Covid-19 has infected more than 263 million people and killed over 5.2 million worldwide. Here is the coronavirus-related development for December 1:
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Before the Covid passport mandate, more Swedes will receive microchip implants
Following Sweden’s announcement that the passport requirement for coronavirus vaccine will be put into practice, the number of people who had microchips inserted under the skin increased, according to local media.
According to digital cultural researcher Moa Petersen, around 6,000 people in Sweden have so far received a chip in their hands.
Petersen emphasized that those with microchip implants have stopped carrying vaccine passports, keys, ID cards and even train tickets with them, thanks to radio frequency identification technology, a wireless system consisting of tags and readers.
Belgium in talks to buy 10,000 doses of Merck’s pill
Belgium is in talks with US-based Merck & Co Inc. to buy 10,000 doses of its Covid-19 antiviral pills developed in conjunction with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the country’s federal health minister said.
“But we are in favor of a European joint procurement,” Health Minister Franck Vandenbroucke told a news conference, adding that Belgian bilateral talks would be integrated into the EU’s joint procurement if and when it is launched.
The EU recommends a daily review of travel restrictions
The European Commission has recommended a daily review and revision of travel restrictions to help stop the spread of the new variant of omicron coronavirus.
In a new statement, the European Commission advised EU countries to continue to keep their borders open with daily reviews of significant travel restrictions, to coordinate with each other to track the possible spread of the new variant and to be ready for all necessary controls.
WHO warns of “toxic mixture” of low vaccine coverage and testing
The World Health Organization warned of a “toxic mix” at the global level of low vaccination coverage and test rates created fertile breeding ground for new Covid-19 variants.
“Globally, we have a toxic mix of low vaccine coverage and very low testing – a recipe for refining and enhancing varieties,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference.
The United States is planning tougher tests, quarantine requirements
The United States will soon require international travelers entering the country to take a Covid test one day before departure, regardless of vaccination status, an official said amid global concerns over the Omicron variant.
A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the measure will be announced when the rule is finalized.
President Joe Biden will talk about the US winter plans for Covid on Thursday and may announce the new requirements then.
Greece makes vaccination compulsory for people over 60 years of age
Greece has decided to make it compulsory for all people over the age of 60 to be vaccinated and will start imposing fines from mid-January.
Unvaccinated individuals in the age group should either have taken a first dose or have a meeting scheduled for January 16, 2022, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at
There will be a monthly fine of $ 115 after that date, he added.
Slovakia plans to give cash to some who get vaccinated
The Slovak government has proposed a plan to give people aged 60 and over a $ 568 bonus if vaccinated, the finance minister said.
The measure, announced by Finance Minister Igor Matovic, should increase vaccinations in the EU country with one of the block’s lowest vaccination rates. To date, only 46.1 percent of the country’s 5.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.
Singapore adds 1,324 new cases
Singapore has reported 1,324 new cases of Covid-19 compared to 1,239 infections the previous day and eight more deaths.
Saudi Arabia confirms first case of Omicron
Saudi Arabia has confirmed its first case where Omicron comes from a North African country, according to the state news agency.
The SPA, citing a statement from the UK Ministry of Health, said authorities had isolated the person and people in contact with them.
This is the first Omicron variant case reported in the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry said the person was a Saudi citizen who had traveled from a North African country, without giving further details.
Japan cancels new flight reservations
Japan has asked international airlines to stop making new bookings for all flights arriving in the country until the end of December in a further tightening of already strict border controls.
The Ministry of Transport said that the request is an emergency measure in the midst of growing concerns about the spread of the new Omicron variant.
Japan also began offering booster vaccines to healthcare professionals.
Nigeria discovers first case of Omicron variant from October
Nigeria has discovered its first case of the Omicron variant in a sample it collected in October, weeks before South Africa warned the world about the variant last week.
It is the first West African country to have registered the Omicron variant since researchers in southern Africa discovered and reported it, adding to a list of nearly 20 countries that have the variant.
Portugal reintroduces virus measures
Portugal has reintroduced measures to try to limit a new increase in cases, tightening controls at all airports, ports and land borders.
Wearing a face mask will once again be mandatory in confined spaces and a digital certificate proving vaccination or recovery from the virus must be shown to enter restaurants, cinemas and hotels.
Germany reports the highest daily death toll in nine months
Germany has reported the highest number of deaths since mid-February when hospitals warned that the country could have 6,000 people in intensive care by Christmas, over the peak last winter.
The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s state infection authority, reported 67,186 new cases, an increase of 302 from a week ago, and 446 deaths – the highest daily figure since February 18, bringing the total death toll to 101,790.
This includes four people in southern Germany who tested positive for the Omicron variant despite being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Fiji reopens to foreign tourists for the first time in almost two years
Fiji has reopened its border with international travelers for the first time in almost two years, as the Pacific Islander seeks to revive its dominant tourism industry.
Fiji closed its border to all foreign nationals in March 2020 in a desperate attempt to prevent its limited medical facilities from being overrun.
Concerns are growing for breaks in bookings, delays in business travel
Airlines are gearing up for a new round of volatility due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 that could force them to adjust timetables and destinations at short notice and to rely more on domestic markets where possible, analysts have said.
Many travelers have already booked travel for Christmas, a high season for airlines, but there is a growing concern in the industry over a break in future bookings and further delays to the already slow recovery of business travel.
Fitch Ratings said they had lowered their global passenger traffic forecasts for 2021 and 2022, with the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, which highlighted the likelihood that conditions would remain unstable for airlines.
US CDC moves to tighten international test rules
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said it is working to introduce stricter Covid-19 testing rules for air travelers entering the United States amid concerns over a new variant.
The CDC confirmed in a statement that it is working on revising its current global test order “for travel as we learn more about the Omicron variant; a revised order would shorten the mandatory test timeline for all international air travelers to one day before departure to the airport. United States. “
South Korea reports daily records of over 5,000 new infections
South Korea has reported a new daily record of 5,123 new cases, as it struggles to limit a sharp increase in patients with severe symptoms and ward off the Omicron variant, Korea’s disease control and prevention agency said.
On Monday, the government scrapped plans to further relax Covid-19 edges due to the strains on its healthcare system from increasing hospitalizations and deaths, as well as the threat from the new variant.
Sydney is hanging on for more Omicron cases but no locks at the moment
Australian authorities have flagged another likely case of the Omicron variant in Sydney as they prepared for more infections after at least two international travelers visited several places in the city while they were likely to be contagious.
Officials in New South Wales (NSW), home to Sydney, said the first tests “strongly indicate” that a man in his 40s, who arrived from southern Africa on November 25, had become infected with the Omicron variant and had spent time in society .
Hong Kong bans non-residents from three more countries over Omicron
Hong Kong will ban non-residents from entering the city from Japan, Portugal and Sweden from Friday, adding to a rapidly growing list of countries facing travel restrictions due to concerns about the Omicron variant.
Non-Hong Kong residents who have been in the three countries for the past 21 days will not be allowed to enter the global financial hub. Residents can only board flights if they are fully vaccinated and must undergo a 21-day quarantine at a hotel at their own expense.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies