- Germany has announced that it will send medical personnel and equipment to Portugal, where space in hospital intensive care units is running out after an increase in coronavirus infections.
- Experts from the World Health Organization visited the Wuhan market in central China, linked to the first known COVID-19 cluster, looking for clues to the start of the coronavirus epidemic as ‘A number of countries have further tightened restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. pandemic.
- France closed its borders to non-European countries, except for essential travel, a day after Germany banned most travelers from countries affected by new, more contagious coronavirus variants.
- Globally, more than two million people have died from the virus, with nearly 102 million recorded cases and 56 million recoveries.
Here are the latest updates:
Israel says it will send 5,000 vaccines to Palestinians
Israel has said it will send 5,000 coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority to inoculate medical personnel, following global pressure to ensure Palestinians are vaccinated.
The Israeli authorities have launched an aggressive campaign to immunize their own citizens, but the vaccines have not been made available to Palestinians in the West Bank.
Thousands protest in Vienna as far right marches against banned COVID measures
Thousands of protesters clashed with police in riot gear in Vienna at the site of a banned far-right protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Viennese police have banned many protests planned for this weekend, including one by the far-right Freedom Party on Sunday, on the grounds that protesters generally did not follow social distancing rules and often did not wear masks .
Since December 26, Austria has been in its third nationwide lockdown, with non-essential shops and many other businesses closed and their staff unable to work.
Portugal virus emerges ‘like a tsunami’
Germany’s Defense Ministry announced it would send medical assistance to Portugal, which said on Saturday that only seven of the 850 intensive care beds set up for COVID-19 cases on its continent were vacant.
It came after the Portuguese government asked Berlin for help.
“The situation is comparable to a tsunami only in the sense of the number of infections which we see on the rise for weeks,” Ricardo Baptista Leite, of the Catholic University of Portugal, told Al Jazeera.
“We have seen this going on since [three] months, and…. It wasn’t until last Friday that we started to see a slowdown in the rise of new cases … following the closure of schools and a tighter lockdown imposed two weeks earlier.
In total, Portugal recorded 711,018 confirmed infections and 12,179 related deaths.
China sees rise in cases
China recorded more than 2,000 new national cases of COVID-19 in January, the highest monthly total since the initial outbreak in Wuhan ended in March of last year.
The National Health Commission said 2,016 cases were reported in January, a figure that does not include 435 other infected people who arrived from abroad. Two people have died this month, the first COVID-related death reported in China in several months.
Most of the new cases have been in three northern provinces, including more than 900 infections in the hardest-hit Hubei province. In the capital, Beijing, 45 cases have been recorded this month.
Thousands flout viral restrictions at funeral in Israel
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews have defied Israeli coronavirus restrictions to attend a rabbi’s funeral, prompting Defense Minister Benny Gantz to demand an end to the community’s repeated violation of lockdown rules .
Huge crowds, many not wearing masks, took to the streets of Jerusalem for the funeral of Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, 99, head of the influential Brisk yeshiva, or religious education institute.
Egypt ‘receives’ first AstraZeneca vaccine delivery
Egypt has received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, according to airport officials.
The shipment of 50,000 doses arrived at Cairo International Airport on a flight from Dubai, said officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to notify media.
Mohammed Awad Tag el-Din, Egypt’s presidential health adviser, said the shipment came from the company’s plant in India.
Italy to relax COVID borders in many regions
The Italian government has said it will ease coronavirus restrictions across much of the country from Monday, despite warnings from health experts that the move was risky given concerns about the spread of more contagious variants .
After a review of the latest COVID-19 data, the health ministry said it was moving 11 regions from orange to so-called yellow areas, giving residents greater freedom of movement and allowing bars and restaurants to reopen during the day.
In total, 16 regions will be in the least risky yellow zone, and only four regions – Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Umbria – in the orange zone, as well as the northern province of Bolzano. Nowhere in Italy will be classified as a red zone, resulting in strict restrictions on travel and business.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha, Qatar.