The following are the most prominent developments related to the spread of the Coronavirus in the world in light of the latest numbers, new measures and notable events.
Holiday under lockdown
France began a two-week school holiday on Saturday, in light of closure measures preventing movement between regions and imposing a curfew, starting at seven in the evening, in all regions, in the hope of curbing the spread of the epidemic at a time when the vaccination campaign, which is still chaotic, accelerates.
France extends the interval between the two doses
French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand said that his country will extend the interval between the two doses of the RNA-based coronavirus vaccines from 4 weeks to 6 from April 14, with the aim of speeding up the vaccination campaign.
The largest health authority in France advised in January a 6-week interval between the two doses in order to expand supplies, but the government said at the time that it did not have sufficient data on the effectiveness of vaccines with the longest interval.
But the minister said France could do that now because it fortified a younger age group.
An audienceless tribute to Prince Philip
Next Saturday, Britain will prepare for the funeral of Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99, but according to his desire for simplicity and due to the Covid-19 epidemic that is hitting Britain hard, the funeral will not be official.
To avoid the risk of transmission, the royal family asked the public not to gather near royal residences such as Buckingham Palace to lay the roses, but rather to make a donation to an association.
Theaters are rebelling in Belgium
In the absence of the possibility of reopening auditoriums in Belgium, some theaters decided to rebel against the authorities’ measures by reopening their doors without waiting for the green light from the authorities.
Unlike the museums that have reopened their doors, the theater halls have been closed since the end of October due to the epidemic, and no date has been set for the public to return to them.
More than 20 demonstrators arrested in Finland
On Saturday, 20 people were arrested on the sidelines of a demonstration of about 300 people in Helsinki against the precautionary restrictions (including the closure of restaurants). Finland has one of the lowest rates of corona infection in Europe.
Demonstrations in Denmark and Norway
In Denmark, hundreds gathered Saturday evening in central Copenhagen to protest measures taken to curb Covid-19.
In Norway, where the government tightened measures before the Easter holiday in light of the high number of cases of Covid-19 due to the spread of the modified British version of the virus, 200 people demonstrated on Saturday in the center of the capital, Oslo, against the measures taken and burned masks.
The start of the vaccination campaign in Libya
Yesterday, Saturday, the new unity government in Libya began a long-delayed COVID-19 vaccination campaign, after receiving about 160,000 vaccine doses last week, and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba received the vaccination during a live TV broadcast.
Among the doses received by Libya last week, at least 100,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.
The Libyan National Center for Disease Control said that more than 400,000 people have registered to receive vaccination in more than 400 centers in the country.
Libya has recorded more than 166,000 cases of Coronavirus and nearly 3,000 deaths, although UN envoys say the numbers are likely higher.
Close in Iran for 10 days
On Saturday, Iran began a 10-day lockdown as part of efforts to stop a fourth wave of infections with the Coronavirus, according to state television.
The television added that the Iran Coronavirus Task Force, tasked with setting anti-virus restrictions, has ordered the closure of most stores, and the reduction of office work to a third of its capacity in cities, which are designated red zones.
The capital, Tehran, and 250 other cities and towns across the country were declared red zones.
The red areas have high rates of HIV positive and face the most stringent restrictions.
The Associated Press quoted the Iranian authorities as saying that more than 85% of the country now has a red or orange case.
The sharp increase in the number of injuries came on the heels of a two-week public holiday marking Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year.
The new lockdown also affects all parks, restaurants, bakeries, beauty salons, malls and libraries.
Close in Colombia
In Colombia, the second country most affected by the epidemic in Latin America after Brazil, the authorities imposed a lockdown on 8 million people in the capital, Bogota, for a period of 3 days, due to the high rates of infection with the Coronavirus.
The city mayor said that the new measures come in an attempt to curb a third wave of HIV infections.
She explained that injuries increased by about 20%, while the total occupancy rate for intensive care units reached 70%. She added that the matter will be evaluated after tomorrow, Tuesday, to determine whether there is a need to extend the closure period.
In Colombia, injuries exceeded two and a half million cases, while deaths reached more than 65,000 people.
Close in the Indian state of Maharashtra
At a time when the number of infections is on the rise in India (more than 132,000 in 24 hours), the state of Maharashtra, most affected by the second wave in the country, imposed a lockdown over the weekend, in a measure involving 125 million people and will be repeated every weekend until the last April.
Hospitals in the state where Bombay is located, stopped vaccinating Friday due to a shortage of doses.
Cambodia … the risk of imprisonment
On Saturday, Cambodia’s Prime Minister threatened to imprison those who do not respect the quarantine, and threatened government employees that they could lose their jobs if they refused to receive the vaccine, at a time when the number of infections is high in the Kingdom.
Parliament adopted a draconian bill to contain infection, which provides for 20 years in prison for non-observance of health guidelines.
Serious measures in Mali
Starting from Saturday, the Malian authorities suspended all celebrations and demonstrations and closed all entertainment centers for a period of two weeks due to the “worrying” outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.
With the aim of “breaking the chain of infection,” it decided to impose strict compliance with putting masks in public places and banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
Israeli study: Pfizer vaccine does not protect against the South African strain
A study in Israel showed that the Corona virus strain discovered in South Africa was able to “penetrate” the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to some extent, despite the low prevalence of the strain inside Israel and the study was not subject to evaluation.
The study, whose results were published on Saturday, compared nearly 400 people who had tested positive for the virus, 14 days or more after they received a dose or two of the vaccine, and a group of other infected people who were not immunized with the vaccine.
The study, which was conducted by Tel Aviv University in cooperation with Clalit, the largest healthcare institution in Israel, stated that it detected the strain discovered in South Africa in approximately 1% of all cases studied.
She explained that the prevalence of the strain among patients who received two doses of the vaccine was 8 times higher than the rate among unvaccinated patients.
The researchers said that this indicates that the vaccine is less effective with the South African strain, compared to the original strain of the virus, as well as the strain discovered in Britain.
The researchers cautioned, however, that the study was conducted on a small group of individuals infected with the strain due to its scarcity in Israel.
More than 3 million deaths
Corona virus caused the death of 3 million and more than 58 thousand people, and infected more than 134 million people worldwide, according to a count by Reuters.
HIV infections have been recorded in more than 210 countries and regions since the first cases were discovered in China in December 2019.
And the United States is the most affected country in terms of deaths, followed by Brazil, Mexico, then India, and the United Kingdom.