The Latest: Cases Climb, Protests Break Out in Spain | World News

MADRID — Spain’s total number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to more than 1,240,000, but the government said Monday it won’t be introducing stricter lockdown conditions for now.

Over the weekend, a spate of violent protests in a dozen cities were held in response to a nightly curfew introduced last week in Spain. Mostly young protesters set fire to vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.

Spain’s Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is to be expected” as people grow weary of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry reported just over 55,000 new cases in Spain since it last published official figures on Friday. More than 36,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began.

Asturias, a region on the north coast, asked the national government to order people in the province to stay at home for two weeks.

The Health Ministry refused, saying it is waiting to see the results of the central government’s latest restrictions, introduced last week. A strict lockdown from March to June brought down the number of cases but hit the economy hard.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— America stands at a crossroads the day before Election Day, facing a stark choice between candidates in the midst of historic pandemic

— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs.

— Germany kicks off a partial lockdown, as several European countries tighten restrictions this week

— The BBC says Britain’s Prince William had the virus in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization scientist focusing on the coronavirus response says there has been no transmission or clusters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, made the comments to reporters after the U.N. agency’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that he was starting a self-quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.

“I am well and without symptoms, but will self quarantine in the coming days in line with WHO protocols,” Tedros said via video conference from his home during a regular WHO news conference on Monday.

Van Kerkhove said the agency was tracking all cases among staff and carrying out contact tracing to ensure that transmission wasn’t taking place at its Geneva headquarters.

“We haven’t had any transmission take place on the premises, and we have no clusters on the premises,” she said. “But it is something that we’re monitoring every day.”

O’FALLAN, Mo. — Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask mandate.

Meanwhile, an eastern

Read more

Cases climb, protests break out in Spain

MADRID — Spain’s total number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to more than 1,240,000, but the government said Monday it won’t be introducing stricter lockdown conditions for now.

Over the weekend, a spate of violent protests in a dozen cities were held in response to a nightly curfew introduced last week in Spain. Mostly young protesters set fire to vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.

Spain’s Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is to be expected” as people grow weary of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.


The Health Ministry reported just over 55,000 new cases in Spain since it last published official figures on Friday. More than 36,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began.

Asturias, a region on the north coast, asked the national government to order people in the province to stay at home for two weeks.

The Health Ministry refused, saying it is waiting to see the results of the central government’s latest restrictions, introduced last week. A strict lockdown from March to June brought down the number of cases but hit the economy hard.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— America stands at a crossroads the day before Election Day, facing a stark choice between candidates in the midst of historic pandemic

— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs.

— Germany kicks off a partial lockdown, as several European countries tighten restrictions this week

— The BBC says Britain’s Prince William had the virus in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles

___

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization scientist focusing on the coronavirus response says there has been no transmission or clusters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, made the comments to reporters after the U.N. agency’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that he was starting a self-quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.

“I am well and without symptoms, but will self quarantine in the coming days in line with WHO protocols,” Tedros said via video conference from his home during a regular WHO news conference on Monday.

Van Kerkhove said the agency was tracking all cases among staff and carrying out contact tracing to ensure that transmission wasn’t taking place at its Geneva headquarters.

“We haven’t had any transmission take place on the premises, and we have no clusters on the premises,” she said. “But it is something that we’re monitoring every day.”

___

O’FALLAN, Mo. — Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask

Read more

Protests in Brazil support president in anti-vaccine stance

SAO PAULO (AP) — Small groups of protesters gathered in Brazil’s two biggest cities Sunday to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a coronavirus vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro.

People assembled in downtown Sao Paulo calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria, who has said state residents will be required to take a vaccine, likely the one being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac and the local Butantan Institute.

“Doria will fall!” the protestors chanted. “Out with Doria!”


The CoronaVac, as it is being called, has been a prime target for skepticism from Bolsonaro and others, with the president saying Brazilians will not be guinea pigs to the Chinese. The issue has become a talking point in mayoral and city council campaigns for elections later this month, and as most health professions support vaccination, social media campaigns have raised questions about possible perils of vaccines.

Demonstrators supporting Bolsonaro on the question also protested on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

A PoderData poll said this week the percentage of Brazilians who say they would take a coronavirus vaccine dropped to 63% in October from 85% four months earlier. The percentage rejecting the idea of taking a vaccine rose to 22% from 8% in July.

The Getulio Vargas Foundation think tank said an analysis of 2 million Twitter postings found that 24% of profiles identified as pro-Bolsonaro and they accounted for 56% of mentions against the vaccine. On the other side, 47% of profiles identified as pro-vaccine and represented 32% of the postings.

In October, Doria said vaccination would be mandatory in his state, and Bolsonaro’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, announced that the country had agreed to purchase CoronaVac doses produced locally.

The president quickly responded that he would not allow the import of vaccines from China. Though the health regulator later gave permission for Butantan to import 6 million doses, on Thursday the president said on his weekly live program that he would not buy the vaccine and that the governor should “find someone else to buy your vaccine.”

On Friday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao told the magazine Veja that “of course” the country will buy the Butantan-Sinovac vaccine. Bolsonaro immediately responded that he is the one with the power and he won’t spend on any vaccine that is not approved by the Brazilian health regulator.

Brazil has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, and about 160,000 people have died from COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus. While the spread of the virus has begun slowing, public health experts warn people not to let their guard down.

Health professionals are also speaking out in an effort to shore up support for vaccines.

“Vaccination en masse with high coverage would be the only mechanism we have to control the epidemic, at least in the medium-term,” Jesem Orellana, an epidemiology researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a scientific research institution, said in a

Read more