Total Active Cases
A Taiwanese biotechnology company on Tuesday donated 5,000 COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits to the Czech Republic at a ceremony in the Czech Senate building witnessed by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil. Representative to the Czech Republic Ke Liang-ruey (柯良叡) handed over the test kits developed by Excelsior Bio-System Inc to the central European country, where they are to be distributed to 14 major hospitals. Lumir Kantor, vice chairman of the Czech Senate Committee on Health, also attended the event. The donation was made as Excelsior Bio-System has obtained CE certification to commercialize the medical device in the EU. Also on
DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa posted another 35 deaths from the novel coronavirus on Monday, continuing the high level of deaths related to the pandemic. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from 29 deaths per day on Nov. 22 to 45 deaths per day on Sunday, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. State health officials reported on Monday 912 new cases in the previous 24 hours. State data indicates new case trends have slowed with the average number of daily new cases decreasing by nearly 37% in the past two weeks. Although slowing, the virus spread remains high in Iowa. There were 1,083 new cases per 100,000 people in Iowa over the past two weeks, which ranks 16th in the country for new cases per capita. One in every 195 people in Iowa tested positive in the past week. State data also show positive trends with fewer hospitalized patients at 898 on Monday and fewer people admitted in the previous 24 hours. ——— THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Health officials warn Americans not to let their guard down — UK gears up for coronavirus vaccination program watched around the world — Citing low virus rates in schools, New York City reopens schools again — Biden picks Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead HHS, pandemic response — Senator says Trump, McConnell likely to back COVID-19 relief — Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in hospital after positive COVID-19 test ——— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ——— HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: ——— VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuania’s government began advising people on Monday only to leave home for serious reasons, banned private parties of more than two families, and tightened requirements in shopping centers. The government also directed almost all public sector employees to work from home, after initial measures failed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Shops are urged not to have short-term sales promotions and to have no more than five people stand in a line. Also, only one person per family is recommended to go shopping. People in the southernmost Baltic country will have to celebrate Christmas under the new regulations, which will last until at least the end of the month. A country of almost 3 million, Lithuania managed to curb the first COVID-19 wave but now faces one of the highest surges in Europe per capita with 76,036 total cases and 637 deaths, most of those registered in the last two months. ——— ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government says it will maintain core lockdown measures through the Christmas holidays, acknowledging that monthlong restrictions have not reduced COVID-19 infections to the extent it had hoped for. Schools, courts, and restaurants will remain closed through Jan. 7, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced Monday, while non-essential travel between Greece’s administrative regions will also be banned. Stay-at-home orders nationwide will remain in effect until that date, with movement outside households granted by the government by SMS. Greece’s pandemic death toll reached 3,000 at the weekend, with most deaths occurring after Nov. 1. The number of daily infections, based on a seven-day rolling average, is currently at 1,609 compared to 2,674 in mid-November, Petsas said. Restrictions for stores, churches, and hair salons will be announced later this week, Petsas said. The current lockdown was launched on Nov. 7 and initially planned to last for three weeks. ——— HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will go to health care workers in the state’s major hospitals, Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday. Hospitals first in line for the vaccine are in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. Montana could receive 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in mid-December. Large hospitals were selected as the recipients in the first round because the Pfizer vaccine must be stored in cold temperatures, and doses are shipped in boxes of 975 per box. The number of doses distributed to each hospital will be based on a survey conducted by the state’s health department. A second shipment of vaccines is expected a week after the first round, which will contain both the Pfizer vaccine and a vaccine developed by drug company Moderna. The second shipment will be distributed primarily to rural hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, according to the governor’s office. ——— HONOLULU — Officials gathered in Pearl Harbor to remember those killed in the 1941 Japanese attack, but public health measures adopted because of the coronavirus pandemic meant no survivors were present. The military broadcast video of the ceremony live online for survivors and members of the public to watch from afar. USS Utah survivor Warren Upton says it’s too bad he can’t be there in person, but that it’s for safety reasons. The 101-year-old planned to watch the ceremony from his home in California. A moment of silence was held at 7:55 a.m. That’s the same time the attack began 79 years ago, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,400. ——— LISBON — Portugal has surpassed the threshold of 5,000 COVID-19 deaths and set a new record for hospital admissions. The General Directorate for Health said Monday that 3,367 patients with the novel coronavirus are in hospital and 78 people had died over the previous 24 hours. Authorities officially recorded fewer than 3,000 cases of COVID-19, as the pandemic has ebbed from a peak of 7,497 daily cases in early November. Hospital admissions have leveled off but remain high. Portugal’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is 600, according to the European Centre for Disease Control. That makes it ninth highest in the 31 European countries monitored by the EU agency. ——— DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ longtime partner, first gentleman Marlon Reis, has been hospitalized as a precaution after experiencing shortness of breath and a worsening cough eight days after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Polis’ office said in a statement late Sunday that the governor, who also was diagnosed with COVID-19, drove Reis to a hospital “for review