Covid-19 has infected more than 410M people and killed over 5.8M worldwide. Here are some of the latest coronavirus-related developments:

Protesters held banners saying “(Prime Minister Mark) Rutte has to go, we are not going”, “Enough is enough” and “Freedom, freedom”.
Protesters held banners saying “(Prime Minister Mark) Rutte has to go, we are not going”, “Enough is enough” and “Freedom, freedom”. (AFP)

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Dutch people hold “Freedom Convoy” protest in Hague

Hundreds of people have held a “Freedom Convoy” protest around the parliament building in The Hague, Netherlands, inspired by the protests that started in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

A large number of tractor, truck and car drivers came to The Hague from different cities of the country to protest the Covid-19 restrictions.

Activists blocked the roads around the parliament building and announced that they will continue the protest until the government resigned.

They held banners saying “(Prime Minister Mark) Rutte has to go, we are not going”, “Enough is enough” and “Freedom, freedom”.

The demonstration was cancelled and the police warned the demonstrators to leave the area, saying those who continued the protest would be fined or detained and their vehicles will be towed, the municipality said.

Protesters eventually ended the blocking around the parliament building after causing traffic congestion that saw transportation to the centre blocked and tram services cancelled throughout the day.

French anti-vaccine convoy heads toward Brussels

Around three hundred vehicles taking part in a Canada-style protest convoy against Covid regulations arrived in Lille, northern France, en route to Brussels, where officials have already banned a demonstration called for Monday.

The flag-bearing trek north came after 97 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday as thousands of demonstrators defied a ban on trying to block traffic, with 81 still in custody.

The self-proclaimed "freedom convoy" of cars, trucks and campervans is one of several worldwide inspired by a truckers' standoff with authorities in Canada.

In France, the demonstrators took aim in particular at the "vaccine pass" required to enter restaurants, cafes and many other public venues implemented as part of President Emmanuel Macron's inoculation drive.

But participants have also cited rising fuel and energy costs, an echo of the "yellow vest" grievances that forced Macron to announce a series of tax cuts and other concessions.

Türkiye registers over 73,000 new coronavirus cases

Türkiye has reported 73,787 infections, 276 related deaths, and 70,169 recoveries over the past day according to new Health Ministry data.

As many as 419,556 virus tests were also done across the country.

To counter the spread of the virus, Türkiye has administered over 144 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since it launched an immunisation drive in January 2021.

Over 57.56 million people have received a first jab, while more than 52.62 million are fully vaccinated. Third booster shots have also been given to more than 26.19 million people.

UK reports decreased number of new cases, deaths

Britain has reported 41,270 new Covid-19 cases and 52 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, government data showed.

The numbers were lower compared with 46,025 cases and 167 deaths reported a day earlier. 

Italy reports 51,959 coronavirus cases, 191 deaths

Italy has reported 51,959 Covid-19 related cases, against 62,231 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 191 from 269.

Italy has registered 151,015 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth highest in the world.

The country has reported 12.1 million cases to date.

Some 462,881 tests for Covid-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 587,645, the health ministry said.

Vietnam to end curbs on international flights  

Vietnam will remove its Covid-19 restrictions on international passenger flights starting from February 15, with no limitation on the number of flights.

The Southeast Asian country imposed tight border controls at the start of the pandemic to keep out Covid-19, with some initial success, but that dealt a blow to its burgeoning tourism sector which accounted for about 10 percent of gross domestic product. 

"Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights starting February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level," Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing Dinh Viet Son, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. 

Russia sees over 700 new fatalities 

Russia has reported 197,949 new Covid-19 cases and 706 more deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official data

Hong Kong reports 1,347 cases 

Hong Kong has reported 1,347 new daily Covid-19 infections, down from the previous day's record, but the spread, with 2,000 more suspected cases, threatens the city's overstretched healthcare system, authorities said. 

The surge in coronavirus cases, the biggest test yet for Hong Kong's "dynamic zero-Covid" strategy, comes a day after the government said China would help the city with testing, treatment and quarantine capacity. 

Authorities warned food supplies into the city may be disrupted, after some cross-border truck drivers tested positive for coronavirus, but said they were doing everything to get the situation back to normal "as soon as possible." 

Canada protesters, police deadlock set to continue 

A tense standoff between Canadian police and protesters opposing Covid-19 restrictions was set to continue, as a court order and threats of arrest have failed to end a blockade of a key Canada-US border crossing. 

President Joe Biden has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use federal powers to the end blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, North America's busiest land border crossing. 

Since Monday, protesters in trucks, cars and vans have blocked traffic in both directions, choking the supply chain for Detroit's carmakers.

Covid hits drivers, disrupts supply chain in Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities have said supplies of vegetables and chilled poultry into the global financial hub may be temporarily disrupted after some mainland goods vehicle drivers preliminarily tested positive for Covid-19.

Hong Kong imports 90 percent of its food, with the mainland its most important source, especially for fresh food. Consumers have already seen a shortage of some foreign imported goods, including premium seafood, due to stringent flight restrictions.

"The mainland authorities and the (Hong Kong) government are working closely together to firm up the detailed arrangements to expedite the logistics of food supply for Hong Kong so as to make the supply situation resumes normal as soon as possible," the government said in a statement.

On Saturday, the city of 7.5 million people reported a record 1,514 new coronavirus infections, up from Friday's 1,325, in the biggest test yet for the Chinese territory's "dynamic zero-Covid" strategy.

China registers 67 coronavirus cases

Mainland China reported 67 new Covid-19 cases on February 12, down from 99 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement 28 cases were locally transmitted, down from 40.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 34 from 41.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 106,930 while the death toll remained at 4,636.

South Korea breaks daily record cases: 56,431

South Korea reported a daily record high of 56,431 new coronavirus cases for Saturday, bringing its total infections to 1,350,630 with 7,081 deaths among its 52 million people, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

Mexico's mortalities due to pandemic raises by 579

Mexico's Health Ministry reported 579 more fatalities from Covid-19 and 26,247 additional cases, bringing the country's overall death toll to 312,697 and total infections to 5,283,852 since the start of the pandemic.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies