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As the United States embarks on the most ambitious vaccination campaign in history, and pictures of relieved healthcare workers flash across TV screens and news sites, new data shows that more than a quarter of Americans would likely, or probably say, definitely not be taking the coronavirus vaccine.
The skepticism, while not entirely unexpected, poses a challenge as the country seeks to contain skyrocketing infections, hospital stays and deaths. On the same day that the first vaccinations were given, 300,000 people died in the United States – more than any other country.
The country has an average of more than 2,400 deaths a day, even more than in the spring. More than twice as many deaths are announced every day as there was a month ago.
The survey was conducted between November 30 and December 8 among a nationally representative random sample of 1,676 adults ages 18 and older (including interviews with 298 Hispanic adults and 390 non-Hispanic black adults).
It is the first report of a new “Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor” that the Kaiser Foundation has set up to thoroughly examine the public’s views on the coronavirus vaccination and to follow the experience of admission. Such information is essential for public health professionals trying to promote vaccination.
Overall, 71 percent of respondents said they would definitely get a vaccine, an 8 percent increase over what Kaiser found in a September poll. About a third (34 percent) want the vaccine as soon as possible now.
Another 39 percent said they would wait and see how the vaccine works for other people before getting it themselves. Nine percent would only get the vaccine if it was needed for work, school, or some other activity. Twelve percent said they probably wouldn’t take a vaccine, and 15 percent said they definitely wouldn’t get it – even if it was free and scientifically rated as safe.
Different groups hesitate for different reasons, according to the survey. Black Americans seem most concerned about side effects or that they might get Covid-19 from the vaccine.
Almost one in four Republicans “doesn’t want to be vaccinated because they don’t think Covid is a serious threat,” said Mollyann Brodie, executive vice president of the foundation.
“It will be a real challenge to reverse Covid denialism in this part of President Trump’s political base,” she added.
The coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Moderna is highly protective of adults and prevents serious cases of Covid-19. That comes from data released Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Based on the encouraging results, the agency intends to issue an emergency permit for use of the vaccine on Friday, according to the F.D.A. trusted people. The decision would give millions of Americans access to a second coronavirus vaccine as early as next week.
The review by the F.D.A. Confirms Moderna’s earlier assessment that his vaccine was 94.1 percent effective in a study of 30,000 people. Side effects, including fever, headache, and fatigue, were uncomfortable but not dangerous, the agency found.
The success of Moderna’s vaccine has become even more important to fighting the pandemic as other vaccine efforts have stalled. The hopeful news comes at a time of record-breaking new coronavirus cases in the United States that are overwhelming hospitals and an ever-increasing death toll that hit a bleak milestone of 300,000 on Monday.
The data release is the first step in a public review process that includes a one-day meeting on Thursday by an independent panel of experts. They are from Moderna, F.D.A. Scientists and the public before voting on whether to recommend approval. The panel is expected to vote in favor, and the F.D.A. generally follows the recommendations of the experts.
Distribution of around six million doses could then begin next week, adding significantly to the millions of doses already shipped by Pfizer and BioNTech, the companies that developed the first emergency-release coronavirus vaccine last Friday. Healthcare workers received the first shots of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine on Monday with an effectiveness rate of 95 percent.
The introduction of vaccines has been eagerly anticipated and is one of the most ambitious vaccination campaigns ever carried out in the United States.
Last summer, the federal government signed contracts with Moderna and Pfizer to dispense a total of 200 million cans in the first quarter of 2021. Since two doses are required for both vaccines, these contracts guaranteed enough shots for 100 million people.
Last week the U.S. government announced that it had purchased an additional 100 million doses of Moderna for the second quarter, bringing the number of Americans who could be vaccinated to 150 million. That leaves the question of how and when the 180 million or so other Americans will be covered.
Some of the medical centers that saw the worst coronavirus outbreak in the United States found the darkness that has long filled their corridors replaced with exhilaration and hope on Monday as health care workers first participated in a targeted mass vaccination campaign at the end of the pandemic.
Hundreds of those who have been on the front lines fighting Covid-19 – a nurse from an intensive care unit in New York, an emergency doctor from Ohio, a housekeeper in Iowa – received vaccinations in emotional ceremonies watched by people around the country .
“I feel like the healing is coming,” said Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care director who was among the first healthcare workers to be vaccinated Monday morning at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.
The vaccinations came when the nation topped 300,000 coronavirus deaths, a higher number than any other country. Even when there was applause in hospitals, many intensive care units remained almost full.
Doctors, nurses, aides, cleaners, and at least one manager who said he would receive the vaccine early to encourage all staff to do the same.
Dr. Jason Smith, the first Kentuckian to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, showed off the smiley face patch a health care worker put on his arm. “I didn’t even feel it,” he said.
A group of nuns in Sioux Falls, S.D. blessed the vaccine upon arrival before it was placed in a freezer.
Seth Jackson, an Iowa City nurse, cried on the way to the hospital to get his shot. Robin Mercier, a Rhode Island nurse, was delighted to be one step closer than she could kiss her grandchild.
For many Americans who lost loved ones to Covid-19, the introduction of vaccination has been bittersweet. It didn’t come soon enough for Mary Smith’s husband Mike, who died of the virus in November at the age of 64.
“It was so close,” said Ms. Smith, who lives outside of Peoria, Illinois, on Monday.
She expressed frustration with people who said they did not trust the vaccine. “Those people who say,” I don’t get it “can only say,” Why? Have you lost your mind? “Added Ms. Smith.” Didn’t you see how many people died? That’s real. ‘”
Russia has released additional results from a clinical study of its leading coronavirus vaccine called Sputnik V, which shows an efficacy rate of 91.4 percent, similar to results from Western vaccine manufacturers.
Unlike in the West, the Russian authorities have taken a different path with vaccination and promoted the state-funded shot, which is based on genetically modified cold viruses, before the tests are completed. Moscow approved Sputnik V for emergency use in August before extensive clinical trials to prove its effectiveness and safety had begun.
The World Health Organization and independent experts criticized the move as risky, noting that it undermines trust in the vaccine, which Russia plans to market in more than 70 countries.
The financial firm promoting the vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, released data Monday from the interim results of its Phase 3 trial, in which 22,714 participants received either the vaccine or a placebo. A total of 78 people in both groups contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
It found that none of those who received the vaccine became seriously ill with Covid-19 and that 91.4 percent were protected from mild or moderate cases. 20 severe cases were registered in the placebo group.
Kirill Dmitriev, the fund’s managing director, praised the result as “amazing” and said it would help Russia apply for registration for Sputnik V in potential export markets. He said the fund intends to apply this month in Argentina and in January in other Latin American countries and countries in Asia and Africa.
So far, Russia has shipped about 320,000 doses of the vaccine and vaccinated about 200,000 people outside of clinical trials.
The vaccine received a vote of confidence from AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant, this month when it opened talks with Russian vaccine scientists about pooling efforts.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, England, showed encouraging but confusing results: two doses of the vaccine gave stronger results (90 percent effectiveness) when the first dose was only half that of injecting two full-dose vaccines (an effectiveness of 62 percent). The joint effort is investigating whether this vaccine can be made more effective if recipients are also given Sputnik V.
The Russian process is slated to go through May, but Mr Dmitriev said regulators could suspend it on ethical grounds as the vaccine has been shown to be effective. The rate of effectiveness was similar to that reported by the Russian group previously, but this time based on a larger, more statistically relevant sample. The results were comparable to those of the Pfizer vaccine, which was 95 percent effective and already approved for use in several countries, and the Moderna vaccine, which had a 94.1 percent effectiveness rate.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a treacherous week before he debated whether to sign a Brexit trade deal with the European Union. Now he is under pressure on another front after his government imposed stricter restrictions on London on Monday to contain virus flares.
This abrupt decision, announced in Parliament by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, will close pubs and restaurants in London with effect from Wednesday. The move takes place just 10 days before Christmas and could drive away the shoppers who normally roam the streets of Oxford and Regent at this time of year.
Mr Hancock said British health officials had identified a new, faster-growing variant of the virus, which could explain why the number of cases was rising so rapidly in London as well as parts of south and east England.
This sobering news, however, did not prevent some members of the Conservative Party from murmuring Mr Johnson, who warned that the new restrictions would deal another blow to the beleaguered hotel and retail industries.
Medical experts said the discovery of a new variant wasn’t all that surprising in itself. The variant, found in around 1,000 people after it was first discovered in Kent in southern England, is similar to that found in other countries. Experts said this was mainly done to underscore the need for more robust border controls.
