One of the labs in Hong Kong
One of the labs in Hong Kong

Europe imposed new restrictions in an attempt to stop the second wave of the spread of the new Coronavirus, while hopes for a vaccine soon diminished with the suspension of two clinical trials in the United States.

At this time, China has rushed to conduct epidemic detection checks on an entire city, which counts nine million people within days after the emergence of a small focus in the country, while Europe is taking measures to stop the new rise in infections.

The rapid spread of the virus

The virus continues to spread rapidly around the world, with more than 1 million deaths and 37 million infections recorded. And many countries that passed the first wave are now facing a second wave of the epidemic.

Hopes for a vaccine dwindled quickly, after the American pharmaceutical company “Eli Lilly” announced the suspension of the third phase of its trials on an antibody treatment, due to an accident whose nature was not determined, less than 24 hours after a similar announcement from Johnson & Johnson.

In Europe, the Netherlands imposed a “partial lockdown” to stop one of the largest waves of the virus spread in the region, with the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes and the imposition of covering the mouth and nose, in all closed places, for people over the age of 13 years.

In Britain, the leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, called for a lockdown for two or three weeks, to slow the spread of the virus, saying: “The government has lost control of the spread, while ignoring the measures proposed by experts on September 21.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce new restrictions and speed up the checks process, in an interview broadcast late Wednesday, while some media outlets expect an evening curfew to be imposed in Paris and other cities.

Examinations for more than 9 million people

At this time in China, where the first infection with the new Coronavirus appeared late last year, checks were launched on all residents of Qingdao after monitoring a number of cases on Sunday.

Samples were collected from more than 4 million people as of Tuesday afternoon, as confirmed by the authorities in Qingdao, adding that 1.9 million results had been released. She explained that, with the exception of previously confirmed cases, no new infections were recorded. Authorities hope to finish testing the entire population of 9.4 million people by Thursday.

In scenes contrasting with other countries’ faltering efforts to establish effective testing systems, health workers in Qingdao wearing protective clothing have set up tents as collection points for sampling across neighborhoods, where parents have brought their young children for testing.

As governments in Europe struggle to control a new high in the number of injuries, Russia has recorded the highest daily death toll, with 244 deaths and a record number of new cases, about 14,000 injuries.

Italy, in turn, tightened measures, banning parties, amateur football matches, and eating in bars at night. Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki entered into quarantine Tuesday after coming into contact with an infected person. The Portuguese Football Association announced on Tuesday that the star and captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, was infected with the new Coronavirus.

$ 12 billion from the World Bank

Despite the setback in vaccine trials, which health experts say is normal, because the trials are very intensive in the final stages, the World Bank approved a $ 12 billion aid plan for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines, conducting tests and providing treatment.

The bank said in a statement that this amount will be used to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines, tests, and treatments for Covid-19 for citizens of developing countries, noting that these funds are supposed to be sufficient to vaccinate up to one billion people.

The World Bank has indicated that it intends to send a signal to the research and pharmaceutical industries, stating that citizens of developing countries should also obtain safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.

For its part, the International Monetary Fund announced that while the recession was less than expected, the global gross domestic product will decline by 4.4 percent this year, compared to estimates of 5.2 percent in June.

This comes as Oxfam warned of famine due to Covid in light of the spread of the epidemic, considering that the response of the international group to global food insecurity “is seriously inappropriate.”


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