The British government health officer, Chris Whitty, has warned of a new version of the coronovirus that will rapidly increase the pathogen. The government’s epidemic advisers believe this new version is responsible for a dramatic increase in numbers in southern England, Whitty said on Saturday. The World Health Organization (WHO) was informed. But there is no evidence that infections are more often fatal or that the virus reacts differently to vaccines or treatments, Whitty said.
Following a hastily convened crisis meeting in London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a strict lockout for London and large parts of South-East England. These areas were already at the highest level of the three-stage warning system and were accompanied by high restrictions. According to Johnson, they are now being offered a quarter, even higher level, which will, among other things, close all non-essential shops and hairdressers. The measure comes into effect from Saturday after the shop closes.
In addition, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for important reasons, for example going to a doctor or working. Residents of Level 4 lockdown area are not allowed to leave the area. Relaxation on the Christmas holidays does not apply to this part of the country. Residents are not allowed to visit any other home except in some exceptional cases. “We can’t spend Christmas as planned,” Johnson said.
Johnson said, “If the virus changes its course of attack, we have to change our way of defense.” “Without action, the infection will skyrocket, hospitals will be overwhelmed and many thousands of people will lose their lives.” The new version of the virus has been found practically only in Great Britain so far. He is responsible for a huge increase in infections in the last few days. The number of Kovid-19 cases in London has almost doubled in the past week, with about 60 per cent of infections being attributed to the new virus strain, the government announced.
Viruses develop or mutate quickly, especially those such as the flu. The novel coronovirus is also changing, albeit more slowly than usual. Other types of coronovirus have been reported in the past, including a mink that was thought to be highly contagious. Millions of mink cultivated in Denmark have been removed despite the fact that the WHO said on 20 November that the most worrisome strain is no longer spreading to humans.
Switzerland Approves Biontech Vaccine
Switzerland has approved the Corona vaccine developed by Mainz-based company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer. Licensing authority Swissdemic announced in Bern on Saturday that it was the world’s first authority in routine process rather than emergency authorization. The vaccine was evaluated from mid-October. “The data available to date showed a comparative, high level of effectiveness across all age groups and met safety requirements,” the authority reported. For example, Switzerland has a higher number of new infections than Germany.
The most frequently documented side effects are compared to flu vaccination. “After a careful examination of the available information, Swcedic has concluded that the Kovid-19 vaccine is safe from Pfizer / Biontech.” Preparations were first approved in Great Britain and then by emergency approval from early December in many other countries around the world.
Canada, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Ecuador and Chile have now approved the vaccine. European Medicines Agency EMA gives its evaluation of the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine this Monday. Health Minister Jens Spann (CDU) hopes in his own words that the European Union Commission will allow the serum on Tuesday.
USA allows another corona vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency approval for the corona vaccine from pharmaceutical company Modern. The FDA announced this on Friday. Government officials had already said that the drug could be used on Monday.
He hoped that about six million vaccine doses could be delivered to the country soon after approval. According to the company, 20 million units may be available in the US before the end of the year. For complete immune protection, each of these per vaccinated person is required every 28 days.
An advisory committee Thursday gave the green light to the FDA for emergency approval of the corona vaccine from the US group. Based on the information available so far, 20 experts at the meeting organized by Video Link stated that the preparations in use by people over the age of 18 outweighed the advantages and risks. Was an immortal. In the European Union, a deployment is to be decided on 6 January.
Following the FDA statement, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “Congratulations, the modern vaccine is now available.” However, experts have repeatedly said that people in particular needing protection had previously received vaccinations and that it could take months for sufficient funds to be available to ordinary people.
The company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is expected to produce 100 to 125 million doses of the vaccine called “mRNA-1273” in the first three months of next year. 15 to 25 million of these should be available outside the US. In total, the group expects to be able to manufacture one billion vaccine doses worldwide in 2021. Modern announced in late November, based on its pivotal Phase III study, that its vaccine was 94.1 percent effective.
South Africa reports new version of Corona virus
This is likely to be responsible for the second wave of infection in the country. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Twitter that geneticists have referred to the strand as “501.V2”. The available data strongly suggested that “the current second wave is being driven by this new version”.
Mkhize warned against speculation that there was no reason to change recommendations for protective measures. According to WHO expert Maria Van Kerkhov, the World Health Organization is in contact with researchers. So far, there are no indications that the version behaves differently than the one already described, she says.
Italy tightens Corona rules on Christmas and New Year
Italy tightened Corona restrictions from Christmas to early January. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement late Friday evening. From 24 December to 6 January, the Mediterranean country is practically a lockdown (red zone). In just four days the country returned to partial lockdown (orange zone).
For people in a country with about 60 million inhabitants, the Red Zone means closed shops, bars and restaurants. Shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies are open for daily needs. Take-off can also be sold. People are allowed to leave home only under certain conditions, for example to go to work or to the doctor; Doing sports alone or doing important things like shopping. Travel between areas is prohibited. Visits from friends or parents are only allowed in pairs during the day. Children younger than 14 years are not included.
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The rules of the Orange Zone should apply on December 28, 29 and 30 as well as January 4. Shops will reopen, but bars and restaurants will remain closed, except for sales only. People can again move freely within municipalities.
Switzerland renounces lockout
Switzerland reacts to a consistently high level of transition with new sanctions, but continues a tough lockdown. As the government, the Federal Council announced on Friday, restaurants, leisure and sports facilities and museums across the country are to be closed from Tuesday. Shops remain open, but the number of customers is limited. Ski facilities are also open. But Health Minister Ellen Bersett appealed to the cantons to “think twice” about the voluntary closure. “Hospitals are full.” The Cantons of Lucerne and Schweiz decided to close their ski areas during the holidays.
“The situation is still important,” federal president Simonatta Somaruga said additional measures were needed. The cantons only partially comply with the request to act on their own initiative. The new measures come into force for a month, at the end of the year the Federal Council wants to create an interim balance and reserves the right to tighten it further. “We are not where we wanted to be,” Bersett said. Since the beginning of December the number of infections has been rising again from high levels.
The number of infections in Switzerland is – in relation to the number of inhabitants – the highest in Europe. Nevertheless, the federal government and the canton have been cautious so far. Public events were banned last week and curfew was enforced for the restaurant at 7 pm – but there were exceptions. Doctors and scientists have been sounding the alarm for weeks that the measures are too lax. Hospitals say they are operating at full capacity. “How long should this warning happen before something happens ???”, German virologist Isabel Eckerle at Geneva University Hospital tweeted this week.
The federal Office of Public Health reported about 4,500 new infections on Friday. 664 cases per 100,000 inhabitants were reported in 14 days.
United States: more drug deaths due to epidemic
According to the US Health Authority CDC, the coronavirus epidemic has increased the number of drug deaths in the United States. More than 81,000 people died in the twelve months to the end of May this year, the CDC said – more than ever in such a period. According to the statement, due to the epidemic, the addiction of breakdown in everyday life will be especially hard for those working hard. “As we continue to fight to end this epidemic, it is important not to lose sight of the various groups that would otherwise be affected.”
The CDC said the number of deaths from the epidemic had increased over the months. However, the figures suggest that it increased more during the Corona crisis. This is particularly due to the misuse of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl (opioids). Death from overgrowth with these substances has increased by more than 38 percent in these twelve months compared to the same period of the previous year. Deaths related to cocaine overdose increased by more than 26 percent.