SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s president says the nation will supply free COVID-19 vaccinations to all its individuals in phases.

President Moon Jae-in made the remark in his New 12 months’s handle on Monday. The federal government earlier introduced that inoculations will begin in February.

South Korean officers have mentioned they’ll have vaccines for 56 million individuals, an quantity seemingly sufficient for the nation’s 52 million individuals.

Officers say they’ll work out detailed inoculation plans later this month. They are saying these beneficial to get vaccinations first will embrace medical personnel, aged individuals, adults with power illnesses, police and troopers.

After surging for weeks, South Korea’s virus caseload has regularly slowed amid powerful social distancing guidelines that embrace a ban on gatherings of 5 or extra individuals. Earlier Monday, South Korea reported 451 new virus instances, the primary time its each day tally has fallen under 500 in 41 days. The nation’s whole stands at 69,114, together with 1,140 deaths.

Moon mentioned that “the tip of the darkish tunnel is lastly coming into sight.” He mentioned the federal government will make its greatest effort to additional curb the continuing outbreak.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President-elect Joe Biden faces problem in guiding America previous the Trump period, however success on virus, financial system could assist

— China says specialists from the World Well being Group are as a consequence of arrive Thursday for an investigation into the origins of the pandemic

— Physician utilizing a horse-drawn cart to achieve sufferers in mountain villages worries lockdown in Ukraine got here too late to assist

— India took a regulatory shortcut for a homegrown vaccine, although there’s scant proof of its effectiveness

— Observe AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PARIS — Authorities in northern France launched a weeklong mass testing program on Monday to evaluate the speed of coronavirus infections and the unfold of a extra contagious variant that first appeared in southern England in November.

Within the metropolis of Roubaix, well being officers mentioned they hope to check 10% of the inhabitants by Saturday. That represents 10,000 individuals.

Sequencing will likely be carried out on the constructive samples to detect whether or not the variant is current.

France has been criticized for its sluggish vaccination program, having vaccinated solely a fraction of a few of its neighbors.

As of Friday, solely 80,000 French residents had been vaccinated towards the coronavirus. Neighboring Germany has performed a whole bunch of hundreds of inoculations.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Faculties have reopened partially in Sri Lanka after being closed for practically three months.

The transfer is seen as an try and return to normalcy from the months of lockdowns imposed to include the coronavirus.

However the authorities determined to not reopen faculties within the capital Colombo and its suburbs as the vast majority of latest COVID-19 instances are reported from these areas.

The faculties that reopened have been below strict well being pointers such carrying masks, bringing home-cooked meals, washing fingers usually and sustaining social distancing.

Sri Lanka closed faculties in October when two COVID-19 clusters emerged, one centered on a garment manufacturing facility and the opposite on the fish market. Some reopened in November however closed once more for holidays in December.

Sri Lanka has additionally banned public gatherings and imposed restrictions on public transport.

The confirmed instances from the 2 clusters have grown to 44,596 on Monday, accounting for many of the 48,000 instances reported within the nation because the pandemic started.

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BEIJING — Chinese language well being authorities say scores extra individuals have examined constructive for the coronavirus in Hebei province bordering on the capital Beijing.

The outbreak targeted on the Hebei cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai is one among China’s most severe in latest months and comes amid measures to curb the additional unfold throughout subsequent month’s Lunar New 12 months vacation. Authorities have referred to as on residents to not journey, ordered faculties closed every week early and performed testing on an enormous scale.

The Nationwide Well being Fee mentioned Monday that one other 82 individuals had examined constructive in Hebei and have been exhibiting signs. Across the nation, one other 36 individuals had examined constructive with out displaying signs, though it wasn’t instantly clear what number of of these have been in Hebei.

The Hebei outbreak has raised concern due to its proximity to the nation’s capital. Elements of the province are below lockdown and interprovincial journey has been largely minimize off, with these getting into Beijing to work having to indicate proof of employment and a clear invoice of well being.

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TOKYO — The Japanese Well being Ministry has discovered a coronavirus variant in individuals arriving from Brazil that’s completely different from those in Britain and South Africa.

The variant was present in 4 individuals examined on the airport, the ministry mentioned Sunday. Japan was working with different nations, the World Well being Group and different medical specialists to investigate the variant.

The beforehand recognized variants from Britain and South Africa are extra contagious, however the conduct of this variant and the sickness it causes usually are not but recognized.

The Tokyo space has been below a state of emergency since Friday to attempt to cease the unfold of the virus. Japan has had about 4,000 deaths associated to COVID-19 up to now, and greater than 280,000 confirmed instances.

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BALTIMORE — Coronavirus infections have now surpassed 90 million confirmed instances, as extra international locations braced for wider unfold of extra virulent strains of a illness that has now killed practically 2 million worldwide.

The variety of infections worldwide has doubled in simply 10 weeks, in keeping with a tally by John Hopkins College on Sunday. COVID-19 infections had hit 45 million as just lately as late October.

As of early Monday, John Hopkins counted 90,260,464 infections confirmed by authorities and different entities monitoring instances.

The US, now with greater than 22.2 million infections, has confirmed essentially the most instances and most deaths on the planet. The variety of U.S. instances was greater than double that of India, which has recorded practically 10.5 million infections.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn — U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee mentioned Sunday he has examined constructive for the coronavirus after coming into contact with one other member of Congress with whom he shares a residence in Washington.

Fleischmann mentioned in an announcement on Twitter that he has been in quarantine since Wednesday night time, when he discovered the opposite particular person had examined constructive.

Fleischmann mentioned he’s “feeling okay” and is consulting with the Capitol’s attending doctor.

In November, the Republican gained his sixth time period within the U.S. Home from the third Congressional District in southeastern Tennessee.

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MEXICO CITY — The spokesman for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned Sunday he has examined constructive for coronavirus, however there was no phrase on whether or not the president had been examined.

Spokesman Jesús Ramírez Cuevas wrote on his Twitter account: “I’m in good well being and I will likely be working from dwelling.”

Ramírez Cuevas is near López Obrador, typically handing him paperwork or occurring journeys with the president.

López Obrador is 67 and has hypertension, however virtually by no means wears a masks.

On Sunday, López Obrador toured the Pacific coast seaport of Manzanillo and gave a speech, as normal with out a masks on.

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JOHANNESBURG — Africa handed the milestone of three million confirmed instances COVID-19 Sunday, together with greater than 72,000 deaths, in keeping with the Africa Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

South Africa accounts for greater than 30% of the continent’s whole with greater than 1.2 million reported instances, together with 32,824 deaths. The excessive proportion of instances in South Africa may very well be as a result of the nation carries out extra checks than many different African international locations.

South Africa is battling a resurgence of the illness, pushed by a variant of the virus that’s extra contagious and spreading rapidly. Many hospitals are reaching capability, but the numbers of these contaminated are anticipated to proceed rising, in keeping with well being specialists.

South Africa’s 7-day rolling common of each day new instances has risen over the previous two weeks from 19.86 new instances per 100,000 individuals on Dec. 26 to 30.18 new instances per 100,000 individuals on Jan. 9, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet along with his Cupboard this week to contemplate if additional restrictions ought to be taken.

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