Around the World: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 concerns continue around the world. COVID-19 concerns continue around the world.  |  Photo: MGN

Created: January 22, 2021 02:47 PM

Brazil awaits vaccine cargo from India amid supply concerns. 
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil’s government is eagerly awaiting the arrival of 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from India. The announcement shipment as public health experts are sounding the alarm over insufficient supply in South America's biggest nation. Neither the government's Fiocruz Institute nor Sao Paulo state's Butantan Institute have yet received the technology from their partners to produce vaccines domestically and instead must import the active ingredient.

There are only about 10 million doses available at the moment, and Brazil's government is estimated to need that many just to cover front-line health workers in the nation of 210 million people.

Ambulances queue at hospitals as virus surge slams Portugal
LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Ambulances waiting to deliver COVID-19 patients are queueing outside hospital emergency departments as Portugal’s COVID-19 surge continues unabated. The country added a new record of daily deaths for the fifth day in a row. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and patients in intensive care also reached new highs over the previous 24 hours, placing the public health system under severe strain, health authorities said.

Authorities reported 234 deaths, bringing the country’s total to 9,920. Portugal has the highest seven-day average rate in the world of new cases per 100,000 population and the highest rate of new deaths, according to data collated through Thursday by Johns Hopkins University. 

Top Lebanese hospitals fight exhausting battle against virus
BEIRUT (AP) - Lebanon's hospitals are on the brink: Unable to keep up with coronavirus patients, they have run out of beds, oxygen tanks, ventilators and medical staff. At the Rafik Hariri Hospital in the capital of Beirut, the country's main facility dealing with COVID-19 patients, doctors and nurses say they are exhausted.

The country's economic crisis and burnout has caused many of their colleagues to leave. Many have caught the virus, forcing them to take sick leave and leaving fewer colleagues to work overtime to carry the burden.

To every bed that frees up after a death, three or four patients are waiting in the emergency room waiting to take their place. 

Spain's jab rollout dogged by delays, elitist queue-jumpers
MADRID (AP) - Public outrage is growing in Spain as cases of politicians and well-connected opportunists jumping the queue in the national coronavirus vaccination campaign come to light, even as delivery delays have forced some regions to stop new inoculations. Spain’s Defense Ministry has been the latest governmental department to launch an internal inquiry to find out if the military top brass dodged coronavirus vaccine protocols by receiving a jab before their turn.

Pressure from the public has so far led to resignations or dismissals of several local mayors and councilors, as well as some hospital directors. The health ministry reported 42,885 new infections and 400 additional confirmed deaths on Friday, as several regions launch new restrictions aimed at curbing the contagion.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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