• The Financial District


The World Health Organization (WHO) moved to shut down the idea of allowing COVID-19 to spread to achieve herd immunity, calling the idea "scientifically and ethically problematic".

With cases, hospitalisations and deaths rising across Europe and much of the rest of the world, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus challenged the idea of aiming for herd immunity without vaccinations.

"Herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached," he told a press conference, as reported by Euronews.

"In other words, herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.

"Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic," he added.

More than a million people have died worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the outbreak of the disease in late December.

Many countries are now steadily putting restrictions back into place as a second wave of the virus takes hold.

France Closes More Bars

Bars will close in two additional French cities amid rising COVID-19 hospitalisations and a significant increase in cases.

Toulouse and Montpellier will on Tuesday see their alert level for COVID-19 raised to the maximum, joining many of France's other cities: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne, and Grenoble.

It comes after the country recorded 96 deaths in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the epidemic to at least 32,825.

More than 1,500 are in intensive care, according to figures published Monday by Santé publique France, which revealed a record number of new cases on Saturday: nearly 27,000 in 24 hours.

Prime Minister Jean Castex urged French people during an interview on Monday to limit the number of people they invite into their homes.

"I cannot regulate the private spaces, according to our constitutional law, but there is someone who can regulate the private sphere, it's the owner," Castex told FranceInfo, likening the fight against the virus to a "race".

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