Omikron spreads around the world and Europe before Christmas. In the UK the camp is becoming more dramatic. The news ticker.
- Omikron (B.1.1.529) * spreads at a breathtaking speed.
- Spain relies on mild measures, Belgium tightened (update from December 22, 8:40 p.m.).
- Great Britain reports over 100,000 new infections in one day (update from December 22nd, 6:00 p.m.).
- Israel wants to offer fourth dose of vaccine against Covid (update 4:20 p.m.) .
- This news ticker is updated regularly.
Update from December 22nd, 8:40 p.m.: With Belgium, another German neighboring country is tightening its measures against an impending Omikron wave. As Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced, the cinemas and venues such as concert halls will be closed from Sunday. Accordingly, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to stay open until 11 p.m. All major indoor events are prohibited.
Update from December 22nd, 8:40 p.m.: Spain wants to combat the spread of the Omikron variant of the coronavirus with relatively mild measures such as more vaccinations, more medical staff and a mask requirement, even outdoors. The government announced on Wednesday after a video crisis meeting between Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the regional heads of government, as reported by the state TV broadcaster RTVE. Many today already voluntarily wear masks outdoors.
The regional government of Catalonia had campaigned in vain for stricter regulations. The region with the tourist metropolis of Barcelona announced on Tuesday, among other things, the closure of clubs, bars and discos as well as going-out restrictions from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. These measures are to come into force on Friday for an initial 15 days. The seven-day incidence was 424 yesterday, Tuesday, and thanks to the high vaccination rate of 80%, many sufferers have no or only mild symptoms.
Update from December 22nd, 6 p.m.: In Great Britain, for the first time, more than 100,000 infections with the coronavirus have been recorded in a single day. The country, which is facing a massive wave of omicrons, recorded 106,122 new infections on Wednesday, according to government website. The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not yet considered tightening the measures; instead, they want to wait until there are clear data on whether the number of hospital admissions will increase with the sharp increase in infections.
There is already an immense shortage of staff in hospitals and public transport on the British Isles. The government announced that the quarantine period should be shortened from ten to seven days. The regional government of Scotland and Wales have already announced tightened rules in their regions.
Omicron variant: Israel plans to offer a fourth dose of vaccine
Update from December 22nd, 4:20 p.m .: Israel is the first country to offer a fourth dose of vaccine against Covid-19 to protect itself from the new Omicron variant. People over 60, medical staff and people with immunodeficiency should be entitled to a second booster. This is recommended by the Israeli Pandemic Expert Panel, as reported by The Jerusalem Post . The fourth vaccination should start in the next few days.
“We all hoped it wouldn’t happen, but over time the immune protection of the third dose wanes,” explains member of the expert panel, Prof. Ron Dagan from Ben-Gurion University. The number of antibodies decreases after a booster vaccination similar to that after the second dose.
“It is a natural process that the antibodies gradually decrease again after a vaccination,” said Professor Ejal Leschem, an expert on infectious diseases, as reported by the dpa news agency. Only within a few weeks will it be known what that means in concrete terms for vaccination protection. Because this depends not only on antibodies, but also on so-called T cells. Israel became the first country in the world to start booster vaccination in July. If the Ministry of Health gives the go-ahead, the Mediterranean country will start with the fourth vaccination dose.
Portugal is back in lockdown because of Omikron
Update from December 22nd, 12.44 p.m .: Portugal is going into lockdown. A catastrophic situation like last January should be prevented by all means. 90 percent of the population over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. Nevertheless, the number of corona cases is increasing. The incidence in the holiday country is already over 300. And now Omikron threatens.
Home office is mandatory from December 25th. Discos and bars will then have to close, Prime Minister António Costa announced on Tuesday. In addition, the obligation to test when entering public interiors will also be extended to hotels and guesthouses, among other things. On New Year’s Eve, a maximum of ten people should gather outdoors and not consume alcohol. The start of school will be postponed by one week to January 10th.
Numbers explosion in Mallorca
Update from December 22nd, 9.46 a.m .: In Mallorca, things are going faster than expected. The number of corona cases is increasing sharply. The forecast: Omikron will dominate the popular holiday island at Christmas. And that despite a vaccination rate of over 82 percent. The 7-day incidence in Mallorca is 313.9 (currently 289.0 in Germany). The number of infections is also growing on the neighboring islands. The infection process is hardly noticeable in the hospitals. About 75 percent of the admitted Covid 19 patients are not vaccinated, reports mallorcazeitung.es .
Before Christmas: Omikron drives infection numbers on Mallorca and Tenerife
- For the entire Balearic Islands with Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, the incidence on Monday was 321.3 (as of December 21, source Ministerio de Sanidad).
- The Canaries with Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are also reporting a sharp increase in the number of infections. The 7-day incidence is 475.42 (as of December 21, source Ministerio de Sanidad).
- In the whole of Spain, the incidence recently rose to 424. It is thus higher than in Germany.
Spain is still quite relaxed about the Corona rules. In the Balearic Islands, however, there are somewhat stricter rules than just 3G rules. Only 15 people are allowed to meet outside and no more than 10 people inside. Clubs and discos are still open. However, if you want to dance you have to wear a mask.
Omikron slows down train traffic in Great Britain
Update from December 22nd, 9.30 a.m .: In Great Britain it is already becoming apparent what consequences the rapid spread of Omikron has: Several trains are canceled due to corona infections. The workforce calls in sick and that has consequences. As the BBC reports, 8.7 percent of the staff are on sick leave due to Covid-19, among other things. According to the Rail Delivery Group, 5.2 percent of the trains failed – the average is just under 3 percent. At Christmas, travelers have to be prepared for train cancellations, it is said. The train operator LNER, which operates connections on the east coast of the island, reduced the number of its connections “due to an increase in employees in corona quarantine”.
