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Spain Declares State Of Emergency To Stem Soaring COVID-19 Cases

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As Spain hits the one million COVID-19 mark, prime minister Pedro Sanchez has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew in an effort to control a new spike in coronavirus infections.

Sánchez says he would ask parliament to extend the new rules to six months.  It was initially in force for 15 days.

Spain was hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year and, at the time, imposed a much more restrictive lockdown.

Sánchez further says different regions would have up to an hour of flexibility if they wanted to modify the duration of the overnight curfew.

Restrictions on movement between districts would be determined by regional leaders and was likely to be dependent on work and medical needs.

The new measures announced include a six-person limit on public and private gatherings.

Spain has passed the one million mark in cases since it began, and nearly 35,000 persons have died.

Health News

UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine For Rollout Next Week

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The United Kingdom has on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine opening the way for mass immunization which will begin next week for those most at risk across the UK.

Before decisions by the US and Europe, the British government has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid after it was authorized for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)

The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorization in the UK after Brexit.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine which the UK has bought 40m doses has shown to be 95% effective in its final trials with no serious side effects against a virus that’s killed nearly 1.5 million persons globally.

According to a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman “the government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

It added in the statement that “this follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness

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Health News

Canada: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 12000

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Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have passed another grim milestone of 12, 000 fatalities.

The country also recorded fifty-four hundred sixty-eight new cases of coronavirus infections which pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 370,014.  More than 290,000 persons have recovered from the virus.

A new report from an epidemiological analysis showed about 90 per cent of those who died were seniors, from 70 years and older.

The data also shows a significant increase in patients hospitalized from the virus.

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World News

New York City Will Reopen Elementary Schools And Reduce Hybrid Learning

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New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed public elementary schools will begin reopening next Monday.

The largest public school system in the country closed in November when the city reached a seven-day covid-19 testing positivity average of 3%.

Meanwhile, middle and high schools will remain closed. There are more than one million students in New York City’s public school system, and around 330,000 students could be eligible to return to school under this plan.

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