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Germany To Impose Stricter COVID Lockdown During Holiday Season

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Germany has on Sunday said it will close most stores from Wednesday until at least January 10 as it tightens coronavirus restrictions and tries to rein in the spread of the disease.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel disclosing this journalists following a meeting with leaders of the country’s 16 federal states said “I would have wished for lighter measures. But due to Christmas shopping the number of social contacts has risen considerably.”

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday, the country’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 20,200 to 1,320,716, while confirmed death toll rose by 321 to 21,787.

Merkel said “there is an urgent need to take action.”

Only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open from Dec. 16. Hair salons, beauty salons and tattoo parlors will also have to shut.

Schools will be closed in principle, and employers are asked to close operations or have employees work from home. The sale of fireworks will be banned ahead of New Year’s Eve.

The country’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has said the government will support affected companies with a total of around 11 billion euros ($13.3 billion) a month. Businesses that are forced to close may receive up to 90% of fixed costs, or up 500,000 euros a month.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records More Deaths, 1,303 New Infections

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Nigeria has recorded more than thirteen hundred new cases of the coronavirus, and fifteen more deaths, on Tuesday.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control says nine hundred seventeen patients had recovered and were discharged during the same 24-hour period.

The new cases were confirmed in twenty-five states and the Federal Capital Territory.  Lagos bore the brunt of the cases with eighty-three infections.  Rivers recorded seventy-two.

Nigeria’s total tally is now one case shy of twenty-five thousand. Death rate stands at fifteen hundred twenty-two.

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Health News

Global Number Of COVID Cases Surpasses 100 Million

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According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 100 million in just over a year since the first cases of the then ‘mysterious’ new illness were reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

More than 2.1 million persons around the world have died from COVID-19, and more than 55 million persons have recovered from the disease.

During the past 12 months, the pandemic has forced governments to order shutdowns, curfews, travel bans and other public health restrictions to try and stem the spread of infections. Economies have been hard hit and inequalities of all types have been exacerbated.

The United States with the highest number of cases and fatalities globally has recorded 5.3 million cases – approximately one-quarter of the global total and more than 424,000 deaths.

With 217,000 fatalities, Brazil has the second-highest death toll and has confirmed more than 8.8 million cases.

India has confirmed the second-highest total number of cases in the world, with more than 10.6 million infections reported. More than 153,000 persons have died from the virus there.

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Morocco Begins Rolling Out COVID-19 Vaccinations

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After Egypt, Morocco is set to become the latest country in Africa to roll out a vaccination programme against COVID-19 giving priority to frontline medical staff.

The country has received two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and is expected to take delivery of half a million doses from China’s Sinopharm on Wednesday.

Morocco was hit hard last year when it recorded a higher number of cases compared to its neighbours

Tunisia has pushed back its vaccination campaign to April, while Algeria expects to acquire a batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vacc Oxford/AstraZeneca ine by the end of this month.

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