Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.

Reactions and measures in Africa

8 February

Reactions and measures in the Americas

February 11

  • Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that the province will postpone its March break from March 15th to March 19th 2021 to April 12th to April 16 2021.[citation needed]

February 24

Reactions and measures in the Eastern Mediterranean

Reactions and measures in Europe

Reactions and measures in South, Southeast and East Asia

1 February

4 February

  • Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that three business activities night markets, hair salons, and car wash services would be allowed to operate under the country’s movement control order from 5 February onwards.[4]
  • Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Chinese New Year family reunion dinners would only be allowed at their residences among family members from the same household.[5] These "standard operating procedures" were criticised by several politicians and public figures including Deputy national unity minister Ti Lian Ker and Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming as "culturally tone-deaf and unnecessary."[6]

5 February

  • The Malaysian National Unity Ministry has revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) to allow Chinese New Year family reunions of 15 family members living within a 10km radius that did not involve inter-state or inter-district travel.[7]

7 February

  • Malaysian Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that 312,363 foreign workers had been screened for COVID-19 since 1 December last year. Of those screened, 6,093 tested positive for COVID-19 while 306,530 tested negative. This screening involved 13,533 employers and 1,268 clinics.[8]

10 February

11 February

  • The Malaysian Cabinet has confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines would be distributed freely to both Malaysians and foreigners residing in Malaysia. However, Malaysian nationals will receive priority.[10]
  • Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that gym activities, golf, table tennis, badminton and tennis would be allowed from 12 February.[11]

13 February

  • The Malaysian National Unity Ministry confirmed that non-Muslim places of worship would be allowed to start reopening from 12 February for the remainder of the Malaysian movement control order, which is scheduled to end on 18 February.[12]

15 February

Tokyo local government officials said that Covid-19 cases in Tokyo were underreported by 838 between 18 Nov 2020 and 31 Jan 2021. They said that an increased workload resulted in the error: the local government's health department was understaffed given the fact that the number of Covid cases were surging and new daily cases hit a record high on the 7th of January 2021. [13]

16 February

  • Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob extended the Movement Control Order for Selangor, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kelantan, Melaka, Pahang and Sabah as well as the federal territories of Putrajaya and Labuan entered into the less restrictive Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). [14]

17 February

  • The Indonesian Government has announced that it would make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for citizens and will seek the private sector's help in inoculating the population.[15]

20 February

  • Malaysian Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin has announced that school pupils will be returning to school in stages between 1 March and 4 April. Primary school students will return to class in staggered phases on 1 and 8 March. Secondary school pupils in will return between 4 and 5 April.[16]

25 February

Reactions and measures in the Western Pacific

3 February

5 February

  • Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that New Zealand's refugee resettlement programme, which had been suspended in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, would resume. The Government intends to resettle 210 refugees by 30 June 2021, with refugees undergoing the mandatory two-week stay in managed isolation.[19]

8 February

  • The New Zealand Government announced the launch of the "Short-Term Absence Payment" (STAP) initiative which comes into effect the following day. STAP allows self-isolating employees to receive a lump sum of NZ$350 from their employers if they are unable to work from home.[20]

10 February

11 February

  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that the Australian state of Victoria will go into a five-day lockdown from 11:59 pm local time in response to an outbreak at the Holiday Inn that has claimed 13 cases.[22] This is the city's third lockdown since the start of the pandemic and comes in response to community transmission of the Lineage B.1.1.7 UK variant.[23]

14 February

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Ardern announced that Auckland will enter an Alert Level 3 lockdown from 11:59pm that night for a period of three days. The rest of New Zealand will move into a Alert Level 2 lockdown for the same time period. The three-day lockdown is meant for the Government to get more information about a new community outbreak in Papatoetoe, South Auckland. Under the Level 3 lockdown, people will be encouraged to work from home and limits will be imposed on public gatherings and travel from Auckland. Schools and daycare centers will be open to the children of essential workers. Under Level 2, gatherings are restricted to 100 people and travel to Auckland is restricted.[24]

17 February

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland's Alert Level 3 lockdown would be downgraded to an Alert Level 2 since testing indicated minimal risk of widespread transmission. In addition, the rest of New Zealand would move back into an Alert Level 1 lockdown where only border restrictions will remain.[25][26]

19 February

  • In New Zealand, 100 nurses were the first people in the country to receive the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare workers, essential workers and those most at risk will be vaccinated in the second quarter of the year. The general population will be vaccinated in the second half of the year.[27]

