In the run-up to president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the United States security officials have warned of possible armed protests being held across the country as president Donald Trump approves a state of emergency declaration in the country’s capital Washington, DC.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had on Sunday requested a federal emergency declaration in the wake of a deadly insurrection attempt at the Capitol on 6 January, incited by the president and carried out by his supporters in an attempt to overturn results from the 2020 election.
On Monday, the White House press office said the order authorizes federal assistance to be extended through January 24 to support efforts in Washington, DC to respond to the emergency situation.
It added that the move allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “identify, mobilise and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency”.
As security plans are being tightened for the inauguration after pro-Trump rioters overran the US Capitol building on January 6 in support of Trump’s false claims that the US election was stolen from him, a violence that led to the death of five persons.
Currently, Democrats are pushing to impeach Trump on Wednesday as they accuse him of “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters storm the Capitol and they say the vote will be held unless Vice-President Mike Pence invokes constitutional powers to remove Trump from office.
Moreover, there is no sign Pence is prepared to do so.
Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the Capitol.
Germany Reports Highest Single Day COVID Deaths
Germany has a huge spike in its COVID-19 death toll. The country last week reported more than twelve hundred coronavirus deaths in one day.
The Robert Koch Institute reports twelve hundred forty-four deaths on Wednesday, the largest one-day death toll from the virus. The country has now seen nearly forty-four thousand covid-19 related deaths. The country’s covid-19 case have now surpassed one million.
Head of the Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler says number of deaths in the country is “very worrying” because hospital “intensive care units have never been as exhausted as they have been in the last few days.
Wieler says fifty-two hundred persons are in German I.C.U.’s, and ninety percent of them are on ventilators.
Germany has seen a dramatic uptick in cases since early December, and officials are contemplating further restrictions to curb the spread.
Turkey Starts Sinovac COVID-19 Roll Out
Turkey has started administering the Chinese Sinovac vaccine as the nation kicks off its inoculation program against the virus which has killed more than twenty-three thousand persons in the country.
Health minister Fahretin Koca announced on Wednesday evening healthcare workers have already started getting one dose of the vaccine. Healthcare workers, who book appointments online, were monitored for a short period after the jab and will be given a second dose 28 days later.
Sinovac says its COVID-19 vaccine has “good” efficacy after Brazilian partner claimed it was only fifty percent effective.
Turkey has ordered fifty million doses of China’s coronavac but, so far, has only received three million doses..
The Turkish government is also looking at procuring Russian and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
COVID-19 Infection Gives Some Immunity, But Virus Can Still Be Spread, Study Finds
As United Kingdom, struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic and amid attempt to accelerate vaccination efforts, a study of healthcare workers in the European country has found people who have had COVID-19 are highly likely to have immunity to it for at least five months but there is evidence that those with antibodies may still be able to carry and spread the virus.
Preliminary findings by scientists at Public Health England (PHE) showed that reinfections in people who have COVID-19 antibodies from a past infection are rare – with only 44 cases found among 6,614 previously infected people in the study.
But experts cautioned that the findings mean people who contracted the disease in the first wave of the pandemic in the early months of 2020 may now be vulnerable to catching it again.
They also warned that people with so-called “natural immunity” – acquired through having had the infection – may still be able to carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in their nose and throat, and could unwittingly pass it on.
Susan Hopkins, the senior medical adviser at PHE and co-leader of the study, whose findings were published on Thursday said “we now know that most of those who have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are protected from reinfection, but this is not total and we do not yet know how long protection lasts.”
“This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections. But there is still a risk you could acquire an infection and transmit (it) to others.”
A statement on the study said its findings did not address antibody or other immune responses to vaccines now being rolled out against COVID-19, or on how effective vaccines would be. Vaccine responses will be considered later this year, it said.
According to British government data, a daily record of 1,564 deaths was on Wednesday reported in the country bringing the total death toll to more than 89,000 persons.
The UK with its population of more than 66 million has injected 2.6 million persons with the first dose of a vaccine. Earlier, the British government approved three main COVID-19 vaccines – by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Moderna.