Great Britain: with vaccines, Omicron 90% less heavy than Delta. Peak of the variant in France expected in 10 days. The US raises the anti-Omicron shield. In the Philippines, arrest for no vax leaving home
The Austrian government confirms its intention to introduce the mandatory vaccine from February 1, as announced in recent weeks, despite the agency responsible for supervising mandatory immunization claims that it needs “at least” another two months, until April, to comply with all the technical requirements relating to the national register. The broadcaster Orf reported that the health ministry will take the agency’s findings into account, but at the moment the expected date remains that of February 1st.
There Germany has decided to reduce the duration of the quarantine for Covid patients and to reset it for those who have had contact with positives, if vaccinated with three doses, while entry into the premises (bars and restaurants) will require a negative test also for those who are vaccinated , has not yet received the third dose. The new measures were decided today in a meeting between the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the governors of the laender, to address the rapid spread, also in Germany, of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, already predominant in the northern part of the country. For those who fall ill, the isolation period drops from 14 to 10 days, while those who have already had the third dose of the vaccine may not isolate themselves if they have been in contact with a positive. The 10 days can be reduced if after 7 days it is negative. As for bars, restaurants and hotels, in addition to the unvaccinated, even those who have not yet had the third dose will have to submit a negative test to be able to attend them. Today the incidence of infections per 100 thousand inhabitants has risen to over 300, with 56,335 new cases and 264 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Great Britain. “We know that Omicron is less severe and that once the third dose is received booster (of the anti Covid vaccine), the chances of ending up hospitalized are 90% lower than the Delta variant “. This was said today by the British Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, visiting King’s College Hospital in London and referring to the “latest analyzes” conducted in the United Kingdom. However, the minister added that the hospitals still face “a few stormy weeks” due to the number of infections and absences among the staff, with two other health facilities declared today in a state of alert in England. The third doses booster they break through 35 million, with the administration to over three quarters of all people included in the age group to which today they are offered in the Kingdom: that is to say all over 18 residents.
In France the peak of the Omicron variant is expected in ten days: this was stated by Alain Fischer, one of the leaders of the anti-Covid strategy in the country beyond the Alps. “I think we are reaching the peak of this new wave”, the expert told Lci TV, specifying that it is expected “towards the beginning of the second fortnight of January”, therefore in about “10 days”. Yesterday, France recorded 261,481 cases of Covid, well below Wednesday’s record of 332,000 infections.
In the use also for Moderna’s anti-Covid vaccine, the time interval between administration of the booster and completion of the primary immunization cycle is reduced to “at least 5 months” for people aged 18 and over. This was established today by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The regulatory body of the States explains that the goal is to raise the shields against Omicron to the maximum. “The country is in the midst of a wave of this highly contagious variant, which spreads faster than others,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Organic Evaluation and Research. Hence the decision to change the Emergency Use Authorization (Eua) for the Moderna vaccine, to reduce the time between completion of a primary vaccine series and a booster dose. As had already been decided for the Pfizer vaccine. “Vaccination is our best defense against Covid, including circulating variants – continued Marks – and shortening the time period between completing a primary series and a booster dose can help reduce waning immunity. Today’s action also brings consistency between available mRna vaccines with regards to the timing of booster administration. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated: it is never too late to do the first doses or the booster ».
In the Philippines, arrest for people not fully vaccinated who leave home “to stop the spread of the virus and protect them”. This is the measure decided by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, at the end of a summit of the anti-Covid task force. According to his spokesman Alexei Nograles, the directive was decided “for public health and safety”. Previously, a de facto lockdown for the unvaccinated had already been imposed in the metropolitan area of Manila, with over 13 million inhabitants, allowing them to leave their homes for essential reasons only.
The total number of Covid-19 cases recorded across the world since the beginning of the pandemic, today it has exceeded 300 million, according to an AFP count based on official data, which also shows a slight decrease in deaths in the last week: they were 6,172, 3% less. In the past week, more than 13.5 million cases have been detected worldwide, with a massive 64% increase weekly, with an average of 1,938,395 new infections per day, fueled by Omicron. A total of 34 countries had record numbers. Eighteen of these are in Europe. Record numbers also in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Europe has been particularly affected by the new variant, with Cyprus having 3,468 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days, while the rate for Ireland is 2,840, followed by Greece, Denmark and France (all above 2,000).
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