Coronavirus News Update – April 1: France, Peru Enter Lockdowns as Cases Mount

Italy to Require Workers in Hospitals to be Vaccinated, Hungary Plans to Loosen Restrictions

By Anna Breuer on 1 April 2021
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The Széchenyi Lánchíd or Chain Bridge that crosses the Danube River in Budapest

Pfizer and BioNTech reported that protection from their coronavirus vaccine lasts at least six months after the second dose. The two companies also said it protects the inoculated individual against variants of the virus and said that no safety concerns have yet arisen.

As of early Thursday morning, the world has recorded 129.7 million Covid-19 cases since the first in December 2019 and it has seen 2.83 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service which tracks such information.  In addition, 104.5 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered 596 million doses, the equivalent of 7.8 doses for every 100 people as of Wednesday morning, a 0.2 percentage point increase since Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Tuesday, over 97.5 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Over one-third of the population – some 97.2 million people or 37.7% of the population over the age of 18 – has received at least a first inoculation, including 54.5 million people, or 21.1% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 16.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, a 0.3 percentage point increase over Tuesday.

France announced new lockdown measures in 16 regions of the country. Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the country recorded 35,000 new cases on Thursday, a 23.6% rise over the past week. The measures, which will go into effect Friday at midnight, are less restrictive, however, than during prior lockdowns.

The Peruvian Council of Ministers announced a total lockdown starting Thursday. The lockdown includes a 24-hour curfew and a ban on the use of private vehicles. Only one person per household will be allowed to leave home and only for essential shopping.

Fifteen million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Jannset coronavirus vaccine were ruined when workers at a subcontractor, Emergent BioSolutions, accidentally mixed ingredients from two different vaccines.

A surge in cases in Michigan is alarming health officials.  Infection levels in big cities and rural areas alike have increased dramatically in recent weeks.

In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi issued a decree that requires workers in health care facilities to be vaccinated.  Under the order, hospitals will be allowed to suspend any workers who refuse to do so without pay.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he plans to allow shops in Hungary to reopen after Easter, saying that mass vaccinations are the only way to end the pandemic. “Infections are widespread, and lockdowns or curbs can only slow the spread but they can’t stop them,” he said in an interview on Hungarian television. The move comes even though Hungary has one of the highest death tolls from the virus in Europe.

A Florida man, James Koncar, was fired from his job at marketing company Thirteen05 after a pharmacist on TikTok exposed his fake Covid-19 vaccine card business. The pharmacist, Savannah Malm, displayed Koncar’s LinkedIn profile on TikTok as well as several of his TikTok videos in which he used misogynistic and racist language.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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