Covid-19 Updates

The covid-19 pandemic has affected human activity in almost every domain and the whole world has experienced its negative impacts. Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A coronavirus identified in 2019, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test. Prevention involves physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and staying away from others if you feel sick (also known as quarantine).

There are different variants of this coronavirus. Like other viruses, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can change (mutate). In December 2020, B.1.1.7, a new variant, was identified in the United Kingdom, and since then, variants have appeared in other locations around the world, including B.1.351, first isolated in South Africa,

Alpha variant of coronavirus was first identified in the UK, Beta in South Africa, Gamma in Brazil, Delta in India, and Omicron in South Africa. Omicron was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021 in Botswana and on November 14, 2021 in South Africa. On November 26, 2021, WHO named the B.1.1.529 Omicron and classified it as a Variant of Concern (VOC).

Many new developments occur concerning Covid-19 across the globe. Therefore, I have dedicated this blog post to highlight the latest updates regarding Covid-19. I will post links in descending order below so that you always see the latest news first:

Covid self-isolation in England being cut to five full days

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59980505

Inbound/Outbound COVID related health protocols (NCOC – 12-Jan-2022)

https://storage.covid.gov.pk/uploads/policies/Revised%20Testing%20Protocols%20Inbound%20and%20Outbound%20Travels.pdf

Boris Johnson faces calls to quit after lockdown party apology

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-59967930

WHO body says COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated for Omicron

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/who-says-more-research-needed-vaccine-efficacy-against-omicron-2022-01-11

Covid: Half of Europe to be infected with Omicron within weeks – WHO

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59948920

Covid: Thousands protest in France against proposed new vaccine pass

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59925408

Rising Covid cases could see a worst case scenario of up to a quarter of staff off work, the UK government says.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59848109

Covid: Pupils to wear masks in class in England’s secondary schools to tackle Omicron

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-59840634

WHO: 2022 can mark the end of COVID’s acute stage

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/12/1108932

What we know about the Omicron variant

https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/what-we-know-about-omicron-variant

IMF extends emergency funding by 18 months due to Covid

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211224-imf-extends-emergency-funding-by-18-months-due-to-covid

AstraZeneca vaccine booster works against Omicron, Oxford lab study finds

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/astrazeneca-shot-third-dose-works-against-omicron-study-2021-12-23

Israel plans to give fourth dose of vaccine to over-60s

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-59749967

FDA Authorizes First Oral Antiviral for Treatment of COVID-19

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-first-oral-antiviral-treatment-covid-19

Omicron now accounts for 73% of US COVID cases after spreading at lightning speed

https://fortune.com/2021/12/20/omicron-73-percent-us-covid-fases-fast-spread

Swedish company offers a Covid pass that gets under the skin

https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/1222/1268232-covid-pass

Bill Gates tweets that Omicron could be triggering ‘the worst part of the pandemic’

https://fortune.com/2021/12/22/bill-gates-tweets-that-omicron-could-be-triggering-the-worst-part-of-the-pandemic

COVID-19: Scientists ‘surprised’ by properties of Omicron variant, says NERVTAG expert

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-scientists-surprised-by-properties-of-omicron-variant-says-nervtag-expert-12500712

New Zealand delays border re-opening over Omicron concerns

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/new-zealand-delays-re-opening-plans-over-omicron-concerns-2021-12-21

Omicron variant in Pakistan: NCOC lowers age limit for COVID-19 booster dose

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/918301-omicron-variant-in-pakistan-ncoc-lowers-age-limit-for-covid-19-booster-dose

COVID: Israel bans travel to US amid omicron concerns

https://www.dw.com/en/covid-israel-bans-travel-to-us-amid-omicron-concerns/a-60191176

France says 110,000 fake health passes in circulation

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211216-france-says-110-000-fake-health-passes-in-circulation

Booster at least 80% effective against severe Omicron

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59696499

Omicron leads many UK schools to close early for Christmas

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/dec/16/omicron-covid-uk-schools-close-early-christmas

Omicron Infects 70 Times Faster But Is Less Severe, Study Says

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-15/omicron-infects-70-times-faster-but-is-less-severe-study-says

Pakistan-West Indies ODI series postponed until June 2022

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/917433-pakistan-west-indies-odi-series-postponed-until-june-2022

HKUMed finds Omicron SARS-CoV-2 can infect faster and better than Delta in human bronchus but with less severe infection in lung

https://www.med.hku.hk/en/news/press/20211215-omicron-sars-cov-2-infection

Further five West Indies tour members test positive for COVID-19

https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/2418265

UK removes all 11 countries from red list

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59653236

Google tells employees they’ll lose pay and will eventually be fired if they don’t follow vaccination rules

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/14/google-employees-to-lose-pay-if-dont-comply-with-vaccination-policy.html

Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html

Covid: First UK death recorded with Omicron variant

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59639007

Omicron could cause 75,000 deaths in England by end of April, say scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/11/omicron-covid-variant-could-cause-75000-deaths-in-england-by-end-of-april-say-scientists

Boosters give up to 75 percent protection from mild Omicron: UK

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/10/boosters-protection-omicron-covid-variant-uk-study

Pakistan confirms first Omicron case

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2333670/pakistan-confirms-first-omicron-case

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