COVID-19: what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on December 2 – Community News

COVID-19: what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on December 2

  • This daily news feed provides you with a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and resources to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top Stories: First Omicron Case Reported in US; South Korea records new record COVID-19 cases; UN chief denounces COVID-19 ‘travel apartheid’; WHO to reach agreement on global agreement for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

1. How COVID-19 Is Affecting the World

According to Johns Hopkins University, the global 263.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.22 million. More than 8.07 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, according to Our World in Data.

Fears of the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus mounted Thursday after the first case was reported in the United States, while the Bank of Japan warned of economic pain as countries respond with tougher containment measures. The first known US case was a fully vaccinated person in California who returned to the United States from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive seven days later.

The daily number of coronavirus cases in South Korea rose to a new high on Thursday, as authorities halted quarantine waivers for fully vaccinated inbound travelers for two weeks in an effort to fend off the Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant appears to be able to evade some immunity, but vaccines should still protect against serious disease, according to the latest data from South Africa, where it is quickly overtaking Delta to become the dominant variant.

Authorities in Indonesia have tightened border borders, extended quarantine and restricted traffic on strategic toll roads, in a preemptive move to limit the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant if it reached Southeast Asia’s largest country.

Germany is expected to impose restrictions on unvaccinated people on Thursday as it attempts to stem a dramatic increase in daily coronavirus infections, exacerbated by the discovery of the Omicron strain.

Omicron could become the dominant species in France by the end of January, but in the meantime it should be possible to have a good Christmas if steps are taken to contain the Delta strain, France’s top scientific adviser said Thursday.

The Swedish Health Agency said on Thursday it could impose new restrictions as early as next week to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the rising tide of infections. Sweden introduced vaccine passes for indoor events with more than 100 people at the beginning of this month and indicated that additional measures may be needed.

New confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people daily.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.

Image: Our world in data

2. UN chief calls COVID-19 ‘travel apartheid’ unacceptable

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that travel restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 and which isolate a country or region “are not only highly unfair and punitive, they are also ineffective”.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Guterres said the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while enabling travel and economic engagement was to test travelers repeatedly, “along with other appropriate and truly effective measures.”

“We have the tools to travel safely. Let’s use those tools to avoid this kind of apartheid, let me put it this way, apartheid that I think is unacceptable,” Guterres said.

Omicron was first identified in southern Africa and many countries, including the United States and Great Britain, have announced travel and other restrictions on the region. Africa has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world due to a lack of access to doses.

Guterres has long warned of the dangers of vaccine disparities around the world and that low immunization rates “are breeding ground for variants.”

3. WHO develops global agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

The World Health Assembly agreed on Wednesday to kick-start a historic global process to strengthen prevention, preparedness and response to pandemic.

dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the decision of the World Health Assembly is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all. people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the many flaws in the global system to protect people from pandemics: the most vulnerable people going without vaccines; health workers without the necessary equipment to perform their life-saving work; and ‘me-first’ approaches that hinder the global solidarity needed to confront a global threat,” said Dr. Tedros.

“But at the same time, we’ve seen inspiring demonstrations of scientific and political collaboration, from the rapid development of vaccines to countries’ current commitment to negotiate a global agreement that will help protect future generations from the effects of pandemics.”

The Health Assembly convened in a special session, the second since the WHO was founded in 1948, and passed a single decision titled “The World Together”.

The Assembly’s decision establishes an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO treaty, agreement or other international instrument on the prevention, preparedness and response to pandemic, with a view to adoption under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, or other provisions of the Constitution as the INB deems appropriate.

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