Coronavirus live: China Covid cases surge to three-month high; Netherlands brings back
Faced with rising case numbers, the Ukrainian government has enacted a series of anti-Covid measures. Teachers, government employees and other workers have been told to get fully vaccinated by 8 November or face having their salary payments suspended. In addition, proof of vaccination or a negative test is now required to board planes, trains and long-distance buses. That has led to protests in the street today in the capital Kyiv.
Reuters report that Ukraine lagged behind other European countries in obtaining coronavirus vaccines earlier this year and is now struggling to persuade a sceptical public to take them.
“Such rallies of people that we see today, with calls not to get vaccinated, in my opinion, make a mockery of our doctors and families, who, unfortunately, have lost their relatives due to the coronavirus,” Ukrainian health minister Viktor Lyashko told a televised news conference.
“Trust me, this anti-vaccination spirit quickly disappears in intensive care units, and fake certificates don’t work,” he said.
A health expert in Scotland has described the scenes of delegates queuing at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow as “really concerning” during a pandemic.
Prof Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said seeing pictures of hundreds of people in close proximity has left her anxious knowing how “fragile” the situation has been.
PA Media report that, asked about the queues, Prof Sridhar told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “It is really concerning, this week I have been quite anxious seeing all that and knowing how fragile the situation has been.
“We’ve controlled the situation for quite a long time. Can we control it even after this big gathering? That’s the question. Will it lead to a spike, will it lead to a wave, will actually the mitigation measures have been enough?
“I know they thought a lot about making sure people were fully vaccinated, people were testing, it’s a really tricky one because obviously this is the worst timing ever during a pandemic, but at the same time I listened to those people who work in climate and they are saying now is the time, if not now we have an existential threat to humanity.”
Yesterday Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, said “scale and worldwide draw” of the summit “poses a risk of spread of Covid-19 both within delegates and to or from the local population of Scotland and the UK”.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain more than quadrupled in September from a year ago to nearly 4.7 million, official data showed as widespread vaccination and looser travel restrictions enticed back more visitors.
However, Reuters report that number was still far below the 8.8 million who came to Spain in September of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Poland reported more than 10,400 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a 24% rise week on week, government spokesman Piotr Muller said.
Reuters note that the last time the number of daily infections in Poland was above 10,000 was in late April.
“Unfortunately over 10,400 infections have been reported today, that’s over 24% more than last week,” Muller told Radio Plus.
Ukraine is also one of the countries towards the east of Europe that is seeing rising numbers of Covid cases. This morning the health ministry has reported 23,393 new cases, which is up on the previous day. The figures state that this number includes 1,406 children and 421 medics among the caseload. There were 720 further deaths, according to a statement the ministry posted on Facebook.
The number of daily Covid-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic neared 10,000 for the first time since March, health ministry data showed.
Reuters report the country recorded 9,902 new infections yesterday, up from 6,284 on the same day a week ago. Hospitalisations reached more than 2,000 for the first time since May, including 288 people in intensive care.
Yesterday the head of the Institute for Health Information and Statistics in the Czech Republic, Ladislav Dušek, told Czech Radio that the number of cases was less important than the number of hospitalisations, which he predicted would soon reach 3,000.
He also said that cases in the country were currently growing not among young people, as was the case in September, but among unvaccinated 30- to 50-year-olds.
Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen was asked about Covid in the UK on Sky News during his interview, and was pressed on two things in particular. Firstly he was asked about prime minister Boris Johnson saying he did not accept the premise that the UK was in a worse Covid situation than other comparable western European nations. Glen didn’t really have an answer for that – the numbers speak for themselves – he instead tried to simply go on about the success of the UK’s vaccination programme. Here is a map of case prevalence that clearly shows what an outlier the UK is – although both Belgium and the Netherlands have case numbers…