Spain's vaccine convoy delays, Germans told to be patient: COVID-19 daily bulletin
Tim Hanlon


· The Spanish government is sending convoys carrying the COVID-19 vaccine and food supplies to areas cut off by Storm Filomena, which brought the heaviest snowfall in decades.

·German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged the country to be patient in overcoming the pandemic following criticism over the slow pace of a vaccine rollout.

· The total number of deaths in Germany caused by coronavirus has crossed the 40,000 mark. There were a further 465 deaths over the past 24 hours.

·BioNTech has told CGTN it does "not comment on potential or ongoing discussions" following a report that the company, along with CureVac, had signed preliminary deals with the German government despite an EU agreement not to strike individual deals.

· The UK has donated $727.95 million towards the COVAX program to help distribute vaccines to 92 developing countries this year.

·Marseille has imposed a stricter evening curfew, starting at 6 p.m., after authorities said the variant first discovered in the UK had been located in the Mediterranean city.

· The number of fatalities in Belgium is now over 20,000, health officials have said, with more than half the victims from retirement care homes.

· Health officials in Ireland believe three cases of another new variant found in South Africa have been contained.

· Pope Francis says he plans to be vaccinated as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot – to protect not only their own lives but those of others.



Convoys carrying COVID-19 vaccines and food supplies have been sent by the Spanish government to areas cut off by Storm Filomena. In the Madrid area, rescuers reached 1,500 people trapped in cars, while police broke up a large snowball fight after authorities appealed for citizens to stay at home.

Forecasters warned of dangerous conditions in the coming days, with temperatures expected to drop as fas -10 degrees celsius next week and the prospect of snow turning to ice and damaged trees falling.

About 20,000 kilometers of roads across central Spain were affected by the storm as the government continues to send consignments of the vaccine and food supplies to those in need, transport minister Jose Luis Abalos said.

Andrew Wilson in London

The government is dramatically increasing its coronavirus testing program to cover all 317 local authorities in England. The rapid lateral flow tests produce a result in under 30 minutes and medical teams will be targeting people without symptoms.

New vaccination centers are being opened up across the country as well. NHS England has said it will be sending out invitation letters next week.

Scientists advising the government are still critical of the latest lockdown measures saying they are too lax and that they still allow a lot of activity which is spreading the virus. Experts say measures in England need to be stricter to achieve the same impact as they did in March, 2020.

Roads around Spain have been blocked preventing vaccines reaching medical facilities following the heaviest snowfall in decades. /Jorge Sanz/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Roads around Spain have been blocked preventing vaccines reaching medical facilities following the heaviest snowfall in decades. /Jorge Sanz/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Natalie Carney in Munich

Berlin's health senator Dilek Kalayci has said those willing to vaccinate against COVID-19 in the capital should be able to choose which vaccine they want. That would go against federal health minister Jens Spahn, who said that a choice of state-administered jabs was not possible "at the moment and foreseeable future" due to the current scarcity of vaccinations.

Moreover, the recent approval of the Moderna vaccine by the European Medicines Agency is not expected to solve the country's supply problems. Deliveries of just under 2 million doses will be only be completed by the end of March. Germany is expecting a further 48 million doses from Moderna later in the year.

Meanwhile, the German Association of General Practitioners has called for the corona-related restrictions to be relaxed for all vaccinated people, provided that they are no longer contagious after immunization. 

A debate has been ongoing across the country over whether those who get the jab should be given special allowances under lockdown measures.



Nine people were arrested after demonstrations against restrictions turned violent in two cities, including the capital Copenhagen, police confirmed. Between 200 and 250 people had gathered in Copenhagen and dozens in the city of Aalborg.

Organized by a group calling itself "Men in Black," the demonstrations targeted restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Protesters shouted: "Freedom for Denmark, we have had enough," according to media reports.

In TV broadcasts and videos posted on social media, police in riot gear could be seen clashing with protesters in Copenhagen, who lit fireworks and threw bottles.



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CGTN Europe has been providing in-depth coverage of the novel coronavirus story as it has unfolded. Here you can read the essential information about the crisis.

Source(s): AFP ,Reuters

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