The pandemic celebrates the New Year as the virus grows faster than the vaccine

London (AP)-Despite increased access to vaccines, the virus revived in January, transforming from the UK to Japan and California, filling hospitals, and government blockades and resolutions. It is in a difficult situation all over the world because it threatens livelihoods while searching for a solution.

Mexico City hospitals have more virus patients than ever before. Germany reports one of the highest daily deaths to date by Tuesday, and South African operators are struggling to keep up with virus mortality. Even in a pandemic success story, Thailand is fighting a wave of unexpected infections.

And as doctors face and prepare for an increase in COVID-19 patients after the New Year holidays, more and more countries are already prevalent throughout the UK, new and more contagious. We are reporting cases of viral variants.

Dr. Margaret Harris, a World Health Organization spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that January “will be tough.” “This idea seems to be,’Oh, we’re all tired of it.'” We want to see something else. Oh, this doesn’t apply to me. ” It should be gone. It’s really all manual. “

The UK has been vaccinated for the second time this week, and some US states have begun to launch booster shots from the country’s first vaccine, but access to global vaccinations is significantly unequal. Supply is also not far from meeting the massive demand needed to fight the microscopic enemies that have already killed more than 1.85 million people.

“We are in a fierce pandemic in Europe and we are facing a fierce pandemic in the United States,” Harris said. “The more we can control the infection, the more likely it is that the vaccination strategy will work.”

The UK is facing a third national blockade that lasts at least six weeks as authorities struggle to stop the surge in COVID-19 infections that could overwhelm hospitals.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new strict curfew in the UK, which will come into effect on Tuesday midnight, including closing schools, restaurants and all unwanted stores. It will not be reviewed until at least mid-February. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon imposed a blockade that began on Tuesday.

The two leaders said restrictions were needed to protect the National Health Service in the emergence of new, more contagious viral variants with a surge in daily infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

The NHS “is probably at the most difficult time in its living memory,” said Shiva Ananda Shiva, chief analyst at the Kings Fund think tank. He said some British emergency rooms had a 12-hour waiting time and doctors were treating people in line with ambulances outside.

Elsewhere in Europe, Italy has extended the Christmas blockade, Spain has restricted travel, and the German Chancellor met with the Governor on Tuesday to decide how long to extend the latest blockade. Cyprus and France are likely to announce stricter measures on Thursday, and Ukraine will close schools and restaurants from Friday.

There are also warnings in Latin America that it will not get worse yet.

In the Mexican capital, there are more virus cases than at any point in the pandemic, and doctors from less damaging states are flying. The beach resort is ready for more incidents after thousands of US and European tourists visit during the holidays.

Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico said: “Perhaps in the third week of January, the system will be further emphasized, with more outpatient cases and cases requiring hospitalization. He warns of social distance, mixed messages from public figures, and vacations. He blamed the increased malaise caused by the relaxed Mexicans.

In Argentina, beach parties have been accused of booming, especially among young people, and the government is considering new regulations.

In South Africa, the most devastating country on the African continent, authorities have re-imposed a curfew, banned the sale of alcohol and closed most beaches. Zimbabwe has reintroduced the curfew, banned public meetings and suspended school openings indefinitely.

South African funeral directors are struggling to cope with the rise in deaths, Muzi Helengwa, president of the SA National Funeral Directors Association, told state funeral SABC.

“This is something you’ve never seen before … You’ve run out of caskets, you’ve run out of space in the morgue,” he said. “We usually cremate during the day, but now we cremate at night.”

The pandemic extends to countries where the virus appears to be controlled.

Thailand is facing an unexpected surge that has infected thousands in a few weeks due to complacency and poor planning. The government has blocked most of the country, including the capital Bangkok, and is considering stricter measures.

“Can you blockade everything yourself because we don’t want to blockade the whole country because we know what the problem is?” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha begs his country did.

Japan is preparing for a state of emergency this week, strengthening border controls and speeding vaccine approval after a surge in New Year’s Eve incidents.

Italy is trying to curb the latest surge with local measures. After the two-month limit, the infection has leveled off, but hospitals are still under pressure, hundreds of people die each day, and authorities say the number of cases will surge again due to holiday gatherings. I’m afraid.

And now that 2021 has arrived, the worries about holidays are not over.

Pope Francis has abandoned the annual ritual of baptizing babies in the Sistine Chapel, which was linked to Wednesday’s Epiphany holiday. Orthodox Christian nations like Russia and Greece can face even more infectious diseases after celebrating Christmas on Thursday. And China has closed schools early ahead of next month’s Chinese New Year holidays, telling migrant workers and tourists to avoid Beijing.

Vaccines provide an exit, but in many places they are off to a late start. Some US states have a hard time getting enough shots and organizing vaccinations. The Netherlands has been strongly criticized as the last European Union country to begin vaccination on Wednesday. Australia does not plan to do so until March. And most poor countries are even behind.

Opposition politician Geert Wilders called the Dutch government a “fool of European villages.”

Still, India provides a faint light of hope. Infection rates have dropped significantly since their peak in September, and we have launched one of the world’s largest vaccination programs, aiming to vaccinate 300 million people by August.


AP reporters from around the world have contributed.


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The pandemic celebrates the New Year as the virus grows faster than the vaccine

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