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BERLIN – From nursing homes in France to hospitals in Poland, older Europeans and the workers who care for them rolled up their sleeves on Sunday to receive coronavirus vaccination shots as part of a campaign to vaccinate more than 450 million people across the European Union.
The vaccinations offered a rare respite as the continent grappled with one of its most precarious moments since the pandemic began.
Despite national bans, restrictions on movement, closings of restaurants and cancellations of Christmas gatherings, the virus has haunted Europe into the dark winter months. The spread of A more contagious variant of the virus in the UK has set off such an alarm that much of continental Europe has closed its borders to travelers from the country, putting the entire nation into quarantine.
For Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the vaccine couldn’t arrive soon enough. Italy’s suffering at the start of the pandemic warned the world and the current death toll is again among the worst in Europe.
“Today Italy is waking up again. It’s #VaccineDay. ” he wrote on Twitter A 29-year-old nurse at Spallanzani Hospital in Rome was the first person to be vaccinated. “This date will stay with us forever.”
The nurse, Claudia Alivernini, said she hoped the vaccination campaign would signal “the beginning of the end” of the pandemic.
In Spain, a 96-year-old great-grandmother, Araceli Rosario Hidalgo, was the first to receive the vaccine. The Los Olmos nursing home where she lives is in Guadalajara. A city with a special warehouse where the first doses of the vaccine were transported from Belgium on Saturday.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter that the Vaccinations marked “a hopeful new chapter”.
Similar scenes played out across the continent, although not every member of the block followed the rollout plans. In Germany, a nursing home in Anhalt in eastern Saxony jumped the gun and vaccinated dozens of residents and employees on Saturday, hours after the cans had arrived. Officials in the Netherlands said they wanted to start vaccinations on Jan. 8.
But all E.U. The member states now have a supply of vaccines that they can distribute.
Early Sunday, dozens of minivans carrying coolers filled with dry ice to keep the doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine from rising above minus 70 degrees Celsius fanned out to nursing homes across the German capital. The rollout comes as Europe’s largest nation is facing its deadliest phase since the pandemic began.
With nearly 1,000 deaths per day in Germany in the week before Christmas, a crematorium in the East Saxon country was in operation around the clock to keep up.
“I’ve never seen it so badly,” said Eveline Müller, the director of the facility in the city of Görlitz.
More than 350,000 people in the 27 countries of the European Union have died of Covid-19 since the block’s first death was recorded in France on February 15. For many countries the worst days have come in recent weeks. In Poland, November was the deadliest month since the end of World War II.
European Union member states showed solidarity by waiting for the bloc’s regulator to approve the vaccine before embarking on coordinated national campaigns. But how these will develop in individual countries is likely to vary.
All Member States have national health systems so people are vaccinated for free. However, just as hospitals in poorer Member States like Bulgaria and Romania have been overwhelmed by the recent virus wave, networks in these countries will face challenges in distributing vaccines.
While each nation determines how their campaign will be conducted, the first phase generally focuses on those who are most at risk and most likely to experience serious health problems – health care workers and the oldest citizens.
Most Member States have announced that the vaccine will reach the general public by spring.
When Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis got his shot on Sunday, he encouraged citizens to get one too. “This is the only way we can regain control of our lives and hug the people we love,” he said.
Raphael Minder contributed to the coverage.
The European Union’s introduction of the coronavirus vaccine officially started on Sunday, but each nation sets its own schedule. Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Spain and Poland were among the first to offer vaccinations. Other nations are to follow on Monday and Tuesday. The Netherlands should be the last to start.
The first Dutch citizens are not expected to be vaccinated until January 8th.
During the pandemic, the Dutch response has been criticized as unpredictable. Many wondered how one of the richest and best organized countries in Europe could not do more to keep coronavirus infections low.
Two weeks ago, the Netherlands initiated a second ban, which will last until January 19. Hugo de Jonge, the Dutch health minister, said last week that vaccinating the country’s 17 million citizens “takes time” and “should be done with caution”. to prevent further deaths and ensure wide acceptance. He had to defend the plan from critics who were disappointed with the delay. “The success of a vaccine does not depend on starting a week early, but on being careful and safe,” he told local media. “Caution makes an important contribution to the acceptance of vaccinations.”
In first place are those aged 60 and over with pre-existing illnesses, followed by older citizens without illnesses – around 6.5 million people – according to the Dutch Health Council. Healthy people under the age of 60 cannot be vaccinated before August.
But many Dutch people – skeptical after the government’s promises for national programs to fight the virus fell apart – are wondering whether the mass vaccination project will also go awry.
In a rare televised address announcing the second lockdown, which limited gatherings over Christmas to just three guests per household and forcing all non-essential businesses to close, Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged citizens to accept the restrictions in order to live rescue.
“Every day, an average of 60 people die from Covid-19. Around 9,000 new infections are registered every day, ”said Rutte. “It’s an entire football stadium made by people in less than six days.”
As he spoke, demonstrators shouted anti-lock slogans and beat pots and pans outside his office before being broken up by the police for not having permission to demonstrate.
Many Dutch people had disregarded requests for social distancing, and shoppers outside shops in the university city of Leiden laughed at their own disobedience. Even when the lockdown took effect, the streets were full of people strolling and enjoying takeaway coffee.
WASHINGTON – Lawmakers on Sunday called on President Trump to sign a comprehensive $ 900 billion aid package after millions of Americans lost their unemployment insurance on Saturday as the president suspended the fate of the measure by ruling on major relief efforts urged.
Mr Trump’s opposition to signing the bill risks preventing millions of unemployed Americans from receiving significant benefits, jeopardizing other critical aid to businesses and families that will expire by the end of the year, and increasing the possibility of a government shutdown on Tuesday.
The president blinded lawmakers last week when he called a “disgrace” an auxiliary compromise that largely passed both chambers and was negotiated by his own finance minister and administrative officer. He hinted that if lawmakers did not increase the law’s $ 600 direct payment checks to $ 2,000, he could veto the move, and Mr Trump, largely absent from negotiating the compromise, doubled those Criticism on Saturday and offered little clarity about his plans. A White House spokesman declined to state what the president was up to.
If the president doesn’t sign the $ 2.3 trillion spending package that includes pandemic aid and funding to keep the government open last Monday, coverage of two federal unemployment programs that expanded and expanded the benefits will stop on Ended Saturday for millions of unemployed.
“Neither of us totally liked the bill – it’s in the nature of the legislation, you won’t end up with anything perfect – but we passed it because that was the number we agreed,” said Illinois Republican representative Adam Kinzinger Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “I don’t understand what’s being done, why, unless it’s all about creating chaos, showing power and being upset because you lost the choice. Otherwise I don’t understand because that will just be done got to. “
Several lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders, regardless of Vermont, said Mr. Trump shouldn’t delay signing the legislation and instead approve a separate bill that includes the $ 2,000 check.
“What the president is doing right now is incredibly cruel,” Sanders said on ABC’s This Week. “Given the terrible economic crisis in this country, we have to give every worker in this country $ 2,000, $ 500 for their child. But you can’t play around with the bill. “
Members of the bipartisan group who helped break the congestion over a business cycle deal issued a statement calling on Mr. Trump to either sign or veto the bill and “allow proponents to act before it.” it’s too late ”.
Two governors also said the time for negotiations was over. Speaking to State of the Union, Michigan Democrat Gretchen Whitmer said she had long supported stimulus checks worth $ 2,000, but that it was too late to make such requests.
“Sign the bill, do it, and if the president wants to push for more, let’s do it, too,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who also appeared on the show.
Another Washington governor, Jay Inslee, said Mr. Trump “has decided to take the entire aid package hostage”. Mr Inslee, a Democrat, announced Sunday that the state would provide $ 54 million to nearly 100,000 people who want to lose unemployment benefits.
Despite harsh criticism of Mr Trump, two elected progressive officials joined the president’s call for greater direct payments. In State of the Union, New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman claimed that after his defeat in November the president “is taking an attitude to make himself and bring himself back as a hero of the American people”. But like Mr. Trump he said, Americans needed more relief.
“It has to be at least $ 2,000, so he has to speak to his Republican friends and say, ‘Give the people the money,” said Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, who also called the $ 600 figure “a slap in the face.” “denoted people who suffer.”
Democrats, who have long been campaigning to increase financial relief spread across the country, plan to hold a vote on Monday to approve a standalone bill that will increase payments to $ 2,000. It’s unclear whether this legislation will stand a chance in the Senate, where Republicans have long been opposed to spending more than $ 1 trillion on pandemic aid.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey said he would oppose such a move and urged the president to sign the bill, adding that “time is running out”.
“I understand that he wants to be remembered for campaigning for big checks,” Toomey said on Fox News Sunday. “But the danger is that if he allows this to happen, he will be remembered for chaos, misery and unpredictable behavior.”
Towards the end of 2020 we will again deal with issues whose lives were affected by the pandemic. When Sabrina Tavernise spoke to for the first time Valicia Anderson In April, the 45-year-old wife and mother had to do some thought to find a single person they knew who wasn’t recently unemployed.
The Anderson family still hurts in Las Vegas.
The Rio Casino finally reopened on December 22nd. But the restaurant at the casino where Jovaun Anderson worked until March, Guy Fieri’s El Burro Burracho, has not reopened, and the family has not heard of when it might be.
Valicia Anderson, Jovaun’s wife, said the family will lose their health insurance in February if Jovaun is still unemployed. It’s a frightening prospect because her daughter Nylah needs frequent medical care.
In an email, Ms. Anderson said Jovaun had filed applications elsewhere but couldn’t find a job. They are still getting food aid from food banks. In October, they had to choose between paying the rent and paying for their car. They chose to rent, she said, and as a result her car was taken back. They are now taking the bus to the doctors for Nylah and the food banks, worried that they will contract the virus while driving.
Evidence of financial trouble is nowhere hard to find, but the economic ramifications of the pandemic have been particularly merciless in Las Vegas, where a third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industries. Most of this work cannot be done from home. After the Vegas Strip closed, thousands of restaurant, hotel and casino workers were unemployed.
It’s been a tough year for the Andersons, and it’s been a very tough Christmas.
Ms. Anderson said they couldn’t afford to buy Nylah gifts like they did in years past, and it hurts. She said they followed the news from Washington and feared that her husband’s unemployment benefits could end for good.
“The stress is unimaginable,” she said in the email. “The pandemic is not our fault. My husband and I were stable, our lives were fine. “
She added, “I just want our lives back.”
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the first vaccinations of coronavirus vaccines go to people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, as well as to frontline doctors, nurses, and health care workers, and there has been little disagreement about these instructions.
But who should be vaccinated next?
“There is a consensus on what we call the A1 group,” said Mike DeWine, governor of Ohio, on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. “People who risk their lives every day and where we have suffered the most losses and that is in our nursing homes.”
“I think there will likely be more lack of consensus among people in general as you go beyond that first group,” DeWine said.
In guidelines based on recommendations from an independent panel of experts, the C.D.C. sets the next two rounds of vaccination known as Phase 1b and Phase 1c. Phase 1b would involve people aged 75 and over, as well as key frontline workers in non-healthcare professions. Frontline workers include firefighters, police officers, postal workers, grocery store clerks, public transport clerks, and teachers.
Phase 1c would include people between the ages of 65 and 74, those between the ages of 16 and 64 with underlying diseases, and other key workers in occupations such as catering, construction and public health.
But not all governors follow suit. Some have given certain people in the phase 1c group a higher priority and people in phase 1b a lower priority.
“The next wave will be different from state to state,” said Adm. Brett P. Giroir, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, who is the Administration’s testing coordinator, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
He noted that Texas Governor Greg Abbott was planning to give priority to people over 65. “Because these are the people, they will go to the hospitals,” said Adm. Giroir. “It’s not the 24-year-old frontline worker who has little risk of infection and very, very little risk of serious results, it’s over 65 years of age.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also gives priority to people over 70, Adm said. Giroir.
“I think variability is vital because when the hospitals are full, the first priority really has to be to save lives and reduce the burden on hospitals,” said the admiral. “You see that in Texas and Florida, and you probably see that in many other states.”
The C.D.C. puts teachers and others who work in education in phase 1b, but adm. Giroir suggested that most states would bring them down unless they were suffering from the underlying health conditions.
“Young healthy teachers shouldn’t be at any higher risk than young healthy people in another profession,” he said. “They’ll likely be lower on the priority scale because we have to deal with those who are vulnerable first – those who will die who are hospitalized.”
Much of the United States played it safe over Christmas as the coronavirus raged across the country.
But a significant number of Americans traveled, and there were countless gatherings, as they will do over the New Year break.
And that, according to the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, Anthony S. Fauci could in cases mean new peaks in addition to the existing increase.
“We could very well see an increase after the season – in the sense of Christmas, New Years -” said Dr. Fauci on CNN’s State of the Union.
“We are really at a very critical point,” he said. “If you put more pressure on the system with a potentially off-season surge due to travel and the likely gathering of people, you know that it is very difficult for people to be together on vacation, not doing that. “
On Fox News Sunday, Adm. Brett P. Giroir, the administration’s testing coordinator, notes that Thanksgiving travel did not lead to an increase in cases in all locations, suggesting that many people are making recommendations about wearing masks and limiting the size of attended gatherings.
“It really depends on what travelers do when they get where they want to go,” said Admiral Giroir. “We know that the actual physical process of traveling in airplanes can be fairly safe because of the air cleaning systems, for example. What we really worry about is mixing up different bubbles once you get to your destination. “
Still, the number of cases in the US is higher than ever before. The total number of infections was more than 19 million as of Saturday, meaning at least one in 17 people will contract the virus as the pandemic progresses. And the virus has killed more than 332,000 people – one in a thousand in the country.
Two of the worst deaths of the year were in the past week. A number of states, including Alabama, Wisconsin, Arizona, and West Virginia, issued death certificates on December 22nd or 23rd, according to the Times.
Hospital stays are hovering around 120,000 pandemics, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
With this in mind, millions of people have traveled across the United States, albeit much less than usual.
Around 3.8 million people passed the Transportation Safety Administration’s travel checkpoints between December 23 and 26, compared with 9.5 million on those days the previous year. Only a quarter of the number who flew the day after Christmas last year did so on Friday, and trips on Christmas Eve were down by a third from 2019.
And AAA’s forecast that more than 81 million Americans would travel by car for the December 23 through January 3 holiday season, about a third less than last year.
Currently, the US is no longer experiencing explosive growth, although the worsening California outbreak has undermined advances in other parts of the country. The state added more than 300,000 cases in the seven-day period ending December 22nd. There have been ongoing cases in six southern states over the past week: Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas.
Vacation reporting anomalies can mask an increase after Christmas until after the second week of January. Tests were expected to decrease around Christmas and New Years, and many states said they would not report data on certain days.
On Christmas Day, the numbers for new infections (91,922) and deaths (1,129) were well below the seven-day averages. But on Saturday the number of new infections rose to 225,800 new cases and the number of deaths to over 1,640, an expected increase from Friday as some states reported numbers for two days after Christmas.
The coronavirus vaccine has finally arrived in New York, but only a select group of people at risk are said to be given it first.
These rules haven’t stopped others from getting the vaccine, including unauthorized doctors in some hospitals. Now the state is investigating whether a network of health clinics in New York was providing vaccinations to members of the public who weren’t members of state-prioritized groups – the most vulnerable health care workers and residents and employees of nursing homes.
The State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, announced an investigation into the clinics, in which he said, “Possibly obtained the Covid-19 vaccine fraudulently, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state and distributed it to members of the public in violation of state guidelines. “
The clinics are operated by the ParCare Community Health Network, which has locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Kiryas Joel, a village northwest of the city. The Rabbinical Alliance of America shared a photo on Twitter This is to show that ParCare’s executive director, Gary Schlesinger, received the vaccine.
The post has since been deleted, but a ParCare representative confirmed that Mr. Schlesinger had received the vaccine because he works in the clinics every day. The representative said in a statement emailed that he had followed all state procedures to obtain and distribute the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.
Advertisements for vaccines appeared on ParCare Twitter feed on December 16, two days after the Pfizer vaccine was first administered in New York. The advertisement says, “The vaccines will be made available upon availability.” Patients were asked to register through a website or by scanning a QR code. More than 850 have been managed, the company representative said.
Der tschechische Premierminister Andrej Babis erhielt am Sonntag die erste Coronavirus-Impfung seines Landes, gefolgt von einem Veteranen des Zweiten Weltkriegs, als die Nation sowohl eine Impfkampagne als auch eine strengere Sperre startete, um einer zweiten Infektionswelle entgegenzutreten, die Osteuropa erfasst .
Seine Impfung – wie die der politischen Führer in Bulgarien, Griechenland und mehreren anderen Nationen – sollte teilweise die Skepsis gegenüber Coronavirus-Impfstoffen überwinden.
“Der Impfstoff, der gestern aus der Europäischen Union eingetroffen ist, ist eine Hoffnung, eine Hoffnung, dass wir zu einem normalen Leben zurückkehren”, sagte Babis, bevor er den Stich im Prager Militärkrankenhaus erhielt.
In einer Umfrage, die letzte Woche in Polen veröffentlicht wurde, gaben nur 17 Prozent der Befragten an, dass sie so schnell wie möglich geimpft werden möchten. Die von der Warschauer Medizinischen Universität und dem Meinungsforscher ARC Rynek i Opinia durchgeführte Umfrage ergab, dass ein weiteres Viertel der Befragten lieber warten würde, während 38 Prozent laut der polnischen Zeitung Gazeta Wyborcza angaben, überhaupt nicht geimpft zu werden.
Es gibt jedoch soziale Anreize für die Impfung von Menschen.
In Polen sind diejenigen, die einen Impfnachweis vorlegen können, von der Beschränkung für Versammlungen außerhalb des Hauses befreit und müssen sich bei der Einreise nicht den vorgeschriebenen 10 Tagen Quarantäne unterziehen.
Polen wurde während der ersten Viruswelle weitgehend verschont, hat aber in den letzten Monaten das Land durchbohrt. Da die Krankenhäuser Schwierigkeiten hatten, die Nachfrage zu befriedigen, und die Zahl der Todesopfer stieg, wurden die Bewegungsbeschränkungen nach Weihnachten wieder eingeführt.
Obwohl die Impfbemühungen der Europäischen Union am Sonntag gemeinsam in den Mitgliedstaaten beginnen sollten, hatten sowohl die Slowakei als auch Ungarn am Samstag einen Vorsprung, kurz nachdem die Dosen in ihren Ländern eingetroffen waren.
Die koordinierten Bemühungen in den 27 Mitgliedstaaten des Blocks sollen sicherstellen, dass die kleineren Mitglieder den größeren, reicheren Ländern wie Deutschland und den Niederlanden gleichgestellt werden.
Jede E.U. Der Mitgliedstaat entscheidet, welche Gruppen priorisiert werden sollen. Österreich und Slowenien konzentrieren sich auf Bewohner von Pflegeeinrichtungen, während in der Slowakei Ärzte, Krankenschwestern und andere medizinische Fachkräfte an erster Stelle stehen.
„Wir wissen, dass die Pandemie heute nicht nur mit einem Schlag vorbei sein wird“, sagte Bundeskanzler Sebastian Kurz aus Österreich sagte auf Twitter. “Aber der Impfstoff ist der Beginn unseres Sieges über die Pandemie – der Impfstoff verändert das Spiel!”
Papst Franziskus, dessen Impfpläne vom Vatikan nicht veröffentlicht wurden, begrüßte am Sonntag die Ankunft eines Coronavirus-Impfstoffs in Italien.
Speaking from a library in the Vatican instead of St. Peter’s Square, where he would usually greet the faithful on Sundays, the pope said his thoughts were with families who have suffered because of the pandemic.
He said his thoughts were also with “the doctors, nurses and health care professionals on the front lines, whose commitment to fight the coronavirus has had important repercussions on family life.”
The Vatican’s own vaccination campaign to inoculate its citizens, employees and their families, though not children under 18, is expected to kick off in January.
The first doses in Italy were given shortly after 7 a.m. on Sunday to three health care workers at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital for infectious diseases, prompting a round of applause.
“It’s the beginning of the end,” Claudia Alivernini, a nurse at the hospital, told Italy’s state news channel. She said she was “honored” and “grateful” to be part of a “day we will never forget.”
In all, nearly 10,000 doses were given on Sunday, and the Italian news media was filled with videos of people being given jabs in the nation’s hospitals, where frontline workers were given priority.
Domenico Arcuri, the official overseeing the logistics of Italy’s coronavirus response, said that 470,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be arriving per week.
“Today is not a day of polemics. All the European countries will begin together, and will all arrive together,” he told reporters in Rome, responding to concerns that most Italians will not receive the vaccine for months.
Italian newspapers greeted the campaign’s start with enthusiasm but tempered expectations. “Vaccine, a Beginning for Few, the Real Campaign is in April,” read a front-page headline in the Roman daily Il Messaggero.
Italian officials say they hope that about 30,000 doses a day can be administered, seven days a week. The push has started with health care workers and nursing home residents, a process that officials estimate will take at least eight weeks.
Next in line will be Italy’s oldest citizens and other at-risk groups. By the end of February, colorful flower-shaped pavilions are expected to be installed in 1,500 public squares as part of the country’s vaccination campaign.
“Am I famous now?” Kurt Klingseisen, 90, asked as he and his wife, Helga, 83, rolled up their sleeves to receive injections of the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Sunday morning in the southern German state of Bavaria.
The couple, who live in a nursing home in Germering, were among the first to be inoculated in Germany, whose scientists played a lead role in developing the vaccine.
“This is a day of hope,” Dilek Kalayci, Berlin’s leading health official, said after the first residents in the capital received their jabs. “This vaccine is a stroke of luck. That we even have a vaccine after only 10 months is not to be taken for granted.”
Unlike some other European countries, where political leaders were first in line to receive the vaccine in an effort to raise public confidence, members of the German government said they would wait for their turn.
For days, doctors had been visiting the homes, explaining to residents what would happen on Sunday when the nationwide immunization program began. They secured residents’ willingness to accept the vaccine, which was developed in the western city of Mainz by the firm BioNTech and produced and distributed together with the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Semi-trucks carrying about 150,000 doses arrived in Germany under police escort and distributed them to 400 vaccination centers across the country. Teams of volunteer doctors are administering the jabs free of charge to the public.
Early Sunday, the first vaccinators fanned out to nursing homes across the country. Many of Germany’s 29,778 recorded deaths from Covid have been residents in such facilities. Based on a plan drawn up by government officials, medical experts and members of a national Ethics Council, people age 80 and older and their caregivers are being prioritized, followed by medical and other frontline workers.
Delays were reported in eight districts in the southeastern region of Bavaria, where the authorities said thermometer readings in the coolers used to transport doses showed that the temperature may have risen above the maximum 8 degrees Celsius, or 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Officials said they would consult with BioNTech over the safety of the roughly 1,000 doses involved before deciding whether they could be used.
By the end of the year, Germany expects to receive 1.3 million doses, and officials have said they hope the vaccine will be available to the wider public by the summer.
The next challenge will be to persuade people skeptical of the vaccine to be inoculated. About two-thirds of people in Germany are willing to be vaccinated, according to a recent survey by YouGov and the German news agency D.P.A.
“Everyone who participates is saving lives,” Jens Spahn, the health minister, said at the launch of the vaccine campaign. “The vaccine is the key to getting out of this pandemic.”
The coronavirus did not start Turkey’s economic ails, but it greatly worsened them.
The country had been grappling with a falling currency and double-digit inflation for two years when the pandemic hit in March, adding to a deep recession. Nine months in, as a second wave of the virus sweeps through Turkey, there are signs that a significant portion of the population is overwhelmed by debt and increasingly going hungry.
For President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who drew attention this year at home and abroad with an aggressive foreign policy and military interventions, things suddenly came to a head in November.
The government admitted that it had been understating the extent of Turkey’s coronavirus outbreak by not recording asymptomatic cases, and new data revealed record infection levels in the country.
Hacer Foggo, founder of the Deep Poverty Network, a group that helps street traders and informal workers, said that in her nearly 20 years of working to alleviate urban poverty in Turkey she had never seen such distress.
Ms. Foggo laid the blame squarely on local and national governments for their lack of strategy for confronting growing poverty and failing to improve social services.
Indeed, the economic tailspin came after Mr. Erdogan tightened his reins on the country, including over the economy, by acquiring sweeping new powers under a new presidential system inaugurated in 2018. International monitors cite those changes as a main reason for their alarm about the country’s economic plunge.
Updates from elsewhere around the world:
Argentina will begin its coronavirus inoculation campaign on Tuesday, using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Ginés González García, the country’s health minister, said on Twitter on Saturday. It is the fourth country in Latin America to start vaccinating its population, after Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica.
Japan on Saturday reported record new coronavirus infections both nationwide and in the capital, Tokyo, where there were more than 900 new cases for the first time. Nationally there were almost 3,900 new infections. On Sunday, Tokyo reported an additional 708 cases. Officials in Japan, where there have been several cases involving the new British variant, have closed the country’s borders to all nonresident foreigners from midnight on Monday through the end of January.
Israel is also set on Sunday to enter its third weekslong lockdown after a sharp increase in coronavirus cases over the past week. Israelis will be barred from traveling more than 1,000 meters beyond their homes except those participating in protests, receiving a vaccination or fulfilling any other task on a list of exemptions, the government said on Friday. The country has also begun vaccinating people. As of Saturday, more than 200,000 had received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Saturday extended a ban on flights from Britain until mid-January, in an effort to limit the spread of the new coronavirus variant. He also lashed out at the United States, saying that the fate of the Visiting Forces Agreement that allows U.S. forces to rotate through Philippine bases would depend on his country’s ability to secure doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Two people in Australia accused of leaving hotel quarantine without permission on Saturday have been apprehended, the police said. A 24-year-old man who had traveled to Melbourne from Sydney told a local radio station that he had been wrongly sent to hotel quarantine instead of being allowed to self-isolate at home, and that his anxiety had driven him to flee after he was told repeatedly that he would soon be released, The Age reported. In Perth, a 49-year-old woman who had recently arrived from Madrid was in police custody after leaving her hotel, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In both places, breaching quarantine can result in fines of thousands of dollars.
Canada, France, Japan, Spain and Norway have found small numbers of infections involving a new, potentially more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, most linked to travel from Britain, where it was first detected.
The rapid spread of the variant led to the lockdown of London and southern England, prompted a temporary French blockade of the English Channel and resulted in countries around the world barring travelers coming from Britain. Because few countries have the level of genomic surveillance that Britain does, there is concern that the variant may have been traveling across the world undetected for weeks.
A recent study by British scientists found no evidence that the variant was more deadly than others but estimated that it was 56 percent more contagious.
The British variant has been diagnosed in seven people in Japan, the country’s health ministry said. All had either recently traveled to Britain or were in contact with someone who had.
The discovery in Japan prompted the country to close its borders to all new entry by nonresident foreigners. The ban will go into effect at midnight on Monday and last through the end of January, the public broadcaster NHK reported.
In Spain, the variant was found in the capital region, the local authorities said on Saturday. Antonio Zapatero, a regional health official, said that four cases had been confirmed in Madrid, while another three were being treated as suspicious. At least two of the cases involve people who had recently been to Britain and then tested positive in Madrid, as well as some of their relatives.
In France, the first case of the new variant was identified on Friday, according to the country’s health ministry. Officials said the patient was a French citizen living in Britain who had traveled from London to Tours, a city in central France, on Dec. 19, a day before the British government imposed a lockdown because of the variant.
Officials in Sweden said on Saturday that a case of the variant had been detected there after a traveler visited Sormland, near Stockholm, from Britain over Christmas, Reuters reported.
Health officials in Ontario, Canada, said on Saturday that they had confirmed two cases of the variant in the province. The two cases included a couple from Durham, about 90 miles northwest of Toronto. The couple had no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts, the province’s health ministry said.