and treatment.” Polis was not experiencing severe symptoms, his office said. No additional information was immediately released. Both Polis and Reis tested positive Nov. 28, and both had been quarantining at home. Polis, a Democrat, had described his symptoms as “very mild” Dec. 1 as he worked last week from home. He had previously said Reis was asymptomatic. ——— WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is warning that the upcoming holiday season may be even worse than Thanksgiving in terms of spreading the coronavirus. Fauci told CNN on Monday that because the traditional Christmas season is an extended period that stretches into New Year’s, the prospects for spreading the virus as people travel “may be even more compounded than what we saw at Thanksgiving.” Fauci said “it’s a very critical time in this country right now” with the virus surging and more important than ever for people to take precautions like avoiding indoor gatherings, wearing masks and social distancing. Over Thanksgiving, many people traveled to gather with families, against warnings from health officials. Fauci said the U.S. is “probably just at the beginning” of seeing the resulting uptick in cases. ——— PRAGUE — The Czech government has tightened rules for restaurants, bars and clubs several days after they were allowed to reopen. Health Minister Jan Blatny says that starting on Wednesday such establishments can be open only until 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. Blatny also says the government is re-imposing a ban on drinking alcoholic beverages in all public places. The move comes after the minister complained that some bars and clubs remained illegally opened until morning and demanded they pay high fines. Bars, restaurants and clubs were allowed to reopen only on Thursday amid the government’s decision to ease some of its most restrictive measures imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The number of coronavirus infections in the hard-hit European country was on a decline since early November, but that trend might be coming to an end. The day-to-day increase of new cases was slightly higher the last four days than a week ago. The Czech Republic had 546,833 confirmed cases with 8,902 fatalities. ——— GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief says the rate of death from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is “shocking,” and the “brutal reality” is that transmission rates of the disease are so high that holiday hugs are ill-advised. Dr. Michael Ryan says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is facing a “difficult” time “when the U.S. is accounting for a third of all world cases at the moment, over the last number of weeks.” “The epidemic in the U.S. is punishing. It’s widespread. It’s quite frankly, shocking, to see one to two persons a minute die in the U.S. — a country with a wonderful, strong health system (and) amazing technological capacities,” he said. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said most transmission happens among people who tend to spend a lot of time together, in workplaces or homes, but it’s sometimes hard to “disentangle” the exact time of transmission. ——— RIO DE JANEIRO — The governor of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state said Monday he’s hopeful that vaccination against the novel coronavirus can begin on Jan. 25. “We’re not turning our backs on the national vaccination plan, but we need to be more agile, and so we’re anticipating,” said Gov. João Doria, whose state is home to 46 million people. “Why start vaccination that saves the lives of millions only in March, if we can do it in January? We’re losing more than 600 lives every day,” he told reporters. The potential CoronaVac vaccine is being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac and would be mostly produced by Sao Paulo’s state-run Butantan Institute. It has yet to be approved by Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa. Assuming CoronaVac is approved, the first phase of Sao Paulo’s program would provide two shots free of charge to 9 million people, of whom 7.5 million are over 60 years old, according to Doria’s presentation. The remaining 1.5 million are health workers, members of Indigenous groups and people in communities descended from escaped slaves. Those four groups have accounted for about three-quarters of Sao Paulo’s deaths since the start of the pandemic. ——— ROME — Italy’s interior minister has tested positive for COVID-19 and was informed of the result during a government Cabinet meeting on Monday, a fellow minister said. Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova in a Facebook post said Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese was forced to leave the session, which had been convened to discuss how to implement a national plan to bounce back from the economic damage of the pandemic. Bellanova said Lamorgese doesn’t have symptoms. The interior minister, among other duties, oversees state police, whose mission includes ensuring that citizens comply with anti-COVID-19 measures enacted by the government, such as an overnight curfew. ——— ROME — Italy registered some 5,000 fewer new COVID-19 cases on Monday, compared to the previous day’s confirmed caseload, but more than 50,000 fewer swab tests to detect the virus were performed as weekends usually see far fewer tests carried out. The nation’s known confirmed overall case count in the pandemic, including the 13,720 infections in the Health Ministry’s daily update, stood at over 1.7 million. With the addition of 528 deaths, Italy’s confirmed tally of dead in the pandemic rose to 60,606. Among the deaths on Sunday were two doctors, including a pediatrician, increasing to 233 the number of known deaths of physicians in the pandemic, according to the national federation of doctors and dentists. ——— TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will get up to 250,000 doses of the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech before the end of the December. The vaccine is expected be approved by Health Canada as soon as Thursday. Trudeau had come under criticism from opposition parties for saying Canadians won’t be among the first to get a vaccine against COVID-19 because the first doses will likely go to citizens of the countries they are made in. Canada doesn’t have mass vaccine-production facilities, but Trudeau says Canada ordered the most expansive portfolio of vaccines in the world. ——— PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island has reported more coronavirus cases per capita in the past week than any other state, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rhode Island averaged about 110 daily cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days, the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker shows. Rhode Island is halfway through Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s “two-week pause,” the latest round of restrictions on business and personal activity meant to reduce community transmission of the coronavirus. FOX28 Spokane©
MILAN — Italy recorded another 814 coronavirus deaths on Friday. There were 24,099 new coronavirus cases reported among more than 212,000 tests. While the rate of transmission in Italy has dropped below 1, signaling that the virus curve is under control, the government has imposed tight restrictions for the Christmas holiday. They include a ban on traveling between regions from Dec. 21-Jan. 6, and a strong recommendation against hosting guests for holiday lunches and dinners. New cases remain highest in Lombardy, the epicenter of both the spring peak and the fall surge, with 4,533 new cases. Neighboring Veneto followed with more than 3,700. There were 201 fewer new admissions to Italy’s intensive care units than a day earlier, dropping the total to 3,657 in ICU. Hospitalizations dropped by 600 to 31,200. Italy has 1.6 million cases and 58,842 confirmed deaths, the second-highest death toll in Europe, behind Britain. ——— THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: – Fauci apologizes for suggesting UK rushed vaccine decision — California ties new COVID-19 rules to hospital capacity – A World War II veteran from Alabama has recovered from COVID-19 in time to mark his 104th birthday. — Authorities say a couple were arrested at a Hawaii airport after traveling on a flight from the U.S. mainland despite knowing they were infected with COVID-19. — The U.N. chief is warning that the social and economic impact of COVID-19 “is enormous and growing.” ——— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ——— HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease expert, says there was never a question that he would accept President-elect Joe Biden’s offer to serve as his chief medical officer and adviser on the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, “I said yes right on the spot” after Biden asked him to serve during a conversation on Thursday. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has served several presidents, Republican and Democratic. During President Donald Trump’s administration, he has been largely sidelined as Trump gave rosy assessments of the virus and insisted it would fade away. Fauci has urged rigorous mask-wearing and social distancing, practices that have not often been followed at the White House. On Thursday, Biden said he will ask Americans to commit to 100 days of wearing masks as one of his first acts as president. ——— ANCHORAGE, Alaska — U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska has returned to work after recovering from the coronavirus. The Anchorage Daily News reported the 87-year-old Republican lawmaker was back at work in his congressional office in Washington on Wednesday. Young announced Nov. 12 he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalized. Young previously dismissed it as the “beer virus,” but later said he didn’t grasp the severity of the illness. Last month, voters re-elected him. Young has held his seat since 1973 and is the longest-serving Republican in congressional history. ——— SEATTLE — Teams of registered nurses will help long-term care facilities across the state of Washington with staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. The state Department of Social and Health Services announced it will send six “rapid response” teams to work at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care providers where employees tested positive for the virus or were quarantined. On Thursday, health officials have reported 431 long-term facilities with at least one coronavirus infection. ——— OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health is providing .8 million to continue free coronavirus testing statewide through the end of the year. State health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye says there’s been an “unprecedented number of COVID-19 tests for Oklahomans” ahead of the holiday season. He urged citizens to keep getting tested, “especially if you plan to travel or gather with anyone outside of your household during the holiday season.” Federal funding has been used to provide more than 2 million tests statewide at no charge since the start of the pandemic. There’s been about 515,000 tests since Nov. 1, the health department says. Oklahoma has reported a total of 204,048 confirmed cases and 1,836 deaths. ——— HONOLULU — The acting Hawaii state epidemiologist said the number of state contact tracers will shrink after the end of the year. Sarah Kemble says the program is overstaffed and will downsize to match demand. The state Department of Health currently has roughly 400 contact tracers. The state agency didn’t say how many tracers would be let go. The health department had been criticized earlier during the pandemic for an inadequate contact-tracing program. Kemble says since then, the state has hired hundreds of contact tracers, but many are now inactive. ——— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A World War II veteran from Alabama has recovered from COVID-19 in time for his 104th birthday. A relative says Major Wooten is physically drained and a little fuzzy mentally after battling the coronavirus. But granddaughter Holly Wooten McDonald says he appears to be on the mend as he marks his birthday. McDonald said her grandfather tested positive for coronavirus on Nov. 23 after her mother — his daughter — got the illness. He was hospitalized but the Alabama football fan and former worker at U.S. Steel got better. Madison Hospital shared video of Wooten wearing a face mask and waving while workers sang “Happy birthday dear Pop Pop” as he was discharged in a wheelchair decorated with balloons on Tuesday, two days before his birthday. ——— ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president says he would get vaccinated to set an example for Turkish citizens to combat the coronavirus. “There is no problem for me to get vaccinated,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday. “It is necessary to take this step as an example for our citizens.” He says Turkey would purchase multiple vaccines and is in talks with Russia for their vaccine. Turkey has ordered 50 million doses of Chinese Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac and its first shipment is due to arrive on Dec. 11. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told official Anadolu news agency vaccination would not be mandatory. But he would work to convince people by getting the shot as soon as Turkish authorities OK the vaccine. Turkey is averaging about 30,000 coronavirus cases per day over seven days. The first weekend lockdown since end of May will begin Friday. The confirmed death toll has reached 14,316 since the start of the pandemic. ——— COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway’s Health Minister Bent Hoeie says some 1.2 million people, chiefly those in high-risk groups and health workers, will get the vaccine when it becomes available. The remainder of Norway’s population of 5.4 million will get the vaccine in the spring, Hoeie says. The Norwegian government outlined those who get the vaccine first: people over 65, persons in retirement homes and hospitals, people ages 18 to 64 with one or more diseases or conditions that give a higher risk of a serious course of the disease. ——— MADRID — Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa says the government hopes to vaccinate between 15 and 20 million people by next May or June. The government had said it planned to vaccinate 2.5 million between residents and health workers in elderly care homes, first line health workers and disabled or dependent groups in the first three months. It hopes to begin vaccinating next month and receive more than 140 million vaccine doses in all. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that in a third phase, the rest of Spain’s 47 million population would get vaccines. The vaccines will be free and voluntary. Meanwhile, Spain’s Sociological Research Center issued a poll saying 55% of Spaniards would wait and see the effects of the vaccines before getting them. It said 8% would not take the vaccine. ——— PRAGUE — The Czech Republic has launched a coronavirus testing program for the country’s teachers as students gradually return to school. The program that started Friday and continues to Dec. 18 is designed to test up to 170,000 teachers. The free program is voluntary and uses rapid antigen tests. The Czech government also plans to make COVID-19 tests available to all citizens, possibly starting Dec 18. In November, the country started testing residents of all nursing and retirement homes. The Czech Republic was one of the hardest hit amid the recent resurgent of coronavirus infections in Europe. The country of 10.7 million has reported more than 537000 confirmed cases, including more than 8,600 deaths. The number of new daily cases had been dropping for several weeks, but the trend might be reversing. The day-to-day increase of new cases reached 4,624 on Thursday, almost 600 more than a week earlier. ——— STOCKHOLM — Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says older people in retirement homes and staff in nursing homes, an estimated 570,000 people, will be the first to get vaccinated once European regulators give their approval. He says after the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission approve a vaccine, “we will get started. The vaccine will reach all parts of our country.” Lofven says the Scandinavian country that opted for a different approach to handling the pandemic by keeping large sections of society open and relied mainly on recommendations to its population, “must be ready to start as soon as the vaccine or vaccine arrives in the country.” He says, “A year ago, we had not even heard of COVID-19. Now we are planning for vaccination. It is huge.” He added it would be free of charge. Johan Carlsson, head of Sweden’s Public Health Agency, warned that the pandemic isn’t over just because a vaccine arrives. ——— LONDON — America’s top infectious disease has apologized for suggesting U.K. authorities rushed their authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying he has “great faith” in the country’s regulators. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had sparked controversy with an earlier interview in which he said U.K. regulators hadn’t acted “as carefully” as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fauci said late Thursday that he meant to say U.S. authorities do things differently than their British counterparts, not better, but his comments weren’t phrased properly. Fauci told the BBC: “I do have great faith in both the scientific community and the regulatory community at the U.K., and anyone who knows me and my relationship with that over literally decades, you know that’s the case.” ——— UNITED NATIONS — The White House coronavirus response coordinator says Americans must not gather indoors with outsiders or take off their masks at any time when they are outdoors — even when they are eating and drinking. Dr. Deborah Birx says people also have to observe social distancing and wash their hands to contain the coronavirus pandemic. She says some states are taking these measures, but in others it’s “not happening at the level that they need to happen.” Birx says that even once vaccines are approved, it will take weeks to months before “the most vulnerable individuals in America” can be immunized. She made the comments after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir at U.N. headquarters in New York on Thursday. ——— SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has recorded 629 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily tally in about nine months. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Friday that 600 of the newly confirmed patients were domestically transmitted cases — nearly 80 % of them in the densely populous Seoul area, which has been at the center of a recent viral resurgence. It says the 629 new cases took the country’s total to 36,332 for the pandemic, with 536 deaths related to COVID-19. After successfully suppressing two previous outbreaks this year, South Korea has been grappling with a fresh spike in infections since it relaxed stringent social distancing rules in October. Last week, it toughened distancing restrictions in the greater Seoul area and other places. ——— MONTREAL — The Quebec government is cancelling its plan to allow gatherings over four days of the Christmas holidays. Premier Francois Legault says the province will no longer permit multi-household gatherings of up to 10 people from Dec. 24 through Dec. 27 as had been planned. Legault first announced the Christmas plan on Nov. 19, saying people could get together as long as they quarantined for a week before and a week after the holiday period. But coronavirus infections, COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise and the province’s health system is deemed fragile due to a lack of staffing. Legault says it’s not realistic to think the numbers will go down sufficiently by Christmas. The French-speaking Canadian province reported 1,470 coronavirus cases Thursday. ——— FOX28 Spokane©
The Czech Ministry of Finance Nov. 27 announced that the DTA with Botswana, signed Oct. 29, 2019, entered into force Nov. 26, 2020. The provisions generally take effect Jan. 1, 2021, in the Czech Republic, and July 1, 2021, in Botswana. [Czech Republic, Ministry of Finance, 11/27/20]
Since Monday, November 23, all travellers arriving in the Czech Republic from mainland Greece or any of its islands will have to present a negative COVID-19 test or self-isolate for a period of two weeks. They should also complete an arrival form. The decision has been taken by the Czech Ministry of Health based on […]
In today's edition of the Capitals, find out more about protesters opposing the new law making it a crime to circulate identifying images of law enforcement, Slovakia's intelligence chief saying Chinese diplomats offer Slovak public officials prostitutes and free trips to China, and so much more.
