The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1,573,157 people worldwide since the appearance of the very first carrier cases in China in December 2019.
The total number of cases having contracted the virus has reached 69,138,351 people worldwide of which 19,652,847 are considered active cases while 47,912,347 are considered recovered from the disease.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is responsible for authorizing vaccines against the coronavirus, has announced that it has launched an investigation after being the subject of a cyberattack.
The United Arab Emirates has officially registered the vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, the official UAE agency WAM said. According to the news agency, the said vaccine is 86% effective based on phase 3 analyses’ findings.
The Department of Health “announced the official registration” of the vaccine after undergoing phase 3 trials since July. Its use by health workers was urgently approved in September.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday called for further restrictions in her country until mid-January across Germany. This announcement comes at a time when the existing measures have not produced the expected results. Among the restrictions mentioned was the closure of non-food stores and schools.
In South Africa, the health authorities are facing the scenario they dreaded. The Minister of Health confirmed a second wave of the epidemic in a statement.
“Tonight, we tell you that South Africa is experiencing a second wave,” Zweli Mkhize said, as the country is now collecting numbers “that match the criteria”.
The minister explained that he was relying on “the criteria formulated by our scientists and our modeling teams”, stressing that the country had exceeded the bar of 6,000 new cases listed per day, with 6,709 cases over the last 24 hours.
Israel received its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine from US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Wednesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who greeted the plane carrying the vaccines, welcomed the news by saying he wanted to be the “first” in the country to be vaccinated in order to set “an example”.
“It’s a day of celebration for Israel! I intend to be the first to be vaccinated in Israel, in order to set an example for the rest of the population, ”he said. And to add: “The end (of the pandemic) is in sight”.
To deal with the epidemic in the coming days, Ukraine has decided to close its schools, universities, non-essential shops, restaurants, cinemas, and sports halls from January 8 to 24, the government said on Wednesday.
“Tighter restrictions will be introduced – let’s call the + Winter Holidays in the name of safety + – so as not to allow the development of a new wave of the pandemic,” Prime Minister Denys Chmygal said at a Council of ministers.