of grandeur” for managing the epidemic, the “biggest genocide” in Brazil’s history.
However, a glimmer of hope in this country where the epidemic appears to be out of control, the Instituto Botantan in Sao Paulo announced the development of a “100% Brazilian” vaccine. Forty million doses are planned by the end of the year with the first injection in July.
Germany has classified all of France, including its overseas territories, as a “high risk” region for contracting COVID-19.
This classification in particular indicates at least random border controls that most travelers from France observe a quarantine period on arrival and have a negative test of less than 48 hours.
On the other hand, Copenhagen reopened Tivoli theme park on Saturday, based on the mandatory submission of a negative test for COVID-19.
Barcelona will host a rock group concert on Saturday early Saturday evening with 5,000 masked and tested people, but without a safe distance, as part of a clinical study.
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