On November 3, the Austrian authorities imposed the second lockdown of the country since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic back in late winter this year. The lockdown, which is set to last until the end of the month at least, has worried many, in particular those who were planning to travel to the country, […]
International health crises have the ability to send shockwaves through global value chains. This column examines how value chains have responded to two previous health shocks – SARS and MERS – in order to draw lessons for the current pandemic. There is evidence of geographical diversiﬁcation within value chains, as well as of an overall non-resilience to the SARS epidemic in
With bankruptcies and job losses expected to rise, the Czech government should stand ready to provide further support until a recovery is fully under way, then actively help those who have lost jobs to find new ones, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
CHICAGO — Public health officials in Illinois on Sunday reported 57 more deaths from COVID-19, as well as 7,178 new confirmed and probable cases. There have been 720,114 COVID-19 cases in Illinois since the pandemic began. The death toll has reached 12,193 people. The state reported 62,740 tests in the past 24 hours with more than 10.4 million tests overall. Currently, 5,858 people in Illinois are being hospitalized for COVID-19, with 1,185 people in intensive care units. ——— HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: —Fauci: US may see ‘surge upon surge’ of virus in coming weeks —U.K. stocks up on vaccines, hopes to start virus shots within days — Federal judges uphold Kentucky governor’s virus school order —When Turkey changed the way it reports COVID-19 infections, it confirmed what many long suspected: The country faces an alarming surge of cases —The European plazas where people gather at Christmas are new just empty squares due to the pandemic. —COVID-19 is causing havoc in the NFL: The Denver Broncos have no quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers have no home stadium. And the Baltimore Ravens may not have enough players available for their next game. ——— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ——— HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: NEW YORK — New York City will reopen its school system to in-person learning and increase the number of days a week many children attend class even as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that some elementary schools and pre-kindergarten programs will resume classes Dec. 7. Others will take longer to reopen their doors. The announcement marks a major policy reversal for the nation’s largest school system. It comes just 11 days after de Blasio announced that schools were shutting down because of a rising number of cases. The plan for reopening middle and high schools is still being developed. Some elementary schools and pre-kindergarten programs will resume classes Dec. 7, a week from Monday, the mayor said. Others will take longer to reopen their doors. ——— INDIANAPOLIS: Public health officials in Indiana say 24 more people have died from the new coronavirus for a total of 5,418 deaths in the state. The Indiana Department of Health reported 4,335 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The overall number of cases in the state is 333,312. Public health officials say there are another 267 people who likely died from COVID-19 based on clinical diagnoses but for whom there’s no positive test on record. ——— BEIRUT — The recorded coronavirus death toll in Lebanon has topped 1,000, just as the small Mediterranean country of about 6 million plans to ease a two-week nationwide lockdown. Lebanon’s Health Ministry reported 13 new deaths on Sunday, raising the toll to 1,004. An additional 1,266 new infections have brought registered infections to 126,903 since February. Health Minister Hassan Hamad said the government plans to ease a two-week lockdown that ends Monday. Hamad said the lockdown has given the battered health sector some breathing room, allowing the government to expand ICU capacity in the country. The lockdown included a curfew from sunset to sunrise. Lebanon is facing a crippling financial and economic crisis which had preceded the coronavirus restrictions and was only deepened by a massive explosion in Beirut’s port. The damage from the blast has further strained limited resources, particularly in the health sector. ——— ISTANBUL— Turkey’s COVID-19 fatalities continued to rise Sunday, hitting another record with 185 new deaths. The death toll has reached 13,558, according to health ministry statistics. The number of critically ill patients has climbed over 5,000. The ministry said 29,281 people had tested positive in the past 24 hours. The Turkish government resumed reporting all positive cases this week after only reporting symptomatic patients for four months. Nighttime curfews over the weekend are in effect for a second week across the country but media reports show packed public spaces during the day. ——— ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities announced 1,193 new coronavirus cases Sunday, a significantly lower daily figure than recently. The total number of cases since the pandemic began is 104,227. There were also 98 deaths over the past day, pushing the total number of fatalities to 2,321. Despite the drop, the public health system remained close to capacity, as far as the number of specialized intensive care units go. There are 603 patients on ventilators, authorities said. In the northern city of Thessaloniki, where most of the new cases have occurred recently, patients are now being transferred to private clinics requisitioned for the purpose. The first transfers took place Sunday. ——— BERLIN — Austria’s defense minister has tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the second member of the country’s Cabinet to be infected. The Austria Press Agency reported that her ministry said Sunday Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner is doing well and will work from home. She had already been in quarantine for 10 days because she had been in contact with another person who tested positive. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg tested positive for the virus in mid-October and returned to his ministry later that month after showing no symptoms. Austria on Nov. 17 deepened lockdown measures in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. They are due to run though Dec. 6. Infection rates have declined in the Alpine country, but Chancellor Sebastian Kurz cautioned in an interview with Sunday’s edition of the Kleine Zeitung newspaper that Austrians will still have to live with “massive restrictions” after that. ——— ROME — For a second straight day, the number of additional deaths of COVID-19 patients dropped considerably in Italy, according to Health Ministry statistics released Sunday. Also lower were the number of beds occupied by hospitalized COVID-19 patients. There were 541 deaths of persons with confirmed coronavirus infections since Saturday, compared to 686 on the previous day and 827 on the day before that. Since the pandemic began, Italy has tallied 54,904 known deaths. Daily new caseload numbers also dropped considerably – 20,648 on Sunday, compared to 26,323 on Saturday — but as often happens on weekends, there were far fewer COVID-19 swab tests performed since the previous day. Italy’s total of confirmed cases in the pandemic rose to 1,585,178. Doctors and other health experts are urging the Italian government to maintain most of the current anti-COVID-19 restrictions in the run-up before Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. They fear that crowds of travelers, shoppers and revelers would trigger another surge in contagion. ——— HONOLULU — A group of Hawaii leaders launched a campaign Sunday to promote the islands as an appealing location for a remote office with a view. Now that many companies, especially in the tech industry, allow employees to work from anywhere during the pandemic, they hope Hawaii will be alluring. They’re also throwing in roundtrip tickets to Honolulu for the first 50 approved applicants. Some say high-paid workers will bolster an economy decimated by dramatically fewer tourists. Others worry what those with Silicon Valley money will mean for housing, especially when there’s already a crunch for affordable places to live. ——— PRAGUE — The Czech government said Sunday it is easing measures imposed to contain the new coronavirus due to falling numbers of new confirmed cases. Health Minister Jan Blatny said all stores, restaurants and bars can reopen on Thursday and a ban on Sunday sales is lifted. Restaurants can be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., though they are limited to 50% of their capacity. Stores and shopping centers also must limit the number of customers. Hair salons, fitness centers and gyms are allowed to reopen, as are zoos, museums and galleries. The Czech Republic was among the hardest hit by a new wave of infections in the fall, but the number of new cases has been on a decline since Nov 4. The country of almost 10.7 million had 518,649 confirmed cases with 8,054 fatalities. The day-to-day increase of new cases reached 2,667 on Saturday. ——— PARIS — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus. The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful who called it arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected defy it. The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days. French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening their doors again to worshippers this weekend — but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after its latest virus lockdown. Many people expressed irritation outside several Paris churches where priests held services for groups that numbered over 30. ——— BAGHDAD — Iraq has reopened its schools amid a raging pandemic that has claimed more than 12,000 lives across the country, with kids returning to socially-distanced classrooms and other safety measures Sunday. Students will be attending school only one day per week according to a rotation system meant to prevent crowding and the spread of the new coronavirus, according to the Education Ministry. Iraq, like much of the rest of the world, has resorted to distance learning after schools closed in February due to the virus outbreak. But online education is out of reach for many in a country with poor infrastructure that has suffered decades of war. Iraq has the second-highest outbreak and number of deaths in the Middle East region after Iran, with more than 500,000 confirmed cases, according to Health Ministry figures. Daily infection rates average 2,400 cases per day — a slower rate than in previous weeks — but health workers say the number may be higher as many Iraqis with symptoms choose to stay home and avoid hospitals to get tested. ——— ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has recorded 43 more deaths and 2,829 new COVID-19 cases. With the new figures, Pakistan’s tally of COVID-19 deaths is now 7,985. ——— HONG KONG — Hong Kong has reported 115 new coronavirus infections, the first time it has seen cases in the triple digits since Aug. 2. The government on Sunday also announced that classes at kindergarten, primary and secondary schools will be shut for the rest of the year in light of the worsening coronavirus situation in the city. Of the 115 infections reported Sunday, 24 were untraceable. Another 62 were linked to recent outbreaks in dance studios across the city, taking the total number of infections in that cluster to 479, health officials said. Employees and recent guests at three restaurants in the city have also been ordered to undergo compulsory testing after multiple positive cases had been linked to the venues. Hong Kong has reported 6,239 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, with 109 deaths. ——— SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is shutting down indoor gyms offering intense workout classes and banning year-end parties at hotels in the greater Seoul area to fight the virus. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Sunday authorities will also ban the operation of private music institutes teaching singing and wind instruments and saunas at public bath houses in the capital area. He said fitness centers, cafes and libraries operating inside apartment complexes will also be closed. The new steps will be effective from Tuesday. The country reported 450 new cases on Sunday. South Korea on Thursday registered more than 500 new virus cases for the first time in eight months. —- PHOENIX — University of Arizona researchers say the current surge in the coronavirus outbreak will present the state with a hospital crisis that could become a disaster unless the state takes steps such as ordering a three-week stay-home shutdown and implementing a statewide mask mandate. Members of the university’s COVID Modeling Team said failing to take such steps would be like facing a major forest fire without evacuation orders. It also recommends providing economic aid to affected small businesses and families and preventing evictions and foreclosures. The team has tracked the outbreak since last spring and made its recommendations in a letter Friday to the state Department of Health Services. Many local governments have imposed mask mandates since Gov. Doug Ducey last summer lifted a prohibition on such orders. The local mandates cover an estimated 90% of the state’s population but enforcement is lax or nonexistent in some places. Arizona on Saturday reported 4,136 additional known COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths. FOX28 Spokane©
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s governor says that once coronavirus vaccines become available, they will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools. Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday that vaccines will be very important for Tennessee to “ultimately really be able to handle” the pandemic. But he says he doesn’t foresee vaccine mandates for school districts
With the help of the European Commission, the Ministry of Health has signed Advance Purchase Agreements with manufacturers of the coronavirus vaccine. Under these agreements, the Czech Republic has purchased vaccines for 5.5 million people to be used next year. Vaccines for an additional 10.6 millio
South Dakota ER nurse Jodi Doering has seen some disturbing examples of COVID-19 denial as she works through the pandemic. After a Twitter thread of her experiences started circulating, Doering appeared on CNN's New Day on Monday to describe how South Dakota hospitals are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients — and yet some of them don't believe the virus they have is real. While many patients are "grateful for the care they receive" from nurses, some COVID-19 patients spend their last moments refusing to call family and friends because they're convinced they're going to be fine, Doering said. "Their last dying words are, 'This can't be happening. It's not real,'" Doering recalled. In some cases, patients even insist they have the flu or lung cancer to avoid acknowledging the coronavirus. A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering says her Covid-19 patients often “don't want to believe that Covid is real.” “Their last dying words are, ‘This can't be happening. It's not real.' And when they should be... Facetiming their families, they're filled with anger and hatred.” pic.twitter.com/tgUgP6znAT — New Day (@NewDay) November 16, 2020 Doering went on to mention how more people have died of COVID-19 in South Dakota — 644 — than live in the town where she's from. South Dakota has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate of almost anywhere in the world — only North Dakota and the entire countries of Belgium and the Czech Republic rank higher. Without a mask mandate and with low rates of mask wearing, the Dakotas have seen coronavirus cases spike over the past few months. Kathryn Krawczyk North Dakota is waaaayyy beyond just merely “hit hard”. It ranks as the #1 hotspot for #COVID19 mortality rate ***in entire world***. South Dakota, Cook County (Chicago), Wisconsin and Montana not far behind. (HT @greg_travis and @VanGennepD) https://t.co/1dSpAQIz75 pic.twitter.com/X3VZ6sYKC5 — Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) November 16, 2020
Czechia must actively support business and employment to strengthen the country’s Covid-19 recovery, says a new report. After years of steady growth that lifted incomes and living standards, the Czech economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and will only recover slowly. Once support to firms and workers has restored stability, the focus […]
This document outlines the initial developments in EU/EEA member states and the UK regarding vaccine deployment plans and national vaccination strategies for COVID-19 vaccines, including interim considerations for priority groups, evidence to be considered for the prioritisation of target groups, logistical considerations and monitoring systems for post-marketing surveillance (e.g. vaccine coverage, safety, effectiveness and acceptance).
On Tuesday, Parliament approved Euros823 million in EU aid for the Croatia earthquake, floods in Poland, and the response to the coronavirus crisis in seven EU countries. *More than Euros132.7 million to be distributed in advance payments to Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, and Portugal in response to the major public health emergency caused by...
MADRID — Spain officials say health workers and residents in elder care homes will be the first group vaccinated when potential doses arrive. Health Minister Salvador Illa says Spain has signed agreements with five vaccine producers and hopes to do so with two more. Once the vaccines are approved by the European Medicines Agency, Spain hopes to receive 140 million doses. Given most vaccines will involve two doses, he says this should be enough to vaccinate some 80 million people and cover any possible problems with some vaccines. Spain, with a population of 47 million, intends to give vaccines for free and provide the excess vaccines to countries outside the European Union that need them, Illa says. The government hopes to vaccinate some 2.5 million people in the first stage between January and March and most of the population who need vaccines covered by mid-year. The vaccinations will be given in Spain’s 13,000 public health centers. Spain has reported more than 1.5 million cases and more than 55,000 confirmed deaths. ——— HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Millions in US stick to Thanksgiving travel plans despite CDC warnings — Spain’s mortuary workers in high demand again, working with grace and professionalism as virus resurges — Just in time for December holidays, England to cut its mandatory 14-day quarantines for travelers from unsafe virus countries to as little as five days with testing regimen. — Los Angeles on the brink of a stay-home order as coronavirus cases rise. —— Drones to the rescue: Berlin lab seeks quicker virus tests. ——— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ——— HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: PRAGUE — The Czech Republic’s prime minister says his government is working on a plan to use rapid coronavirus tests for the entire country. Prime Minister Andrej Babis says the antigen testing will be free and won’t be mandatory. Babis says it would take place a week or 10 days before Christmas with the help from the military. The Health Ministry will present a detailed plan as soon as possible, Babis says. Antigen tests are less reliable than the standard PCR coronavirus tests, but they cost less and produce results in minutes. Slovakia tested nearly two thirds of its 5.5 million people in one weekend this month. The Czech Republic, a nation of 10.7 million, has 496,638 confirmed cases and 7,360 deaths. ——— THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch public health institute reports 36,931 confirmed coronavirus cases, a drop of about 775 in the past week. The Netherlands imposed what it called a partial lockdown in mid-October, closing all bars and restaurants. The public health institute says those admitted to hospitals with the coronavirus in the last week fell from 1,496 to 1,291. The number in intensive care dropped from 224 to 193 in the past seven days. Schools in the Netherlands have remained open since the first wave of infections in the spring. There have been more than 500,000 cases in the Netherlands. The confirmed Dutch death toll is 9,035, although the actual number is likely higher because not all who had a suspected coronavirus infection were tested. ——— NEW DELHI, India — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged states with a surge in coronavirus cases to establish cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccines. Modi’s Tuesday meeting with state leaders came as India’s total infections soared past 9.18 million. More than 134,000 Indians have died due to the coronavirus. Modi says his government is keeping track of vaccine development in the country and is in touch with vaccine developers across the world. He says “our priority is to make the vaccine available for all.” India is home to some of the world’s biggest vaccine makers and there are five vaccine candidates under different phases of trial here. But the state-run cold chain facilities used to keep some vaccines consistently refrigerated would be inadequate for the enormous challenge of rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine. To address this issue, Modi’s government is augmenting the cold chain and transport mechanism for the vaccines. It is also readying a database of healthcare and frontline workers who will be inoculated first. ——— BERLIN — State and federal health authorities in Germany say they are shortening quarantine periods for people who have come into contact with a confirmed COVID case from 14 days to 10, if they provide a negative test. Officials said Tuesday that people who have previously had COVID-19 themselves and recovered do not need to quarantine anymore if they come into contact with a newly diagnosed patient, unless they show symptoms of illness. Health officials have asked federal authorities to provide a legal basis for specially trained teachers to perform rapid antigen tests for the virus. Such tests are increasingly seen as an effective tool for screening people in schools and are deemed sufficient for shortening the quarantine period. ——— LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia has registered 59 new coronavirus deaths, a daily record for the small Alpine state. The government says 1,302 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, which raises the number of overall cases to 67,080. It has a total of 1,156 confirmed virus deaths. The country of 2 million people has introduced strict lockdowns and other health measures to try to stem the outbreak. ——— HELSINKI — Estonia has put in place new, tightened coronavirus restrictions that make wearing masks mandatory in public indoor places including transport, and reduce the maximum number of participants allowed to attend public events. Restrictions concerning masks and social distancing began Tuesday and the restrictions related to indoor public meetings, events and entertainment venues with fixed seating will take effect on Nov. 28. Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas says the spread of coronavirus is at a critical level in the country, especially for its medical system, for the number of COVID-19 patients is still increasing. The small Baltic nation of 1.3 million has seen the number of daily coronavirus cases rising rapidly in the past two weeks, with 204 new cases in the past 24 hours. The 14-day average of new cases is now about 284 per 100,000 inhabitants. ——— BERLIN — Germany’s 16 states want people to self-quarantine for several days before visiting family at Christmas, to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to elderly and vulnerable relatives. The dpa news agency reported Tuesday that states have agreed among themselves on a proposal for tightening Germany’s partial lockdown measures in the coming weeks, so they can be relaxed over the festive period. The plan, which also suggests bringing forward school breaks and that employers should let staff work from home, will be discussed Wednesday at a virtual meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany’s disease control agency recorded 14,361 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past day, and 249 further deaths. Germany has done relatively well in the pandemic, with an overall death toll of 14,400, one-fourth that of Britain’s. —- LONDON — The British government says people arriving in England from a destination not on its coronavirus safe list will from next month be able to reduce the time they have to quarantine themselves if they test negative for the virus. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the 14-day quarantine period can be reduced if people have a negative test from five days after their arrival. The change, which takes effect on Dec. 15, has been long-awaited by the travel industry, one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic. Under the new rules, passengers can reduce the 14-day period by paying for a test from a private firm on or after day five at a cost of potentially 100 pounds (3). Results are normally issued in 24 to 48 hours. ——— MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials say about 60 million Filipinos are being targeted for vaccination against the coronavirus next year at a cost of more than 73 billion pesos (.4 billion) to develop considerable immunity among a majority of Filipinos. Carlito Galvez Jr., who oversees government efforts to secure the vaccines, said late Monday that negotiations were underway with four Western and Chinese pharmaceutical companies, including U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., to secure the vaccines early next year. One company based in the U.K., AstraZeneca, can commit to supply up to 20 million vaccines, he said. “We will target the most vulnerable and the poorest communities in areas that were affected,” Galvez said, addressing who would be prioritized for vaccination. President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted police and military personnel to be prioritized for their many sacrifices, including in disaster-response work. The Philippines has had more than 420,000 confirmed cases, the second-most in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia, and 8,173 deaths. ——— BEIJING — China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. The National Health Commission said Tuesday that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also reported 20 cases among people who had arrived from overseas. In Shanghai, the mass testing of 17,719 workers at the city’s Pudong aiport found one infection, a Fedex employee. Everyone else tested negative. Three UPS workers at the airport have also tested positive in recent days, along with the wife of one of them. In all, Shanghai has reported eight non-imported cases since Friday. In Tianjin, where 2.3 million people had been tested as of Monday, the city reported one case in a person who developed symptoms after testing positive earlier. China does not include people without symptoms in its confirmed case count. To date, the health commission has recorded 4,634 deaths. ——— LOS ANGELES — Restaurant owners in Los Angeles County were trying to pivot Monday to a model that would keep them afloat when an order goes into effect Wednesday closing all dining for three weeks. Owners said they were upset that the county had taken the action, claiming infections are more likely coming from private gatherings where rules aren’t enforced. “The same people desperate to go to bars are going to party in their houses,” said Brittney Valles, owner of Guerrilla Tacos in downtown Los Angeles. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said restaurants are part of the problem. Outbreaks in the first two weeks of the month doubled at food facilities, including restaurants, processing plants, bottlers, grocery stores and related businesses, Ferrer said. Valles was working Monday to develop a plan to keep as many of her workers employed as possible. ——— ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Norwegian musher Thomas Waerner said Monday that he won’t defend his title at next year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race because of restrictions and uncertainty over travel during the coronavirus pandemic. “I cannot find a way to get the dogs to Alaska,” Waerner said in an email to The Associated Press. As he learned earlier this year, getting to Alaska is only half the battle: Waerner wasn’t able to return to his wife and five children in Torpa, Norway, for months after winning the world’s most famous sled dog race because travel was restricted as the pandemic took hold. The Iditarod was one of the few professional sports that wasn’t canceled last March. While the defending champion says he won’t participate in the 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race across the rugged Alaska terrain, the Iditarod is still scheduled to start March 7. That includes a fan-friendly ceremonial start a day earlier that usually attracts thousands of people in Anchorage. Waerner hopes to return to the race in 2022. ——— LOS ANGELES — The largest county in the United States is on the brink of a stay-home order after a coronavirus surge surpassed a level set by Los Angeles County public health officials to trigger such an action. A swell of new cases Monday put the county over an average of 4,500 cases per day. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said no action would be taken until county supervisors meet Tuesday. A stay-home order would be the first such action since mid-March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom followed several counties and issued a statewide order that closed schools and most shops. Cases and hospitalizations have been rapidly rising across California in November. The state recorded its highest day of positive test results Saturday with more than 15,000. Hospitalizations have increased 77% over the past two weeks. In Los Angeles, the county of 10 million residents has had a disproportionately large share of the state’s cases and deaths. ——— FOX28 Spokane©
WASHINGTON, DC – November 23, 2020 – – DHS today announced it awarded $27.8 million to nonprofit organizations through its client Agrofert, the most ever granted by its donors in a single year. The news was shared at a virtual Annual Report to Community on November 19, where donors, nonprofit and government partners, and other […]
By MORGAN WINSOR, EMILY SHAPIRO, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA and JON HAWORTH, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide. Over 55.7 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused […]