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Hard Numbers: Portugal's hellish January, Sputnik V triumphs, no term limits for Vietnam, Turkey arrests students

Medical personnel stand next to ambulances with COVID-19 patients as they wait in the queue at Santa Maria hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Lisbon, Portugal, January 27, 2021
45: Roughly 45 percent of all Portuguese deaths (5,576) from COVID-19 were recorded in January 2021. Portugal says that the more infectious UK variant is to blame for its deepening COVID crisis, which has seen Lisbon appeal to Austria and Germany for urgent medical assistance as its hospitals struggle to keep pace with the outbreak.

92: Late-stage efficacy trials reveal that Russia's Sputnik V COVID vaccine has a 92 percent efficacy rate and a high safety record, the Lancet medical journal reports. Russia came under fire for rolling out the shot before safety trials had concluded, but many scientists now say it is a proven COVID vaccine.

3: Nguyen Phu Trong, the head of Vietnam's Communist Party, has bypassed party rules to secure his third term as national leader after the party failed to agree on his successor. Trong, who has overseen one of the most successful COVID containment strategies in the world, has long maintained a tight grip on power by quashing dissent.

159: Turkish police arrested 159 students protesting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to tap political ally Melih Bulu to head Istanbul's liberal Bogazici University, one of the country's top schools. Many students see the move as an attempt by the government to further encroach on academic life. Erdogan has purged thousands of academics from their posts in recent years.


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