Many countries, including France, are facing a fifth wave of the epidemic. Follow all the news related to Covid-19 in France and around the world.
The Netherlands will be placed in “containment” on Sunday, for the Christmas holiday period, in an attempt to stem a sharp increase in cases of the Omicron variant, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Saturday.
“I’m here tonight in a dark mood. To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will return to containment from tomorrow, ”Rutte said during a televised press conference.
The first cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin, said the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in a press release, confirming information from the local media.
In Guadeloupe, it is “a person (not vaccinated) who resides” on the island, specifies the ARS, which underlines that “there is no notion of travel in the days preceding the result. positive of his test ”.
“This point is worrying because it could mean the existence of an indigenous circulation”, she warns. Another case has been confirmed, in Saint-Martin, on a person from Canada, indicates the same source.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Saturday he was “immensely concerned” by the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, now dominant in the British capital, and triggered an alert procedure involving a coordinated response from public services.
“The increase in the number of cases of the Omicron variant in our capital is of immense concern,” the Labor elected official said in a statement, announcing that he had declared for the second time since the start of the pandemic a “major incident”.
This procedure had already been triggered on January 8, 2021 when London hospitals were threatened with submersion.
Asked by Brut on the difference between the health pass and the vaccination pass, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran explained that the vaccination pass “is a disguised form of vaccination obligation”. He believes that this pass will even be “more effective than an obligation to vaccinate.” Preventing people from going to bars, restaurants and places open to the public, if they are not vaccinated, is more effective than fining them 100 euros when they are caught in the street. The idea is not to punish or to ostracize, but to say “now we have no choice”. We cannot take the risk of filling our hospitals, we cannot continue to live under the threat of waves of epidemics, because 5 million French people have chosen not to protect themselves, ”explains the Minister.
– Brut FR (@brutofficiel) December 18, 2021
Strict anti-Covid measures should be announced on Saturday in the Netherlands, the team of experts who have been advising the government since the start of the pandemic having advocated a return to containment in order to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, according to Dutch media .
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is due to hold a press conference at 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. GMT), a government spokesperson, who is holding an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon, told AFP.
The Scientific Council on Covid-19 called on the government to introduce “significant restrictions” to the risk of transmission of the epidemic on the occasion of New Year’s Eve, in a notice published on Saturday.
“In view of the acceleration of the epidemic, and the risks associated with end-of-year festive activities, significant restrictive measures must be able to be taken by the authorities on the occasion of New Year’s Eve (including, where applicable, under the form of limitation of collective activities or curfews), with the possibility of a territorial variation “, writes this Council.
Responsible for giving recommendations to the executive with regard to knowledge of the epidemic, this body warns of the need to avoid mixing of populations on the evening of December 31.
The mayor of Paris announced on Saturday the cancellation of the fireworks and concerts planned on the Champs-Elysées for New Year’s Eve, in order to apply the measures requested by the government to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic .
“In view of the resurgence of the pandemic and the new government announcements, the City of Paris regrets having to cancel all the festivities planned on the Champs-Élysées on December 31,” the town hall told AFP, specifying that it was about the fireworks and concerts planned on the avenue des Champs-Elysée.
Portugal, one of the countries with the highest vaccination coverage rate in the world, launches its vaccination campaign for children aged 5 to 11 on Saturday, following in the footsteps of other European countries in full progression of the Omicron variant.
Nearly 80,000 children, out of some 640,000 in this age group, have registered to receive a first dose of Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine this weekend.
Calling for vaccination, Prime Minister Antonio Costa explained on Friday that the spread of the new coronavirus was stronger “in unvaccinated children and their parents”.
Vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered to children aged 5 to 11 from Wednesday “if all goes well,” Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Saturday.
“If all goes well, on the 22nd afternoon we start the vaccination of children in centers adapted for children”, he declared on France Inter. The National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) gave a favorable opinion on Friday for this age group which is not affected by the health pass or the future vaccination pass.
A third dose of anti-Covid vaccine will be mandatory for caregivers and firefighters from January 30, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran announced on Saturday, who mentioned the presence of “several hospital clusters of the Omicron variant”.
“We will strengthen the vaccination obligation of caregivers and firefighters by integrating the third dose from January 30. We do not want, as in Scotland, that we have 25 to 30% of caregivers who could not work because of they would all be in contact and therefore in quarantine “, explained Olivier Véran on France Inter. “We have several hospital clusters of the Omicron variant, particularly in the Paris region”, he noted.
twenty five past eight
Two years on the front line against the Covid-19 pandemic and Michael Ryan, responsible for emergency operations at the WHO, continues to display his optimism, convinced that humanity will change course and take the necessary measures to tame the virus.
However, he recognizes that the crisis could worsen even more when Omicron, a new variant of the virus that gives Covid-19, seems ready to resurface infection rates and fill hospitals.
Switzerland will toughen its anti-Covid measures on Monday. Only those vaccinated or cured will now have access to the interior of restaurants, cultural establishments and sports and leisure facilities as well as to indoor events.
The health pass will become at the beginning of the year a “vaccine pass” in France, which can only be activated with a complete vaccination schedule and no longer a simple negative test, announced Friday evening the Prime Minister Jean Castex.
In addition, town halls will have to give up concerts and fireworks on New Year’s Eve, during which alcohol consumption on public roads will be prohibited in order to limit the distribution of the Omicron variant.
The French Prime Minister canceled his planned trip to the troops in Jordan for the New Year, when President Emmanuel Macron gave up celebrating Christmas with the soldiers in Mali, officially due to the Convid-19 crisis.