All updates in Central European Time (CET).
14:53 Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, enters recession
Nigeria has entered recession for the second time since 2016 due to the fall in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Statistics Office reported this Saturday (11/21/2020). This is not only Nigeria’s second recession in less than five years, but also the worst decline for its economy in nearly four decades.
Nigeria, which is also the largest oil producer and the most populous country on the African continent (just over 200 million inhabitants), officially entered a recession after registering two consecutive falls in its gross domestic product (GDP). GDP fell by 3.62% in the third quarter of the year, after having fallen by 6.1% in the second quarter.
Oil sales account for 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, although they represent less than 10% of GDP. Before the pandemic, the Nigerian economy was expected to grow 2.1% in 2020. To date, Nigeria – the ninth most affected country in Africa by COVID-19 – has confirmed 65,982 cases, with 1,165 deaths.
13:23 Anti-coronavirus demonstrations in Leipzig
Policies to contain the pandemic continue to generate rejection in some sectors. The coronavirus deniers again called demonstrations today in Germany, such as in Leipzig. However, more protesters went to a contrary call, as only 250 people gathered in the Kurt Masur Square to protest against the imposed measures.
There was a large police deployment with agents from various federal states, including water cannons and cleaning tanks. Agents also used barriers to separate the meetings from each other. The situation is not easy, said a police spokesman.
Currently, only a maximum of a thousand participants are allowed per demonstration (there are eight called, of either sign, in Leipzig) in Saxony due to the pandemic. The police also remember the applicable requirements, such as the minimum distance and the mandatory nature of the mask. There are also protests against measures to contain the pandemic in other cities in Germany, such as Bochum, Göppingen and Hannover.
Police deployment in Leipzig.
12:33 Poland registers 24,213 new infections with covid-19 in 24 hours
Poland today registered 24,213 new infections and 574 deaths from or with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health reported. On Friday the health authorities counted 22,464 new infections and 626 fatalities, after a new high in the pandemic was recorded on Thursday with 637 deaths.
The total number of infections since the pandemic was declared amounts to 843,475, with 13,288 deaths reported; 407,075 people both overcame the disease. The number of hospitalized patients amounts to 22,478, of which 2,125 receive assisted ventilation.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a press conference that despite a relative stabilization in the number of new infections observed in recent days, “the situation remains very, very serious.”
10:41 Japan to limit tourism campaign after record numbers of daily cases
The Japanese government decided this Saturday (11/21/2020) on the “Go to travel” subsidy campaign to promote tourism after the country has registered daily records of cases for three days in a row. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga explained that, under the program, from now on reservations will no longer be accepted for trips to areas that are experiencing increased infections.
The decision, on the recommendation of the panel of doctors that advises the Executive, comes after Japan reported more than 2,400 new daily cases on Friday, a record figure for the third consecutive day, and Tokyo recorded 539 infections today, also the maximum daily figure for the Japanese capital since the pandemic began. Other regions such as Osaka or the northern island of Hokkaido, both highly touristy, have also been registering record volumes of new daily cases.
10:38 Russia breaks daily record for coronavirus infections and deaths
Russia registered a record of infections and daily deaths from coronavirus, two days after having exceeded two million patients. Health authorities reported 24,822 new infections on Saturday and 476 deaths in the last 24 hours, putting the global balance of the pandemic in Russia at 2,064,748 cases and 35,778 deaths.
Proportionally to its population, these figures reflect a mortality much lower than that of other countries, but the Russian authorities only count deaths whose autopsy shows that the coronavirus is the main cause of death, which suggests that the real balance of victims could to be better. The authorities consider the situation “worrying” but controlled.
10:25 Spain rules out imposing vaccination as mandatory
The Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has said that he does not believe that it is “convenient” to make vaccines against COVID-19 mandatory in Spain, indeed, he has defended that, according to “experts”, “even it could backfire. “
In statements to RAC1 radio, Illa stated that there is “a very high awareness” among citizens regarding the benefits of getting vaccinated, since Spain “is a country with a very good tradition of vaccination.” Thus, although “legally” the Government could make it mandatory to be vaccinated, it has been shown that even by not doing so “there will be a very high level of response” among Spaniards.
09:38 Germany registers 22,964 new infections with COVID-19 in 24 hours
The German health authorities recorded 22,964 new infections with coronavirus in the last 24 hours, 503 more than a week ago and only 684 less than the new maximum of 23,648 registered yesterday.
According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) updated last midnight, the positives counted since the first contagion in the country was released at the end of January amounts to 902,528, with 13,884 deaths, 254 in the last 24 hours.
The RKI estimates that about 593,100 have recovered from the disease and that there are currently about 295,500 active cases. In Germany as a whole, the cumulative incidence in the last seven days stands at 140.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The number of patients with covid-19 in intensive care units rose to 3,615 yesterday, of which 2,103 – 57% – receive assisted respiration, according to data from the German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI). The reproduction factor (R) that takes into account infections in an interval of seven days compared to the previous seven, is located at 1.05.
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