Mutant Omicron pushes several countries to take new health measures

With the increasing spread of the mutated Omicron strain of the Corona virus, several countries around the world began to announce new preventive measures to stand up to the outbreak of the epidemic. While US President Joe Biden only called on his citizens to receive vaccinations, considering it a “national duty” in the hope of accelerating the pace of vaccination with increased examinations, the German chancellor announced restrictions on New Year’s celebrations in the country, while the Israeli Prime Minister revealed that his country will provide a fourth dose of the vaccine for those who exceeded They are sixty years old.

Several countries around the world have announced plans and measures to confront the accelerating outbreak for the omicronAs Washington decided to move on Tuesday, it is counting on increasing examinations and accelerating the pace of vaccination. While US President Joe Biden assured his citizens of his country’s readiness to confront the new mutator, I decided… Europe tightening restrictions.

Biden said that the situation raises concern due to the spread of Omicron, but he stressed the need to “not panic”, stressing that the conditions are currently different from what they were in March 2020.

He added, “There are 200 million people who have received all the vaccines. We are ready, we are more aware. We just have to stay focused.”

Biden confirms his country’s readiness to confront Omicron

The US President pointed out that there are “three main differences” compared to the beginning of the pandemic, the first of which is the availability of vaccines, the abundance of personal protective equipment for caregivers who have to deal with the influx of unvaccinated people to hospitals, as well as the presence of accumulated knowledge about this virus.

Despite this, Biden was careful to warn those who did not fully receive their vaccination, saying that they have “good cause for concern”, stressing that vaccination constitutes their “national duty.”

The White House had previously clarified the US President’s strategy on the virus, which is to conduct examinations, enhance vaccination capabilities and provide additional means for hospitals, without imposing new restrictions before Christmas.

Long queues extended at the beginning of the week in front of testing centers across the United States. A senior White House official stressed that “it is not necessary to close our schools and our economy.”

The US authorities will provide 500 million free examinations and mobilize 1,000 doctors and nurses, as well as members of the military’s medical staff.

The United States will also provide more than half a billion dollars in additional assistance to international organizations to counter the Omicron outbreak.

“I know you’re tired… We all want this to end, but we’re still in the middle of it. And we’re at a critical moment,” Biden told his fellow citizens from the White House.

A fourth dose of the vaccine in Israel

In Israel, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that a fourth dose of the vaccine would be available to residents over the age of 60 and to medical staff, based on the recommendation of an expert panel.

Israel will vaccinate people over the age of sixty

It comes at a time when Israel is struggling to contain the spread of Omicron, and has imposed travel restrictions without going so far as to impose a closure.

“I have given the order to immediately prepare for the fourth vaccine,” Bennett wrote on Twitter. “The world will follow in our footsteps.”

Europe reimposes restrictions

In Europe, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Tuesday that against Omicron, Germany will limit contact even between vaccinated people, by limiting the number of guests at New Year’s celebrations to ten.

“It is no longer the time for celebrations and evenings with many guests,” he said after a meeting with leaders of the 16 provinces, stressing that “the fifth wave is at the door.”

Clubs and discos will also close all over the country.

From December 28, with the exception of children under the age of 14, vaccinated persons or those who have contracted the virus and recovered from it will not be allowed to receive more than 10 guests in their homes, provided that all of them are vaccinated. As for the unvaccinated, they can host a maximum of two people only from one family.

Unlike neighboring Holland, Germany does not plan to close shops, cinemas or restaurants, as it considers that it is sufficient to only allow vaccinated or previously infected people to enter it.

No measures of this kind are envisaged FranceIt appears that a third of the cases of Covid-19 recorded in Paris are omicron, according to what was announced Tuesday by government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

Atal explained that the rate of Covid-19 infections in France reached a “new record” at 537 cases per 100,000 people.

At the same time, Spain recorded, on Tuesday, a record number of Covid-19 infections nationwide, reaching 49,823 within 24 hours, at a time when the mutant Omicron represents nearly half of the new cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

The previous record was about 40,000 injuries within 24 hours, and was recorded in mid-January in Spain, which is considered one of the countries most affected by the first wave of the Corona pandemic.

Will the pandemic be eradicated in 2022?

In London, the mayor of the British capital, Sadiq Khan, announced on Monday evening the cancellation of the celebrations that were scheduled in the capital on the occasion of the New Year.

And Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Tuesday that traditional New Year’s celebrations, which usually last three days, were cancelled, due to the Omicron outbreak.

Morocco also imposed a curfew on New Year’s Eve, between midnight and six in the morning.

Amid these developments, the general manager WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “If we want to end the pandemic next year, we must end inequality (in vaccines), by ensuring that 70 percent of the population in every country is vaccinated by the middle of next year.”

“Next year, the World Health Organization is committed to doing everything in its power to eradicate the pandemic,” he added.

Meanwhile, WHO chief scientific officer Dr Somaya Swaminathan said preliminary data from South Africa showed that hospitalizations associated with the omicron were lower than during previous delta waves.

And on Tuesday, the World Health Organization gave its approval for the emergency use of a new vaccine against Covid-19 developed by the American pharmaceutical company Novavax, after a green light obtained by the vaccine from the European Union Medicines Authority, thus becoming the tenth vaccine to obtain this approval.

The organization also announced that it had resumed evaluation of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine after months of waiting for additional data. Rogerio Gaspar, head of the regulation and prequalification division, said the organization will begin assessing the quality of incoming data next month and aims to conduct field inspections in February.

In the face of the accelerating outbreak of Omicron, Israel has included the United States and other countries in its list of countries to which it is prohibited to travel. For its part, Thailand re-imposed quarantine on all travelers.

The Corona virus has killed at least 5.35 million people in the world since the World Health Organization office in China reported the emergence of the disease at the end of December 2019, according to a census conducted by Agence France-Presse based on official sources on Tuesday at 11:00 GMT. .

FRANCE 24/AFP

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