UK announces 'green list,' Germany has 'broken' third wave: COVID-19 Daily Bulletin
Updated 01:44, 08-May-2021
Daniel Harries
A woman is photographed at a usually busy tourist attraction in Chile, highlighting the impact of lockdown restrictions that mean people are only allowed out for essential shopping twice a week. /AP/Esteban Felix

A woman is photographed at a usually busy tourist attraction in Chile, highlighting the impact of lockdown restrictions that mean people are only allowed out for essential shopping twice a week. /AP/Esteban Felix


• The COVID-19 vaccine created by China's Sinopharm has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for "emergency use."

• WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said by adding the Sinopharm jab to COVAX's arsenal, the relief program could now draw on six approved vaccines to help fight the virus in the world's poorest nations.

The UK has lifted quarantine restrictions on the following countries and regions from May 17: Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faro Islands, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island. 

• Soccer supporters of Manchester City and Chelsea will not be able to travel to Istanbul for the Champions League Final under the new travel regulations

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized the proposal by the U.S. to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines. She stated it would have "serious implications" for vaccine production worldwide. 

England's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, warned there would be a significant number of deaths unless more is done to vaccinate the vulnerable globally. "In the medium term, the outlook still looks pretty bleak around the world," he told an online forum. 

The European Medicines Agency continues to monitor whether links exist between Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and cases of blood clots, not yet established, the regulator announced.

France's President Emmanuel Macron said he was ready to discuss waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents but more important was the U.S. and UK ending export restrictions on vaccines and their raw materials.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he would propose to EU leaders that the bloc authorize all vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective elsewhere and use them to accelerate vaccinations across the bloc.

• Orban was speaking as EU leaders and their large following of diplomats and advisers met in Portugal for two days of in-person talks, signaling their belief that the threat from COVID-19 on the continent is waning amid a quickening vaccine roll-out.

The top court in Spain's Basque region on Friday ruled the area must stop its current curfew, while a court in Valencia approved continuing the measure, in a sign of the confusion that could be in store when Spain ends its national state of emergency this weekend.

Britain restricted the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine on Friday, while Germany said it would give the shot to anyone who wants it, in a risk-management role reversal.

• France is delaying a EU order for 1.8 billion doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine planned for the next two years, Germany's Die Welt daily newspaper reported, citing EU diplomats, who had speculated they might want French companies to play a more significant part in vaccine production.

According to health ministry data, India on Friday reported a record daily rise in cases of 414,188, while deaths from COVID-19 swelled by 3,915.

The latest figures have prompted India's main opposition leader Rahul Gandhi to warn that unless the deadly second wave sweeping the country was brought under control, it would devastate India as well as threaten the rest of the world. Gandhi implored Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prepare for another national lockdown, to accelerate a country-wide vaccination program and scientifically track the virus and its mutations.





Toni Waterman in Brussels 


Terraces are being built and tables cleaned as Brussels prepares to reopen outside dining for the first time in six months. Bars, restaurants and cafes will swing open their doors on Saturday, but some restrictions will remain. Table sizes will be limited, social distancing must be maintained and all establishments will need to close at 10 p.m.. Police, though, have already stated that they will not play "terrace police" this weekend. 

The easing of measures comes as total infections in Belgium crossed the 1 million mark earlier in the week. New cases continue to decline, with an average of 2,970 a day, a 10 percent drop from the previous week. 

European Union

The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) says patent waivers alone won't solve the problem of vaccine inequality. At a virtual event on Friday morning, Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called the issue "complex" and said to really fix the problem export restrictions need to be reversed, manufacturing personnel need to be trained and global capacity needs to be increased. 

She made the comments as EU Leaders gear up for a summit this weekend, where a proposal on patent waivers at the WTO is set to take center stage. Brussels has long contended that suspending IP rights could stifle innovation. But cracks are forming. France, Italy and Belgium have signaled support for the idea, but Germany has come out against it.


