Coronavirus: update on the pandemic in the world – Sciences et Avenir

New Measures, New Reports, and Highlights – An update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

– South Africa: new variant –

A new variant of Covid-19, known as B.1.1.529, potentially highly contagious and with multiple mutations, has been detected in South Africa, which is seeing signs of a new wave.

At this stage, South African scientists are unsure of the effectiveness of existing vaccines against this new variant.

– United Kingdom: entry is prohibited to travelers from six African countries –

The United Kingdom announced on Thursday that it will ban travelers from six African countries, after South Africa announced the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19 with multiple mutations.

All flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana will be suspended starting at 12:00 GMT on Friday.

– Europe: Pfizer vaccine approved for children 5 to 11 years –

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 5 to 11, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday.

– New measures in France –

Faced with the rebound in the epidemic, France announced this Thursday a reinforcement of vaccination measures and the health pass, without considering at this stage “neither containment nor curfew.”

The booster dose of the Covid vaccine, currently available for those over 65, will be open to all adults starting Saturday.

Health worker receives vaccine booster in Wuhan, China, on November 25, 2021 (AFP – STR)

As of January 15, 2022, in the absence of a reminder, the health pass will not be valid seven months after the last injection. As for the period of validity of the negative tests, which give rise to the right to pass, it will be reduced to 24 hours (instead of 72 hours).

Due to the resumption of the pandemic in France, Morocco will suspend regular flights between the two countries starting Friday night.

– Prosecute countries that block patent lifting –

Lawyers and human rights defenders announced on Thursday that they wanted to take legal action against Germany and other countries accused of blocking negotiations to lift patents for anti-Covid vaccines.

– Africa: one in 4 caregivers is fully vaccinated –

A nurse prepares a dose of vaccine in Montreal on November 24, 2021 (AFP - Andrej Ivanov)A nurse prepares a dose of vaccine in Montreal on November 24, 2021 (AFP – Andrej Ivanov)

Only 27% of healthcare professionals, or about one in four, have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated on Thursday.

– Germany: Merkel calls for “additional restrictions –

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday urged the emerging German government to swiftly tighten measures to address rising infections as the country crosses the 100,000 virus-related death mark.

– Czech Republic: Christmas markets and nightclubs closed –

The Czech government declared a thirty-day state of emergency on Thursday, including the closure of Christmas markets and nightclubs.

– Belgium: rebound exceeds “most pessimistic” forecasts –

The increase in contaminations and hospitalizations linked to Covid in Belgium is “higher than the most pessimistic curves” of the experts, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Thursday, who will urgently meet the heads of the executives of the federative entities. to decide new measures.

Daily contaminations broke a record in Belgium on Monday with 23,621 new infections, according to the Sciensano public health institute.

– More than 5.17 million deaths –

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 5,173,915 worldwide since the end of 2019, according to a report by AFP from official sources on Thursday at 11:00 GMT.

The United States is the most affected country, with 775,785 deaths, ahead of Brazil (613,642), India (466,980), Mexico (293,186) and Russia (269,057 deaths).

A health worker shows a batch of vaccines on November 24, 2021 in Dura, near Hebron, in the Palestinian territories (AFP - HAZEM BADER)A health worker shows a batch of vaccines on November 24, 2021 in Dura, near Hebron, in the Palestinian territories (AFP – HAZEM BADER)

In Europe, Covid-19 has killed more than 1.5 million people, according to the AFP count.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the number of victims of the pandemic in the world could be two or three times higher than that calculated from official figures.

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