Sweden prepares new measures to contain a resurgence in Covid-19 cases as the coronavirus strain, first discovered in the UK, spreads rapidly.

Sweden avoided lockdowns during the pandemic. Today’s figures from the health statistics agency, however, show that 10,933 new coronavirus cases have been registered since Friday, an increase from 9,458 in the corresponding period of the previous week.

“This variant will be the dominant one with a relatively high probability within a few weeks or a month . “

” We have prepared a package (of national measures) that will be presented tomorrow, “he said, not giving details.

The variant is considered more contagious by scientists. Cases of the variants, which were first discovered in South Africa and Brazil, have also been reported but are not spreading quickly, said Dr. Tegnell.

In Sweden, concerns about a possible third wave of the pandemic have increased in recent weeks as the number of new infections has risen and the new variants have spread.

The government has laid the foundations for possible Lockdown measures put in place on a scale not seen during the pandemic.

Some of Sweden’s largest regions, including Stockholm, have also taken steps such as the use of masks in shops, workplaces and public transport.

This is in contradiction to the reluctance of the health department in the past to generally support such steps as there is limited evidence of their effectiveness.

The per capita mortality rate is much higher than that of its Nordic neighbors but lower than in several countries in Europe that have opted for lockdowns.

US President Joe Biden led the Americans to hold the S tille to commemorate the grim milestone of more than 500,000 US deaths from Covid-19 and urged them to put aside partisan differences and join forces to fight the pandemic.

“Today we really mark you gloomy, heartbreaking milestone – 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who died from this pandemic in a year than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined, “Biden said in emotional remarks to the White House.

” But if we consider the scale of this mass death Recognize in America, we remember everyone and the life they lived. They are people we knew. “

Mr. Biden and his wife Jill, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, marked a moment of silence in the open air after the President’s remarks in the White House.

Five hundred Burning candles lined the White House steps to commemorate the dead and a military band played ‘Amazing Grace’.

President Biden ordered that all flags on federal properties and military facilities be lowered to half mast by sunset on Friday, to commemorate the dead.

The president urged Americans to remain vigilant in fighting the pandemic by continuing to wear masks, observing social distancing, and receiving vaccinations when it is their turn to act.

“We must end the politics and misinformation that have divided families, communities and the country and which have already cost too many lives. It’s not Democrats and Republicans who are dying from the virus. They are our fellow Americans, “said Biden.

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Approximately 19% of global coronavirus deaths have occurred in the United States, an oversized number as the nation only 4% of the world’s population.

Mr Biden has made the pandemic his top priority, but warns that the US toll could still “well over” 600,000.

But there are signs that it is that progress is being made as infections drop sharply and vaccine delivery continues to rise.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said US deaths were the lowest since December, with a rü down 39% in the last 7-day average of new daily cases.

New Zealand has reported three new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus as the cluster in its largest city, Auckland, was just days after authorities enforced new restrictions Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted a brief Covid-19 lockdown in Auckland last week, saying the measures had helped limit the spread of the infection to a family of three.

It was, however reports that a student at Papatoetoe High School in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19. Health officials later stated that two of the student’s siblings were also infected with the virus and asked anyone associated with the school to come back to check.

Officials have also urged people who had visited certain locations to self-isolate and seek advice from local health officials on testing.

Auckland’s nearly two million residents were put into a three-day lockdown earlier this month after a family of three – two adults and one child – lived in UK first discovered more communicable variant of the coronavirus was diagnosed.

Ukraine receives first Covid-19 vaccine doses

After several delays, Ukraine finally received its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine doses today.

The country of 40 million is one of the poorest in Europe and one of the last in the region to start vaccinating its population .

A plane carrying 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, marketed under the name Covishield and manufactured by the Serum Institute in India – the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer – landed at Kiev’s Boryspil Airport.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has been criticized for previously failing to receive vaccines for Ukraine, which suffers from an aging health system.

He has attributed the delay to richer Western countries that have reserved the Pfizer and Moderna bursts in bulk, and urged the EU to help the Eastern European countries with the procurement of vaccines.

His government had originally announced its vaccination campaign e to begin in mid-February, but delivery of the first vaccine doses was delayed.

Ukraine is also awaiting delivery of eight million doses that were pledged under the World Health Organization’s Covax program.

Kiev said, it also received 17 million doses of vaccines developed by Novavax and AstraZeneca, including the 500,000 that arrived today.

It has also signed a contract to receive 1.9 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine .

The Czechs no longer have hospital capacities as virus cases are increasing

The Czech Republic is reaching capacity in intensive care units as coronavirus infections continue to rise in the EU’s hardest hit country, said the Ministry of Health.

The country is and is the world leader in new infections per 100,000 people in the last 14 days in second place after neighboring Slovakia according to an AFP record.

The government, which tamed the spread during the first wave early last year, has been struggling with recurring booms in the country of 10.7 million people since summer 2020 .

“We have almost no capacity left in the intensive care unit,” said Deputy Health Minister Vladimir Cerny to reporters, primarily blaming the lack of qualified staff.

“In no way can we change the current standards of health care and there is a slowdown and shift in non-Covid care tem is close to its limit, “he added.

The Czech Republic has today registered more than 1,300 ICU patients, including 660 patients on ventilators and” a higher number “of patients on life support, Cerny said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 1.16 million cases and more than 19,500 deaths have been registered.

Mr Cerny said the government should now officially ask neighboring Germany to accept patients mainly from the most affected western Czech regions.

To step up its measures, the government has ordered people to wear FFP2 face masks or better – or two ordinary face masks – in public buildings, shops and public transport stops starting next Thursday.

Restaurants, Cinemas, theaters and most shops will remain closed, as will schools, with the exception of preschools and the first two years of elementary school.

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