Ross Cullen in Paris 

A new record for COVID-19 daily vaccinations, 600,000 jabs, was reached on Thursday. After visiting a vaccination center in Paris, Macron announced that coronavirus shots will be available to all adults from May 12, albeit a move with conditions. 

Macron said that if doses are left unused at the end of the day, anyone can book in to receive that jab the next day. This is part of a new government strategy to eliminate wasted doses. May 7 marks the opening of the vaccination campaign to all adults in good health over the age of 50. The government aims to hit its target of first vaccinating 20m people by the middle of this month.


Ryan Thompson in Frankfurt 

Germany seems to have halted a ferocious surge of infections driven by the variant first detected in Britain, Health Minister Jens Spahn said, after a steady drop in new case numbers over the past week.

"The third wave appears to have broken," Spahn told a news conference, as the Bundesrat upper house of parliament agreed to lift curbs including social contact restrictions for vaccinated people.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered the debate on vaccine patent waivers and she is not siding with the U.S., which have proposed allowing production in other countries that could affect Intellectual Property (IP) rights. BioNTech is a German company that could be impacted by such a waiver and Merkel moved to dispel the argument that IP rights are slowing production, saying limited vaccine supplies were down to "production capacities and high-quality standards, not the patents." 

Germany's shops and restaurants could begin to reopen in one week's time if the nation's coronavirus incidence rate continues to drop at the current pace. National Health authorities reported 18,485 new infections on Friday and a 125.7 incidence rate, which measures the average number of new infections per 100,000 people over a week.

As regions manage to get the number of cases below the 100 threshold, they can get rid of curfews and begin to open facilities. Some German cities, especially in the north, have already done so. 




Penelope Liersch in Budapest 

New COVID-19 infections, daily deaths, hospitalizations and ventilation are all down slightly in Hungary in the past 24 hours. More than 4.2 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, more than 2.4 million have had two doses. 

The country's youngest vaccine age group, 16-18 year olds, have been urged to register for a vaccine online by the end of the week, with the government saying jabs are scheduled for the first half of next week. 

From Monday, kindergarten pupils and schoolchildren will be able to visit sports facilities, swimming pools, gyms and ice rinks in an organized way. Secondary school students are also due to return to in-person learning after a delay in April. 

Czechia will ease COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, opening remaining shops and services and allow more students to go back to the classroom. It will no longer be compulsory to wear masks outdoors. According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the country has dipped to number 15 in a list of EU countries with the highest COVID-19 infection rates. Czechia had recorded the bloc's highest new coronavirus infection from February to mid-March.


Paul Barber in London

The UK government announced a list of countries as part of a "traffic light" system to lift the ban on non-essential foreign travel from May 17. Arrivals from these destinations deemed low risk, to be known as "green light" countries or regions, will no longer have to quarantine. 

Turkey, Maldives and Nepal will be added to the government's red list from Wednesday next week. Plans for a vaccine passport have also been announced as the UK government confirmed the National Health Service App will show if people have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The UK is opening up and recording a steady decline in cases, but threats remain. Public health experts have said the variant first discovered in India should be classified as a "variant of concern," as it appears to be more transmissible. 

The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has suggested all under-40s, the following demographic cohort to be vaccinated, should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to low numbers of blood-clotting cases.


Workers in the Philippines sanitize their protective gear as the country goes into another month of restrictions. /AP/Aaron Favila

Workers in the Philippines sanitize their protective gear as the country goes into another month of restrictions. /AP/Aaron Favila



CGTN Europe: COVID-19 could have first begun circulating outside China, mathematical study suggests

CGTN China: The Philippines receives 1.5m Sinovac doses purchased from China

CGTN America: Towns in California are fighting back against COVID-19 restrictions

CGTN Africa: W.H.O. says COVID-19 vaccine supply hitches could reignite upticks in Africa


Sign up here to get the COVID-19 Europe bulletin sent directly to your inbox.

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.


(Video animator: Sam Cordell) 

Source(s): Reuters ,AP ,AFP

Search Trends