Coronavirus COVID-19 Thread

NaffNaffBobFace

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Friday super special additional Corner entry:

- World: Following US advocating for lifting patents on vaccines and EU advising it is open to discussion, France president says US/UK should export vaccines instead, and Germany strongly pushes back saying it isn't the patents which are the problem in the supply line and that releasing the intellectual property risks doses produced which are not from specialist labs able to produce safe medicine: “We have not been given a single example where capacity has been restricted because of the protection of patent or other intellectual property rights,”
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today Saturday 8th of May:

- World: 157,087,436 confirmed cases and 3,274,092 confirmed deaths.

- India: Sees record high new daily deaths.

- Vaccines: The Pope backs waiving patents on vaccines, France and Germany continue to push back that the US should lift bans on exports of vaccines and vaccine production materials and that a waiver on intellectual property rights would stifle innovation.

- EU: Signs contract with Pfizer for 1.8 billion doses of vaccine for delivery between 2021 and 2023.

- Pakistan: Begins new partial lockdown to pre-empt Eid celebration transmissions. UK variant now the dominant strain accounting for up to 70% of cases.

- Turkey: New daily cases falls below 20k for the first time since March.

- France: Seriously ill cases in hospital falls for the 5th day in a row to just over 5k active patents.
 

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- India: Sees record high new daily deaths.
This is sad. So many people I interact with daily have been getting sick or someone in their family has been. Reminds me how lucky I have been so far in that where I live its been hardly impacted and the chances are reducing daily with so many getting vaccinated daily.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Sunday 9th of May.

- World: 157,786,096 confirmed cases and 3,285,270 confirmed deaths.

- US: Some states lower the amount of vaccine delveries they require for their rollouts as existing stock no longer flying out of the freezers, indicating take-up of vaccines may be slowing.

- India: Sees a rise in rare fungal infection mucormycosis in people who have recovered from serious COVID-19, from single digits in some areas before the pandemic to double digits now... the condition has a 50% mortality rate. It is suspected some of the treatments used to save the lives of those who have contracted serious COVID infection leave patents susceptible to the mold.

- EU: The internal market commissioner indicates the Bloc will not be renewing AstraZeneca vaccine orders after June.

- UK: Has fully vaccinated 33% of adults, while 67% have had a first dose.

- Japan: Concerns of a new wave in Tokyo arise as an influx of calls to the Fever Consultation Hotline follow the end of a recent national holiday.

- Australia: New South Wales to continue with restrictions for another week while it continues to attempt to identify the source of a recent small outbreak.

- Laos: Sees its first COVID-19 death. It was one of the few places left on earth which had not seen a confirmed fatality to the virus, until now.

- Spain: Madrid, and the Mayor calls for calm and responsible behavior as, following the end of the nations State Of Emergency which had lasted for 6 months, thousands poured on to the streets to celebrate.

- Germany: Passes legislation which will exempt fully vaccinated people from many restrictions.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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This is sad. So many people I interact with daily have been getting sick or someone in their family has been. Reminds me how lucky I have been so far in that where I live its been hardly impacted and the chances are reducing daily with so many getting vaccinated daily.
Absolutely agree, I am very lucky to have been born somewhere which has been in the position to have been able to jump on getting the vaccine rollout underway as quickly as possible.
 

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This is sad. So many people I interact with daily have been getting sick or someone in their family has been. Reminds me how lucky I have been so far in that where I live its been hardly impacted and the chances are reducing daily with so many getting vaccinated daily.
This pandemic has truly reinforced the inequality not only between people but countries as well.

I too feel infinitely lucky to live where I live and have the upbringing that I have.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Monday 10th of May:

- World: 158,446,875 confirmed cases and 3,295,405 confirmed deaths.

- World: WHO advises India variant B.1.617 is a variant of global concern.

- India: Dozens of bodies of suspected COVID victims wash up on the banks of the Ganges, suspected placed in the holy river as the countries cremation services continue to be overwhelmed.

- Nepal: Sees record high new daily cases and pleads with climbers of Everest to bring oxygen bottles back from the mountain with them rather than abandon them, as the country struggles with supply of the gas.