Omikron is causing the number of infections in Spain to skyrocket
Update from December 21, 10:45 p.m.: The Omikron variant of the corona virus is also causing a rapid increase in new infections in Spain. Within one day, the number of new infections with the corona virus rose by 50,000 compared to the previous day. A new record since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020. The incidence will jump from 377 to 424, as announced by the Ministry of Health in Madrid. The new Omicron variant already accounts for 80 percent of all new infections in Madrid, wrote the El País newspaper.
The number of corona patients treated in intensive care units was given as 1,472, 30 more than the previous day. They thus occupied 15.77 percent of all capacities in this area. Most of the Spanish autonomous communities, which roughly correspond to German federal states, and the central government are reluctant to significantly tighten the corona measures.
Catalonia plans night curfews
Only Catalonia announced the closure of nightlife, night exit restrictions as well as restrictions on the occupancy of restaurants and leisure facilities and the number of participants in private meetings. However, this has yet to be confirmed by the judiciary.
Omikron in Europe: Numbers are increasing in Austria – “We can’t stop Omikron, only gain time”
Update from December 21, 9:20 p.m.: The authorities in neighboring Germany, Austria, are also preparing for a rapid increase in the number of infections caused by the Omikron variant. Although only 297 Omikron cases have been confirmed in Austria so far, the number has quadrupled compared to the previous week. Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein drew a sobering conclusion at a press conference on Tuesday with a view to the increasing numbers. “We cannot stop Omikron, we can only gain time.”
Like Germany, Austria is relying on a nationwide booster campaign to prevent the health system from being overloaded. “Get a booster shot before the holidays. Give yourself and your loved ones this Christmas present, ”Mückstein urged the citizens on Tuesday
Omikron on the advance in Europe: Great Britain hard hit
Original message from December 21:
Munich – Omikron is completely turning the corona pandemic on its head. The Omikron variant is spreading particularly quickly in Great Britain and Denmark. Experts warn of a devastating fifth wave in Germany. New data and knowledge about the new Coronavirus variant Omikron (B.1.1.529) are rolling out. The Omikron scenarios are bleak.
Omicron wave overtakes Denmark – Corona case numbers explode
The strongest wave since the beginning of the pandemic is rolling over Denmark. The number of infections is skyrocketing. The corona numbers have literally exploded since mid-December. The small country (5.8 million inhabitants) now reports over 10,000 new infections every day. Around 10,500 new corona cases were reported on Monday. Around five percent of the tests were positive. The Danish Serum Institute (SSI) announced that the Omikron variant had been found in a total of 23,038 cases by Monday. The 7-day incidence in Denmark is over 1,000. For comparison: In Germany the value is 316.
Denmark is fighting the Omicron crisis
The situation in Denmark is extremely dynamic. The country has come through the pandemic comparatively well so far. The progress can be seen impressively on the “Our World in Data” website. Denmark recorded the highest number of cases with around 3,500 infections in December 2020. Now the maximum values are three times higher.
In order to slow down the wave of infections, Denmark is shutting down large parts of public life *: theaters, cinemas, zoos, amusement parks and sports facilities must now remain closed again. Restaurants are only allowed to open until 11 p.m. The country reacted quickly to the infection numbers. It was only in September that Denmark declared Freedom Day and lifted all Corona measures. Almost all people over the age of 60 were vaccinated at this point. The vaccination rate is currently more than 80 percent.
With a booster campaign, two million people are to be vaccinated by the turn of the year in order to relieve the health system. According to current mathematical models, the Danish health authorities are reckoning with 9,000 to 45,000 new infections at Christmas (December 24th). The ISS admits that the bandwidth is wide. It is said that there are still many uncertainties in the forecasting of the scenarios. The number of new infections also depends on the immune protection in the population and the transmission rate. The hospital admissions could therefore be between 130 and 250 Covid patients if the Omikron variant only develops the same infection rate as Delta.
Corona: test centers in Denmark at the limit
The test centers in Denmark have reached their capacity limits. The high number of infections meant that a record number of people wanted to make sure before Christmas that they were not infected with Corona, said Anne-Marie Vangsted, the director of the test center, on Monday of the Danish news agency Ritzau. “The number of PCR tests that we can analyze per day is limited.”
From now on, only people can book a PCR test who actually have symptoms, came into contact with an infected person or who tested positive for corona in a rapid test. If you want to go to Christmas with the family, there are other options such as antigen tests or self-tests, said Vangsted.
Omikron (B.1.1.529) spreads breathtakingly fast
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omikron on November 26, 2021 as a “worrying Corona variant” (VOC) and chose the Greek letter Omikron as the name. The first proven infection with the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 was detected in a sample in South Africa on November 9, 2021.
Worrying Corona variants – “Variants of concern” (VOC) according to WHO (as of November 26, 2021)
|Variants of Concern – VOC||Surname||VOC sub-lines|
|alpha||B.1.1.7||Mutation E484K or E484Q|
|beta||B.1.351||B.1.351.1, B.1.351.2 and B.1.351.3|
|gamma||P.1||P.1.1 and P.1.2|
|delta||B.1.617.2||AY.1, AY.2 and AY.3.|
|Omikron (November 26, 2021)||B.1.1.529||n / a|
Omikron – gloomy forecast for Germany
The corona situation in Germany remains tense *. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends “maximum contact restrictions” due to the current Corona situation in Germany. These should “start immediately” and apply until mid-January, wrote the RKI on Tuesday on Twitter. (ml / dpa) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA