The EU evaluates accepting travelers vaccinated against covid and India approaches 20 million cases

Bruselas (AFP)

The European Commission proposed on Monday to EU member states to allow the entry of people from third countries vaccinated against covid-19, which continues to wreak havoc in India, very close to crossing the threshold of 20 million cases.

In a statement, the European Commission – the executive body of the Union – proposed “allowing entry to the EU (..) to all people from countries with a good epidemiological situation” and to those who “have received the last recommended dose of a vaccine authorized by the EU “.

According to the proposal made to the countries of the bloc, travelers who would be allowed to enter the EU on a non-essential trip must have received their vaccines 14 days before arrival.

For now, the EU formally recognizes four vaccines against covid-19: those developed by BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

In addition, in a context of slight improvement in the pandemic on the continent, France and Greece began this Monday to prudently lighten their sanitary restriction measures.

In France, after a month of closure, secondary school students returned to classrooms on Monday a week after their preschool and primary school peers.

Traffic restrictions were also lifted, which prevented the French from traveling more than 10 kilometers from their homes, except for compelling reasons.

In Greece, the country’s cafes and restaurants reopened this Monday after six months of closure, in a day of summer temperatures.

– The tragedy continues in India –

If Europe seems to breathe, Covid-19 continues to ravage India, which has recorded 19.9 million cases and some 219,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. A high per capita balance for this country of more than 1,300 million inhabitants, but lower than that of Brazil or the United States.

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The Asian giant registered 370,000 new contaminations and 3,400 deaths in the last 24 hours, while the international aid promised by more than 40 countries continues to arrive.

According to press reports, 24 people died on Sunday night from an alleged lack of oxygen in a hospital in the state of Karnataka, near Bangalore (south).

And on Saturday 12 people died in a hospital that had depleted its oxygen reserves in the capital New Delhi, according to local media.

The Indian Supreme Court put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by ordering his government on Sunday to supply Delhi with oxygen reserves before midnight on Monday (18:30 GMT).

Like many other countries, Nigeria announced on Sunday that it was restricting access to travelers from India, but also from Brazil and Turkey, two other countries hard hit by the epidemic.

– Indian variant in Mexico –

In total, the covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 3.19 million people worldwide since its onset, among more than 152 million confirmed infections.

Latin America has been strongly affected, starting with Brazil, where vaccination has not finished taking off while 1,202 new deaths were registered on Sunday.

This country of 212 million inhabitants has suffered at least 407,639 deaths, becoming the second country in the world hardest hit by the pandemic, behind the United States (more than 576,000).

Meanwhile, Mexico detected on Sunday the first case of an Indian variant of the coronavirus in the state of San Luis Potosí, in the north-central part of the country.

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The World Health Organization announced last week that this mutation of the virus had been identified in 17 countries, several of them European.

– Covax-Moderna Agreement –

Efforts to achieve faster vaccination, especially in less developed countries, received significant support this Monday, as the Covax program, which favors the equitable distribution of vaccines, signed an agreement with Moderna to acquire 500 million doses, announced the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).

“We are very pleased to sign this new agreement with Moderna, which gives Covax participants access to another highly effective vaccine,” said Seth Berkley, Gavi’s CEO, in a statement.

Promoting a faster and fairer global vaccination against COVID-19 convened a star-studded concert in Los Angeles on Sunday in Los Angeles, where Prince Henry of England was joined by pop royalty, including Jennifer Lopez.

“Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World” featured, among others, video messages from the Pope and President Joe Biden and on-site appearances from Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck and Sean Penn.

Anyway, according to UN estimates published this Monday, the restrictions related to covid-19 were a great stimulus for electronic commerce last year.

In a report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) notes that the sector registered a “spectacular boom” despite the pandemic destroying entire sectors of the economy.

“Between 2018 and 2019, most online retail sales increased 1.7 percentage points, while between 2019 and 2020, they increased 3.6 percentage points. This progress is more than twice as fast,” explained the author of the report, Torbjorn Fredriksson, to AFP.

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