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WHO says pandemic ‘nowhere near’, France, Germany Post record liveliest cases


WHO says pandemic 'never happened recently', France, Germany Post record cases

People wait to do a PCR test at a medical laboratory in Paris

Geneva:

The World Health Organization has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, as France, Germany and Brazil have released new records of infections in the past 24 hours.

The highly transmissible strain of Omicron has spread unabated around the world, prompting some governments to adopt new measures while accelerating the rollout of booster shots.

“This pandemic is not over,” WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters from the agency’s headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday.

Europe is at the epicenter of alarming new outbreaks, with the number of cases in Germany soaring to 100,000 and France reporting nearly half a million cases on Tuesday.

The United Nations chief medical officer warned against removing Omicron at a mild level, as the predominant Covid strain continued to spark new outbreaks from Latin America to East Asia after it was first detected in the United Nations. Southern Africa in November.

“Omicron may be less serious, but the claim that it is a mild disease is misleading,” he said.

Europe soars

Five million cases were reported in Europe last week, and WHO had predicted Omicron could infect half of Europeans by March, filling hospitals across the continent.

Germany on Tuesday recorded 112,323 cases of coronavirus and 239 deaths, officials said, with Omicron found in more than 70% of infections.

The increase has prompted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to make immunizations mandatory in Europe’s largest economy.

Other European countries are also facing soaring Omicron rates, with neighboring France recently averaging around 300,000 cases a day.

The latest data released by Public Health France shows that there were 464,769 new cases in the last 24 hours, a record number.

The record cases come days after the two-year anniversary of the announcement of the first person to die from the virus in China, then only identified as Covid.

As of January 11, 2020, the number of known deaths in the pandemic has increased to more than 5.5 million.

Expectations for Europe’s tourism recovery remained bleak as the World Tourism Organization said on Tuesday that foreign arrivals would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest, although Last year was an increase of 19% compared to 2020.

‘Urgent’

Elsewhere in the world, Brazil recorded a new record number of daily cases of more than 137,000 on Tuesday.

The country suffered a terrifying second wave last year with the death toll reaching 4,000 a day, pushing the death toll to the second highest in the world after the United States.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a vaccine skeptic who downplayed Omicron, is increasingly being criticized for his handling of the pandemic, and he will naturally lose the election, according to polls. president in October of the country.

In Asia, Japan is set to tighten restrictions across the country, including Tokyo, as the country faces a record number of infections caused by Omicron while China partially eases it. Traffic restrictions in the megacity of Xi’an, where millions have been confined to their homes for weeks.

Japanese experts on Wednesday advocated placing 13 regions “under semi-emergency measures from January 21 to February 13,” Daishiro Yamagiwa, the minister in charge of coronavirus affairs, told reporters.

China’s resumption of some inter-city train lines in Xi’an from Tuesday comes just before the Lunar New Year holiday later this month, traditionally a period of mass travel.

It also comes as Beijing battles multiple clusters that are experimenting with enforcing a strict “zero-Covid” approach ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics.

The field mouse and the big cat

The focus is increasingly turning to animals and how viruses interact with them, after at least two countries reported cases of Covid-19 in organisms large and small with the potential to be transmitted between them and humans. people.

A study published Tuesday in South Africa says big cats kept in zoos are at increased risk of being caught by Covid from their custodians.

Researchers have found clues to the infection of three lions and two ponies by handlers at a Johannesburg zoo, some of which were asymptomatic.

In Hong Kong, hamsters have suffered the consequences of the semi-autonomous Chinese city’s similarly strict approach to Covid, with officials seemingly blaming them for two human cases. .

The financial center’s government faced growing outrage Wednesday over its decision to cull 2,000 small animals in pet stores after several guinea pigs in one store were believed to be tested positive for Covid-19.

“Internationally, there is still no evidence that pets can transmit the coronavirus to humans,” Health Minister Sophia Chan told a news conference.

“But … we will take precautions against any vectors.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the feed provided.)

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