Science

Covid-19: the highlights of the week of April 6, 2021

The numbers of the week

4,833,263 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (+10,793 cases since the day before).

96,875 cumulative deaths since the start of the epidemic (+197 since the last 24 hours).

12,878 new hospitalizations over the last 7 days including 2,921 critical care admissions.

9,296,131 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of April 4, 2021.

Science

EMA official confirms link between AstraZeneca and thrombosis

An EMA official confirms the existence of a “link“between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the cases of thrombosis observed after its administration, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Messaggero published on March 6, 2021. “Now we can tell, it is clear that there is a link with the vaccine. What causes this reaction, however, we don’t know yet.“says Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA).”We are trying to get a precise picture of what is happening, to define precisely this syndrome due to the vaccine (…) Among the vaccinated people, there is a number of cases of cerebral thrombosis in young people higher than this. what we would expect. This we will have to say“, he declared again. For several weeks suspicions have appeared on possible serious side effects, but rare, after the observation in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca of cases of atypical thrombosis. Dozens of cases have already been observed. identified.

14 countries “concerned” after the WHO report on the origin of the coronavirus

The United States and 13 allied countries expressed their “concerns” in a joint statement on the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the origin of Covid-19, calling on China to give “full access” to its data. “The study of international experts on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been significantly delayed (…). It is crucial that independent experts can have full access to all data”, affirmed the new American administration in a declaration co-signed, among others, by the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Japan, Australia, Denmark and Norway.

First anti-Covid vaccine for animals approved in Russia

“The clinical trials of Carnivac-Cov, started in October last year (…) allow us to conclude that the vaccine is harmless and highly effective since 100% of the animals tested have developed antibodies”, said in a statement the deputy director of the veterinary and phytosanitary agency Rosselkhoznadzor, Konstantin Savenkov. The animals tested were cats, dogs, red and arctic foxes, and mink. Rosselkhoznadzor specifies that the vaccine is only intended for carnivorous animals. The agency assures that the development of this vaccine was “particularly important”, several animal species being sensitive to Covid-19.

Leak of the coronavirus from a lab: embarrassment in Beijing after the words of the head of the WHO

The WHO boss, accused of being too complacent towards Beijing, surprised Tuesday, March 30, 2021 by requesting additional investigations into the theory that the coronavirus could have escaped from the Wuhan virology laboratory. Asked during a press briefing, Liang Wannian, head of the delegation of Chinese scientists who collaborated on the report of experts appointed by the WHO on the origin of the coronavirus, expressed his incomprehension of the words scored by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “I do not understand his vision of things because it is an area that concerns us scientists”, he confided.

Covid-19: WHO recommends “not to use” ivermectin

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended March 31 “not to use ivermectin“for patients with Covid-19, with the exception of clinical trials. Ivermectin is a commonly used antiparasitic that is the subject of an intense promotional campaign on social networks, but according to a panel of WHO experts, the data from clinical studies to measure its effectiveness against Covid-19 did not provide conclusive results. WHO experts drew their conclusions from a total of 16 trials random clinics with 2,400 participants Inexpensive, already used in some countries, for example in Latin America, ivermectin shares similarities with hydroxychloroquine.

In France

Schools closed for three weeks and call for “mobilization”

The restrictions in force since mid-March in 19 departments are now extended to the entire territory for four weeks from March 3 in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, announced Emmanuel Macron. These measures, already in place in Ile-de-France and in Hauts-de-France, include the closure of certain shops and the ban on moving more than 10 km, said the head of state during an allowance to the French. Nurseries, schools, colleges and high schools are closed for 3 weeks “except“for the children of caregivers and some other professions, as well as children with disabilities, and the spring school holidays will take place throughout the territory from April 12 to 26, date of a face-to-face start for schools and in distance for middle and high schools, but students will be able to continue to go to university one day a week.

IN CURVES. Covid-19: the resuscitation situation by region on April 1

As of Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the occupancy rate of intensive care beds continued its upward trend throughout mainland France (except Corsica), with a very marked increase this week. Particularly in Brittany and Pays de la Loire, two regions which now exceed the health emergency threshold, as well as in Grand Est and Center-Val de Loire, which are close to saturation of their entire initial capacity. The three metropolitan regions already fully saturated (Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France and PACA) are still not stabilizing despite the restrictions in place for two weeks and continue to increase. Overseas, the rate increases sharply in Guadeloupe and Martinique, reaching the health emergency.

IN CURVES. Covid-19: vaccination rates by region as of April 1

The vaccination campaign picked up speed during the week of April 1, especially for the first dose. The majority of metropolitan regions now exceed 12% of their population for this first dose, with Corsica still in the lead (over 16%), and Île-de-France still last (10%). Similarly for the second dose, Corsica is first with 6% against less than 3% for Île-de-France. According to Public Health France, a total of more than 8 million people have already received the first dose of one of the vaccines (nearly 12% of the population) and more than 2 million have already received both doses (4%).

Covid-19: resuscitators fear having “two patients but only one place”

Asked by Science and the Future, Professor Frédéric Adnet, professor of emergency medicine, head of the emergency department of the Avicenne hospital and the Samu of Seine-Saint-Denis, indicates that “under the guise of deprogramming“, hospitals have”already started to sort” patients. “Behind the term ‘deprogramming’ hide patients who came for cancer screening, for example, but who cannot be taken care of to make room for patients with Covid-19“, he explains. He indicates that for the moment,”the sorting threshold remains acceptable“but if the situation continues,”it will go up to a situation that we will no longer be able to accept: two patients arrive in intensive care but I only have one free place“. In Italy, in Bergamo, caregivers were obliged to carry out a vital screening among the patients, that is to say to choose people who were able to go to intensive care.”This is what we absolutely want to avoid“, fears Professor Adnet.

Abroad

Germany: reopening in Saarland

Café terraces, restaurants, cinemas and sports halls reopen on April 6 in the regional state of Saarland, against the grain of the rest of Germany where faced with the third wave of Covid-19, some are calling for a new turn of the screw. Bordering France and Luxembourg, the Saar is the first German regional state to partially lift the restrictions: henceforth cafes and restaurants, closed for five months, will therefore be able to welcome their customers outside but with strict rules.

Sanitary bubble between Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand approved on April 6 the principle of a “bubble” with Australia in which nationals of the two countries could travel without quarantine, hoping that it will materialize in mid-April. “I can confirm that non-quarantine trips will start in less than two weeks“, announced New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Colombia: Bogota is confined

The eight million inhabitants of Bogota will have to confine themselves over the coming weekend, announced the mayor of the Colombian capital Claudia Lopez as the country faces a third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. “This weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, we will all stay at home (…) Throughout Bogota, only strictly essential activities will be allowed“she said.

In Denmark, the “corona passport” makes its debut to reopen the country

Among the first in Europe, Denmark began on April 6 to use its Covid “passport”, the key to a plan to gradually reopen the country by the end of May. Available via a secure application as well as in paper format, it currently allows entry into certain small businesses – hairdressers, beauty salons or even driving schools – by proving that the wearer is either fully vaccinated or that he is has already contracted Covid-19 with a positive test for two to twelve weeks, i.e. he has tested negative for less than 72 hours. In the Scandinavian country, the “coronapas” is not currently used for travel, although the government intends to do so in the long term. On the other hand, it will be compulsory to access the terraces which are scheduled to reopen on April 21, then in restaurants, museums, theaters and cinemas from May 6.

A nighttime curfew imposed in New Delhi

New Delhi will impose a nighttime curfew on its 25 million inhabitants from the evening of April 6, a day after India recorded a new record of coronavirus cases. In India, the number of cases has exceeded the 100,000 threshold for the first time in 24 hours. The government of the Indian capital has estimated that the “sudden rise in Covid-19 cases“and”the high rate of positivity“necessitated the imposition of a night curfew from 22:00 to 05:00. Only people providing services deemed essential or those going to vaccination centers will be allowed to circulate in the streets in the meantime.

With AFP and NG

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