Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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A roundup of the latest salient news from around the world on the coronavirus pandemic:

French President has again ruled out making the vaccine mandatory

France president, Emmanuel Macron, has again ruled out making the vaccine mandatory.

In a Twitter thread to mark the start of vaccination in France and Europe, Macron urged the French to trust in science by agreeing to have the jab.

One in three people in France thinks vaccines in general are unsafe—the highest figure for any country, according to research by the Wellcome Trust.

A health worker receives the vaccine against COVID-19 in Sao Joao hospital, Porto, north of Portugal, 27th December 2020. The first to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 will be health professionals in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra, just hours after receiving the first batch of the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech. EPA-EFE/JOSE COELHO

Russia’s total number of COVID-19 cases crosses 3 million mark

The total number of cases of coronavirus infections in Russia crossed the 3 million mark for the first time on Saturday after officials recorded 29,258 new cases in the preceding 24 hours and 567 deaths.

This brought the total number of cases of coronavirus in Russia since the start of the pandemic to 3,021,964, according to official data. 

Nurse Ann-Louise Broberg injects nursing home resident Gun-Britt Johnsson with a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mjolby, Sweden, 27 December 2020. Gun-Britt was the first in Sweden to recieve the vaccine. EPA-EFE/STEFAN JERREVANG

Thailand confirms 121 new coronavirus infections

Thailand confirmed 121 new infections of the novel coronavirus, a senior official said on Sunday, up from the 103 cases reported earlier in the day.

Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic taskforce, said at a briefing that the new cases include 94 domestic transmissions and 18 in migrant workers connected to an outbreak at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon, a province southwest of Bangkok.

Infections connected to this cluster have spread to 38 provinces.Some 36 local infections were in Rayong province linked to a gambling den, the spokesman said.

“The numbers reflect a heavier (outbreak), but we have more knowledge and capacity,” he said, adding that authorities were ready to handle the increased numbers.Eight new cases were found in state quarantine facilities, and one infection in a person coming from abroad who did not enter quarantine.

Thailand has reported a total of 6,141 cases and 60 deaths.

Andreas Raounas, 84 years old, the first patient in Cyprus to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by a nurse, at the start of the vaccination programme against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the EU, at a care home in Nicosia, Cyprus, 27 December 2020. EPA-EFE/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU / POOL

Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises by 253

Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rose by 253 in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on Saturday, bringing total deaths to 19,624.

Numbers of cases fell for a third consecutive day, to 15,118, bringing total cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,133,373.

Ankara has imposed full weekend lockdowns and weekday curfews to curb infections.

101-year-old Gertrud Haase receives her vaccination shot at Agaplesion Bethanien Sophienhaus care home in Berlin, Germany 27 December 2020. EPA-EFE/KAY NIETFELD / POOL

101-year-old woman i the first person in Germany to be inoculated against coronavirus

A 101-year-old woman in an care home became the first person in Germany to be inoculated against coronavirus, a day before the official vaccination campaign was scheduled to get under way in both Germany and the EU.

Edith Kwoizalla was one of about 40 residents and 10 staff in a care home in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt to receive a jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the home’s manager, Tobias Krueger, told AFP.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became the first to get the go-ahead for use in the West, when Britain gave its approval on 2 December.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of vaccine doses were delivered to the regional health authorities, who then distributed them to local vaccination centres. Elderly care home residents, people aged 80 and over and care staff will be the first to get the jab.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 13,755 to 1,640,858, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 356 to 29,778, the tally showed.

Auxiliary nurse Monica, youngest worker of Los Olmos nursing home, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Los Olmos nursing home in Guadalajara, Spain, 27 December 2020. Monica is the second person in Spain to have been injected with the COVID-19 vaccine after Araceli (unseen), a 96-year old resident of the nursing home. EPA-EFE/PEPE ZAMORA / POOL

China reports 22 new COVID-19 cases, including 12 locally transmitted

Mainland China recorded 22 new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 26, up from 20 cases the previous day, the country’s health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin that 12 of the new cases were locally transmitted, of which five were in the Shunyi district of Beijing and seven in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Another 10 cases were imported from abroad.

Additionally, 15 asymptomatic cases were reported on Dec. 26, of which four were local infections. Beijing reported one asymptomatic case, a taxi driver also from Shunyi.

China does not include asymptomatic patients in its total confirmed case list.China has now reported a total of 86,955 confirmed mainland cases, with 4,634 deaths.

Main Photo: A woman receives a vaccine of the Pfizer-BioNTech against the COVID-19 at the Careggi hospital in Florence, Italy, 27 December 2020. EPA-EFE/CLAUDIO GIOVANNINI

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