New demonstrations against health measures in Switzerland and France: the news of January 8

The essential

More and more voices are rising to ask for the shortening of quarantines, including that of Lucerne Minister of Health Guido Graf

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In France Emmanuel Macron says he “fully” assumes his comments on the unvaccinated. Thousands of people demonstrated against the establishment of a pass vaccinal

Vaud and Neuchâtel launched vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old this Saturday

The number of new daily cases reaches 2 millions worldwide

our follow-up of the day on Friday

■ Despite Omicron’s push, Delta has not disappeared

The latest data published by Public Health France, if the presence of the Omicron variant continues to increase, Delta, which became the majority last summer, has not disappeared for all that. In December, the latter represented half of the contaminations against 98% on December 6. But in fact the number of cases linked to the Delta variant has rather remained stable. It is therefore above all the number of people affected by Omicron that has exploded. In Switzerland, Delta now represents 38% of cases detected against 61% for Omicron according to data from the FOPH.

■ According to Christoph Berger, Omicron threatens general supply

Asked, in the program “Samstagsrundschau” from SRF radio the chairman of the Federal Commission for Vaccinations (CFV) Christoph Berger believes that the Omicron variant threatens the general supply in Switzerland, and not just hospitals. According to him vaccination and “boosters” will not be enough to control the situation. The rapid increase in cases will make the situation difficult, especially due to the lack of staff. Without giving specific measures, Christoph Berger believes that large gatherings should be avoided.

■ Thousands of demonstrators in Paris and throughout France

This Saturday several thousand people demonstrate in Paris and throughout France against health measures and the vaccine pass. These protest movements come days after President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial statements on the unvaccinated. “The unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off […] until the end ”, he declared in an interview with the French daily The Parisian. Adopted by the deputies, the bill establishing a vaccination pass must be examined by the Senate from Monday.

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■ New demonstration against sanitary measures in Zurich

More than a thousand opponents of the measures taken against the pandemic demonstrated in Zurich on Saturday. They criticized the “unnecessary measures”, warned against vaccines and accused the media of being “bought”.

Different groups gathered on Helvetiaplatz before marching for more than an hour in the city center. The authorized procession was led by more than 60 so-called freedom demonstrators, accompanied by the police. The call for demonstrations was launched by the “Training for All” committee and the Alliance of Early Cantons (Aktionsbündnis Urkantone).

The mood was peaceful, according to a Keystone-ATS reporter there. The signs read slogans like “freedom”, “no vaccination requirement” and “no to state-funded media”, but also “Rave for Freedom”.

■ “Vaccination is useful, regardless of age”, estimates Rebecca Ruiz

This Saturday, the cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel launched vaccination for children aged 5 to 11. The authorities deployed teams of pediatric nurses, notably in Lausanne, where parents could make an appointment as of December 27. 540 children were registered for the day on Saturday at the Beaulieu vaccination center, in the Vaud capital, reports the RTS.

But of the 68,000 children eligible for vaccination in the canton, just over 2% have made an appointment. However, Vaud State Councilor Rebecca Ruiz said she was satisfied with this launch at the microphone at 12:45 on the RTS. “The population is present. We are very happy and surprised in terms of the number of registrations. I had the opportunity to take a walk in the center of Beaulieu, everything was very well organized, ”she says.

■ 2 million cases per day worldwide

More than 2 million daily cases of Covid-19 were recorded on average worldwide over the week of January 1 to 7, a figure which has doubled in ten days, according to an AFP count. An average of 2,106,118 daily cases have been recorded over the past seven days. The threshold of one million daily cases had been exceeded during the week from December 23 to 29, 2021.

The number of new daily cases has increased by 270% since the discovery in late November 2021 of the Omicron variant in Botswana and South Africa. The vast majority of new cases are currently detected in Europe, the United States and Canada. These two regions represent respectively 49% and 33% of the cases recorded in the world in one week.

■ On the eve of the opening of the CAN, players from Burkina Faso and their coach positive about Covid

“Four to five managerial players” from Burkina Faso and the coach have tested positive for Covid and should miss the opening match of the Africa Cup, which will take place on Sunday in Yaoundé, explained the assistant coach, who disputes the procedure. “We have four to five cases of Covid, especially senior players, we are not going to name names,” said Firmin Sanou, adding that he was replacing his head coach, Kamou, for the pre-match press conference. Malo, because it was also positive.

The Burkinabè delegation also noted that these were antigenic tests, and not PCR tests, which must be carried out 48 hours before the match. She intends to ask for a second opinion, assured Sanou.

■ Lightened quarantines at the Valais hospital

As of now at the Hospital of Valais, all asymptomatic employees, vaccinated or cured for less than four months are exempt from quarantine and can work, indicates this Saturday the Nouvelliste. “This decision to lighten the quarantine measures was taken in agreement with the cantonal health authorities”, explains Eric Bonvin, the director general of the Hôpital du Valais; which justifies this measure by an ever increasing shortage of personnel.

■ The threshold of 300,000 deaths from Covid-19 passed in Mexico

Mexico is the 5th most affected country in absolute terms in the world, after registering this Friday 28,023 new cases, the 2nd highest figure since March 2020, out of a total of four million people affected. Sixty-eight deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours in the country.

■ Samia Hurst: “In the current situation, quarantine measures are losing their effectiveness”

This is what the vice-president of the federal task force Samia Hurst said on RTS on Friday evening, due to the rapid emergence of the Omicron variant. “The usefulness of quarantine is based primarily on its ability to quickly remove people who are at greater risk of being contagious. However, these characteristics are called into question when there are so many cases ”.

■ In Belgium, do not “piss off” the unvaccinated but rather annoy the virus

Asked about the French President’s statements, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said he wanted to “annoy the virus and not annoy people”, expressing his disagreement with Emmanuel Macron’s controversial remarks on the unvaccinated, in an interview with Le Soir newspaper published on Saturday. “Clearly, it is not my vocabulary”, reacted the liberal leader, who warns against “a policy of division which would consist in going to annoy part of the population”.

“I think for my part that we must annoy the virus and not annoy people,” he continued, while acknowledging that, “to annoy the virus, you need as many people as possible to be vaccinated”. “I still think it’s better to convince people than to force them.”

■ A quick test might be enough to prove you are positive

The Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) plans to adapt the screening strategy. After a rapid antigenic test positive for the coronavirus, it should not be necessary to perform a PCR test in the future.

“As soon as the decision is taken, the cantons and the laboratories will be informed,” a spokesperson for the FOPH told Keystone-ATS on Friday evening, returning to information published online by the NZZ and the Blick.

In the event of a positive rapid test, there is a very high probability that one is actually infected. “False positive” tests are very unlikely in the current epidemiological situation.

This is why the FOPH wants to review its screening strategy. Currently, the result of a rapid test is not enough to make a definitive diagnosis.

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