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Voa - Coronavirus

Virus Surge Hits Mental Health of Front-Line Workers

The unrelenting increase in COVID-19 infections in Spain following the holiday season is again straining hospitals, threatening the mental health of doctors and nurses who have been at the forefront of the pandemic for nearly a year. In Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, the critical care capacity has more than doubled and is nearly full, with 80% of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients. “There are young people of 20-something-years-old and older people of 80-years-old, all the age groups,” said Dr. Joan Ramon Masclans, who heads the ICU.

Voa - Coronavirus

India Gives Coronavirus Vaccines to Neighbors as it Pushes Vaccine Diplomacy

In an unusual diplomatic initiative, India has donated millions of doses of the British-developed AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine being produced in the country to neighboring South Asian nations. The “vaccine diplomacy” aims to raise New Delhi’s global profile and push back against China, which has been expanding its influence in South Asia, analysts say. “It’s about image and soft power.

Voa - Coronavirus

‘Love Letter’ to Wuhan During Lockdown Faces New Outrage

Early in the Wuhan lockdown last year, Fang Fang began chronicling the fear, the deaths and the day-to-day events of her life in the city where the coronavirus began its global march. Quarantined in January for what became 76 days, her blog posts excoriated officials for fumbles and demanded investigations. Dodging online censors, she described the sick wandering deserted streets, unable to find care at overwhelmed hospitals.

Voa - Coronavirus

World Nears 100 Million COVID-19 Cases

The world is on the verge of reaching 100 million COVID-19 infections, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center statistics. More than 2 million people have died from the virus. The coronavirus continues to create an unyielding and staggering path of illness and death across the United States. Johns Hopkins reported early Sunday that the U.S. has nearly 25 million COVID infections, with more than 417,000 deaths. Both tolls are the world’s highest. India follows the U.S. caseload with 10.6 million infections and more than 153,000 deaths.

Voa - Coronavirus

New Zealand Investigates Case of Coronavirus Community Spread

For the first time since Nov. 18, New Zealand health officials Sunday began to investigate a probable case of community-spread coronavirus. Community spread occurs when a person contracts the coronavirus without any known contact with a sick person or travel to an affected area. With a tough lockdown, New Zealand had nearly eliminated the coronavirus, with new cases found among travelers returning home and quarantining. As of Sunday, there were 79 such cases.

Voa - Coronavirus

Tunisia Extends Curfew, Bans Protests as Virus Cases Jump 

Tunisia is extending its virus curfew and banning demonstrations as it tries to stem a rapid rise in infections and calm tensions after a week of protests and rioting over economic troubles. New clashes between protesters and police broke out Saturday hours after the new virus restrictions were announced. Tunisia reported 103 virus-related deaths Thursday, the highest figure to date in the country of 11 million people. It also has among the highest rates in Africa.

Voa - Science

Hong Kong Imposes COVID Lockdown in Densely Populated District

The local government in Hong Kong said Saturday that it had locked down one of the territory’s most heavily populated areas to complete mandatory COVID-19 testing of its entire population. Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region government said the lockdown was imposed in parts of the Jordan District to test nearly 10,000 residents within 48 hours, paving the way for residents to go to their jobs on Monday morning. Authorities said 3,000 government workers had been deployed to the district, where officials said 162 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the first 20 days of the new

Voa - Coronavirus

Zimbabweans Blame Government for COVID-19 Deaths of Officials

A surge in coronavirus cases in Zimbabwe has included the deaths of two Cabinet ministers in 48 hours.  The government announced Friday night that Transport Minister Joel Matiza had died of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the president's office said Sibusiso Busi Moyo, Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, had died of  complications related to COVID-19. Pallbearers wait for coffins to arrive at a state burial of government ministers who died of COVID-19, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan.

Voa - Technology

Twitter Bans Suspect Iran Account After Post Threatens Trump

Twitter said Friday it has permanently banned an account that some in Iran believe is linked to the office of the country's supreme leader after a posting that seemed to threaten former President Donald Trump. In the image posted by the suspect account late Thursday, Trump is shown playing golf in the shadow of a giant drone, with the caption "Revenge is certain" written in Farsi. In response to a request for comment from The Associated Press, a Twitter spokesperson said the account was fake and violated the company's "manipulation and spam policy," without elaborating how it came to that

Voa - Coronavirus

Pride, Caution Evident in Wuhan on Lockdown Anniversary 

One year after it thrust the word "lockdown" into the global conversation, Wuhan reached the anniversary with a mix of pride at emerging from COVID-19's grip and caution over a possible relapse. A year ago Saturday, Wuhan shocked the world by confining its 11 million anxious citizens to their homes, beginning a traumatic 76-day lockdown that underscored the growing threat of a mysterious pathogen emanating from the city. At 10 a.m. that day, public transport was shut down, and exiting the city was banned without special permission.

Voa - Science

Germany Passes 50,000 COVID-19 Deaths 

Germany surpassed 50,000 deaths from COVID-19 Friday, while Europe’s vaccination effort was dealt another setback when drugmaker AstraZeneca announced a slower rollout than planned because of production issues. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that he would begin leaving a light in a window at his official residence, Bellevue Palace, to remember those killed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Steinmeier called on Germans to do the same as a remembrance that “the dead in the corona pandemic are not just statistics for us.” He added, “Even if we don’t know their names and families, we