- UK: Lowers COVID risk level from 4 to 3 and announces plans for easing of restrictions from Monday next week, including:
Restaurants and bars will be able to serve indoors again.
Hotels allowed to reopen.
Groups of 6 people will be allowed to meet indoors.
Hugging will once again be permitted however Prime Minister Johnson warns "this does not mean we should throw caution to the wind"

- Australia: Ban on flights from India upheld by a judge, but 9,000 citizens to be repatriated on official approved government flights.

- Vaccines: BioNTech issues statement saying there is no evidence the Pfizer vaccine will need updating to counter new variants.

- Germany: Opens Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine up to all ages.

- Poland: To launch pilot of mass vaccination of workers in the workplace.

- Malaysia: To impose a national lockdown to counter climbing cases.

- Vietnam: After a month with no cases the country sees an outbreak of 125 locally transmitted cases. "The situation is alarming because we're having multiple outbreaks scattered across the country with unclear sources of transmission and multiple variants of the virus,"

- Italy: Woman accidentally injected with an entire phial of Pfizer vaccine - 6 doses. “I have a headache, a lot of tiredness but I’m still alive’’
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Tuesday 11th of May:

- World: 159,126,889 confirmed cases and 3,307,724 confirmed deaths.

- India: Following on from yesterdays report of bodies washing up on the banks of the Ganges, more bodies discovered today.

- US: In effort to boost vaccination uptake Lyft and Uber team up with the Government to offer free transport to appointments.

- UK: Prime Minister confirms a COVID public inquiry on the governments handling of the crisis will begin some time this parliament session (typically a year but some have been longer).

- UK: Vaccine maker AstraZeneca sees protests outside multiple company sites as groups demand the company openly licence and commit to sharing the vaccine technology with the WHO. The company pointed out "We have established 20 supply lines spread across the globe and we have shared the IP [intellectual property] and know-how with dozens of partners in order to make this a reality. In fact, our model is similar to what an open IP model could look like."

- UK: New variant unrelated to any of those present on the mainland discovered in a cluster in the Highlands of Scotland. "We know that hearing about a variant under investigation can be worrying but the way to limit the spread of any variant remains the same."

- UK: Continues to conduct group event trials to see if it is safe to restart mass events - this which will include the upcoming prestigious Brit Awards.

- Slovakia: Stops using Oxford/AZ vaccine for first doses following the death of a 47 year old woman which may have been related to a recent dose.

- Brazil: Stops giving Oxford/AZ vaccine to pregnant women following a death which may have been related to a dose.

- Singapore: Discovers COVID infections in 26 people who have previously been infected, and 56 in those who had been fully vaccinated. Investigations are under way.

- Philippines: Discovers first cases of India variant.

- Belgium: Plans to relax restrictions from 9th June announced, under the prevision that cases, hospitalisations and deaths continue to decline and remain low.
 
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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Wednesday 12th of May:

- World: 159,845,155 confirmed cases and 3,321,212 confirmed deaths.

- World: UN official indicates world vaccine production needs to double.

- World: Independent enquiry commissioned by the WHO says the pandemic was avoidable and criticises the WHO for not declaring emergency on Jan 22nd, indicating waiting until Jan 30th caused issues. It went on to state that the warning systems the WHO are allowed to use are inadequate as they need permission from the relevant government to be able to advise the world of an issue, and also said that countries reaction to the declaration once it had happened was inadequate taking months to take effect, missing the boat on it being of any great benefit.

- UK: Prime Minister schedules public enquiry for UK reaction to the pandemic for Spring 2022 saying the states response to the emergency saying “This process will place the state’s actions under the microscope,”

- UK: Opens up vaccinations to 38 year olds and over.

- US: Scientists indicate there is plausible causal association between J&J vaccine and rare blood clotting side effect having found 28 cases and 3 deaths from the 8.7 million vaccines administered to this point.

- EU: Medical regulator indicates there is encouraging evidence to suggest the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna can "neutralise" Indian variant. “The data seems to be rather reassuring on the fact that at least the messenger RNA vaccines will be able to neutralise this variant, at least to an extent that will guarantee sufficient protection,”

- US: Average daily deaths falls to 600, the lowest number in 10 months.

- Norway: Discontinues use of AZ vaccine and keeps J&J on hold over rare clotting side effect.

