More than 2.5 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide


Copenhagen: More than 2.5 million official deaths have been recorded in the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in December 2019, according to an AFP census based on official figures Thursday, prompting European Union leaders to “maintain strict restrictions” and to speed up vaccination campaigns .

The largest number of deaths was recorded in Europe with 842,894, ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean (667,972) and the United States and Canada (528,039).

On Thursday, Brazil crossed the 250,000 COVID-19 death threshold.

Faced with these numbers, European Union leaders called for “maintaining strict restrictions” while speeding up vaccination campaigns to meet “additional challenges” posed by the spread of more contagious mutants.

The leaders and heads of government of the European Union said during a visible summit, “The epidemiological situation remains dangerous and the new mutations pose additional challenges. We must therefore maintain strict restrictions while strengthening our efforts to speed up the arrival of vaccines.”

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, warned Thursday of “difficulties” that vaccination campaigns will face in the “coming weeks”, at the conclusion of a summit with leaders of the European Union countries devoted to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The current situation is difficult,” said Michel, at a time when vaccination campaigns in Europe are slowing down. “But I want to send a message of optimism … We have the means for the European Union to play a major role … to get out of this crisis in the coming months,” he added.

But the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed her “optimism” that the goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult European Union population by “the end of the summer” thanks to the expected increase in laboratory delivery of vaccines.

And she stressed, “If we look at the numbers (vaccine delivery), we are optimistic about our ability to achieve our goal” of vaccinating about 225 million European adults.

On Thursday, the United Kingdom asked the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution devoted to vaccination in countries experiencing conflicts or crises, calling for solidarity, fairness and ceasefire agreements to better combat the pandemic, according to diplomats.

Due to the limitation of actual meetings, the result of the 24-hour written vote will be known Friday. The same sources said that the week-long negotiations were slowed down by Russia and China, which currently have tense relations with Britain.

For his part, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, made an appeal at a press conference to listen to people suffering from long-term symptoms.

“It is a clear priority for the World Health Organization, and it should be the same for all health authorities,” he said.

He pointed out that long-term reports of symptoms were received shortly after the discovery of the epidemic, adding that some patients “were met with disbelief or lack of understanding.”

This call comes at a time when the health authorities are focusing in particular on immunization campaigns in order to try to curb the spread of the epidemic and confront the threat posed by the British and South African versions of the Corona virus, which are behind a new wave of infections.

While some studies have begun to shed light on the disease, it is still unclear why some of those who contracted it continue to show symptoms of the epidemic for several months, including feeling exhausted, respiratory problems, and cardiac and nervous disorders.

In France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the British mutant “is responsible for nearly half of the infections,” which raises fears of a large spread of infection.

He announced that twenty provinces have been placed “under strict surveillance” due to the increasing spread of the epidemic, and local measures may be taken in them from the sixth of March if the situation continues to deteriorate.

On the other hand, the situation in Britain is improving, and Britain lowered the alert level against the virus by one degree (from 5 to 4) after it was at its peak, saying that the decline in the number of infections reduced the threat facing the National Health Service of the state.

In the Netherlands, female prostitution workers warned Thursday that they will demonstrate in front of Parliament next week to condemn the continued closure of brothels, while restaurants and cafes decided to reopen their doors without a permit.

For its part, Bangladesh has begun vaccinating female sex workers in the largest brothel in this country, where about 1,900 prostitutes reside.

Algeria received 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine as a gift from the Chinese government, which it promised a few days ago, according to the Algerian News Agency.


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