The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 5.3 million lives worldwide since the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December 2019 in this country, according to a report established Monday by Agence France-Presse from official sources. WHO estimates that the real toll could be two to three times higher.
US health officials cut isolation time in half for infection
The American health authorities announced, Monday, December 27, to have reduced by half the recommended duration of isolation of people positive for Covid-19, from ten to five days for asymptomatic people, and also reduced this duration for contact cases. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main health agency in the United States, said in a statement that « This modification is justified by science », according to which the majority of infections occur within one to two days before and two to three days after the onset of symptoms.
The United States is approaching a threshold never reached for contamination, with nearly 215,000 new cases on Sunday, a jump of 83% in fourteen days. But President Biden refused to panic: the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will not have the same impact as the first wave of Covid-19 a year ago or as the Delta variant this year, he has. estimated, due to the massive vaccination campaign and screening. « We are not seeing hospitalizations increase as much » than before, said Joe Biden, when 72% of the population received at least one injection. He acknowledged, however, that some hospitals in the country were « Outdated, in terms of equipment and personnel », by an increase in hospitalizations, mostly unvaccinated people who are still numerous.
New restrictions in Greece
In Europe, the global epicenter of the epidemic rebound, several countries have decided on new restrictions to prevent hospital congestion. The Europe region is the one with the most cases in the world, with 2.9 million in the last seven days (55% of the world total), as well as the most deaths with more than 24,000 deaths last week (53% of the total), followed by the United States – Canada zone (over 10,000, 22%).
The Greece will close, from January 3, restaurants and bars at midnight and allow tables of only six people in these establishments. And people in businesses and public administrations must switch to 50% teleworking from January 3 until January 16. the Denmark and theIceland announced that they had exceeded never-before-reached thresholds for daily Covid-19 cases. And the Norway said the new variant of the coronavirus was now in the majority in the capital, Oslo.
In Xi’an, China, only motorists involved in the fight against the epidemic are allowed to drive
In China, which is preparing for the Winter Olympics (February 4 to 20) and has been applying since last year a « Zero Covid strategy », the city of Xi’an (north) has promised to impose the measures « The strictest » after the screening of several hundred cases of Covid-19. Residents of the city have been forced to stay at home since Thursday, with the right to go out only once every three days for refueling. And from Monday, only motorists involved in the fight against the epidemic have the right to get behind the wheel.
Fourth dose of vaccine in Israel
In Israel, a hospital on Monday began administering a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to its caregivers, as part of a clinical trial expected to precede a nationwide campaign.
Air transport still severely disrupted
The Omicron variant continued to strongly disrupt air transport, which is particularly popular this holiday season, on Monday, with thousands of flights canceled since Christmas weekend due to this highly contagious variant identified in South Africa in November.
Some 8,300 international or domestic air routes were canceled over the weekend, tens of thousands of flights were delayed between Friday and Sunday. During this long weekend, Chinese airlines alone cut more than 2,000 flights, including many to Xi’an, whose 13 million inhabitants are confined. The disruptions continued Monday (nearly 2,500 canceled flights) and Tuesday (more than 800 at this point), according to the FlightAware website.