And on Sunday, the Institute of Public Health in Oslo reported that two travelers from Britain who had entered Norway this month had the new variant, according to Reuters.
It is normal for viruses to mutate, and most of the coronavirus mutations have proved minor. The British variant has a constellation of 23 mutations, several of which might alter its transmissibility. Vaccine experts are confident that the available vaccines will be able to block the new variant, although that has to be confirmed by laboratory experiments that are now underway.
A few other concerning variants have also been identified, including one in South Africa and another in Nigeria. Britain said on Thursday that it would ban travel from South Africa after the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said two people were confirmed to have been infected with the variant that emerged there.
Germany, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Australia and Singapore have identified infections with the new variant. And Denmark, which has wider genomic surveillance than many other countries, detected 33 cases of it from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14, according to the Danish health authorities.
The United States has not yet reported any cases of the British variant. But the country will require all airline passengers arriving from Britain to test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. The rule will take effect on Monday.
Hisako Ueno and Mike Ives contributed reporting.
The Cantab: A dive bar that drew poets, too.
Before Cambridge, Mass., became a tech boomtown, the Cantab sat on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue that was genuinely grungy. The bar took only cash. It was always sticky, and you wouldn’t want to use the bathroom.
But if you wandered in there on the right night, you could find a poetry slam or bluegrass night or Little Joe Cook and the Thrillers. Ben Affleck’s father used to work there, serving Budweisers to off-duty postal workers.
In July, when the Cantab’s owner, Richard Fitzgerald, announced that he was putting it up for sale after 50 years, a howl of distress went up from that old, scruffy bohemian Cambridge. Mr. Fitzgerald, known as Fitzy, hopes to find a new buyer to reopen the place in the summer — let’s hope in its old, sticky style. – – Ellen Barry
The Cake Cafe and Bakery: Long mornings over crab omelets and cupcakes.
On Saturday and Sunday, mornings the line ran out the door. People waited for French toast, biscuits and gravy, and crab omelets the size of phone books; you could add a cupcake for a dollar.
The staff knew most of the customers on sight, except during carnival season when the tourists flocked. By that time, those in the know had already ordered a king cake, in competition with the best in the city. It closed in June. — Campbell Robertson
The Original Hot Dog Shop: It was never really about the hot dogs
The warnings about the fries were as legendary as the fries themselves.
The large is huge!
Order it with friends.
Seriously, you can’t eat it by yourself.
The Original Hot Dog Shop had “hot dog” right there in the name, but it was the fries — perfectly cut, fried twice in peanut oil to extra crispness, served in a huge pile in a paper basket, with side cups of beef gravy or cheese product — that people talked about.
The University of Pittsburgh’s student newspaper reported that when the O, as the hot dog shop was known, closed in April, the owners served up one more giant order of fries, donating 35,000 pounds of potatoes to charity. — Scott Dodd
The Ma’am Sir restaurant: A Filipino spot with a boisterous vibe.
When Charles Olalia decided to open a Filipino restaurant in Los Angeles’s hip Silver Lake district, he wished to “showcase my country’s food and vibe: beautiful, boisterous, loving” to a wide audience, he said.
Ma’am Sir opened in 2018 to rave reviews for its creative renditions of signature Filipino dishes, like sizzling pork sisig and oxtail kare-kare.
“Ma’am Sir was different,” said Cheryl Balolong, 41, who grew up visiting traditional Filipino cafeteria-style joints in strip malls. “It was a place where we felt proud to bring friends who weren’t from our culture.”
Then the pandemic struck. By August, Mr. Olalia had shut the place down. “Day after day, putting food in a box and seeing an empty dining room, I was getting farther and farther away from what the restaurant really was and why I built it,” he said. — Miriam Jordan
A judge’s ruling to delay the execution of the only woman on federal death row could push the new date into the early days of the administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has vowed to work to end federal capital punishment.
The woman, Lisa Montgomery, was scheduled to be executed on Dec. 8, but that date was delayed after two of her lawyers tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after traveling to a federal prison in Texas to visit her in November.
Should Ms. Montgomery’s life be spared as a result of the delays from her lawyers’ infection, it would be a rare reprieve for a prisoner from a virus that has swept through prisons, infecting inmates crammed into shared spaces.
The Justice Department had rescheduled her execution for Jan. 12, but Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Thursday that the January execution date had been unlawfully rescheduled because a stay order issued because of her lawyers’ illnesses was still in effect.
Ms. Montgomery, of Melvern, Kan., was convicted in 2008 of killing a pregnant woman and cutting a baby from her abdomen. She tried to pass off the baby as her own before admitting to the crime.
Ms. Montgomery’s lawyers have said that she has severe mental illness, which was inherited from both of her parents and worsened by abuse endured as a child, including being sex-trafficked by her mother and gang-raped by men.
The stay in Ms. Montgomery’s case barred the government from executing her before Dec. 31. How long the government will wait to execute her after that point remains unclear. Federal rules state that execution notices must be given to prisoners at least 20 days in advance, but when the rescheduled date is fewer than 20 days from the original date, the prisoner must be notified only “as soon as possible.”
Marie Fazio and Hailey Fuchs contributed reporting.
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — When the pandemic began, global public health officials raised grave concerns about the vulnerabilities of Africa. But its countries over all appeared to fare far better than those in Europe or the Americas, upending scientists’ expectations.
Now, the coronavirus is on the rise again in areas of the continent, posing a new and possibly deadlier threat.
In South Africa, a crush of new cases that spread from Port Elizabeth is growing steeply across the nation. Eight countries, including Mali, Nigeria and Uganda, recently recorded their highest daily case counts all year.
“The second wave is here,” John N. Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has declared.
When the virus was first detected, many African countries were considered particularly at risk because they had weak medical, laboratory and disease-surveillance systems and were already battling other contagions. Some were torn by armed conflict, limiting health workers’ access. In March, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African director-general of the World Health Organization, cautioned, “We have to prepare for the worst.”
But many African governments pursued swift, severe lockdowns that — while financially ruinous, especially for their poorest citizens — slowed the rate of infection. Some deployed networks of community health workers. The Africa C.D.C., the W.H.O. and other agencies helped expand testing and moved in protective gear, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
The reported toll of the pandemic on the continent — 2.6 million cases and 61,000 deaths, according to the Africa C.D.C. — is lower than what the United States alone currently experiences in three weeks. But that accounting is almost certainly incomplete.
Evidence is growing that many cases were missed, according to an analysis of new studies, visits to nearly a dozen medical institutions and interviews with more than 100 public health officials, scientists, government leaders and medical providers on the continent.
“It is possible and very likely that the rate of exposure is much more than what has been reported,” Dr. Nkengasong said in an interview.
California, the wealthiest and most populous state of the world’s wealthiest country, has long had a dearth of hospital beds — just 1.8 beds per 1,000 people, according to 2018 data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now a record-shattering slew of coronavirus cases has wiped out intensive care unit capacity in a large swath of the state.
Southern California, its most populous region, and San Joaquin Valley, a central region, have 0 percent I.C.U. capacity, keeping them under a stay-at-home order until at least Dec. 28, the California Department of Public Health said on Saturday.
Intensive care units in the Bay Area region are at 11.3 percent capacity and the Greater Sacramento Region has 16.9 percent capacity. Both will likely remain under the order at least into the new year.
Before the pandemic, California’s ratio of hospital beds per person was only slightly higher than Washington State and Oregon, both of which ranked last in the nation. Many of the state’s hospitals kept their number of beds low in part to limit costs.
I.C.U. beds have been limited as well: California only had 2.1 beds per 10,000 people, more plentiful than just 10 other states, according to KFF’s 2018 data.
California is the first U.S. state to report more than 2 million coronavirus cases so far. On Friday, the weekly average of new cases per day in the state was 36,418, according to a New York Times database. That is a 21 percent increase from two weeks prior.
The situation is now out of control, officials and health care workers have warned. At Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles, resources are so stretched that gurneys have been placed in the gift shop and the lobby is being used to treat patients. And keeping health care facilities sufficiently staffed has been yet another hurdle.
Israel entered its third nationwide lockdown Sunday afternoon after a jump in positive coronavirus test results over the past week.
The lockdown, which is expected to last at least two weeks, comes amid Israel’s effort to vaccinate a wide swath of its population in the next month.
Israelis are barred from traveling more than one kilometer (or 0.6 mile) beyond their homes save for a number of exceptions, including participating in protests, attending a legal proceeding, receiving a vaccination, among others, the Israeli government decided late last week.
Museums, malls, national parks, zoos, salons, clothing stores and many other places are not allowed to open, the government decision stipulated. Restaurants are permitted only to offer delivery.
While the lockdown came into effect on Sunday, the Knesset, which is required to vote on the restrictions, still has not made a decision on most of them.
On Sunday, however, the Parliament’s education committee overturned the government’s decision to only allow some schools to remain open. On Monday, all schools are expected to be open.
Israel has averaged 3,683 virus cases per day over the past week — a significantly higher number than the preceding seven days, according to a New York Times database.
On Sunday, Yuli Edelstein, the health minister, called on Israelis to take it upon themselves to abide by the lockdown.
“If we all act responsibly, we will see the large light at the end of the pandemic,” Mr. Edelstein said.
Israeli officials have emphasized that they hope the vaccine will enable the country to restore a sense of normalcy in the near future.
As of Sunday, health professionals had already administered more than 300,000 doses of the vaccine, making the country the most inoculated population per capita in the world.
In a recorded message released on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was aiming to begin vaccinating 150,000 people per day within the coming week.