a drastic measure. A rebound in the Covid-19 pandemic led to a rebound in the Covid-19 pandemic a month and a half before the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China’s 13 million residents of Xi’an, China, began tighter controls on Thursday, December 23, while elsewhere in the world, new edition Omicron posted its meteoric rise. have continued, resulting in further sanctions in Europe. China is following a “zero COVID” strategy that involves doing everything it can to limit new cases as much as possible, usually to just a few dozen per day. Officials have increased their vigil as the opening of the Olympic Games on February 4 nears.
Thus, following the appearance of a hundred cases in the city, all residents of Xi’an must stay at home from midnight on Thursday “unless there is a compelling reason”. Only one person per household is allowed to go out for shopping every two days. All “non-essential” businesses have had to close. Residents can no longer leave the city without authorization, and the entire population will be screened.
These drastic measures are in contrast to the low number of reported cases in China, where COVID-19 has infected just over 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic.
Contamination records in Spain and the United Kingdom
A record 106,000 new cases were reported in Britain on Wednesday alone. The country, one of the hardest hit in the world (more than 147,500 dead), is trying to accelerate vaccination. About one million booster doses are given every day.
Spain also reported a daily record tally of more than 60,000 cases on Wednesday. In the face of this outbreak, the government will once again make it mandatory to wear masks in the open air from Christmas.
New measures went into effect in Sweden on Thursday: telecommunications must be privileged, and immunization passes will be required to bring together more than 500 people at public events.
“Omicron is dominating, or has already formed, in many countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the UK, where numbers are doubling every one and a half to three days, resulting in unprecedented rates of transmission.” Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Director for Europe.
illusion of reminder
The organization’s boss, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned against the illusion that it is enough to give a booster dose to get out of the pandemic. “Indiscriminate booster programs are likely to lead to the epidemic, rather than end it, by moving the available doses to countries that already have high vaccination rates, thus giving the virus more opportunities to spread and spread.” give,” he insisted.
In the United States, the award ceremony for the Oscar of Honor, held annually in Los Angeles and scheduled for next month, will be postponed due to threats from Omicron. The 2022 edition of the Oscars is yet to be questioned and is still scheduled for March 27.
Omicron is already largely dominant (73% of new contamination) in the United States.
low risk of hospitalization
However, two British studies published on Wednesday show that infections with the Omicron variant are less likely to lead to hospitalization than the delta variant, confirming a trend first observed in South Africa. These initial studies, one from Scotland and the other from England, were welcomed by experts, who were however cautious. “It’s good news with specifics,” said co-author Jim McMenamin of the Scottish study.
According to this study, the risk of hospitalization is reduced by two-thirds with Omicron as compared to Delta. The English study found a 40 to 45% reduction in hospitalization for one or more nights.
Clinical data from the past few weeks shows that Omicron is no more dangerous than its predecessors, including Delta. But scientists warn of an optical effect. Because if the omicron is less dangerous, it is more contagious. So the consequences at the collective level can be dire.
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The number of cases, which doubling every two to three days, could automatically lead to an increase in the number of hospitalized patients, especially non-vaccinated and so-called vulnerable people (the very old, or eg. immunosuppressant), and once again heavy on healthcare systems even considered less lethal at the moment, thus the Omicron variant is likely to cause more deaths.
The pandemic has killed at least 5,368,777 million people worldwide since the end of 2019, according to an assessment established by AFP from official sources on Wednesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the actual toll could be two to three times higher.
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