In Russia, the number of deaths in November rose by 55.6 percent compared to the same month last year – before the start of the corona pandemic. According to figures published by the national statistics office on Monday, around 219,900 people died that month. In November 2019 there were more than 141,000. More than 35,000 people died with the corona virus.
According to the statistics office, around 229 700 more people have died in Russia since the beginning of the year than in the same period last year. This corresponds to an excess mortality rate of more than 13 percent.
The numbers are well above the previous information from the government, which has “only” counted around 55,000 corona deaths in the country since the pandemic began. However, the government only shows those cases in which Covid-19 is named as the cause of death. The statistical office, on the other hand, also lists cases in which it is assumed that Covid-19 was only an accompanying disease and that the person would have died without the disease.
Spain announces register for vaccination refusers
Spain wants to record all citizens who do not want to be vaccinated against Corona in a register. Health Minister Salvador Illa announced this in an interview with the television channel La Sexta on Monday. Every citizen will receive an invitation to a vaccination appointment according to the vaccination plan. The vaccination is voluntary, but anyone who does not accept the invitation will be registered. The register is not public and data protection will be rigorous, but the data will be made available to “European partners”, stressed the minister.
In Spain – as in other EU countries – the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 began on Sunday. The first Spaniard to be vaccinated was Araceli Hidalgo, 96, in Guadalajara. For the next twelve weeks, the government in Madrid expects a total of around 4.6 million additional vaccine doses, with which almost 2.3 million of the 47 million citizens of Spain are to be vaccinated. The majority of the population should be immunized by the summer.
Great Britain reports a record number of new infections
In the UK, more people tested positive for the coronavirus in one day than ever since the pandemic began. There were 41,385 confirmed cases as of Monday morning, the government said. The number is probably even higher, as no new figures were reported for the province of Northern Ireland over the holidays.
The previous high was 39,237 and was reported on December 23. In total, there have been more than 2.3 million positive corona tests in the United Kingdom so far.
“This very high level of infection is increasingly worrying at a time when our hospitals are most vulnerable and admissions are increasing in many regions,” said Yvonne Doyle of Public Health England.
Great Britain is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe. A new, more contagious variant of the virus is currently spreading across the island. The government has imposed a shutdown with far-reaching exit and travel restrictions over large parts of the country. The hope lies in a mass vaccination started three weeks ago and the early approval of a second vaccine.
China condemns blogger for critical Wuhan reports
China has sentenced a citizen journalist to four years in prison for her critical reports on the corona outbreak in Wuhan. A court in Shanghai justified the punishment for the blogger Zhang Zhan on Monday by saying that she had “started quarrels and provoked anger”.
In spring, at the height of the pandemic in China, the 37-year-old reported in videos on YouTube, among others, about the situation in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first broke out. In addition to Zhang Zhan, a number of other citizen journalists were arrested for reporting on the experiences of the people in Wuhan on social media.
Like the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post citing her lawyer, Zhang Zhan was in poor health on Monday and had to be taken to the courtroom in a wheelchair. She had been in custody since May and, according to reports, had temporarily refused to eat in protest.
According to the organization Reporters Without Borders, China is one of the countries with the highest number of journalists and bloggers jailed. In the ranking of global press freedom, the country is one of the lowest places. Time and again there were cases in which foreign journalists were expelled for critical reporting or had to fear that their visas would be extended.
More than 60,000 corona checks in Greece
The Greek police again cracked down on corona violations across the country at the weekend. As the authorities announced, more than 62,000 controls were carried out on Saturday alone and more than 1,200 violations were punished. Around 1000 people were caught staying outside their homes for no good reason and each received a fine of 300 euros. Several hundred people were found without a mask and now also have to pay 300 euros.
All reports on the current situation in Germany and worldwide as well as the most important news of the day – twice a day with SZ Espresso. Our Newsletter brings you up to date in the morning and in the evening. Free registration: sz.de/espresso. In our News app (download here) you can also subscribe to the espresso or breaking news as a push message.
In addition, a number of cafes, restaurants and bars that had illegally started operating were discovered. For example, a 53-year-old in the port city of Volos had converted a storage room into a tavern, including a grill and bar.
The man now has to pay a fine of 3000 euros, like the daily newspaper Kathimerini reported on Monday. Of the ten guests present, only three were caught, but they now pay 600 euros – 300 euros each because they did not wear a mask, 300 euros because they were outside their home without permission. Some owners of illegally opened businesses even received a fine of up to 5000 euros, among other things for quarantine violations.
In Greece, only those who have previously sent a corresponding SMS to the civil protection are allowed out of the house – among other things, going to work, visiting the doctor, shopping for groceries, exercising or walking the dog are allowed. The country has been in lockdown since the beginning of November, which should initially apply until January 7th. The number of cases has since declined, but a large part of the intensive care beds in the country are still occupied. The first vaccinations started at the weekend.
UK mutant virus confirmed in South Korea
Cases of the coronavirus mutation discovered in Great Britain have now also been detected in South Korea. According to information from the disease protection agency on Monday, these are three South Korean citizens who flew back to South Korea from Great Britain last week. The new variant of the coronavirus may be significantly more contagious than the previously known form. Most EU states decided last week to largely restrict travel to and from Great Britain temporarily.
The South Korean government also announced on December 23 that it would stop all air traffic to and from Great Britain until the end of the year. In addition, the authorities obliged travelers from Great Britain to a 14-day quarantine and an additional virus test shortly before the end of the quarantine.
South Korea has so far got through the pandemic relatively successfully, but is currently in the middle of a third wave of Covid. On Monday, the authorities registered 808 new infections within the past 24 hours. For the second time in a row, the figure fell below 1,000 infections per day. By January 3, the government tightened epidemiological measures. Among other things, meetings of more than four people are prohibited in the greater Seoul area.