Brazil’s capital has entered a two-week lockdown, joining several states in adopting measures to reduce the spread of the CCP virus as intensive care beds begin to fill in some important cities.
At least eight Brazilian states adopted curfews over the past week due to the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Thursday was Brazil’s deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,541 deaths confirmed from the virus. So far 254,000 people have died overall.
First US J&J Vaccine Doses Shipping Sunday
Nearly 4 million doses of the newest CCP virus vaccine will be shipped Sunday night, and will begin to be delivered to states for injections starting on Tuesday.
The White House said the entire stockpile of the newly approved single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will go out immediately. J&J will deliver about 16 million more doses by the end of March and 100 million total by the end of June, but the distribution would be backloaded.
UK Seeks Missing Patient With Brazilian Variant as PM Defends Border Measures
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended England’s COVID-19 border measures after the government revealed that it could not identify a person who had tested positive for the Brazilian variant of the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Authorities said on Sunday that six cases of the Brazilian variant had been found in the UK, three in England and three in Scotland. But one of the three infected people in England has so far not been identified, as they did not complete their test registration card.
Slovakia Signs Deal to Acquire 2 Million Doses of Sputnik V
Slovakia signed a deal to acquire 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said Monday.
Matovic said his country will get 1 million shots in the next two months while another million will arrive in May and June. Slovakia is the second European Union country to use the vaccine, which hasn’t been approved by the European Medicines Agency, after Hungary. It hasn’t been registered by Slovakia’s drug authority, but the deal was made possible by Health Minister Marek Krajci’s approval.
US Will Inoculate Americans Before Sharing Vaccines: White House
The Biden administration on Monday downplayed the prospect of sharing CCP virus vaccines with Mexico, saying it is focused first on getting its own population protected.
The remarks by White House press secretary Jen Psaki came hours before Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to ask U.S. President Joe Biden to consider sharing some of its COVID-19 vaccine supply.
Blake Says He Would Rather Miss Olympics Than Get Vaccinated
Olympic champion sprinter Yohan Blake of Jamaica said he would rather miss the Tokyo Games than get the COVID-19 vaccine, although getting vaccinated will not be required of the athletes competing there this summer.
“My mind still stays strong, I don’t want any vaccine, I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine, I am not taking it,” he was quoted as saying in Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
Blake, a one-time rival of Jamaican great Usain Bolt, will likely still be able to participate in what is expected to be the 31-year-old’s third and final Games even if he does not get the vaccine.
Turkey Emerges From Pandemic-Hit 2020 With 1.8 Percent Economic Growth
Turkey’s economy grew 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.8 percent in 2020 as a whole, annual data showed on Monday, emerging as one of only a few globally to avoid a contraction due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Propelled by a burst of credit in mid-2020, fourth-quarter GDP grew 1.7 percent from the previous quarter on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the Turkish Statistical Institute said.
German Hairdressers Reopen Despite Fears
Germans flocked to the salons Monday as hairdressers across the country reopened after a two-and-a-half-month closure, another cautious step toward normality as the country balances a desire to loosen restrictions with concerns about more contagious virus variants.
The move came after many German elementary students returned to school a week ago, following a decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors. They will confer again on Wednesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of Germany’s CCP virus restrictions, which at present run until Sunday.
Adviser to Florida’s Governor Touts State’s Success
A free market advocate who helped advise Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on how to combat COVID-19 said on Sunday the state’s success navigating the pandemic stemmed from a flexible approach.
“There was no way that the governor could have kind of this top-down, one-size-fits-all response to this issue. So he allowed each municipality, each county to make their own decisions. And he said we are not going to close down the state of Florida. And so that’s how you had the genesis of keeping our economy open, unlike a lot of other states around the country,” Robert McClure, president and CEO of the James Madison Institute, told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” during CPAC 21 in Florida.
According to federal data, Florida has seen 144 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 residents since the beginning of the pandemic. That compares favorably with large states that enacted stricter measures. New York, for instance, has seen 245 deaths per 100,000 residents.
China to Provide Afghanistan With 400,000 Doses of Vaccine
China has pledged to deliver 400,000 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine to Afghanistan, Afghan officials said on Monday, in a boost for an immunization campaign begun last week.
The Sinopharm vaccine produced in China has been approved by the World Health Organization, but it is unclear when it will be delivered, Nazari said. So far just over 12,000 health workers have received the vaccine in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, he said.
Alexander Zhang, Zachary Stieber, Jan Jekielek, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.