Saturday, November 27, 2021

Category: Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia eases Corona restrictions for those coming from abroad

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation issued new instructions to airlines operating in the airports of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding the procedures in force with those coming to the Kingdom from abroad.

The new procedures included a reduction in the period of quarantine for residents and visitors coming, acceptance of all types of approved and non-approved vaccines in the Kingdom, and the abolition of institutional quarantine on citizens, provided that the new procedures take effect from Thursday 16/2/1443 AH corresponding to 9/23/2021 AD at 12:00 noon.

The most important new modifications
Reducing the quarantine period to 5 days, and it was previously between 7 to 10 days
Acceptance of unapproved vaccines in Saudi Arabia
Entry of escorts with immune relatives is subject to conditions
Amending the quarantine of citizens from the current institutional to the home stone only

The Civil Aviation Authority has noted the amendment of the home quarantine procedures for male and female citizens, so that they are applied to the non-vaccinated, including the home quarantine for a period of 5 days, and that a corona examination is conducted for them on the fifth day with the application of the precautionary measures determined by the Ministry of Health.

Vaccine manufacturer Valneva loses only corona order

Another bearer of hope for the corona vaccination campaign is facing the commercial end. The UK government is canceling its bulk order from the French biotech company Valneva.

Great Britain has canceled an order for 100 million Corona vaccine doses from the Franco-Austrian group Valneva. “The British government claims that Valneva has not fulfilled its obligations. Valneva denies this,” the company said on Monday at its headquarters in Saint-Herblain in western France. The company referred to the “considerable resources and efforts” that have been invested in trusting the cooperation.

(FILES) This file illustration photo taken on November 17, 2020 shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of French-Austrian vaccine firm Valneva on November 17, 2020. – Valneva announced on April 21, 2021 the launch of a Phase III clinical study, the last step before a marketing application, for its candidate vaccine against Covid 19. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Reuters that the cancellation of Valneva will not affect the UK vaccination offer. In any case, London did not plan with Valneva for autumn and winter. The starting booster vaccinations, for which Valneva was in discussion, are not in danger. He could not comment on the reasons for the cancellation, as the dispute with the company was still ongoing.

Valneva’s share price collapsed by up to 45 percent on Monday morning and stabilized over the course of the day with a loss of around 40 percent. However, the share was only pushed up as a new hope value at the end of August and is thus returning to its previous level.

Vaccine passports open the skies to European planes, while the rest suffer

A mutant delta dynasty is pummeling the aviation sector as major markets resurface.

US-based Southwest Airlines sees a mutant Delta strain behind a series of canceled bookings and slowing demand that could cause it and many other companies to lose quarterly. After leading the industry’s recovery for most of last year, China is now in decline with airline seat supply declining in the last six months, as authorities try to stem the outbreak. Australian airlines also fell as a result of the closure that included more than half of the country.

“There is a possibility that the delta mutant strain could frustrate any recovery,” said John Grant, chief analyst at AOH. If there is any progress, it will be sporadic as the outbreak makes governments nervous about opening borders, he says.

Europe appears to be a rare bright spot because it is the only one that uses so-called vaccine passports on a large scale. The continent has lagged behind in the aviation sector for most of 2020 due to waves of infections, but airlines such as Ryanair Holdings are now benefiting from higher vaccination rates and more flights.

United State
Hopes that the summer recovery, in which passenger traffic reached 80% of pre-pandemic levels, will continue until the fall, are fading as travelers and investors fear an increase in infections. The Bloomberg US airline index fell 5.6% last week, its lowest level since February.

Southwest also warned on August 11 of slowing bookings and rising cancellations, saying it would be difficult to repeat July’s profit this quarter, while tariff-lowering Frontier Group and Spirit Airlines announced that they may achieve losses during the three months to the end of September.

Delta’s mutant strain is also affecting business demand, with Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian saying in an Aug. 9 interview with Fox TV that delays in reopening offices by up to 90 days are causing “a little bit of a rush.” Pausing” in the recovery of corporate and local business travel. The airline is below 50% of the level of business travelers for 2019.

China reports no new local Covid-19 cases for first time since July, as Delta outbreak wanes

China reported no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Monday for the first time since July, according to its National Health Commission (NHC)

China has been grappling with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant since July 20, when a cluster of Covid-19 infections were detected among airport cleaning staff in the eastern city of Nanjing.Since then, it has spiraled into the worst outbreak China has seen since 2020, spreading to more than half of the country’s 31 provinces and infecting more than 1,200 people. The surging cases driven by Delta were seen as the biggest challenge yet to China’s uncompromising zero tolerance virus policy.

Local authorities responded by placing tens of millions of residents under strict lockdown, rolling out massive testing and tracing campaigns and restricting domestic travels.

The strict measures appeared to be working. Daily infections have fallen steadily over the past week into single digits, down from more than 100 from its peak two weeks ago.And on Monday, the country reported 21 imported cases and zero locally transmitted symptomatic infections — the first time no local cases have been recorded since July 16. It also reported 16 asymptomatic cases, all of which were imported too, according to the NHC. China keeps a separate count of symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and does not include asymptomatic carriers of the virus in the official tally of confirmed cases.If the trend continues, China could become the world’s first country to control a major Delta outbreak .

Doubling down on zero-Covid

China is one of a number of countries, including Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, that have sought to completely eradicate Covid-19 within their borders.Authorities closed off borders to almost all foreigners, imposed strict quarantines for arrivals, and launched targeted lockdowns and aggressive testing and tracing policies to stamp out any cases that slipped through the defenses. And for more than a year, these measures had been largely successful in keeping cases close to zero.But fresh outbreaks driven by the Delta variant are prompting some countries to rethink their approach.In Australia, several major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and the capital Canberra, have been placed under weeks of lockdown, but cases have continued to surge. On Saturday, the country recorded its highest single-day caseload since the pandemic began, while thousands of people took to the streets to protest against prolonged lockdowns.In an opinion piece published in Australian media Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted at an end to the country’s zero Covid-19 restrictions, saying the lockdowns “are sadly necessary for now” but “won’t be necessary for too much longer.” He said the Australian government intended to shift its focus from reducing case numbers to examining how many people were getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Nicole Kidman’s quarantine exemption sparks outrage in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s decision to grant Hollywood star Nicole Kidman an exemption from quarantine so she can film a series about the lives of wealthy ex-pats has angered residents.

Hong Kong is witnessing one of the most stringent and lengthy quarantine measures in the world and requires people arriving from countries considered to be at high epidemic risk to self-quarantine for 21 days in a hotel, but the authorities allowed the 54-year-old actress to bypass these procedures.

The Bureau of Trade and Economic Development confirmed that the Australian star and other members of the film crew were exempted for “specific professional work”.

The tabloids have followed all of Kidman’s looks since her arrival on August 12 to Hong Kong in a private plane from Australia, and her most prominent activities are shopping two days after her arrival and then starting to shoot in the Sai Wan neighborhood on Hong Kong Island.

Arrivals Series
Nicole Kidman is the executive producer of the “Expats” series, which is inspired by Janice Y. Kay Lee’s 2016 book about the luxurious lives of three American women in the city.

Since Kidman’s arrival, there has been a lot of comments on social media about her exemption from confinement and the wealthy foreign elite living in Hong Kong.

angry comments
A large number of angry comments were posted on Facebook through the widely-followed “People in Quarantine in Hong Kong” group page, which focused on the fact that foreigners residing in the city had not seen their families for nearly two years due to the measures.

Beijing MP Elizabeth Coate said she was “concerned about this exemption granted by the government,” noting that she had “received a number of complaints from Hong Kong residents.”


The study, in prepublication, conducted by American researchers and relayed by our colleagues from the World reports a still high level of protection of vaccines against the different strains of the coronavirus.
These are preliminary results that question. A team of researchers from the American University Hospital and Research Federation Mayo Clinic has unveiled a study on the effectiveness of messenger RNA vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – against the two major variants of Covid-19.

Published on August 9 on the MedRxiv prepublication platform, this work has established that the two messenger RNA vaccines are highly effective – but despite everything different depending on the situation – against the two main strains of the coronavirus: the Alpha variants (known as ” British “) and Delta (Indian).

As a reminder: the effectiveness of the main vaccines currently distributed around the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic lies above all in the prevention against severe forms of the disease. If it is now established that they can limit the transmission of the virus between individuals, they make it possible above all to reduce the risk of hospitalization.

Pfizer vaccine 42% effective against Delta variant infection
Important clarification: if these data were collected in the US state of Minnesota on nearly 50,000 people (half vaccinated and the other unvaccinated) between January and July 2021, they still need to be confirmed so that the study will be published in a scientific journal.

According to the researchers’ results, with regard to the Alpha variant, the Pfizer vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization by 85%, that of Moderna by 91.6%. Their effectiveness against infection, and therefore the potential transmission of this same variant, drops slightly: 76% for the Pfizer vaccine and 86% for Moderna.

This difference is more marked compared to the Delta variant, now the majority in France and circulating more and more around the globe. The Pfizer vaccine is still effective here against the risk of hospitalization (75%) even if it is slightly less than the Moderna vaccine (76%). It is on the risk of infection that the difference is very important: the Moderna vaccine is here 76% effective against infection while the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is only effective at “only” “42%.

A person holds a vial of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on June 29, 2021 in Quimper, western France (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP) (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

By far the most injected Pfizer vaccine in France
To support their point, the authors of the study refer to the results carried out by another team of researchers in Florida, the new epicenter of the epidemic in the United States.

“The risk of infection in July with a full vaccination with Moderna is approximately 60% lower than after a full vaccination with Pfizer”; they continue.
If Pfizer and BioNTech announced in early August that it is “not yet” necessary to adapt their vaccine to variants – its effectiveness being established – the two founders of the German biotech assured Les Échos last July that they will be willing to develop and produce a new vaccine suitable for resistant strains “within a hundred days”.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – 2021/06/05: A Covid-19 vaccinator administers the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to a woman at a vaccination centre in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In France, the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is by far the most widely distributed with more than 63 million doses injected out of some 80 million administered to the French population, according to the specialized site Vaccine Tracker. In comparison, nearly 7.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered. According to figures communicated by the Ministry of Health on Saturday evening, 46,267,777 French people have received at least one dose of vaccine against Covid-19 – or about 68.6% of the population – and 39,028,100 (57.9% % of the population) have a complete vaccination schedule.

Jennifer Aniston: I moved away from my friends because they refused to get the Corona vaccine

American actress Jennifer Aniston revealed that she had to stay away from some of her friends because they refused to get the vaccine against the Coronavirus.

Aniston, 52, said in an interview with “InStyle” magazine in its issue due to be published next month that she has no time for vaccine opponents or who do not “listen to the facts” when it comes to science.

Aniston added that she feels Americans who oppose vaccines are basing their position on “fear or propaganda”.

Aniston said she has spent most of the pandemic watching the news, but at one point she felt like she needed a break.

She continued, “I had to stop following the news, we were following the news and feeling tired and afraid during the pandemic because we hoped to wake up one day and hear something good.”

“There is still a group of people who are against vaccines and don’t listen to the facts, it’s a shame,” she added.

And Anson had received the second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine last May, and published the news on her page on “Instagram”, and worked to encourage her followers around the world to obtain the vaccine.

Covid-19: Martinique again confined, Guadeloupe reinstates a curfew

The health situation “worsens” in Martinique and the Covid-19 figures “explode” on the island, where the perfect announced, Wednesday, July 28, new confinement from Friday 7 p.m. for a period of at least three weeks. In Guadeloupe, faced with the “meteoric” progression of contaminations, a state of health emergency was declared on Wednesday and a curfew was established there from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The overseas departments and territories are not the only ones affected by this outbreak of the epidemic, which affects the whole of France. As of Wednesday, nearly 1,000 patients ill with a severe form of Covid-19 were being treated in critical care units, according to health data attesting to an outbreak of contaminations. Critical care services are welcoming 992 patients, up from 859 a week ago. The number of positive cases recorded, nearly 28,000 Wednesday, reached its highest level since April 28. The positivity rate (proportion of positive cases compared to the number of people tested) remained stable at 4.1%. The disease has claimed 40 patients in 24 hours in the hospital, for a total of nearly 112,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Corona postpones the “travel bubble” between Australia and Singapore until the end of 2021

The Australian Trade Minister announced today, Sunday, that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Sydney indicates the postponement of plans for the “travel bubble” between Australia and Singapore until at least the end of the year.

While opening the travel corridor between the two countries remains a priority, the scale of the virus outbreak, which has forced the country’s largest city to shut down again, means plans are on hold, Dan Tehan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

He added, “It has been rethought because of the third wave of the virus. We hope that at the end of the year we will be able to look again at the issue of the travel bubble with Singapore.”

It is reported that after initial discussions, the two countries have not yet committed to a specific date for opening a travel corridor between them.

While Australia represented an early success story in combating Corona, the slow introduction of the anti-virus vaccine suggests that even with the rest of the world opening its borders, it is expected that Australia’s borders will remain closed until mid-2022.

Only 26 percent of the Australian population got the first dose of the vaccine, compared to about 68.5% in Britain, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker.

Even when Australia’s borders open, the Australian trade minister expects vaccine passports to be a requirement for travel for years to come. “It might be like the little yellow pamphlet of yellow fever.”

UK Covid cases soar by 74% in last week with highest daily jump since February

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 74% since this time last week with another 7,540 infections recorded.

Today’s increase was the highest daily jump since the end of February, when 8,523 cases were reported on February 26.

Another six deaths were recorded today, the latest government data shows, a decrease from last Wednesday June 2 when 12 more deaths were reported nationwide.

The UK’s daily case numbers then rose by 4,330 – rising by more than one-third compared to the same day the previous week, when 3,180 cases were reported.

Today’s figures come as Boris Johnson said it was too early to say if England’s lockdown can end on June 21 as data on whether the vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the rapid spread of the Delta coronavirus variant is still being assessed.

The PM warned the vaccine rollout may not be enough to go ahead with unlocking on June 21.

And Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK locking down in March 2020, said that new modelling data submitted to the Government suggests a risk of “a substantial third wave” of coronavirus infections in the UK.

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: