Canada approves Pfizer pill, new record cases in China… Pandemic update

The Covid pandemic, carried by the Omicron variant, is not weakening. New measures, new reports and highlights: L’Express takes stock of the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

  • Canada approves Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill

The Canadian Ministry of Health announced on Monday that it authorized the use of Pfizer’s anti-Covid viral treatment, marketed under the name Paxlovid. This antiviral drug can be administered to “adults with a mild or moderate form of Covid-19 at high risk of progression to serious illness, including a risk of hospitalization or death”, according to a press release.

“No medicine, not even Paxlovid, can replace vaccination”, however warns the ministry. Health authorities have called the pill an “important new treatment option” and stressed that it is the first anti-Covid treatment that can be used by patients at home.

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  • Covid-19: Israel reduces quarantine for positive cases

The Israeli government decided on Monday to reduce the duration of the quarantine of people positive for Covid-19 from seven to five days, while the record number of contaminations raises, as elsewhere, fears of destabilization of the economy.

“This decision will allow us to continue to protect public health on the one hand and ensure the stability of the economy on the other, even if it is difficult,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a short video. sent by his office.

Israel, faced with the wave of the Omicron variant, thus joins the growing list of countries having reduced the duration of quarantine for infected people, such as France, Spain, Argentina, the United States and England. From December 2020, Israel was one of the first countries to massively vaccinate its population, before offering a booster dose from the summer.

  • Mexico’s president back after his second Covid

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador resumed his almost daily press conference on Monday after a week during which he was treated for the slight symptoms of his second contamination by the Covid-19 which is breaking records in his country.

“Everything went well. This is proof that this variant does not have the same severity as the previous variant,” said AMLO – his initials and his nickname. His country on Saturday recorded a new record of 47,113 additional cases in 24 hours. Optimistic, the president repeated that “contagions were increasing, but not hospitalizations”. “What helps is vaccination,” he said.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, 68, announced he tested positive on January 10, for the second time in just under a year, after receiving a booster dose of AstraZeneca in December.

  • Still wreaking havoc on jobs

The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on jobs around the world and a return to pre-health crisis levels could take years, the UN said on Monday.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) now forecasts a global deficit in hours worked equivalent to 52 million full-time jobs compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. This is twice what it still forecast in May. 2021.

  • China: new cases at the highest

The number of new cases of Covid-19 in China reached its highest level since March 2020 on Monday and the authorities are particularly on the alert as the Games approach.

An admittedly very limited total of 223 new cases have been reported in the country, including some of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Several regions of the country have been facing epidemic rebounds in recent weeks.

The number of daily Covid-19 cases in China rose to its highest level since March 2020 on Monday, as Beijing tries to eradicate the Omicron variant three weeks from the Winter Olympics.

  • Vaccination pass: 60 deputies led by LFI seize the Constitutional Council

About sixty deputies from all sides led by the France insoumise group seized the Constitutional Council on Monday against the bill establishing the vaccination pass adopted on Sunday by Parliament.

Already announced in the hemicycle, this appeal aimed at transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass received the support of deputies from the Democratic and Republican Left group, 13 Freedoms and Territories deputies, six UDI deputies, two deputies from the Socialist group ( Régis Juanico and Jérôme Lambert) and an LR deputy (Xavier Breton), according to LFI.

LFI, firmly opposed to the government text, filed several motions of rejection during the examination of the bill in the National Assembly, and judges that the new instrument of the executive in the fight against covid undermines “the personal freedom, the right to respect for private life, the freedom to come and go, the right to collective expression of ideas and opinions, and the right to lead a family life”.

If the referral recalls “the importance of vaccination”, it considers that the effects of this “disguised vaccination obligation” to curb the spread of the epidemic have not been demonstrated.

  • Compulsory vaccine for foreign athletes in France

Any athlete, including a professional, who comes for a competition in France, as soon for the Six Nations tournament, will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter a sports arena, AFP learned on Monday from government sources.

The day after the expulsion from Australia of world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, unvaccinated, the French government clarified that the vaccination pass would also apply to foreign athletes who come for competitions.

  • The pandemic has benefited billionaires

The fortunes of the ten richest men in the world have doubled since the start of the pandemic while the incomes of 99% of humanity have melted, according to an Oxfam report published on the edge of the Davos Forum on Monday. .


The cumulative wealth of all billionaires experienced “its largest increase ever”, from 5,000 billion dollars, to reach its highest level” at 13,800 billion.



Pierre Assouline, journalist, writer, member of the Goncourt jury and columnist at L'ExpressPierre Assouline


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