- India: Sees record high new daily deaths.

- India: 90 more bodies wash up in the Ganges.

- Africa: 3 more countries detect India variant, taking the total of countries which have detected the variant on the continent to 7.

- Mozambique: Applies to join in testing phase of international medical trial to create a vaccine specifically for pregnant women.

- Malaysia: Sees record high daily new deaths.

- Nigeria: Strengthens restrictions.

- Australia: Doubles Pfizer order and also arranges with Moderna for millions of shots.
 

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Why it matters: Questions remain about the origins of the coronavirus and the so-called "lab leak hypothesis" — the theory that the virus resulted from experiments in the Wuhan lab that accidentally spilled over, which the head of the World Health Organization has said should be investigated further.
  • Shi Zhengli, a lead researcher at WIV, was known from public documents to be conducting controversial gain-of-function experiments, which involve genetically modifying viruses to make them more infectious in an effort to better understand them, according to the Washington Post.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Thursday 13th of May:

- World: 160,566,700 confirmed cases and 3,334,194 confirmed deaths.

- World: Passes 160 million confirmed cases.

- India: States begin to try to buy COVID vaccines on the international market as local supplies run short.

- UK: India variant takes a foodhold as cases rise, threatens to derail restriction relaxation plans. Surge Testing (mass testing) found to be identifying the cases, but is not stopping the spread.

- UK: Trials of vaccine mixing between first and second doses reveal mild short lived side effect symptoms such as nausea and fatigue are noticeably higher in mixed dose individuals "It's a really intriguing finding and not something we were were necessarily expecting"

- UK: 90% of National Health Service staff have now been vaccinated.

- China: Official indicates government supports World Trade Organisation proposal on waiver of patents and IP protections on vaccines.

- British Airways: Trialling a COVID antigen test which only takes 25 seconds to provide a result from a company called Canary Global. "As we start to see the opening up of travel we remain committed to exploring easy and affordable testing solutions to help our customers travel again, whether it's for business, to reunite with family and friends or take a much-needed break abroad,"

- US: Ohio to run a lottery for people who have taken a vaccine, with five $1 million prizes up for grabs to incentivise vaccine uptake and participation tumbles.

- Japan: Official blames slow vaccine roll out on the countries rigid drug approval process.

- Nepal: At least 16 patients die due to oxygen shortage.

- Russia: Sees first case of India variant.

- EU: New survey indicates vaccine scepticism has risen to 25% with one quarter of respondents now saying they would not take a vaccine with a strong link between hesitancy and social media useage.

- Hungary: Begins vaccinating 16 to 18 year olds, with the warning if they don't get vaccinated they will be barred from clubs and bars.

- Philippines: To relax restrictions in the Capital as COVID rates decline.

- UAE: Approves the use of Pfizer vaccine for children.

- Spain: Announces it is on track to attain Herd Immunity.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - reports from around the world from today, Friday 14th of May:

- World: 161,355,499 confirmed cases and 3,348,241 confirmed deaths.

- WHO: Warns second year of the pandemic due to claim more lives than the first year.

- UK: Number of confirmed India Variant COVID cases doubles in one week from 512to 1,313, Prime Minister warns the country "I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June."

- Germany: To mark UK as risk area due to India Variant emergence.

- Canada: Administers one dose of vaccine to 50% of adult population.

- Lithuania: To donate 200,000 doses of vaccine to its close neighbours.

- Singapore: Announces new restrictions on gatherings.

- Japan: State of Emergency extended to more areas as cases begin to climb.

- Ireland: Cybercrime Ransomware attack hits health service operator causing the countries health IT system to be shut down, leading to appointments being cancelled. “This is a human-driven attack using an exploit that was previously unknown. It is widespread and possibly the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish state. It’s a high-impact attack, but it appears to have low transmissibility.”

- Turkey: Comes to the end of 2 week lockdown.
 

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Super hyper mega ultra Catharsis Corner update/s for today Friday 14th of May:

- Japan: Reports from Osaka indicate hospitals close to being overwhelmed with one Medical Union official quoted as saying: "Headlines that describe the medical system here as on the verge of collapse are wrong. It has already collapsed.”

- UK: Research on Pfizer vaccine dose schedules indicate in the elderly those who had doses 12 weeks apart had 3.5 times more antibodies than those who received the second dose within 3 weeks. “We’ve shown that peak antibody responses after the second Pfizer vaccination are really strongly boosted in older people when this is delayed to 11 to 12 weeks. There is a marked difference between these two schedules in terms of antibody responses we see.”
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Saturday 15th of May:

- World: 162,038,093 confirmed cases and 3,360,727 confirmed deaths.

- World: WHO implores nations which have been able to vaccinate the adults in their populations to share vaccines for adults in other nations before vaccinating children at home.

- India: Officials confirm COVID victims are being dumped in rivers all over the country: "The administration has information that bodies of those who have succumbed to Covid-19 or any other disease are being thrown into rivers instead of being disposed of as per proper rituals.” Government offers equivalent of about $50 to families of the dead to ensure they can buy the combustables to cremate them correctly.

- UK: Government sets out plans to Serge Vaccinate in areas with growing India variant cases in the hope it can head off the infections - early indications suggest B.1.617 is 50% more infectious than the current dominant variant B.1.1.7 (the UK variant).

- UK: Anti-lockdown and Anti-vax protesters gather outside BBC Broadcasting House chanting "Defund the BBC" apparently under the impression the corporation has misreported on the crisis. (Personal observation) These people are morons. An indevidual can defund the BBC personally by: Removing any TV reception equipment (ariels) from their house or making it so their TV's can't receive BBC services but can receive others, and then just stop paying the licence fee. It's that simple. Freakin' idiots.

- Ireland: COVID jabs go ahead despite a cyber attack on the countries healthcare infrastructure described as the biggest in Irelands history.

- Venezuela: Approves Sputnik Light single dose vaccine.

- Australia: Repatriation flight which was supposed to return with 150 people contains only 80, as 70 people with seats tested positive prior to getting on the plane and were barred from travelling.

- France: Was on target to hit aim of 20 million initial doses administered by the end of today.

- Poland: Eases lockdown restrictions.

- Taiwan: Raises alert level as cases climb 180 in new outbreak.

- Malaysia: Sees record high new daily deaths.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Sunday 16th of May:

- World: 162,644,373 confirmed cases and 3,372,019 confirmed deaths.

- India: Top virologist quits government adviser panel, publicly has not issued a reason however it has been noted by reporters the expert had raised concerns on the B.1.617 variant as early as March and had previously issued concerns that the government had not been paying enough attention to what turned into an exponential crisis.

- Italy: Daily death toll drops below 100 for the first time since October.

- Indonesia: Suspends a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine for Sterility and Toxicity checks following the death of a 22 year old man a day after immunisation. “After it is proven that it is sterile and does not contain toxins, the use of the vaccine will be resumed. The fastest we can get the results will be in two weeks,”

- UK: Government official indicates they are becoming more confident current vaccines in use are effective against the Indian variant as almost all hospitalised cases to this point have been unvaccinated persons "...we have increasing confidence that the vaccine works against the variant, the strategy is on track - it's just the virus has gained a bit of pace and we've therefore all got to be that bit more careful and cautious."

- UK: Age limit on vaccines to drop again to 35 years of age and up.

- UK: Government on the defensive on how long it took the country to add India to the travel ban list as official describes B.1.617 as "widespread but low level".

- Spain: Police clear Barcelona's city centre of 9,000 revellers. “I know what it means to have lived with lots of restrictions and that need to go out, but I ask you to do it carefully, to enjoy yourself, but to be very careful and to continue to respect security measures,”

- Taiwan: Sees record high new daily cases.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Monday 17th of May:

- World: 163,167,228 confirmed cases and 3,381,317 confirmed deaths.

- World: The Indian crisis effects bump on to the COVAX world vaccines sharing initiative. India, the worlds single most largest vaccine producer, has not exported any doses since the huge wave appeared in March, having to retain them to administer domestically. Now COVAX is running out of doses to distribute and is imploring countries with overstocks to share and help out this dire emergency.

- Vaccines: GlaxoSmithKline and French partner Sanofi vaccine candidate clears Phase 2 trials saying antibody response is strong. Phase 3 will begin shortly.