Even more baffling is the government’s plan to cope with the increase in certain cases. Under the new restrictions, pubs and restaurants in London will be closed, with the exception of take-out services, while people from different households will be banned from socializing indoors.
However, as part of a previously announced Christmas plan, the government will temporarily lift restrictions a week later to allow up to three families to mingle indoors. The break starts on December 23rd and lasts until December 27th in most parts of the UK (those traveling to and from Northern Ireland can travel on December 22nd and 28th). After this hiatus, London and the other affected regions would likely return under more stringent restrictions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has encouraged the government to reconsider the vacation break and warn families, “This virus does not respect Christmas.”
“We heard from Matt Hancock yesterday that the government appears to be re-examining this,” Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today show Tuesday morning. “I would encourage them if they are.”
Two leading medical journals also criticized the UK government’s decision to relax measures over Christmas in a joint editorial published Tuesday, warning that the move could lead to new cases overwhelming hospitals.
As a growing number of vaccines advance through clinical trials, affluent countries are creating an exceptional access gap around the world, claiming more than half the doses that could hit the market by the end of next year.
Many poor nations may be able to vaccinate no more than 20 percent of their population in 2021. However, some of the richest countries in the world have reserved enough doses to immunize their populations multiple times.
With no guarantee that a particular vaccine will get through, these countries have hedged their bets on a number of candidates. However, if all of the doses they claim are met, the European Union could vaccinate its residents twice, the UK and United States four times, and Canada six times, according to a New York Times analysis of the data collected by Duke University, Unicef and Airfinity, a scientific analysis company.
The United States has allocated billions of dollars to support the research, development and manufacture of five of the most promising vaccines against Covid-19, advancing them at speeds and levels that would otherwise have been impossible. However, the support came with the condition that Americans be given priority access to the cans made in their country.
Other wealthy countries joined the United States in large-scale contracts, often with clauses in their contracts that would allow them to purchase even more if desired, undermining the ability of many other nations to make timely purchases.
How quickly rich countries will achieve full coverage is uncertain, in large part because the candidates are at different stages of progress. Pfizer’s vaccine developed with BioNTech is now approved in countries including Bahrain, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Moderna is expected soon.
AstraZeneca, which is developing its vaccine at the University of Oxford, is expected to file for approval in the UK, India and several other countries over the next few weeks, armed with data from outside the US where it has suffered regulatory setbacks. Valneva has not yet started clinical studies. Sanofi, which works with GlaxoSmithKline, recently changed its approval schedule to late next year after clinical outcomes showed poor performance in the elderly.
However, the outlook for most developing countries is poor. Due to manufacturing restrictions, it could be until 2024 before many low-income countries are able to get enough vaccines to fully immunize their populations.
As countries accelerated preparations to vaccinate citizens against the coronavirus, Brazil should have had a significant advantage with its world-renowned vaccination program and robust drug manufacturing capacity.
But political struggles, arbitrary planning, and an emerging anti-vaccine movement have left the nation, which has suffered the second-largest death toll from the pandemic, without a clear vaccination program. Citizens now have no idea when they might get rid of a virus that has brought the public health system to its knees and the economy hit.
“You are playing with life,” said Denise Garrett, a Brazilian-American epidemiologist at the Sabin Vaccine Institute who is working to expand access to vaccines. “It’s a border criminal,” she added.
Experts had hoped Brazil’s immunization capabilities could enable it to weather the end of the pandemic better than the beginning.
Shortly after Covid-19 was first identified in the country in February, Brazil became an epicenter of the global health crisis. President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed scientific evidence, labeled the virus a “bad” cold that did not justify closing the region’s largest economy, and berated governors for imposing quarantine and business closings.
As vaccination efforts begin in Britain and the United States, giving their populations the chance to imagine life after the pandemic, Brazilian officials were once again unprepared and embroiled in loud disputes over vaccine policy.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health presented a vaccination schedule by order of the Supreme Court last week. The plan set out the order in which vulnerable groups should be vaccinated, but lacked a detailed timetable and a clear estimate of how many doses would be available. The ministry had previously announced that it would start the vaccination campaign in March.
Days after the announcement, the Ministry of Health was still trying to place orders from overdrawn vaccine suppliers. Ministry officials also faced questions about why the country did not have enough syringes and vials to launch the ambitious vaccination campaign needed to cover a country of 210 million people, where more than 180,000 have succumbed to the virus.
In addition, Anvisa, the Brazilian health authority, has not yet approved a coronavirus vaccine for general use.
In Arizona, where several schools have gone online in the past few weeks due to a flood of viruses, Governor Doug Ducey said teachers would be among the first to be vaccinated. “Teachers are essential to our state,” he said. Utah Governor Gary Herbert spoke about the possibility of educators being shot this month. And Los Angeles officials pushed for teachers to be given priority over firefighters and prison guards.
But in areas where kids spent much of the fall staring at laptop screens, it can be too early for parents to hope that public schools will open their doors soon or that students will return before the next time all day in the classroom are falling.
Given the limited number of vaccines available to the states and the logistical hurdles to distribute them, including the fact that two doses are needed several weeks apart, experts said that vaccination of the three million school teachers in the United States would States could be a slow process that lasts well into the US spring.
And even if enough educators are vaccinated for school officials and teacher unions, who have considerable power in many large districts, to hold classroom reopenings safe, schools will most likely need masks and detached students for many months, experts say the community’s expansion has decreased significantly, possibly by summer.
“I think some people have in mind that when we get the vaccine we will start and all of these other things will go away,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. represents public health authorities.
But in schools as in everyday life there will be no quick fix. “My feeling is that we will all be wearing masks and keeping our distance and trying to be careful with each other for probably most of 2021.”
Teachers in Georgia, Texas and other parts of the country planned to call in sick Tuesday as part of a nationwide protest against standardized testing during the pandemic, along with other guidelines that educators say put them at risk if coronavirus cases rise.
Anger over Texas policies requiring teachers and students to take a state-standardized test, and some districts that require students to take exams in school buildings, has increased among educators in the Houston area, starting a middle school teacher earlier this month died from the coronavirus.
“They prioritize testing over the safety of students, teachers, and communities,” said Naseeb Gill, 32, a fifth-grade teacher in Houston.
Known as National Teacher No Day, the Planned Illness, organized by a group formed by a Georgia high school teacher, reflects a controversial debate about the safety of personal tuition that is unfolding in many states when the virus is increasing.
Teachers at around 50 schools in Harris County, Texas, including Houston, will be attending, some who wish to attend. They are motivated by a number of guidelines, including requirements for teachers to use sick days for quarantine unless their absence is directed by administrators.
“These are legitimate teachers who are fed up across the country and say this has to stop,” said Alfred Brooks, founder of Teachers for Good Trouble, who organized the national protests. Teachers in cities like New York, Houston and Los Angeles have signed up, but the exact number of planned attendees is unclear, he said. Many teachers in so-called states with the right to work have little protection at work.
Calling sick people was a common way for teachers to express their concerns during the pandemic. About 100 teachers in Arizona’s third largest school district had an illness on Friday and demanded that schools close after the winter break and stay away until the infection rate in the area drops.
Chinese authorities on Tuesday examined a cargo pilot in a province in southwest China who tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after a 300 people wedding, just days after he returned from the United States.
His case heightened fears of an outbreak in Sichuan Province, where a few dozen cases – most of them imported – have been recorded in the past few days. Although China has largely contained the coronavirus since it emerged in downtown Wuhan last year, small groups of cases have continued to emerge in the country.
And it’s a distinct reversal: earlier this year travelers from China were seen as at great risk of transmitting the virus, but now that the United States is at the center of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, the tables are turned .
It is unclear how the pilot, identified by his last name Gao in Chinese news reports, contracted the virus. Gao, 26, returned to Chengdu city from Los Angeles in late November and spent time in quarantine after testing negative for the virus, according to Chinese media reports. Authorities have classified his case as an imported infection.
When news of the case spread on Chinese social media websites, many people expressed anger at Mr. Gao’s decision to attend the wedding, held in Jiangyou City on Saturday, 13 days after he returned from the United States took place. According to Chinese news, he tested positive on Monday.
China hat einige der strengsten Virenbekämpfungsmaßnahmen der Welt, und die Regierung schreibt normalerweise zwei Wochen Quarantäne für Menschen vor, die auf das Festland zurückkehren. Piloten sind jedoch Ausnahmen gestattet. Einige müssen nicht unter Quarantäne gestellt werden, wenn sie nach ihrer Rückkehr nach China negativ auf das Virus getestet werden.
Folgendes sollten Sie in Coronavirus-Nachrichten aus der ganzen Welt noch wissen:
Mindestens 274 Journalisten auf der ganzen Welt befanden sich am 1. Dezember im Gefängnis, darunter einige, die über die Pandemie berichtet hatten. Dies geht aus einem Bericht hervor, der am frühen Dienstag vom Komitee zum Schutz von Journalisten, einer Interessenvertretung in New York, veröffentlicht wurde. Bemerkenswerterweise mindestens drei Journalisten in Ägypten wurden verhaftet, nachdem sie über die Reaktion ihrer Regierung auf das Coronavirus berichtet hatten. Einer von ihnen, Mohamed Monir, erkrankte an dem Coronavirus und starb einige Tage nach seiner Freilassung. in the HondurasDer Journalist David Romero, der zu Beginn der Pandemie eine 10-jährige Verleumdungsstrafe verbüßt hatte, starb im Gefängnis an den Komplikationen von Covid-19.
Die Europäische Arzneimittel-Agentur hat in einer Erklärung angekündigt, dass sie ein Treffen vorlegen wird, um zu entscheiden, ob der Pfizer-BioNTech-Impfstoff bis zum 21. Dezember zugelassen werden soll. Das Treffen war ursprünglich für den 29. Dezember geplant. Die Agentur, die Arzneimittel und Impfstoffe für überwacht das Europäische Union, sagte, es habe beschlossen, das Treffen zu beschleunigen, nachdem es auf Anfrage seiner Experten zusätzliche Daten vom Pharmaunternehmen erhalten habe.
Ab Mitte Januar können Reisende mit „begrenzter Anzahl von Geschäftsreisenden, Beamten mit hohem wirtschaftlichem Wert“ eine Einreisegenehmigung beantragen Singapur Für Aufenthalte von bis zu 14 Tagen teilte das Ministerium für Handel und Industrie des Inselstaates am Dienstag mit. Zugelassene Reisende müssen sich vor der Einreise sowie bei der Ankunft einem Covid-19-Test unterziehen. Sie werden außerdem regelmäßigen Tests unterzogen und müssen in dafür vorgesehenen Einrichtungen untergebracht werden.
Beamte in der PhilippinenAus Angst vor einem Anstieg der Coronavirus-Fälle während der Ferienzeit sagte am Dienstag, dass jeder, der in die Öffentlichkeit geht, einen Gesichtsschutz auf einer Gesichtsmaske tragen muss. Bisher waren Gesichtsschutzschilde nur für öffentliche Verkehrsmittel und in geschlossenen Räumen wie Einkaufszentren und Lebensmittelgeschäften erforderlich, während Masken seit April obligatorisch sind. Die Philippinen, ein Land mit mehr als 100 Millionen Einwohnern, hatten insgesamt mehr als 450.000 Fälle, einer der schlimmsten Ausbrüche in Südostasien.
Ältere Amerikaner sind entscheidend für den Erfolg der Impfkampagne in den USA. Es ist am wahrscheinlichsten, dass sie ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert werden und an Covid-19 sterben, und am seltensten, dass sie eine starke Immunantwort auf das Coronavirus entwickeln.
In einigen Bundesstaaten sind fast 40 Prozent der Todesfälle durch Covid-19 bei Bewohnern von Pflegeheimen aufgetreten. Aus diesem Grund empfahl ein beratender Ausschuss der Zentren für die Kontrolle und Prävention von Krankheiten, dass der Pfizer-BioNTech-Impfstoff zuerst den fast drei Millionen Bewohnern von Pflegeheimen verabreicht wird.
Ein Mitglied des Ausschusses stimmte jedoch gegen die Empfehlung und sagte, dass die Impfstoffe in gebrechlichen Bevölkerungsgruppen nicht ausreichend getestet worden seien und dass schlechte medizinische Ergebnisse, die mit der in dieser Altersgruppe üblichen Impfung zusammenfallen, das Vertrauen der Öffentlichkeit in den neuen Impfstoff untergraben könnten.
Andere Experten des Komitees sagten, dass alle verfügbaren Beweise darauf hinwiesen, dass der Impfstoff für Bewohner von Pflegeheimen und ältere Amerikaner im Allgemeinen sicher und wirksam sei.
Es gab einen Grund für Wissenschaftler, sich zu fragen, ob ein Impfstoff bei älteren Erwachsenen möglicherweise nicht so gut funktioniert. Mit zunehmendem Alter schwächt sich die körperliche Abwehr gegen Krankheitserreger ab, und auch die Reaktion auf Impfstoffe stockt.
Die Arzneimittelhersteller Sanofi und GlaxoSmithKline sagten am Freitag, dass ihr Impfstoff bei älteren Menschen nicht gut zu wirken scheint, da die Dosierung zu niedrig war, um eine ausreichende Immunantwort in dieser Population zu erzeugen.
Pfizer und Moderna haben keine Statistiken zur Wirksamkeit ihrer Impfstoffe bei Menschen über 80 Jahren vorgelegt, aber die Daten zeigen, dass die Impfstoffe bei allen Freiwilligen über 65 Jahren eine gute Leistung erbracht haben.
At a logistics depot in southern Seoul, couriers recently held a ritual at the start of another grueling work day: They stood for a moment of silence to remember 15 fellow couriers who they say died this year from overwork.
“We won’t be surprised here if one of us drops dead, too,” said Choi Ji-na, one of the couriers.
Ms. Choi, 43, and other delivery workers in South Korea say they feel lucky to have jobs amid growing unemployment, and that they are proud to play an essential role in keeping the country’s Covid-19 cases down by delivering record numbers of packages to customers who prefer to stay safe at home.
But they are also paying a price.
The string of deaths among couriers this year has caused a national uproar, drawing attention to worker protections that are unevenly distributed in a place that once had one of the longest workweeks in the world. Packages are expected to arrive with “bullet speed,” but the uninsured workers delivering them say that it is becoming impossible to keep up with the demand and that labor rule changes made by President Moon Jae-in have neglected them.
Couriers are some of the hardest-working, least protected workers in South Korea. From 2015 to 2019, only one to four couriers died per year. This year, nine couriers died in the first half of the year alone.
When Mr. Moon cut the maximum workweek to 52 hours from 68 in 2018 to ensure a “work-life balance” and a “right to rest,” couriers were left out of the deal.
Online orders have surged around the world, and demand for delivered goods in South Korea has grown by 30 percent, to 3.6 billion parcels this year, according to some estimates.
Most deliveries in South Korea are handled by large logistics companies. Those firms outsource the labor to couriers, who are independent subcontractors working on commission using their own trucks in assigned areas.
Shopping malls and logistics firms now promise even faster deliveries, offering “within the day,” “before dawn” and “bullet speed” options. But the fees collected by couriers have dropped. Workers now receive between 60 and 80 cents per parcel and have been hit with penalties when they fail to meet delivery deadlines.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has announced a raft of new restrictions as the country enters a second coronavirus wave, with infections expected to rise further over the festive season.
Alcohol sales will be restricted, curfews will be in place from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., and gatherings of more than 100 people indoors are banned across the country. In areas with the highest number of case, there will be even tighter restrictions, including the closing of beaches and public parks in some areas, Mr. Ramaphosa said in a televised address on Monday.
Four provinces are driving the surge in cases: Eastern Cape; Gauteng, the economic heart of the country; KwaZulu-Natal; and Western Cape, known for its wine routes and stunning beaches. Before the holiday season, when many gather at the seaside, beaches will be closed in Eastern Cape and along the Garden Route in Western Cape.
“The festive season now poses the greatest threat to the health and well-being of our nation,” Mr. Ramaphosa said in his broadcast.
The president warned that the resurgence threatened to overwhelm the South African health system, noting that, “if we do not act urgently and if we do not act together, the second wave will be more severe than the first wave.”
South Africa, the sub-Saharan region’s most developed economy, has recorded more than 866,000 coronavirus cases, according to a New York Times database. The average number of new daily cases has risen to more than 6,800, from around 3,800 a week ago, according to the database and government statistics. Officials said that another concern was the fact that new infections were highest among young people for the first time since the pandemic began.
The trend is being driven by student “rage” events — a series of alcohol-fueled parties, or gatherings at nightclubs and festivals, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, the South African health minister, said in a radio interview on Monday.
Dr. Mkhize said that the large number of these parties with “no adherence” to social distancing, adequate ventilation and other mitigation measures had led to several so-called superspreader events. After one big party in the southeastern coastal town of Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal Province this month, almost 1,000 students tested positive.