22 February

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland's lockdown level would be lowered to Level 1 at midnight. However, it will still be compulsory to wear face masks on public transportation throughout the country.[28]

24 February

  • The Australian state of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have suspended their travel bubble arrangements with New Zealand in response to a recent community outbreak in South Auckland. As a result, New Zealanders traveling to these states have to undergo quarantine.[29]

27 February

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland will enter into an Alert Level 3 lockdown for the next seven days after a new community transmission was detected. In addition, the rest of the country will go into an Alert Level 2 lockdown.[30]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Selangor to organise virtual CNY celebration on Feb 12, says state investment, industry and commerce chairman". Malay Mail. Bernama. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Malaysia to receive first batch of COVID-19 vaccines as country reports more than 4,000 new cases". Channel News Asia. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 2 February 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  4. ^ Anis, Mazwin Nik (4 February 2021). "Ismail Sabri: Hair salons, pasar malam and car wash services allowed during MCO 2.0". The Star. Archived from the original on 4 February 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  5. ^ Tan, Vincent (5 February 2021). "No visiting during Chinese New Year, reunion dinner among those in same household only: Putrajaya". Channel News Asia. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Widespread backlash over Chinese New Year SOPs". Free Malaysia Today. 4 February 2021. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  7. ^ Zolkepli, Farik (7 February 2021). "CNY SOP: Reunion dinner now allowed, no more than 15 family members living within 10km radius". The Star. Archived from the original on 7 February 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  8. ^ Zolkepli, Farik (7 February 2021). "Ismail Sabri: Over 300,000 foreign workers screened for Covid-19 since December". The Star. Archived from the original on 7 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Retail businesses allowed to reopen". The Star. 10 February 2021. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  10. ^ Koya, Zakiah (11 February 2021). "Covid-19: All residing in M'sia to get vaccines, including non-citizens, says Cabinet". The Star. Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Gym activities, golf, table tennis, badminton, tennis among sports allowed from Feb 12". The Star. 11 February 2021. Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  12. ^ Rahimy, Rahim (13 February 2021). "Non-Muslim houses of worship allowed to operate from Feb 12-18, says National Unity Ministry". The Star. Archived from the original on 13 February 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Tokyo failed to count 838 COVID-19 cases amid 'increased workload'". The Japan Times. 16 February 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  14. ^ Yusof, Amir (16 February 2021). "Malaysia extends MCO for Selangor, KL, Johor and Penang until Mar 4 Jump to top Search". Channel News Asia. Archived from the original on 16 February 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Indonesia makes Covid-19 vaccines compulsory, allows private vaccination". The Star. 17 February 2021. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  16. ^ Rajaendram, Rebecca (20 February 2021). "Youngest go back to school first". The Star. Archived from the original on 20 February 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  17. ^ Anis, Mazwin Nik (25 February 2021). "Conferences and exhibitions now allowed in MCO states, with limits on numbers". The Star. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  18. ^ de Jong, Eleanor (3 February 2021). "New Zealand gives provisional approval to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  19. ^ Walls, Jason (5 February 2021). "Govt restarts its refugee resettlement programme after Covid-19 shutdown". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  20. ^ "Government offers lump payment for self-isolating employees awaiting Covid-19 test results". 1 News. 8 February 2021. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Pfizer vaccine signed off by Government, with rules about who will get it". 1 News. 10 February 2021. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  22. ^ "Victoria to enter snap lockdown amid growing Covid-19 cluster linked to Melbourne quarantine hotel". 1 News. 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  23. ^ Michie, Freya (12 February 2021). "Victoria is heading back into coronavirus lockdown tonight. These are the rules". ABC News. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  24. ^ Walls, Jason (14 February 2021). "Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland to level 3 tonight; rest of country at level 2". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 14 February 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  25. ^ de Jong, Eleanor (17 February 2021). "Auckland lockdown to end despite three new cases of Covid-19". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  26. ^ Wade, Amelia (17 February 2021). "Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland to level 2, rest of NZ to level 1 - despite another new Covid case". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  27. ^ Leahy, Ben (20 February 2021). "Covid 19 coronavirus: Health officials give presser as first Kiwis receive vaccinations". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 20 February 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  28. ^ Wade, Amelia (22 February 2021). "Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland back to alert level 1 from midnight - face masks on public transport still mandatory throughout country". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Australian states burst travel bubble with New Zealand". Stuff. 24 February 2021. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Auckland to move back into Alert Level 3 restrictions at midnight for 7 days". 1 News. 27 February 2021. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.