[En continu] More than half of Europeans could be affected by Omicron within two months

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From researchers swiss pointed the finger at the big one contagion of variant Omicron in a recent study.

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After its Victoire against the Australian government, Novak Djokovic still hope to participate in theOpen d’Australie.

our follow-up for Monday.

■ According to the WHO, more than 50% of Europeans affected by Omicron within 2 months

Worried about the “tidal wave” of Omicron, the European branch of the World Health Organization estimated Tuesday that more than 50% of Europeans could be affected by Omicron within two months. “At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts that more than 50% of the region’s population will be infected with Omicron within the next six to eight weeks,” explained the director of WHO Europe , Hans Kluge, during an online press conference, stressing that this variant had mutations “allowing it to adhere more easily to human cells, and which can infect even people who have been previously infected or vaccinated”.

■ Poland has more than 100,000 deaths due to covid

More than 100,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Poland since the start of the pandemic, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski announced on TVN24 news channel on Tuesday. The country has one of the highest disease-related death rates in the world. According to a count established by AFP based on the latest official data available, Poland has recorded 14.31 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days. It is the sixth highest death rate in the world after Trinidad and Tobago, Moldova, Georgia, Hungary and San Marino. Neighboring Germany, where the rate stands at 4.31, is in 26th place.

Only some 63% of adults in Poland are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the lowest levels in the European Union. The government encouraged Poles to get vaccinated but was criticized by the opposition for not taking stronger actions, such as vaccination certificates. To date, Italy is within the European Union the country with the most deaths linked to Covid (more than 139,000), followed by France, Germany and Poland.

■ The University of Neuchâtel will hold its exams remotely

While the contamination figures continue to increase in Switzerland, the University of Neuchâtel has chosen to hold its entire examination session remotely. It is the first high school in French-speaking Switzerland to take the plunge. In an email addressed to the university community, the rectorate considers that this choice, unanimously supported by the deanships of four faculties, is the best option so that “each student [puisse] present for his examination without endangering his health or that of his relatives, while eliminating the risk of having to give up because of quarantine ”.

Students who do not wish to take their exams remotely will be able to choose to postpone them to the next session without penalty, and those whose home conditions are not satisfactory will be able to benefit from work places on the premises of the university. As for the exams which were to be held this week, they were postponed to the end of the session to allow their organization according to the new modalities.

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■ “The State must change its position” on quarantines, according to Pierre-Alain Schnegg

The Bernese State Councilor for Health believes in an interview at the Bern newspaper that “the isolation period should be reduced to five days for people who test positive, including at least one day without symptoms”. As for the quarantine for contact cases, it “should be removed”, says Pierre-Alain Schnegg (UDC). He cites the less seriousness of the disease due to Omicron and the greater contagiousness of this variant: “This means that we can no longer follow the contaminations. […] We have entered a new phase. ”

According to Pierre-Alain Schnegg, “if we do not adapt the isolation and quarantine system, we risk creating a new problem which could be even more important than the disease”. He says he does not believe that the number of cases would increase significantly with the removal of the quarantine, because those affected by the virus will continue to adopt the right behaviors.

Also read:
Reviewing isolation and quarantine times: what do scientists say?

■ Djokovic seen during training at the Australian Open venue

Novak Djokovic was training on Tuesday at the site of the Australian Open, the day after his release after a resounding legal victory against the cancellation of his visa, AFP journalists noted.

The Serbian player, who has won the Grand Slam tournament nine times, was seen warming up in a gym before entering the players’ area and heading to center court, six days before the start of the competition.

■ A decision on quarantines will be taken on Wednesday, says Ueli Maurer

The Federal Council will decide on possible additional measures against the fifth wave of the coronavirus on Wednesday, Minister Ueli Maurer said on Monday evening. One of the main points of the meeting will be a possible reduction in the duration of the quarantine.

Also read:
Reviewing isolation and quarantine times: what do scientists say?

But closures are not indicated for the moment, because the situation in the hospitals remains under control, specified the Minister of Finance in the program EcoTalk of the German public television SRF. He said he was clearly opposed to such measures. Switzerland clearly needs more intensive care beds, added Ueli Maurer. A solution must be found for future pandemics, he continued.

■ The Chinese city of Anyang in turn in quarantine

Anyang, which has 5 million inhabitants, has been placed in quarantine after the appearance of cases of Covid-19, in particular of the Omicron strain. Residents of the city of Henan Province are the third in the country to stay at home, after a similar measure taken last month in metropolitan Xi’an.

Less than a month away from the Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4 to 20), the city on Monday evening ordered its residents to stay at home and banned the circulation of private vehicles, the China news agency reported. Non-essential businesses have been closed and a general screening campaign has been launched to “prevent the spread of the Omicron strain,” according to the official news agency.

China follows a zero Covid policy which is based on radical measures as soon as a few cases are detected.

■ President of Mexico tested positive for the second time

“I am infected with Covid-19 and even if the symptoms are mild, I will remain in isolation. I will only do office work and I will communicate virtually ”for the moment, tweeted the Mexican head of state, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who rarely wears a sanitary mask. The president had spoken huskily at his daily press conference on Monday morning and said he planned to get tested, even though he thought he had the flu.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 68, had already contracted the coronavirus in January 2021. He had also suffered from mild symptoms there. He received the AstraZeneca vaccine last year as well as a booster dose on January 7.

Mexico passed the 300,000 death mark on January 8 since the start of the pandemic. The Omicron variant has become predominant there. The left-wing government has recognized the rebound in the pandemic, but refuses to suspend activities as hospitalizations and deaths have been brought under control.

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