Borders Tightened As Coronavirus Curfew Fury Spills Over
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Mon 25th January 2021 | 10:00 AM
Hong Kong, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2021 ) :Border restrictions were being tightened around the world Monday in the face of an unrelenting coronavirus threat, after a weekend in which anger at social distancing rules bubbled over into fiery clashes in the Netherlands.
The United States was set to join France, Israel and Sweden in pulling up the drawbridge to certain arrivals, with special concern about new strains of the pathogen that originated in Britain and South Africa.
"When I arrive in a country, the idea is not to contaminate it," Antoine, an 18-year old Belgian, told AFP at Paris's main international airport after new rules on tests for EU arrivals came into force.
"It's up to us to show that we are civic-minded," said Spaniard Claudio Barraza.
The stipulations came as Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador became the latest public figure to test positive for the disease, and New Zealand reported its first community case for more than two months.
In Washington, President Joe Biden will on Monday reimpose a ban on most non-US citizens who have been in Britain, Brazil, Ireland and much on Europe, as well as adding South Africa to the list, a senior White House official said.
-- Fury in the Netherlands -- Protests against a coronavirus curfew in the Netherlands degenerated into clashes with police and looting in cities across the country Sunday, a day after a Covid-19 testing centre was set on fire in the northern village of Urk.
At least 30 people were arrested in Eindhoven, where mayor John Jorritsma told reporters that if the country continued "down this path, then I think we are heading for civil war".
-- Vaccination challenges -- Scientists say the only way out of the pandemic is large scale vaccinations, but the roll-out has stuttered in may places.
Egypt began its programme, with a doctor and a nurse getting the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.
Health Minister Hala Zayed said Cairo had inked deals for vaccine shipments from British, Chinese and Russian firms, for a total of around 100 million doses -- enough for about half Egypt's population.
In India, around one-third of people are not turning up for vaccine appointments, with fear of side effects high after reports of a few cases of severe reactions spread widely through the media and messaging services.
On the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic, anti-poverty group Oxfam said Monday the emergency was aggravating inequality.
"The 1,000 richest people on the planet recouped their Covid-19 losses within just nine months, but it could take more than a decade for the world's poorest to recover," the group said.