Displaying items by tag: Covid19
In the Netherlands, Protestants make up around 16 percent of the population. A small group of traditional Calvinists are opposed to vaccination and social distancing. Most of these believers, who live in a region known as the ‘Bible Belt’, were never vaccinated as children and are opposed to the idea of injecting sickness into a healthy body. Despite surging case numbers, they continue to attend Sunday services without face masks. But amid some of the country's highest Covid-19 infection rates, some of them are starting to shift their mindset.
The Covid variant behind a devastating surge of infections and deaths in India has been detected in many European nations. Data obtained from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed that the B.1.617 variant - also known as the Indian variant because it was first detected there - has now been found in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and the UK. On 21 April the UK had detected 132 cases, the most of any European country. The other European countries have observed fewer than ten cases each, though this may be due to different levels of testing. See also the world article ‘India: Covid crisis’.
Many are now saying the vaccination rollout has been plagued by bureaucracy, poorly-negotiated contracts, penny-pinching, blame-shifting, and secrecy. The result is a shortage of vaccines, and an immunisation crisis On 17 February Brussels announced it is now set to almost triple its orders of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine as part of an EU push to respond to the emergence of new variants and the possible need for booster shots. Deliveries under the new deal are unlikely to ease the current short-term vaccine supply squeeze but it would be delivered between April and June.
23 January marked a year since the coronavirus lockdown chaos in Wuhan City when 11 million people were isolated for 76 days as authorities tried to contain the spread of a virus that overwhelmed hospitals and emptied streets. Many now fear it could happen again. China announced sanctions less than half an hour after US president Joe Biden took office. A year on, Yue, a Wuhan resident, said he had almost forgotten the chaos in the early days of that long quarantine, but new outbreaks in Hebei in the north of the country - where millions are again in lockdown - brought it all back. ‘The most miserable thing wasn’t death itself. Trying to get medical treatment was more painful than death. Chinese people have a strong capacity to endure disasters. I survived the Great Famine,’ he said, referring to the catastrophe between 1959 and 1961 that claimed at least 45 million lives.
Across Europe there will be further lockdowns, curfews and travel bans as the number of people infected with Covid has increased. Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte summed it up when he told Italians to expect a ‘more sober Christmas, without Christmas Eve gatherings, hugs and kisses’. We can pray for people to honour the various restrictions on public gatherings and to obey curfews where they have been imposed. Pray particularly for friends and families to exercise restraint on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Pray also for countries which will be easing restrictions prior to Christmas; may the public act wisely to avoid any further unnecessary sickness and deaths. See The EU drug regulator will meet on 21 December to decide whether to authorise the jab after desperate EU countries said the agency risked losing the trust of EU citizens if it did not act fast.
British / Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has announced promising results in developing a vaccine. An early analysis of some of its late-stage clinical trials, conducted in the UK and Brazil, showed that its coronavirus vaccine was 70.4 percent effective in preventing Covid-19, suggesting that the world could eventually have at least three working vaccines - and greater supply - to help curb the pandemic. However, doubts are being expressed about the results of the trials, mainly because they are based on a very small sample of people. British scientists are defending the validity of the findings, and look forward to further evidence becoming available in December. See
In Brussels a high-stakes disagreement has emerged with a jackpot worth the total value of the EU budget until 2027 plus its €750bn Coronavirus Recovery fund. 24 member states and a majority in the EU Parliament are in opposition to Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia over the division of EU funds between member states being linked to the behaviour and the values of individual governments. The EU wants to pass a law that if a member state pursues policies that the EU feels are in conflict with its core values, it will lose access to the funds. Poland and Hungary emerged as democracies from communist dictatorship and both have gone on to elect right-wing nationalist governments, heavily dependent on EU funds. Political opposition and economic reliance has introduced a strain of toxicity into their Brussels relations.
An Indian government-backed Covid-19 vaccine could be launched as soon as February, months earlier than expected. Final trials begin this month and studies have so far shown it is safe and effective, said a senior government scientist. Bharat Biotech is the private company developing Covaxin. ‘The vaccine has shown good efficiency’, said senior ICMR scientist Rajni Kant, who is also a member of the Covid-19 task-force.
We are pleased to bring you IPC Connections for November 2020.
Last month we brought you a special feature on America and the 3rd November US elections that included an Editorial article briefing written by Dave Kubal which we are sure you will continue to find useful as you cover this important time for the nation in prayer. We are including some extra resources, prayer points and a link to Dave’s video on Praying for the US Elections in John’s article below.
This Autumn marks the 30-year anniversary of Germany’s unification. We thank God for blessing their nation with a strong economy a democratic government and freedom to worship Him without persecution. Our colleague, Werner Nachtigal recently reminded us of the prayers that brought the wall down, and that we can all be in prayer to see re-unification across other nations such as North and South Korea where it almost seems impossible. But with God, all things are possible, Amen! Let’s especially be in prayer for One Korea at this time.
Our Editorial article this month is a timely, encouraging reminder of the story of Evan Roberts and the 1904 Welsh Revival, brought to us by Jason Hubbard. Over three years, 250,000 responded to the Gospel message. In his memoirs, Evan wrote - "Before men I might reach a limited few, but before God I could reach the whole world!" To see a number of other inspiring #teachustopray 15-minute devotionals by Jason documenting ‘The wildest stories of the Praying Church from Acts until 2020’ Click Here.
The Covid-19 pandemic has now affected 45 million people worldwide with 1.1 million now losing their lives. We bring you up to date information on this along with prayer points and links to various resources.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in mobilising and informing united prayer across nations, denominations, movements, and generations for the fulfilment of the Great Commission.
May we express grateful thanks to Andy Page and the IPC Editorial Team who put this email together each month.
Wishing you His continued blessings,
Jason Hubbard - Executive Coordinator
John D Robb – Chairman
International Prayer Connect
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A prayer report looking at November 2020 Covid-19 Hot Spots and Progress with developing Vaccines - with Prayer Pointers and Links to Resources:
As of 30th October, the total global figure for people infected by Covid-19 stands at 45.1 million according to Johns Hopkins University. In addition to this, the recorded number who have died totals 1,182,272.
Covid-19 hot spots
The US continues to be the country with the highest numbers confirmed cases and deaths related to Covid-19 globally with figures at around 8,947,830 and 228,675 respectively. The daily infection rate has increased over the past month to around 80,000 new cases per day and new deaths are projected at around 800 a day according to Worldometer.
The infection rate in England may be rising by as much as 96,000 cases a day according to the latest results from Imperial College, London. The researchers estimate that England’s R number – the number of people each person with coronavirus infects – is now 1.6, up from 1.1 in late September. They estimate that infections are doubling every nine days, compared to every 29 days previously, and that they are rising across all age groups, with the largest increase in infections seen among people aged 55 to 64.
Both France and Germany have announced a tightening of restrictions to try to curb surging coronavirus cases. France will enter a second nationwide lockdown starting on Friday to last until at least the end of November, and Germany is imposing a one-month partial lockdown from 2 November after reporting two days with record increases in daily new cases.
Russia confirmed 18,283 Covid-19 cases Friday, bringing its official number of cases to 1,599,976 and setting a new one-day record for infections. In the past 24 hours, 355 people have died. All of Russia's regions are currently experiencing shortages of doctors to fight the coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.
Russia’s coronavirus vaccine faces equipment shortages that could delay it from entering mass production, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as reports suggested that developers have paused clinical trials due to the shortages.
Russia has no plans to introduce nationwide lockdown measures, Putin said, saying "justified, targeted" measures would allow the economy to stay open.
India has become the second country to record more than eight million coronavirus cases amid fears of a further spike due to a series of upcoming Hindu festivals - including Diwali. The health ministry's most recent figures reported 49,881 infections and 517 deaths in the past 24 hours - bringing the overall case count above 8.04 million and the death toll to 120,527. While nationally the daily infection rate is dropping, India's capital of New Delhi saw its worst day on record on Wednesday, with 4,853 new coronavirus cases - having managed to get below 1,000 per day last month.
Latin America is now the worst-hit region in the world, along with Asia. Brazil has had more than 4.5 million confirmed cases - the third highest tally in the world after the US and India - and has had the most deaths after the US. Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru have also had major outbreaks, and are in the top 10 countries with the most confirmed cases.
There's been a slight increase in Covid-19 infections in Africa over the past month, according to the latest information from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of new daily confirmed cases has started rising after declining since mid-July, although in some countries cases are still on a downward trend. Over the four weeks up to 25 October, there was a 6% average increase in new cases, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). This was across most regions except in west and central Africa - in Nigeria, there was a decline in new cases. Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Kenya recorded increases over this period, but in Ethiopia, there was a marginal decrease. And other countries which have experienced the decreases in new cases include Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Eswatini and Ivory Coast.
Graph: Top 6 countries in Africa for Covid-19 cases
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Mainland China reported 42 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27, the highest daily toll in more than two months due to a rise in infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region, the country’s health authority said on Wednesday. Of the new cases, 22 in the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang were previously asymptomatic patients. The region’s health authorities also reported another 19 symptomless infections, which China does not recognise as confirmed COVID-19 cases, which accounted for half the new asymptomatic cases reported.
The daily toll for China marks the highest since 44 confirmed infections were reported on Aug. 10, though it remains far off the peaks in February at the height of the outbreak in mainland China that forced the country into a virtual standstill. Kashgar health officials said the COVID-19 testing drive for the 4.75 million people in the area was completed as of Tuesday afternoon and a total of 183 people were confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus. The cases are linked to a garment factory, though it’s not yet clear how the infections began.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in mainland China now stands at 85,868, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
Vaccines being developed by Oxford University and in Germany are the most likely candidates to be ready this year, experts have said, but there are also candidates being tested in the US, Russia and China. There are also some signs that China is pulling ahead in the race. A German vaccine backed by Pfizer could be ready to distribute before Christmas, the company's chief executive said.
However, a major new study has found that immunity to coronavirus may only last a matter of a months, which could hinder the rollout of a successful vaccine.
A study by Imperial College London, which involved 365,000 people, showed that antibodies in the population fell by more than a quarter in just three months.
Scientists said the findings suggested a "rapid" decline in immunity – which could mean that even if a successful vaccine is found, it might have to be administered twice a year.
It comes after the head of the UK's vaccine taskforce has warned that any jab is likely to be only 50 per cent effective. Kate Bingham said any vaccine capable of immunising against the coronavirus will likely only be as effective as the flu vaccine.
"The vaccines we have for flu are about 50 per cent effective, and they are annual shots, based on the strain that emerges each summer which we then get vaccinated for the winter,” Ms Bingham said. "So, I think it would be fair to say, we shouldn't assume it's going to be for the moment, better than a flu vaccine."
The latest data in the Oxford trials shows that the vaccine produces a "strong" immune response among the elderly. Analysis of the Phase II stage of the trial process reportedly found similar responses across all age groups, in findings that have been hailed as a "milestone" in the fight against the pandemic.
As well as several phase 3 trials taking place on vaccine candidates around the world, the UK is starting some "human challenge trials", where volunteers are exposed to the virus as part of testing the vaccines.
The Imperial human challenge trial is being run by hVivo, a spin-off company from Queen Mary University of London. Already roughly 2,000 people have signed up to take part in challenge studies in Britain through the group 1Day Sooner.
Those testing the vaccine will be given the jab and will then wait a month for antibodies to build. The volunteers will then be exposed to the virus.
Currently, vaccines are tested at population level, so scientists look to see whether a smaller percentage of people are infected than would be expected in the vaccine arm of the trial compared to a control group.
However worldwide lockdowns have meant that virus in the community has been very low in recent months, and scientists have struggled to get enough data to know whether their vaccines are working.
Oxford University has been forced to move some of its vaccine testing to South America and South Africa, although it is expecting results back soon.
Over 150 countries equivalent to 64% of the world’s population have pooled efforts and resources to set up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, otherwise known as COVAX. The benefits of this are that all member parties can take advantage of successful vaccines produced from their collective library so that everyone will have access to a working product in the shortest time frame possible. In the event that a country’s own vaccine plans fall through, they will have a backup option in COVAX. Notably absent from this coalition are China and USA.
COVAX have now announced a plan to fairly distribute working vaccines around the world going first to front-line workers and then to those at highest risk. However, funding to provide vaccines to lower income countries is not yet sufficient as only $800 million of the $2 billion required has been raised.
Let us continue to declare that the novel coronavirus is defeated by the blood of Jesus.
We pray for divine intervention and for God's name to be glorified even as each nation and government tries its best to flatten the curve, prevent and lessen the impact of second spikes and finally arrest this epidemic.
We release wisdom, skill, and integrity upon our leaders.
We pray for protection, wisdom and strength, for those working to bring treatment and comfort to the sick and their families.
We pray special grace and help for the vulnerable and lesser-developed nations.
We pray for refugees and displaced peoples. We pray against domestic violence and other crimes that have become rampant during lockdowns.
We pray for a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine to be released soonest but without including aborted baby cells in its creation or neglecting proper testing protocols.
We continue to release faith, hope, and love over the peoples of the world. May the Church seize this opportune time to manifest Jesus our Lord and Savior to those who are seeking answers and peace.
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Reporting from John Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality
Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases