The Newest: Japan sharply tightens ban on international guests



TOKYO — Japan’s authorities will quickly ban entry of all nonresident international nationals as a precaution towards a brand new and doubtlessly extra contagious coronavirus variant that has unfold throughout Britain.

The entry ban will begin Monday and final via Jan. 31 in the interim, the International Ministry stated in a press release late Saturday.

Japan banned entry of nonresident foreigners from Britain and South Africa final week, however is additional stepping up border management after confirming the brand new variant in seven folks during the last two days — 5 returnees from Britain who examined at airports and two others in Tokyo.

Japan can be suspending exemptions of a 14-day quarantine for Japanese nationals and resident foreigners on a short-track program that started in November. The entrants now should carry proof of a adverse check 72 hours previous to departure for Japan and self-isolate for 2 weeks after arrival, the ministry stated.

Japan’s well being ministry confirmed Saturday two instances of the brand new variant — a person in his 30s who returned to Japan from Britain on Dec. 16 and his relative, a girl in her 20s with no historical past of visiting that nation. Each sufferers are hospitalized in Tokyo.

On Friday, the ministry stated the brand new variant was detected in samples of 5 returnees from Britain between Dec. 18 and Dec. 21 who examined constructive at airport inspection. All however one who complained of fatigue had no signs.

Japan had 217,312 instances as of Saturday, up greater than 3,700 from the day earlier than, and three,213 deaths. Tokyo reported 949 instances, its new day by day excessive, for the reason that pandemic started, regardless of calls by specialists and authorities officers for the folks to spend “quiet” vacation season.



— Germany, Hungary give first virus photographs forward of EU rollout.

— Belarus dissidents say authorities are intentionally permitting COVID-19 to flourish within the packed jail cells the place they’ve detained 1000’s of opposition protesters

Vaccine deliveries roll out throughout the European Union because the bloc’s 27 nations get able to kick off their first photographs

— Round 1,000 British troopers are spending Christmas weekend making an attempt to clear an enormous backlog of truck drivers stranded on the border in southeast England

South Africa’ s usually joyful Christmas celebrations are dampened by a spike in new instances and deaths pushed by the nation’s COVID-19 variant


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TORONTO — Officers in Canada’s most populous province have confirmed the primary two identified Canadian instances of of a extra contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first recognized in the UK.

The province’s affiliate chief medical officer says that the instances are a pair from Durham Area, simply east of Toronto, with no identified journey historical past, publicity or high-risk contacts.

The brand new variant is believed to unfold extra simply and quicker than the unique model of the illness however is just not believed to be extra lethal.

The provincial authorities stated in a information launch that’s no proof to counsel that the vaccines authorised by Well being Canada shall be any much less efficient towards the brand new variant. The variant was first recognized in the UK however has since been detected in a number of different international locations, together with Denmark, France, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Simply hours after the coronavirus vaccines arrived in Slovakia, authorities within the European Union nation started administering their first doses on Saturday night.

Vladimir Krcmery, a 60-year-old high knowledgeable on infectious ailments, turned the primary individual to obtain a jab on the College Hospital within the metropolis of Nitra, 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of the capital of Bratislava.

“It’s a fantastic honor for me, thanks” Krcmery stated after receiving the innoculation.)

The vaccines have been distributed additionally to a few different hospitals within the cities of Kosice, Banska Bystrica and Bratislava.

Entrance line medical workers in hospitals treating COVID-19 sufferers are among the many first to get the vaccine. President Zuzana Caputova is scheduled to get vaccinated on Sunday.

Slovakia is the second EU nation after Hungary that began the vaccination marketing campaign instantly after the vaccine’s arrival. The others plan to begin Sunday.

The nation of 5.4 million had 166,649 confirmed instances with 1,732 deaths.


SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico will start offering COVID-19 vaccinations to fifteen,000 individuals who work or reside at long-term care services, state officers introduced Saturday.

Starting Sunday, the CVS and Walgreens pharmacy chains and Vida Pharmacy in Albuquerque will administer doses of the Moderna vaccine at nursing houses and assisted residing services throughout the state, officers stated.

“Sunday marks a monumental day in our battle with this lethal pandemic. It signifies a step in the direction of defending our seniors and securing their security,” stated Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, cupboard secretary of the Getting older and Lengthy-Time period Providers Division.

The assertion famous that folks receiving vaccinations will want two doses from the identical producer administered a number of weeks aside. The pharmacies will ship workers to services thrice over the approaching months to manage the vaccines.


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The variety of COVID-19 instances worldwide has topped 80 million.

Information compiled by Johns Hopkins College reported the mark Saturday morning after 472,000 instances have been recorded Christmas Day. The variety of deaths associated to the coronavirus pandemic throughout the globe stands at 1.75 million.

The U.S. is by far the chief amongst nations in instances of coronavirus sickness, reporting almost 18.8 million Saturday. India follows with 10.2 million; Brazil has counted 7.45 million. There have been greater than 330,000 deaths within the U.S., 190,000 in Brazil and 147,000 in India.

There have probably been many extra instances of the coronavirus that haven’t been counted for quite a lot of causes, together with under-reporting, asymptomatic infections and lack of cooperation with contact tracers.


BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian docs and different employees within the well being sector have begun getting vaccinated with the primary cargo of the Pzifer-BioNTech vaccines towards COVID-19 which arrived within the nation early Saturday.

The primary cargo of 9,750 doses – sufficient to vaccinate 4,875 folks, since two doses are wanted per individual – arrived by truck from Austria and have been taken to the South Pest Central Hospital in Budapest. The federal government stated 4 different hospitals – two in Budapest and two others within the japanese cities of Debrecen and Nyíregyháza – would additionally obtain vaccines from the preliminary cargo.

The federal government stated extra batches of the vaccine have been anticipated within the coming weeks, with well being sector employees being the primary to obtain vaccinations.

Hungary reported 1,198 new instances of the coronavirus on Saturday, together with 118 deaths, bringing the nationwide totals to 315,362 instances and eight,951 deaths.

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ATHENS, Greece — Greek well being authorities introduced 262 new infections from the coronavirus over the 24 hours ending Saturday afternoon. There have been additionally 46 deaths.

For the reason that begin of the pandemic, the full variety of confirmed infections is 135,114, with 4,553 fatalities.

The numbers of recent infections and deaths are fairly low in contrast with current tendencies. Officers stated Saturday, if this continues, faculties may open once more on January 8, however not retail outlets or eating places. The choice whether or not to finish or lengthen the country-wide lockdown shall be taken two or three days earlier than January 7, the day it’s supposed to finish, a minister stated.

The federal government has additionally printed a timetable of the primary vaccinations, which can begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, with a nurse and an aged resident of a retirement dwelling being the primary ones to be inoculated.


BEIRUT — Lebanon’s well being authorities are planning a rise in testing across the nation amid a surge of constructive instances within the vacation seasons and after the primary case of the brand new coronavirus variant was reported right here.

The well being minister Hamad Hassan introduced late Friday {that a} passenger arriving from London a couple of days earlier examined constructive for the brand new variant.

Lebanon has not banned flights from the UK however asks vacationers returning to check on the airport. Strain from the general public and politicians has elevated, calling for a ban on such flights. There are fears of a spike in instances anticipated in the course of the vacation season in Lebanon, the place the well being sector is cash-strapped and lacks assets.


PHOENIX — Arizona has reported greater than 5,000 extra identified COVID-19 instances for the tenth straight day, because the surge put a pandemic-high variety of virus sufferers in intensive care beds throughout the state.

The state Division of Well being Providers reported 6,106 extra identified instances and 15 extra deaths, rising the state’s totals to 493,041 instances and eight,424 deaths.

Arizona has the third-worst COVID-19 prognosis price in the USA over the previous week, behind California and Tennessee.


LONDON — Robust new coronavirus restrictions have begun within the U.Ok. with Scotland and Northern Eire underneath tighter measures to attempt to halt a brand new variant of the virus that’s believed to unfold extra shortly.

Measures that have been relaxed for Christmas day in Wales have additionally been re-imposed.

The variety of folks underneath the nation’s high stage of restrictions — Tier 4 — elevated by 6 million on Saturday to 24 million folks, round 43% of Britain’s inhabitants. No indoor mixing of households is allowed and solely important journey permitted. Gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and shops promoting nonessential items have been ordered to shut.

An extra 570 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported within the final 24 hours, bringing the full dying toll to 70.195. Greater than 32,700 new instances of the illness have been reported on Christmas day.


MOSCOW — Russia’s Well being Ministry has allowed a domestically designed coronavirus vaccine to be given to folks older than 60.

Till Saturday’s announcement by Well being Minister Mikhail Murashko, the Sputnik V vaccine was cleared to be used for folks aged 18-60.

Russia has been broadly criticized for giving Sputnik V regulatory approval in August after it was examined solely on a couple of dozen folks after which dashing to supply it to folks in danger teams — reminiscent of medical employees and academics — inside weeks of approval. Authorities stated this week that greater than 300,000 folks have obtained the vaccine even because the superior research amongst tens of 1000’s of persons are persevering with.

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Sputnik V’s builders have stated knowledge suggests the vaccine was 91% efficient, a conclusion primarily based on 78 coronavirus infections amongst almost 23,000 members. That’s far fewer instances than Western drugmakers have gathered throughout last testing earlier than analyzing how nicely their vaccine candidates labored.


MADRID — Well being authorities in Spain have confirmed the primary instances of the brand new variant of the coronavirus that was not too long ago detected in the UK, inflicting a number of European international locations to limit visitors with the British island.

Well being authorities for the area of Madrid stated Saturday that they’ve confirmed 4 instances of the brand new model of the virus. All 4 of the contaminated persons are in good well being, authorities stated.

Regional well being chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero stated that the brand new pressure had arrived when an contaminated individual flew into Madrid’s airport.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says he’s forgoing his public appearances at a window from a Vatican palazzo overlooking St. Peter’s Sq. to do his half in minimizing crowding in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dec. 26 is a vacation on the Vatican and in Italy in honor of St. Stephen, the Catholic church’s first martyr. The day after Christmas would often discover 1000’s of individuals flocking to the sq. to catch the pope’s noontime look and admire the Vatican’s towering vacation tree.

As a substitute, on Saturday, Francis delivered his blessing and remarks from the library of the Apostolic Palace, then acknowledged that the trustworthy needed to resort to tv to comply with him.


TOKYO — Tokyo has confirmed 949 new instances of the coronavirus, a brand new excessive for the Japanese capital, because the nation struggles with an upsurge that’s spreading nationwide.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities stated Saturday that the extra instances deliver the prefectural whole to 55,851. Japan had 3,823 new instances Friday for a nationwide whole of 213,547, with 3,155 deaths, the well being ministry stated.

Japan has not been capable of gradual the infections regardless of authorities requests for the folks to keep away from going out for dinner and events earlier than and in the course of the vacation season.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has ordered bars to shut early and urged residents to keep away from nonessential outings. However many individuals have continued commuting on crowded trains and going out for dinner and drinks.


CAIRO — Egypt has reported over 1,000 new coronavirus instances, its highest whole in months, as authorities attraction to folks to stay to preventive measures to keep away from a lockdown.

The Well being Ministry on Saturday reported 1,113 new instances, in addition to 49 deaths.

The brand new numbers have introduced the county’s official tally to greater than 130,126 instances, together with no less than 7,309 deaths.

Nevertheless, the precise numbers of instances in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous county with over 100 million folks, are regarded as far increased, partly as a consequence of restricted testing.



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