Displaying items by tag: Europe
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
This year is the 30th anniversary of the re-unification of Germany. Our friends at European Evangelical Alliance have invited us to share in some prayers and thanksgiving for Germany at this time.
Our recent national holiday was a time to celebrate and to thank God. After the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, and the rapid political changes within one year, the accession of former East Germany (GDR) to be within the scope of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany was sealed on October 3rd, 1990.
Since then, as a reunited German nation, we have trodden a historic path, from two very different political entities and a divided nation after the Second World War into a common identity as one nation. This path has not been without pain and has required sacrifice and grace on both sides - so that it can best serve all our people and indeed other nations.
On this anniversary we want to celebrate and be thankful for our united Germany, and above all for reunited families, for the new marriages, families, friendships and relationships that have occurred since the fall of the Berlin Wall, for the new generation of children born, and for the freedom and prosperity throughout Germany.
As we thanked God for our Basic Law at the prayer conference in Bonn last year, let us now thank God for the abundant blessing that we have received.
At this time, when much is being put to the test and shaken, God again wants to show us as a nation his ways of salvation that go beyond our prayers and understanding (Psalm 50:23).
- Praise and thanks for 30 years of unity. (Psalm 98)
- We lay down before the Lord everything that we have achieved. Our land belongs to Him. (Psalm 24)
- After the political turn-around 30 years ago, we ask the Father now for Germany to turn around to Him, so that He can set us free to fulfil our calling as a nation. (John 8:36) (-KH-)
The calling of Berlin
The history of Berlin, now our capital and the seat of government in our country, goes back to the 13th century.
German history was made in Berlin in so many ways. Many cultural and political debates as well as ideological disputes have their origin here in Berlin and this is still true today. The city has had to live through many times of upheaval.
The division of Germany, with the construction of the Wall, was not experienced so directly anywhere else than in Berlin as a tangible and painful reality.
With the reunification of Germany, God has opened a new chapter and Berlin has become the “city of unity” and a symbol of God's grace-outpouring and miracle-working.
The message that comes to us from Berlin is that what God has done here, He can do anywhere else in the world. Not only political but also spiritual leadership should be evident in this city, along with a servant spirit and wise understanding.
Berlin needs our love as well as God's help and guidance. The destiny and future of Berlin is important to us all. Let us pray for God's redemptive plans and together bless and set this city free in its calling.
- For the special protection of God in all the current winds of change and upheaval. (Psalm 27: 1)
- That God's salvation plans and purposes for Germany become visible in and for Berlin. (Isaiah 60:18)
- We speak out over Berlin: You are a city of unity, of wise leadership … – a miracle of God. (-AS-)
More at: www.waechterruf.de/international/
Let's also be in prayer for breakthrough for nations going through divisive political, cultural, economic and other turmoil at this time, including North and South Korea, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Belarus.
Read the inspirational recounting of The Miracle of Leipzip by Jeff Fountain, which we highly recommend. (Photo used above is from that article – with thanks)
This last fortnight of Brexit negotiations has been a bit ‘stop-start’, but they now appear to be progressing a little more positively with face to face talks. Meetings have been held in London, but are now moving back to Brussels for what many hope will be a constructive and productive closing phase which is expected to last about two weeks.
The president of the European Council has meanwhile insisted that negotiations are at their most difficult stage. Charles Michel, who chairs summits of EU leaders in Brussels, said: "Will we get a deal? I don't know – it will depend on what will be on the table."
Michel said the issue of fishing was proving a major sticking point between the two parties. British Cabinet Minister, Michael Gove told the Welsh Brexit minister that Britain could ‘no longer be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy’ and won’t back down on its demands.
Spain and Gibraltar want a last-minute deal to avoid having a hard border after Brexit. However, a Spanish diplomatic source said they have stumbled on ‘a lack of political will’ in London.
Ireland’s foreign minister claimed that a trade deal is now ‘likely’ in the next two weeks, while warning ‘major trade disruption would be the ‘new reality’ even if a UK-EU deal is struck.
Bloomberg is predicting, ‘Brexit negotiators have made good progress in London this week, raising hopes they could ‘inch’ towards a deal by early November, Bloomberg quoted people ‘familiar with the discussions’ claiming the two sides have begun work on the text of an agreement covering level playing field issues, and are close to finalising a joint document covering state aid mechanism.
Please pray for an end to the ‘tactical games’ on final agreements and for the outcome to produce God’s purposes for the nations. (Romans 13:1b)
A Prayer for Brexit:
We come into agreement with Your word in Matthew 17: 20 “you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you”.
We declare God desires this nation will display His Kingdom and His Kingship, we decree Righteousness, Justice, Mercy and Truth – moral and spiritual – will be the foundations upon which we will build. God is the Master Planner of heaven and earth, His plans are for good and not evil, greater than every plan of man or of the enemy.
We stand as the Ecclesia in this land, and we speak convergence and completion into all Brexit negotiations, that the next season for this nation will be birthed according to every blueprint held in Heaven, in Jesus Name.
As negotiations move to Brussels for their final phase, we come into agreement with His word in Romans 4:17: He is “The God who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”
Over all matters concerning Brexit under discussion, we call forth the strategies and plans of heaven, that will bless both the UK and EU, and we decree His answers to the outstanding areas of free trade, fisheries, security and all other matters. We declare the ground will be prepared for a beneficial relationship between the EU and UK that will prosper everyone in the days to come.
