November 20th, 2020.
On Thursday, the first batch of the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine purchased by the São Paulo state government arrived in Brazil. Local electoral authorities have confirmed that the Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden has been confirmed as the winner in the state of Georgia, despite current president Donald Trump’s complaints of fraud. An outbreak of COVID-19 at a Petrobras oil platform forced the evacuation of its workers, after 30 of them had tested positive for the disease. Meanwhile, Russia has registered a record-high number of novel coronavirus-related cases, with over 400 deaths in over 24 hours. Finally, US authorities have issued an official statement asking people to refrain from traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, due to the risk of novel coronavirus contagion.
Take a look at our highlights.
First 120 thousand COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in Brazil
The first shipment of the Chinese-made anti-COVID-19 vaccine, Coronavac, arrived yesterday in São Paulo, in a ceremony attended by state governor João Doria at the Guarulhos International Airport. The cargo plane bringing the vaccines developed by the Sinovac laboratory, in a partnership with the Butantan Institute, left China on Monday, despite the fact that they still haven’t received an official authorization from Brazil’s Health Surveillance Agency, ANVISA. Doria posted a video on his social media accounts claiming 120 thousand doses would be guaranteed in the first batch, and 6 million by December. The arrival of the immunizing agent has turned into a friction point between Doria and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has expressed his distrust of the vaccine.
Georgia recount confirms Biden victory, according to electoral authorities
According to local electoral authorities, a statewide audit has confirmed Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden as the winner in the state in this year’s presidential election, therefore making him the first victory of a Democrat candidate in the state since Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory. President Donald Trump expected a victory in the state, and the state’s top election official, himself a member of the Republican Party, Brad Raffernsperger, has been under fire from members of his own party, who have made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, since before the full, by-hand recount of the presidential race was announced on November 11th. According to VotingWorks, the organization that helped implement the audit, this has been the largest hand count of votes in US history.
COVID-19 outbreak strikes Petrobras oil platform
A novel coronavirus outbreak at Petrobras’s P-69 oil platform, one of the units currently drilling the Tupi field, the country’s biggest oil reserve, forced the state-owned company to undock all their workers and hold a massive testing on them, as well as a major sanitation process on the platform itself. According to the São Paulo Oil Workers Union, 31 workers have tested positive for the disease, and 30 others are scheduled to disembark, after being in direct contact with infected employees. Petrobras, however, issued a statement in which the company did not inform the number of workers affected by the disease, and simply informed the confirmed cases were “immediately disembarked” and “given proper isolation guidelines.”
Russia registers record coronavirus-related deaths
Yesterday, Russia registered its record number of new COVID-19-related cases and deaths, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, these are the worst figures ever registered by the country’s authorities; within 24 hours, 23.6 thousand have been diagnosed with the disease, and 463 people died. Russia is currently the fifth country in the world with the highest number of coronavirus victims, following the United States, India, Brazil, and France. The country has registered so far 2 million cases of people infected by the virus, and 34.8 thousand deaths.
US authorities ask Americans to stay home on Thanksgiving
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an official statement asking people to avoid traveling during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, which will be held this year on November 26th. The date is the country’s most important celebration, during which 55 million Americans traveled last year. “With Thanksgiving approaching, our hearts and minds turn to seeing family and friends as part of one of our nation’s great traditions and we all need to consider the safest way to celebrate the holiday. Amid this critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager. Those who nevertheless decide to travel during this period are being advised to wear a mask, constantly wash their hands, and respect all social distancing measures.