- WHO: World Health Organisation comments on COVID Crisis and ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip: "In the recent escalation of conflict, dozens of incidents involving health workers and health facilities have occurred. Furthermore, Covid-19 testing and vaccination has been severely impacted. This creates health risks for the world as a whole. Protection of health workers and health facilities is an imperative in all circumstances..."

- EU: Johnson and Johnson misses delivery quotas to the Bloc. The company still aims to deliver 55 million doses by the end of next month but to this point has only delivered 5 million. It is unclear if the Commission has prepared any potential legal options should the company fail to deliver.

- EU: Medicines regulator recommends extending time unopened Pfizer vaccines can be stored in standard fridge temperatures (between 2 to 8 C) from 5 days to 31 days as it considers the treatment stable enough to survive that long... Longer storage still requires between minus 60c to minus 80c however.

- India: Detects 26 cases of blood disorders after administration of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, a number described as "miniscule" considering the 164 million doses given in the country so far. “Bleeding and clotting cases following Covid vaccination in India are minuscule and in-line with the expected number of diagnoses of these conditions,”

- UK: Government official indicates 86 council areas have 5 or more India variant cases, confirmed indian varient cases in the UK raise another 1000+ to 2,323.

- UK: Restrictions eased in many areas, with indoor areas now open again to the public while still retaining sensible precautions.

- Scotland: Glasgow and surrounding area to retain stronger restrictions as cases continue to climb.

- Taiwan: Sees another record high new daily cases.

- Taiwan: Starts to run out of its supply of 300,000 vaccines.

- Malaysia: Sees record high new daily deaths.

- Japan: 80% of public now against the Olympics being performed during the pandemic as cases surge.

- Panama: Celebrates first day without a COVID death in 14 months.
 
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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Tuesday 18th of May:

- World: 163,721,427 confirmed cases and 3,392,840 confirmed deaths.

- India: Sees 260,000 new infections in last 24 hours, suggestions are made Peak may have passed.

- India: Sees record high new daily deaths.

- India: Government sources indicate Vaccine exports likely on hold until at least October.

- UK: Nurse who sat looked after the Prime Minister as he lay low dangerously ill with COVID-19 quits the health service citing the governments attitude toward the NHS as the cause. "Lots of nurses felt that the government hadn't led very effectively, the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages. It was just very upsetting... ...We're not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I'm just sick of it. So I've handed in my resignation."

- UK: The countries Variant hotspots data is under review, announcements will be made in the coming days on if Lockdown restrictions will be lifted, remain or strengthen.

- UK: 69.9% of adults have had first vaccine dose and 39% have had both.

- UK: A study on 800 Long COVID sufferers indicates just over 50% of them reported an improvement in the condition after receiving an mRNA vaccine. One of the people running the study said: “The data is very encouraging, but we don’t know how long the benefits last.”

- Israel: Destroys Gazas only COVID testing lab in an Air Strike.

- Vaccines: A day after reporting on one of its Vaccine Candidates, GlaxoSmithKline reports another plant-based candidate which it is making with a Canadian firm Medicago, produces antibody responses 10 times higher than those in people who have had the virus naturally.

- Vaccines: Vaccine mixing trial of 600 people in Spain finds a shot of AZ then Pfizer yielded immune responses 30 times higher than with two doses of AZ alone.

- Malaysia: Sees record high new daily deaths.

- Germany: Quarantines two residential tower blocks as India variant found.

- France: Report into the early handling of the pandemic criticises lack of attention for the elderly in care homes pointing out they were worse effected than those in the UK and US.
 

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Wednesday 19th of May:

- World: 164,348,314 confirmed cases and 3,407,240 confirmed deaths.

- India: Sees world record high daily new deaths, taking the record from the USA with 4,529 fatalities.

- India: The holy river Ganges continues to expel bodies, and has been described as being "swollen" with hundreds of corpses in recent days.

- US: To donate a significant number of vaccines to COVAX: “The allocation of the vaccines will include obviously a substantial portion through COVAX, but we have not made final decisions.”

- Tanzania: Having been one of the only places on earth not to be monitoring the COVID crisis in their country and denying there was a problem, Government to start reporting infections and deaths. Reports indicate the country has had two waves already, and a third looks to be on the way.

- UK: Prime Minister states publicly the evidence they have seen to this point leads them to be increasingly confident Vaccines are effective against highly transmissible India variant.

- UK: Cases of India variant raise 28% in 2 days to just shy of 3000.

- UK: National Audit Office report criticises government for not having plans ready for a crisis of the COVID-19 scale.

- UK: Announces vaccine booster shot study, a world first to see if a third top-up vaccine might be worth it or a waste of time and resources.

- US: Infection rate tumbles as vaccination shows its positive effect: “The progress we’re seeing in the United States is a testament to the power of safe and effective COVID vaccines, but it underscores the vital importance of accelerating access to vaccines throughout our region,”

- Malawi: Burns tens of thousands of expired vaccine doses, the labels show April as expiry date and their continued existence in the country was causing vaccine hesitancy amongst the population.

- EU: Ambassadors agree to open up cross boarder non-essential travel of vaccinated persons and areas with low cases, the list to be agreed upon soon.

- Ireland: Pfizer announces it is to begin vaccine production at a plant in Dublin.

- Scotland: A "number" of Police officers fined for breaching COVID rules by gathering in a group indoors. An official said: "Their actions undermine the sacrifices you have all made in the last year and I appreciate many of you will be upset about this incident."

- Scotland: Launches Vaccination "Passport" accreditation system for international travellers. "For those that do need it, this new service will provide people with a record of their vaccination status for outbound international travel."

- Malaysia: Sees record high new daily cases.

- France: Some restrictions eased including the opening of non-essential shops and outdoor areas for bars and restaurants.

- Cypress: Sees first case of India variant.

- Argentina: Cemetery, cremation and funeral workers to strike if they cannot reach a deal with the Government on Vaccination. “It is a very hard work every day, and I would like if it could be possible for us to be vaccinated because each day we have to take good care of ourselves, and the Covid-19 issue is raging,”
 

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today, Thursday 20th of May.

- World: 165,015,132 confirmed cases and 3,420,173 confirmed deaths.

- US: Passes 33 million confirmed cases.

- WHO: Europe director says: "Most of us are still susceptible to the virus and not vaccinated yet. Right now, in the face of a continued threat and new uncertainty, we need to continue to exercise caution, and rethink or avoid international travel,"

- UK: Travel chaos as government fumbles advice on which countries citizens can travel to holiday, with a traffic light system of green, amber and red muddying the waters and multiple contradicting statements on where is safest to travel to, with some saying nowhere, some saying green only, and some saying green and amber okay.

- UK: India variant cases discovered in several schools.

- UK: Man gets to the airport check-in desk for his holiday only to find his destination, Spain, is not yet open to foreign travellers and was sent home. He warns others to be aware of the rules before booking flights and accommodation.

- UK: Report by Blackburn Council suggests technical failures in the Track and Trace system which left them in the dark for 3 weeks are partly responsible for the rising tide of India variant cases."Unfortunately, the technical problem in the national Test and Trace system happened just at the time the borough had incoming cases of travel-related cases of the Covid variant first identified in India."

- UK: Trial mass gatherings yield positive results so far: "...we have had positive findings from those pilots at events such as the Brits, FA Cup final and Crucible and these will inform our approach to reopening at stage four."

- Vaccines: Public Health England announces real-world data shows AZ vaccine has 60% efficiency after one dose and 90% efficiency against symptomatic infection after both doses compared to people who had not been vaccinated, a better than expected final efficiency.

- India: Launches "Positivity overdrive" to keep nation happy in the crisis. Some say it's to aid mental health, however critics accuse the government of attempting to control the narrative.

- China: At 449 million vaccine doses eclipses UK and US combined, with 100 million doses given in just the last 8 days.

- Russia: February poll information reveals only 30% of citizens willing to take Sputnik V vaccine at that time. A recent poll by a website found 42% of unvaccinated Russians indicate they would not take a dose under any circumstances.

- Kazakhstan: Launches vaccination status app which will bar people from entering pubs and other pubic spaces if they are unvaccinated.

- Japan: Approves Moderna and AZ vaccines.

- France: Study indicates dogs able to identify COVID cases more accurately than Lateral Flow Tests, with a 97% accuracy for the canines.

- Canada: Set to overtake USA for proportion of population who have had first dose.
 
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