Now Lord, we call business, the haulage industry and exporting companies into a place of preparedness for the exit from EU that movement of goods, services and people will not be hindered.
Father, over all discussions, negotiations and decisions we Hallow your name, praying that across the Continent of Europe Your kingdom will come and Your will be done - across each nation as it is in Heaven.
In the name of Your Son Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
With thanks to:
Linda Digby / Prayer-Alert.net | Suzanne Ferrett / Passion for the Nation | Ian Cole / IPC Senior Advisor
Europe became the coronavirus epicentre in March; then the outbreak subsided in the summer, allowing many to travel and gather in large groups. Now a second wave of infection is wreaking havoc - with over 1.3 million cases in the last 7 days. France, Italy, Spain, and the UK are grappling with record numbers of new cases that could soon dwarf the out-of-control spring outbreaks. Even though Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic staved off massive spring outbreaks, they now have an unprecedented number of new cases. Europe accounts for 22% of all new infections worldwide. Many city hospitals are swamped and struggle to source life-saving equipment. Europe's centre for disease prevention and control warned against complacency, noting that transmission is as yet mostly between the young. Everyone must obey lockdown rules to keep the European death rate low. See also
Europe’s coronavirus restrictions have sparked civil unrest, turning violent, across a number of countries. Civilians are refusing to submit to new strict coronavirus rules. Turin demonstrators took to smashing windows and using smoke bombs, and threw bottles at police officers. In Naples protesters clashed with police in demonstrations against an 11pm to 5am curfew. Southern regions are worst affected by stricter measures. Italians call the shutdowns an injustice. Spanish protesters in Barcelona took to the streets to denounce the second state of emergency in six months. Prague police officers resorted to tear gas and water cannons to break up violent protests. Paris and Marseille also saw protests after a countrywide state of emergency was declared. Anti-lockdown demonstrations are a regular weekend occurrence in London. Willingness by law-abiding citizens to comply with complex regulations is beginning to fray. Only 39% in the UK approve of the government Covid policies.
Thousands of climate activists added their names to a Greta Thunberg campaign asking the European Commission to retract a farming policy which would make it impossible to reach the EU’s climate goals. Greta called on her followers to sign an open letter to EU leaders after the European Parliament endorsed the proposal across the bloc. The letter said that on 23 October they let us down once again, in voting for a dirty deal which betrays commitments to the Paris agreement and to justice and to democracy.
In response to protests which began on 9 July, Boyko Borisov proposed reforms to the constitution which have been decried by protesters as a means of keeping his government in power until the next elections. Rallies have been mostly peaceful, but there have been occasional clashes with police and some arrests. Transparency International ranks Bulgaria as the most corrupt of the 27 nations in the EU. The economy is said to be one of the poorest in Europe, mainly due to corruption. A 2019 report on corruption in Bulgaria said that at least 35% of public procurement contracts involve corrupt practices. Currently the European Parliament is discussing the ongoing anti-corruption protests, after some of the movement's leaders sent letters to Brussels requesting support, but the Bulgarian government isn't backing down. See
The Taoiseach has said that despite introducing what was probably ‘Europe's strictest regime’ it was not enough to reduce levels of infection significantly. So for the next six weeks people must stay at home. Those who can work from home must do so. People can meet outdoors with one other household. No social or family gatherings are allowed in homes or gardens. Pray for peace of mind to replace loneliness. Caring and compassionate visits can continue. Those living alone or parenting alone will be able to pair with another household as part of a ‘support bubble’. People may stay away from home for exercise within a 5km limit. Non-essential shops and all hairdressers must close, and bars and restaurants are limited to takeaway services. Pray for safe social distancing, and for optimism for the future to replace anxiety. Pray also for small businesses on the edge of bankruptcy as they plan for a bleak financial future.
President Emmanuel Macron has announced a night-time curfew in Paris and eight other cities to try to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus. It affects 22 million people and will be applied for four weeks, possibly extending to six weeks. Germany announced that bars and restaurants in higher-risk areas must close by 23:00 as the country recorded the highest daily infection figure since the start of the pandemic (6,638 in 24 hours). Private gatherings are limited to ten people from two households. Meanwhile, as Spaniards prepared to travel for a long weekend national holiday, Madrid residents were told to stay home as another state of emergency to curb rising coronavirus cases was implemented. Madrid’s leader wants a partial lockdown to avoid deeper damage to businesses: see Pray for the businesses facing bankruptcies, for the millions now unemployed, and for the governments running out of resources for furloughed workers.
Fish are one of the main issues at the centre of Brexit negotiations. Three times a week, at 6 am, vessels return to Ostend loaded with fish for the auction. Three-quarters of the fish sold here were caught in British waters, which contain more fish than those of the North Sea. Many Belgian fishermen hope that after Brexit they’ll keep on having a good catch. Bruno Decordiar spends 60% of his time fishing solely in British waters. He’s worried that Brexit could harm his activity. ‘We are often at English ports and when we speak with British fishermen they tell us that we take all their fish,’ he said. ‘If they close the waters I'm sure we'll lose half of our income.’ Most fish landed by British fishermen are sold to the EU. A no-deal Brexit ‘fish fight’ increases competition between Europeans. If there is no fishing agreement, there will be no global trade agreement.