Boris Johnson should announce a relaxation England‘s coronavirus restrictions as he fights to save his job as prime minister.
The Prime Minister and his cabinet will review the latest Covid data on Wednesday morning before delivering a statement to the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, PA Media reported.
England’s Plan B measures – which include guidance for working from home, use of the Covid pass and mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport – are due to expire on January 26.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Tuesday he was “cautiously optimistic that we can significantly reduce restrictions next week”.
No final decision has yet been made, although any attempt to extend the restrictions beyond the deadline would trigger a fresh confrontation with Tory MPs, which the Prime Minister would like to avoid as his position has already been weakened due to of the feud over Downing Street parties.
When asked if restrictions would be lifted during a visit to a hospital on Tuesday, Johnson said: ‘We have to be careful of Covid. We have to keep reminding ourselves that this is a threat.
the The United Nations prepares remote rescue operations in Tonga to avert a Covid outbreak in the Pacific island nation which is reeling from a volcanic eruption and tsunami, an official said on Wednesday.
All homes on one of Tonga’s small outlying islands have been destroyed and three people have so far been confirmed dead, the government said in its first statement after Saturday’s devastating eruption.
With communications severely hampered by the rupture of an undersea cable, reports of the extent of the devastation so far have come mainly from reconnaissance aircraft.
Fiji-based UN coordinator Jonathan Veitch told a news conference that the agency will conduct most operations remotely and will not be able to send personnel to the island.
“We think we will be able to send flights with supplies. We are not sure if we can send manned flights and the reason for this is that Tonga has a very strict Covid-free policy,” Veitch said.
Tonga is one of the few countries to be Covid-free and an outbreak there would be disastrous, he said. The small island nation has 90% vaccination coverage among adults and young people over the age of 12, Veitch said.
the Omicron variant may cause less severe illness on average, but Covid deaths in the we are climbing, and modelers predict that an additional 50,000 to 300,000 Americans could die by the time the surge ends in mid-March.
The seven-day rolling average of new daily Covid deaths in the United States has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on January 17 – still below the peak of 3,300 in January 2021.
Deaths among nursing home residents began to rise slightly two weeks ago, although still at a rate 10 times lower than last year before most residents were vaccinated.
“A lot of people are still going to die because of Omicron’s transmissibility,” said University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. “It will unfortunately get worse before it gets better.”
The worst of the coronavirus pandemic – deaths, hospitalizations and lockdowns – could end this year if the huge inequities in vaccinations and medicines are corrected quickly, the emergency chief has told the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Dr Michael Ryan, speaking at a roundtable on vaccine inequality organized by the World Economic Forum, said that “we may never end the virus” because these pandemic viruses “eventually do part of the ecosystem”.
But “we have a chance of ending the public health emergency this year if we do the things that we’ve been talking about,” he said.
The Associated Press reported:
The WHO has denounced the imbalance in COVID-19 vaccinations between rich and poor countries as a catastrophic moral failure. Less than 10% of people in low-income countries have received even one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Ryan told the virtual gathering of world and business leaders that if vaccines and other tools are not shared fairly, the tragedy of the virus, which has so far killed more than 5.5 million people worldwide, will continue. .
“What we need to do is achieve low levels of disease incidence with maximum vaccination of our populations, so no one has to die,” Ryan said. “The problem is this: it is death. These are hospitalizations. It was the disruption of our social, economic and political systems that caused the tragedy, not the virus. »
Ryan also got into the growing debate over whether Covid should be considered endemic, a label some countries like Spain have been pushing for to better help people live with the virus, or even a pandemic – involving intensified measures that many countries have taken to combat the spread.
“Endemic malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people; endemic HIV; endemic violence in our inner cities. Endemic in itself does not mean good. Endemic just means it’s here forever,” he said.
The Biden administration quietly launched its website on Tuesday to Americans to ask free Covid-19 tests at home, one day before the official launch of the site.
The website, CovidTests.gov, now includes a link for Americans to access an order form run by the US Postal Service.
People can order four home tests per residential address. It marks Joe Biden’s latest step to address criticism of low inventory and long lines for testing during a nationwide rise in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the website was in “beta testing” and operating at “limited capacity” before its official launch. The website will officially launch mid-morning on Wednesday, Psaki said.
There were isolated reports of issues with the Address Verification Tool mistakenly applying the four-per-household cap on apartment buildings and other multi-unit dwellings, but it was not immediately clear to how widespread the problem was.
US warns against travel to 22 countries due to Covid
the we Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against travel to 22 countries and territories due to rising numbers of Covid cases.
Countries include Israel, Australia, Egypt, Albania, Argentina and Uruguay.
The CDC raised its travel recommendation to “Level Four: Very High,” telling Americans they should avoid traveling to these destinations, which also include Panama, Qatar, the Bahamas, Bahrain and Bolivia.
spain The coronavirus infection rate fell for the first time in two and a half months, Health Ministry data showed on Tuesday.
The latest figures suggest Omicron the variant’s fast forward may slow down, according to Reuters news agency.
Even as Spain reported more than 94,400 new cases, the rate measured over the previous 14 days fell to 3,306 cases per 100,000 people from a record 3,397 cases on Wednesday, the first drop since November 2 , when it was below 50.
The seven-day rate fell even more sharply, to 1,522 from 1,657 per 100,000.
Infections had climbed steadily amid mass testing, turbocharged by Omicron’s high transmissibility and large swaths of the population mixing over Christmas.
Hospital admissions, however, remain well below those seen in previous waves, thanks to high vaccination rates in Spain.
Hello, I’m Tom Ambrose and I’ll continue to bring you all the latest Covid news as it happens over the next few hours.
We start with the news that Paraguayan President Mario Abdo has tested positive for Covid and has mild symptoms of the virus.
The country’s health ministry confirmed the development in a tweet today.
This comes as the South American country has seen an increase in the number of cases caused by the Omicron variant.
“We inform that the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo, tested positive for Covid-19 today,” the ministry said.
“The President has mild symptoms and will continue to maintain preventive isolation in accordance with the provisions of the health protocols in force.”
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