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January begins as a gloomy month around the world, as coronavirus it resurfaces and reconfigures itself from Great Britain to Japan to California.

Hospitals in Mexico City house more patients with the virus than ever, and Germany on Tuesday reported one of its highest daily death rates to date.

Even the virus success story Thailand is battling an unexpected wave of infections.

A UK medical team wears full protective personal protective equipment while assisting a patient in an ambulance outside the Royal London Hospital on January 5, 2021 in London, England. (Getty)

Doctors are coping with or preparing for a growing number of COVID-19 patients after the year-end holiday gatherings.

More and more countries are reporting cases of a new, more contagious variant of the virus that has already swept Britain.

“We are in a race to prevent infections, reduce cases, protect health systems and save lives while implementing two highly effective and safe vaccines for high-risk populations. This is not easy. These are the difficult miles,” World Organization of Health Said Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Colombia recovers the blockades

As the Christmas season progresses, Colombia is experiencing a sharp increase in coronavirus infections that has prompted several cities to impose curfews and stay-at-home measures that had not been in place for months.

In the capital city of Bogotá, the local government blocked three districts that have a population of around 2.5 million people and ordered the closure of all businesses, except supermarkets and pharmacies, in that part of the city.

A cyclist wearing a protective mask amid the new coronavirus pandemic pushes his bicycle along a pedestrian path in Bogotá, Colombia, on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. (AP)

In Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, authorities announced a curfew that will last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day until next week.

Night curfews have also been adopted in the city of Cali and in some towns on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where thousands of tourists continue to spend their vacations.

Colombia was reporting around 8,000 new coronavirus infections a day at the end of November, but transmission appears to have increased in December as people traveled on vacation, reunited with their families, and in some cases held mass gatherings and parties. dance, despite a government ban on such activities.

People in protective masks, goggles and Tyvek suits, who said they gestured from Colombia while waiting for a shuttle from the car rental company after arriving at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia. (AP)

Over the past week, the South American country has reported more than 11,000 infections per day, while in some cities ICU wards for coronavirus patients have reached occupancy rates of 90 percent.

In Bogotá, 23 hospitals out of 60 reported Monday that their ICU wards were fully occupied.

UK hospitals reeling as new virus variant takes huge toll

Britain faces a long, bleak winter as cold, wet weather and a more contagious variant of the coronavirus put unprecedented pressure on the country’s hospitals, forcing a record number of patients to wait 12 hours or more, sometimes on ambulance stretchers, before receiving treatment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a third national shutdown that requires everyone in England to stay home for at least the next six weeks, except for exercise, medical appointments, essential shopping and a few other limited exceptions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a press conference in response to the current situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street on January 5, 2021 in London, England. (Getty)

“It is not an exaggeration to say that the (National Health Service) is going through probably the most difficult time in living memory,” said Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund, a UK think tank that focuses on health. and social care.

Under the latest blockade, schools and outdoor sports facilities are closed along with bars, restaurants, hair salons, gyms, theaters and most shops.

“The next few weeks will be the toughest yet, but I really think we are entering the last phase of the fight,” Johnson told the nation Monday night.

“Because with every hit that hits our arms, we are tilting the odds against COVID-19 and in favor of the British people.”

The death toll in Brazil shoots up

Brazil’s number of intensive care patients reached its highest level since August, just as the nation reopened stores and offices after the year-end holidays, and the vast country has yet to approve or receive any vaccines.

Some Brazilian hospitals reinstalled refrigerated containers abroad to contain the corpses of COVID-19 victims.

Health workers remove the body of the COVID-19 victim from a container used as a makeshift morgue in front of the Joao Lucio public hospital in Manaus, in the northern state of Amazonas, Brazil, on Monday, January 4, 2021. (AP)

South Africa ‘runs out of coffins’

Zimbabwe reintroduced the curfew, banned public gatherings and indefinitely suspended the opening of schools.

In South Africa, which is experiencing another fast-spreading variant of the virus and is the worst-affected nation on the continent, authorities have reimposed a curfew, banned the sale of liquor and closed most of the beaches.

South African Undertakers are struggling to cope with rising deaths, South African National Association of Funeral Practitioners President Muzi Hlengwa told state broadcaster SABC.

“It is something that has never been seen before … We have run out of coffins, we have run out of room in the morgue,” he said.

“Normally we have cremations during the day, but now we have cremations even at night.”

Thailand faces the second wave

Thailand faces a wave that has infected thousands in recent weeks, attributed to complacency and poor planning.

The government is blocking much of the country, including the capital Bangkok, and is considering tougher measures.

A government official from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration takes the body temperature of passengers on the bus at a Covid-19 checkpoint on January 3, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Getty)

Thailand reported 527 new cases of coronavirus, most of them migrant workers who were already isolated, and the government said it was tightening movements of people across the country.

Of the new cases confirmed Tuesday, 439 were migrants, 82 were local broadcasts and six were quarantined travelers, the COVID-19 Situation Management Center said.

The total was a drop from the 745 recorded on Monday, the all-time high in Thailand, where the first case of the virus was detected outside of China last January.

Although it canceled public activities and meetings and closed schools, bars and other places where people gather, the government has not yet taken measures as strict as those it imposed in March, when it managed to eradicate local broadcasting.

In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, passengers get out of a vehicle for examination at a checkpoint on the border of Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province and Bangkok. (AP)

Malls and department stores remain open and social distancing is required, and eating inside restaurants is allowed until 9 p.m.

Instead, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha implored people to stay home.

“We don’t want to lock up the whole country because we know what the problems are, so can all of you lock yourself up?” he said.

“This is up to everyone, if you don’t want to get infected, stay home for 14 to 15 days.”

Japan to declare state of emergency as infections decline in India

Japan is preparing to declare a state of emergency this week, tightening border controls and speeding up approval of the vaccine after a surge in cases on New Year’s Eve.

Yet India offers a glimmer of hope.

Its infection rate has dropped significantly since the September peak, and the country is launching one of the largest inoculation programs in the world, with the goal of vaccinating 300 million people by August.

America lags behind on vaccines

In the US, where more than 350,000 people have died, some states are struggling to secure enough vaccines and organize vaccines.

Distribution problems and logistical challenges have slowed the initial launch of the coronavirus vaccine in California.

In this file photo from Dec. 22, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The United States could soon be administering at least one million COVID-19 vaccines a day despite the slow start, Fauci said on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, even as he warned of dangerous weeks ahead as the coronavirus rises. (AP)

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the pace “is not good enough.” Only about one percent of California’s 40 million residents have been vaccinated.

About 454,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered, just a quarter of the 1.3 million doses the state has received so far.

The death toll in the state on Monday surpassed 26,500 and confirmed cases have approached 2.4 million since the pandemic began.

California hospitals are flooded with more than 22,000 COVID-19 patients.

Salt Lake City firefighter Mark Peterson receives the Modern COVID-19 vaccine at an EMS worker pop-up vaccination clinic on Tuesday, Jan.5, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP)

According to data as of Jan. 4 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day moving average of new daily deaths in the U.S. increased in the past two weeks from 2,655.3 on December 21 to 2,664.9 on December 4. January.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the US is 353,628.

The Netherlands has come under heavy criticism for being the last nation in the European Union to start vaccines, which it will do on Wednesday.

Australia does not plan to do so until March. And most of the poorest countries lag further behind.

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