Due to the crown pandemic, Pope Francis privately celebrates the traditional Christmas mass. This emerges from a verbal note sent by the Vatican Secretariat of State to the ambassadors to the Holy See. To what extent believers can actually participate in the Christmas Eve service was initially unclear.
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Already at Easter, in view of the Corona crisis, the Pope celebrated the services otherwise attended by tens of thousands with a few clerics, religious and Vatican employees. Francis gave the “Urbi et orbi” blessing in the empty St. Peter’s Basilica. Usually the Pope also gives a speech on Christmas Day from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica and gives the blessing “for the city and for the world”.
More violence during the protests in Italy
Protests against the severe measures to contain the coronavirus in Italy have in some cases turned into violence. In Turin, Milan and other cities on Monday evening, people took to the streets to protest against the early closure of restaurants and cafes, as well as cinemas, gyms and other facilities. The shop windows were destroyed and the smoke bombs exploded.
In Piazza Castello in Turin bottles were also thrown to the police, as reported by Rai. A photographer was injured by a bottle. Police used tear gas on protesters. About 300 taxis had previously lined up in the same square, whose drivers wanted to draw attention to the economic losses due to the strong elimination of tourism and workers in city centers. Violent football fans known as ultras were responsible for the outbreak of violence in Turin, according to the LaPresse news agency. Five were arrested. Police also used tear gas against protesters in Milan.
The Italian government ruled on Sunday that bars, cafes and restaurants must close at 6pm in the next 30 days. The background is a renewed rise in coronavirus numbers. On Saturday, Italy recorded a total of over half a million infections since the start of the pandemic. Since most Italians don’t dine before 7:30 pm or later, the deal is disastrous for restaurant owners. However, takeaway food and deliveries may also be available later.
The virus paralyzes the headquarters of the United Nations
Since at least five employees of a delegation tested positive for coronavirus, all personal meetings of the various bodies at the UN headquarters in New York were canceled on Tuesday. This comes from an internal letter from the President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkır. Sessions would be suspended until contact tracking was complete.
According to diplomatic circles, this is an outbreak in the United Nations representation in Niger. The African country is a member of the United Nations Security Council, in which Germany also sits. However, the most powerful organ of the United Nations held its last meeting on Monday in digital format as planned. Only on Tuesday should there be another face-to-face event.
Slovakia wants almost the entire population to be tested
The government of Slovakia he wants nearly the entire population of the country to be tested for the coronavirus over the next two weekends. Prime Minister Igor Matovič announced that the Crown National Crisis Team had approved the plan after a successful pilot phase over the weekend. The founder of the populist-conservative electoral platform “Ordinary People and Independent People” (OĽaNO) announced the plan just a week ago. From last Friday to Sunday, four areas of the Polish border particularly affected by the pandemic were tested.
In the next two stages, all residents over the age of ten in the rest of the country must undergo a rapid antigen test within four days, Saturdays and Sundays. The fact that Fridays, also initially scheduled, have been canceled, is obviously linked to a shortage of staff that health experts had warned about. Health Minister Marek Krajčí said it was easier to find enough helpers on the two days of vacation than on Friday.
On Sunday, Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď, head of the organization, did not rule out the possibility that the tests of nearly five million people would have to be canceled due to lack of personnel. Matovič expected the project to set an example for all of Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel also showed great interest in speaking with him, the head of government said.
The head of the WHO warns of the overload of intensive care units also in Europe
In view of the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus infections, the head of the World Health Organization faces an overload of intensive care units, especially in Europe and North America put on guard. “Many countries in the Northern Hemisphere are currently seeing a worrying increase in cases and hospital admissions,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva. In some places, the intensive care units filled up quickly.
The WHO chief also vehemently contradicted a White House statement that the crown pandemic could not be controlled. Giving up containment of the virus is dangerous, Tedros warned. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had said the day before that the US authorities could not control the coronavirus because “a virus as contagious as the flu”. WHO agrees with the US priority to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19. But tougher measures are needed to stop the virus, Tedros said. Both governments and citizens must do their part to contain the pandemic.
Tedros expressed the awareness that many people felt some “pandemic fatigue”. The psychological and physical stress of working from home and the distance from friends and family are high. However, people shouldn’t give up now. Above all, health systems and the people who work for them must be protected. The head of the WHO urged people to take every precaution to avoid contagion. This is the only way to avoid further blockages.
For the first time, France has registered more than 50,000 new infections
In France For the first time, more than 50,000 new corona infections were registered within 24 hours. The health authority reported 52,010 new infections recorded on Sunday evening. This again peaked within one day of the start of the extended crown tests in France.
The crown situation has been worsening dramatically in the country with 67 million inhabitants for weeks. Authorities have repeatedly reported new highs in the last week alone. The million cases reported since the start of the pandemic on Friday evening. More than 34,700 people in the country have already died in connection with Covid 19 disease. According to Sunday, about 17 percent of the corona tests are positive. Since Saturday, the night curfew has been in effect for around two-thirds of France’s residents. The curfew applies in 54 departments and in the French overseas territory of French Polynesia. During the night, people can only go out if there is a valid reason.
Also Italy recorded a new high. The number of new infections in one day crossed the 20,000 mark at 21,273 for the first time. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 525,782 confirmed infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Mediterranean country. The death toll related to a coronal infection increased from 128 to 37,338.
From this Monday onwards, restaurants and bars across the country will have to close for guests at 6pm. Additionally, cinemas, theaters, gyms, swimming pools, ski resorts and concert halls are no longer allowed. The measures are initially expected to apply until 24 November.
Additionally, classes must be taught online for at least 75% of high school students. The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also strongly recommends refraining from receiving guests at home and from non-urgent travel.
In terms of population, the EU countries are small Czech Republic (10.7 million inhabitants) e Belgium (11.5 million inhabitants) the most affected. According to the European Disease Authority ECDC, the number of infections per 100,000 population in the past 14 days was almost ten times higher than in Germany (83 million inhabitants). Over the weekend, the Czech Republic reported spikes of over 15,000 infections in a single day, while in Belgium last week’s Tuesday number was corrected to more than 18,000.