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Voa - Coronavirus

Virus Surge Hits Mental Health of Front-Line Workers

The unrelenting increase in COVID-19 infections in Spain following the holiday season is again straining hospitals, threatening the mental health of doctors and nurses who have been at the forefront of the pandemic for nearly a year. In Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, the critical care capacity has more than doubled and is nearly full, with 80% of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients. “There are young people of 20-something-years-old and older people of 80-years-old, all the age groups,” said Dr. Joan Ramon Masclans, who heads the ICU.

Voa - Coronavirus

India Gives Coronavirus Vaccines to Neighbors as it Pushes Vaccine Diplomacy

In an unusual diplomatic initiative, India has donated millions of doses of the British-developed AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine being produced in the country to neighboring South Asian nations. The “vaccine diplomacy” aims to raise New Delhi’s global profile and push back against China, which has been expanding its influence in South Asia, analysts say. “It’s about image and soft power.

Voa - Coronavirus

‘Love Letter’ to Wuhan During Lockdown Faces New Outrage

Early in the Wuhan lockdown last year, Fang Fang began chronicling the fear, the deaths and the day-to-day events of her life in the city where the coronavirus began its global march. Quarantined in January for what became 76 days, her blog posts excoriated officials for fumbles and demanded investigations. Dodging online censors, she described the sick wandering deserted streets, unable to find care at overwhelmed hospitals.

Voa - Coronavirus

World Nears 100 Million COVID-19 Cases

The world is on the verge of reaching 100 million COVID-19 infections, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center statistics. More than 2 million people have died from the virus. The coronavirus continues to create an unyielding and staggering path of illness and death across the United States. Johns Hopkins reported early Sunday that the U.S. has nearly 25 million COVID infections, with more than 417,000 deaths. Both tolls are the world’s highest. India follows the U.S. caseload with 10.6 million infections and more than 153,000 deaths.

Voa - Coronavirus

New Zealand Investigates Case of Coronavirus Community Spread

For the first time since Nov. 18, New Zealand health officials Sunday began to investigate a probable case of community-spread coronavirus. Community spread occurs when a person contracts the coronavirus without any known contact with a sick person or travel to an affected area. With a tough lockdown, New Zealand had nearly eliminated the coronavirus, with new cases found among travelers returning home and quarantining. As of Sunday, there were 79 such cases.

Voa - Coronavirus

Tunisia Extends Curfew, Bans Protests as Virus Cases Jump 

Tunisia is extending its virus curfew and banning demonstrations as it tries to stem a rapid rise in infections and calm tensions after a week of protests and rioting over economic troubles. New clashes between protesters and police broke out Saturday hours after the new virus restrictions were announced. Tunisia reported 103 virus-related deaths Thursday, the highest figure to date in the country of 11 million people. It also has among the highest rates in Africa.

Voa - Coronavirus

Zimbabweans Blame Government for COVID-19 Deaths of Officials

A surge in coronavirus cases in Zimbabwe has included the deaths of two Cabinet ministers in 48 hours.  The government announced Friday night that Transport Minister Joel Matiza had died of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the president's office said Sibusiso Busi Moyo, Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, had died of  complications related to COVID-19. Pallbearers wait for coffins to arrive at a state burial of government ministers who died of COVID-19, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan.

Voa - Coronavirus

Pride, Caution Evident in Wuhan on Lockdown Anniversary 

One year after it thrust the word "lockdown" into the global conversation, Wuhan reached the anniversary with a mix of pride at emerging from COVID-19's grip and caution over a possible relapse. A year ago Saturday, Wuhan shocked the world by confining its 11 million anxious citizens to their homes, beginning a traumatic 76-day lockdown that underscored the growing threat of a mysterious pathogen emanating from the city. At 10 a.m. that day, public transport was shut down, and exiting the city was banned without special permission.

Voa - Coronavirus

UK Chief Scientist: Virus Variant May Be More Deadly, Vaccines Effective Against It

There is some evidence that a new coronavirus variant first identified in southeast England carries a higher risk of death than the original strain, the British government's chief scientific adviser said Friday — though he stressed that the data is uncertain.  Patrick Vallance told a news conference that "there is evidence that there is an increased risk for those who have the new variant."   Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can download this video to view it offline. Download File 360p | 3 MB 480p | 3 MB 540p | 3 MB 1080p | 7 MB Original | 12 MB Embed Copy

Voa - Coronavirus

WHO Welcomes US Back After Biden Moves to Retain Membership

The World Health Organization (WHO) Friday formally welcomed back the United States, after President Joe Biden signed an executive order this week to retain U.S. membership. Speaking at the agency’s regular briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted the United States was a founding member of the organization in 1948 and has long played a vital role in global health.

Voa - Coronavirus

Vaccination Uncertainty in Japan Casts Doubt Over Olympics

Japan is publicly adamant that it will stage its postponed Olympics this summer. But to pull it off, many believe the vaccination of its 127 million citizens for the coronavirus is key.        It's an immense undertaking in the best of circumstances and complicated now by an overly cautious decision-making process, bureaucratic roadblocks and a public that has long been deeply wary of vaccines.

Voa - Coronavirus

German Health Officials Note Optimistic Signs Despite Climbing COVID-19 Death Toll

As Germany on Friday surpassed 50,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, public health officials there expressed cautious optimism about a slowing infection rate.  The Robert Koch Institute disease control center reported 17,862 new coronavirus cases since Thursday, bringing the total number of Germany’s infections to more than 2.1 million.  FILE - The head of the Robert Koch Institute, German national agency and research institute, responsible for disease control and prevention, Lothar Wieler, briefs the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Jan.