Latest: Albania launches mass vaccinations against COVID-19 | Economic news
TIRANA – Albania on Sunday launched a mass vaccination campaign ahead of the summer tourist season after acquiring 192,000 doses of Chinese Sinovac coronavirus vaccine earlier this week.
Hundreds of people aged 70 and over gathered in Tirana’s main Skanderbeg square to have a drink in two large tents.
Liri Bizhiti, 76, one of those in line, was happy to receive the vaccine after a year of isolation, and on the same day as her husband.
“Thank goodness it came,” she told The Associated Press accompanied by her daughter. “We are so happy.”
Vaccination has progressed slowly in the Balkan country since mid-January before the arrival of the Sinovac vaccine, with Albania receiving less than 100,000 doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V. So far the country has vaccinated 65 000 medical staff, people aged 80 and over and teachers.
– UK variant hunters are leading the global race to stay ahead of COVID-19.
– Have the stress and uncertainty associated with COVID-19 held back the fight against smoking?
– The oldest bookseller among 25,000 victims of the Czech virus.
– the United Kingdom to further facilitate the lockdown; nervously watching the rise of the European virus
– Albania begins mass COVID vaccinations ahead of tourist season
– The actual death toll from COVID-19 in Mexico now stands at more than 321,000.
– Vaccines did not cure loneliness in New York nursing homes.
– Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
LONDON – Britain takes another small step outside the lockdown as it nervously watches a new wave of viruses flooding its European neighbors.
As UK coronavirus vaccination rates surpass those in European Union countries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson softens the blunt ‘stay at home’ message that has kept the virus under control for nearly three month.
From Monday, it will be replaced in England by a message to remain local. People will be allowed to gather in outdoor groups of six and will be able to resume outdoor sports such as basketball, tennis and golf. Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service in England, urged people to continue following the rules, saying the easing “doesn’t mean the job is done”.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch police arrested a practitioner for hitting and kicking a journalist who was reporting in front of a service open to the whole congregation of a Protestant church.
The journalists were outside the Mieraskerk church in the town of Krimpen aan den Ijssel, near Rotterdam, when the incident occurred on Sunday. The church gained media attention after learning it had opened up the service to its entire congregation despite a difficult coronavirus lockdown and a sharp rise in the infection rate in the Netherlands.
Police tweeted that a 43-year-old man was arrested after Sunday’s incident. They added: “Let the journalists do their job.”
Dutch media report that journalists have also been threatened in the fishing village of Urk, where another church opened on Sunday.
Churches and other religious meeting places are exempt from the foreclosure rules. However, the government advises them to limit attendance to a maximum of 30 people. An official from the Krimpen aan den Ijssel church apologized after the incident.
WASHINGTON – A year after COVID-19 disrupted the lives of millions of Americans, there are worrying signs that the coronavirus may also have slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking.
Fewer smokers called quit smoking helplines in the last year and some smoked more, which has contributed to an unusual increase in cigarette sales – all amidst stress, anxiety and stress. the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“It’s hard for people to quit smoking at the best of times, so what happens when life is suddenly turned upside down?” said Jen Cash, who oversees Minnesota’s anti-smoking programs.
Researchers are already concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screenings and opioid overdoses as many Americans have been cut off from routine care and checkups. But services to help smokers quit – provided by phone and online – seem well positioned to withstand the disruptions of the pandemic. The programs help design a plan and often provide free nicotine gums and patches.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is celebrating the solemn Holy Week ceremonies for a second year in a row without the usual crowds of pilgrims and tourists, removed from pandemic security concerns and travel restrictions.
François traditionally leads a Palm Sunday procession in St. Peter’s Square, then celebrates an open-air mass for tens of thousands of worshipers.
But Francis led a Palm Sunday service this year inside St. Peter’s Basilica, just as he did last spring. It was just weeks after the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy, which was the first country in the West to be affected by the pandemic.
Only around 120 worshipers, including nuns and a few families, attended and were socially estranged. They wore protective masks, as did the participants in the procession of 30 cardinals in red robes, but Francis did not use any.
LONDON – Even when there were only a few dozen confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, Professor Sharon Peacock acknowledged the country needed to expand its capacity to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus.
The Cambridge University microbiologist has set out to bring scientists together to work on genomic sequencing. This has made Britain a world leader in finding new, more dangerous or more resistant variants of vaccines.
The work is part of a global effort, and scientists around the world are learning from Britain as they scale up work to respond to variants and stay ahead of COVID-19.
PELHRIMOV, Czech Republic – A year after the Czech Republic recorded its first death from the coronavirus, the central European nation has taken a break this week to remember all of the citizens who have lost their lives in the pandemic.
By the end of the day, on March 22, the number had passed 25,000. Few imagined in March 2020 that the country of 10.7 million people would eventually have one of the per capita death rates. the highest in the world.
But it wasn’t just grim statistics that tore the fabric of Czech life apart. There is always a personal story behind every lost life. And the deaths of some people affected entire communities. Jaromir Vytopil, the country’s oldest bookseller, was one of them.
MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government recognizes that the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is now over 321,000.
That’s almost 60% more than the official government-confirmed number of 201,429. Mexico does few tests, and because hospitals have been overwhelmed, many Mexicans have died at home without getting tested. The only way to get a clear picture is to look at “additional deaths” and review death certificates.
The government quietly released such a report, indicating that there were 294,287 COVID-19-related deaths from the start of the pandemic until February 14. Since February 15, there have been 26,772 additional deaths confirmed by testing.
NEW YORK – High rates of COVID-19 across New York have left the majority of its nursing homes closed for most indoor visits despite relaxed advice intended to open them to visitors.
Just over half of New York City nursing homes were ineligible for indoor visits as of mid-March. New York updated its visiting rules on Thursday in a way that will now allow visits to resume under certain conditions, even if a resident has recently tested positive.
But that relaxed standard might not pave the way for visits to many homes that are struggling to keep the virus out.
BARCELONA, Spain – Five thousand music lovers attended a rock concert in Barcelona after having a COVID-19 screening on the same day.
The show organized by the Spanish group Love of Lesbian on Saturday has the authorization of the Spanish health authorities. The spectators underwent antigen tests a few hours before the concert to verify if the screenings are effective in preventing viral epidemics caused by major cultural events.
Those who tested negative were able to attend the indoor concert and mix freely while wearing mandatory face masks. The concert is an expanded version of a December case study based on a concert for 500 people that organizers say did not cause infections.
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