Many countries, including France, are facing a fifth wave of the epidemic. Six regions have already activated the “white plan” to reduce tension in hospitals. Follow all the news related to Covid-19 in France and around the world.
The number of Covid-19 contaminations increased again on Tuesday, to 63,405 cases, the highest figure since April according to data from Public Health France published on Tuesday.
As of April 8, 84,999 new cases had been registered.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday announced the closure of primary schools next week and the extension of current health restrictions until January 14 because of the new variant Omicron.
“Schools will close from December 20, one week before the start of the Christmas holidays,” Rutte said at a press conference.
According to the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “no variant of the virus that gives Covid-19 has so far spread as quickly as Omicron”. WHO estimates that all countries are now affected.
England will end very strict restrictions on arrivals from 11 African countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, which had been decided to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.
The British Minister for Health announced on Tuesday that the quarantines, lasting 11 nights on arrival on English soil, would end. Until now, among travelers from these 11 countries on the UK “red list”, only UK residents or persons of UK or Irish nationality have been accepted.
These 11 countries will no longer be on the “red list”, as of tomorrow.
Pregnancies are more often disrupted by Covid-19, with in particular more risk of premature births, shows a study relayed on Tuesday by the hospitals of Paris (APHP).
“We have observed links between a diagnosis of Covid-19 and several maternal morbidities (including) premature births, pre-eclampsia (rise in blood pressure associated with an increase in proteins in the urine, editor’s note), hemorrhages in the time of childbirth and births by caesarean section “, summarizes this study conducted in France by APHP and published at the end of November in the journal PLOS.
Africa may not reach the goal of 70% vaccinated against Covid-19 until August 2024, according to projections revealed on Tuesday by the WHO, which again called for an acceleration of vaccination campaigns for ” save a lot of lives “.
Pfizer confirmed on Tuesday that its anti-Covid pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths in people at risk by nearly 90% when taken in the first few days after symptoms appeared, according to clinical trials.
These results are based on all the participants in the trials, more than 2,200 people, and confirm what was announced in early November from preliminary results. Pfizer also announced that its treatment should remain effective against Omicron.
The vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer is generally less effective against Omicron but protects 70% against severe cases, according to a study presented Tuesday and carried out in South Africa, which detected the new variant in November.
Many uncertainties hover over the nature of this new form of Covid-19. According to the first observations of scientists, it is more contagious but the unusually high number of mutations it presents raises many fears about its ability to resist vaccines.
The study developed by the country’s leading private health insurance company, Discovery, with scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), is based on the results of 78,000 PCR tests obtained between November 15 and December 7. “The double dose of the Pfizer vaccine shows 70% effectiveness in reducing hospital admissions,” Discovery president Ryan Noach told a news conference online. The vaccine was previously 93% effective against severe cases.
France is working on strengthening border measures to deal with the tidal wave of the Omicron variant in the United Kingdom, work which “will be successful in the coming days,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.
France has enough doses of vaccine against Covid-19, assured the Minister Delegate in charge of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
“We have 27 million doses in stock. In January and February we will have deliveries of 15 million doses per month. And within the European framework, I have made sure that we have orders of 67 million doses in 2022 and 2023. (…) This means that, whatever happens, we have the capacity to vaccinate the French, “she told Sud-Radio.
“We must prepare” for the deployment of Omicron, “because the variants always end up being essential”, declared this Tuesday morning the Prime Minister Jean Castex, on the second day of his trip to Marseille, questioned on France Bleu Provence on the fifth wave of Covid-19. “The truth is that we do not yet know exactly when this variant will deploy, but experience has led us to say that we must prepare for it because in the end the variants still do not impose themselves”, developed the head of government.
Australia will continue to ease restrictions before Christmas despite a further rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country’s most populous state, authorities said on Tuesday.
California authorities announced Monday that they were reinstating the obligation to wear a mask in all enclosed public places in order to curb a resurgence of Covid-19 cases recorded in the state for a few weeks. This obligation, which will come into force on Wednesday, applies to all individuals, whether or not they are vaccinated.
The use of FFP2 masks containing graphene, already temporarily suspended in France, must be avoided as a precaution due to lack of data on the toxicity of this synthetic material, judges the health security agency Anses on Tuesday.
“ANSES recommends that public authorities give priority to the marketing or making available of masks without graphene”, indicates the agency in a press release after an expert report requested by the Directorate General of Health (which depends on the ministry) .