Coronavirus worldwide: tens of thousands of students celebrate in Spain, entry to England made easier for vaccinated people

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About 227 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.6 million infected people have died. About 5.8 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

In the Spanish capital of Madrid, some 25,000 young people celebrated a huge open-air party despite a ban. Social media showed participants dancing and drinking alcohol in open spaces between university buildings in Madrid on Saturday night (9/18), El País newspaper reported. A similar celebration with 8,000 participants was also reported from Barcelona’s Autonomous University campus, according to the newspaper La Vanguardia. In Spain, the winter semester has just begun. Outdoor parties often with lots of alcohol, called “botellones” in Spain, are prohibited. But the official nightlife in Spain is still subject to some restrictions because of Corona and is also often too expensive, especially for young people.

In Iran, according to the Ministry of Health, there are signs of a slight easing of the Corona situation. Case numbers are still relatively high because of the delta variant of the corona virus, but far lower than in the past four weeks, the ministry said Saturday (Sept. 18) on its Web portal. It said the number of daily corona deaths had dropped from more than 700 to nearly 350, and new infections from more than 50,000 to fewer than 13,000. Health experts cite the importation of foreign and completion of domestic vaccines in recent weeks as the reason for the turnaround. The hitherto sluggish progress of vaccinations has been greatly accelerated. Vaccination has also been carried out in public parks and military installations, among other places.

U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting a virtual Corona Summit next Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The goal is to bring together heads of state and government with non-governmental organizations to agree on a “common vision to combat” Corona, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced in Washington on Friday (Sept. 17). The central topic at the meeting will be improving equitable access to vaccine. Covid-19 testing, treatment options and the availability of protective equipment are also on the agenda, the statement added. In doing so, the meeting is expected to build on previous international forums such as the G7 summit. The General Debate of the U.N. General Assembly will be held Sept. 21-27 in New York.

The British government has relaxed Corona rules for vaccinated people traveling to England. From October 4, those who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to show proof of a negative test when entering England. It will also be possible to replace the previously required PCR test on the second day after arrival with an antigen test from the end of October, Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced on Friday (Sept. 17). The new rules will initially apply only to England. Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide independently on their Corona measures.
A panel of experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has voted by a large majority against general Corona booster vaccinations with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine. Only people 65 and older and those with prior disease should receive booster vaccinations, the influential group of scientists recommended Friday (Sept. 17) after hours of discussion. They said the available data did not justify a universal rollout of a third vaccine dose. President Joe Biden had advocated for another dose for everyone whose second vaccination was more than eight months ago in light of waning immunity to Covid-19.

  • source: nzz.ch/pictur:pixabay.com
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