Interpol warns fake vaccines seized in China and South Africa are ‘tip of iceberg’ | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Police in China and South Africa have seized thousands of fake doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, the global police organisation Interpol said on Wednesday, warning this represented only the “tip of the iceberg” in vaccine-related crime.

The Lyon-based agency Interpol said 400 vials – equivalent to around 2,400 doses – containing the fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston outside Johannesburg in South Africa, where officers also recovered fake masks and arrested three Chinese and a Zambian national.

In China, police successfully identified a network selling counterfeit Covid-19 vaccines in an investigation supported by Interpol, which has 194 member countries, it said.

They raided the manufacturing premises, resulting in the arrest of around 80 suspects and seized more than 3,000 fake vaccines on the scene, it said.

Interpol said that in addition to the arrests in South Africa and China it was also receiving additional reports of fake vaccine distribution and scam attempts targeting health bodies such as nursing homes.

It warned that no approved vaccines were available for sale online.

“Any vaccine being advertised on websites or the dark web will not be legitimate, will not have been tested and may be dangerous.”

Source: Interpol warns fake vaccines seized in China and South Africa are ‘tip of iceberg’ | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Coronavirus tracker: California reported 4,389 new cases, 278 new deaths as of March 2

The end-of-day totals from California public health websites for Tuesday, March 2, registered 4,389 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases there have been in the state to 3,553,920.

The 14-day total of new cases, 5,381, is down 87.3% from the Jan. 1 high of 42,268.

There were 278 new deaths reported Tuesday, for a total of 52,777 people in California who have died from the virus.

There were 5,110 hospitalizations of people with coronavirus-related infections reported on Tuesday. That’s a 77.6% drop since the Jan. 1 high of 22,853 people who needed hospital care.

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Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, the World Health Organization, the California Department of Public Health, The Associated Press, reporting counties and news sources

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Coronavirus live news: Covid death rates 10 times higher in countries where most adults overweight

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Interpol warns fake vaccines seized in China and South Africa are ‘tip of iceberg’; Brazil suffers another day of record Covid deaths; Greece prolongs lockdown to 16 March

12.47am GMT

Police in China and South Africa have seized thousands of fake doses of Covid-19 jabs, global police organisation Interpol said on Wednesday, warning this represented only the “tip of the iceberg” in vaccine-related crime, AFP reports.

The Lyon-based Interpol said 400 vials – equivalent to around 2,400 doses – containing the fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston outside Johannesburg in South Africa, where officers also recovered fake masks and arrested three Chinese and a Zambian national.

12.36am GMT

Greece has extended its coronavirus lockdown to 16 March as it reported the highest number of new cases recorded so far in 2021.

“We are at the toughest part of this pandemic,” health minister Vassilis Kikilias told reporters as he warned that public health resources in Athens had been under “unbearable pressure” for weeks.

“At the rate of new hospitalisations, the health system is stretched beyond its limits in terms of infrastructure and staff,” he said, adding that there was an “important rise” in cases of the more transmissible virus variant first detected in the UK.

“The measures aim to reduce mobility…we stay at home, in our own neighbourhoods,” civil protection deputy minister Nikos Hardalias told reporters.

Continue reading…

High flying and loud — Roadtirement

This is the time of year when the Sandhill Cranes head back north. Usually you hear them first, then have to search the skies for the typical “V” shaped formations. While the normal flying altitude is around 5,000 feet, they have been known to fly as high as 12,000 feet. Took this picture this afternoon […]

High flying and loud — Roadtirement

More than 200,000 Americans signed up for Obamacare within two weeks of Biden reopening healthcare marketplace | The Independent

More than 200,000 Americans have signed up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act marketplace within the first two weeks of a special three-month enrolment period during the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden re-opened the federal health insurance marketplace to uninsured Americans from 15 February through 15 May.

Federal health officials said the number of new enrolments from 15 February through 28 February is three times higher than the number of enrolments within the same time period over the last two years.

The figures represent an “increase from 76,000 and 60,000 consumers signing up for health insurance during the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively,” according to the Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“These numbers are an encouraging sign – but we can’t slow down until every American has the security and peace of mind that quality, affordable health coverage provides,” the president said in a statement.

During Donald Trump’s administration, the typical enrolment season for the ACA marketplace – where qualifying Americans can choose from government-regulated health plans offered by insurers – was within a six-week period at the end of each year. Otherwise, Americans can only access the marketplace if they have experienced a significant live event, including unemployment, the birth of a child or if they have moved to another state and no longer qualify for their state-specific plan.

Health officials urged Mr Trump to open the marketplace as millions of Americans lost their employer-supported health insurance plans after mass layoffs in the wake of the economic fallout from the public health crisis.

Nearly 15 million Americans lost employer-sponsored health insurance plans by October 2020, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund. That includes roughly 7.7 million people who lost their jobs along with employer-backed health plans, and the 6.9 million family members and dependents who relied on that person’s care plan for their health coverage.

Following his inauguration, Mr Biden issued an executive order to temporarily reopen the government’s insurance marketplace.

According to the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 385,000 people requested coverage on a submitted application and more than 54,000 were deemed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program,

Source: More than 200,000 Americans signed up for Obamacare within two weeks of Biden reopening healthcare marketplace | The Independent

Should We Be Worried About This March 4 QAnon Conspiracy?

some Q devotees still seem to believe Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president in March 4, the date that a president’s term began prior to 1933, when passage of the 20th amendment shortened the lame duck period and made January 20 Inauguration Day. (March 4, interestingly, is also the date Facebook chose to lift its ban on political advertising.)

It seemed there was less support for the March 4 conspiracy theory than for the January 6 insurrection. The House Sergeant-at-Arms said in a security bulletin on Monday that Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence,” according to DCist.

But the threat is serious enough that Capitol Police announced today that they will be bolstering security on Thursday because of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group.” Notably, the House is scrapping its plans for a Thursday session and moving its scheduled votes up to this evening.

These actions d

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Donald Trump wasn’t inaugurated on January 20. Joe Biden was. While that should have quelled the belief of QAnon conspiracy theorists that Trump would rein supreme for another term, deluded hope finds ways to live on.

And that’s why some Q devotees still seem to believe Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president in March 4, the date that a president’s term began prior to 1933, when passage of the 20th amendment shortened the lame duck period and made January 20 Inauguration Day. (March 4, interestingly, is also the date Facebook chose to lift its ban on political advertising.)

It seemed there was less support for the March 4 conspiracy theory than for the January 6 insurrection. The House Sergeant-at-Arms said in a security bulletin on Monday that Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence,” according to DCist.

But the threat is serious enough that Capitol Police announced today that they will be bolstering security on Thursday because of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group.” Notably, the House is scrapping its plans for a Thursday session and moving its scheduled votes up to this evening.

These actions don’t seem entirely unfounded. I called the Trump Hotel in DC and asked why room rates were so much higher on March 4 than on subsequent days. The receptionist said simply that rates are based on occupancy: “The higher the occupancy, the higher the rates go.”

For what it’s worth, the National Guard remains deployed in DC, and the Senate will be going about its business as planned.

Covid deaths high in countries with more overweight people, says report

Countries with high levels of overweight people, such as the UK and the US, have the highest death rates from Covid-19, a landmark report reveals, prompting calls for governments to urgently tackle obesity, as well as prioritising overweight people for vaccinations.

About 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from Covid were in countries with high levels of overweight people, says the report from the World Obesity Federation. Countries such as the UK, US and Italy, where more than 50% of adults are overweight, have the biggest proportions of deaths linked to coronavirus.

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Governments urged to prioritise obese people for vaccinations over greater risk of death from coronavirus

Countries with high levels of overweight people, such as the UK and the US, have the highest death rates from Covid-19, a landmark report reveals, prompting calls for governments to urgently tackle obesity, as well as prioritising overweight people for vaccinations.

About 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from Covid were in countries with high levels of overweight people, says the report from the World Obesity Federation. Countries such as the UK, US and Italy, where more than 50% of adults are overweight, have the biggest proportions of deaths linked to coronavirus.

Continue reading…

Myanmar protests: Dozens killed in ‘blackest day’ since coup

At least 38 people have been killed in rallies against Myanmar’s military coup, according to a UN envoy. Reports from across the country said police used live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets.

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At least 38 people have been killed in rallies against Myanmar’s military coup, according to a UN envoy. Reports from across the country said police used live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets.

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