The number of UK COVID cases exceeded 10 million on Thursday after 47,240 new cases were reported, official figures showed.
The total number of coronavirus infections in the UK – one of the worst affected countries in Europe – now stands at 10,021,497.
Elsewhere, scientists have issued warnings over a COVID variant with an “incredibly high” number of mutations. It is feared that B.1.1529, or the Botswana version – an off-shoot of B.1.1 – may drive further transmission of the virus, although few cases have been confirmed and experts have said so far no cause for concern. Not there.
The first cases detected were three in Botswana, followed by another six in South Africa, and one in Hong Kong involving a traveler returning from South Africa.
- Scientists warn of new Botswana version of Covid with ‘terrible’ mutation
- Will there be a new lockdown in the UK before Christmas?
- Anti-vaxxer who went to ‘corona party’ to get infected dies of covid
Generally, spike mutations allow the virus to adapt and become more virulent, and more able to evade natural and vaccine immunity.
Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said the variant could be “of real concern” because 32 mutations in its spike protein could enable it to more easily escape a person’s immune system and spread to more people.
my colleague Lamiyat Sabin Below is more details:
Scientists warn of new Botswana version of Covid with ‘terrible’ mutation
So far only 10 cases have been reported worldwide
Cases continue to rise in France
On Wednesday, before reports of booster shots emerged, health officials in France recorded more than 30,000 new infections for the second day in a row, a sequence unseen since late April.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases – which also equates to reporting irregularities – is at a three-month high of 21,761 and has nearly quadrupled in a month.
The number of people being treated in intensive care for Covid is around 1,500, a figure last seen in late September.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government said it would focus on stricter social distancing rules and a faster booster shot program and wanted to avoid reimposing lockdowns as some other European countries have done.
Germany hits the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths
Official figures released on Thursday show that Germany has become the latest country to cross the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid since the pandemic began. Germany’s disease control agency says it recorded 351 additional deaths in relation to the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 100,119. In Europe, Germany is the fifth country to cross that mark, after Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
EU proposes nine-month limit on Covid travel certificates
The European Union will propose to introduce a nine-month deadline on COVID vaccine certificates for travel, it has been reported.
According to Bloomberg, the bloc will urge countries to continue accepting tourists, but give priority to those who have worked in the past nine months.
Bloomberg said the plan is expected to be announced later.
Russia records 1,238 deaths in 24 hours
Russia has confirmed 33,796 new Covid cases and 1,238 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Cases have been confirmed in 85 regions in Russia, the federal response center said on Thursday.
At the same time, 38,450 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country in 24 hours.
Turkey applies for domestic vaccine emergency authorization
Turkey’s domestically developed vaccine, Turkovac, has applied for emergency authorization, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday, adding he hopes the shot will be available for use by the end of the year.
Speaking at his ministry’s budget debate in parliament, Koca said work on Turkovac was nearing completion, adding that the shot would mark the first Phase III clinical research project to be carried out entirely by Turkey.
“I would like to share a good news for our people: Turkovac, our domestic inactivated COVID vaccine, has applied for emergency authorization as of today,” Koca said.
Cancer treatment and organ transplant postponed due to Kovid-19 in Holland
Some Dutch hospitals have halted chemotherapy treatments and organ transplants to free up intensive care beds for a growing number of Covid patients, an official said on Thursday.
The Dutch Hospital Association for Critical Care said it had asked Health Minister Hugo de Jong to advance the national plan to a phase where routine overnight stays would be cancelled.
The number of coronavirus patients in the hospital has not been seen since early May, and experts have warned that hospitals will reach full capacity in less than a week if the virus is not controlled. Several patients were transferred to German hospitals this week.
France confirms extended booster program but no lockdown
France on Thursday launched a plan to give all adults a Covid booster shot, as it opted for another lockdown or curfew to help the country deal with a worrying rise in infections.
Health Minister Olivier Veran outlined plans during a press conference in which he announced to reduce the interval between the second and third shots to six to five months. He said France already has enough vaccines to launch a nationwide booster campaign.
Veran also laid out a string of measures he sees as hardening the use of masks in public areas, and said the country’s COVID pass, which is required in many indoor venues across the country, should be available if a person does not get a booster shot. If so, it will be invalid. Seven months after the second dose.
He said ten times more unvaccinated people are currently hospitalized due to the virus than those who have been vaccinated, adding that without a vaccine the country would already be in a state of lockdown.
Slovakia closed to curb highest infection rate in the world
Slovakia went into a two-week lockdown on Thursday, as the country with the EU’s lowest vaccination rate reported a dire situation in hospitals and new infections topping global tables.
Slovakia, a country of 55 million, ordered the closure of all essential shops and services and banned people from traveling outside their districts until they went to work, school or a doctor. Gatherings of more than six people were banned.
The decision comes as coronavirus cases surge across Europe, making the continent the epicenter of the pandemic again, and follows neighboring Austria which began a lockdown on Monday.
In the town of Trenिनin, 130 km (81 mi) north of Bratislava, Roman Spatny, manager of the musical instrument store, said that their income was tied to sales and would disappear with another lost Christmas season.
“For us it’s a plain knife in the back. We have to stay locked in at a time when business-wise is most important to us, as it was last year,” he said. “Important decisions are taken from hour to hour. There’s no way to react properly.”
17-year-old student Natalia Paskova saw little choice: “The situation is getting worse so the decisions are justified,” she said.
UK study: Vaccines safe for pregnant women
The vaccines are safe for pregnant women and have not been associated with high rates of complications, data released on Thursday by the UK Health Protection Agency showed, as officials urged pregnant women to seek the shots.
The UKHSA said that real-world data from the rollout of COVID JABS in the UK supports other studies around the world that the vaccines are safe to give at any stage of pregnancy.
It was found that there was no significant difference in the rate of stillbirths, the rate of low birth weight babies and the proportion of premature births between vaccinated women and unvaccinated women.
Officials said the data was particularly reassuring given that the first pregnant women to be offered the vaccine were those with underlying health conditions that would be expected to be at high risk of complications.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at UKHSA, said: “Every pregnant woman who has not yet been vaccinated should feel confident to go and take the jab, and this will help prevent the serious consequences of catching COVID in pregnancy “
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /