The Covid-19 pandemic has killed nearly 4.4 million people worldwide, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse from official sources, Thursday August 19.
The World Health Organization estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the epidemic could be two to three times higher than that calculated from official figures.
Spanish justice decides to lift the curfew in Barcelona
A court in the very touristy region of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, ruled on Thursday to lift the curfew introduced last month in Barcelona and other municipalities by the Catalan government. The court ruled that the requested extension of the curfew was not “Not so much justified for health reasons as for reasons of security or public order”. The curfew will therefore only be maintained in 19 municipalities, instead of the 148 required by the regional executive.
However, the ban on private meetings of more than 10 people remains in force. “Throughout the territory of Catalonia”, said the court.
Like the rest of Spain, Catalonia, epicenter of a fifth wave that started in early July, has seen the number of new cases drop sharply in recent weeks: the incidence fell Wednesday to 328 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over fourteen days, less than the national average (378), according to the Ministry of Health.
This judicial decision is therefore first and foremost the consequence of the improvement in the health situation in Catalonia, particularly in Barcelona, since the incidence in the latter has fallen to 261 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over fourteen days.
European Union recognizes health passes from Turkey, Ukraine and North Macedonia
The European Union (EU) will recognize from Friday the national health passes of Turkey, Ukraine and North Macedonia, making it easier for their residents to travel to Europe, the European Commission said. In return, these three countries agree to recognize the digital pass put in place by Brussels.
This European health certificate, in force since early July in the 27 member states, indicates whether its carrier is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), whether he has become immune after contracting the disease or if he has recently tested negative.
This recognition will however be subject to conditions with regard to vaccinated travelers: the EU currently only recognizes four vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – each country of the Union can however decide to ” accept entry from people who have received vaccines not approved by the AEM.
However, Ukraine has resorted to the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, which is not recognized by the European regulator. Similarly, Turkey and North Macedonia both administer Sinovac, but also another Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, as well as the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, also unrecognized by European health authorities.
Japan: first case of Covid-19 identified in Tokyo Paralympic village
A first case of Covid-19 has been identified in the athletes’ village, organizers of the Tokyo Paralympic Games announced Thursday, five days before the opening of the event and as Japan faces a number of infections record. The person concerned is a staff member linked to the Games and does not reside in Japan, according to the same source.
Organizers have so far reported 74 cases of coronavirus linked to the Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to take place from August 24 to September 5, mostly among Japanese employees and contractors residing in Japan.
The organizers of the Olympic Games, which ended on August 8, claim to have succeeded in preventing a major spread of infections thanks to their strict sanitary measures. To date, 546 positive cases linked to the Olympic Games have been identified. On the contrary, some experts felt that the holding of the Games contributed to the increase in infections in the country.
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