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France tightens virus measures as Brazil ends deadliest month – Times of India


PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday introduced a restricted nationwide lockdown to battle hovering Covid-19 instances, whereas Brazil feared additional devastation was forward after its deadliest month of the pandemic up to now.
France turned the most recent European nation to relent to stubbornly excessive coronavirus instances regardless of Macron repeatedly vowing to not reintroduce a nationwide lockdown, even going in opposition to the advice of his scientific advisers for one in January.
But with each day instances having doubled to round 40,000 and hospitals in infection hotspots like Paris overflowing, Macron mentioned the present measures “were too limited at a time when the epidemic is accelerating”.
The restricted lockdown already in place in areas together with Paris could be prolonged to the entire nation from Saturday evening for the following 4 weeks, he mentioned, whereas faculties would shut for the following three weeks — two of that are spring holidays.
In an deal with to the nation, Macron once more defended not locking down in January, citing latest such measures in Germany and Italy.
“With our collective choices we gained precious weeks of liberty, weeks of learning for our children, we allowed hundreds of thousands of workers to keep their head above water, without losing control of the epidemic,” he argued.
Brazil in the meantime recorded a staggering 62,704 Covid deaths between March 1 and 30, with hospitals overwhelmed and docs pressured to make agonising selections over whom to present life-saving care.
“Never in Brazilian history have we seen a single event kill so many people in 30 days,” mentioned Dr Miguel Nicolelis, response workforce coordinator for the impoverished northeast.
With the southern hemisphere winter now approaching and the virus spreading quick, Brazil is going through “a perfect storm,” he instructed AFP.
Epidemiologist Ethel Maciel warned that “the worst is yet to come” as the nation’s vaccination marketing campaign is advancing slowly on account of a scarcity of doses.
Health consultants say the explosion of instances is partly pushed by a neighborhood virus variant identified as “P1”, which is believed to be extra contagious, capable of re-infect individuals who have had the unique pressure, and has already unfold to greater than two dozen international locations, together with the United States, Britain and Japan.
The world is wanting in direction of vaccines to interrupt the cycle of infections and restrictions, however Brazil and France are simply two of the various international locations the place rollouts have gotten off to a sputtering begin.
On the brilliant aspect, the quantity of obtainable vaccines might be rising.
Experts on the World Health Organization mentioned Wednesday an interim evaluation discovered that two Chinese vaccines, from corporations Sinovac and Sinopharm, demonstrated “safety and good efficacy” — however that extra information had been wanted.
The makers of one other vaccine, US pharma big Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, are pushing forward with plans to ramp up manufacturing, saying that new information from the US confirmed their jab was one hundred pc efficient on 12-to-15-yr-olds.
Pfizer mentioned it needed to start out vaccinating children within the US earlier than the beginning of the following college yr.
The US has already rolled out way more vaccine doses than any nation, with nearly 150 million of the 600 million jabs worldwide administered worldwide.
But it has additionally suffered greater than 550,000 fatalities — the world’s highest toll — and coronavirus was the third main trigger of deaths within the US final yr.
Some European international locations have restricted entry to the AstraZeneca vaccine over studies of blood clotting, however the EU’s drug regulating company mentioned Wednesday it had discovered no particular danger components connecting the jab to the illness.
However, the European Medicines Agency added: “A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and further analysis is continuing.”
Globally, the virus has killed greater than 2.8 million individuals because it emerged within the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan in late 2019.
China has since largely overwhelmed again the virus. However, after the detection of six instances close to the Myanmar border, town of Ruili will enter per week-lengthy lockdown — the nation’s first such transfer in months.
Greece in the meantime mentioned it is going to reopen most retail shops and chill out leisure restrictions regardless of excessive Covid numbers mounting strain on its well being system.
The World Health Organization mentioned Wednesday that a budget anti-parasite drug ivermectin — touted by some on social media as a Covid-19 “miracle cure” — shouldn’t be used to deal with coronavirus sufferers, citing a “very low certainty of evidence”.
With the pandemic devastating the worldwide financial system, the World Trade Organization gave a be aware of hope on Wednesday, saying that world commerce is about to extend by eight % this yr, a stronger rebound than had been anticipated.
However, the important significance of the combat in opposition to the pandemic was misplaced on Harlock — a one-yr-previous German Shepherd who was having enjoyable studying easy methods to sniff out Covid-19 in Rome.
“Sniff,” her coach Massimiliano Macera mentioned, fast to reward his furry scholar with treats at any time when nostril met tube.
“She’s already got it!” he mentioned with a smile.
“Their work is play,” Macera added of his canine. “These guys are already experts.”

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