Covid-19: return of the mask in Spain, 100,000 cases in 24 hours in the United Kingdom – Sciences et Avenir

A deux jours de Noël, the three contagious variant Omicron of the coronavirus spread to a blazing vite in Europe, and the Spain was credited with the masque in external, alors that the Royaume-Uni signalait plus 106,000 new houses in 24 hours, a record.

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 number of victims could be two to three times higher.

The European region currently registers the highest number of cases, with 2,870,947 cases in the last seven days (60% of the world total), followed by the United States / Canada (1,108,580 cases, 23%).

Faced with this outbreak, Spain, which this Tuesday registered a record of 49,823 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, almost half of which was due to Omicron, has decided to make the use of a mask mandatory again outdoors.

An extraordinary council of ministers must pass a decree-law on Thursday so that the use of the mask outdoors is effective for Christmas, which always involves important meetings.

Record also broken in the United Kingdom, which crossed the barrier of 100,000 new daily cases for the first time on Wednesday (106,122, more than half of Omicron).

The country, one of the most affected in the world (more than 147,500 dead, 140 of them in the last 24 hours), is trying to speed up vaccination. Nearly a million booster doses are given each day.

Scotland on Tuesday announced the cancellation of its New Year’s Eve parties. Wales will also tighten the screws: Starting Sunday, groups will be limited to six people in cinemas, pubs and restaurants, with mandatory table service, events limited to 50 people outdoors or 30 indoors.

– Vaccination of children in France –

Omicron is also spreading “very rapidly” in France and could become the majority there between Christmas and New Years, according to the government, which called for “accelerating” the use of teleworking. The number of contaminations could exceed 100,000 per day by the end of December, the Health Minister warned.

France, which is committed to accelerating vaccination rather than restrictions, launched its campaign in favor of children on Wednesday. Finland is preparing to do the same, after several other European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Belgium announced Wednesday night the closure of its cinemas and theaters. Cafes and restaurants can stay open until 11:00 pm

Highly contagious, the new variant, detected in November in southern Africa, is spreading at lightning speed across the European continent.

“Omicron is becoming, or has already become, dominant in several countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom, where the numbers are doubling every day and a half to three, resulting in unprecedented transmission rates,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO. Director for Europe.

The organization’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned against the illusion that booster doses are enough to emerge from the pandemic.

“Indiscriminate booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than end it, by diverting available doses to countries that already have high vaccination rates, thus giving the virus more opportunities to spread, spread and mutate,” he noted Dr. Tedros.

– China: 13 million confined –

Omicron already dominates to a large extent (73% of new contaminations) in the United States. Yet the country is “ready,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday, repeating that there was no reason to “panic.”

The US Agency for Medicines (FDA) on Wednesday authorized the pill from the laboratory Pfizer for the treatment of patients with Covid.

This pill can reduce hospitalizations and deaths in people at risk by almost 90% when taken in the first days after symptoms appear, according to clinical trials in more than 2,200 people.

In Turkey, the Turkovac anti-Covid vaccine also received an “emergency” authorization, the Health Minister announced on Wednesday.

Clinical data from the last few weeks suggests that Omicron is no more dangerous than previous variants, including Delta. But scientists warn of an optical effect.

Because Omicron is so much more contagious, the consequences could be severe collectively, the outbreak of contaminations automatically leading to an increase in the number of hospitalized patients, especially frail or unvaccinated people, and ultimately more deaths.

In China, the 13 million inhabitants of the metropolis of Xi’an (north), known for its army buried in terracotta, are now confined to contain a Covid-19 outbreak. One person per household can go shopping every two days.

China, where Covid-19 appeared two years ago, is following a “Covid zero” strategy, which consists of doing everything possible to limit the appearance of new cases as much as possible.

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