France to review measures, global cases pass 80m: COVID-19 daily bulletin
Updated 02:05, 29-Dec-2020
Aden-Jay Wood


- AstraZeneca's CEO, Pascal Soriot, has assured that its vaccine provides "100 percent protection" against severe forms of the virus, adding the company believes it has "figured out the winning formula."

- Global cases have passed 80 million, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

- Deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been delayed to eight European countries, including Germany and Spain, after a logistical problem related to temperature control.

- The distribution of the first 200m doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech across the European Union will be completed by September, a spokesman for the European Commission said.

- Ukraine's largest ski resort, Bukovel is fully booked until the end of the year as it takes advantage of many of Europe's slopes being forced to close amid the pandemic.

- The new variant of the virus has been detected in two people in Finland, while a separate variant spreading in South Africa has also been found in one, health officials said.

- France's government will review the country's current measures to slow the spread of the virus on Wednesday, a spokesperson said on Monday, amid a further surge in infections that has sparked fears of a potential third nationwide lockdown.

- Germany's vaccination campaign has been marred by a mistake that led to eight workers in an elderly care home receiving five times the recommended dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in the northern district of Vorpommern-Ruegen.

- The English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester City scheduled for Monday evening has been postponed after an outbreak of the virus in Manchester City's squad.

- Hundreds of British tourists fled during the night from the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, rather than finishing off their self-isolation period retrospectively introduced by the Swiss government to slow the spread of the virus.

- The pandemic poses the greatest threat to mental health since World War II, according to Adrian James, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK.



Iolo ap Dafydd in London

Health experts in the UK are calling for the country to get the basics right, at the start of a notable week. COVID-19 cases are increasing and Britain by midnight Wednesday will have left the European Union.

Emergency services say they're under pressure, with hospitals and ambulance services dealing with new virus variants and a rise in infections. National Health Service Providers, which represent hospital areas in England, said hospitals in London and the south of England were under "real pressure" due to demand from COVID-19 and other conditions, as well as staff absence. There were 21,286 people in hospital with coronavirus in the UK on December 22, the last day for which government figures are available. This is only slightly fewer than the 21,683 patients recorded on April 12.  

There are also signs of stress in Wales, as senior medical staff there warn that services to save lives for non-COVID patients are stretched, especially with critical care units filling up.




Toni Waterman in Brussels

The first Pfizer-BioNTech jabs were injected into Belgian arms on Monday less than a year since the coronavirus was detected in the country. The vaccine roll-out started in three nursing homes, with residents and staff at the front of the line. The inoculations were largely ceremonial and the country's full-scale vaccine roll-out won't begin until January 5.

Pfizer has promised to ship 10,000 doses from its production plant in Puurs across Belgium before the end of the year. The government aims to have 70 percent of the population vaccinated by the end of next year. 

After nursing care residents and staff, people aged over 65 or between 45-65 with pre-existing conditions and essential workers will be eligible for the vaccine. The entire adult population will be able to get the jab sometime in the spring. 

Linda Kennedy in Budapest

Almost 5,000 health workers are receiving COVID-19 jabs as Hungary continues its vaccination program, which began a day earlier than in most other countries in the EU. 

The country received its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Saturday, with a total of 9,750 doses. The first vaccination was carried out at South Pest Central Hospital. Four other hospitals also received doses. More shipments will continue to arrive to enable ongoing the vaccination of health workers.

Mass vaccinations will start in the coming months, the Hungarian government says. The online registration system for vaccines has so far received 300,000 registrations.

The Hungarian government has tied down a total of 17.5 million vaccines doses from a variety of manufacturers. 


The English Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City scheduled for Monday evening has been postponed after a virus outbreak in Manchester City's squad. /Tony McArdle - Everton FC

The English Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City scheduled for Monday evening has been postponed after a virus outbreak in Manchester City's squad. /Tony McArdle - Everton FC



CGTN China: Chinese mainland reports 21 new COVID-19 cases

CGTN America: Mexico cancels its famous Christmas festivities amid surge

CGTN Africa: South Africa's COVID-19 caseload tops 1 million mark

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