Pfizer and Moderna file for Europe vaccine approval: COVID-19 daily bulletin
Updated 01:57, 02-Dec-2020
Aden-Jay Wood


- Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has tested positive for COVID-19, two days after his wife also contracted the virus, a government spokesman said. 

- Both Moderna and BioNtech/Pfizer have filed for European approval of their COVID-19 vaccines, the European Medicines Agency said. If the agency's experts have received enough data, it will complete its reviews by January 12 and December 29 respectively, at the latest. 

- Sweden has registered a further 17,629 new infections since Friday, while the country's death toll also rose, by 117, during the same period. 

- Dozens of people gathered in protest against the construction of the new $119 million Isabel Zendal hospital, designed to treat COVID-19 patients in its capital Madrid, amid a shortage of healthcare staff.  

- France's President Emmanuel Macron said the nation should be in a position to embark on a broader-scale vaccination campaign between April and June next year, after the first jabs would be given to a smaller segment of the population as soon as possible. 

- Hungarian ruling party politician Jozsef Szajer, who resigned as a member of the European Parliament on Sunday, said he was at a house party broken up by police in Brussels last Friday. 

- Friday's English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa has been postponed after an outbreak of the virus in the Newcastle team. 

- The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has urged "extreme caution" when traveling during the Christmas period and to consider whether it is necessary.

- Serbia is to test Russia's Sputnik vaccine, with laboratories receiving 20 doses this week, according to the country's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. 

- More than a million cyclists in France used a $60 subsidy to get their old bikes repaired as part of a government initiative to encourage more people to use bicycles to move around during the pandemic, according to the country's environment minister Barbara Pompili. 

- Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to create 19 storage sites for medical equipment across the country, in order to avoid shortages of personal protective equipment. 

- Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for the virus and will miss next weekend's race in Bahrain, his team Mercedes has confirmed. 

- From Tuesday, face masks are to be made mandatory in all indoor public spaces in the Netherlands and people who refuse to wear one face a fine of $114.


Rahul Pathak in Madrid

Spain's first specialist pandemic hospital, the Enfermera Isabel Zendal, was officially opened in Madrid on Tuesday. 

The regional government says the aim of the new facility with its 1,000 beds, will be to ease the burden on the city's existing hospital system and allow them to deal with more non-COVID-19-related cases.  

However, dozens who say the estimated $119m cost should have been spent on the existing Madrid healthcare system, protested outside the hospital on the day of its inauguration. 

It comes as Spain experienced its worst month since April in terms of COVID-19 deaths.

In November, 8,000 more lives were lost to the virus, bringing the total death toll to 45,000. The total number of COVID-19 cases is nearly 1.65m.


Spain's first specialist pandemic hospital, the Enfermera Isabel Zendal, has officially opened in Madrid on Tuesday. /Reuters

Spain's first specialist pandemic hospital, the Enfermera Isabel Zendal, has officially opened in Madrid on Tuesday. /Reuters


Ross Cullen in Paris

The French health authorities have confirmed that a stage-by-stage approach should be used when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The government is hoping to start vaccinating people against the disease from the end of the year. The most vulnerable citizens over the age of 75 and in care homes will receive the first doses. 

The 65-75 age group will then follow, along with health workers. France is continuing to record a decline in the number of daily cases but there has been a recent rise in the number of deaths. 

The positivity rate from the mass-testing program (the proportion of the number of people registering positive test results compared to the total number of people tested) continues to decline, to 10.9 percent on Monday (11.1 percent Sunday, 11.4 percent Saturday, 11.7 percent Friday).




Toni Waterman in Brussels

All non-essential stores are allowed to reopen in Belgium from tuesday, but with strict safety measures in place. So-called "fun shopping" is prohibited, meaning customers have to shop solo and be out the door within 30 minutes. 

Limits on capacity are also in place. Besides shops, museums and swimming pools have also been given the green-light to reopen. 

Belgium recorded an average of 2,322 new infections a day in the past week, a 32 percent drop from the previous week. Hospital admissions also continue to fall, down to 217 a day. 

Before the government will sign off on any further easing, it wants average daily infections to be under 800 and daily hospital admissions to be less than 75. The government will reassess lockdown measures in the new year. 


Linda Kennedy in Budapest

"It's up to us" how we spend the Christmas holidays, Hungary's national chief medical officer has told the nation, urging compliance with restrictions as a further 5,595 new COVID-19 infections were reported in Hungary overnight, bringing the number of infected people identified in the country to 217,122. 

The majority of the 151 deaths were elderly, chronic patients, increasing the number of deaths to 4,823. 

The government also reported that 80 percent of schools are operating smoothly and are drafting changes to rules on sick pay, arguing it is necessary to give parents the chance to stay home with their children if they are in quarantine.


Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for the virus and will miss next weekend's race in Bahrain. /AP

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for the virus and will miss next weekend's race in Bahrain. /AP



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